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Well, this is going well...

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Showing 1-25 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Mar 2012 21:03:18 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 27 Aug 2012 15:37:34 BDT]

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 22:29:56 BDT
gille liath says:
Battle of Jutland?...

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 22:31:02 BDT
TomC says:
Oh, go on; you know you want to ....

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 22:38:35 BDT
gille liath says:
Of course; I just don't know if Amazon can handle the frenzy of posts it'd generate.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 22:47:46 BDT
Charlieost says:
Cradle of democracy anyone?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 23:21:15 BDT
richard says:

yes they were quite interesting but how much were they influenced by the Egyptians?

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 23:23:46 BDT
richard says:
this forum is in danger of making the Christianity one look dynamic. lol

Posted on 29 Mar 2012 20:46:17 BDT
Maria says:
What is your favourite period of history and why. ?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Mar 2012 21:31:00 BDT
richard says:

I'm very interested in early Judaism and the early centuries of Christianity. i'm also interested in the development of man from hunter/gather to farmer and the birth of cities. thing is, that covers a fair amount of time so period probably doesn't apply. if i had to pick a hundred years i'd opt for the first century CE, well minus 4 years i guess to be there for the birth of Jesus, if there's one birth to witness that would be a good one in my book. being there for the conception might be even more enlightening!

as for why, i find the story of our species through to the development of cities fascinating. the struggle and ultimate ability to face and overcome so many challenges (as well as the failures) with so little is amazing. as for first century Israel, well Abrahamic religion has had such an effect on our world and our thinking that i would have liked to be there to understand how it all started.

if i ever move on to later periods i expect that too will prove fascinating. when it comes down to it history is fascinating! wish i'd realised that when younger.

Posted on 30 Mar 2012 01:00:23 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 27 Aug 2012 15:37:57 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 09:59:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jul 2012 22:47:10 BDT
gille liath says:
Because they were wearing loincloths? But that'd be pre-history, strictly speaking.

(EDIT: or were you just referring to your favourite newspaper?)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 10:32:39 BDT
richard says:
i was going to use the term Pre-history but then decided that it was very odd to be able to talk about times before 'history' began! as we go further back in time and our history in it, we may no longer have writing but there are plenty of things we can say about those people from the things that were left behind. from caves used as shelters and camp sites to the artefacts and the contents of their middens and the information we can now extract from their bones, teeth and DNA etc. when should our history begin?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 10:42:45 BDT
gille liath says:
I was really talking to Tarzan. History, as you imply, is usually considered to begin with the beginning of writing - which, loosely, means the beginning of civilisation (ie living in cities). So I think that's a useful distinction. It's not just that our knowledge of how people lived before that is more limited - it's also that mankind as a whole lived in a much less organised way, and didn't engage in the big collective enterprises that are the stuff of history.


In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 11:34:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Mar 2012 11:36:30 BDT
richard says:

yes the little 'In reply to an earlier post' up on the right hand side tells us who the post is in reply to but this is an open forum and matters of interest are bound to get picked up on by other forum users, this is the nature of debate. you might have put Tarzan's name on top of your post if you wanted to emphasis that you were specifically responding to him but even so i think in an open forum we are putting our thoughts out there for whoever is interested to join in.

i didn't mean to imply that history begins with writing. i don't know whether this is where the line is drawn between history and pre-history (although i suspect it might) nor why it should be if that is the case. i suspect when the term 'pre-history' was coined we knew very little about those that lived before the advent of writing and writing was associated with the earliest cities that we had found in Egypt and Suma (i think) so it made sense at the time. we now know so much more about our earlier ancestors that even though there were neither cities nor writing we definitely have a sense of history from that information.

