London As A Crossroad Of Cultures And Civilizations

Abstract

The article deals with the problem of identity and difference in the concepts of "culture" and "civilization". There are several approaches to the cultural and civilizational development. The word "culture" comes from Latin and means cultivation, cultivation of soil, i.e. the impact of a person on soil. Thus, the term itself proclaims the unity of culture, man and human activities. Culture emerges wherever there is a human: primitive culture, ancient culture, culture of the Middle Ages, modern culture. Culture is opposed to barbarism. There are many civilizations based on culture and religion. There are many more types of cultures than civilizations. Civilization is the highest degree of identification. The main purpose of the article is to prove that London is a city containing several civilizations. It is also necessary to appeal to the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles – the Iberians, the Beekers and the Celts. They all possessed their own cultures and religions, but did not possess civilization. For the Celts, it began with the invasion of the Romans. They founded cities, including London, built a network of magnificent roads, marble villas and supplied them with central heating. They brought the Roman law. Culture is national, civilization is cosmopolitan. Spengler points out that the crisis of culture occurs when its soul completes material, religious, social, and technological processes, when a high spiritual culture passes into an industrial civilization. Thus, London is a city containing several civilizations.

Keywords: Civilization, culture, crisis, identification, religion

Introduction

London was founded 2000 years ago. How many civilizations does it contain? And what is "civilization"? For a long time, the concepts "culture" and "civilization" were identical, until I. Kant separated them, and later Spengler (1998) opposed them. There are several approaches to cultural and civilizational development. The word "culture" comes from Latin and means cultivation, cultivation of soil, i.e. the impact of a person on soil. Thus, the term itself proclaims the unity of culture, man and human activities. Consequently, culture emerges wherever there is a human: primitive culture, ancient culture, culture of the Middle Ages, modern culture. Culture is opposed to barbarism (Fukuyama, 2001).

Problem Statement

The article determines the relationship between the concepts "culture" and "civilization". Spengler and Huntington's judgments about civilizations are analyzed. London is seen as a center of several civilizations: from the Celtic civilization to the Anglo-Saxon and modern ones.

Research Questions

What is the difference between “culture” and “civilization”? Can we call the Celts a civilized people? Since when has London been a civilized city? According to Huntington (2003), there is a huge variety of civilizations, which are based on culture and religion. Moreover, there are many more types of cultures than civilizations. But they may belong to the same type of civilization (Gallardo & Kaivan, 2013). A resident of Rome may feel like a Roman, Italian, Christian or pagan, but he feels himself primarily a person belonging to the Roman civilization. Civilization is the highest degree of identification.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the article is to prove that London is a city containing several civilizations. The ancient Celts and Anglo-Saxons personified barbarism. The Romans were a civilized people and they civilized the Celts-Britons. Magnificent roads, baths, marble villas with central heating – this is the heritage of Rome. Since the first century AD, Britain was a civilized Roman province, but in the 5th century Britain again plunged into the darkness of paganism.

The Celts had language, culture and religion. They were going to execute a young married couple for witchcraft by putting a woman in a bag of stones and launching a poisonous snake there. But she was saved by a representative of a more progressive, albeit, pagan people (Lee et al., 2009).

Research Methods

The main research methods were system-analytical, comparative-comparative and biographical. The work also used the method of linguistic observation, description, and linguocultural analysis. These methods allowed us to draw reliable conclusions.

Findings

All subsequent development of England is connected with Christianity. This period is described by three works telling about the history of London: “London. Biography” by P. Ackroyd, “London” by E. Rutherford and “If the walls could speak” by L. Worsley.

Despite the fact that the Celts possessed language and religion, they cannot be called a civilized people. Civilization began with the Roman conquest.

On the other hand, the uncivilized Celts felt the impact of the Scandinavian civilization when they came into contact with it in the person of Elfgiva, one of the heroines of the novel "London" by Rutherford (2015).

It is also necessary to appeal to the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles – the Iberians, Beekers and Celts. They all possessed their own culture and religion, but did not possess civilization. For the Celts, it began with the invasion of the Romans. They founded cities, including London, built a network of magnificent roads, marble villas and supplied them with central heating.

After the withdrawal of the Roman legions in 410, Britain again plunged into barbarism. The island was attacked by the Saxons and Angles. Gradually, kingdoms appeared on the island, but many years passed before London became the capital of the country.

Culture entered the stage of civilization in 1066, when William conquered England. William was a duke of Norman. Alfred the Great drove the Normans (northern people) out of England to the continent, where they formed their own statehood. Since the Normans were at a lower cultural level, according to the laws of assimilation, they mixed with the carriers of a higher cultural level – the French – and adopted their language – Old French. This is how the Anglo-Saxon civilization began to form. It became the basis of the entire Western civilization. On Christmas Day 1066, at Westminster Abbey, William was proclaimed King of England William I.

There were three languages ​​in the country: French spoken by the new nobility and government; Latin as language of the clergy; and English spoken by ordinary people. Orthodox English priests were replaced by French bishops. All church services were conducted in Latin.

Meanwhile, London developed rapidly. One of the first buildings was the White Tower on the banks of the Thames River. “Oon the river bank under the slopes, where crows lived, they began to build a new building ... It was built of gray stones. They called it the Tower ... A transparent hint was addressed to the Londoners: "Your lord is King Wilhelm." What was the center of the universe? Not the Sun and not the Earth, not Rome, not Jerusalem and not Constantinople. “These are not the centers of the universe. The center was London Bridge. " On the London Bridge, heads of traitors were shown. State celebrations were marked by magnificent processions over the water. The bridge was the heart of London (Rutherford, 2015). Civilization began on the London Bridge. As Ackroyd (2010) points out, all latrines were concentrated there. The Thames river became brown from faeces in the water.

