al idrisi

Al Idrisi, a Muslim geographer and cartographer was revered for his objectivity and attention to detail. Originally from Ceuta, Spain, al Idrisi was invited to the court of King Roger II in Sicily. There, he produced the Tabula Rogeriana in 1154. The Tabula Rogeriana would be unmatched in accuracy until Pietro Vesconte’s revision of the mappa mundi world map in 1321.

This copy of the Tabula Rogeriana is upside down since al Idrisi created maps with Africa north.

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Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani al-Sabti atau disingkatkan kepada Al-Idrisi atau dalam bahasa Latin, dikenali sebagai “Dreses” (1100 Masehi - 1165 Masehi atau 1166 Masehi).

Beliau merupakan pakar geografi, kartografi, mesirologi, dan pengembara yang tinggal di Sicily, tepatnya di istana Raja Roger II (Sultan Ar Rujari). 


Muhammad Al-Idrisi lahir di kota Afrika Utara, Ceuta (dulu dikenali dengan nama Sabtah - kerana itu disebut dengan Al Sabti) yang termasuk bahagian Empayar Murabitun dan wafat di Sicily. 


Al-Idrisi merupakan keturunan para penguasa Idrisiyyah (nama Al Idrisi merujuk pada kata ini) di Maghribi (Morroco).

Mereka juga merupakan keturunan Saidina Hassan bin Ali, anak kepada Saidina Ali RA dan cucu Nabi Muhammad SAW (nama Al Hasani menunjukan bahawa beliau keturunan Saidina Hassan bin Ali ).


Pendidikan Al-Idrisi diperoleh di Andalusia.


Tabula Rogeriana



Gambaran pengantar peta dunia karya Al-Idrisi tahun 1154 Masehi. Perhatikan ‘selatan’ berada di ‘atas’ peta.


Dibesarkan di Cetua, Al-Idrisi mula mengembara ke kawasan Sepanyol Islam, Portugal, Perancis, dan Inggeris serta Asia Kecil. Beliau mengunjungi Anatolia saat baru berusia 16 tahun kerana terjadinya konflik politik dan ketidakstabilan di Andalusia. Dia kemudian bersama orang-orang yang sezamannya menetap di Sicily, yang kemudian dijajah oleh bangsa Normandia yang dulunya taat setia kepada Kekhalifahan Fatimiyah. 


Menurut Ibnu Jubayr:-


“Bangsa Normandia bertoleransi dan melindungi keluarga-keluarga Arab dalam pertukaran ilmu pengetahuan.”


Al-Idrisi menggabungkan pengetahuan dari Afrika, Lautan Hindia dan Timur Jauh yang dikumpulkan para penjelajah dan pedagang Islam dalam bentuk peta Islam. Dan juga dari maklumat yang dibawa oleh pelayar-pelayar Normandia untuk membuat peta paling tepat di dunia di masa pra-moden, yang diletakkan sebagai ilustrasi Kitab Nuzhat al-Mushtaq miliknya atau dalam bahasa Latin dikenali sebagai “Opus Geographicum” diterjemahkan menjadi “Hiburan untuk Manusia yang Rindu Mengembara ke Tempat-Tempat Jauh”.


Pada tahun 1138 Masehi, Al-Idrisi diundang oleh Raja Roger II ke istananya di Palermo (dulu dikenal dengan nama Bal’harm) dan ada yang mengatakan bahawa beliau baru menetap disana pada 1145 Masehi. Dan di istana inilah Al-Idrisi melakar Peta Tabula Rogeriana.


Peta tersebut, dengan legenda berbahasa Arab, menampilkan daratan Eurasia secara keseluruhan dan sebahagian kecil bahagian utara benua Afrika dengan sedikit perinciannya pada Tanduk Afrika dan Asia Tenggara. 


Peta tersebut diselesaikan oleh Al-Idrisi pada Januari 1154 Masehi. Untuk Raja Roger, peta tersebut diukir dalam piringan besar dari perak padat yang berdiameter dua meter.


Sebagai tambahan, Al-Idrisi juga merupakan ahli farmakologi dan seorang doktor.


Mengenai karya geografi Al-Idrisi, S. P. Scott menulis:


“Kompilasi Al-Idrisi menandakan sebuah era dalam sejarah pengetahuan. Tidak hanya itu, maklumat sejarah karya-karyanya sangat menarik dan berharga, namun keterangan-keterangan karyanya terhadap banyak tempat di bumi masih digunapakai. 


