can one argue that Ancient Egypt was a more impressive society than Ancient Rome

Jan 2015
2,946
MD, USA
#2
in terms of technology, science, military, economy etc.
Technology? I don't see how. Even without considering that the "glory days" that most people envision when they think "Egypt" were actually in the Bronze Age, while almost all of Roman history was in the Iron Age. There are some theories about Egyptian technology, such as floating stone blocks in channels and tubes of water to build the pyramids, which are extremely clever and intriguing but really not proven. And they aren't really anything the Romans could not have done. Roman technology such as iron plate armor seems to have involved something like rollers, or at least power hammers, to get the consistency of thickness that we see in the artifacts, and there aren't many real options for how they could have done that. And it was on a production level, Empire-wide, not just one building site.

Science? Hoo, kind of depends on your definition of science, and how much Roman science you want to ascribe to Greeks or other people who were part of the Roman Empire. Including Egypt! The Egyptians were certainly big on astronomy and anatomy and geometry. "More impressive" is pretty subjective, of course.

Military? The Egyptians had a very good army, even organized with legion-sized units, and including foreign auxiliaries. I don't think it was ever anywhere near as large as what the Romans could muster, though. And being mostly a Bronze Age society, the army was based on a core of elite charioteers, supported by infantry. Rome went the other way, with an infantry basis of commoners. They were also able to supply more body armor than Egypt could dream of.

Economy? I think that's where it falls down. Egypt was a major player in the Mediterranean in her day, certainly. But Rome WAS the Mediterranean, and a whole lot more! Egypt at its height couldn't compete economically with the Roman empire, from what I know. Partly because Rome *included* Egypt, at that point!

A lot of it is subjective, though!

Matthew
 
Sep 2014
929
Texas
#3
no....Rome wins in everything but length of time. Egypt lasted longer. What Egypt did was take other peoples' ideas and make them better
 
Sep 2014
929
Texas
#5
Absolutely not. Egypt had an incredibly backwards society in fact.
in defense of Egypt they took the Hittite chariot and improved on it. By moving the axel back of center it gave the chariot better balance. And I believe for several reasons that they visited England during Stonehenge time.....their structures which were built later were an improvement.
....
 
Oct 2011
7,654
MARE PACIFICVM
#6
I don't know if it's fair to call Egyptian (Km.tj) society "backwards", but its leadership was certainly very conservative. They sought to preserve the ancient ways of an ancient civilization, which is good for long term stability but not good for innovation.

However, we should remember that Egypt was as much older than Rome as Rome is to us. Rome had the benefit of reaching its apogee thousands of years after Km.t, and it gained a lot from the lessons of intervening history.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,838
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#7
I don't know if it's fair to call Egyptian (Km.tj) society "backwards", but its leadership was certainly very conservative. They sought to preserve the ancient ways of an ancient civilization, which is good for long term stability but not good for innovation.

However, we should remember that Egypt was as much older than Rome as Rome is to us. Rome had the benefit of reaching its apogee thousands of years after Km.t, and it gained a lot from the lessons of intervening history.
Also simply "KmT" is acceptable ...

You're substantially right. May be we should underline the different context. KmT came out from late Neolithic to be a lasting impressive civilization [impressive for its own age ... well ... ages]. Rome came out from a well different context and the "eternal city" conquered it's status of being impressive [while ancient Egypt had to deal just with invaders and the historical competitions with Asian powers].

Was KmT [the black land] impressive? Sure, considering that it was the greatest and most advanced megalithic civilization ever ... Egypt was not a starting point, but the point of arrival of the megalithic culture in Central Africa. With a remarkable influence of Asian cultures from North East.
 

cladking

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
2,772
exile
#9
We really need to think of Egypt as two cultures; one after 2000 BC which is well understood and well documented and one before 2000 BC where we don't understand much of the writing, the culture, or any of the science.

Compared to the second Egypt Rome wins easily in most categories.

I'd guess Rome couldn't hold a candle to the first Egypt but this needs to be determined yet.
 
Aug 2014
4,675
Australia
#10
in defense of Egypt they took the Hittite chariot and improved on it. By moving the axel back of center it gave the chariot better balance.
This is just speculation based on some pretty crude illustrations. The wikipedia entry uses the same evidence to suggest that Hittite chariots were better than Egyptian ones. In reality we don't know how Hittite chariots were constructed and only have a vague idea of what they looked like.
 
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