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Middle Eastern and African History Middle Eastern and African History Forum - Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and all nations of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula


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Old October 13th, 2017, 08:11 PM   #21
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Egypt's is the oldest major civilization on earth and I feel that this true ancientness that doesn't apply to the later classical civilizations is part of the obsession with it. All the biggest structures came out of Egypt and besides cathedrals, the biggest structures were still Egyptian well into the industrial revolution.

That being said I do feel the civilization is slightly overrated as from the first millenium onward they usually were on the losing side of the stick with various pan middle eastern empires.

The question for me is do I think that people would care as much about Ancient Egypt if not for King Tut, mummies and Cleopatra VII? I do believe the answer to this question is no, not even close to as much and I feel a great deal of the attention Ancient Egypt gets is due to a few topics rather than the civilization is a whole.

If my answer is confusing, is was meant to be, basically I'm saying Ancient Egypt is overrated in some aspects underrated in others.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 08:28 PM   #22
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I think the exterior of the pyramids would have looked different than they do today so I'm not sure a direct comparison can be made that easily. But aesthetics is usually very subjective. They may have preferred a more "clean and neat" look to a highly decorated one just as a cultural preference.
How so would the exterior look different. I would imagine it to be the same as it was in ancient times since the pyramids. as for aesthetics, yes it is subjective. That is why I said personally I didn't find them interesting or appealing (not that they are ugly or anything). My point is pyramids can be found elsewhere outside Egypt. I find the pyramids of Mesoamerica and even pyramid/pyramid-like structures of India and Southeast Asia to be more interesting.


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Number theorists still study Egyptian fractions today. And they made use of binary numbers. About geometry: you have to have geometry before you can have geometric theory, and starting geometry by themselves apparently without outside influence is impressive.

Also, I'm sure a lot of material has been lost, though of course the same can be said for all of those other groups as well (Babylonians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks). But generally I would agree with the notion that the Babylonians were a contemporary group that had more advanced mathematics while the other three groups you mentioned (Indians, Chinese, and Greeks) had more advanced mathematics, but only much later. What I mean is that they were not contemporaries that were more advanced in mathematics when Egypt was thriving, like Babylon was. They were more advanced in mathematics after Egypt was already well into its decline.
Babylonians and Indians also had their own fractions. The Indian fractions are probably closer to what we use today. Egyptians had empirical geometry, as did the Babylonians (which is probably older than Egyptians). Axiomatic geometry/coordinate geometry were invented by the Greeks. Greeks were probably more influenced by Babylonian math than Egyptian (although Greeks learned in both places). Modern day number theorists would probably not study Egyptian fractions, but people interested in the history of mathematics might. It doesn't matter if Indians, Chinese and Greeks were later (Greeks probably were more later than the former two), all three still had advance mathematics.

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I agree, but the calendar most people around the world use today is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar actually.
Mesoamerican calendars were almost just as similar (365 days) and Babylonian calendars I think had 12 months or so. The Greek calendar was similar to the Babylonian calendar, though we use Roman (who probably got it from Greeks) I don't know in full detail the history of calendars, though they existed in every civilization wherever agriculture started.

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Actually, the Egyptians went to the horn of Africa (in the east African coast), when they visited the "land of Punt" multiple times. They may also have gone into Chad at least once.
Still, the Indians, Chinese, and Eastern Med civilizations were more involved in trade than Egyptians. The former three all spread their influence beyond their region.

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Phoenicians were themselves influenced by Egypt, though. So the argument emphasizing Phoenician influence to downplay Egyptian influence isn't very strong. Also, there was artistic influence from Egypt as well. This is a valid point about the preservation of architecture. . .but some of the monuments are really "so impressive" because of their sheer scale.
Maybe in alphabet (there is some articles that say Mesopotamians influenced Egyptian alphabet, or at least gave Egyptians an idea on alphabets), but art, culture, etc were all indigenous to the Levant, and have influences coming from Asia Minor, Syria, Assyria and Babylon, not just Egypt. Same goes for architecture. Also, don't forget that Mesopotamians were trading with Egyptians as well, even in pre-dynastic times.

Last edited by Ricster4455; October 13th, 2017 at 09:11 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Egypt's is the oldest major civilization on earth and I feel that this true ancientness that doesn't apply to the later classical civilizations is part of the obsession with it. All the biggest structures came out of Egypt and besides cathedrals, the biggest structures were still Egyptian well into the industrial revolution.
Ancient Sumer is about the same age as Egyptians, if not slightly older. When you mean "All the biggest structures came out of Egypt", are you talking about the architecture and ancient buildings. If so, Egyptians were not the only ones with tall buildings, take a look at East Asia and Mesoamerica, they too had tall ancient structures. And the only thing tall in Egypt were the pyramids.