The next stage in was associated with the rupture of England and Rome. King Henry VIII fell in love with Anne Boleyn. But one significant obstacle was his marriage. The Pope did not allow divorce. Henry VIII decided to divorce himself, becoming the head of the Anglican Church. “In the spring of 1536, Henry's Spanish wife died in a cold house in East Anglia. If King Henry had waited, he could have easily married, without breaking with Rome. Moreover, a few months later, Anne Boleyn, who never gave birth to the desired heir, fell out of favor and was executed. King Henry entered into another marriage. But he did not restore the reign of the Roman Church in England. He liked to be the supreme head". A wave of anti-Catholic repressions swept across the country: monasteries were closed, the dissatisfied were executed. This behavior became possible thanks to the Reformation, when Europe was against Rome. The Anglican Church played a crucial role for the British. Church services began to be conducted in English. The Bible was translated into the national language. A significant step towards civilization was made.

Is it possible to call the civilization a society where such acts took place: “Monks stood before this noble assembly? They unanimously rejected the offer at the foot of the gallows, and they threw loops around their necks. All three were pulled up, allowed to hang and lowered in full consciousness. Then they ripped open their bellies. First, they released the guts, then tore out the hearts, cut off the arms, legs and heads and lifted them up. It was done brutally. They carried off the bloody limbs to hang or pin in the sun. Having executed these first martyrs who denied royal superiority, Henry's Anglican Church declared its power (Rutherford, 2015).

The rule of the English kings began to acquire civilized forms only under Elizabeth I. The Queen reconciled Protestants and Catholics, proclaiming a decree on equality of faith. But the main event of her era was the English theater. Thanks to the theater, the English language developed. It is not for nothing that Elizabeth's reign was called the “golden age”.

The next stage in the development of civilization was associated with the "glorious English revolution". During this period, the Parliament changed. Freedom of speech was legalized. England has become a constitutional monarchy. “The Stuarts' attempt to rebuild England based on the French model and turn it into an absolute monarchy failed” (Turner, 2001).

Gradually, moral principles were introduced into London culture. London became one of the most civilized cities in the world. Since then, culture and civilization have been interchangeable.

But this was not always the case. Spengler (1998) in his famous book "The Decline of Europe" opposed civilization to culture, expressing the paradoxical point of view that only the inhabitants of the countryside have true culture. Spengler argues that each culture has its own civilization. Culture has a “soul”, and the only bearer of culture are villagers. “Culture and civilization are a living body”.

Rural culture is opposed to the urban one. Since villagers (peasantry) have a special culture, they live in a confined space, in a “family”, “community” and develop their own special type of behavior. They divide people into "us" and "strangers". Relations between people are more humane. “Living outside big cities, they are skeptical and pragmatic. The urban population is now considered to be a “people”” (Groff, 2008, p. 1850).

The development of civilization is closely related to the development of cities. City dwellers live separately, often do not know their neighbors. Such isolation can exist in an anonymous environment.

Civilization gives rise to "world cities", which lead to the degradation of culture, because their inhabitants strive for a well-organized, comfortable life. “From this point of view, the fall of the Western world is neither more nor less a problem of civilization. This is one of the main questions of history” (Downs, 2001, p. 1872).

Rural culture is based on traditions, while the urban one forgets traditions.

Culture is national, civilization is cosmopolitan. Civilization kills culture. Spengler wrote that the crisis of culture occurs when its soul carries out all its intended processes: material, religious, social, technological, etc., when a high spiritual culture turns into an industrial civilization.

All these achievements will resemble a huge withered tree in a primeval forest, whose branches will bristle with their rotten branches. Culture grows out of the landscape; it is of plant origin. It is tied to a specific landscape. For example, a peasant house is a precondition for any culture, which grows out of its maternal landscape. What is home for a peasant is a city for a cultured person.

“Civilization is the very extreme and artificial state”. A civilized person has the highest qualities (Spengler, 1998).

World city and province create a new problem of history... Instead of a city, there is one point at which all the life of vast countries is concentrated; instead of a people grown on the land, there is a new nomad, a parasite, a resident of a big city, a person devoid of traditions, a person of facts dissolved in a formless mass, without religion, full of deep disgust for the peasantry (Spengler, 1998).

Conclusion

Thus, according to Spengler, city and civilization are incompatible. London lost the right to be called a civilized city. This is only one of the viewpoints of the prominent culture scientist. In our opinion, London is a city containing several civilizations: from the one of the Romans to the modern one.

References

  • Ackroyd, A. (2010). London. The Biography. Chatto & Windus.

  • Downs, D. A. (2001). Civil Liberties and Human Rights. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1869–1874.

  • Fukuyama, F. (2001). Culture and Economic Development: Cultural Concerns. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 3130–3134.

  • Gallardo, M., & Kaivan, N. (2013). Expanding our Understanding of Culture. Handbook of Multicultural Mental Health, 527–546.

  • Groff, L. (2008). Religion and Peace: Inner-Outer Dimensions of. Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, 1846–1859.

  • Huntington, S. (2003). Clash of civilizations. ACT.

  • Lee, R., Vu, A. M., & Lau, A. (2009). Culture and Evidence-Based Prevention Programs. Handbook of Multicultural Mental Health, 527–546.

  • Rutherford, E. (2015). London. ABC.

  • Spengler, O. (1998). Sunset of Europe. Phoenix.

  • Turner, G. (2001). British Cultural Studies. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1362–1365.

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17 May 2021

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Cite this article as:

Kubanev, N. A., Nabilkina, L. N., & Sizova, O. V. (2021). London As A Crossroad Of Cultures And Civilizations. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2365-2369). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.315