Which empire did the most to push civilization further?

Discussion in 'History' started by ylooshi, Dec 24, 2007.

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Which empire did the most to push civilization further?

  1. The Mongols

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  2. The Persian

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  3. The Greek

    8 vote(s)
    22.9%
  4. The Roman

    8 vote(s)
    22.9%
  5. The Ottoman

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  6. The British

    10 vote(s)
    28.6%
  7. Other (explain in-thread)

    5 vote(s)
    14.3%
  1. ylooshi breakingspells.net Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    84
    Was it the Mongols who, conqured lands stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean?

    Was it the Ottoman Empire, which spanned three continents in the 16th and 17th centuries?

    Was it the Persians, who started using the silver and gold coinage system under Darius?

    Was it the Romans, who built roads that can be seen even today?

    Was it the British Empire, which spread the English language around the globe and developed parlimentary law?

    Maybe it was the Greek Empire, which spread libraries and philosphy around the Mediterranean?
     
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  3. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    Messages:
    5,874
    If you don't mind, I'm going to edit the poll to include an "other" choice in case someone has something "other" to add.
     
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  5. ylooshi breakingspells.net Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    84
    Please! Do! I didn't think of that!

    And, by no means are the accomplishments attributed to the empires in the first post the most notable, they're what came to mind when I made the poll.

    I saw this poll elsewhere on the net, but it didn't have a discussion option.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Your question specifically asked which empire spread civilization. The Mongols conquered a lot of territory but they did not spread civilization. They tended to conquer civilizations that already existed. The Mongols actually conquered China and India, two of the earth's original six civilizations. For barbarians to vandalize cities is not exactly spreading civilization!
    Same problem. About the only people in the Ottoman Empire who were not already civilized were the Ottomans themselves, who were nothing more than one more tribe of Mongols when they started out from central Asia. They intermarried with everyone they met so by the time they got to Turkey they had morphed into a new ethnic group.
    Now you're talking. You have to go further back into history, when the civilizations of the day were still surrounded by Neolithic tribes. The Persians spread civilization. Still, the Phoenicians, Indians and Mesopotamians were doing the same thing, so there weren't really all that many Neolithic people left in the Middle East by the time Persia came into its golden age.
    They get my vote. Europe was the last continent to be settled by Homo sapiens so when the Romans arrived most of it was still Neolithic, except for the little bit in the southeast that the Greeks had already taken care of, and the modest region of the Etruscans. The Roman empire spread civilization to the pre-civilized tribes of Italy, Iberia, France, much of Romania and the British Isles. Depending on what you define as the "Roman Empire" and what period you choose, you could also include the German lands.
    Our British members will surely vote for that. I strongly disagree because the British colonization was a dismal failure in terms of spreading civilization. They drew arbitrary lines on the map and grouped fragments of disparate tribes together into administrative areas for the convenience of their own people with no thought to the culture and politics of the natives. When the Empire finally collapsed those fictitious "nations" dissolved into strife that is still there, from Iraq to Zimbabwe and a dozen other African states. Yes they have built cities so strictly speaking they have "civilizations," but many observers and many Africans themselves insist they'd be better off today if they'd been left to find their own way out of the Neolithic. I give Britain very low marks in spreading civilization. Its only successes are North America and the Antipodes, which are bittersweet because they came at the expense of marginalizing the native peoples and replacing their cultures with "civilizations" comprised of occupying forces.
    The Greeks did the same thing the Romans did, but they did it first. They covered less ground, but considering that the Romans basically helped themselves to the abstraction of Greek civilization and built upon it, a good case can be made for giving the Greeks more credit than the Romans. Actually today we call the whole shebang "Greco-Roman civilization" without even trying to sort it out.

    Important candidates left off your list:

    China. Duh? Their civilization covered the largest geographic area for a very long time, and they are still the world's oldest continuous civilization. China is easy to overlook because it hasn't spread much during the eras that we study because it had already spread to such a gigantic area. Subsequently it spread to Vietnam, Japan and Korea.

