Arnold, History

Reading Notes /

John H. Arnold. History: A Very Short Introduction

In many ways, history both begins and ends with questions; which is to say that it never really ends, but is a process.

It has been suggested (by the writer L. P. Hartley) that ‘the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there’. Douglas Adams, the science-fiction author, posits an opposite case: the past is truly a foreign country, they do things just like us.

History is above all else an argument. It is an argument between different historians; and, perhaps, an argument between the past and the present, an argument between what actually happened, and what is going to happen next. Arguments are important; they create the possibility of changing things.

“Historians always attempt to get it ‘right‘. We try to stick to what we think the evidence actually says, to search out all the available material, to understand fully what is happening, and we never fabricate ‘the facts’.”
oh, really? scoffs pk.

quotes Herodotus: “In this world nobody remains prosperous for long.”

Catharism was a Christian heresy. Those who held the Cathar faith called themselves ‘Good Christians’ and believed that they were the true inheritors of the mission of the apostles. They also believed that there were two Gods: a Good God, who created the spirit, and a Bad God who created all corporeal matter. This ‘dualist’ belief was antithetical to Roman Catholic orthodoxy; and in any case, the Cathars believed that the Roman Catholic Church was corrupt – ‘the Whore of Babylon’ they called it.

Reading Notes

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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