Greek Influences on China's First Empire ?

Aug 2016
232
UK london
Greek influence is a possibility if one makes connections between Alexander's conquests in central Asia, the existing trade routes, and also the timeframes.
The statues that Greeks created are completely different from Chinese.

Besides Alexander and the greeks only conquered the southern portion central Asia Sogdiana, Bactria. Even the Xinjiang tocharians had no contact with the sogdiania, bactria but even if they did it means nothing.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2017
137
US
We might be better suited to talk about Chinese influences on the Greeks' first empire? The Eastern civilization outdate the western, even middle eastern, civilization by a wide margin. The Sumerians wrote about influences coming from the East
 
Aug 2015
1,888
Los Angeles
We might be better suited to talk about Chinese influences on the Greeks' first empire? The Eastern civilization outdate the western, even middle eastern, civilization by a wide margin. The Sumerians wrote about influences coming from the East
Sorry what?
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,482
Malaysia
Wud the so called somewhat IE looking terracotta statues not hv been able to somehow get their look by inspiration springing from the look of not the Greeks, but rather the IE Tocharians, or perhaps even the Gui Shang (Kushan)?
 
Last edited:
Jan 2017
132
Virginia, USA
We might be better suited to talk about Chinese influences on the Greeks' first empire?
Mycenaean Greece was established around 1600 BC, which is roughly the same time that China's first historically attested dynasty, the Shang Dynasty, was founded in the Yellow River valley. Also, what Greek empire are you talking about? The Athenian-led Delian League? I'm assuming you mean Alexander the Great's Empire formed in the late 4th century BC, but I'm not sure what you're talking about. The Greeks spread out across the Mediterranean in colonies long before his reign, but these were hardly empires.

Lol. You honestly think the Chinese of the Warring States had any influence on Classical or Hellenistic Greece? There is no evidence for that, although I'd be entertained to hear your silly hypothesis on the matter.

The Eastern civilization outdate the western, even middle eastern, civilization by a wide margin. The Sumerians wrote about influences coming from the East
Lol. The Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia formed during the Uruk period around 4000-3300 BC and existed more than a millennium before China's Shang Dynasty was founded. On top of that, the Sumerian civilization ceased to exist around 1900 BC, roughly three hundred years before the Shang Dynasty of China was even founded. The legendary "Xia Dynasty" is not proven by archaeology (as writing itself didn't exist in Shang China until about 1300-1200 BC) and aligns only with the Neolithic and Bronze Age Erlitou culture of the early 2nd millennium BC. Even if you tried to stretch it to its absolute limits, Chinese civilization does not predate 2000 BC.

Compare that to ancient Egypt, for instance, in which the Early Dynastic Period begins around 3150 BC! The Old Kingdom of Egypt formed around the year 2686 BC, roughly a thousand years before Chinese civilization or the Shang dynasty even existed. So spare us this silliness about the Chinese predating everyone else. Archaeology says otherwise.
 
Nov 2017
137
US
You arrive at those results because you limit the oldest Eastern civilization to the Shang dynasty. In fact, the Hongshan culture precedes the Shang, the Egyptians, and Mesopotamians by a wide margin. The Hongshan culture was in modern day Northeastern China / Manchuria, and is dated back to 4700 BC. The central Asian steppes provides a direct route from Manchuria to Mesopotamia. This has the possibility of being the oldest civilization in the world.



The Hongshan have been building pyramids, underground tunnels, jade dragons, and altars much before the first Egyptian pharoh got mummified.

http://www.ancientpages.com/2015/06/20/ancient-hongshan-culture-creators-pyramid-remarkable-artifacts-still-shrouded-mystery/

It is possible that Mesopotamian civilization developed independently of the Eastern civilization, but you should always keep in mind the Eastern civilization was the oldest of them all.
 
Last edited:
May 2018
424
Ramgarh
Mycenaean Greece was established around 1600 BC, which is roughly the same time that China's first historically attested dynasty, the Shang Dynasty, was founded in the Yellow River valley. Also, what Greek empire are you talking about? The Athenian-led Delian League? I'm assuming you mean Alexander the Great's Empire formed in the late 4th century BC, but I'm not sure what you're talking about. The Greeks spread out across the Mediterranean in colonies long before his reign, but these were hardly empires.

Lol. You honestly think the Chinese of the Warring States had any influence on Classical or Hellenistic Greece? There is no evidence for that, although I'd be entertained to hear your silly hypothesis on the matter.



Lol. The Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia formed during the Uruk period around 4000-3300 BC and existed more than a millennium before China's Shang Dynasty was founded. On top of that, the Sumerian civilization ceased to exist around 1900 BC, roughly three hundred years before the Shang Dynasty of China was even founded. The legendary "Xia Dynasty" is not proven by archaeology (as writing itself didn't exist in Shang China until about 1300-1200 BC) and aligns only with the Neolithic and Bronze Age Erlitou culture of the early 2nd millennium BC. Even if you tried to stretch it to its absolute limits, Chinese civilization does not predate 2000 BC.

Compare that to ancient Egypt, for instance, in which the Early Dynastic Period begins around 3150 BC! The Old Kingdom of Egypt formed around the year 2686 BC, roughly a thousand years before Chinese civilization or the Shang dynasty even existed. So spare us this silliness about the Chinese predating everyone else. Archaeology says otherwise.
The high point of Greek Civilization is from around 800 B.C to 100 B.C. There is practically very little Greek civilization in 1600 B.C.
 