Selama tiga abad para pakar geografi menyalin petanya tanpa perubahan. Posisi relatif danau yang membentuk sungai Nil, seperti yang digambarkan dalam karyanya, tidak banyak berbeza dari yang dibuat Baker dan Stanley lebih dari tujuh ratus tahun kemudian, begitu pula bilangannya sama. 


Kegeniusan mekanisma penulis tidak lebih rendah dari pengetahuannya. Planisfer angkasa dan bumi dari perak yang dibuatnya untuk raja pelindungnya hampir enam kaki diameternya dan beratnya empat ratus lima puluh paun; di satu sisi diukir zodiak dan kumpulan bintang, sementara di sisi lain dijadikan segmen-segmen daratan dan perairan, dengan situasi masing-masing dari berbagai negeri.”


Peta Tabula Rogeriana


Al-Idrisi menginspirasi pakar geografi Islam lainnya seperti Ibnu Battutah, Ibnu Khaldun, Piri Reis dan Barbary Corsairs.

Petanya juga menginspirasi Christopher Columbus dan Vasco Da Gama.


Nuzhatul Mushtaq


Karya teks geografi Al-Idrisi, Nuzhatul Mushtaq, sering dirujuk oleh para pendukung teori hubungan Andalusia-Amerika pra-Columbus. 


Dalam teks ini, Al-Idrisi menulis mengenai Lautan Atlantik:-


“Komandan umat Muslim Ali bin Yusuf bin Tashfin mengirim laksamananya Ahmad bin Umar, yang baik dikenal dengan nama Raqsh al-Auzz untuk mengeksplorasi suatu pulau di Atlantik (Benua Amerika), namun dia wafat.


Di balik lautan kabut ini, tidak diketahui apa yang ada disana. Tak seorangpun memiliki pengetahuan yang pasti mengenainya kerana betapa sukar untuk melintasinya. Udaranya berkabut, gelombangnya begitu kuat, dan bahaya yang mengancam sangat besar, makhluk-makhluknya sangat mengerikan, dan sering terjadi badai. 


Disana terdapat banyak pulau, sebahagian di antaranya tidak berpenghuni, sementara lainnya terbenam. Tak seorang pencari arah pun melewatinya kecuali mengelilingi pantai-pantainya. Dan dari kota Lisbon, para peneroka berangkat dengan nama yang dikenal sebagai Mugharrarin [yang terbujuk], menembus lautan kabut dan ingin mengetahui apa yang ada disana dan dimana berakhirnya. 


Setelah berlayar selama dua belas hari lebih mereka sampai ke sebuah pulau untuk dihuni, dan membuat kebun-kebun. Mereka terus berlayar untuk mengetahui apa yang ada di sana. Namun kemudian penduduk asli mengepung dan menawan mereka, dan membawa mereka ke perkampungan suram di pantai. 


Di sana mereka mendarat. Sang pencari arah melihat orang-orang berkulit merah (Orang Red Indian); tidak banyak rambut di tubuh mereka, rambut di kepala mereka lurus, dan mereka bertubuh tinggi. Wanita-wanita mereka memiliki kecantikan luar biasa.”


Terjemahan oleh Dr. Professor Muhammad Hamidullah masih diperbahaskan kerana tertulis, setelah mencapai wilayah “perairan yang lembab dan berbau”, Mugharrarin (juga diterjemahkan “para peneroka”) kemudian berundur dan menjadi oang pertama mencapai pulau tak berpenghuni di mana mereka menemukan “sejumlah besar binatang yang dagingnya pahit dan tidak dapat dimakan”.

Kemudian “melanjutkan ke selatan” dan mencapai yang disebutkan tadi di mana mereka dikelilingi para orang asli dan dibawa ke “kampung yang penghuninya berambut panjang dan kemerahan dan wanitanya memiliki kecantikan yang unik”. 


Di antara penduduk kampung, salah satunya berbicara dengan bahasa Arab dan menanyai asal-usul mereka.

Kemudian ketua kampung memerintahkan untuk membawa mereka ke benua dimana mereka disambut baik oleh bangsa Berber. (Bukti bahwa dizaman tersebut Muslim Berber – Morocco sudah menetap di Benua Amerika).

A brief history lesson....

Oh so the only thing Arabs and Muslims bring is terrorism? I guess everyone forgot that….

1. Surgery
Around the year 1,000, the celebrated doctor Al Zahrawi published a 1,500 page illustrated encyclopedia of surgery that was used in Europe as a medical reference for the next 500 years. Among his many inventions, Zahrawi discovered the use of dissolving cat gut to stitch wounds – beforehand a second surgery had to be performed to remove sutures. He also reportedly performed the first caesarean operation and created the first pair of forceps.