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The question for me is do I think that people would care as much about Ancient Egypt if not for King Tut, mummies and Cleopatra VII? I do believe the answer to this question is no, not even close to as much and I feel a great deal of the attention Ancient Egypt gets is due to a few topics rather than the civilization is a whole.
To be honest with you, the only time people talk mummies and pharaohs...is when it comes to what race they belonged to. Its a neverending battle between Afrocentrists and Eurocentrists as to, "were Ancient Egyptians white or black" that only ends up in more than 30+ pages or on Youtube, more than 100+ comments that goes nowhere. Can't we just admit that Ancient Egyptians have always been North Africans with minimal admixture from East Africa and Nubia, and from the Near East, and that phenotypically, they were "Caucasoid with N*groid admixture"? BTW before anyone goes crazy over what I just said, "Caucasoid" definitely does not mean white, but bone structure and these classifications such as "Caucasoid, Mongoloid, N*groid, although they are not used in modern anthropology, they are still used widely by many people (I see it all the time in anthro forums and even on yahoo and quora) to describe shared phenotype similarities between groups of people. And please, I don't want to start an argument on the "supposed racial background on Ancient Egyptians".

The point is, it does not matter their race, what matters is what they did and their contributions to society. And in my opinion, while Ancient Egyptians did contribute in many aspects to society, I feel like other civilizations, the Indians and Chinese and Mesopotamians, contributed more to society, and their contributions in ancient times, are often ignored or downplayed, and more spotlight if given to the Egyptians. It may not happen on these types of forums, but outside of forums, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about ancient civilization are: pyramids, sand, mummies and pharaohs.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 09:01 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by Ricster4455 View Post
The point is, it does not matter their race, what matters is what they did and their contributions to society. And in my opinion, while Ancient Egyptians did contribute in many aspects to society, I feel like other civilizations, the Indians and Chinese and Mesopotamians, contributed more to society, and their contributions in ancient times, are often ignored or downplayed, and more spotlight if given to the Egyptians. It may not happen on these types of forums, but outside of forums, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about ancient civilization are: pyramids, sand, mummies and pharaohs.
I actually agree with you. But the level of crafstmanship and accomplishment in nearly every field of human endeavor, from the finest linen, exquisite jewelry and furniture (they may have invented the chair), Huge fortresses and tombs cut deep into the living stone, endless rows of statues carved from hard stone.. The missing labyrinth.. Frankly you could do away with the pyramids and Tut, and they still would be beyond amazing. The mummies are a fascinating part of who they were --literally.

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Old October 13th, 2017, 09:07 PM   #25
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The pyramids remain the queens of all ancient architecture. For 4000 years, the Great Pyramids was the tallest structure in the world.
"queens of all ancient architecture." please... That's your opinion. And that's probably the only thing Egypt is famous for by most people. I have yet to hear anyone else saying Egyptian pyramids are the "queen of all ancient architecture".

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Ancient cultures were facsinated by this land.
By Ancient cultures, you mean Greece? I have yet to hear about what Ancient India and China thought about Ancient Egypt That is if both knew Egypt even existed

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Most writing today in the western world is ultimately derived from hieroglyphics.
Well, Egyptians didn't invented the alphabet, which its roots are in the Levant. However, Egyptians certainly are in the path of that invention, and made the first steps. But I agree, the Phoenician alphabet was influenced by the hieroglyphics.

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Old October 13th, 2017, 09:15 PM   #26
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To all those who are critiquing the very idea of "is x overrated" and if so why, I have to disagree with you. Overrated and underrated don't mean like or dislike, good or bad, it simply means the importance of something has been over or under stated by a majority of people relative to it's actual importance in your opinion, which is the question is being asked.

For example, lots of people are fascinated by WWII, it's a pretty interesting war but I don't think a lot of people would argue that WWII(and Hitler and Nazis) isn't overrated by both historians(look how many WWII threads there are on here, how many books are on the topic relative to other similarily important topics) and popular culture(look how many WWII series, history channell has made for example compared to other topics.

