Which ancient civilisation had a bigger impact on the world: Ancient Greece or the Romans

More influential ancient civilisation?

  • Greece

    Votes: 15 46.9%
  • Rome

    Votes: 17 53.1%

  • Total voters
    32
Dec 2011
2,061
#31
A lot of Greek science actually originated in Mesopotamia. For example, the Pythagorus theorem we learn in school was discovered 1000 years before his birth in Mesopotamia.
I was specifically talking about philosophy. You have given one example of science/mathematics; that still doesn't show to me that the Greek science was heavily influenced by Egyptian, or Mesopotamian.

why the ''world'' why not the universe rather infact greco romeo euro empires need a multiverse comparison.
Please inform us what influences the Greeks or Romans have had on the Universe and multiverses.
 
Last edited:

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,819
Sydney
#32
The Greeks recognized the superior astronomy of the Egyptian ,
while , righlty ,considering their geometry rather poor

Babylon had good mathematics and astronomy ,

there is no evidence Pythagoras didn't invent his theorem , he had a geometrical demonstration and a great body of work behind him
the theorem fit into this progression , Babylonian geometry derived from a quite different view of object

their mathematics were quite superior to anything until the renaissance and the Greeks were miserable mathematicians
so obviously they didn't get much light from there
it's not because someone had discovered something that it imply this knowledge was transmitted
 
Mar 2018
591
UK
#33
The important thing about Pythagoras' work on his namesake theorem, isn't the knowledge that a^2 + b^2 = c^2. It's the fact that he had a rigorous mathematical proof for it. As far as I'm aware, the Greeks were the first to think of mathematics in terms of logically rigorous proofs. Before that, the Egyptians/Babylonians/etc... just took mathematical results as something true, that worked, and applied it.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,819
Sydney
#34
Pythagoras proof was geometrical not mathematical , Greeks didn't have mathematics , only rather scrawny arithmetic
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,819
Sydney
#36
The Greeks were struggling with negative numbers , powers beyond the cube were not considered
like their intellectual sons the Romans true mathematics were quite foreign to them
Arithmetic was all they managed to handle
 
Mar 2018
591
UK
#37
I don't know what your background in mathematics is: but it is strange that you consider number theory superior to geometry, or that only the polynomials of scalar fields are "real" mathematics. That is certainly not the opinion of the mathematicians I know. Would you like me to do a straw poll in my institute to see what other mathematicians think?

Euclid's Elements is considered one of the great works of mathematics in history. Why? Because Geometry is one of the most fundamental branches of maths, and because of the simplicity and elegance of the proofs there in. The one concept that unifies mathematics and is almost completely absent from any other field is the idea of a proof. That is, demonstrating by a succession of indisputable logical step, from a set of axioms, that a proposition is true. That is a Greek invention.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,426
Crows nest
#38
Here are a few papers with some works cited.

I personally never knew of it this until my past class Western Philosophy when my professor suggested that Greek Philosophy was heavily influenced by African.

Does Western Philosophy Have Egyptian Roots? | Issue 128 | Philosophy Now

https://philarchive.org/archive/ANATAO-2 ( a good summary with many cited sources)
To add to this, and show that Egyptian philosophy went beyond discussing the nature of The One and the Many , we need to look at the texts collectively known as the "Books of the Dead", and variants thereof. These are often overlooked as being nothing more than a highly superstitious road map of how to traverse the Duat, yet they address fundamental aspects of human nature and can be seen as the first works on psychology. They suffer, as does much about ancient Egypt, from being ignored because images of men with the heads of snakes or two heads facing opposite directions, and a multitude of various other "daemons" is not seen as worthy of consideration beyond being seen as colourful "cartoons in a tomb" for tourists to gawk at.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,638
#39
The important thing about Pythagoras' work on his namesake theorem, isn't the knowledge that a^2 + b^2 = c^2. It's the fact that he had a rigorous mathematical proof for it. As far as I'm aware, the Greeks were the first to think of mathematics in terms of logically rigorous proofs. Before that, the Egyptians/Babylonians/etc... just took mathematical results as something true, that worked, and applied it.
What do you mean, exactly? “Just took mathematical results as something true”

Do you mean that they didn’t use mathematical equations?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,426
Crows nest
#40
Here are two examples of this ignorance in action. Both are taken from White Athena by Walter Slack. Note that I am not making a commentary on the reason for his work, which I agree with, only on a less than complete understanding of ancient Egypt which is, unfortunately, widespread.

