What History Implies
History may not necessarily repeat itself but is sure is a past that must be learned from. The fall of the Roman Empire made heirs of three kingdoms namely: the Byzantine Empire, Islam, and the West (Encarta, 1993-2007). The three were more or less similar in terms of religion, livelihood, and loyalties (Encarta, 1993-2007). For instance, all three kingdoms believed that church and state were bound together. The people of these settlements also shared a common livelihood which is farming. The loyalties of the people, in all three kingdoms, were also commonly “local in nature (Encarta, 1993-2007).
” The people of these areas did not pay particular heed to central rulers. Instead, their loyalties rested upon the local authorities and their neighbors. This, in turn, created strain within the political arena. The three heirs of the Roman Empire were also considerably different in two significant areas. First, there existed a sort of economical hierarchy. The Islamic World used to be the most prosperous, “with thriving trade and a large merchant and professional class (Encarta, 1993-2007).
” The Byzantium Empire came second, as it managed to revive its economy, what with Constantinople still being largely significant to trade even after losing territory in war, and the people paying their dues. The West, however, was the least wealthy among the three heirs of Rome, as it suffered from a poor economy despite the existence of a wealthy few. The political structure also varied among the three, with the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic World having centralized authorities while the Western political figures were divided into small and scattered ruling groups.
If the disposition of these three kingdoms are to be plotted in history, the prediction that either one of Islam or the Byzantine Empire will rise to great power would be unsurprising. However, as was already proven, this is not necessarily so. The Byzantine Empire had already been annihilated and the Islamic World, though resilient up to this day, is being plagued by war and political crisis. The West, on the other hand, was the one that actually rose to being a superpower. Today, the Islamic World and the West remain similar yet different.
However, the only similarity that remains now is religion, for the people’s loyalties and livelihood had already been swept up by the progress of the times. Byzantium, on the other hand, had gotten lost in the action due to religious crisis or what can be more popularly known in historical terms as the Crusades. Now, with only two heirs of the Roman Empire remaining, the difference in religious beliefs is again taking its toll on innocent civilians; and until when, nobody can really tell.
Perhaps it will stop when one is annihilated, like the Byzantine Empire. But then again, history does not necessarily repeat itself. Nevertheless, the effects of the war on religion had been proven grave in the past, and it is only reasonable to believe that nothing good will come out of it in the future. It will only create a terrifying present that might just as well force history to repeat itself.
Reference: Encarta. “Middle Ages. ” 1993-2007.