Thursday, June 23, 2011

Learning for Learning's Sake

Today I started reading up on some history.  As mentioned many times lately, my region of focus for July and August is the Middle East and North Africa.  I've, of course, had world history classes that taught me about the Fertile Crescent, the Nile River, Isis and Osiris, and the pyramids.  But even reading about things I supposedly know about, I have had a few ahhhhHA moments.  These may have been things I knew before and forgot or things that I really either never put together or just never came across.  Either way they make my brain make that awesome clicking sound I love so much.  So I wanted to share some things I learned today:
  • The Egyptian Empire lasted longer than ANY empire ever: 3000 years.  
    • I was aware it was a big deal but Jesus! Well Jesus might not be the best choice I suppose but Dear God(s) that is a long time!
  • Egyptians blew glass?!  
    • For some reason that just didn't seem like a thing that would have been happening then but it definitely was. 
  • Scribes were the most highly regarded of any profession 
    • Go academia! 
  • The Rosetta Stone is in the British Museum
    • Pitiful that I have to admit to learning that today as it shows I have a) not been to the British Museum yet and b) that I haven't even read about what's there.  tsk tsk 
  • Egypt had a revolution around 2100 BC where they tried to throw out the pharaoh.  It didn't work. 
    • I sincerely hope the explanation, "But it did not last long, and soon everything was as strict as before.  If not more so," does not become a case of history repeating itself.
  • The Fertile Crescent includes Egypt
    • Definitely had to have learned this in school but for some reason I didn't remember it going all the way down into Egypt.  Makes perfect sense and all but still.  

(a very brief and narrow history of Babylon which essentially became Baghdad)
  • 19th c. BC - Babylon was the Capital of the kingdom of the Amorites.  
  • 331 BC - Alexander the Great conquered Babylon
  • 323 BC - He died in Babylon
  • 141 BC - Babylon was part of the Parthian Empire
  • ~650 AD - Babylon was a province of the Persian Empire until this time when it was conquered by the Arabs
  • 1535 - Babylon was conquered by the Ottomans
  • WW1 - The Ottoman Empire split.  The League of Nations was created from the Treaty of Versailles and it "cobbled" together what is now known as Iraq from different provinces and gave it to....drum roll please....the British!  
  • 1920s- British installed King Faisal as ruler who has no powers really (and he was actually from Saudi Arabia) but in his time he helped secure independence from Britain (oops) 
  • 1958- Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr overthrew the monarchy 
  • 1979- Saddam Hussein overthrew (or perhaps passively suggested he leave without a fuss) al-Bakr.  

The rest, I would say is history except that it actually comes after this stuff which seems like what the history is and then things just get confusing.

Also, the first Crusade took place in 1095 (under the direction of Pope Urban II) who decided it was best for Christians to travel to the Middle East and kill Muslims.

My insight into the possible plan for world peace: Go back and make it so no land was ever "holy."  Holy books, holy relics, holy cows, whatever, but the person who decided it has to be pinpoint of land really fucked us over.

So that's it for today.  Much much much more to come!!!