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mountains triumph of the west

Triumph of the West – The Heart of the West

In my last Triumph of the West post I stated that I couldn’t find the next in the series – the DVD was hiding. Actually I then found the missing DVD but sadly the episode I was looking for was corrupted and as yet I have not been able to salvage it. However when I ripped the other episode that was on this DVD off I became confused as just before the programme started an announcer said that this was the 3rd episode in the series, not the 6th which is what I thought must be. Basically this means that I have somewhere down the line confused the order of the programmes. Still never mind, each episode really stands on its own and the order you view them is not all that important.

This is all very boring and without further ado, here is the said episode.

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triumph of the west

triumph of the west v

the whole triumph of the west series as reproduced on this website has gone wonky in that i seem to have lost a dvd which may have had episode 4 on it i’m sure it’s around somewhere but just in a paper sleeve so could be very discreetly hidden so instead i’ve jumped ahead to episode 5 but that unfortunately has the first eight nine ten or so minutes missing apologies for that but basically you miss the prolegomenon and just get the dénouement otherwise known as the guts or the inner substance

this episode investigates the limits of the borders of the continent that is currently known as europe which conveniently end in the west at the atlantic ocean in the south at the mediterannean (at least until we reach asia minor) but the eastern borders dissolve away into asia at which point we may well ask for many it matters little still let’s leave them out of the equation for now

it seems to me that if the human species should manage to last a few centuries more then hopefully this will become totally unimportant even though it may be sad to lose some of that individuality

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triumph of the west

Triumph of the West III

the christian muslim thing has been going on so long and right now it’s completely up to date with president trump’s attempt to penalise humiliate and radicalise huge numbers of people this film stretches back to give you the history of how it happened islamic conquest crusades iberia up to pyrenees and for a while beyond balkans greece and the islands

the chief difference that i perceive is that mohammed gave a law that was to be enshrined revered inscrutably followed or at least that was how his doctrine was understood whereas jesus mocked and subverted the law said that it should be broken if it did not make sense with basic following of the heart in charitable directions and common sense rationalities

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triumph of the west ii

From Socrates to Caesar to Jesus to Constantine to Marx with a lot of wisdom and beautiful images in between.

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quotations triumph of the west

Triumph of the West 1

When I was a boy I read something about the ancient Romans which made a tremendous impression upon me. Here in Rome they used to hold ceremonies which they called triumphs… For them a triumph was a celebration held when a victorious general came back from the wars. On his return from his campaign they would put him in a chariot put a wreath of victory on his brows and then draw him through the streets in honour to the Capitol where the senate would receive him… But the Romans were a cautious and superstitious people and to avert the malice of the gods and to remind their general just who he was they put somebody else in the chariot too, a slave. From time to time the slave would lean forward and say to the general “Remember, remember thou too are human”.

Near the start of his masterly television essay on certain aspects of the history of the last 3,000 years the historian John M Roberts speaks these words. One can’t help thinking that his reference to this historical detail and his personalisation of it suggest that he, as a historian, is reminding himself of his lack of omniscience. His work is the next best thing to omniscience as suggested in AJP Taylor’s review of Roberts’ History of the World

It is unbelievably accurate in its facts and almost incontestable in its judgements.

This 1st episode (again I will admit now that I don’t have a complete set) really stands by itself as being the argument in a nutshell. The series is in classical essay form with the introduction stating all that is going to follow in brief then subsequently the deeper analysis in largely chronological sequence and finally the reiteration of the main message and if there is to be any futurology it should happen at this point too. I can’t remember whether there is or not but I expect it’s there.

There’s a lot of very powerful archive footage – only short snippets for obvious budgetary reasons and in most cases that’s all you need to keep the flow of the narrative going. It’s about 50 minutes long, the opening and closing credits are a bit clipped and at 160Mb it may take a short moment to load.