    India. Another duh? Like China, it did its spreading when our ancestors were still living in tiny fishing villages so we forget about it, and like China, today it's got a huge geographical area and one-sixth of the world's population. That's hard to argue with. Its civilization has been exported throughout southeast Asia. The Buddhist philosophy that originated in India has spread throughout China and other Chinese-influenced countries. Indians invented the positional decimal numbering system that the Arabs perfected.

    The Arabs. Since the birth of Islam they have used its engine of religious evangelism to spread their branch of Mesopotamian civilization to a billion people, from Indonesia and Malaysia to Bangladesh and Pakistan to North Africa and a huge swath of sub-Saharan Africa. It's difficult to separate the influence of the Arabs from that of the Ottomans who took over leadership of the world of Islam for the better part of a millennium and even gave it a European beachhead in Albania.

    Iberia. Dude, like virtually all of the Western Hemisphere south of the Rio Grande? Again I personally have a problem with this because not only did they marginalize the native people but in their case they actually destroyed two existing civilizations. But they deserve to be on the list with, um, a "dishonorable mention."

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  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,865
    I voted Greek...the hellenistic empire founded by Alexander to be precise.

    Where would the romans be without the greeks?

    The word empire perhaps should be qualified as a large area of diverse nations ruled by a central authority.
     
  9. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    Messages:
    5,874
    The "last??" You're excluding North/South America, right?

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  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    33,264
    The Chinese. They were leaders in many new technological developments

    but no one wrote about them other than they themselves. Others would

    visit them only to steal their inventions and use them as their own in other

    countries from where they came. Today we are finally seeing what and

    when china developed many things which were thousands of years ahead of

    all the rest. So many other countries just stole whatever they could and

    took credit for it.
     
  11. Frud11 Banned Banned

    Messages:
    567
    There's a big chunk of South-East Asia missing, and Africa. Resp.
    The Khmer who built the temples all over the place (Angkor Wat etc)
    The Kushite kingdoms. (Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and so on -this one didn't last all that long)
    What happened to the Egyptians? They were around for a while, even as a rump Roman-occupied civilisation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007
  12. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,213
    The Romans plunged Europe into darkness for a thousand years.

    Right now, I'd say the Greeks.
     
  13. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,213
    Urrrrm, what about Alexander? Or did you mean that metaphorically?
     
  14. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,529
    The Pheonicians, they invented writing!

    And you guys are forgetting about the Egyptians and Sumerians
     
  15. draqon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    35,006
    Russian
     
  16. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,529
    Don't forget the Russians.......they invented.....uh....war?
     
  17. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,482
    Nah, that was from those Soviet war-communists.
     
  18. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,482
    Soviet Union!!! CCCP!! USSR!! They did a lot to spread around the world. Look at the communist block (what used to be), two thirds of the asian continent, and cuba!!!
     
  19. John99 Banned Banned

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    22,046
    What about Russia? Didn't they invent misery. Just kidding, i like misery anyway.<JOKE> Like being sent to Siberia etc.

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    I voted for Rome. The calender, governance system that was somewhat perfected by them, aqueducts, road building and architecture in general. Second would be British although i am not sure they - spread the English language around the globe, as the OP stated. The fact the so many different language are spoken is not conducive to a mature thriving civilization.
     
  20. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,482
    The romans, had Ceasar not been killed, would have probably dominated the entire known world and may not have collapsed. That would be interesting if we all lived in the Roman Empire today.
     
  21. draqon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    35,006
    no I would not want such
     
  22. Facial Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    I voted "other" - see Fraggle Rocker
     
  23. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    Messages:
    5,874
    The Phoenicians didn't invent writing. That was already introduced by the Sumerians by the time the Phoenician civilization developed. The Harappan civilization were also early innovators of writing, but their text isn't yet translated, though it may have informed early Sanskrit.
     

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