||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Anshar, conqueror of the universe
Tom Holland yups this:
The commenters immediately bring up Marxism, although that has problems too; commenters upon those comments point out that Marxism is a by-blow of Protestantism, the sort of bastard who won't acknowledge his father. A better example would be Zoroastrianism. The Persians from the start decided that Ahura Mazda was God and the guarantor of truth, and that all nations should bow to Him. And if we are talking crusade and jihad, we should start with Khusro II Aparvêz.
I'm surprised I even have to remind Tom Holland of this; he literally wrote the book on the subject. (Or, some might say, he rewrote Pourshariati's book on it. The point still stands.)
Also what about Assyria? Assyria had a universalist project too. As for the role of religion in what that empire did, once its armies had Babylon its scribes started spelling their local god Aššur as "Anšar", Sumerian for "whole heaven" and mythologically parallel to Uranus. Other gods to an Anshar would just be servants: angels and jinn, by another name. Then the Assyrians could pretend that they had always worshipped Anshar but that their language had slurred over the years of ignorance. (It might even be true.)
Holland's tweets are valuable, but I'm detecting a theme: "Islam is bad but Christianity is just as bad, and it wouldn't do to be a nationalist. I'm a moderate! Really!"
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