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Thread: Ancient Civilizations Thread

  1. #16
    MH Senpai 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Paper, I know what you mean about being obsessed with all the civilizations at one time or other, I'm that way too. It's just fun to learn about what came before us.

    I love the Iliad, you aren't insane =D

    I took African Art History in school, it definitely has some fascinating parts. But that's another one we know very little about... a lot of my papers had to have a speculative nature to them.

    But I would like to know more about the kingdoms of Kush and Nubia for sure. The only kingdom we really know a LOT about there is Egypt, though, because of all their tombs and historical records.
    Last edited by Gold Knight; April 25, 2007 at 10:21 AM.

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    MH Senpai MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Ichimaru Gin n Tonic's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    What i used to be interested in a civilization is how they "created" the Gods. Who and how did men, in each civilization, came up with the idea to worship something? Like how the Ancient Greek "established" Olympus and their Gods or Ancient Egyptian culture with their animal-shaped Gods.

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Knight View Post
    Delphi of Greece - Definitely my biggest interest here, but probably because I LOVE Greek and Homeric mythology so much. Plus any place considered to be "the center of the world" in a civilization has a lot of significance obviously.

    Heh-heh! The Center of the World... Omphalos. Refers to the mind, you think?

    The Greeks used a fairly "open-minded" way to "know thyself"

    Consider the Oracles. What if they were druggies? I mean... that is some zany philosophy. Critical education to me.

    Now, was the common Pythia (oracle) discredited, or really high, when she "spoke her mind"

    I wouldn't take any village gal and get her high, just for the love of knowledge...

    Though, much more was at stake without the "Oracle's eye." War, famine, disease.

    ! Like Mangekyou Sharingan's true purpose

    An all powerful "Third Eye" protects a village's livelihood for a selfless cost... only---Itachi twisted it! Hope it's true! Kishi spreads brilliance about like wildfire!

    But honestly, I get a taste of hubris whenever I ponder... Greek MO... And that brings me back to the Uchiha Complex

    -[/hr]
    Quote Originally Posted by Do Kesubei View Post
    Ornis, you might want to look into Shinto. Interesting stuff, that religion. I'm like reading up on it.
    Thank you. The nudge gives me direction for my posting discretion.

    Let me consider "grudges."

    At once, I had "grudges" accompany some Japanese character traits (pride, confidence, nobility, grudges) but I removed grudges...

    <According to your ample reference> One Shinto doctrine is for a person not to indulge in selfish interests. "Take life to survive. Respect the taking of life as a privilege allowed for your life's worth."

    All things done, should be humbly so. All goals should be met the same.

    Do you believe Shinto promotes a "good pride?" Purity should cause one to feel honored for being alive. So one should be honored---blessed---for being noble...

    Your reference is very helpful, and I just realized why I instinctively removed grudges from those character traits.

    Grudges lead to avengers and a human taking up the duty to spread a kami's wrath... such is too unfortunate to celebrate... necessary or not.

    That's what I believe. That's why I pity Sasuke, now.

    -[/hr]
    And Do Kesubei, I originally looked at the symbolic meaning of the shrines rather than their practical purpose.

    I am at times a confused "idealist" when I should address topics objectively, but the historical significance of Kami and nature is deeply respected in the creation of the beautiful sites reserved for kami worship/enshrinement.

    I'm reflecting on the essence of creating something that honors Japanese heritage.
    Last edited by ornis; April 25, 2007 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    I was always interested in Ancient Egypt cause it is incredibley facinating but I like Paper have neglected my studies for quite some time...

