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An interesting question, I think...

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Amit View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Oct 2013 at 13:31
Hello all!

I was wondering - what did they call old times in the old times? have people in the middle ages knew they lived at a time called "middle ages"? I guess not. So how did they call this period of time? Did they call it "modern times"? did people in the "classical period" knew they lived in the classical period, or did they too called temselves "modern" like we do? and if not, and we are the only ones ever to call ourselves "modern" or "post-modern" - what comes after "post modern"?

Maybe every generation in history called itself "modern" until a new generation started, called *themselves* modern and found an appropriate name for the previous era from a more "objective" retrospective point of view?


Interesting question, in my opinion. one to which i haven't found an answer yet.
Thanks,
Amit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2013 at 18:35
Well it really depends on which part of the world you are looking at. I will focus on the Western world and leave the other parts to those more familiar with it. And I will work my way backwards.

Since the conversion of Europeans to Christianity, Europeans (and their successor states in other parts of the world) have dated history from the time of Christ. Europeans during the Enlightenment began to develop a consciousness within the intellectual and ruling classes that they were elevated above their forebears through reason above those who lived during the Middle Ages and earlier. Those living in the Renaissance were increasingly convinced that they had brought about a revival of Classical thought which superseded those living in the Middle Ages. Those living in the Middle Ages would have thought of themselves as the successors of late Roman Christian traditions who viewed themselves at the terminus of world history. For them the world would soon be ended and Judgement Day would soon be upon them. They viewed the world as the ancients had: as a continual deterioration from ages of gold, to silver, to bronze, to iron, and less than that (though the ancients had no notion of apocalypse). The Romans also believed in this process of degeneration, but to a much larger enxtent (though without apocalypse). They did not have the Christian fatalist sentiment; instead they simply viewed the world as once barbaric but now made magnificent by Rome's power. The Greeks viewed themselves as the racial, intellectual and physical ideal mix in the world in which they lived. They were conscious of their intellectual superiority over Europeans and their presumed superiority in character over Asiatics. As you can see, at this point in world history we have less of a universal view of things than under the Romans. This is natural. Universalism was a concept within both the Roman Empire and Christianity, which together formed a symbiosis.

Good luck on your paper, go get an A Tongue


Edited by Constantine XI - 21 Oct 2013 at 18:41
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fantasus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2013 at 20:40
Perhaps many of us too easily and without question accept the idea we live in "the modern age", as if it was so informative. It is a truism we live in "contemporary time" or the present, so this "modern" thing must mean something else. As such however it does not explain anything.
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