Re: "Europe: A History," November 16, 1996
To the Editor:
In his 11/16/96 review of "Europe: A History", Sir Raymond Carr applauds Norman Davies' criticism of western historians for "manipulat[ing] the ambiguous concept of western civilisation to exclude the barbarian Slavs". Yet is not Sir Carr himself ratifying the exclusion of the Greco-Slavic experience of Christian history by praising John Roberts' assertion, in "A History of Europe", that "Luther could not foresee that the Latin thesis he nailed to a door in 1517 would finally destroy the unity of Christendom"? After all, Christianity's most significant schismatic event occurred in 1054--when Christendom was severed into Eastern and Western churches after Pope Leo IX excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople; its most damaging resulted from the Fourth Crusade--when Constantinople was shamelessly sacked and Byzantium occupied in the service of Venetian financiers; and its most tragic ensued in 1453--when the West sat idly by and watched Orthodox Christianity consumed by a brutal five hundred year-long Islamic nightmare under Turkish rule.
Very truly yours,
Phillip Spyropoulos, Esq.