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/tg/ - Traditional Games

This day in history, July 19th:

>711 – Umayyad conquest of Hispania: Battle of Guadalete: Umayyad forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeat the Visigoths led by King Roderic.

>998 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Battle of Apamea: Fatimids defeat a Byzantine army near Apamea.

>1702 – Great Northern War: A numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of Augustus II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, is defeated by a Swedish army half its size under the command of King Charles XII in the Battle of Klissow.

We're going back to ancient times.

For the sake of convenience I'm gonna try and stick to the time before Christ.

I figure we'll kick this thread off with the Ancient Near East

7,000 years ago, when stone age farmers were building villages in egypt and the hills of western asia, and sexing up european hunter gatherer women: Nobody lived on the southern plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

And it was no wonder: If we stepped out of the time machine we'd see a sweltering wasteland lacking in one VERY important stone age substance, STONE!

The scorching sun was occasionally blocked out by sandstorms, or relieved by violent floods.

After a flood the rivers would often divert into new courses, and near the coast we'd find poisonous swamps.

And that's not even getting into the great herds of wild jackasses.

I mean this place was clearly a shit shack for humans, right?...

But around roughly 4500 BCE, some human tribes migrated from the mountains of what is now northern Iraq and made it their home.

Keep in mind, their language was an isolate. Unrelated to the later Semitic languages like Hebrew/Arabic/Akkadian.

These people called themselves "Ug Sag Gig-ga" literally meaning "the black-headed people". And they called their new home "Ki-en-gi(-r)", meaning "place of the noble lords".

But we know them as the Sumerians.
This post pleases me.

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I am ready for this thread.
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Wrong image. I seriously don't know why that happened. Whoops.
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Mud was a blessing: When you bake it, it's as solid as stone.

Fired mud can be used for sickles, axes, hammers, and even NAILS.

And with all this fun stuff, the settlers built the settlement of Eridu in 5300 BCE.

...unfortunately mud has the nasty habit of melting when it rains hard.

Eridu was rebuilt seven times. The farmers banded together to build irrigation ditches, and this was such an important that it became a spiritual duty sponsored and supervised by the village shrine.

Agriculture and animal husbandry were widely practiced in sedentary communities. There were also tribes that practiced domesticating animals as far north as Turkey, and as far south as the Zagros Mountains.

This culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts.

The earliest evidence for true sailing has been found in Kuwait by this era.

When trade began to move beyond the immediate area, there needed to be record keepers. And this contributed to the development of writing. Scribes were hired by temples to write invoices and other documents.

Besides scribes, the temples needed bricklayers, carpenters, butchers, fisherman, bakers, brewers, metalworkers, potters, shepherds, jewelers, weavers, spinners, hairdressers, and even prostitutes.

Temple overseers watched the entire machine at work.

Temple farms and gardens grew lots of delicious foods, but your average Jushhur just ate bread and onions.

The Sumerians LOVED beer. It was a gift from the gods (And an inevitable consequence of agriculture). Only women were allowed to brew beer. or become bartenders.

The temples ran festivals and athletic competitions such as professional wrestling.

In charge of a given temple was the "En" AKA "High Priest/Priestess". This person was elected.
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When enemies attacked, the Sumerians gathered in the wide open fields of Enlil (God of the winds) and voted for a "Lugal" which literally means "Big man". He lead them in battle until the danger passed and willingly stepped down.

Eventually the Lugal of Kish thought "I don't feel like stepping down, I wanna be the Lugal forever"

And then he did it, the absolute madman!

The title Lugal eventually became the word for king, and the nigger gave the position to his SON! This was unprecedented.

Over time, other kings started claiming all kinds of fantastic stuff to prove their power.

Gilgamesh said he was 2/3rds God! (He said that his human mother was double penetrated and impregnated by two gods, charming)

At his funeral, 50-60 slaves drank poison and jumped into his grave with him around

The sumerians worshiped fertility and every spring the high priestess of Inanna was ritually "married" to the king, and they would make love on top of the temple. Meanwhile married couples and lovers started rutting like crazy.

This was meant to synchronize the births of the city's babies. In Iraqi winters, there would be enough spare time to care for them.

Around 2500 BCE the king of Kish divided Umma and Lagash. Lagash got all of the water, and Umma was PISSED.

When the king of Kish was gone, Umma ripped out the boundary mark and encroached on Lagash. 60 years later, the king of Lagash attacked Umma.

