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How would you order the Civ 5 civilizations in their historical importance order?

Discussion in 'World History' started by Genghis Khaiser, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    The space race has NO end date (so far).

    And the first human in space was Yuri Gagarin.

    As far as historical significance during the last 50 - 60 years goes, I would rate Japan high.

    But if we are taking into account the last 4000 years, then Japan is no match for China.
     
  2. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    So once again you are ignoring the fact that the Space Race was a contest between the US and USSR which was never at any time defined simply by getting a satellite into space, or a man into space, or indeed even a man on the Moon, but rather to generally (in a mutually opposed fashion) push the boundaries of spaceflight (to whatever degree; there was serious consideration of Venus/Mars missions) that ultimately ended due to economic considerations, in order to offer your own weird little definition wherein the space race ended with Yuri Gagarin yet is also still ongoing.

    Okay. Doesn't change that that is literally no one else in the world's definition of the Space Race.
     
  3. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    You guys did not write 1) "Space Race" with capital letters, but just 2) space race - initially.

    The difference between the two is like between 1) Oklahoma City and 2) city somewhere in Oklahoma.
     
  4. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    And now you're being a pedant about something very strongly implicit again, just like with "flight."
     
  5. Wrymouth3

    Wrymouth3 Emperor

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    Two Polish astronauts were talking about traveling to the sun. A mission control man said, "You can't do that! You'll burn up!" One of them said, "No we won't! We're going at night!" On a more serious note "Space Race" and "space race" can ultimately mean the same thing
     
  6. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    But that surely had to be before times of Mikołaj Kopernik and his heliocentric theory.
     
  7. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    ...still better than whatever the hell that mess of an original topic was supposed to be.

    Moderator Action: Infracted for trolling. If you don't like the thread, don't post in it. If you think the OP is misguided, give constructive criticism explaining why. This kind of dismissive post adds nothing to the conversation.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  8. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Nah, mang! Here, I'll make a list: USA #1 because USA #1...

    And I don't know about the others.
     
  9. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Ok you won the Space Race and you also won the Hamburger Race.

    Fast-food was actually known already to Ancient Romans, but who cares.

    ==============================

    Celts should be high because of their music: :p

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtW4Yc76pgs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiwuQ6UHMQg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_metal

    ===============================

    BTW - don't get me wrong I'm not underestimating the USA and its importance.

    But we should also not underestimate others, especially that history is more than just the last 150 years.

    IIRC, nobody mentioned so far, that the USA was very important in development of democracy and civil rights - but it was mostly implementing European ideas of the Enlightenment, which could not be implemented in Europe at that time due to strong position of various absolute monarchs and aristocrats.
     
  10. Olympian7

    Olympian7 Chieftain

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    Even though American culture was very influential in the 20th century (about 100 years), other civilizations such as Rome, Greece. Egypt, and China have been influential for thousands of years.
     
  11. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I don't disagree at all, but as I understand the thread question it's not "rank the civs by the relative impressiveness of their achievements" (which would also rank Portugal considerably higher, and if I'm honest England somewhat lower - sure, we achieved a lot, but in the context of a large-population [for Europe], large island with fortunate barriers to invasion, access to the temperate climate of the Gulf Stream, and a large amount of mineral wealth. There's a reason people repeatedly invaded it - you don't do that with mediocre land), or by the common metric "do you think the civ should be in the game", but "what was their historical contribution to the world".

    Were Polynesia's achievements impressive? Very much so. Should they be in Civ? I think adding them was a moment of genius - no, they're not a "civilization" and don't even have cities in their city lists (aside from Honolulu, which is American), but they are a very different kind of playable society (in principle, I'm actually a little underwhelmed by the civ in-game) and reflect a geography there's no other way to appropriately represent.

    However, if the question is "what was Polynesia's historical impact?", the answer is pretty much "killing James Cook".

