Invasions of Europe from the East, from the fall of Rome

Invasions of Europe from the East, from the fall of Rome, by Tom Holland. An interesting article of the invasions by Huns, Hungarians and Islamic hordes, of the deliberate links to this history in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, and the finishing with the Nazis. It was a Christian continent, held together only by its religion against invasions by Islam and various eastern groups coming off the steppe. Our current PC elites wish to ignore and forget this Christian past.

The assumption that the conflict between medieval Christendom and its Arab and Turkish adversaries was merely an expression of inveterate European racism, rather than what it truly was — a desperate, see-sawing struggle for survival — was enshrined as a new orthodoxy.

Elites who had once delighted in proclaiming the supremacy of their own culture now pat themselves on the back for scorning it. A continent that had come to pride itself on transcending history had no wish to dwell on the more embarrassing aspects of its own past.

In 2003, when the first draft of a putative E.U. constitution was drawn up, its authors were happy to acknowledge Europe’s debt to ancient Greece and Rome, and to salute the achievements of the Enlightenment — but of the Christian roots of European civilization not a mention was made. The implication was obvious: Everything between Marcus Aurelius and Voltaire ranked as backwardness and superstition ….

That the European Union owed nothing to Christianity would, of course, have come as news to men like Konrad Adenauer or Robert Schuman: founding fathers of the European project who were at the same time devoutly Catholic. Even today, with pews across Europe increasingly empty, the attempt to fashion an inclusive and multi-faith future for the continent remains shadowed by a paradox: that it has patently been grounded in Christian doctrines. …

European history is being invoked once more against an invasion from the East:

In Germany, too, where street campaigns against “the islamization of the Occident” have swelled over recent months, and in the ranks of nationalist parties from Finland to France, and in angry chatrooms, and on websites much adorned with images of ­magical swords, there is no lack of people to play the role of Tolkien’s Denethor, and warn, “All the East is moving.”

The abiding potency of such a dread, bred as it is of the marrow of European culture, is hardly surprising. If the imagery of knights manning the battlements of a beleaguered city against orcs can be used to sell video games, then why not a political narrative? It is, after all, a multi-player edition. Europeans were not the only ones in the Middle Ages to sacralize violence.

The Muslim forces who, shortly after the death of Otto the Great, sacked the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain and harvested the heads of its defenders were no less convinced of their divinely authored mandate than was Bishop Ulrich as he stood in the breached gate of Augsburg. Muslim corsairs, as they descended on an unsuspecting Italian town, would hunt out slaves in the certainty that they were licensed to do so by God. To Muhammad, and to all who followed him, had been granted the “spoils of war”—and a constituent part of this plunder was human livestock.

hat-tip Stephen Neil