Sunday, June 14, 2009

Some Fascinating Facts Mentioned By Spengler in "The Decline of the West"

In my previous post I mostly criticized Oswald Spengler. I mentioned that in addition to what I rejected in his work there was much that I liked, but I was a little vague about what I liked. Here are just a few examples of the many factual tidbits to be found in The Decline of the West:

That the palettes of the painters of Classical ancient Greece were almost entirely confined to the colors black, yellow, red and white. That Rousseau defended the theory that humans and apes share a common ancestry in 1754. That the poor people of Rome lived in extremely crowded conditions in buildings similar in some ways to the tenements of modern cities; that these buildings were made of wood, were sometimes over 10 stories tall, and often collapsed, killing many of their inhabitants. That in the year 787 Charlemagne outlawed all mention of werewolves and witches. That the spherical architectural form typical of mosques appeared in the Roman Pantheon and the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople before the beginning of Islam.

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