2. Coffee
Now the Western world’s drink du jour, coffee was first brewed in Yemen around the 9th century. In its earliest days, coffee helped Sufis stay up during late nights of devotion. Later brought to Cairo by a group of students, the coffee buzz soon caught on around the empire. By the 13th century it reached Turkey, but not until the 16th century did the beans start boiling in Europe, brought to Italy by a Venetian trader.

3. Flying machine
“Abbas ibn Firnas was the first person to make a real attempt to construct a flying machine and fly,” said Hassani. In the 9th century he designed a winged apparatus, roughly resembling a bird costume. In his most famous trial near Cordoba in Spain, Firnas flew upward for a few moments, before falling to the ground and partially breaking his back. His designs would undoubtedly have been an inspiration for famed Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci’s hundreds of years later, said Hassani.

4. University In 859 a young princess named Fatima al-Firhi founded the first degree-granting university in Fez, Morocco. Her sister Miriam founded an adjacent mosque and together the complex became the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. Still operating almost 1,200 years later, Hassani says he hopes the center will remind people that learning is at the core of the Islamic tradition and that the story of the al-Firhi sisters will inspire young Muslim women around the world today.

5. Algebra
The word algebra comes from the title of a Persian mathematician’s famous 9th century treatise “Kitab al-Jabr Wa l-Mugabala” which translates roughly as “The Book of Reasoning and Balancing.” Built on the roots of Greek and Hindu systems, the new algebraic order was a unifying system for rational numbers, irrational numbers and geometrical magnitudes. The same mathematician, Al-Khwarizmi, was also the first to introduce the concept of raising a number to a power.
6. Optics/Magnifying Glass
Not only did the Arab world revolutionize mathematics – it also revolutionized optics. The scholar Alhazen (Abu al-Hasan) from Basra was the first person to describe how the eye works.He carried out experiments with reflective materials and proved that the eye does not sense the environment with “sight rays,” as scientists had believed up until then. He also discovered that curved glass surfaces can be used for magnification.His glass “reading stones” were the first magnifying glasses. It was from these that glasses were later developed. Furthermore, Alhazen wrote important scholarly texts on astronomy and meteorology.“ Many of the most important advances in the study of optics come from the Muslim world,” says Hassani. Around the year 1000 Ibn al-Haitham proved that humans see objects by light reflecting off of them and entering the eye, dismissing Euclid and Ptolemy’s theories that light was emitted from the eye itself. This great Muslim physicist also discovered the camera obscura phenomenon, which explains how the eye sees images upright due to the connection between the optic nerve and the brain.
7. Music
Muslim musicians have had a profound impact on Europe, dating back to Charlemagne tried to compete with the music of Baghdad and Cordoba, according to Hassani. Among many instruments that arrived in Europe through the Middle East are the lute and the rahab, an ancestor of the violin. Modern musical scales are also said to derive from the Arabic alphabet. The guitar, as we know it today, has its origins in the Arabic oud – a lute with a bent neck. During the Middle Ages, it found its way to Muslim Spain, where it was referred to as “qitara” in the Arabic of Andalusia. It is said that a music teacher brought one to the court of the Umayyad ruler Abdel Rahman II in the ninth century. The modern guitar developed as a result of many influences, but the Arabic lute was an important predecessor.
8. Toothbrush
According to Hassani, the Prophet Mohammed popularized the use of the first toothbrush in around 600. Using a twig from the Meswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath. Substances similar to Meswak are used in modern toothpaste.
9. The crank
Many of the basics of modern automatics were first put to use in the Muslim world, including the revolutionary crank-connecting rod system. By converting rotary motion to linear motion, the crank enables the lifting of heavy objects with relative ease. This technology, discovered by Al-Jazari in the 12th century, exploded across the globe, leading to everything from the bicycle to the internal combustion engine.
10. Hospitals
“Hospitals as we know them today, with wards and teaching centers, come from 9th century Egypt,” explained Hassani. The first such medical center was the Ahmad ibn Tulun Hospital, founded in 872 in Cairo. Tulun hospital provided free care for anyone who needed it – a policy based on the Muslim tradition of caring for all who are sick. From Cairo, such hospitals spread around the Muslim world.

11. Marching bands Military marching bands date back to the Ottoman Mehterhane. These were bands which played during the entire battle and only ceased their music-making when the army retreated or the battle was over.During the wars with the Ottoman Empire, the bands are thought to have made a considerable impression on European soldiers – after which they adapted the principle for their own use.