    I recently gained an interest in the kingdom of Hannibal(?) the person who went up against Alexander the Great on Elephants and other things. He ventured round the frontlines and came up behind Alexander but in the end Alexander was the victor. I think that ALexander also salted the land that Hannibal(?) inhabited

  5. #20
    MH Senpai 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity PaperYomiko's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Jester, if you find out more about Hannibal, do share! The first thing I thought of was Hannibal Lector Seriously though, I could use some remedial history lessons. I think I've read about him in Latin class recently, but I don't remember much...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Knight View Post
    I love the Iliad, you aren't insane =D
    That's very good to hear. I'll go tell my friends they're not allowed to make fun of me anymore

    Quote Quote:
    I took African Art History in school, it definitely has some fascinating parts. But that's another one we know very little about... a lot of my papers had to have a speculative nature to them.
    But that's what's really cool about it, I think - more opportunity for original ideas!

    Quote Quote:
    The only kingdom we really know a LOT about there is Egypt, though, because of all their tombs and historical records.
    That's so weird though, in a cool way, I think. That we really only know what we do about them because of their deaths. And that they built those pyramids all for the afterlife...it's really crazy, when you think about it.
    "Peace to the books of the world, an iron hammer to those who would abuse them..."

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member miyi's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    I love Homer's Illiad and the Odyssey! I can read those stuff over and over!

    about Hannibal, from what I remember from history class (damn it's been almost 4 years since I took them)..Hannibal was unmatched, even against more experienced Roman military.

    Hannibal was the general of Carthage, and fought during the second Punic Wars against Rome, Italy. Carthage at the time which is south west of Italy, was the rival of Rome, and possibly equal in strength.

    Everything Rome threw at Hannibal, Hannibal was the victor. He was a brilliant strategist. In the end, Rome's army was just too many, and they held off long enough to defeat Hannibal. Hannibal being in Rome meant he had to get reinforcements. I think it was because Carthage was unable to give him the reinforcements in time, and so he had to retreat back to Carthage and went on a defensive. It was Rome's Scipio who finally defeated Hannibal, and as soon as that happened, Carthage collapsed into oblivion, Rome's only worthy rival at the time.

    You can read more about it here: http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/M.../2ndPunic.html

    very interesting stuff. In fact, read all about the Punic Wars, there were three of them.

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    hmm seriously, I'm not really huge fan or just normal fan of ancient civilizations, but I really like films based on such things ^^ Also, a little offtopic, the "Secret Golden Cities" or something like that title of anime, was really nice to watch, it was based a little (or maybe more..) about Incs and Aztecs.

    Sorry if it's to big offtopic ^^"
    ..:: I LoVe I's ::.. [Naruto] Share your thoughts on: Boobies

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Paper, you sound ironic there: like we give them their afterlife or something... take how we study them.

    That's so bizarre when you position the intrigue after they've died But seeing it that way, I do guess I'm nutty like that--- I'm so flippin' lost probably ><

    I'm high on irony at times---go figure >.>

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Thanks for all the info, miyi! I was right, I have studied him before. Just forgot, as usual...but you're right, it's very interesting stuff. And nice to know there's another Homer fan around!

    juUnior, nothing wrong with liking the movies...what got me into the Incas was reading Tin Tin, long ago...not to mention Indiana Jones is the best

    and ornis, what I've always found really ironic is all the effort people go to during their lives for the sake of their death, like building huge tombs and stuff. The Pope who commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb for him is a good example. If I could commission Michelangelo for something, I'd want it to be celebratory of life, not death.

    but you know, depending on how you look at it, we may actually be the ones to take away their afterlife, since we've disrupted their tombs. That's something I feel very conflicted with. For the sake of knowledge, not to mention art, I am grateful, but I also think that all people, no matter how dead they are, should be respected.

    What do you all think about it? Since so much of our knowledge of these civilizations comes from studying their tombs, how do we balance respect for the dead with what it takes to discover that knowledge? Should everything be carted off to a museum, should we just forget about studying them, or is there a way to find a balance? Just curious
    "Peace to the books of the world, an iron hammer to those who would abuse them..."

  10. #25
    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member MadDog's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    I'm actually heading to Peru in a few weeks for a friend's wedding. We're going to visit Machu Picchu. I've always been fascinated by the ancient civilizations/cultures of South America so it should be a good time.

