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What Is The Greatest Ancient Civilization?

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What is the greatest ancient civilization?  

370 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the greatest ancient civilization?

    • Greece
      178
    • Carthage
      3
    • Rome
      65
    • Mongol
      5
    • Babylon
      3
    • Egypt
      7
    • Asyria
      0
    • Persia
      5
    • Phoenicia
      3
    • Chinese
      14


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The Phoenocians were clearly the greatest of the ancient civilizations.

They invented the alphabet, were the greatest traders of the ancient world, invented transparent glass, they built the largest ships of the era, and more or less invented navigation (discovering the usefulmess of teh North Star) in order to make more money from trading.

Pythagoras and Mochios of Sidon (discoverer of the atom) were noted Phoenicians.

Carthage, another great civilization, was a colony of Phoenicia.

These guys were the greatest businessmen of antiquity, and were more or less capitalists nearly 2000 years prior to the industrial revolution.

If the test is simple military prowess, no one is even close to Ghengis Khan and his Mongols, but if the test is a capitalistic ethos many centuries before anyone else even came close - then their is only one possible candidate. The collectivist Greeks arent even close.

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It is interesting that the answer to this question has depended on what the person answering the question particularly values (or what they were taught to value when looking at history). Some pick the biggest (Mongol) or longest lasting empire (Egypt) or some mix of the two (Rome was both big and long-lasting); some go after a philosophy most like ours in the ancient world (Greece) or scientific advance (again Greece) and now we have someone selecting the best traders of antiquity (Phoenicia).

(Apparently Pythagoras was not Phoenician, by the way, and most credit Democritus and Leucippus for the first atomic theory. Moschus, on the other hand, actually was a Phoenician, allegedly pre-Trojan War, but very few people today think that he was the creator of the atomic hypothesis. Newton did, based on Posidonus and Strabo's statements, but those are so far after the fact that it may be legend. Of course Newton also thought Moschus was Moses.)

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Pythagoras was born in Samos, but was born to a Phoenician mechant who had moved to Samos.

Pythagoras's father, Mnesarchus was a merchant who came from Tyre, and there is a story that he brought corn to Samos at a time of famine and was granted citizenship of Samos as a mark of gratitude. As a child Pythagoras spent his early years in Samos but travelled widely with his father. There are accounts of Mnesarchus returning to Tyre with Pythagoras and that he was taught there by the Chaldaeans and the learned men of Phoenicia and was initiated into the 'Ancient Mysteries' of the Phoenicians c. 548 B.C. and studied for about 3 years in the temples of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos.

As to doubts about Moschus, records are scarce, but according to Strabo, Moshus of Sidon was the originator of ancient atomism. As no earlier claims exist, the only argument against Moschus having originated atomism is that records of that era are scarce. Seems to me that there exists a strong case for Moschus.

As for the argument that Greeks of antiquity had a "philosophy like ours" I would disagree. Greeks were collectivists. Aristotle was an exception, but the rule was collectivism and a warlike tribalism based on the city-state. The individual was NOTHING in ancient Greek society, only the collective had importance.

The Phoenicians, on the other hand were an enterpreneurial nation that valued achievement, profit, mathematics, and exploration - and they turned all of that into generation of capitalistic profits.

Ancient Phoenicians undeniably exemplified a philosophy closer to objectivism and capitalism than did any of the other listed ancient societies.

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I actually voted for the Phoenicians on the trader principle a few years ago on this same thread. However after re-reading Isabel Paterson's "God of the Machine", and then researching about probably landing of Phoenicians in the Americas, I changed my mind.

I now simply refuse to vote for civilizations that don't overlap during time. Ancient Egypt is prior to Greece and Carthage, and then all three were subdued by Rome. And just as the concept of Rome didn't exist at the time of the Great Pyramids (and birth of Philosophy), the concept of America didn't quiet during Rome's time, other than through the soon to be self-fulfilling prophecy of Atlantis.

This thread has turned into a nice Historic trivia discussion place though!

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What was it about Isabel Patterson's writings or the possibility that the Phoenicians landed in the new world that made you change your mind? I am not as familiar with Patterson's philosophocal writings as I could be, so perhaps I am being obtuse.

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What was it about Isabel Patterson's writings or the possibility that the Phoenicians landed in the new world that made you change your mind? I am not as familiar with Patterson's philosophocal writings as I could be, so perhaps I am being obtuse.

