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Persian History

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Xshayathiya, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. cyrusIII85

    cyrusIII85 Warlord

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    Listen, you just don't realize that under the definition of "Arab", Iranians can't be considered a part of such a group.

    Iran was ressurected (all though I argue that Iran always existed even though it was "conquered") with changes, but all countries change. In the end, a person can't characterize something which it isn't at all (aka Arab). Iranians revitalized Iran and set it in direct opposition to Arabs, and conquered the Islamic caliphate to show that. Ferdowsi, writer of the nation's epic book The Shahnameh was very opposed to Arab influence on Iran which swayed Iranians from their original culture. Now it represents pretty much what Iranians stand for, their culture and try to rival all Arabs. If this dosen't constitute an independent entity I don't know what does.

    The Persians that moved to and existed in Mespotamia, Syria, Greece have all become Iraqi, Syrian, and Greek because they subscribe to those country's culture, language, and history. So no it isn't at all contradictory to call them that.

    Furthermore, nearly all people in the Persian empire were not intruded upon. They were free to practice their religion and keep their integrity as a state. It was a loose coalition in other words. As such, I don't know how, in any way, those Greeks weren't independent from Persians. Taxes is one thought, but I believe I read that Persian taxes were less than Mespotamian or Egyptian.
     
  2. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    The OP admitted that the Persian empire was conquered and held by the Arabs for a few hundred years. I don't know how the Arabs were defined in that article, but I assumed that there was some sort of political grouping to which one could refer. I never called Persians Arabs; I quoted Firaxis' history, and the OP's history, both of which say that the Arabs conquered Persia/the Persians.

    The Greeks regard themselves as the inheritors of the prestige of ancient Greece, but no-one else regards that as a serious claim. My point was that you, although you have a perfectly reasonable claim to be Persian and not arab, a claim on which I made no comment at all, have no claim to be part of the political entity that was ancient Persia. A civilisation as used by Sid Meier and Firaxis is not only a cultural/ethnic/whatever else you care to choose group, but a political power.

    Since all historians seems to agree that the arabs conquered Persia and ruled the area for hundreds of years, I was pointing out that whatever your cultural ties, ethnic ties, and considerable emotional ties are, you cannot in any way claim that modern Iran should be counted as part of Firaxis' Persia, because there has not been continuity.
    Alexander's invasion was, according to the history written in this post, although successful, not a lasting change of rule, and therefore some sort of continuity was maintained. Being conquered and ruled for hundreds of years, even if you resented that rule and stubbornly retained old traditions, is not coninuity of political power, and therefore Iran is not ancient Persia.

    So before you tell me what I do and do not realise, try reading what I've actually written. I did not say that Iran is not independent from arabs. I said that for the hundreds of years mentioned in the history it WAS not independent, and therefore continuity was not maintained.

    As for being part of the Persian empire, taxes is a very good point. I don't think that the Greek city states were particularly overbearing when dealing with their colonies either. I didn't even say that the cities had a rational reason for wanting to remain Greek rather than Persian. You could tell me that economically they were far better off with Persia than with the Greeks, and although I'd have a hard time believing an unsubstantiated claim, it doesn't change the fact that they probably weren't all thinking rationally, about money, but maybe some of them were thinking about their history, ancestry and old loyalties, a point of view with which you ought to have some sympathy.
     
  3. Xshayathiya

    Xshayathiya Warlord

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    Firaxis hasnt said anything about the subject, I hope they at least know about it. :sad:

    PS hey cyrus :D
     
  4. atreas

    atreas King

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    I know noone that would claim he belongs to "ancient" something - replace something with whatever you like (Persia, China, Greece, etc.) The question is whether the one is a continuation of the other, in other words if Persia is a continuation of ancient Persia, Greece is a continuation of ancient Greece, China is a continuation of ancient China, etc.

    This argument of "political continuation" is quite naive and simplistic. The most obvious way to demonstrate it's failure is just to name the example of Jews - they again acquired "political independance" with a break of "only" 2300 years. Still, I don't think you would find much support in claiming that they are not the continuation of an ancient Jew civilization.

    It's the same way with all other ancient civs; they have over the milleniums seen too many changes, but they still acquire INTO THEMSELVES the knowledge of what they are. It's much more a mixture of cultural elements (language, religion, traditions) than a matter of "political continuation". And you cannot deny them their rights just because you don't like or understand or agree with these rights. When you say (for example) that you are English (judging be the Oxford location), this doesnt mean that you live in Camelot - it means you are a continuation of an old tradition that distinguishes you from other people.

    Also note that political continuation bears in mind other, closely related to it, ideas about "integrity" of a civilization when it is occupied. So I would prefer not to touch such a very dangerous idea.
     
  5. cyrusIII85

    cyrusIII85 Warlord

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    Hey, sorry wasn't following up on this thread. How are you? AND LOL seriously that should be my avatar :lol: :lol: .
     
