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Re: Stupid questions (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Alfredo scripsit:

> Ash asked,
> > > What is the general given time for the Middle Ages?
> > > 
> > > as in from what to what? :)
> > > 
> > > thank you and sorry to ask a stupid question.
> O senhor Pedro de Alcazar began his excellent scholarly reply
> thusly:
> > Imprimis: There is no such thing a a stupid question, least of
> > all the one you just asked.
> This sounds like a challange to me.
> How about,
>   When Achilles was disguised as a woman to avoid the Trojan War
>   draft, what name did he go by?  (Homer doesn't say.)

That's an _unanswerable_ question, not a stupid one. My
professors specialize in the unanswerable-especially my
philosophy professor, a kindly, if bizarre, woman.

> Later, Lord Pedro says,
> > Politically, Great Britain is still mediaeval-most of the
> > Renaissance governments tried to put an end to their Parliaments'
> > power as soon as possible. For the most part, though, these
> > Parliaments were goners by 1500.
> Does this mean that a constitional monarchy (sort of East Kingdom
> style) is a medieval feature, and an absolute monarch (a la Atlantia)
> is a modern invention (or maybe a renaissance of ancient Greek tyrants)?
> I think this is at odds with the popular concept of medieval politics.

I don't care what the popular concept is, to be honest. Most
people can't even find Angola on a map of Africa, let alone
Portugal on a map of Europe. Most people also don't know about
the Corteses of the kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, which were
generally suppressed by 1500, the Parlements of the French
provinces, the Imperial Diets, or the assemblies of Poland and
Hungary, all of which happened to loose their steam by the time
we get to the early modern period. There's an excellent work,
which I unfortunately have at my library at home, which covers
the decline of mediaeval Parliaments in states other than
England. I'll post the title, if anyone's really interested.
Suffice to say that feudalism isn't such a bad defense against
absolutism-and that mediaeval nobles generally disliked tyrants.

> Anyway, I wouldn't say GB is _still_ medieval; meseems that after
> the Commonwealth they're just doing medieval recreation, just
> like the SCA.


Craig Levin
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