12. Parachute
A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn’t. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles’ feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing - concluding, correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it would stall on landing.Baghdad international airport and a crater on the Moon are named after him. 

13. Shampoo
Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders’ most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed’s Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.

14. Vaccination
The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it.

15.  Pay Cheques The modern cheque comes from the Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for goods when they were delivered, to avoid money having to be transported across dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash a cheque in China drawn on his bank in Baghdad. 

16. Earth’s Shape?
By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, “is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth”. It was 500 years before that realisation dawned on Galileo. The calculations of Muslim astronomers were so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth’s circumference to be 40, 253.4km - less than 200km out. The scholar al-Idrisi took a globe depicting the world to the court of King Roger of Sicily in 1139. 

17. Gardens
Medieval Europe had kitchen and herb gardens, but it was the Arabs who developed the idea of the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. The first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and the tulip. 

18) Refinement
Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam’s foremost scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today - liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and other perfumes and alcoholic spirits (although drinking them is haram, or forbidden, in Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and was the founder of modern chemistry.

So…….. 

We literally SHAPED THE MODERN WORLD kiss my entire ass.  

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Spesso quando si parla di pasta, si ricorda sempre come Marco Polo di ritorno dalla Cina introdusse in Italia gli spaghetti. Bene, se qualche “esperto” di cibo vi ricorda questa storia, ringraziatelo e lasciatelo perdere. Nel 1154 Riggero II diede incarico all’ arabo Al-Idrisi di descrivere in un libro tutte le terre conosciute o meno. Al-Idrisi, descrisse un piccolo paese vicino a Palermo in cui veniva prodotta pasta  fliliforme che era spedita nelle calabrie e in nord africa dove i berberi la consumavano con molto piacere. Questo era descritto cento anni prima che Marco Polo nascesse, ed è la testimonianza di una produzione pastaria nata con i latini, perfezionata con gli Arabi e sviluppata dai Normanni. Ne è anche prova i formati particolari di pasta esistenti solo in Sicilia ed il cui consumo è legato a feste religiose o usanze locali. Gli anellini di Palermo, la spaccatella di Messina, la catenesella di Catania la Scialbò di Enna e i sempre ricercati Maccaruni fatto con il filo di ferro,sono tutte paste legate alla cultura siciliana ed alla sua storia.

Often when it comes to pasta, somebody always remembers like Marco Polo returning from China introduced in Italy spaghetti. Well, if some “ food expert “ reminds you this story, thank him and let him lose. In 1154 Riggero II gave assignment to the arab Al-Idrisi to describe in a book all the known lands of the known world. Al-Idrisi, described a small town near Palermo where it was produced spaghetti pasta that was sent in Calabria and in North Africa where Berber ate it with great pleasure. This was described  one hundred years before Marco Polo was born, and it is the testimony of a Pasta Industry production born with Latin, concluded with the Arabs and developed by the Normans. It is also testing the particular sizes of existing pulp only in Sicily and the consumption of which is linked to religious holidays or local customs. The Anellini (little rings) of Palermo, the Spaccatella of Messina, the Catenesella in Catania the Scialbò of Enna and the ever sought Maccaruni done with the wire,  are all linked to the Sicilian culture and its history.

When And Where Was Pasta Invented?

Pasta’s roots have long been debated. Some thought perhaps the Chinese noodles inspired pasta, based on a confusing passage from Marco Polo, but in reality he is likely mentioning how the sago palm’s starchy food reminded him of pasta in his home country. In the 1270s – so while Polo was off in eastern Asia – there is a mention of a soldier in Genoa who owns a basket of “macaronis.” And a century before that, the Muslim geographer al-Idrisi wrote of seeing pasta produced on the island of Sicily.

But pasta might go much, much earlier. Many Italian writers have argued that a tomb from the 300s BCE shows a relief of equipment used to make pasta. If true, it means pasta was enjoyed in Italy before the Romans conquered the peninsula. Of course many historians disagree. They point out to the dearth of pasta mentions in literate Rome, and the prevalence of pasta dish mentions across the Italian peninsula starting in the 1200s. What’s the truth? I don’t know.

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The Normans: In this major series, Professor Robert Bartlett examines the extraordinary expansion and unchecked ambition of the Normans, and shows how they transformed the history of Europe.

Muhammad al-Idrisi (1099–1165/6) was a Moroccan Muslim geographer, cartographer, Egyptologist and traveller who lived in Sicily, at the court of King Roger II of Sicily.

Book of Roger: The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fi'khtirāq al-āfāq (lit. “the book of pleasant journeys into faraway lands” in Arabic), most often known as the Tabula Rogeriana (lit. “The Book of Roger” in Latin), is a description of the world and world map created by the Arab geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi, in 1154.