  6. cyrusIII85

    cyrusIII85 Warlord

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    Lol, when the people of Persia created the three independent kingdoms within the time of the Islamic Empire, when Iranians conquered the Islamic Empire, and when Iranians restarted Iran during the Safavid dynasty, all of those time periods saw a resurgence of Persia and independent thinking. Even during the Islamic Empire, Persia acted very much like a separate country and controlled the caliphate in many respects through the bureaucracy. To say that a country isn't a country because it doesn't enjoy continuity is like saying that China before the invasion of Mongolians is different than after. They were both called China because the people restarted the country. Every country goes under environmental strain through occupation and war, but it is the choice of the people themselves to adhere to the traditional values and what they think being that nationality is decides what they are so. So, no you're wrong.

    Also, btw, Iran was called Persia before and after Islam, so your name differentiation really is incorrect.
     
  7. Xshayathiya

    Xshayathiya Warlord

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    Actually Iran was called "Iran" (Eranshahr) in Iran since (at least) the Sassanian Period. It was officially known as Persia in the west from the Achaemenian period up to 1935.

    PS Yeah I did steal your avatar didnt I? :p
     
  8. Xshayathiya

    Xshayathiya Warlord

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    Then in your definition, France is not the same France (since they've changed political powers god knows so many times). England is not the same England (same reason). Same applies to Germany, Japan, China (depending on which leader you choose), Mongolia, Russia and pretty much every other civ in the game. Every country gets invaded or changes politics at some point or other. None keep political continuity.

    EDIT: Thought of an exception: The Americans :mischief:
     
  9. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    Atreas: The difference between the Jews and the civilizations portrayed by Firaxis is that although Firaxis are obviously trying to portray civilizations, the nature of the game also makes the civilizations they portray continuous political entities. The Jews, although a continuous entity, are a religion, and have not had a country or a government for most of their history. They have been hard-working and much-maligned members of other countries. They have not been an independent political power, as civilizations are in Civ4.

    'It's the same way with all other ancient civs; they have over the milleniums seen too many changes, but they still acquire INTO THEMSELVES the knowledge of what they are. It's much more a mixture of cultural elements (language, religion, traditions) than a matter of "political continuation". And you cannot deny them their rights just because you don't like or understand or agree with these rights. When you say (for example) that you are English (judging be the Oxford location), this doesnt mean that you live in Camelot - it means you are a continuation of an old tradition that distinguishes you from other people.'
    I never claimed to live in Camelot, and as for denying people rights, I fail to see in what way I am denying (or am capable of denying) people on this forum their rights. The fact that old traditions from Camelot may still exist in my country (I can't think of any) does not make the Wessex of King Arthur the same as the England of today. Let's just compare your statement here 'It's more than political continuation' with your previous statement: 'The question is whether the one is a continuation of the other'

    Are you changing your mind? Which one is it? If you agree that no-one nowadays can claim to be of an ancient empire then you're agreeing with my point, that these empires no longer exist. If you think that political continuity has nothing to do with it, then you're missing the point of the game, which models civilizations as, and on, countries/empires, which are political units.

    Cyrus: I read that the Arabs conquered Persia, in the original post. If for hundreds of years Persians saw themselves as occupied and weren't assimilated at all, let alone entirely, into the Arab empire, the point still stands that what is now called Persia/Iran is not the same country that was previously called Persia/Iran, simply because for hundreds of years there was no independent political entity of that name. Civ 4 models empires that were great civilizations. As I said, being overrun once and recovering independence after a generation may not count as an interruption of continuity; in Civ terms it's as though the conqueror left after capturing most of your cities while they were still in resistance and they all flipped back to you.
    I'm not trying to say that you're not descended, culturally or even biologically from the ancient Persians. My point is that in a history of the Persian empire modern Iran should not feature, except maybe in case people are interested in what happened to the region since the empire fell. Anyone in the world can claim to be culturally/ethnically etc. descended from whatever happened in their region in history, but only the Chinese and Egyptians (as far as I know, and my knowledge of the entirety of human history is extremely limited) have a claim to be the same country.

    Xshayathiya: I'm not quite sure I understand your point when you say France is not the same France. You have to be comparing it to something for it to be the same or not. England has been an independent political entity, and has not even been invaded, since the Normans, so England is the same as England at least since then. That's when my school history started, so I can't say much about before then, but I doubt that England is included in Civ4 for anything it achieved before 1066 AD.
    As I've stated elsewhere, Germany only formed in 1872 (or in the 1870s anyway), and therefore the civilization representing Germanic peoples might be better named after the Austro-Hungarian empire. But your statements are meaningless unless you give comparisons. I would be quite willing to admit that countries are not the same as the states that existed in the same geographical location but were ruled from somewhere else for hundreds of years, but when you say 'Japan is not the same Japan' I can't agree or disagree, since I need more information. When was it conquered? For how long?

