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Old 29-03-2016, 03:09   #151
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pirate Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
NOOOOBODY expects the spanish inquisition, - our main weapon is fear, fear and suprise, our two main weapons ....... etc etc
Damn.. and there was I thinking it was Syphilis and Smallpox.. early Western germ warfare..
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Old 29-03-2016, 04:22   #152
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
It is interesting that you talk of rewriting history for a sociological agenda. What you said in your original post was this:

"… but if you are at all conversant with the recorded history of the world, the impact of European Man has been the greatest force in the advancement of Civilization in Art, Music, Philosophy, Science, Technology and Industry and if it were not for European Man, the world would appear much as it did before the Roman, Greek and Persian Empires brought Man from a hunter/gatherer existence to Civilization."

Which is as unequivocal in its exclusion of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China as it is downright, flat out wrong. Also, your statement about the "discovery of China" is pretty telling, as is your lacuna where it comes to Chinese technological, archaeological, artistic and other cultural achievements. Your dismissal of them is breathtakingly off.
Maybe you rather prefer to be Chinese than American. Yes China at a time was a major contributor to humankind cultural development as it was the fertile crescent Egypt, Persia or India but it seems to me that it is clear that Rognval is referring to modern western culture and regarding that he is obviously right.

Sure the Europeans did not start from nothing and all those people made major contributions (you forgot the Arabs) but from the XV century till the middle of the XX century, during half a millennium it was Europe that was the big contributor to the world's cultural development and he is correct in saying: "the impact of European Man has been the greatest force in the advancement of Civilization in Art, Music, Philosophy, Science, Technology and Industry and if it were not for European Man, the world would appear much as it did before the Roman, Greek and Persian Empires brought Man from a hunter/gatherer existence to Civilization."

He is not excluding Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China as major contributors for the European input on humankind cultural development only stating the obvious, that on the XVIII XIX and XX centuries, in some cases much before, all those countries were in deep decadence and their past contribution to human kind was just that, their past contribution.

Maybe China, India or South America will be in the future the major contributor for humankind development, who knows? but we can only talk about history and what we know, not about the future and regarding western culture, its values and cultural developments, it is mostly an European achievement.
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Old 29-03-2016, 04:44   #153
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Have you read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond? It explores why it is that the cultures from the Middle East and then Europe succeeded in conquering and dominating most of the world. He of course recognizes the role of steel weapons and guns (although it was the Chinese that invented gun powder) but the biggest advantage these people had was the availability of domesticated beasts of burden. These horses, oxen and cattle were not only the machines of labor but also the carriers of diseases to which their owners eventually developed resistances. The native peoples introduced to these diseases had no resistance and died out in massive numbers that far exceeded anything a conquering army could do.
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Yes I have read it. It is interesting even if a bit repetitive and it shows one of the perspectives, among several, regarding the expansion of cultures but it does not change facts, just try to look at them in a different way.

The diseases brought when different isolated cultures contacted with each other was mostly grievous for very isolated peoples like native Americans or Polynesians and less so on other cases like India or China and it was not only on one sense.

Europeans died by the thousands when exposed to local diseases like Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Dengue, sleep disease, just to name some. During the discovery period along the African coast the major cause of mortality (by a big factor) was not shipwreck but tropical diseases. Sometimes all crew was lost.
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Old 29-03-2016, 05:02   #154
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Have you read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond? It explores why it is that the cultures from the Middle East and then Europe succeeded in conquering and dominating most of the world. He of course recognizes the role of steel weapons and guns (although it was the Chinese that invented gun powder) but the biggest advantage these people had was the availability of domesticated beasts of burden. These horses, oxen and cattle were not only the machines of labor but also the carriers of diseases to which their owners eventually developed resistances. The native peoples introduced to these diseases had no resistance and died out in massive numbers that far exceeded anything a conquering army could do.
Excellent read, on youtube as well..


"We" , us rich westerners, are pretty much just an accident of geography, not somehow better or cleverer with a better society than all the other humans on the planet. Just lucky.

