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Old 01-30-2019, 12:18 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Maybe the peak of Islamic civilization is underrated? They preserved knowledge of math and science that had been lost to Europe. That fact seems to be overlooked, or under-appreciated.

Also the desert civilizations created by ancient "Westerners" in the Tarim Basin of what is now western China, north of Tibet. The Tocharians were a remarkable people, who built huge waterworks to channel spring snowmelt from the mountains into the desert, to create oases. They adopted Buddhism early on, and were instrumental in spreading Buddhism from India into China, through their skill as translators of Indian Buddhist texts. Their oasis kingdoms thrived via the Silk Road trade route, which they controlled as it passed through their territory.

After being chased out of the area by the Huns, they founded the Kushan Empire, which covered most of northern India, Pakistan, and part of Afghanistan, further spreading and strengthening Buddhism throughout the area. Before migrating south into the Tarim Basin/Taklamakan Desert, they built astronomic observatories in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, on the Chinese border, and brought horseback riding and wheeled vehicles into the area, where those had been unknown. They're believed to have been the first to engage in bronze-making in China, and brought the wheel to China.

This narrative of early "Western" culture in the East is little-known in the West.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushan_Empire

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 01-30-2019 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:26 PM
 
Location: San Jose
1,654 posts, read 511,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
You do know that the Normans who conquered Britain were Viking stock? Norman is a contraction of Norseman. That area of France had previously been invaded and the Vikings intermarried..
They had mixed Viking and Frankish ancestry but were completely Gallic in culture, religion and customs. I am of the opinion that the Norse genetic influence in Normandy has been historically overstated. Had the Norse settled there in great numbers we would see old Germanic DNA marks all over the region and we don't.
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:31 PM
 
3,545 posts, read 2,254,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Maybe the peak of Islamic civilization is underrated? They preserved knowledge of math and science that had been lost to Europe. That fact seems to be overlooked, or under-appreciated.
Arabs did more than preserve. For example, Al-Khwarizmi arguably invented algebra. Indian contributions to math and astronomy are also underappreciated.
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,136 posts, read 1,700,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
You do know that the Normans who conquered Britain were Viking stock? Norman is a contraction of Norseman. That area of France had previously been invaded and the Vikings intermarried..
I think the OP is going to get more and more unhappy that he picked that example.

But keep in mind, as context, that the Vikings didn't come from nowhere and then disappear, as some kind of passing carnival of barbarians. They came from the tribes of the Russian steppes and formed a good part of northern European cultures after that. So impact and "rating" can come from more than short periods of cultural identity.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:32 PM
 
Location: San Jose
1,654 posts, read 511,299 times
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Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
I think the OP is going to get more and more unhappy that he picked that example.
Hardly, The Normans are far more a byproduct of Gallic culture and heritage then Norse culture and heritage. Any claim otherwise would be difficult to make.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
But keep in mind, as context, that the Vikings didn't come from nowhere and then disappear, as some kind of passing carnival of barbarians. They came from the tribes of the Russian steppes and formed a good part of northern European cultures after that. So impact and "rating" can come from more than short periods of cultural identity.
The Vikings ancestors would be some of those who formed the Hansa cities. The Hansa did far more to shape northern European culture and heritage then the Vikings ever did. The Hansa built great cities, had great architecture, spread and unified elements of northern culture throughout the Baltic which remain to this day. So why are the obsession with Vikings when the Hansa were culturally richer, more interesting and far more important?

The Hansa was Europe at its best, the Vikings at its worst.

I would say the Hansa is a deeply underrated Civilization and historical period.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:52 PM
 
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overrated: American Indians.
underrated: the Sea Peoples.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Peoples
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:26 AM
 
709 posts, read 1,368,113 times
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This is a hard question to answer with any accuracy, unless you have spent a decent amount of time investigating many different cultures covering immense periods of time.

I actually have the opposite effect with the Vikings. I never thought much of them during my teenage years, thinking they just did a few raids throughout history on the people around them. It sounded interesting, but I never knew they sacked Paris, settled Normandy, and settled and controlled part of England known as the Danelaw.

These are what have seemed underrated/overrated to me.

Underrated: Akkadian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Byzantine Empire, Islamic Golden Age, Indian contributions to math

I think history itself if largely underrated, so I'd be hard-pressed to list things as overrated. You hear about the Renaissance nonstop, but other periods were just as interesting.. Living in the U.S., I guess the American Revolution and Civil War are not really that important in a global context.
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:59 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,274 posts, read 10,346,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
This is a hard question to answer with any accuracy, unless you have spent a decent amount of time investigating many different cultures covering immense periods of time.

I actually have the opposite effect with the Vikings. I never thought much of them during my teenage years, thinking they just did a few raids throughout history on the people around them. It sounded interesting, but I never knew they sacked Paris, settled Normandy, and settled and controlled part of England known as the Danelaw.

These are what have seemed underrated/overrated to me.

Underrated: Akkadian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Byzantine Empire, Islamic Golden Age, Indian contributions to math

I think history itself if largely underrated, so I'd be hard-pressed to list things as overrated. You hear about the Renaissance nonstop, but other periods were just as interesting.. Living in the U.S., I guess the American Revolution and Civil War are not really that important in a global context.
These kinds of questions are more for fun than for answering "accurately".

Just for fun then ...

I like your list.

But just a quibble: my understanding is that the Sumerians, who predate the Akkadians/Babylonians, are credited by modern scholars with developing the 60-based math system which we still use today to do such things as measure time, e.g. 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and multiples of 60, up to the year (in contemporary financial markets, some bond mathematics are still based on a 360-day year) and so on.

In short, the ancients combined mathematics and astronomy to help them manage their water systems, crucial to agriculture.

The US Civil War is important in the global context because it ensured that industrialization, of both agriculture and manufacturing, would spread across an entire continent based on mechanized land transport, i.e. railroad and then motor vehicles, in a context of free-market economy and elected government.

This was an unprecedented achievement in human history when in the previous 12,000 years or so almost everything was done painstakingly by hand and, when transported, mainly by sea at great risk and land transport was very, very slow and very expensive (ask the western Romans as they expanded and tried to maintain their rule in what later became central and western Europe) in the context of mostly command economy and brutish military government (ask the Venezuelans).

Last edited by bale002; 01-31-2019 at 05:17 AM..
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:20 AM
 
Location: rural south west UK
3,368 posts, read 1,889,079 times
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all civilisations are overrated and all will collapse when their populations grow too large.

Last edited by bigpaul; 01-31-2019 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:29 AM
 
Location: London
3,982 posts, read 3,438,347 times
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The Viking longboat was a superbly engineered design. They crossed the Atlantic in them.

Peel Castle in the Isle of Man. We would take part in organised children's games inside. 100% designed and built by Vikings.



Wikipedia
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