Should Greece be considered a cradle of civilisation?

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Satuf

Ad Honorem
Nov 2009
3,471
Nebraska
Thessalonian argues it should. Along with Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China.

Is it old enough?

Discuss.
 

Psellos

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
2,666
the Polis
Thanks for your contribution guys. LoG's one is missing and we'll have a full view on this issue.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
Greece is definitely not the cradle of civilization in general, since there are some older civilizations, such as Sumerian, Indus Valley Civilization, and Egypt.

But it can be argued that Greece is the cradle of Western civilization. What makes Western civilization, the civilization of Europe and some of its former colonies (like the US), distinctive from Indian and Chinese civilizations, has its origns in Greece, at least for secular matters. (In religious areas, the West is indebted to the Hebrews).
 

Lord_of_Gauda

Ad Honorem
Nov 2009
8,402
Canada
Greece is definitely not the cradle of civilization in general, since there are some older civilizations, such as Sumerian, Indus Valley Civilization, and Egypt.

But it can be argued that Greece is the cradle of Western civilization. What makes Western civilization, the civilization of Europe and some of its former colonies (like the US), distinctive from Indian and Chinese civilizations, has its origns in Greece, at least for secular matters. (In religious areas, the West is indebted to the Hebrews).
I disagree- I think Europe till 1400s had a history that is largely no different from rest of the civilized world. What begins western civilization's divergence from rest of the world (and secular thought was a huge part of it) is the adoption of printing press en-masse, that made communication of thought and the historicity of thought commonplace, crossing class & economic boundaries.
Without printing press, there is no protestant reformation (since there wouldn't be enough people with a bible to figure out the con-job that the Catholic church was feeding them for over a millenia), there would be no accelerated scientific progress, there would be no serious development of various schools of philosophy. What makes us different from the rest of the world is the profusion of literature from 1300s/1400s onwards, which was accessed by virtually all classes in the western societies.

Greece, like Rome, Egypt, Byzantium, Mesopotamia, etc. were steps along the way that made incremental contributions to the end product, but none made such a decisive and unique contribution to be the 'genesis' of western civilization- which lies at the latter stages of middle age period.
 
May 2011
363
Sweden
I have to agree that Greece is really only the cradle of Western civilisation, if that. If any nation could claim to be the cradle of overall civilisation, it would be Egypt. 3000 BC, Egypt was a united nation, which was something quite unique at that time. Unlike Greece, Egypt was one nation, not a bunch of city states. However, Egyptian civilisation existed as early as 6,000 BC. What were the Greeks up to around 6,000 BC? Proof of a great civilisation is great architecture, and the pyramids were built around 2,500 BC. What were the Greeks up to around 2,500 BC? Anyhow, Greece is certainly a cradle of civilisation, but not the cradle of civilisation.
 

Guaporense

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
Civilization in Greece emerged after the emergence of civilization in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Agriculture and nucleated settlements were transmitted to Greece by the fertile crescent area. However I think it is possible that the Greeks invented writing and cities endogenously.

However, the ideals of freedom, individualism and democratic forms of government emerged first in their "mature" forms in Greece. These ideals constitute the difference between western civilization, strictu sensu, and all other civilizations. These ideals emerged from the competition between Greek city states. Western civilization is based on city states and the ideas of nationalism, rule of law, citizenship, first developed in relationship with city states and later were expanded to macro states.
 
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