World civilzations

Discussion in 'History' started by Enigma'07, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Enigma'07 Who turned out the lights?!?! Registered Senior Member

    Which was the greatest/ contributed the most to the world? You can also tell about the leaders that made it great, the accomplishments, timeframe, etc.
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  3. Dreamwalker Whatever Valued Senior Member

    For our western world, I would say Greece or Rome were very important.
    Their culture, their society and their ideas are still present and imposrtant today.
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  5. Bruce Wayne . Registered Senior Member

    I think it would be worthwhile to think of the "synergy” that all human contributions flowed into instead of trying to measure that which we are in no position to measure.

    For instance, who contributed more important, the ancient Greek that wrote the Nichomenean Ethics (sp?) or the man that salvaged the book after the greek temples were being closed in the first half of the first millenium A.D.?? I think one should instead try to see how beautifully it turned out. How history played it self. And how human indeavors have complemented one another.
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  7. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    Canada, obviously.

    No nation in the history of man has made a bigger impact. The greeks? the Romans? give me a break, there would have been neither without certain industrious, time traveling, canadians. That goes for the declaration of independence, polio and small pox vaccines, the printing press, the discovery of the wheel, fire and certain kinds of bacon.
  8. Dreamwalker Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Not to forget Terrance and Phillip...Oh wait, they are fictional...Ah, doesn´t matter, they are a great historic heirloom.

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  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I just want to count the original civilizations: Cushitic Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Olmec, Inca, Zimbabwe.

    Numbers ought to count for something. A plurality of the world's population lives in Mesopotamian civilization. The 300,000,000 members of European civilization (counting Russia of course) live amid the results of Roman and Greek occupation and colonization. And the Romans and Greeks got their culture from the Phoenicians, Persians, and ultimately from Mesopotamia.

    The 150,000,000(?) people in the Middle East are Mesopotamia. The Arabs, Jews, and Assyrians are the descendants of the Sumerians and Babylonians, or at least the descendants of their neighboring tribes who took over the region and the culture when Babylon overfarmed itself and turned the breadbasket of Asia into a desert. The Turks, Kirghiz, Uzbeks, and other Ottoman people are Mongols who adopted the culture of the lands they conquered. The Iranians, Tajiks, Pushto, etc. are Indo-European peoples, but they were at some point conquered either by the Babylonians themselves, the Phoenicians, or the Arabs.

    The Olmec/Maya/Aztec and the Inca unfortunately get a census of zero. Their civilizations -- as well as the Stone Age cultures of the Americas -- were obliterated by conquerors from Europe spreading their version of Mesopotamian culture. Rack up another billion(?) people for the unstoppable civilization of Babel.

    Mediterranean Africa is solidly Muslim. So is much of Sub-Saharan Africa, but it was all once a bunch of European colonies. Either way, there's about another billion(?) people in the Mesopotamian column. Zimbabwe (the ancient kingdom, not the new country in roughly the same spot that appropriated its name) was not obliterated by Europeans or Asians, it just seems to have faded back into the jungle before any non-Africans got there to conquer it.

    Add in Australia and NZ. That makes two and a half billion modern Mesopotamians. My population figures are poorly researched, so this total could be larger but probably not much smaller.

    Number two is China. Not only its own population, but all the neighboring nations were turned into little China proteges by a couple of waves of Buddhist monks from China. Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. That gives us close to two billion people in that column.

    Number three is India. Their Buddhist monks spread Buddhism to a lot of countries and took the civilization with it, like the later Chinese Buddhist monks. The religion is still strong in a lot of places, but the civilization has been overlaid by either Mesopotamian- or Chinese-based culture. The only places where Indian civilization survives are India (including its splinters, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and a few neighboring lands like Burma and (I guess) Tibet. That makes a little more than one billion people in that column.

    Ancient Egypt was overrun by Arabs who brought Mesopotamian civilization with them. Perhaps its civilization survives in Ethiopia. If so, an eight-figure population puts it in distant fourth place.

    But well ahead of the other three spontaneously developed civilizations, who were destroyed by the distant offspring of Mesopotamia.