It was her retelling of the History, not Philosophy, of the Ancient Mediterranean in "The God of the Machine". You can check this using about any source. Before discovering Paterson I used to love George Duby. Basically the Phoenicians-Carthaginians, founded many trading outposts, Carthage being one, but they never consolidated a decent or just legal system that would appeal to their inland neighbors. Even at the peak of Carthage, its closest neighbors, the Numidians, were just military and trading allies, but never a political entity WITH Carthage. That was Rome's modus operandi, and that, not a few decisive battles, was what sealed its victorious fate.

The Phoenicians founded Cathage about the same time the Greeks planted colonies in Sicily and Southern Italy, even Massilia (Marseillles). But the Phoenicians-Carthaginians reached further West, planting a colony in the Westernmost stretch of the Med, close to "The Pillars of Hercules", the gate that separates the "Sea" from the "Ocean". That city-port was Gades and is now Cadiz.

From that moment on the Carthaginians explored and traded along the (Atlantic) Ocean but kept it a secret or a monopoly.

A lot is known about Greek Pytheas' of Massillia trip to the Atlantic shores of Europe, but very little is known about Hanno's periplus.

As Isabel Paterson put it "an ocean can't be monopolized" (sic)

Some would say that history is written by the winners. I sometimes think there's a reason for the winners winning.

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It was her retelling of the History, not Philosophy, of the Ancient Mediterranean in "The God of the Machine". You can check this using about any source. Before discovering Paterson I used to love George Duby. Basically the Phoenicians-Carthaginians, founded many trading outposts, Carthage being one, but they never consolidated a decent or just legal system that would appeal to their inland neighbors. Even at the peak of Carthage, its closest neighbors, the Numidians, were just military and trading allies, but never a political entity WITH Carthage. That was Rome's modus operandi, and that, not a few decisive battles, was what sealed its victorious fate.

The Phoenicians founded Cathage about the same time the Greeks planted colonies in Sicily and Southern Italy, even Massilia (Marseillles). But the Phoenicians-Carthaginians reached further West, planting a colony in the Westernmost stretch of the Med, close to "The Pillars of Hercules", the gate that separates the "Sea" from the "Ocean". That city-port was Gades and is now Cadiz.

From that moment on the Carthaginians explored and traded along the (Atlantic) Ocean but kept it a secret or a monopoly.

A lot is known about Greek Pytheas' of Massillia trip to the Atlantic shores of Europe, but very little is known about Hanno's periplus.

As Isabel Paterson put it "an ocean can't be monopolized" (sic)

Some would say that history is written by the winners. I sometimes think there's a reason for the winners winning.

I dont know that the Romans were in any way superior to Carthage, the Romans were a militaristic, hyperorganized society, while the Phoenicans were enterpreneurial and comparitively individualistic. There was really only one family in all of Carthage that was interested in military matters, the Barcas, and Hamilcar Barca conquered Spain in order to have a place tp raise an army with which to destroy the evil Romans - a dream which his som Hannibal nearly achieved.

It could have turned out either way, Hannibal's Carthaginians ransacked Italy for YEARS and beat EVERY army the Romans sent against them. The Phoenicians were NEARLY as good at military affais as the warlike Romans, and war was not even the Phoenician's area of greatness.

Phoenicians were in many senses, the first Capitalists.

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I dont know that the Romans were in any way superior to Carthage, the Romans were a militaristic, hyperorganized society, while the Phoenicans were enterpreneurial and comparitively individualistic. There was really only one family in all of Carthage that was interested in military matters, the Barcas, and Hamilcar Barca conquered Spain in order to have a place tp raise an army with which to destroy the evil Romans - a dream which his som Hannibal nearly achieved.

It could have turned out either way, Hannibal's Carthaginians ransacked Italy for YEARS and beat EVERY army the Romans sent against them. The Phoenicians were NEARLY as good at military affais as the warlike Romans, and war was not even the Phoenician's area of greatness.

Phoenicians were in many senses, the first Capitalists.

And four years ago I would have agreed.

Before debunking what I perceive as inaccuracies, let me give a long disclaimer that the conflict between Phoenicia and Greece, or of Carthage and Rome, gives a new dimension to the old saying "history is written by the winners".

In this case the competing "teams" belonged to two very different groups. Unlike Athens vs Sparta, or even, even Greece vs Persia, the peoples involved in the Punic Wars belong to linguistically and genetically different groups that would naturally compete to the other's extermination or absolute absorption. Roman victory temporarily incorporated both cultures and peoples under one political entity but after its destruction the languages and peoples retained their different identities - to this day.

