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Greatest & Most Influential Civilization


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My Dad and I were discussing this very topic recently, and I thought I would get some thoughts. It came up after discussing Egypt, and how they essentially went from leading the world in almost every category, to now being a pretty rough place. 

England/Great Britain was my father's answer. So long have they been a power and leader, plus they have spread their language and culture into other major countries like USA, Canada, India, and Australia.  

We ended up discuss Spain and France as also contenders. 

What are your thoughts are on this topic? 

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On a serious note, wouldn't China and Japan have good shouts? While not as serious in the 'exploring and take over' forgien lands likes England, France, and Spain did, surely they have one of the most impact civilizations in history?  

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I think it really depends on how you look at it. All civilizations, especially those that have risen at later stages of our history, have borrowed and built on things achieved by previous civilizations and passed it onto others, it's like a snowball effect. The world was also very different throughout various periods of human history in different continents, so it is very hard (if not impossible) to compare them objectively. There are many various criteria to consider as well, such as how great it was at the height of its power compared to the rest of the world; its influence on culture, arts, philosophy, society, science and technological advancements; the spread of its ideas, culture, language and religion; and its legacy, among many others. Personally, the way I see it, the most influential civilizations should be the ones that were influential from early on, spread their culture and ideas and remained dominant for a long time. Based on all that, I'd put it like this: 

For the West: Greeks/Romans (bundling them together, as the latter pretty much took over and copied the former) - that's what the modern western civilization is pretty much based on up until today, including arts, philosophy and modern thinking, political and legal system, currency, social welfare, infrastructure, military and warfare, languages, science, sports, theater, music, architecture, etc. 
For the East: Chinese - a cultural and economical giant in East Asia in particular, but also a huge influence globally, particularly in technology, medicine and sciences, trade, philosophical and spiritual thought, and a culture that has survived and spread almost continuously for around 4000 years.

 


 

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I generally don't like these kind of discussions. Reason if you are discussing with someone who is related to some particular civilization than its more likely to become a nationalistic discussion and degrading one for the other.

Iranians are mad about how Persians were portrayed in the movie 300.

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1 hour ago, Devon Von Devon said:

Here, i was having a similar discussion with a Persian.

 

pak.jpg

I don’t know if one Persian idiot is reflective of all Persians tbh. He’s a moron though. Saying that the Persian empire is still around is fucking retarded, Persians still exist but nowhere near substantially in the same way as it was when Persians had a massive empire, and that’s been true since the Arab conquest of Iran.

Meanwhile Incas also still exist lol. and Rome remains the most influential culture, at least in the West.

Edited by Dr. Gonzo
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1 minute ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I don’t know if one Persian idiot is reflective of all Persians tbh. He’s a moron though.

I'm not really targeting at Persians. I was rather clarifying my point discussions like that mostly likely to go that because a lot of people think that way.

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Just now, Devon Von Devon said:

I'm not really targeting at Persians. I was rather clarifying my point discussions like that mostly likely to go that because a lot of people think that way.

People that take great pride in shite that happened 1000+ years ago that they had nothing to do with are idiots.

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Rome first. With an honorable mention to the Middle Kingdom, I guess.

Rome because aside from what Monty Python tell us a multitude (most of) of later global civilizations can be just seen as sons of Rome.

Edited by Kowabunga
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In terms of global influence it’s probably us Brits via empire. 

Many things influenced us however, Norman, Viking, Roman, Celts, Germanic tribes have all shaped Britain. Britain also took influenced from the stares it was in power of, India, Africa, Australia & North America have all helped shape Britain. 

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In terms of influence, as a Westerner, it's impossible to look past the Greek/Romans, so much of what they shapes our societies today comes from them, the way we think, entertain, distribute power and believe, stems from them. Other great cultures, have added, adapted and shaped us too but the fundamentals still stem from greek/roman days.

Harder to speak of other parts of the globe but certainly the Arab conquests have contributed a great amount to world history and in the far East you have the ancient Chinese Empire. The South American civilisations like the Incas and Mayas are fascinating but sadly I think they have largely been marginalised in the modern world.