  11. #26
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    @ Paper

    So we take their afterlife away and try to replace it with our philosophy and our want to glorify their works---art, history, everything. I've never thought about that before. But I have wanted to know why we forget each other for material essence---or rather abandon our humantity for anything... what has history remembered artists for?

    Is it for the painting's value or for the painter's meaning?

    Do we at times critique painters as insane because the pictures they paint give us a right to look through their art, their eyes, and into their souls?

    What man can define a man?

    Knowing the name of everything is a powerful tool for man. But are we able to understand it's power? Do we know what language is? It's all abstract and often used because it can be and I am frustrated because something so easy to use is dissected when I use it "impractically" just to show that point---and I feel limited in the end... and vent my issue immaturely.

    Then people who never ask me about my problem, redirect my own concerns.

    I am given direction without being understood.

    Departed artists often receive the same. And they can't explain themselves. But I can, though choose not to in a reasonable way---because one day, when I'm dead I cannot promise hope for my dignity to be respected.

    That's it, then. The only way we may respect the dead is perhaps to escape death. Is to say the dead who passed before us are in their place, and life is for us separate from them---forever.

    It would be respect in a sense. Like "I've got mine, alive, and you have yours, dead; Keep to yourself, Death, and I will keep to me."

    Though if we lived long enough, we'd pine to join the ground, I bet. This is all about escaping limits, I believe.

    So, if we were to teach that stealing from Tombs limits our appreciation of the people in those chambers... maybe we could escape our foolishiness with a common goal---to beat what limits us.

    Even so, what do we want to appreciate them for and how do we find out? An honest question. For peace, for balance, for what?

    And how can we appreciate people for more than the sake of appreciating? Please feel welcome to respond.

    EDIT: Let's call the above frustration some edited form of... "stream of consciousness" ---I'm sorry for "spitting" my mind like that >.>
    Last edited by ornis; April 27, 2007 at 10:19 AM.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member miyi's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperYomiko View Post
    Thanks for all the info, miyi! I was right, I have studied him before. Just forgot, as usual...but you're right, it's very interesting stuff. And nice to know there's another Homer fan around!

    juUnior, nothing wrong with liking the movies...what got me into the Incas was reading Tin Tin, long ago...not to mention Indiana Jones is the best

    and ornis, what I've always found really ironic is all the effort people go to during their lives for the sake of their death, like building huge tombs and stuff. The Pope who commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb for him is a good example. If I could commission Michelangelo for something, I'd want it to be celebratory of life, not death.

    but you know, depending on how you look at it, we may actually be the ones to take away their afterlife, since we've disrupted their tombs. That's something I feel very conflicted with. For the sake of knowledge, not to mention art, I am grateful, but I also think that all people, no matter how dead they are, should be respected.

    What do you all think about it? Since so much of our knowledge of these civilizations comes from studying their tombs, how do we balance respect for the dead with what it takes to discover that knowledge? Should everything be carted off to a museum, should we just forget about studying them, or is there a way to find a balance? Just curious

    ok, I could be totally wrong here, so don't take my word on this one..

    recalling from vague memory what I learned from history class:

    During the Renaissance (17th Century), it became a common practice, especially among the elites, such as the Medici family (they were a wealthy family of bankers in Florence, Italy who sponsored the arts), to build a piece of art (whether they are sculptures, paintings, or tombs) that will represent who they are.

    For example, before I die, I'll build a monument to represent who I am.

    The purpose of these kind of self-representation projects, is so that they will live on forever, at least to those that are living. It was this idea of "immortality" through the arts that they were aiming for.

    Today, we learn from ancient civilizations based on archeological finds, through their tombs, paintings, sculpture, etc. Had they not done this, their memory would have been lost forever.

    So in this sense, I think it isn't an injustice that we are digging their tombs, because we aren't doing it out of disrespect, instead we are doing it to learn from them, and to perpetuate who and what they were. We are doing them a favor by popularizing them not only in our generation, but in future generations.