A favorite paragraph is talking about hunter gatherers and the branch into farming. To be hunter gatherer you need to be fit, fast and very clever . To be member of the new fangled farming societies none of that was needed, be slow and stupid so long as you didn't die from the infectious diseases rife when living in close contact with so many other people.
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Old 29-03-2016, 05:03   #155
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Have you read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond? It explores why it is that the cultures from the Middle East and then Europe succeeded in conquering and dominating most of the world. He of course recognizes the role of steel weapons and guns (although it was the Chinese that invented gun powder) but the biggest advantage these people had was the availability of domesticated beasts of burden. These horses, oxen and cattle were not only the machines of labor but also the carriers of diseases to which their owners eventually developed resistances. The native peoples introduced to these diseases had no resistance and died out in massive numbers that far exceeded anything a conquering army could do.
Excellent read, on youtube as well..


"We" , us rich westerners, are pretty much just an accident of geography, not somehow better or cleverer with a better society than all the other humans on the planet. Just lucky.

A favorite paragraph is talking about hunter gatherers and the branch into farming. To be hunter gatherer you need to be fit, fast and very clever . To be member of the new fangled farming societies none of that was needed, be slow and stupid so long as you didn't die from the infectious diseases rife when living in close contact with so many other people.
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Old 29-03-2016, 05:28   #156
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Re: Ancient navigation

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This is just flat out wrong. The crab claw rig windward sailing vessel of the Polynesians is clearly a fore and aft lateen rig, which at least is the independent achievement of the Polynesians and may well predate the earliest European adoption of such a sailing form. Europeans were NOT the earliest great explorers of the Oceans, which title likely goes first to the Polynesians, and then the Arabs and Chinese. The Arabs were sailing close to the whole of the North Indian and some of the South Indian and South East Asia regularly making trips to China by trading ship by the middle of the ninth century, fully FOUR CENTURIES before the Europeans had managed to begin significant Ocean exploration, or frankly even more than bumbling. The compass came from China, as did the rudder, via, who else, the Arabs. Ever wondered why the overwhelming majority of stars used for navigation have Arab names? Perhaps you should try Ocean navigation yourself one day, and become familiar with them?
You should better your knowledge regarding the history of discoveries.

Sure the Arabs were greater navigators and the best of them all was Ahmad ibn Mājidand the Chinese had also done some discoveries but they have done that on a regional basis, the Arabs on the East coast of Africa and India, the Chinese on the Indian Ocean, India and maybe East coast of Africa but none of them made it at a global scale as the Europeans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_ibn_M%C4%81jid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_exploration

That regional mapping of the world has little in common with the world global mapping done by the Europeans. Only in what regards Portuguese discoveries, made in a bit more than a century, they surpass in dimension anything the Chinese and Arabs had done previously:

and the Portuguese were just the first of the Europeans in doing so at a global scale, soon the Spanish, the British, the French and the Dutch were roaming and mapping the globe.

Regarding the Polynesians their discoveries were at a regional basis and limited to a single Ocean and most that is called on this thread as discoveries are not so, but migration, on way voyages that were not made during one or two centuries (the time Europeans took to discover and mapping globally earth) but during many thousands of years.

It seems you cannot see the difference in discovering globally the world in a bit more than a century, with a full circumnavigation, and to go from Taiwan to New Zealand in more than 6000 years, but there is obviously a huge difference, the one that makes the first the discovery of the world by European countries and the later a long period localized maritime migration by a stone age people that come from Taiwan and that later would be called Polynesian.
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Old 29-03-2016, 07:21   #157
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Re: Ancient navigation

FMD - I didn't really believe that people still thought that there was such a thing as racial superiority.
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Old 29-03-2016, 08:39   #158
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
So, I am sorry I offended you and that you think me "aggressive" but I find it really quite extraordinarily aggressive (...)
OK. I am also sorry I wrote the way I did creating the impressions and feelings I did. It was only half intentional - not meant towards any specific person, nor in intention of depicting any culture as less worthy than it is.

Let's agree to disagree and let's resolve the small points over a glass of local wine when you visit our home base (currently Canary Islands). The wine is volcanic malvasia, worth its price and my offer is genuine.

I find many opinions here (also some of your opinions) valid and interesting and worth sharing and reading (e.g. the existence of stick charts, even though my earlier knowledge had it that they were of Micronesian, not Polynesian, origin).

So this is my plea to reason and you can take it or leave it. As noticed earlier in the thread reason never beats prejudice. If you want to believe I am a heartless Eurocentric monster and propagate this idea thru the end of this thread then there is nothing much I can do about it. But since I may as well not be one I believe we are both better off not driving the thorn any deeper.

