Which empire had the greatest cultural and social impact on its conquered lands?

Which empire had the greatest cultural and social impact on its conquered lands?


  • Total voters
    62
Oct 2016
1,051
Merryland
#11
not sure how much Roman influence extended beyond the elites and their larger cities.
interesting how cricket and hockey are so popular in ex-colonies (and football)

switch; what empire was most influenced by its colonies? London today is a great place to get a curry
 
Aug 2009
5,184
Londinium
#12
not sure how much Roman influence extended beyond the elites and their larger cities.
interesting how cricket and hockey are so popular in ex-colonies (and football)

switch; what empire was most influenced by its colonies? London today is a great place to get a curry
How about the Greek influence on Rome? Or Egyptian economic and agricultural impact on Rome?

(stay away from Brick Lane if you come to London, PM me and I'll let you know where some good curry can be had :) )
 
Dec 2018
53
Cheyenne
#13
Rome. Says it all when Westerners were known as Roman's for centuries after its collapse.

Yeah there were alot of hellenic influences Roman society that often gets overstated by Grecophiles but Rome was it's own entity and far more influential.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,691
SoCal
#17
I can, with some imagination and large margins of error, guess what India would be like had the British never colonised it. I'm drawing a complete blank trying to picture what France/Gaul or Spain/Hispania would look like now (or even in 500AD) without the Romans. It doesn't even make sense to talk about such a thing as Gaul in this scenario.

Sure, the Brits had a large influence, but I don't see how it even compares. This is enirely unsurprising, the Romans had an empire for a hell of a lot longer, and (in many areas) had less local culture to displace in order to impose there own. But honestly, in 500 AD, the Gauls owed their entire language, art, religion and societal organisation to the Romans. There is very little of the prior Gaulish-Celtic culture left to point at. In 2019 AD, the Indians owe one of their languages, their unification and some infrastructure to the British. But the religions haven't changed, the old languages are still there, remnants of the caste system are present, and the art is completely different to the UK. I don't see how the two cases are even in the same ballpark.

What might be in the same ballpark is the influence the Brits had on the US or Australia. That's the level of change and influence we're talking about. But most of the size/growth of the USA happened after the British left (and is therefore can only be partly attributed to them) and Australia was always a very minor part of the Empire. The British generally kept some local structure present and ruled from above while collecting some of the wealth and lightly spreading British cultures and inventions. The Romans had the time to, in the vast majority of their territories, make them thoroughly Roman. I'd even say that the Romans did a better job of Romanising North Africa, than the English did in Wales.
What helped in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is that a lot of their population came from either Britain or closely related countries (Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia). Thus, these people were able and willing to recreate the developments in their home country in their new homelands.

As for the Romans, it did spread Christianity to the areas that it conquered, but in terms of spreading language, it was less successful. Romance languages nowadays are only spoken in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Romania, and Moldova. The rest of the formerly Roman lands don't speak Romance languages.
 
Aug 2012
1,519
#20
I'm not sure, but didn't the Chinese pioneer the idea of a meritocratic government? I remember reading that politicians were required to take examinations to prove their acumen before being given the job. If that's how it was, that's a Hell of a strong legacy to leave behind. Also, they created a primordial printing press, which of course went on to change the course of history in the European continent.
 

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