Edited by The Artful Dodger
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11 hours ago, Fairy In Boots said:

In terms of global influence it’s probably us Brits via empire. 

Many things influenced us however, Norman, Viking, Roman, Celts, Germanic tribes have all shaped Britain. Britain also took influenced from the stares it was in power of, India, Africa, Australia & North America have all helped shape Britain. 

As inhabitants I'm not sure the Romans left much in Britain apart from the old A1  :ph34r: 

Their cultural influence seems more reimported from Irish monks in Iona and Lindesfarne and by intellectuals love affair with Roman literature.

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2 hours ago, Harvsky said:

As inhabitants I'm not sure the Romans left much in Britain apart from the old A1  :ph34r: 

Their cultural influence seems more reimported from Irish monks in Iona and Lindesfarne and by intellectuals love affair with Roman literature.

Certainly the infrastructure had an effect, the various kingdoms that came and went after they withdrew centrered around the cities they founded the roads they built. 

Plus let’s not forget that they smashed the indigenous beliefs and paved the way for Christianity which they themselves controlled well into the Elizabethan era. One of defining factors against the Vikings was Christianity being a somewhat unifying factor for the Saxon kingdoms. 

That’s had a big effect on everything our education, law, culture etc stemmed from the  Holy Roman Empire & eventually the papacy. 

One of Rome’s greatest attributes and indeed all the great civilisations attributes was the absorbing of new better methods from vassal states within their dominance. Seems silly but Romans got soap from the Celts. 

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1 hour ago, Fairy In Boots said:

Certainly the infrastructure had an effect, the various kingdoms that came and went after they withdrew centrered around the cities they founded the roads they built. 

Plus let’s not forget that they smashed the indigenous beliefs and paved the way for Christianity which they themselves controlled well into the Elizabethan era. One of defining factors against the Vikings was Christianity being a somewhat unifying factor for the Saxon kingdoms. 

That’s had a big effect on everything our education, law, culture etc stemmed from the  Holy Roman Empire & eventually the papacy. 

One of Rome’s greatest attributes and indeed all the great civilisations attributes was the absorbing of new better methods from vassal states within their dominance. Seems silly but Romans got soap from the Celts. 

Perhaps on the infrastructure front, but perhaps not. The infrastructure left behind became ran down, to the point where there were next to no stone buildings and no stone masonry in use in Britain from a couple of centuries after the fall of Rome until the Normans brought architects and expertise. The tribes, the Angli, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Vikings that all followed were living in a very different settlement type. The locations were often the same but perahps because of the land and rivers. Roman fortifications along the Tyne were in different locations to that chosen by the Angli and the Normans. In York for example the Roman settlements were beneath the Viking rather than used by them. The stone of Hadrian's Wall was picked away for purposes that would be so inferior as to vanish.

My point in relation to everything you mention after the first paragraph is that this was all brought back rather than left here. Christianity in Britain today was the result of Irish monks. The Angli people's were converted by Aidan under King Oswald. The Vikings were converted by the descendents of the Angli settlers.

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18 minutes ago, Harvsky said:

Perhaps on the infrastructure front, but perhaps not. The infrastructure left behind became ran down, to the point where there were next to no stone buildings and no stone masonry in use in Britain from a couple of centuries after the fall of Rome until the Normans brought architects and expertise. The tribes, the Angli, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Vikings that all followed were living in a very different settlement type. The locations were often the same but perahps because of the land and rivers. Roman fortifications along the Tyne were in different locations to that chosen by the Angli and the Normans. In York for example the Roman settlements were beneath the Viking rather than used by them. The stone of Hadrian's Wall was picked away for purposes that would be so inferior as to vanish.

My point in relation to everything you mention after the first paragraph is that this was all brought back rather than left here. Christianity in Britain today was the result of Irish monks. The Angli people's were converted by Aidan under King Oswald. The Vikings were converted by the descendents of the Angli settlers.

Hang on Christianity had a beach head before Oswald who was only an Northumbrian King anyway. St Albans’s is a English martyr from 300 something AD I believe, you’re correct it kicked on with Columba and other Irish priests afterwards but that was at the behest of Rome. 

