alternate englands - belated questions

Ian Riddell iwriddell at
Tue Feb 15 20:57:18 EST 2005

On Feb 15, 2005, at 6:44 PM, Roslyn wrote:

>> Charlie said...
>>> Or, then again, what if Hannibal had defeated Rome - that seems to 
>>> have
>>> been
>>> a close-run thing too? Perhaps we'd have inherited a 
>>> Phoenician/Canaanite
>>> pantheon instead of the Roman/Greek one - and what interesting
>>> interference
>>> patterns that would have made with Christianity, should Christianity 
>>> ever
>>> have come to pass.
> Dorian:
>> Ooh, yes, there's an interesting speculation.  Assuming that Jesus 
>> managed
>> to get born and go ahead and be and do who and what he was and did, 
>> up to
>> the point of being arrested...  Under a different system, would he 
>> have been
>> arrested?  Would he have been arrested earlier?  Would he have just 
>> been ignored by the authorites?  And if things did play out as in the 
>> Bible, would Christianity actually have got started?  Or would it 
>> have been squashed flat, or ignored, or have fizzled out?  Would it 
>> have remained a small cult, maybe?  Would "Jesus of Nazareth" now be 
>> known only to scholars as a minor prophet...or maybe a minor 
>> revolutionary?  Would even the history that we have have survived, or 
>> would there be a totally different story extant?
>> Oh, the so many ways you could take an alternate world just from that 
>> one question...
> If Paul hadn't taken the early Christian beliefs (which were then 
> still largely part of the Jewish world-view) to the larger world, 
> transforming and spreading them, possibly Christianity would have 
> remained a Jewish cult (and possibly even disappeared, like so many 
> other Jewish subgroups of the time). And there wouldn't have been a 
> Holy Roman Empire, a Catholic Church dominating Europe, the Crusades, 
> the growth of Chrtistian-based anti-semitism, the fact, 
> the course of Western civilisation might have been totally different.
> Ros

No censuring of Galilleo . . .And not just the bad things . . . no 
B-Minor Mass, no Faure Requiem, no Paradise Lost (and therefore no His 
Dark Materials), no St. Paul's Cathedral . . .

Ah, well, I'm sure humanity would have found something to destroy each 
other over and inspire great art.


Blessed Cecelia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.
W. H. Auden

Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at
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