personally i find trying to understand what a group of people sitting round a camp fire were doing and how they were living and what tools they were using to be fascinating and very definitely the stuff of history. these were the people that would eventually recognise and sow the beginnings of domesticated strains of wheat and rice. these are the people that would take these domesticated seed with them to trade and sow elsewhere. without these people large scale farming would never have started and without that the cities could never have been viable. i don't think people suddenly became organised from chaos or to engage in big collective enterprise before engaging in smaller ones. could we really have gone from primitive to modern/civilised/cultured in one step? there may indeed have been a fairly rapid movement towards what we consider to be civilisation at some point but the events leading up to that point paved the way for it to work/happen. also sites such as Stonehenge show us that man was capable of pretty substantial collective enterprises. National Geographic (june 2011) has an article on Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey built some 11,600 years ago which contains the worlds oldest known temple. should this belong in pre-history? surly the will and desire to cut, shape and transport 16ton stones hundreds of feet must imply more than a simple primitive hunter/gather small group lifestyle mentality.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 12:58:21 BDT
gille liath says:
"yes the little 'In reply to an earlier post' up on the right hand side tells us who the post is in reply to but this is an open forum and matters of interest are bound to get picked up on by other forum users, this is the nature of debate. you might have put Tarzan's name on top of your post...", etc, etc.

God almighty! I was just trying to say that it was 'caveman times' I was describing as pre-history, not the things you mentioned. However I always find it useful to look for the words 'in reply to your post', in bright red, to see whether something is addressed to me in particular

"i didn't mean to imply that history begins with writing."

That was a mistaken courtesy on my part, then - but it does. Obviously there is often a vague frontier province between the two, rather than a sharp borderline; still, as I say, I think it's a useful distinction on the whole. Even so, I share your (and Tarzan's) interest in pre-history and primitive societies.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2012 17:53:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Mar 2012 21:45:04 BDT
richard says:

Yes I also look for the red `in reply to your post' but i wonder why you mention it?

There were no such times as `caveman times' apart from those invented by Hollywood and fiction writers. The term probably came from the discovery of cave art that pre dated what was at the time considered to be civilisation. The film 10,000BC with Raquel welch in a fir bikini and `cavemen fighting dinosaurs pretty much sums it up.

My original response to your post was to say that I was also going to use prehistory to describe early man, along with a brief explanation as to why I didn't. the things I mentioned were to do with how our knowledge of those early times is growing and I mentioned in my original post to Maria my interest in early man as hunter/gatherer. Up until the beginning of domestic strains of wild plants and the start of both crop and livestock farming we were hunter/gatherers. As far back as we can see we were hunter/gatherers although there might have been a time before we could hunt and might have obtained meat through scavenging. So even though there were no Caveman times, whatever times you thought you were referring to would have been hunter/gatherer and I had expressed my interest in that and right through to the beginning of city building and farming.

I believe there was a time when archaeologists (not by today's standards) were starting to investigate ancient cities and discovering, what at that time they were only guessing, writing and apart from that the only indications of previous human presence were things such as Stonehenge and cave paintings. It was perfectly reasonable to propose `history' and `prehistory' as there was a clear demarcation line between what we thought we could know and what we thought would remain unknown. But that was then and this is now and that's why I mentioned it to you.

If you think it is still a valid and useful demarcation line to maintain that history begins with writing and/or the building of cities then I have to disagree because I think it's an outdated view. Writing and city building along with farming certainly mark a change for our species but not a line where our history begins. I also don't think there was a `frontier' between the two but a gradual and maybe accelerating process from 10,000 BCE onwards and I don't see any point at which we can say those people were primitive but the next generation were not! Each generation must have been learning from the previous one and farming was allowing people to settle in larger groups and specialise and further increase the rate of change and development. What big city does not contain the ruins of a smaller settlement underneath it?

Posted on 5 Jul 2012 21:54:01 BDT
easytiger says:
Don't see why it shouldn't take off. The movement of people is the basis of history imo as long as the PC brigade don't get involved. What do you reckon?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2012 22:51:01 BDT
gille liath says:
You could just as easily say the movement of technology - or even more, of ideas.

And the reason the history forum hasn't taken off is that you would need to know something about history to take part in a discussion there. The really successful forums are the ones where everyone has an opinion, but at the same time you don't need any actual knowledge: music, religion, politics, Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2012 19:24:40 BDT

That's so true LOL

and so sad also, but then the way they teach history at school these days I wonder sometimes how people know what happened last week.