    So Mesopotamia gets the dubious distinction of covering the greatest geographical area and the greatest number of people, as well as having destroyed three or possibly four competing civilizations. China gets the prize for having the longest continuous civilization, never having been effectively conquered either militarily or commercially. (They absorbed the Mongol and Manchurian invaders with barely a hiccup and will undoubtedly do the same to the communists.) India gets third place for simply surviving, albeit with a strong overlay of Mesopotamian influence from centuries of English occupation.

    I didn't count the Malayo-Polynesian people. There are more than half a billion Malaysians, Indonesians, and Filipinos. Since their cultures are a thorough mix of Chinese, Indian, and Mesopotamian civilization, I don't know that they belong in any one of those categories.

    So there you have it, by the cold numbers. (And not very precise ones at that). Mesopotamia rules.
  10. StarOfEight A Man of Taste and Decency Registered Senior Member


    The Mongols, although they contributed almost nothing in terms of culture, deserve some credit for creating, far and away, the most dominant military in the history of human kind. Furthermore, although the "Mongol Yoke" thesis of Russian history is simplistic, there's no doubt Temujin and his descendants severely retarded Russia's development.
  11. Spyke Registered Senior Member

    I'm going with Atlantis.


    The continent of Atlantis was an island
    which lay before the great flood
    in the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean.
    So great an area of land, that from her western shores
    those beautiful sailors journeyed
    to the South and the North Americas with ease,
    in their ships with painted sails.

    To the East Africa was a neighbour, across a short strait of sea miles.
    The great Egyptian age is but a remnant of The Atlantian culture.
    The antediluvian kings colonised the world
    All the Gods who play in the mythological dramas
    In all legends from all lands were from fair Atlantis.
    Knowing her fate, Atlantis sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
    On board were the Twelve:
    The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist,
    The magician and the other so-called Gods of our legends.
    Though Gods they were -
    And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind
    Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new
    Hail Atlantis!

    Way down below the ocean
    where I wanna be
    she may be,

    Way down below the ocean
    where I wanna be
    she may be,

    Way down below the ocean
    where I wanna be
    she may be,

    Way down below the ocean
    where I wanna be
    she may be,

    Way down below the ocean
    where I wanna be
    she may be.

    My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
    I wanna see you some day
    My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
    My antediluvian baby,
    My antediluvian baby, I love you, girl,
    Girl, I wanna see you some day.
    My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
    I wanna see you some day, oh
    My antediluvian baby.
    My antediluvian baby, I wanna see you
    My antediluvian baby, gotta tell me where she gone
    I wanna see you some day
    Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, oh yeah
    Oh glub glub, down down, yeah
    My antediluvian baby, oh yeah
  12. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    If atlantis counts then I go with the "grays". If aliens hadn't tampered with our genetics and mated with protohumans we'd still be wearing animal hides today. Hell, the fact that they gave us velcro alone puts them over the top.
  13. fireguy_31 mors ante servitium Registered Senior Member

    LOL!........ Good one.
  14. Hastein Welcome To Kampuchea Registered Senior Member

    In no particular order...


    *= Countries that we absolutely essential to human progress.
  15. Working Class Hero Skank Monster Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, probably Sumer or something. They "invented" farming, and cities, and civil society and all that. I dont know alot about it really.
  16. Working Class Hero Skank Monster Registered Senior Member

    "But James Watt, invented the steam engine"
  17. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    Thatll be scotland then. But at that point it was part of the glorious "united Kingdom, of Great Britain and northern ireland" and many scots called themselves "north britons"
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    All of the "original" civilizations did that, not just the Sumerians. The ones that sprang up from Neolithic societies, rather than being descended from older civiliziations.

    Technically, farming isn't an attribute of civilization. It's a precursor. People learn to grow their own plants and breed their own animals, so they no longer have to live a nomadic lifestyle. Once they settle down they can accomplish more because they don't have to keep leaving behind everything that's too big to carry. Agriculture goes back to about 9,000BCE. The first civilizations sprang up around 7,500BCE.

