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What are the oldest civs currently surviving?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by donilpark, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Well maybe you are right - linguistically civilization implies cities, which the hunter gatherers dont have. Central government I dont know, I think Greece got by a long time on loosely confederated city states.

    According to archeologists like Brian Fagan, whom I quote:

    "The generally agreed upon, special attributes that separate civilizations from other societies can be listed as follows:

    * Urbanized societies, based on cities, with large, very complex social organizations...

    *Symbiotic economies based on the centralized accumulation of capital and social status through tribute and taxation...

    *Advances toward record-keeping, science and mathematics, and some form of written script.
    *Impressive public buildings and monumental architecture."

    So you are right, none of my aforementioned examples quite fit.

    Well, based on that, and keeping in mind continuity of rule, I guess I would have to give the nod to... England?
     
  2. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    Sometimes yes. Some nations simply ceased to exist and their culture became "diluted", after being conquered. Races became intermingled as the conquerers settled amongst the conquered.
    There are civilizations that disappeared completely and we dont know why.

    Some races have existed for a long time without a set place to call home as well. The hebrews fit that catagory well.
    The Germans were all over Europe and North Africa at different times, while Germany as we know it only came around in 1870.

    A good thread, Fr8tmonkey answered it pretty well.
    The "oldest, still surviving civilizations" would be China, Egypt, Greece and Korea. I think.
     
  3. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    I love historical maps! :D
     

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  4. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    How old is Greece?
     
  5. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Nice map Joe!

    Donilpark: Greece today has gone through all kinds of twists and turns before trying to reclaim the Hellenistic heritage for the purposes of tourism. The Greeks were in full swing by the time of Alexander 370s bc more or less but were of course absorbed by the Roman Empire then Byzantium and the people today betray a heavy Turkic influence.

    What is it you are looking for???
     
  6. Jon Shafer

    Jon Shafer Civilization 5 Designer

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    Also depends on which Greece you're talking about. Minoan, Mycanaean or Hellenistic. The Minoans came around first in Crete in about 2000 BC. The Mycanaeans took them over in about 1100 BC. After a dark age, Greece as most people know it came about around 800 or 750 BC with city states. Alexander took over in 338 BC, and 'Macedonian' Greece became the most powerful empire in the world.
     
  7. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    And Egypt is an arab culture ATM, nothign to do with the ancient egyptian civ other than reclaiming the heritage for cultural purpose.

    Whereas China today is still pretty much the old chinesse culture, changed, yes, but still the same old chinesse civ that's been there for a looooong while.

    I'm a bit iffy about the hebrews Sultan ; while no one can deny they lasted a long time, one can point out that there is little to no archeological evidence of any form of hebrew "civilization" (including cities et al) prior to the Exodus (If we take the traditional dating, that's -1250 or so)...
     
  8. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    Yes, as I capitulated above, none of those examples hold up to the classic definitions of a civilization.

    This is an interesting topic - I would love to have the time to try and research continuity in civs over time. I would have to guess that there are very few that can really claim a continuity of ethnicity of people, autonomous government, or other cultural distinguishments.
     
  9. Jon Shafer

    Jon Shafer Civilization 5 Designer

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    The Hebrews aren't the same as they were, back in the 2nd millenium BC.

    The Chinese have been conquered a bit, changed dynasties, etc. They might be a contender though.

    I think Japanese are definitely the oldest.

    Egyptians are nothing like they used to be.

    England wasn't really a civ until post 700 or 800 AD.

    I suppose Zulus could be the oldest also.
     
  10. Sultan Bhargash

    Sultan Bhargash Trickster Reincarnated

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    No Zulus don't even actually fit the criteria (never really had cities).

    Don't confuse "primitive" with "ancient"; the Zulu tribe would not have existed about five hundred years ago. If you want the best example from Africa, it is doubtless Ethiopia. They knew the ancient Greeks and in their mountain fastness were never conquered by Arabs or Europeans. They claim their line of kings can be traced to Solomon, while this is likely a mideival fabrication, they did have the first coins with crosses on them in 300 AD and built spectacular rock cut cathedrals that were invisible from ground level:
     

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  11. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    What I'm asking is that unclear?
    I want to know when was this nation so-called 'Greece' founded.
    Don't even mention words like 'invasion' or 'conquered'.
    Being conquered or invaded for some part of the history has nothing to do with what I'm asking.
    A culture may have been invaded and conquered or colonized, but that doesn't mean they are gone even after they are liberated. Of course, if they couldn't break free from the colonial rule, that's different story. Then they should not be considered as 'surviving'.
    So, even though 'People's Republic of China' is pretty young, we call China old because it's been there for a long time.


    So what I'm asking here is 'Would contemporary Greeks recognize Minoans as their ancestors? Myceneans?' If they do, they should of course be included as a part of Greek history. If Greeks don't think that Minoans are their ancestors, then they are excluded. Then you count from hellenistic period.
    Do you understand what I'm saying?
     
  12. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    BTW, maybe I should have posted this on the history forum...
    Can I move it? How do you do it?
     
  13. Flak

    Flak vBülletin Förum

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    From the actual game, I'd say in a rudimentary chronical order:

    Chinese
    Greeks
    Indians
    Japanese
    English
    Russians
    French
    Germans
    Americans

    I am interpreting 'currently surviving' to mean that the group identifies themselves as a particular culture and still retain some of the idealogical foundations of the initial group.

    I should add also that the group must maintain it's political autonomy (by my interpretation).
     
  14. Ribannah

    Ribannah Fighter Druid

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    The Iroquois beat the US easily (551 years!).
    Maybe Iceland counts as the record holder.
     
  15. Squirrel

    Squirrel Warlord

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    How about the aboriginals in Australia? I have heard that they have been around for some 30,000 years. Or do they not count as a civ?
     
  16. Scurcus

    Scurcus Chieftain

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    the aboriginals didn´t consider themself a state or country or civ, so why would they fit, if they are counted as an old civ then the only criteria is that a people has been living in the same place for a long time. with that criteria Sweden for example would be 10000 yers old since no considerable immigration or change in population has taken place during that time.
     
  17. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    No.... isn't it India and then China? Greece is not so old as I gather. Anyway, I'm not just talking about the ones in the game.
    I'm talking about the ones in the real world.
    Anyway
     
  18. Scurcus

    Scurcus Chieftain

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    donilparks definition of a surviving civ is kind of pointless since nowdays greece were founded in the 1800-century and it can´´t relly trace its history and say it the same civ as that where aristotle lived.
    iceland has been populated with the same people and has had pretty much the same culture and society for 1000 that doesn´t make them oldest, but at lest older than many other countries, england canged part of its population (at least the ruling klass) and cunlture with the invasion of the normands, right?
     
  19. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    Oh... you'all just don't get what I mean....
    I keep bringing China up, but think about this.
    Would you say China is relatively young because it's 'People's Republic of China' as opposed to Ming empire?
    No, I don't think so.
    Even though China is ruled by different government, we still recognize them as Chinese, because their ancestors were Chinese.
    So in this sense....
     
  20. donilpark

    donilpark Chieftain

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    Ok then, forget about the surviving part.
    Just give me the order regardless of whether it's surviving or not.
     

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