Sparta and Athens were both Greeks. Greeks and Persians, as different as they thought they were, they were still both Indo-Aryan or Indo-European peoples who shared some referential point of origin in the Sanskrit language and the mounted warriors coming from the (North) East. Alexander's quest, and the resulting Hellenic Civilization only further proves the possibility of Persia and Greece belonging to the same human group. Linguistics proves it a lot more easily, take the word Father, Sanskrit Pitar, Greek Pateras, Latin Pater, (Grimm's Law P->V), German Vater, English Father.

Phoenicians and Carthaginians (or Punic) share a different origin, one that did not originate in Northern India, but most likely in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Camito-Semitic (Hammitic-Shemitic) or Afro-Asiatic languages such as old Aramaic, Phoenician, Hebrew, and modern Arab, Hebrew, Tuareg, Chadian, Hausa (once a sahel empire, now a prominent North Nigerian tribe), Tigray, Somali.

Let's explore the word and the use of the word "Lord" or "Ba'al"

Ba'al was the traditional Semitic name given to the Gods. Baal Hammon in Carthage for instance required the ritual sacrifice of children to quench its thirst of blood and bring about peace much like in William Golding's story "Lord of the Flies" (Baal Buzeh, Beelbuzeh). This was practiced in Carthage well after it was banned in Phoenicia. The Romans exacerbated the rumors and information about this practice for propaganda purposes. Who knows, maybe that's the origin of Gentiles' delusions of Jewish Blood Ritual.

When Judaism began, when one people, one god, was declared for the Israelites, the word Baal became a reference to idols, or other tribe's (gentiles') gods, and therefore acquired a very negative, sinful connotation - while the "true" name of G'd was elevated into something humanly imperceptible. Other words were found for the use of Lord, such as Adonai. The Muslims obviously took after Jewish tradition and Baal of the(insert something) is always a daemon in Islam.

During the Roman Empire, after the defeat and incorporation of Carthage, the Cult of Ba'al was popular among the military as he was the Lord of War. Secretive rites seem to have surrounded the Cult of Baal which still probably required human sacrifice outside the battlefield.

Modern day Christian accusers of Freemansonry, as batshit as they may be, often correctly point out that Freemasons are required to accept the belief in an all-powerful and all-seeing one Lord. The Christian fundies might go too far by claiming that the Lord the Freemasons refer to is Baal, the Roman Lord of War.

Basically my disclaimer is that Carthage and Rome, or Greece and Phoenicia, were two very different linguistic and probably even genetic groups, and so the level of competition was and is too high to pretend to learn about the defeated by the accounts of the winners.

During my disclaimer I pointed out that the Carthaginians were very warlike and practiced ritual blood sacrifice not unlike the Aztecs. The Romans had their Vestal Virgins to sacrifice in turn, but it would seem that the numbers and proportions were dismally different in moral favor to the Romans. As for free traders, I was wrong when I assumed that 3-4 years ago. I know now that, by all surviving accounts, the Carthaginians raised a navy to exert a forceful monopoly over the waters they traded. Naturally and in any age a merchant fleet needs military escorts (take as an example America's first intervention war and the current situation in the straits of Hormuz). However while the Carthaginians protected the fleets that traveled the coasts,, the Romans conquered, developed and protected the coasts. It was precisely that "hyper-organization" which allowed them to triumph over Carthage, but sink by their own weigh centuries later.

Far from Capitalistic the Carthaginians practiced Mercantilism. It was only in a big enough city like Rome and well-coded republic, then empire, that small unregulated entrepreneurial activities more akin to modern Capitalism were able to appear and in some cases flourish. That hyper-organization and expansion, but only accompanied by the wisest legal system of the time, was what allowed space for unintended activities such as Capitalism to flourish. Greece would not allow that space and individual freedom began and ended in the mind, as a mental hobby that needed the entire Demos' approval to realize -physically. Not in the Roman Republic.

And militarily speaking it could not have turned either way . The Carthaginians, far from having an individualistic stance, punished defeated Generals with death, while Romans used more positive reinforcement (even when their homeland was being ransacked). That might be a reason why so many foreign and barbarian peoples allied with Rome rather than with Carthage. One offered several advantages, the other required tributes paid in children to sacrifice.

So it's difficult to compare these two "Civilizations" in a good part because they were not related and so they both naturally wanted the extermination of the other, but if I rephrase the question into which "people" or even political entity achieved a higher level of Civilization - even as defined by Ayn Rand as the liberation of man from men - it is Rome.