The first example is taken from the chapter "The Memphite Theology", page 350, in which he actually agrees with Afrocentrist George James about what he calls "The Book of the Dead", and I quote :

Even George James was ready to proclaim that the Book of the Dead contained only magical spells and prayers "intended to direct the fate of the departed soul" (SL:134). If such be the contentions of that book, one has to wonder just how James could then claim that Plato had pilfered so much of his philosophy from it!
SL refers to James's book Stolen Legacy.

So here both James and Slack are condemned equally in their ignorance. That only "The Book of the Dead" is referred to is a cause for a red light as this is an overarching term for a collection of texts never given a name by the Egyptians themselves, or at least not yet discerned by us, and not one of the specific texts is named. This is sloppy, and that Slack agrees with James shows that he also does not understand what is going on in these texts other than what he has read in Budge, yes, Budge!. Hornung & Abt's Knowledge for the Afterlife was published in 2003, so there is no reason to use Budge for a translation and interpretation of, in this case, the Amduat. But, Budge published many works and, for some reason, are still in print when they have long been surpassed. James has more of an excuse as he published long before Hornung & Abt, but other works were available to him, such as by Siegfried Morenz, Slack has no excuse, no matter that I agree with his purpose, to quote Budge and not educate himself better about the "Book of the Dead".

The second example is taken from the chapter, "Plato, Aristotle and the Egyptian Doctrine of the Soul" where Slack criticizes James for saying that Aristotle has plagiarized the "Judgement of Osiris". I'm not going to discuss the precise details of Slack's argument against James as it is in fact irrelevant to the point I am making, which is that Slack has himself not understood the nature of the tomb scenes of the judgement. He is basically saying that what we see is inanimate and simply the grand finale of a long set of prayers and spells and that the judgement is in fact "false," as it is magically preordained that the deceased always passes judgement. He cites the silence of Osiris and any of the 42 judges, or any of the other gods in the scene, as evidence that this is all a sham. He could not be more wrong in his, or rather, his retelling of Budge's account of what is happening.

In the tomb we see scenes of what the tomb owner wants to occur in the afterlife, of what he does, who he is with and what goods he has with him. This is both wish fulfillment and magic, for they really believed that if it were painted on the tomb walls, then it would magically come to pass, even to the extent that the figures on the walls would come to life and walk about. It's interesting then that while they magically preordain what their existence in the afterlife will be like, they never preordain the result of their judgement. The reason the judgement scenes are "inanimate" is that the deceased cannot judge themselves, which is what they would be magically doing if they had the result depicted. Osiris and the 42 judges are silent because the tomb owner cannot put words into their mouths on this matter, it is why the scales are always depicted in balance, not tilted one way or the other. Obviously nobody is going to show their heart weighing more than the feather of Ma'at, but conversely they cannot show the desired result of their heart weighing less than the feather, for this would be presumptuous of them in judging themselves, something that would in fact tilt the scales against them, so the scales are neutral and the entire scene shows the beginning of the process of judgement, not the end result. No words are spoken as the judgement has not yet begun. No matter what magical happy scenes of the afterlife have been painted in the tomb, none of it will come to pass if they fail judgement, and that is in the hands of Ma'at, not the tomb owner wishing something to be so by having it painted.

So Slack is right to take issue with the likes of James and others, but while James has got the wrong end of the stick about ancient Egypt and has given to them that which they did not have, so to has Slack in taking away from them that which they did have, both of them from a position of ignorance.