Eannatum offered them the disputed lands if they paid rent to him. Cue shitstorm.

Umma attacked Lagash, and Lagash attacked Umma. Then a THIRD faction led by Il of Zalabam jumped into the fight and conquered them both.

Zalabam and Lagash agreed to let Umma use the water for free.

Once again proving that violence is always the solution.
What do we know about the historical Gilgamesh, and how did he become the protagonists of the world's first recorded epic?
He was *that* badass, apparently.
North, south, and west of Sumer lived the Semitic tribes.

Eventually the Semites began to mingle with the Sumerians. And in 2370 BCE a young semitic military officer "Sargon of Akkad" revolted against the king of Kish,

Then he led his forces north, conquerng cities and building up an army before marching on a sumerian alliance. King Zaggesi was led into Kish wearing a dog collar.

Sargon ruled for 54 years, and was the first non sumerian to dominate the area.

After his death, the Akkadian empire split up violently. Sargon's son Rimush had his head cleaved open by his royal aides with stone tablets. But the empire didn't COMPLETELY collapse until Sargon's great grandson Sharkali-Sharri in 2230 BCE.

There was a period of raging anarchy followed 100 years of native Sumerian peace.

Sumerian culture experienced a golden age, and Ur became the premier city-state.

Uuuuuntil they all got stomped by another semitic tribe they called the "Martu", but they're better known as the biblical Amorites.

The Sumerians weren't too fond of them

“The Martu who know no grain.... The Martu who know no house nor town, the boors of the mountains.... The Martu who digs up truffles... who does not bend his knees to cultivate the land, who eats raw meat, who has no house during his lifetime, who is not buried after death...”

The Amorites smashed the northern fortresses and cut off access to the capital from outside. The price of grain exploded, and thousands starved,

The Elamites, who lived in what is now Iran before the Indo-Iranians noticed this. They were previously a collection of city states like Sumer but had united into an empire. And they attacked mercilessly. It got so bad they asked the AMORITES for help.

About 2000 BCE the Elamites sacked Ur, and Sumer was finished as a civilization.
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"O Father Nanna, that city into ruins was made ...Its people, not potsherds, filled its sides; Its walls were breached; the people groan. In its lofty gates, where they were wont to promenade, dead bodies were lying about; in its boulevards, where the feasts were celebrated, scattered they lay. In all its streets, where they were wont to promenade, dead bodies were lying about; In its places, where the festivities of the land took place, the people lay in heaps ... Ur -its weak and its strong perished through hunger; Mothers and fathers who did not leave their houses were overcome by fire; The young, lying on their mothers' laps, like fish were carried off by the waters; In the city the wife was abandoned, the son was abandoned, the possessions were scattered about...O Nanna, Ur has been destroyed, its people have been dispersed."

-Lament for Ur

Yep, it was a dark time. The Sumerians built great steppe pyramids, produced the first true writing, divided time into units more exact than "dark time and light time", a system of numbers, the 360 degree circle, geometry, the first wheeled vehicles, children’s toys, writing, writing implements, harnessing the wind, the domestication of animals, agricultural developments such as irrigation, medical advances, dentistry, architectural developments, and urbanization. The Sumerians also seem to have invented the concept of siege warfare and, perhaps, even the `scorched earth’ tactic used effectively in military engagements ever since.


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The period c. 2700 – 2300 BC saw the first appearance of the abacus, and a table of successive columns which delimited the successive orders of magnitude of their sexagesimal number system.

The Sumerians were the first to use a place value numeral system. There is also anecdotal evidence the Sumerians may have used a type of slide rule in astronomical calculations. They were the first to find the area of a triangle and the volume of a cube

Sumerian trade routes stretched all the way from Mozambique, to Afghanistan, to Anatolia, to Lebanon.

They adored lapis lazuli much like the egyptians.

They fielded infantry, charioteers, and archers with copper and bronze weapons.

Women's right began to decline as the civilization grew.

They were slavers, no doubt. And at first they merely captured other sumerians. But eventually they kidnapped mountain people from what is now Iran. The word for slave directly translated was "mountain man/girl".

