Historical Sites Destroyed

Regardless of religion, nationality, culture, or theme, historical sites are a precious and irreplaceable legacy of man. They must be preserved when possible and rebuilt when necessary.

By Mark D. Harris

History is the story of man, who we are and where we came from. More importantly it is the story of God’s work with and for man. As such every part of it is important, even parts that don’t please us or fit our world view. Not every historical location can be saved because man today needs space just as man yesterday did. However, we need to save as much as we can. Sometimes we ruin irreplaceable artefacts through ignorance. Worst of all is the intentional destruction of historical sites by those who disagree with what they represent.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is notorious for destroying irreplaceable historical sites in Iraq and Syria, especially Christian and Muslim. The Afghani Taliban has done the same in Afghanistan, notably the Buddhas of Bamiyan (March 2001). However, some sites are shattered by other powers, often in times of war. Christians in ancient Rome devastated pagan temples. Ottomans badly damaged Christian churches and artifacts, including the Hagia Sophia, when they conquered Constantinople in 1453. Allied bombing leveled the 6th century monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy in World War II (1944). American-led forces fighting ISIS have devastated Mesopotamian historical sites, and Russian bombing has done the same.[1]

Below is a list of historical sites that have been destroyed. We should discover what we have lost, repair what we can, and help prevent losing more in the future. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) tracks World Heritage sites, including those at risk.

Site Who did it When Source
Palmyra, Syria Islamic State Sep 2015 ISIS Destroys Another Monument at Palmyra Ruins in Syria

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/05/world/middleeast/isis-destroys-another-palmyra-ruins-monument-in-syria.html?_r=0

10th-century Chaldean Catholic St Markourkas Church in Mosul, Northern Iraq Islamic State Jul 2015 ISIL destroys historical church in Mosul

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/156360/isil-destroys-historical-church-in-mosul

Citadel of the Ancient City of Ashur (Qal’at Sherqat), Northern Iraq Islamic State May 2015 Iraq: Isis ‘blows up UNESCO world heritage Assyrian site of Ashur’ near Tikrit http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-blows-unesco-world-heritage-assyrian-site-ashur-near-tikrit-1503367
Many ancient sites in Kathmandu and surroundings, Nepal Earth

quake

Apr 2015 Nepal’s Kathmandu valley treasures: Before and after

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32472307

Ruins of the City of Nimrud, Northern Iraq Islamic State Mar 2015 ISIS Attacks Nimrud, a Major Archaeological Site in Iraq

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/world/middleeast/isis-attacks-iraqi-archaeological-site-at-nimrud.html?_r=0

Hatra Northern Iraq Islamic State Mar 2015 Islamic State ‘demolishes’ ancient Hatra site in Iraq

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31779484

Assyrian Palace at Khorsabad North-eastern Iraq Islamic State Mar 2015 Tracking a trail of historical obliteration: ISIS trumpets destruction of Nimrud

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/index.html

Mosul Museum Northern Iraq Islamic State Feb 2015 Tracking a trail of historical obliteration: ISIS trumpets destruction of Nimrud

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/index.html

Mosul Library Northern Iraq Islamic State Feb 2015 Tracking a trail of historical obliteration: ISIS trumpets destruction of Nimrud

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/index.html

Al-Arba’een Mosque in Tikrit, Central Iraq Islamic State Sep 2014 URGENT: ISIS destroys historical Al-Arbain mosque in Tikrit

http://www.iraqinews.com/features/urgent-isis-destroys-historical-al-arbain-mosque-tikrit/

St. Elijah’s Monastery, oldest Christian monastery in Mosul, Iraq ISIS Aug-Sep

2014

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/01/20/isis-destroys-iraqs-oldest-christian-monastery-satellite-photos-confirm.html?intcmp=hpbt1
Jonah’s Tomb outside Mosul Northern Iraq Islamic State Jul 2014 Tracking a trail of historical obliteration: ISIS trumpets destruction of Nimrud

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/index.html

13th-century shrine of Imam Awn al-Din Northern Iraq Islamic State Jul 2014 The Destruction of the Middle East

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4973/destruction-middle-east-antiquities

Buddhas of Bamiyan Central Afghanistan Taliban Mar 2001 Ancient Buddhas Will Not Be Rebuilt – UNESCO

http://www.ipsnews.net/2011/03/ancient-buddhas-will-not-be-rebuilt-ndash-unesco/

References

[1] https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21726750-jihadists-are-not-only-ones-blame-war-arab-world-has-devastated

Childbirth and Children in the Bible

A summary on the bearing and raising of children, and children’s lives, in the Bible and ancient Middle East. 

By Mark D. Harris

A reader who was preparing a Bible study asked me for some information on children in the Bible. Life in Bible times was centered around the family, and children were a vital part. Our 21st century debates in the West about whether to marry and whether to have children were unthinkable for most people in antiquity. For the vast majority of people, marriage was expected and even required. There were good reasons for this:

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Date in History

Remembering historical events keeps us grounded in the past, knowledgeable in the present, and guided to the future.  

By Mark D. Harris

Date in History

Henry Ford may have believed that “history is bunk”, but most people at most places and most times have disagreed with him. History is a record of people, and peoples – who they were, what they did, and why. History tells stories of courage and cowardice, of selfishness and selflessness, and of victory and vanity. Descendants discover who they are, why they are, and what they should do, from their ancestors. As such, history is the record of the universe.

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Useful Greek and Roman Quotations

Pithy Prose for Politicians, Preachers, Professors, Pundits, and Public Speakers.

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.

In critical moments even the very powerful have need of the weakest.

It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.

Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC)

Continue reading “Useful Greek and Roman Quotations”