    Besides, we aren't necessarily "destroying" these artifacts, we are simply "preserving" them and placing them in museums.

    I wouldn't mind at all if in the future, some archeologists put my skull in a museum, in fact I would be flattered. But then again, I cannot speak for everyone. So I think as archeologists and historical scholars, we all have an obligation to respect the dead, and "study" them in a way without disturbing their peace, and I think so far we are doing well in that regard.

    Then there are others, such as the thieves in Egypt, that "robbed" the treasures in the tombs of some Pharoah's, so this is an example of "desecrating" the dead.

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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by miyi View Post
    ok, I could be totally wrong here, so don't take my word on this one..

    recalling from vague memory what I learned from history class:

    During the Renaissance (17th Century), it became a common practice, especially among the elites, such as the Medici family (they were a wealthy family of bankers in Florence, Italy who sponsored the arts), to build a piece of art (whether they are sculptures, paintings, or tombs) that will represent who they are.

    For example, before I die, I'll build a monument to represent who I am.

    The purpose of these kind of self-representation projects, is so that they will live on forever, at least to those that are living. It was this idea of "immortality" through the arts that they were aiming for.
    Okay, is it really immortality to you---I mean, when I read a history book, how do I know exactly how these civilizations lived? And then, how can I give them another life through my memory when I don't really know them---the interpretation of ancient civilizations is not very reliable to me >.>

    What is your opinion on the immortality bit, Miyi?

    There's a great ambition to learn about ancient civilizations, but we can also lose ourselves in what we want to say about them... before we know what they did.

    We can corrupt their meaning with impressions we give ourselves about objects they made. But they no longer belong to the dead. Yes we could leave them be or understand the creators by studying their creations... but who can stop nature from erasing man and the man-made?

    We try. But we often ignore the purpose for the creation of those artifacts. And ironically we replace Nature's role, there. While we may end up only challenging nature's tendency to let dust return to dust, we actually take over, and the mind becomes a new tomb for the dead. Our perspective's and our art galleries---celebrate a cultural coffin.

    But life and death go hand and hand... one man's tomb is another's phoenix.
    Last edited by ornis; April 27, 2007 at 11:45 AM.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member miyi's Avatar
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    What I meant by "immortality" is that, these people purposely made a lasting impression of themselves, in this world, so that they will be remembered in future generations.

    It might help to know that during the 17th century (period of the Renaissance), there was this sort of cultural revival of the ancient civilizations of Rome and Greece. Scholars who studied and tried to learn from these past civilizations, embraced, popularized, and tried to emulate them.

    Even after several hundreds of years after the fall of the Romam Empire, we see in the last 500 years copycats of Rome culture, for example, King Louis XIV of France, who considered himself (as evident in some of his self-portraits and sculptures), as a Roman Emperor. Or Napoleon, despot of France, who in Egypt tried to emulate Alexander the Great.

    Cosimo de Medici (a member of a wealthy banking family) sponsored the arts, and in his city, he commisioned expensive massive building projects, to "beautify the city". In essence, he was practicing a Roman-like custom of "beautifying" or giving back to the city. Cosimo understood that by doing this, he will be remembered forever. That was what I meant by "immortality".

    When we study the past through archeological excavations, we are not so different from the Renaissance Florentines. We, too, are learning a lot from the past. In fact, a lot of literature, science, medicine, math, can be attributed to studying the past. We wouldn't have algebra if it weren't for the contributions of Arabic mathematics.

    This process of digging in the past is part of human nature. We do have obligations to respect the dead, and I think we are doing that just fine. At the same time, it would be a waste not to dig in the tombs, etc., because these things are meant to be discovered, learned, and perpetuated, so that these civilizations aren't lost in oblivion.

  15. #30
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    Re: Ancient Civilizations Thread

    Math is a great example, miyi. Thanks. I see immortality a bit better now. We honor the Egyptians through algebraic trades or crafts. It's like Egyptians actually breathe every time we engineer a building.

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