Senate 1001 Days That Shaped the World! Disc. Gauls Attack Rome & Lay Siege to the Capitol (July, 390 BCE)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    For information about the stele and for three pictures of it (a long shot, a detail of the image at the top and a detail of the writing), check out the Louvre's page on the subject.

    I'm quite humiliated; somehow I skipped two when I posted Hammurabi's Code. Maybe the pages were stuck together or something. Regardless, I'm going to jump back in time to note the ones that I skipped. Thus, the non-continuity of this post with the last one.

    Great Pyramid Finished
    The Great Pyramid of Giza houses the tomb of King Khufu

    (2575 BCE)

    The oldest and largest of the three pyramids found in the Necropolis near Cairo. It was built over a twenty year period to house the remains of King Khufu. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing and it was, for almost 4,000 years, the tallest man made structure in the world.

    Information and images can be found here

    Personally, I find the Pyramids absolutely amazing; there is still debate on exactly how many men it took to build the pyramids (scholarly estimates for this one range around the 100,000 mark). The workers may have been slaves or not; likely it was some combination of slaves and skilled laborers. Planning the pyramid as well would have been quite a job. Regardless, what an amazing achievement.
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Really extraordinary to build something still extant so many years later. The Great Pyramid is unfinished inside, though...I wonder why.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It's not just a technological achievement, but an amazing monument to the complexity of ancient Egyptian society. The logistics of a project like that would be daunting in any age.
  4. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Inside is quite an elaborate hall, but the lower area is unfinished.
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    ^
    They had to wait a bit but finally the Egyptians are getting their due props!
  6. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    It's a wonderful edifice; but for the purpose for which it was built, it wasn't very successful. That is, it was rifled by thieves almost immediately.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Sargon takes Empire
    Sargon defeats two kings to become the first ruler of the whole of Mesopotamia

    (2334 BCE)

    Sargon's name means "the true king" or "the legitimate king" which tells you about all you need to know about him. From what we know of him, he politicked his way up the chain, overthrew his ruler and then set out to expand his kingdom throughout the area of the Fertile Crescent. He ruled for around fifty years what many consider to be the very first multi-ethnic empire ruled from a single central location.

    His story is told in a Sumerian text and has a lot of fascinating mythological elements. Like Moses, who he predates, he was cast adrift on the water as a baby and many Biblical scholars equate him with Nimrod, an ancient king mentioned in Genesis. His dynasty apparently maintained control of his kingdom for almost two centuries, a feat unheard of.

    Certainly, a fascinating figure and an interesting one. Also, of course, very significant in history.
  8. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    I have to admit, when I first saw the title I was thinking of Sargon II (the Assyrian king) - not the original guy. :)

    Don't pretend to know much about him, but looking at his history it would seem (aside from his personal success) he would serve as a kind of 'Alexander' ideal for his successors as well as the succeeding nations within the Mesopotamian region - clearly significant in that regard.
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Have not even heard of him; and I'm a history major. :p
  10. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I learned that Sargon was the first true Emperor in the world, and the system he put in place is basically the system we still have today. I don't hear that much about him either, but he is important since he is the first recorded non-local ruler.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
  12. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    Rogue1-and-a-half already linked to it, but thanks anyway. :)

    Just re-reading the article - I can only echo what I said earlier about his influence upon the succeeding kingdoms/empires within the area (as late as the New Babylonian Empire in the 500s BC - that's around 1700 years later). It doesn't specifically say but I'm guessing it was the conquest of the Persians that finally saw Sargon fade as a recognised inspiration - probably due to the Persians coming further from the East and not being familiar or having a shared history like the Assyrians and Babylonians did.
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    He's certainly not as well-known as some others of similar vintage.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What an interesting time that must have been. Egypt's old kingdom was fading, but the Minoan civilization was starting to emerge, and maybe they would have had mercantile contact with the Akkadian empire.
  15. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    When did the Greeks rise to power? Later on?
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yeah it's another 1000 years before the Greeks even begin to emerge, 1500 years before the peak of ancient Greece.
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The Greeks ruled Egypt, too.
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Volcanic Explosion Rocks Thera
    The Eastern Mediterranean endures one of the world's worst natural disasters.