England didn’t really unite until the Normans anyway and you are correct they did bring improved building skills. I meant that the Saxons used the infrastructure and built on top of Roman settlements. York I class as Viking to be honest

Edited by Fairy In Boots
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1 hour ago, Fairy In Boots said:

Hang on Christianity had a beach head before Oswald who was only an Northumbrian King anyway. St Albans’s is a English martyr from 300 something AD I believe, you’re correct it kicked on with Columba and other Irish priests afterwards but that was at the behest of Rome. 

England didn’t really unite until the Normans anyway and you are correct they did bring improved building skills. I meant that the Saxons used the infrastructure and built on top of Roman settlements. York I class as Viking to be honest

St Alban was of Roman Britain era. The Romans brought Christianity but it appears to have disappeared. In the dark ages following the withdrawal of the Roman army, the hierarchy and society of the Romans that remained collapsed and seems to have been consumed by pagan tribes by the time the next settlers came to do battle. 

Northumbria at its peak ran from the forth to the humber. The first large kingdom of that era and intellectually advanced area, no secluded small fry. Lindesfarne became the base for missionary work across the whole of the east and south east due to common language and race. From tales the new settlers encountered pagan forces in the west and Wales so they were probably converted by missionaries and invasions from the east at a later date.

York was a Northumbrian stronghold before the Vikings. As the kingdom was weakening it lost from the Forth to the Tweed to the Scots tribe (which is why Scotland speaks English and its capital has an Anglo-Saxon name) and the Tees to the Humber was lost to the Viking settlers.

Eng in England and English means Angli, land of the Angli, language of the Angli. The Angli are specifically the settlers down the east from Lothian to Norwich. Their intellectual reach over the island is substantial.

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22 hours ago, Harvsky said:

St Alban was of Roman Britain era. The Romans brought Christianity but it appears to have disappeared. In the dark ages following the withdrawal of the Roman army, the hierarchy and society of the Romans that remained collapsed and seems to have been consumed by pagan tribes by the time the next settlers came to do battle. 

Northumbria at its peak ran from the forth to the humber. The first large kingdom of that era and intellectually advanced area, no secluded small fry. Lindesfarne became the base for missionary work across the whole of the east and south east due to common language and race. From tales the new settlers encountered pagan forces in the west and Wales so they were probably converted by missionaries and invasions from the east at a later date.

York was a Northumbrian stronghold before the Vikings. As the kingdom was weakening it lost from the Forth to the Tweed to the Scots tribe (which is why Scotland speaks English and its capital has an Anglo-Saxon name) and the Tees to the Humber was lost to the Viking settlers.

Eng in England and English means Angli, land of the Angli, language of the Angli. The Angli are specifically the settlers down the east from Lothian to Norwich. Their intellectual reach over the island is substantial.

Northumbria was overun and held onto longest by the Vikings after the initial invasion. Mercia & Wessex had similar periods of dominance with Wessex being the later that eventually became England. I’m detecting a bit of North Eastern Bias here mate :ph34r:

I’m not disputing Lindasfarne was a huge cultural significance to Christianity in the UK but even that must have been governed by Rome & the papacy.

Christianity was here before the Anglo Saxon kingdoms anyway, there was a significant amount of Christianity that existed in Roman Britain, most celts who lived in those areas and who were the indigenous population would have been Christian. Before being forced into the corners they now inhabit were when they battled the Anglo Saxon invaders who were pagan. By the time the Vikings came the Saxons had settled and had mostly converted which I agree was done via Kent & Northumbria. 

Canterbury was the initial dioceses of St Augustine and it was reintroduced to the pagan Saxons from there. It didn’t go away in sub roman Britain it just wasn’t dominant because Saxons were driving the indigenous population who’s own pagan beliefs had been smashed by the Romans off the land. 

Thats my point the Romans cleared the competing ideology originally and when another ideology filled the vacuum because of migration they set about converting that ideology also. I attribute Christianity in the U.K. to the Romans because of that, they may have used Irish, Brits etc but those individuals were acting at Rome’s behest. 

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