Jan 2017
132
Virginia, USA
You arrive at those results because you limit the oldest Eastern civilization to the Shang dynasty. In fact, the Hongshan culture precedes the Shang, the Egyptians, and Mesopotamians by a wide margin. The Hongshan culture was in modern day Northeastern China / Manchuria, and is dated back to 4700 BC. The central Asian steppes provides a direct route from Manchuria to Mesopotamia. This has the possibility of being the oldest civilization in the world.



The Hongshan have been building pyramids, underground tunnels, jade dragons, and altars much before the first Egyptian pharoh got mummified.

Ancient Hongshan Culture: Creators Of A Pyramid And Remarkable Artifacts That Are Still Shrouded In Mystery | Ancient Pages

It is possible that Mesopotamian civilization developed independently of the Eastern civilization, but you should always keep in mind the Eastern civilization was the oldest of them all.
You must have a different definition of "civilization" than most people, then. I would argue that the Hongshan culture of northeastern China, while producing some very impressive works of art and crafts considering the time period (i.e. the Neolithic, or New Stone Age), was not a civilization. Despite the existence of tombs and temples, this was an almost purely agrarian culture ruled by petty chiefdoms, apparently, and not a highly stratified urban society like we see in China by the Shang period. Although the medieval/early modern Incas of Peru didn't have writing (at least not until the conquering Spanish showed up), they at least had "Quipu" knots for recording things numerically. The builders of Teotihuacan in ancient Mexico didn't even have that (or the hieroglyphic writing of the later Mayas) and yet they clearly had huge urban centers with temple complexes that still stand to this day. We can't say the same for the Hongshan culture of China, now can we? There are a lot of components and base requirements for a "civilization" that the Hongshan culture simply does not meet.

Never mind that, it's even more absurd to argue that the Hongshan culture somehow influenced the course of events as far west as Mesopotamia, the Levant, or Egypt during either the 5th or 4th millenniums BC. There is literally no proof of it. Honestly, it would be astonishing if there was proof of such far-flung contacts in any significant form before the establishment of the Silk Road by China's Emperor Wu of Han opening contacts with Central Asia in the 2nd century BC.

The high point of Greek Civilization is from around 800 B.C to 100 B.C. There is practically very little Greek civilization in 1600 B.C.
What's that got to do with anything and how does it contradict anything I've said above? I also wouldn't give 800 BC as the start of the high point for Greece, since that's the beginning of the Archaic period. They were just barely rediscovering writing, setting up the first colonies and poleis outside of Greece and the Aegean, and establishing the first pan-Hellenic games such as the Olympics (i.e. 776 BC). Classical Greece is considered the high point if anything, and the Hellenistic period, although considered by the Romans as a corruption or bastardization of Classical Greece, was at least a continuation of it. Also, if I were you I wouldn't discount the achievements of the earlier Mycenaean Greeks of the Bronze Age. In addition to conquering mainland Greece, Crete, islands of the Aegean and areas of western Anatolia, they also operated trade contacts as far afield as territories of what are now Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), France (including Corsica), and Spain, to say nothing of Egypt and even what is now Georgia on the eastern fringes of the Black Sea. They were a lot more industrious, prolific, pervasive and ubiquitous than you seem to think.
 
Last edited:
May 2018
424
Ramgarh
[/QUOTE] What's that got to do with anything and how does it contradict anything I've said above? I also wouldn't give 800 BC as the start of the high point for Greece, since that's the beginning of the Archaic period. They were just barely rediscovering writing, setting up the first colonies and poleis outside of Greece and the Aegean, and establishing the first pan-Hellenic games such as the Olympics (i.e. 776 BC). Classical Greece is considered the high point if anything, and the Hellenistic period, although considered by the Romans as a corruption or bastardization of Classical Greece, was at least a continuation of it. Also, if I were you I wouldn't discount the achievements of the earlier Mycenaean Greeks of the Bronze Age. In addition to conquering mainland Greece, Crete, islands of the Aegean and areas of western Anatolia, they also operated trade contacts as far afield as territories of what are now Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), France (including Corsica), and Spain, to say nothing of Egypt and even what is now Georgia on the eastern fringes of the Black Sea. They were a lot more industrious, prolific, pervasive and ubiquitous than you seem to think.[/QUOTE]

The Greeks received a lot of their scientific knowledge from the Phoenician traders, who were in contact with Egypt and Sumer (e.g., the Pythogorous theorem was discovered in Mesopotamia a thousand years before he was born). And trade doesn't prove civilization - barbaric tribes in Europe traded with the more civilized empires for centuries. E.g., the Vikings and the Arabs.

I agree that Greece wasn't all that civilized in 800 B.C., when as you say, they barely discovered writing. I was trying to be generous. The Greeks were civilized thousands of years after the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Indians, Phoenicians, and possibly the Chinese.

And this is probably due to the fact that there were no fertile river valleys in Greece. Unlike the Nile, Tigris/Euphrates, Indus, Yangzte, etc which could sustain large populations.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,379
Australia
We might be better suited to talk about Chinese influences on the Greeks' first empire? The Eastern civilization outdate the western, even middle eastern, civilization by a wide margin. The Sumerians wrote about influences coming from the East
East of Sumeria ..... not the east of the Asian continent. Could have been Elam or its predecessor .