    The literal definition of civilization, which is a very good and useful one is: "The building of cities." Cities mean commerce and division of labor, leading to surpluses, education as a specialty, and the need for written records.

    And they were, once again:

    The oldest: Sumeria (Mesopotamia, from which sprang most of the civilizations in which we now live), China, Cushitic Egypt (bits of which perhaps survive in modern Ethiopia).

    A bit later: India. (There's some debate over whether Harappan India vanished and Hindu/Dravidian civilization arose by itself, or whether one or both of the latter descended from the former.)

    Much later: Olmec (forerunner of Maya and Aztec) and Inca.

    Last: Zimbabwe. (Ruins date it to less than a thousand years ago, but it died out for reasons unknown.)
  19. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    as I pointed out earlier, canada can be connected to every major advancement in human history but some mistakes were made. Unfortunately, zimbabwe was one of them... sorry about that. I don't want to go into details but it involves an unusually large beaver, 15 kegs of beer, a time machine, 2 tubes of toothpast and a felt tipped pen... it was not our proudest moment.
  20. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Terence and Phillip might be fictional, but the MacKenzie (sp?) brothers were real. Ok, they're fictional too, but they were played be real Canadians.

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    I believe that I have read here and there that the earliest civilization were actually on the isle of Crete. That there have been buildings found there older than any other found anywhere. And that mesopotamia and Egypt actually owe their civilizations to the Minoans. I have no references however (surprise, surprise.)

    Another one of the earliest cities found was Catolhyuk in central Turkey. This place was a thriving metropolis when most other people were barely getting the hang of growing crops.

    But, the most important civilization to the world that we live in is undoubtably the Romans. No other civilization has had the direct impact on the world that Rome had. They Romanized the European barbarians. Without Rome, the chances are good that Europe would just be a bunch of tribes engaging in primitive warfare with each other. Either that or conquered by eastern cultures. It is doubtful that the technological advancements of the last few centuries would have happened yet with a barbarian Europe. Some eastern cultures have embraced and advanced technology since its inception, but Europe and America started the ball rolling, I don't think that fact can be denied. China had gunpowder for a thousand years and all they could think to do with it was pop some firecrackers at religious events. It took european ingenuity to pack a bell with gunpowder and blow the shit out of their enemies.
  21. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    the problem with this kind of discussion is (if, for example, rome is the core of civilization), who preceded the romans? and who preceded those that preceded the romans?

    There is no ultimate bastion of civilization, it's a natural (for humans at least) extension of a bunch of different ideas. As with everything, the most successful would tend to coalesce. The core was already there by the time of rome, way, WAY before that actually. The 'ultimate' culture we seem to be looking for here probably didn't even have a spoken language.

    What REALLY sucks is we likely have to go even further back to really understand where the roots of civilization lay.
  22. Insanely Elite Questions reality. Registered Senior Member

    The Macedonian Greeks, Under Aristiotle's student Alexander, Unified the fertile crecent. This connected East and West and in turn allowed the Romans to become a great empire.

    But for The Greatest, it has to be China. Over 2,000 years of history! Invented gunpowder(inverted nexus-they did have a crude cannon and used bombs in war) advanced porceilan(where's the spell checker!) aka china, silk, had crossbows 2 eons ago. They had a literate aristocratic society thoughout their history,save the Mongolian mess.(Charlemagne had books read to him) The oldest lineage recorded iirc is the super great grandson of Confucious! The gutenberg press was nothing without the Papermaking tech that came from China.(also, the Koreans had the first moveable type in the 800's) and who hasn't eaten pasta? Thank you China. Martial arts, poetry, art, literature(yes the Chinese wrote novels even before the crusades) Accupuncture, advanced apothacary, chopsticks etc.

    It is a shame to me as a westerner that nearly any mention of China occurs in most of our history books. I'm a history buff and would love to learn. More folk speak Chinese(and dialects) than any other language. They are the most populous nation, by far.
  23. Hastein Welcome To Kampuchea Registered Senior Member

    I agree Elite, I've learned little to nothing about China during my school years. It is fascinating, although I think Japan is a lot more romantic.

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