By the way, in the same way that Athens was superior in that respect to Jerusalem (or Tyre!)

Edited by volco

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And four years ago I would have agreed.

Before debunking what I perceive as inaccuracies, let me give a long disclaimer that the conflict between Phoenicia and Greece, or of Carthage and Rome, gives a new dimension to the old saying "history is written by the winners".

In this case the competing "teams" belonged to two very different groups. Unlike Athens vs Sparta, or even, even Greece vs Persia, the peoples involved in the Punic Wars belong to linguistically and genetically different groups that would naturally compete to the other's extermination or absolute absorption. Roman victory temporarily incorporated both cultures and peoples under one political entity but after its destruction the languages and peoples retained their different identities - to this day.

Sparta and Athens were both Greeks. Greeks and Persians, as different as they thought they were, they were still both Indo-Aryan or Indo-European peoples who shared some referential point of origin in the Sanskrit language and the mounted warriors coming from the (North) East. Alexander's quest, and the resulting Hellenic Civilization only further proves the possibility of Persia and Greece belonging to the same human group. Linguistics proves it a lot more easily, take the word Father, Sanskrit Pitar, Greek Pateras, Latin Pater, (Grimm's Law P->V), German Vater, English Father.

Phoenicians and Carthaginians (or Punic) share a different origin, one that did not originate in Northern India, but most likely in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Camito-Semitic (Hammitic-Shemitic) or Afro-Asiatic languages such as old Aramaic, Phoenician, Hebrew, and modern Arab, Hebrew, Tuareg, Chadian, Hausa (once a sahel empire, now a prominent North Nigerian tribe), Tigray, Somali.

Let's explore the word and the use of the word "Lord" or "Ba'al"

Ba'al was the traditional Semitic name given to the Gods. Baal Hammon in Carthage for instance required the ritual sacrifice of children to quench its thirst of blood and bring about peace much like in William Golding's story "Lord of the Flies" (Baal Buzeh, Beelbuzeh). This was practiced in Carthage well after it was banned in Phoenicia. The Romans exacerbated the rumors and information about this practice for propaganda purposes. Who knows, maybe that's the origin of Gentiles' delusions of Jewish Blood Ritual.

When Judaism began, when one people, one god, was declared for the Israelites, the word Baal became a reference to idols, or other tribe's (gentiles') gods, and therefore acquired a very negative, sinful connotation - while the "true" name of G'd was elevated into something humanly imperceptible. Other words were found for the use of Lord, such as Adonai. The Muslims obviously took after Jewish tradition and Baal of the(insert something) is always a daemon in Islam.

During the Roman Empire, after the defeat and incorporation of Carthage, the Cult of Ba'al was popular among the military as he was the Lord of War. Secretive rites seem to have surrounded the Cult of Baal which still probably required human sacrifice outside the battlefield.

Modern day Christian accusers of Freemansonry, as batshit as they may be, often correctly point out that Freemasons are required to accept the belief in an all-powerful and all-seeing one Lord. The Christian fundies might go too far by claiming that the Lord the Freemasons refer to is Baal, the Roman Lord of War.

Basically my disclaimer is that Carthage and Rome, or Greece and Phoenicia, were two very different linguistic and probably even genetic groups, and so the level of competition was and is too high to pretend to learn about the defeated by the accounts of the winners.

During my disclaimer I pointed out that the Carthaginians were very warlike and practiced ritual blood sacrifice not unlike the Aztecs. The Romans had their Vestal Virgins to sacrifice in turn, but it would seem that the numbers and proportions were dismally different in moral favor to the Romans. As for free traders, I was wrong when I assumed that 3-4 years ago. I know now that, by all surviving accounts, the Carthaginians raised a navy to exert a forceful monopoly over the waters they traded. Naturally and in any age a merchant fleet needs military escorts (take as an example America's first intervention war and the current situation in the straits of Hormuz). However while the Carthaginians protected the fleets that traveled the coasts,, the Romans conquered, developed and protected the coasts. It was precisely that "hyper-organization" which allowed them to triumph over Carthage, but sink by their own weigh centuries later.

Far from Capitalistic the Carthaginians practiced Mercantilism. It was only in a big enough city like Rome and well-coded republic, then empire, that small unregulated entrepreneurial activities more akin to modern Capitalism were able to appear and in some cases flourish. That hyper-organization and expansion, but only accompanied by the wisest legal system of the time, was what allowed space for unintended activities such as Capitalism to flourish. Greece would not allow that space and individual freedom began and ended in the mind, as a mental hobby that needed the entire Demos' approval to realize -physically. Not in the Roman Republic.