    (1620 BCE)

    In recorded history, this is still one of the largest volcanic explosions ever to strike the planet. To be honest, I don't know much about this event, outside of what the book says. Basically, it entirely devestated the island of Thera; the volcanic plume is estimated at something around 20 miles high and it also sparked a tsunami of close to 500 feet high that devestated Crete. The body count would have been absolutely astronomical, especially for the time period.

    Research is divided but some scholars believe that the effects of the eruption could have caused some of the historical events that have come down to us as the Ten Plagues of Egypt, that the eruption may have destabalized the Minoan culture to horribly that it led to their ultimate downfall and that it may have inspired some of the Greek myths that have come down to us.

    Apparently, only the eruption of Tambora in 1815 surpasses it; even for modern times this would be a tremendous event. Think about what it would have been like at the time; the wrath of the Gods writ large.
  19. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Are we talking scale of eruptions in recorded history, or just in general? The eruption of Toba about 74,000 years ago dwarfs just about anything outside Yellowstone, and indeed is still bigger than anything Yellowstone ever did that we know of.
  20. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    I know we've moved on to another topic, but this actually isn't correct. Egypt was eventually Hellenized under the Ptolemaic Pharaohs starting around 305 BC, after the Wars of the Diodochi, but Greece proper never controlled or ruled Egypt.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If Thera had happened just a little bit later there might have been some direct recorded histories of it. But what an event. 50 foot waves hitting Crete. Crops destroyed, economies destabilized. It would have taken the region many decades to recover, even if it didn't directly destroy Minoan civilization.
  22. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I image something like this would be interpreted as angry Gods in those days.
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Definitely talking recorded history, I would think. Certainly there would have been much bigger eruptions way back there during the prehistory period.
  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    There have been some severe earthquakes in Communist China that were never reported in the West at all.
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Pharoah worships Sun-Disk God Aten
    Amenhotep founds Armana and briefly rewrites the rules of Egyptian kingship

    (1348 BCE)

    Amenhotep IV, more commonly known as Akhenaten (meaning 'spirit of Aten') was an Egyptian pharoah that shook things up considerably.

    What he is most famous for is one of the first recorded attempts to institute monotheism (of a sort at least) by disbanding all Egyptian priesthoods and compelling worship of the Sun God, Aten, as the one true God. He wasn't terribly successful and after his death, the rules were all rewritten again and Akhenaten was consigned to the ash heap of history, or so they all thought at the time, referred to as a heretic and an enemy of Egypt.

    Ironically, he's one of the most famous of the pharoahs today, due in part to the bust of his wife, Nefertiti, that was discovered and is still one of the finest examples of ancient art.

    Akhenaten's significance can't be overstated in my opinion; he's a fascinating figure. At least in part, his religious experiments were probably a power play (he wanted to be seen as a direct descendant of the God Aten, according to some sources). But as a foundational moment in monotheism, a study in the way in which religion evolves and a case study in the dangers of political leaders dabbling in religious philosophy, the case of Akhenaten can hardly be bettered. He's been called the first monotheist, the first romantic, the first scientist and the first individual. None of which is probably true, but certainly he was one of the first and one of the only ones who's legacy has survived in recorded history.

    Sigmund Freud put forth the theory, in Moses and Monotheism, that the worship of Aten was the original seed that finally flourished into Judaism (and from thence into Christianity and Islam). Personally, I've always loved The Great Hymn to Aten, supposedly composed by Akhenaten himself; it has striking similarities to Psalm 104 from the Bible, indicating some Hebrew familiarity with the earlier text or else a common source (or perhaps just divine inspiration?).

    Whether the religion Akhenaten founded was the direct predecessor of the world's two largest religions or not, it still looks like, in the long run, Akhenaten was the winner; polytheism is no longer the most accepted form of religious thought. Monotheism has certainly, over the long centuries, won the day.