    Sure, but we don't know who came up with several of those, and others (Sumer - writing, iron - Hittites) aren't in the game, and material that served the function of paper had multiple origins. This is another reason why this isn't really suitable as a "which civs should be in the game?" thread - there isn't an option for suggesting which civs should replace X, Y or Z in the list (You can't say "Babylon should be lower because Sumer is more significant" - for instance - when Sumer isn't in the game).

    Yes, that's very true. Quite often the Chinese versions were technologically stagnant - the Chinese had used printing for centuries before it reached Europe; within 50 years Europe had moveable type (not a particularly fair comparison - the Chinese alphabet isn't very amenable to that sort of technology because it's much more complex; the same reason Chinese is never likely to become the language of the internet even as China looks set to become the world's dominant power, as it requires an entire new simplified script). Gunpowder weapons also advanced far more, and more quickly, in Europe's more crowded, martial-focused states, and Europeans were the first to come up with the world-changing innovation of mounting cannon on ships. China nevertheless deserves the credit for pioneering this technology, just as the Greeks deserve credit for pioneering concepts that were later refined by Arabs.
     
  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Just work it out the way we always did, with a grand total of two cultures in the world:

    1. English
    2. Foreign

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdY1Y5XNJBY
     
  13. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    That should be:

    1. Ahmurikan
    2. funny-looking fereners

    :mad:
     
  14. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    That is pretty funny, how the words civilization already been apply in different usage like the modern nation state. While the two are at least for me different. Civilization doesn't have the things that nation state have which is a clear and strict border, from that point how the civilization work or early civilization is pretty much different with the modern nation state.
     
  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Civ has always treated the two as more or less equivalent, with most civs named for nation states. But that's not the defining feature - a civilization is an entity with some form of urbanisation and central government (we get words like "civil" and "civic" from the word "civilization"), and that exhibits technological and social progress over time - it's no accident that the game in all incarnations has been science-led and based around building, managing and expanding urban centres - and in all incarnations you are visualised as a named historical leader with central control of the empire (and such features as tax rate in pre-Civ V incarnations).

    This latter is probably why Civ games tend to focus on nation-states, as it's easy to identify the leader of state X (while the larger tribal agglomerations end up with strange mixes like a Hawaiian leader of a civ that includes Maori and Moai, or the travesty that is Boudicca and the Celts) - either these don't really have overarching leaders, or they don't have familiar leaders the audience can identify with, save in certain cases like the Zulu or the Huns.

    Civ itself is based originally on a board game whose win condition was "research to reach a particular era", again explaining why the dominance of science is hard-coded into the series; the game actions you could take along the way were: settling cities, combat, and trade. While socially simpler societies trade and fight, they don't build cities (by definition) or generally undertake structured research.
     
  16. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I would take it a step further and argue that "civilization" is a largely meaningless concept which is generally molded to fit the preconceptions of whosoever chooses to use the word.

    Either you define civilization too narrowly and unintentionally (or intentionally, in many cases) exclude a number of societies for arbitrary (usually Eurocentric or Eurasiocentric biases) reasons creating an incomplete and unsatisfactory image of human existence

    Or you paint your canvas too broadly and create an enormously reductionist, mostly pointless, rather self-evident picture.

    Just picking a civilization at (not quite) random opens a myriad questions.

    What the hell characterizes the "German" civilization? Does that refer to "Germany" just from the formation of the Deutsches Kaisserreich in 1871? In which case I would assume we would also include the Nazi Reich and current Bundesrepublik. But if we're doing that, what do we do with Alsace-Lorraine, Prussia, Sorbia, etc. Are they included? This definition falls apart immediately as one of the leaders for Germany (in CIV, anyway) was Frederick, who died just under a century before the formation of the Kaisserreich. Are we defining it by some nebulous concept of "Germany" as some geographical region occupying Central Europe? When do we define this? Do we include the Germanī? What about in more recent times? Do we include the Holy Roman Empire as some kind of cultural/spiritual ancestor to the modern concept of Germany? In which case, which parts do we include? Is Austria part of the "German" civilization? What about the various non-German ethnicities which fell under the German Habsburg Empire? Czechia, Hungary, Wallachia, Serbia, Slovenia, Veneto? What about the Poles? They held a not inconsiderable sway on the HRE for some time in the Medieval period, should they be included as well? Considering that the Kaisserreich held swaths of modern-day Poland, what parts should be considered part of the "Polish" civilization, and which the "German" civilization? What about the Franks, would they be part of Germany? At which point would they cease to be considered part of the "German" civilization and instead emerge as the wholly new "French" civilization? Of course all of this quibbling falls apart when you consider that the Holy Roman Empire was a civilization in CIV.