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Power, by dgt

Portugal - Algarve - Cape St.Vincent Cape St. Vincent was already sacred ground in Neolithic times, as standing menhirs in the neighborhood attest. The Romans called it Promontorium Sacrum (or Holy Promontory). They considered it a magical place where the sunset was much larger than anywhere else. They believed the sun sank here hissing into the ocean, marking the edge of their world. According to legend, the name of this cape is linked to the story of a martyred fourth-century Iberian deacon St. Vincent whose body was brought ashore here. A shrine was erected over his grave; according to the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi, it was always guarded by ravens and is therefore named by him كنيسة الغراب (Kanīsah al-Ghurāb, meaning “Church of the Raven”). King Afonso Henriques (1139–1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to Lisbon, still accompanied by the ravens. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon. The area around the cape was plundered several times by pirates from France and Holland and, in 1587, by Sir Francis Drake. All existing buildings—including the Vila do Infante of Henry the Navigator—fell into ruins because of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The Franciscan friars who cared for the shrine stayed on until 1834, when all monasteries were disbanded in Portugal.

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Hello everyone. I’ve been reading the comments on the MacArthur Map, which places the pacific ocean in the center and the southern hemisphere at the top, and i’ve noticed 2 types of comments. The first was shock that the map could be reoriented, and the second is that there is no reason to reorient the map. I thought i would make a post explaining the purpose, as best i can.

A universal truth about human nature is revealed in cartography. What is most important is placed in the center and at the top. This is a rule that i have yet to see broken, in either modern or ancient maps. It makes sense, as early cartographers might have only had a rough understand of what was outside their immediate area. When looking at Greek cartography (from which the Western tradition descends), you can literally watch their understand of the world grow. This brings us to the first map, made by Herodotus in the fifth century BC. Greece is placed right in the center. To him, it was the center of the world. All other cultures were inferior. Barbarian simply means non-Greek speaker, and they were convinced of their superiority. Greece remains the center of the world to us. If you do not believe me, ask yourself the names we use (I’m speaking as an American) for different regions of the world.  Everything west of Greece is The West, everything east is the Middle or Far East. It is a largely unconscious bias, but Greece remains our fulcrum.

Take a look at the second map, made in 1154 by Moroccan cartographer al-Idrisi. It is essentially familiar, except that south is at the top. Another important feature is the alignment of the Arabian peninsula. With the usual North-South orientation, the Peninsula is at an angle. Here, however, it is home to Mecca, the most important place to the cartographer. The center of the world, and it is represented as such. 

And that brings us to China, which means “the Middle Kingdom”. The third map is the Kangnido, made around 1470 by Korean cartographers. It reflects the knowledge of the Mongol Empire (gained through Islamic cartographers). The Korean Penninsula and surrounding area is in sharp focus, and things quickly blur the further west you move. The jumbled mass on the left is Europe and Africa. Spain and Italy can be made out, as well as the southern tip of Africa. This whole region of the earth is shoved into the corner because it was seen as unimportant, just the periphery real civilization. The exact same murkiness can be seen in #2, just reversed.

And so, that brings us to today’s world map. Do a quick Google search of world maps. 95% of the time, Europe is in the center and the top. The only deviation from this is generally when America is placed in the center at the expense of Asia. If you do not understand why it is relevant today that Europe sees itself as the center of the world, do some extensive reading on the past 500 years. Much of the world has suffered from the idea that Europe equals civilization. Like their Greek forefathers, the world is composed of Barbarians. Ask yourself if England respected China, then research the Opium Wars. As i said before, everyone is the center of their own world. Euro-centrism still pervades every aspect of American’s daily life. We learn nothing of Islam or China. Education about Africa concerns only the Egyptians, Evolution and the Slave Trade (and trust me, it is just barely.) It is a post for another day, but i have spent the last four years of my life studying it*. And so this is why it is important to have a map flipped upside down, because in this day and age there is no Center of the World. That is why MacArthur made his map in the first place, because he was tired of seeing Australia pushed to the margin. The real reason i made this post is the same reason i made the blog. Maps are important, as they tell us just as much about ourselves as they do about the world.

And if anyone would like to ask me anything or debate, feel free to message me.

*Disclaimer: Not everyone is selfish and insular. Many people have interest in cultures other than their own. I’m talking about the culture’s attitude as a whole, not individuals. There isn’t really an inferiority complex in Europe (except for the Romans to the Greeks, and Western states to the Romans) like can be found elsewhere.