Cuneiform was very difficult to learn, so scribes were highly valued. And it was a privilege to go to school.
This is my favorite Traditional Game.
Stone age/Pre Roman Near East is one of the fascinating and under used settings in existence.
Would you rather a Sumerian Quest: Middle Eastern Lesbians and Waifus, Edition 3, part 456?
>playing passive-aggressive whiny board policeman
that is your favorite game
As we all know, nobody has ever played a roleplaying game or other tabletop game in a historical setting or one based heavily on history.
Are there any roleplaying or table top games based on this historical setting? This is a really cool period of history.
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The Elamites returned to southeastern Iran, and after crashing their city with no survivors the people of Ur went where they could.

The Amorites went wherever the hell they wanted, and finally settled.

Then, HISTORY happened.

The Amorites found that cities are much nicer to live in than tents, art is REALLY pretty, music sounds wonderful, taverns are fun, farming yields WAY more food than desert herding, and high class prostitutes will make your dreams come true far better than screaming tribal girls being dragged by the hair.

Much like conquerors have always done, they got soft.

And like the Romans will do with the Greeks, the Amorites adopted their religion entirely. Albeit changing the names of the gods.

The Amorites spoke Akkadian, but Sumerian was the classy, old fashioned, and spiritual language just like Greek was in Rome.

Even the Sumerian peasants forgot their old tongue.

Priests would whisper prayers into a bulls ears from one side in Akkadian, and Sumerian into the other.

The Amorites were always fighting each other until Hammurabi of Babylon began his reign in 1790 BCE.

You probably remember him from elementary school what with his code of laws.

And he had a great idea: "Hey everyone! YOUR religion is wrong, MY god is the true king of the gods. You're all just mistaken."

And thus Marduk became the chief god of Mesopotamia: overthrowing Anu, who overthrew Enlil.

Bablyon became the greatest city in between India and Egypt.

And the entire Mesopotamian region was called "Babylonia".

At a Bablylonian wedding, the bride put on a face veil for the first time and no unrelated man could DARE see her face.

Conversely, slave girls and hookers were FORBIDDEN from wearing the veil. It signaled that they were fair sexual game.

Mathematics and astronomy flourished under Bablylon. And they were able to subjugate Assyria.
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The Babylonian CRUSHED the Elamites, Gutians, and Kassites of Iran who have the old Sumerians hell in open battle and this helped cement their power in the 17th century BCE.

And the Amorites in the Levant were on very good terms with their Babylonian bros.

However, southern Mesopotamia had no natural, defensible boundaries, making it vulnerable to attack. After the death of Hammurabi, his empire began to disintegrate rapidly.

The Assyrians in the north broke free, and the Hittites exploded onto the scene in the early 15th century BCE. They didn't linger in Mesopotamia, but it weakened Babylon so much that the Kassites easily gave it the death blow.

The Kassites ruled Babylon for 576 years and were utterly despised.

But hey, it was a damn long dynasty.

They eventually got sacked by the Elamites until they regained freedom under Nebuchadrezzar during the bronze age collapse.
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Ah, Egypt! Vast country of sand and history, cut through by the nourishing course of the Nile. Land of the original God-Emperors, the Pharaohs, who raised pyramids and sphinxes to say "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Venturing through this country, O Bold fa/tg/uy, you will likely find merchants from faraway lands, cunning thieves, spitting camels, and olive-skinned seductresses with braided wigs and kohl-painted eyes. Also home to fanatical bald priests in lapis collars and leopard-skin robes, who usually wind up being turned into mummies after calling down the wrath of the gods upon their heads (usually for getting involved with the beautiful olive-skinned kohl-painted seductresses in some way). Wretched slaves labor to build pyramids in the scorching sun beneath the whips of merciless overseers...despite the fact that the great monuments were actually built by paid laborers with their own guilds.

Often considered a culture so exotically different (especially in the field of architecture) to Western and Eastern civilizations alike that some theorize about aliens.

Egypt was the second civilization in the world (after ancient Mesopotamia) to invent writing, with bits of proto-hieroglyphs being dated to the 33rd century BC. As a result, its history is extremely long. People tend to forget this: Egyptian history from the earliest extensive records in the 31st century BC to the Macedonian Conquest in 332 BC spans 2700 years. Consider this: To Jesus or Julius Caesar, the first Pharaohs were 1000 years more ancient than either of them is to us; to the builders of the Pantheon in Rome, the Great Pyramid was older than the Pantheon is to the designers of today's skyscrapers. Even the Ancient Egyptian "golden age" of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties was as far removed from them as the Early Middle Ages are to us—the world of Ramses II was as far back for Augustus as Charlemagne is to Barack Obama.
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Egypt is a wonderful place. The floods were WAY more gentle and pleasant than in Sumer. This made agriculture a comparative breeze.