    I view the game civs as representing a political power as well as a cultural entity, just like in Civ2 and Civ, before we had culture in the game at all. If a state forms in the same area and even resurrects old customs and retains the old names, it is not the same political entity. There is a distinct difference between political and cultural continuity. I, unlike others on this site, have not made any statements about cultural continuity except quoting others who claim to know more than I do. I have pointed out, again quoting others, rather than introducing any false knowledge of my own, that political continuity certainly does not exist in this instance, and that getting upset because you feel that your cultural heritage is being insulted is missing the point. No-one is trying to degrade your cultural heritage; the point is about your political heritage.
    So stop becoming so worked up about perceived insults which aren't there, and try understanding what I'm saying. If you think that civs in Civ4 should not represent political power then that's an opinion you're entitled to hold, but you need to write to Firaxis about more than just the history of the Ancient Persian empire.
     
  10. Xshayathiya

    Xshayathiya Warlord

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    so are you saying that the statement:

    "The customs and religion of ancient Persia were destroyed and the population absorbed into the surrounding Islamic culture; only a few remnants survive today."

    is accurate? The description clearly is talking about the customs and religion, both of which survive today. Although the religion has less followers, the customs are in no way destroyed, and the remenants are quite numerous.

    The fact is that the civilopedia entry is talking about our cultural heritage, and not our political heritage. We're not complaining about insults either, but historical misrepresentation. Its not our opinion that the civilopedia entry is wrong, its historical fact.

    And what i mean by those other countries is that they were invaded like we were. The empire of France under napoleon was not the same political entity as the Kingdom of france under Louis XIV and they are not the same political Entity France as the modern day Republic of France. The same applies to the others.
     
  11. cyrusIII85

    cyrusIII85 Warlord

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    Quite true, but I was refering to the Western designation of Iran as Persia both before and after Islam. I just thought trying to relate it to what western historians say, despite the fact it was incorrect.


    Egyptians - Conquered and controlled by Persians, Romans, Byzantines, the Islamic Empire, and Ottomans. I think they've been conquered far more times than Iran.

    China - Japan conquered Manchuria (I would love to see how you categorize partial conquering) and fully conquered by Mongolians (who I view, in relation to China, as Arabs to Persia, just without religion)

    The Arab armies numbered only in the tens of thousands and their overall population was small. So, I won't say that Iran was "occupied", only undertook fast raids and violence by certain Arabs. Furthermore, there is alot of ambiguity as who actually held power. It could be explained differently based on power dynamic relations, but I would say that from the very moment of the Islamic Empire was created it was an ad hoc one. We know that, in the end, Persians conquered the Arabs via the Buyid brothers around 1000 BC, so I think based on your definition that would make the Arab empire defragmented and actually absorbed into the Persian world. But no, they don't say that now do they? The 200 years before that the Iranian caliphate was almost completely independent, and the 100 years before that Iranians controlled the bureaucracy. You could try to argue about the first 50-100 and what actually constitutes a real take over rather than a destruction of the military with the state not even formed yet. So the political heritage is sort of up in the air from my standpoint.
     
  12. Brighteye

    Brighteye intuitively Bayesian

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    Xshayathiya:
    'The customs and religion of ancient Persia were destroyed and the population absorbed into the surrounding Islamic culture; only a few remnants survive today'
    is a statement that you've clearly shown to be wrong. I have no problems with removing it from the history of Persia. The problem I saw was that it seemed that someone (I can't remember who) was suggesting that the history of ancient Persia be extended to include modern Iran.
    The French (as an example) have indeed changed governments many times, but each of these occasions it has been the King/emperor etc. of France, claiming to represent France. A change of leadership/government of a political entity is not the same as the destruction of that entity through being absorbed into a larger, different empire. One might reasonably argue that the Vichy government does not give continuity, but given that the occupation only lasted a few years this is more of a debatable point than being part of an empire for hundreds of years.

    Cyrus:
    Well, I did say that my knowledge of world history was not spectacular. I don't see how partial conquests are a problem at all. People can argue over territories quite happily without even having governments change, so we're not even getting onto Xshayathiya's point about governmental change.
    It appears that no nation can claim to have existed for thousands of years. What a surprise.
    As I said before, I was basing my statements on what I read here, and the only detail I read was that the Arabs conquered Persia and that Persia remained part of the Arab empire for hundreds of years. If the empire was actually a Persian empire and Persia was never conquered at all then maybe Iran has a claim to be ancient Persia.
    Perhaps you should ask Firaxis to change this point about the Arab empire actually not being much of an empire, and debatably arab, as well.
     
  13. Xshayathiya

    Xshayathiya Warlord

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    Yes, that is all i've been after. I dont want the history extended to include Iran or the 20th century. I just want the history to be rewritten so its true. If you look at the alternative history i wrote on page 2, the only thing i say about Iran is that the country's name was officially changed to it. I can only hope firaxis has read this thread and is aware of the problem.

    This problem was also there in Civ3, but I only learned about that a couple months before Civ4 came out, so I was hoping they'd have fixed it, but they had kinda made it worse actually.
     
  14. PersianBoy

    PersianBoy Prince

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    Hey Xshayathiya
    did u know persian and did u yet read 1400 year silence ( 14 gharn sokot)
    IMO real history of persia is Shahnameh
     

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