The whole WWII example is to demonstrate the merit of the line of inquiry of whether a topic is "overrated". I do think this is a valuable discussion to have and I will be posting my view on this later tonight.
Yes, very true. Exactly what I'm trying to get in this thread.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 10:16 PM   #27

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Originally Posted by Ricster4455 View Post
"queens of all ancient architecture." please... That's your opinion. And that's probably the only thing Egypt is famous for by most people. I have yet to hear anyone else saying Egyptian pyramids are the "queen of all ancient architecture".
You haven't heard anyone say it because it is my phrase. It is an objective fact that they were the tallest structures in the world for over 4000 years, a testament to both durability and to how ahead of their time they were.

Really. This forum is flooded with people who are in denial of reality. There are objective standards to these things.

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By Ancient cultures, you mean Greece? I have yet to hear about what Ancient India and China thought about Ancient Egypt That is if both knew Egypt even existed
Uh, yeah, because they are like, very far away.

I mean really. You don't understand this?


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Well, Egyptians didn't invented the alphabet,
No, but as I will repeat, they invented the parent of the ones we use in the west.

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which its roots are in the Levant. However, Egyptians certainly are in the path of that invention, and made the first steps. But I agree, the Phoenician alphabet was influenced by the hieroglyphics.
Well at least you know something.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 11:14 PM   #28
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You haven't heard anyone say it because it is my phrase. It is an objective fact that they were the tallest structures in the world for over 4000 years, a testament to both durability and to how ahead of their time they were.
Okay. They were the tallest...and? As I said, it survived mainly due to the Egyptian desert climate/landscape. And as I said, there are other pyramids out there, some I find more interesting than Egyptian ones, but this is subjective.

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Uh, yeah, because they are like, very far away.

I mean really. You don't understand this?
You're the one who stated "Ancient cultures were facsinated by this land.". China and India were also ancient, yet I hear almost nothing from them regarding Egyptians

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Well at least you know something.

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Old October 13th, 2017, 11:17 PM   #29
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What a stupid topic.

Let me elaborate this from an egyptians pointof view.

Egypt shines through time while all others simply reflect. We are a star. In evry aspect.

One just has to look at Nofrets eyes

Click the image to open in full size.

Nothring from Mesopotamia or China comes even close to that skills.

Mesopotamian art looks primitive and simple and at no time reached the perfection of our art.

You mock the great Pyramides?

No artificial structure in the world carries more weight as the great pyramide. The great pyramide of Khufu is extremly complex. Each stone made for its exact position. The organisation behind its construction propably can only be rivalled by the moon program. There is no building in the world which comes even close in its organisation and perfection. Mesoamerican pyramides are small and without great structure. Nothing in China or India exists, that comes even close to the great Pyramides. During construction of the great pyramide of Khufu, no place on earth used more copper. The infrastructure needed to make this possible is beyond imagination.

You say Egypt had no great philosophical influence? Beside its gargantuan influence even to today, it forged the 3 world religions. Jewish religion has most likely its foundation on the Aten cult. Christianity is a hybrid between this and the old egyptian religion. Jesus, Mary are basicly 1:1 Isis and Osiris. With this it also laid the base for Islam. Our entire today worldview is based on this.

The first stone architecture comes from Egypt. The great pyramide of Djoser.

Those gargantuan things aside, the small art was on a unique level unreached by any other.

Show me anything from this era that reaches that:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Before you mock my ancestors you should be able to show something that rivals them.

You praise stuff from mesopotamia like this?

Click the image to open in full size.

Let me tell you something. My people were sourounded by primitives. For example Mesopotamia and it deeply saddened them. For our ancestors Egypt was the only civilized place. It creates a feeling of isolation.

You ask what China or India did think about us? Is this important? Its as important as what Bonobos or a state of termites think about us.

Last edited by Ranefer; October 13th, 2017 at 11:20 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 11:22 PM   #30

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Okay. They were the tallest...and?
If you do not understand why this is important an impressive, there is nothing I can say to you. Nothing.

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As I said, it survived mainly due to the Egyptian desert climate/landscape. And as I said, there are other pyramids out there, some I find more interesting than Egyptian ones, but this is subjective.
You were wrong when you said it before and are wrong now. The great pyramid lacks its limestone casing because at some point a Sultan tried to tear it down...and couldn't. They survived becasue they are extraordianrily well built.

You simply have no idea what you are talking about. None.



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You're the one who stated "Ancient cultures were facsinated by this land.". China and India were also ancient, yet I hear almost nothing from them regarding Egyptians


Yes, but they were very, very far away, and there was no such thing back then as cameras, the internet, telephones, airplanes, etc.

It would have been very difficult for an Indian or Chinese to know anything at all about Egypt.

Sorry, I assumed you would understand that some things are implicit. Perhaps, for your sake, I should re-state waht I said as "ancient cultures who had contact with Egypt..."
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