Just like in Sumer, various Egyptian chiefdoms fought things out until there were only 2 kingdoms left. But in 3000 BCE, King Menes conquered his rival of lower egypt.

The easier life in Egypt made them lovers of comfort and luxury compared to Sumerians.

While sumerians were wearing sheepskins, the Egyptians had already figured out linen.

And instead of writing in mud, the Egyptians wrote on papyrus.

The Egyptians loved feeling pretty. Wigs, makeup (even for men), shaving, hair plucking, and perfumes were highly valued.

Now in pre-dynastic Egypt they KILLED old and frail pharaohs. But priests offered comfort in the fact that they would live forever in a splendid underworld with the Gods.

And to make this easier, they massacred his servants and buried them with him. (Clay dolls called Shabtis would replace human sacrifice. It was believed they would turn into real servants in the other world)

The tomb was made to look like a house and was even called "the house of eternity".

Richer kings commissioned masterpieces like statues to be buried with them. But tomb raiders are fucking assholes so they had to bury the treasures even DEEPA underground.

But corpses rot faster in dank dark pits, so mummification was developed.

Fun fact: noble women who were mummified were allowed to slightly rot for a few days to keep away necrophiliacs.

But Pharoah Kufu of the 4th dynasty wanted more. He commissioned many temples, and sent expeditions to find treasures.

This wasn't enough. So he had built one of the 7 Wonders of Antiquity.

The Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure.
Some people claimed Khufu was a massive dick, but then again he WAS worshiped after death too so who knows?

Some angry priests claimed Khufu whored out his daughter to finance the pyramids.

They also said she charged customers extra for EACH stone meant for her own pyramid.

Said pyramid has over 20,000 blocks, so I think it's safe to say that it was either bullshit or we were all DEFINITELY born in the wrong time period.

The Old Kingdom was 500 years long and prosperous.

Life had a pleasant rhythm.

Plow, plant, weave, reap, floods, go work on pyramids for fun.

All of this intersped with religious holidays.

But eventually the local governors got into spats with the Pharaohs over labor. Physical labor was their word for "taxes" .

And in 2200 BCE, the Pharaoh was overthrown and thus begins the 1st intermediate period.

Think about it being like China whenever there were noble warlords fighting it out to be Emperor.

And after 150 years the Theban Mentuhotep won. Unfortunately, he was rather weak and had to share power with the other nobles in a feudal style. So the Middle Kingdom was also called the Feudal Age.

Later on while everybody was squabbling, Egypt was slammed by barbarians!

These...freaks had bright red hair! And white skin! And I'm not shitting you here, they were RIDING GIANT DONKEYS!

With their warhorses, these terrifying men set themselves up in Canaan. And then closed in on poor Egypt. It was a terrible double penetration, because the Nubians of Kerma were allies of the Hyskos and attacked from the south.

The Egyptians DESPISED the Hyksos and Nubians for this. And because the Hyksos liked Seth God of Storms and the desert, he became demonized and associated with Chaos, Foreigners, and Evil.

200 years under the Hyksos DID teach them how awesome horses are though.
I like this, easy to read but still rich in detail.

Should be a weekly thread.
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>These...freaks had bright red hair! And white skin!
where the hell did they come from? Isn't red hair a Neanderthal trait?
The governor of Thebes named Ahmose mastered chariots as well as the composite bow and kicked out the Hyksos. He drove them to the far reaches of Canaan and who knows where.


...and then he utterly destroyed his fellow Egyptian rivals.

Ahmose and his successor Amenhotep I rebuilt Thebes, and created a new state religion, and established a powerful national army.

Egypt was back and stronger than ever!

This was...the New Kingdom.

Egypt conquered Canaan all the way up to Anatolia, and Libya in the West, and Nubian Kerma in the South.

Pharoah Hatshepsut was regent in place of her stepson and nephew Thutmose III.

She restored the ancient trade routes which were disrupted by the Hyksos, and launched a magnificent expedition to the fabled land of Punt which was probably somewhere in Somalia. It brought back staggering wealth.

Hatshepsut comissioned hundreds and hundreds of buildings and statues. These were even bigger and more glorious than those of the middle kingdoms.

