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-   -   Do you think Ancient Egypt is overrated? (http://historum.com/middle-eastern-african-history/130594-do-you-think-ancient-egypt-overrated.html)

Ricster4455 October 13th, 2017 08:44 AM

Do you think Ancient Egypt is overrated?
 
It's been a long time since I posted on this forum, so I figured I start up a discussion since I'm in the mood for one.

Do you find Ancient Egypt to be overrated? I mean, it is opinion based, but in my opinion, I feel like it it gets a lot attention (apart from the whole Afrocentric debate whether or not AE's were SSA when obviously they weren't in the beginning, at least not purely, even then modern genetics debunks this) alongside the Romans and Greeks, but don't hear that much about Mesopotamia (at least not in depth), India or China.

I would say the most influential civilizations were the Mesopotamian civilizations, Chinese, and Indian civilizations and Greece.

Mesopotamia: First civilization, started the agricultural revolution which may have influenced even India and Egypt, started writing and math and science, agriculture, the wheel, etc. Made world's first literature.

China: Invented civil service exam, which is still used today, even in the West. Had interesting philosophies like Legalism, Daoism, Confucianism. Invented papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, cannons, fireworks, tea, the hot air balloon, porcelain, the wheelbarrow and stirrups, among other things. Had great literature.

India: Came up with concept of zero. Came up with decimal system. Came up with the number system we use today, Invented chess. Involved diamonds, yoga and plastic surgery. Had running water even before Romans.

Egyptians were great an all with their architecture. The Egyptian pyramids are of course very impressive. However, they had very little effect on the subsequent development of architecture. The pyramid is a very simple architectural structure, and for most purposes not a very useful one. The ancient Egyptians did not originate the arch, and they did not use it until fairly late in their history. And pyramids can be found many different civilizations, some of which look more interesting than the Egyptian ones in my opinion.

The Egyptian contribution to mathematics was not so great in my opinion. Although, like many ancient peoples, they had a practical knowledge of elementary geometry, they had little interest in geometric theory. They may have used Algebra (and they were not the first to start it), but their knowledge was very limited, roughly to what is now studied in the first few weeks of an elementary algebra course. The most influential to math would probably be the Indians and Babylonians, even Chinese had some ideas seen in linear algebra. And of course the Greeks contributed as well, mainly with logic and proof system used nowadays in upper level math courses.

The Egyptian contribution to astronomy was also small; Babylonians, Greeks, and Indians probably contributed more to astronomy than Egyptians. Even Mesoamericans had a good understanding of astronomy with more contributions of Astronomy than Egyptians (although you can argue back)

The ancient Egyptians weren't much interested in geography or exploration. From prehistory to history of Egypt, they traded with Nubians and with Levantines and Mesopotamians. However, they did not explore down the East African coast, and for many centuries they did not travel widely in the Mediterranean. Trading was more involved with Indians, Chinese, and Eastern Mediterranean civilizations.

It is often said that Ancient Greece got much of its influences from Egypt. This is not completely true. Greeks did get some knowledge from Egyptians, but most of what Greeks learned came from Asia Minor, Syria, Phoenicia, Babylon and Assyria, and from there Greeks innovated on what they learned, came up with their own ideas, eventually surpassing their oriental predecessors.

Nor did the Egyptians contribute to other branches of philosophy. Not a single major theme in modern philosophy derives from an ancient Egyptian source.

Because of Egypt's desert climate, Egyptian architecture has been
preserved far better than the architecture of other ancient civilizations. As a result, the Egyptian monuments are still so visible (and so impressive) that most people overestimate their importance to the growth of civilization.

I am definitely downplaying all the contributions of the Ancient Egyptians. Of course they had many contributions to the world and had a sophisticated civilization, but I feel like Egypt always gets the most attention when it comes to ancient civilizations, ignoring what others have done. I'm talking about outside these kinds of forums. In my history class, everyone seems to only talk more about Ancient Egypt (alongside Roman and Greek), then Indians and Chinese, we talked about India and China, but as much in depth as Ancient Egypt. Even Ancient Greeks admired the Egyptians more, even though Greeks learned a lot more from their Near Eastern neighbors than Egyptians. In your opinion, do you also find Ancient Egypt overrated. I honestly find all those civilizations interesting, but when talking about ancient civilization, Egypt is the first thing that comes to mind.

wskim October 13th, 2017 09:16 AM

Very much yes.
It's also one of the most boring civilizations to read about.