I am serious about a need for our face to face conversation - we may in the end discover we are actually very much alike and that our visions of history and culture are not as far apart as we believe we have found in this exchange.

Wishing you fair winds and safe navigation,
barnakiel
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Old 29-03-2016, 11:50   #159
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Re: Ancient navigation

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No. The Spanish Inquisition was initiated to root out and destroy the Cathars, who were Christian/Agnostic heretics. It expanded dramatically afterwards, to include Jews, Muslims, and indigenous aboriginal Americans, and their culture, which was, in the latter case, wholesale destroyed with the utmost prejudice.

Muckle,
The Cathars were finished by the early 14th Century, about 100 years, with the death of Guillaume Belibaste in 1321, but the greatest focus thereafter were the Jews, Muslims, and Intellectuals who were under persecution for the next 500 years until the Inquisition's theoretical demise in 1834. When historians speak of the Spanish Inquisition, it is usually these later groups who are the historic focus of the discussion because of the duration of the persecution although you are certainly correct about the Cathars being the first to experience the joys of brotherly love. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:07   #160
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Muckle,
The Cathars were finished by the early 14th Century, about 100 years, with the death of Guillaume Belibaste in 1321
Of course near the start of Albigensian Crusade gave us, "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." in 1209. 20,000 massacred.
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Old 29-03-2016, 13:32   #161
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Of course near the start of Albigensian Crusade gave us, "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." in 1209. 20,000 massacred.

Ah, Jackdale . . . for the love of a Crusade to spread the word of God by sword!
Now that's some serious evangelism! Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 29-03-2016, 16:50   #162
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Of course near the start of Albigensian Crusade gave us, "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." in 1209. 20,000 massacred.
Nasty business, but Abigenses are Cathari (Pures)

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Albigenses
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Cathari

The pope launched a full crusade against them. They believed in odd things, like the suicide to be a good thing but the real problem was that they didn't believe in a church or see the need of any and the preaching could be done by anybody that felt suited to do so and was accepted by the community, men and women.

That was the real problem, Catholic church was a high powerful rich institution and a very hierarchized one, they were afraid that the simplicity, humility and lack of need of a hierarchy could spread to their own church and....I guess you understand my drift
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Old 30-03-2016, 07:34   #163
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Re: Ancient navigation

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OK. I am also sorry I wrote the way I did creating the impressions and feelings I did. It was only half intentional - not meant towards any specific person, nor in intention of depicting any culture as less worthy than it is.

Let's agree to disagree and let's resolve the small points over a glass of local wine when you visit our home base (currently Canary Islands). The wine is volcanic malvasia, worth its price and my offer is genuine.

I find many opinions here (also some of your opinions) valid and interesting and worth sharing and reading (e.g. the existence of stick charts, even though my earlier knowledge had it that they were of Micronesian, not Polynesian, origin).

So this is my plea to reason and you can take it or leave it. As noticed earlier in the thread reason never beats prejudice. If you want to believe I am a heartless Eurocentric monster and propagate this idea thru the end of this thread then there is nothing much I can do about it. But since I may as well not be one I believe we are both better off not driving the thorn any deeper.

I am serious about a need for our face to face conversation - we may in the end discover we are actually very much alike and that our visions of history and culture are not as far apart as we believe we have found in this exchange.

Wishing you fair winds and safe navigation,
barnakiel
Well of course I will happily accept, and should I find myself in those waters I will look forward to sharing a glass of wine with you… or three.

I do not think you are a monster, though I did and do disagree rather vehemently with some of the statements on this thread. I suppose this is the nature of these things and no doubt likewise. I have no doubt we share much.

Aye,

S
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Old 30-03-2016, 07:46   #164
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Re: Ancient navigation

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You should better your knowledge regarding the history of discoveries.

Sure the Arabs were greater navigators and the best of them all was Ahmad ibn Mājidand the Chinese had also done some discoveries but they have done that on a regional basis, the Arabs on the East coast of Africa and India, the Chinese on the Indian Ocean, India and maybe East coast of Africa but none of them made it at a global scale as the Europeans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_ibn_M%C4%81jid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_exploration

That regional mapping of the world has little in common with the world global mapping done by the Europeans. Only in what regards Portuguese discoveries, made in a bit more than a century, they surpass in dimension anything the Chinese and Arabs had done previously:

and the Portuguese were just the first of the Europeans in doing so at a global scale, soon the Spanish, the British, the French and the Dutch were roaming and mapping the globe.