She wore all of the regalia of a Male ruler and demanded to be called Pharaoh.

It was once thought that her successor Thutmose hated her and tried to destroy all memory of her reign, truth is that he didn't give a hoot one way or another.

Thutmose got busy right away being the greatest conqueror Egypt ever knew.

He even crossed the Euphrates river in Mesopotamnia to fight the Mitanni allies of the Hittites, and subjugated the Phoenicians.

Later, Akhenaten made a misguided attempt at monotheism and claiming Atem as the only God. That ENRAGED the priests and general population who couldn't image a world without Thoth, Isis, Horus, Anubis, Bast, and the other deities. After he died there was a sustained effort to destroy his memory.
Nobody can readily identify the origin of the Hyskos or the 'Sea Peoples' whose raids led to the Bronze Age Collapse. There's a few competing theories, but no single strong contender*.

*Based upon my own research several years ago, at least.
I am going to make the unilateral decision that they were ancient vikings.

>Ancient Africans
>Tanned skin

Revisionism at it's finest.
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>This is a really cool period of history.

>You will never play a campaign set so early in history that everything you do will reverberate through the ages
>You will never shag a dozen women and form a tribe that eventually becomes an entire cultural/ethnic group in a region of the world.

Shit, and I'm not even talking about a game set on Earth. Why aren't there more fantasy settings, especially homebrew, set during the "Dawn Age" of civilization, letting players impact the world in a very intimate way that not only feels fantastic, but relieves the DM from coming up with legends, civilizations or even gods for their "1k years later" campaign.
Also known as Ramses The Great, Ramses II 1303 BC – 1213 BC is popularly considered the greatest and most famous of all Ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

To modern Egyptians, he's a national hero - sort of the equivalent of King Arthur, part real man and part legend - whereas to the rest of the world he is best known for his portrayal as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Believers actually claim that it's more likely that one of the pharaohs of the earlier Eighteenth Dynasty (the one with Thutmose and Hatshepsut and Akhenaten/Sun God Guy) was the one in Exodus. (Ramses himself was the third monarch of the Nineteenth Dynasty.) However, Egyptian rule in Canaan continued throughout that time and through his entire reign, making a founding of Israel unlikely at that time.

He was the son of warrior pharaoh Seti I, widely considered to have been one of the greatest of all times. It is often suggested that everything Ramses achieved was because he refused to be overshadowed by his notorious father.

His capital city, Pi-Ramses, was said to be the richest in Egypt and described by historians as "dazzling with halls of lapis and turquoise" (about which the Egyptians were quite crazy; they LOVED the color blue). It was so awesome that when the branch of the Nile it sat upon silted up and rendered the site unusable, the pharaohs just moved everything including buildings, stone by stone, to their new capital at Tanis, which was a fair distance west.

He kept a pet lion and seemingly took it to battle with him.

Ramses was one of the two most powerful men in the world during his lifetime (the other being the Hittite king, his nemesis)

Analysis on his mummified body revealed that he had red or reddish-blond hair in his youth.

I'm understating how much modern Egyptians love him, loads of them claim direct descent from him just like Mongols do with Temujin. It helps that Ramses II had 80 to over 100 children whom he loved and RA knows how many wives and concubines.
Also Tut apparently had red hair.
Is there anything about where that genetic trait came from? I said earlier, I thought that was a Neanderthal trait that humans inherited through cross breeding. I also had the idea that red hair was pretty endemic to northern Europe, but it's cool to find out I'm wrong.

Did the ancient Egyptians get freaky with their Neanderthal cousins at some point too?
>Did the ancient Egyptians get freaky with their Neanderthal cousins at some point too?

Why wouldn't they? Neanderthals were prolific enough that Genghis Khan was a redhead.
I had a concept fora Final Fantasy campaign that ook places Chronologically during the end of various Ages. They completed the one arc/chapter, then timeskipped to the next chapter with new characters, with some sort of legacy from the prior ages showing up, and their older characters featuring in ruins/legends.

Bronze Age (Heroes), Iron Age (Kings), Cyberpunk (Technology), and Post-PostApoc (Peace).

One day I'll run the damn thing again.
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He had a VERY high opinion of himself, claiming to have mowed down hundreds of Hittites solo at the battle of Kadesh.

Ramses personally executed several of his officers deeming them as cowards and traitors.

His successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor".