    Ok so literal geopolitical borders are out, and cultural geopolitical borders aren't exactly easily definable too. We could try linguistic borders, but, again, you're going to run into all sorts of trouble. You could start by saying "The German Civilization encompasses all German speaking peoples". Well that's nice, except German as anything even remotely approach a unified language didn't really emerge until the 18th century at the very earliest, and even that's a stretch. A lot of German linguistic historians tend to place the emergence of Modern German as we know it as beginning some time in the early 16th century, generally centering around the emergence of Martin Luther. Except if you place that as your standard all you have for your "German Civilization" is Saxony and its surrounding regions with more of Germany being encompassed as you go along. But you still run into problems. What do you do with Bayrisch and Österdeutsch and Sweizedeutsch. How do you deal with the fact that George I, King of Great Britain spoke German, and Frederick II, King of Prussia spoke French? What do you do with Alemannic and Saxon and Hochdeutsch and Urdeutsch and Rhenish Germanic and Frankish. When do you include and exclude the Dutch civilization. My point is this stuff is messy, even if you assume that France, Germany, Poland, Rome(?), Spain, Dutch (again, whatever this means), and Sweden all constitute separate civilizations, let alone that such a concept exists or existed in reality, which I certainly do not.

    And even all this is leaving aside measuring and ranking all these poorly defined and delineated "civilizations" on some kind of "historical influence-o-meter" as if influence is some kind of objective, quantifiable Thing.

    anyway
    tl;dr: lolcivilizations
     
  17. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    really interesting post Owen, but we can't avoid ourselves also to use the terms civilization, if we used it in wider scope it more easier than if we use it to point out something more narrow and specific, like how we use the terms "Western Civilization", "Islamic Civilization", "Hindu Civilization" or even "Human Civilization", but as you state if we use it in narrower and specific terms it becoming problematic, like as you gave an example "German Civilization" and you state many interesting things on your commentary above.

    Btw, by that explanation is it possible if we understand history by seeing these groups of... kingdom, sultanate, empire, as some sort of civilization? or it will make us confuse even more? And before we go down to that road we must try to define what is the definition of civilization, and it is quite hard to define what is civilization, definition from wikipedia regarding civilization also quite funny :

    "state polities which combine these basic institutions: a ceremonial centre (a formal gathering place for social and cultural activities), a system of writing, and a city."

    That definition do not fit with the terms "Western Civilization" or Ashis Nandy's "Hindu Civilization" or Marshall Hodgson "Islamic(ate) Civilization"

    So what is the meaning of alliance of civilization (concept that is constructed by Zappatero and Erdogan) or clash of civilization (Huntington) if the terms civilization itself still quite confusing and not clear. What is civilization? and since when this concept come out along with the concept of nation-state (as a product of colonialism). I thought this question is maybe important for the member of "Civilization Fanatic" forum.
     
  18. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Why not? :confused:
     
  19. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Some civilizations at times had many nations in them.
    Some nations seem to exist without any civilization.

    Take your pick :)
     
  20. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    It is easier to point out the history of the European continent as History of Western Civilization for example. Or it is easier to group Seljuk, Abbassid, Buyid, Fatimid, etc as Islamic Civilization for example. Or else we must mention it one by one. But how vague this terms is, this terms already so popular and commonly use by peoples as it make it even harder for not to use it.

    Am I wrong in this?
     

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