Every so often, I consider giving up TDE. It’s been going for ten years now and things in my life have changed. I started the blog because I was an active writer (over 100 articles in two dozen different publications) and it had become the norm for writers to keep a blog. At this point, I no longer publish actively: a stray piece here or there, but for the most part, I’ve retreated from the publishing wars. So there’s arguably no reason to keep the blog going.
But I keep plugging along because: (1) I’m still working on various writing projects and could see myself resuming active publishing once I retire at age 85. TDE would be a good launching point, since it brings in nearly 10,000 unique visitors every month. (2) I mostly enjoy it. It’s only a burden when (i) the exigencies of life make blogging time scarce, and (ii) the muses dry up. Neither of those things occur too terribly often, so it’s normally not a burden. (3) Some of the readers are awfully good to me: some patronize through Amazon, one TDE reader sends me great vegetable seeds and helpful gardening advice, some give me good leads in areas that interest me.
That last one occurred earlier this week. TDE reader “Frank” recommended the “Europe from its Origins” podcast. I just finished the second episode. This thing is great, absolutely great. The narrator strikes a perfect balance (for me) between too much/not enough information. It’s pitched to an intelligent, but not egg-head, crowd. And, best of all, the narrator appears to have a Bellocian understanding of European history that scorns the spin of Gibbons and the Whigs.
I say this because the narrator (Joseph Hogarty) correctly spurns the idea that Rome fell in 476. That’s simply not what happened. Rome had been decaying for hundreds of years. The events of 476 were merely one more step into the grave, but the Roman Empire in the West certainly did not “fall” in 476. That date is just a useful frame of reference that teachers use to divide “Rome” from the “Middle Ages,” but “Rome” (whether you’re referring to the Roman Empire, Roman society, Roman culture, etc.), kept going for a long time. And one element, the Roman Church, is still going. It’s an important, though subtle, distinction that has many important, though subtle, implications for one’s historical point of view.
It appears Hogary shares the correct historical point of view. Check out his podcast.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
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