He died at age 90 and got to see 14 Sed festivals (which come every three years)

Only halfway through what would be a 66-year reign, Ramesses had already eclipsed all but a few greatest kings in his achievements. He had brought peace, maintained Egyptian borders and built great and numerous monuments across the empire. His country was more prosperous and powerful than it had been in nearly a century.

Nefertiti was his first wife and love. Her tomb is one of the most elaborate Egyptian monuments ever built.

The last great pharaoh was Ramses III who came 70 years after the great.

In the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states, such as Philistia, in this region after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire.

He was also compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his sixth year and eleventh year respectively.

All of this fighting led to the decline of the New Kingdom.

And on top of this, the tomb builders all went on strike when they weren't being fed enough.

omething in the air prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BC.

This was followed by total shit.

The treasury was depleted, Ramses III's heirs all fought, droughts came on right after another, which led to famine, which led to rioting and corrupt officials grabbing what they could.

The Pharaohs were so weak that upper Egypt was basically being run by the High Priests of Amun.

The next few dynasties were laughable.
Actually the modern gene for red hair is unrelated to the Neanderthal version.

OK guys, I'm working tonight so here's hoping the thread's still up and maybe I can contriboot later.

I was going to get into the Canaanites/Hebrews, Persians, Hittites, and Assyrians next.

And maybe the Minoan and Mycenae Greeks if there was time left.
Huh, that's interesting.
Oh fuck dude, I'm looking forward to it. Are you a historian or something? Where do you get your information from?
Goodnight contributefag.
Has anyone been archiving these history threads?
Indus Valley civilization
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Menkaure (also read as Menkaura), was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom, who is well known under his Hellenized names Mykerinos (by Herodotus) and Menkheres (by Manetho). According to Manetho, he was the throne successor of king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidences he rather was the successor of king Khafre. Menkaure became famous for his pyramid tomb at Giza and his beautiful statue triads, showing the king together with goddesses and his wife Khamerernebty.
Last I read made the leap that they were probably a people who had settled the islands of modern Greece, but I don't know if that's the LEADING theory or just the leading theory according to the couple of sources I read.
Got any info on the sea peoples?
>middle eastern Lesbians and Waifus

yes please
The Sea Peoples could be ancient Greeks, Dorians, Anatolians, Random Semetic Peoples - we don't know, mainly because of the nature of the Bronze Age Collapse.

Unless it was one very closely times orgy of destruction, but theonly equivalent I can think of would be a simultaneous Mongol invasion of China, Persia, and Europe, and IIRC that didn't happen... simultaneously.
Heh, I'm impressed that I already memorized most of the stuff, not Egypt though, but I got Mesopotamia pretty well.

By the way, do anyone here know a good source for ancient architecture? I'm working a bronze age campaign and I'm having trouble with the more primitive villages outside of the not-Ur zone
Say... Is this an appropriate venue to discuss mythology or should we save that for elsewhere?
I don't see why not, as long as it's kept to the general topic of Bronze Age Near-East mythology.

I'm a big Mesopotamian fan. When I build nations I try to style it like Sumeria, in at least the curlicues and naming.
It's 5:25am and I've been loving every second. I don't know what half of this is, what the dates mean, the difference between BC and BCE is, but I loved it. Very fun to read, very easy, gets my imagination all fired up.
BC is the same as BCE, but BCE is secular.

What's the point in calling it BCE if it still follows BC?

Because the only response I've got on far more "liberal progressive" forums is something that amounts to "it makes people feel better you shitlord."
> the difference between BC and BCE
Wha..? How..?

Ok, they mean the same thing. BC stands for "Before Christ," while BCE is for "Before Common Era" because not everyone is Christian.

AD and CE mean the same thing as each other.
Theres no real point. Some people just prefer to use secular terms.
Wait, shit, it's that simple? Fair enough. I thought that might be the case, but I wasn't sure.
>because not everyone is Christian.

Not everyone is Christian, but they must follow the Western model.

But see it's okay because we changed the words a tiny bit.

Why the fuck don't they just commit to changing things and make a standard for time that wasn't established by a single culture group?
Because the way you actually change things to be more objective is to do so in logical steps, not try and rewrite everything from scratch if you see something wrong with it
>What's the point in calling it BCE if it still follows BC?
Divests religion from the subject a bit more, part of the change from "AD" "Year of our Lord" to "CE" "Common Era".
>Why the fuck don't they just commit to changing things and make a standard for time that wasn't established by a single culture group?