Ricster4455 October 13th, 2017 10:26 AM

And please, for those of you who think I'm trolling or "ignorant of history", I'm not. I'm just stating what I think overall of Ancient Egypt. Outside of forums, when taking about ancient history, Egypt is the first thing that comes to mind. When I learned ancient history in school, my professor put more emphasis on Ancient Egypt than Mesopotamia or China or Egypt. Sometimes we did, but not much in depth like Egypt. So I had to study history on my own, but I admit I'm not perfect with knowing historical events and all. But that is just my opinion

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Ricster4455 October 13th, 2017 10:27 AM

Any ways, more opinions?

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Todd Feinman October 13th, 2017 12:04 PM

Yeah.. The Greeks admired the Egyptians, learned from them. Jewelry and treasure pretty much the best. Pyramids --just learning how they did it. Mysterious religion, obelisks, HUGE temples. Magic. Chariots and scale armour. amazing art.

Herodotus:
"Concerning Egypt itself I shall extend my remarks to a great length, because there is no country that possesses so many wonders, nor any that has such a number of works which defy description"

Of the Labyrinth now mostly gone:

"Furthermore, they resolved to leave a memorial of themselves in common, and in pursuance of this resolve they made a labyrinth, a little above Lake Moeris, and situated near what is called the City of the Crocodiles. I saw it myself and it is indeed a wonder past words; for if one were to collect together all of the buildings of the Greeks and their most striking works of architecture, they would all clearly be shown to have cost less labor and money than this labyrinth. Yet the temple at Ephesus and that in Samos are surely remarkable. The pyramids, too, were greater than words can tell, and each of them is the equivalent of many of the great works of the Greeks; but the labyrinth surpasses the pyramids also."

AlpinLuke October 13th, 2017 12:32 PM

These threads about overrated ancient civilizations are sending me into paranoia.

Overrated by whom? And with reference to which standard?

I do adore Ancient Egyptian civilization, but, after my death, I won't rest in a pyramidal tomb ...

It costs too much!

Anyway ... can you define the level at which a civilization is overrated?

Otherwise we are discussing mere personal likes, dislikes and impressions.

Corvidius October 13th, 2017 12:57 PM

If anything, Ancient Egypt is under rated. Strip away the representations of the gods and leave only the concepts and there is a philosophy. Far too many people look at a statue of a human body with an animal head and see it as a primitive totem. That is what statues of Zeus or Athena were, and intellectually hollow. The pyramids were not just a pile of stones with a corpse inside them, they were an interface between this world and the heavens. The tomb of Hadrian is just a tomb, or was of course. Then there is the beginning of classical Greek statues, the Kouroi, which are directly copied from Egypt. No Egypt, then possibly no "Dying Gaul", "Aphrodite", "Laocoon" and all the rest. No Egypt and maybe no concept of God as we have now, just a bunch of amoral drunkards having a good time in Olympus, Valhalla or wherever.

Todd Feinman October 13th, 2017 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corvidius (Post 2840194)
If anything, Ancient Egypt is under rated. Strip away the representations of the gods and leave only the concepts and there is a philosophy. Far too many people look at a statue of human body with an animal head and see it is a primitive totem. That is what statues of Zeus or Athena were, and intellectually hollow. The pyramids were not just a pile of stones with a corpse inside them, they were an interface between this world and the heavens. The tomb of Hadrian is just a tomb, or was of course. Then there is the beginning of classical Greek statues, the Kouroi, which are directly copied from Egypt. No Egypt, then possibly no "Dying Gaul", "Aphrodite", "Laocoon" and all the rest. No Egypt and maybe no concept of God as we have now, just a bunch of amoral drunkards having a good time in Olympus, Valhalla or wherever.

Absolutely! :)

Todd Feinman October 13th, 2017 01:37 PM

Amazing items like this:

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7f/79...74e6293f52.jpg


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wWdEXlvtZJ...013-throne.jpg

http://www.touregypt.net/images/touregypt/tutl60.jpg



https://www.google.com/search?q=karn...w=1536&bih=749


IMO, No, not overrated.

Ricster4455 October 13th, 2017 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlpinLuke (Post 2840180)
These threads about overrated ancient civilizations are sending me into paranoia.

Overrated by whom? And with reference to which standard?

I do adore Ancient Egyptian civilization, but, after my death, I won't rest in a pyramidal tomb ...

It costs too much!

Anyway ... can you define the level at which a civilization is overrated?

Otherwise we are discussing mere personal likes, dislikes and impressions.

Only in my opinion it's overrated. It gets so much attention compared to the the other ancient civilizations (maybe Greeks get just as much attention). It's great and everything, but nothing special. I feel like Mesopotamia, India and China have given more to the world, as I stated before, to the world than Egypt, even though Egypt definitely has contributed significantly to society, just not as much as the former three, yet gets more attention than them. There is however, more argument regarding the racial background of Ancient Egyptians, though that is just pure annoyance and can easily be dismissed by genetics.

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