And militarily speaking it could not have turned either way . The Carthaginians, far from having an individualistic stance, punished defeated Generals with death, while Romans used more positive reinforcement (even when their homeland was being ransacked). That might be a reason why so many foreign and barbarian peoples allied with Rome rather than with Carthage. One offered several advantages, the other required tributes paid in children to sacrifice.

So it's difficult to compare these two "Civilizations" in a good part because they were not related and so they both naturally wanted the extermination of the other, but if I rephrase the question into which "people" or even political entity achieved a higher level of Civilization - even as defined by Ayn Rand as the liberation of man from men - it is Rome.

By the way, in the same way that Athens was superior in that respect to Jerusalem (or Tyre!)

While you are clearly well read and educated, I couldn't disagree more with your conclusions. You state that the Phoenicians engaged in mercantilism and that Rome was more capitalistic, gratuitous assertions that seems to me to be without merit. Phoenicians were capitalistic traders and producers, engaged in import/export production, and private individuals were able to enter into trade and production - THAT is capitalism. Was it perfect lassez faire? Probably not, through the mists of time its really hard to get an accurate picture.

I can provide a few dozen links and sources for my conclusion that Phoenicians were capitalistic. I have never before encountered any claims that Rome was capitalistic empire.

You list some of the (reported) abuses of Carthaginian religion, while leaving out well documented and undisputed Roman atrocities - possibly the fact that Roman atrocities were often committed for entertainment value rather that superstition holds some sway with you, but I find torture, murder, and abuse to be reprehensible whether for religion or entertainment.

Militarily it clearly could have gone either way. Hannibal won every battle he ever fought in Rome. His greatest battle was the battle of Cannae, where according to Polybius about 76,000 Romans were killed and another 10,000 were captured by a Carthiginian army of fewer than 50,000. Rome was in dissaray and despair - to their credit, Rome "manned up" and recovered (thanks in large part to Scipio, who learned how to fight from watching Hannibal's tactics.

"Never before, while the City itself was still safe, had there been such excitement and panic within its walls. I shall not attempt to describe it, nor will I weaken the reality by going into details... it was not wound upon wound but multiplied disaster that was now announced. For according to the reports two consular armies and two consuls were lost; there was no longer any Roman camp, any general, any single soldier in existence; Apulia, Samnium, almost the whole of Italy lay at Hannibal's feet. Certainly there is no other nation that would not have succumbed beneath such a weight of calamity." -Livy on the Roman defeat at Cannea

After the Battle of Cannae, Hanibal collected hundreds of gold rings from the bodies of fallen Roman nobles, and sent them to the Punic Sanate, where they were dumped onto the floor as proof of Hannibal's victory against the largest Roman Army ever seen. Had the Senate sent reinforcements, Rome would have fallen.. This was a close thing.

Characters as different as Karl Marx, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Moore and Lewis in their book, The Origins of Globalization all seem to agree with me that Phoenicia had a fundamentally capitalistic economy, so I feel its not out of line to ask for a source for your assertion that the Romans were the more capitalistic society.

It is great fun to be debating this with someone who has obviously studied the issue and has a differing view. I am enjoying myself immensely - looking forward to your response and I am learning from this exchange.

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Phoenicians were capitalistic traders and producers, engaged in import/export production, and private individuals were able to enter into trade and production - THAT is capitalism.

No, that's not Capitalism.

Capitalism starts with an objective system of laws aimed at protecting the rights of citizens. And Rome was the first government to have anything like that.

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You'll have to define "greatest" in order for me to attempt an answer.

I don't know about the OP, but I would define it as the civilization which facilitated the greatest leap towards individualism and human achievement.

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While you are clearly well read and educated, I couldn't disagree more with your conclusions. You state that the Phoenicians engaged in mercantilism and that Rome was more capitalistic, gratuitous assertions that seems to me to be without merit. Phoenicians were capitalistic traders and producers, engaged in import/export production, and private individuals were able to enter into trade and production - THAT is capitalism. Was it perfect lassez faire? Probably not, through the mists of time its really hard to get an accurate picture.

I can provide a few dozen links and sources for my conclusion that Phoenicians were capitalistic. I have never before encountered any claims that Rome was capitalistic empire.