I recently trained some young Modern apprentices, and they had no idea

who Neil Armstrong was

Who JFK was

That dinosaurs were actually real

That Werewolves and Vampires were not real in the 'old' days

They thought Hitler was some famous leader who only liked his women with blue eyes and blond hair

They had never heard of the holocaust.

They did not know what religion they were, but reckoned they must be catholic or protestant.

Did not know who Clark Kent was

and were shocked to hear the the largest ever animal on our planet was still alive and well today.


they could tell you the name of every person in the only way is essex though

Posted on 19 Jul 2012 15:31:09 BDT
Gordon Dent says:
Clark Kent wasn't. He's a fictional character. There's no particular reason why apprentices should know about him unless they're fans of DC comics or Hollywood action movies. Certainly a lack of knowledge of who Clark Kent is doesn't display a lack of historical awareness.

Regarding the others, we have to think about where people find things out and how they know things. I know who Neil Armstrong is because I happen to be old enough to have watched the first moon landing. Someone growing up in the 1990s/2000s would have had to do a fair bit of general reading to find anything about the 1960s/70s space exploration programmes, as they wouldn't be likely to feature in any school lessons and aren't referred to widely in the media. The rest of your examples are things one would expect any vaguely curious person to find out more or less by chance, even if they were never taught them. Sadly, I think very few people (including people much older than your modern apprentices) aren't even vaguely curious and assume that anything they ought to know will be fed to them at school, although they might very well fail to digest it.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jul 2012 18:43:38 BDT
Yeah so they are completely daft LOL.

I knew most of those things before I started high school, its called reading and watching things on TV other than reality and celebrity shows.

Is Clark Kent a fictional character, I did not know? LOL

Yeah thanks for explaining that one Gordon, but seriously you'd expect most people in the world to know who Clark Kent is???

The others are unforgivable.

The fact is they know nothing at all about this world, never mind history

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2012 15:00:54 BDT
Jim Guest says:
Or the Hebrews.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2012 21:10:37 BDT
gille liath says:
Yeah, it's the modern malaise. History is bunk (as Mr Payne said on the other thread); and if I do really need to know something, for a particular purpose, it's all on the internet anyway.

And even in academia it isn't necessarily much better. I was trying to help someone recently, a friend's friend's son, with their history thesis. It was a real shambles, unfocused, lacking content, and he was a lazy so-n-so as well. I heard recently he got a 2:1 from his supposedly reputable university. It makes you wonder.

As Gordon Dent says, what's needed is that curiosity - the understanding that these things are worth knowing, and that no-one can educate you if you aren't willing to educate yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2012 13:24:37 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'a real shambles, unfocused, lacking content'

gille's posts are better than that. Believe it.

Posted on 27 Jul 2012 03:15:21 BDT
Wayfarer says:
I came on this forum months ago, because I thought I would be able to learn something. I did not have the benefit of a normal education, due to disability. I had three years in total of schooling. I did, and still do, have a burning sense of curiosity. I have enormous envy for those who were able to benefit from further education, mine came from the local library, and my mother. But I soon gave up on this forum, because every time I tried to have a discussion or ask questions it turned into a big joke (apart from a couple of helpful people). It completely put me off, and I didn't post again. "And the reason the history forum hasn't taken off is that you would need to know something about history to take part in a discussion there." And how do we get to know something about history? Perhaps the reason it hasn't taken off is that newcomers are made to feel like idiots. How can I educate myself if I don't ask questions? I remember also feeling like an idiot during the three years in a classroom (from age thirteen). I soon gave up on asking questions, which actually got me sent out on more than one occasion. It makes me sad to see people derided for their ignorance, or lack of education. Blame the people who nurtured them, who raised them, who educated them. Blame the people who treat questions with sarcasm, or apathy, or superiority. Every person should be a teacher. Every person should take joy in imparting what knowledge they have. Yes, people can educate themselves to an extent, but you will always need help. How many on here taught themselves to read, to write, I wonder. I have tried on numerous internet groups and fora to further what little knowledge of history I have, but I gave up. So I remain ignorant. But not through any fault of my own. The thing that is "unforgivable" is to make fun of ignorance, not suffer from it.
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Discussion in:  history discussion forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  28 Mar 2012
Latest post:  27 Jul 2012

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