Regarding the Polynesians their discoveries were at a regional basis and limited to a single Ocean and most that is called on this thread as discoveries are not so, but migration, on way voyages that were not made during one or two centuries (the time Europeans took to discover and mapping globally earth) but during many thousands of years.

It seems you cannot see the difference in discovering globally the world in a bit more than a century, with a full circumnavigation, and to go from Taiwan to New Zealand in more than 6000 years, but there is obviously a huge difference, the one that makes the first the discovery of the world by European countries and the later a long period localized maritime migration by a stone age people that come from Taiwan and that later would be called Polynesian.
Well, this condescending little piece is basically just a strawman. I didn't set out to give a comprehensive history of world navigation, now, did I? I was simply objecting to your completely untenable position that the polynesians were not navigators by any means (now don't try to reinvent that!) which you sought to defend by suggesting that their voyaging was only one way, drifting, and accidental. Further I was correcting your statements concerning just who was responsible for what in the history of navigation and "discovery". Amusingly you have now taken the entirely other tack, and sought to hoist me with that petard, but it is a wasted effort, and rather silly, as on reflection you must realise, if you are honest with yourself. Since your previous arguments were shown to be completely bankrupt in a post you did not reply to, because you cannot do so while maintaining your previous pose, you seek to distract by putting words in my mouth and gesturing at knowledge you tell me I don't have, which of course you have zero warrant to do. However you still, bizarrely, repeat the bankrupt assertion that the polynesians did not "discover" anything in the pacific, and that their journeys were merely accidental, even after the stone cold refutation by scientific means I posted previously. That is some front, mate. Just so you can perhaps this time actually read the paper, here it is again:

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/29/10491.full

And no, it isn't the only one, but one of many scholarly publications similar. However it completely refutes your nonsense about one way drift only, and eviscerates your bizarre pose about "discovery" even on the extremely cherry picked terms you staked out for it.

And all this simply because there was a thread celebrating polynesian achievements in navigation, which were FAR more impressive than you suggest with this last, equally dismissive and disdainful post. As you note, the overwhelming majority of European navigational and exploratory achievements were gained in a comparatively very short time. This was obviously because they had access to a concatenation of technological advances many of the most significant of which were borrowed or received from other cultures, as noted. And… so what? So freaking what? What is your actual point?

This post was about the polynesians. And you and others chose to make it, once again, about the Europeans. As if the world hasn't already heard enough about their achievements… And no one was saying the Europeans, particularly Cook, hadn't achieved anything. Even great things… but who cares? This was NOT about the Europeans, can't you understand that?

And meanwhile, it is unlikely any of those Europeans of the age of discovery, whom you so vaunt, if stripped of all instruments (compass, choronometer, sextant, and astronomical tables) would have been able to achieve a tiny fragment of the spectacular success of the polynesians in their navigation of the world's mightiest ocean over thousands of years, including a trading empire which has long been known of, and recently thoroughly demonstrated as fact. From your posts it is clear you had not read any major literature in the area and basically had no idea about any of this, but chose to bluster on in any case, perhaps after a few quick google searches, and never having done any practical ocean navigation yourself, at all. I have spent literally whole years of my life at sea learning and practising techniques similar to those of the ancient polynesian navigators. I have spent HUNDREDS of nights aboard, on passage, under the stars, learning their orientations, and watching their movements watch to watch, day to day, month to month longitude to longitude, season to season, hemisphere to hemisphere, as I cross dark ocean spaces. I have the UTMOST respect for the polynesian sailors, both because I have tried these things, at length, and because I know that they WORK, and that they are HARD and take enormous awareness of the sea, the stars, the waves… all of it. But you, who has never sailed out from the shores of Europe to another place, or across any ocean, lecture me about how little the polynesians' achievements were. And, of course, it is I who must learn at your feet…

Not a very good show, is it?
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Old 30-03-2016, 08:29   #165
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Well of course I will happily accept,
Hanga image to respect the poster and Polynesian culture.

Link pasted to a most interesting event binding navigation, the Polynesian and the European.

Paddling with the world's most grueling outrigger canoe race

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