You list some of the (reported) abuses of Carthaginian religion, while leaving out well documented and undisputed Roman atrocities - possibly the fact that Roman atrocities were often committed for entertainment value rather that superstition holds some sway with you, but I find torture, murder, and abuse to be reprehensible whether for religion or entertainment.

Militarily it clearly could have gone either way. Hannibal won every battle he ever fought in Rome. His greatest battle was the battle of Cannae, where according to Polybius about 76,000 Romans were killed and another 10,000 were captured by a Carthiginian army of fewer than 50,000. Rome was in dissaray and despair - to their credit, Rome "manned up" and recovered (thanks in large part to Scipio, who learned how to fight from watching Hannibal's tactics.

"Never before, while the City itself was still safe, had there been such excitement and panic within its walls. I shall not attempt to describe it, nor will I weaken the reality by going into details... it was not wound upon wound but multiplied disaster that was now announced. For according to the reports two consular armies and two consuls were lost; there was no longer any Roman camp, any general, any single soldier in existence; Apulia, Samnium, almost the whole of Italy lay at Hannibal's feet. Certainly there is no other nation that would not have succumbed beneath such a weight of calamity." -Livy on the Roman defeat at Cannea

After the Battle of Cannae, Hanibal collected hundreds of gold rings from the bodies of fallen Roman nobles, and sent them to the Punic Sanate, where they were dumped onto the floor as proof of Hannibal's victory against the largest Roman Army ever seen. Had the Senate sent reinforcements, Rome would have fallen.. This was a close thing.

Characters as different as Karl Marx, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Moore and Lewis in their book, The Origins of Globalization all seem to agree with me that Phoenicia had a fundamentally capitalistic economy, so I feel its not out of line to ask for a source for your assertion that the Romans were the more capitalistic society.

It is great fun to be debating this with someone who has obviously studied the issue and has a differing view. I am enjoying myself immensely - looking forward to your response and I am learning from this exchange.

It is indeed delightful to learn from this interchange. Remember I've already changed my mind once. As I pointed Isabel Paterson contributed to that re examination of history.

You have completely ignored my very extense disclaimer in which I conclude that it is specially difficult in this case to learn about the defeated from the accounts of the victors. It is my contention that Romans and Carthaginians belonged to what people used to call different races, and now we might call either cultures or civilizations, in a more markedly irreconcialiable way than Roman vs Greeks, vs Persians. More like Europe vs China. Parallel, hardly comparable.

East of Levante, in the westernmost part of Asia, Semitic and Aryan cultures (as defined by language, lore and genetics) intermix and interchange, fight, and mix. But west of the Holy Fertily Crescent an ominous sea parts the pangea into two conspicuous options, North and South.

Greek and Phoenician competition for the Mediterranean began an inevitable series of clashes between two different peoples and their ideas and logos (their alphabets, their gods). Genetics or language in itself is of no concern. The relevant issue is of identity. The conquered and assimilated barbarians of the West, when included, inserted in the civilized World, had to identify with either force. It would be ludicrous to believe that one is superior to the other, as it would be ludicrous to say that Pitar is a more appropriate word for one's male progenitor, than Aba.

To illustrate the intensity and ambiguity of the conflict between these two peoples I point not just to the Punic Wars, but also to the creation of Christianity and the propagation of the Jewish G-d throughout Europe's slaves, and of the Jewish concept of treasuring of minorities (although the leap from Minority to minorities is as tremendous as the leap from the Old to the New Testament). Also, take a look at the quote you used for your signature. The conflict continues with Islam and its contest for Europe, and the debate of the Islamic Golden Age vs the Rennaissance, and even WWII and the triumph of Pluralism over Elitism, and the present situation in Europe Arabia, and North Africa.

OIf course it's all very complicated and I'm not simpifying it by extending my disclaimer.

In contrast I can provide one very simple historic evidence of Rome's superiority over Carthage. People defected their own tribes to become Romans, they wanted to be Romans. Nobody wanted to be Carthaginian, certainly their Numidian neighbors didn't, no Berber did. They might have a reputation of traders, but they enforced it with blood, not with law.

The UNINTENDED consequences of the Roman legal Framework for Civilization, is what we mean by it being more Capitalistic.

to be continued

It is easier to discount the Chinese as a parallell

I am a product of both. I don't claim to stand

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when we talk about great ancient civilisations , how can we forget the indus valley or harappan civilisation? by far the oldest 4000bc-1500 bc. on the planet. the most ancient urban system that ever existed. 

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