Because most people that matter will (rightly) refuse to use the "new" system and will just tell them to fuck off.
Because that's phenomenally awkward to just completely replace something like that across the planet, I would say it's nigh impossible. And who is they, exactly? Why do 'they' get the say in this change? You're gonna have to contact every single major world leader and scientist, you think they're all gonna agree on a single thing this important?

Also, I'm pretty sure different countries and culture also use different traditional methods to tell time. Jews and Muslims have different year counts for themselves. Chinese New Year is also a thing with some mainstream recognition.
Because it's convenient, I guess. At this point it would be insane to change to some other standard for time what with computers and all. The only group that's really made a sticking attempt at it is Islam, but Muslims still follow the Gregorian calender as well.

Who cares if we have a religiously oriented and a secular term for the same thing? it's really not that much of a hassle.
>*chief mwambe hits the right button on the cellphone*
>Hello, Mwambe?
>Yes, I know you can't use a cellphone, but I just called to tell you we, the Pan-Global Time Cabal, are using a new, unified time system. Make sure to tell your tribe!
>*clicks emanate nervously from Mwambe's lips*
>Who cares if we have a religiously oriented and a secular term for the same thing?

>Implying anything that's even partially associated with Academia won't use the BCE/CE model as though any alternative is a strange, unnatural "other."

I think my perspective on things is getting real fucked after spending time on sites that openly promote all the favorite /pol/ buzzwords like they're the one thing that'll save Humanity.

Guess I should've seen the signs when have the usernames are some variation of "dyke" or "furry."
It's why I like Holocene Epoch (HE) for historical dates. Just add 10000 years onto an AD date or subtract the BC date from 10001. As an added bonus, HE has a zero year unlike AD/BC, so calculating dates works like actual math and not stupid crap.

For geological/evolutionary date, Before Present (BP) is easier. Just subtract the date from the present year (1950). 1950 is the present; you're all living in the future. Isn't that neat?
What's Holocene in reference to? Why should it be used? I'm honestly curious.

And how does the second one work?
Our current geological epoch, going back about 11k years.
I heard some folks are thinking about classifying the current time as being part of a new epoch: the Anthropocene
I heard that priestesses blowed dead pharaoh's cocks, is this true?
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I can't be the first one to notice that kebabs captured Hispania on 711 and what that implies.
Some kebab gas station near me had a charity box for the "Andalusia School" and my dad leaned in and told them"It's SPAIN, now and it will remain Spain" before leaving.

It's fucking crazy how long Ramesses ruled, considering the normal life expectancy of the era. Every pharaoh claimed divinity, but in his case the Egyptians could have been forgiven for thinking was surely true. It was said that at the end of his reign, not only was there nobody alive who could recall having another pharaoh, but many people believed even their own grandfathers had never lived under another pharaoh. He outlived his first twelve sons and a number of his grandsons, and was succeeded by his 13th son, who himself was pushing 60 when his father finally died.

The irony, for Ramesses, is that in his youth he was the picture of the energetic soldier-king, dashing on his chariot and slaying the enemies of the realm with his bow, but he was destined to spend much of his reign as an arthritic, sclerotic old man (we can tell from his mummy), watching one crown prince after another drop dead while he lingered on.
And then they all got pushed out in the Reconquista?
7/11 is a gas station chain. Arabs own and operate 7/11 franchises.
That has been mentioned; it's currently in discussion really. I'm not too certain if I like it.

But I don't even have a degree, so I'm not involved in the conversation :P
I'd like to throttle the idiot that decided to center BP in 1950 instead of 2000. Yes, 2000 was in the future at the time BP was coined, but it doesn't really matter, and surely it would make conversions easier.
The fun thing is, Andalusia is a region in Southern Spain, major cities of Seville, Granada, and Malaga.

The equivalent would be talking about a "Californian School" and saying "Its America now!"
Yes, but it was one of the Kebab regions for a long time.

Still stinks of their reconquest dreams.
Outside of some fringers, I don't think there's any real reconquest dreams. Granada fell in 1492.

And Andalusia is STILL the name of the region.
Since we're in the history thread...

While the Muslims held Septimania in southern Gaul for a fairly short period of time and raided further north, the most enduring Muslim "enclave" in southern France was the fortress of Farakhshanit, known to the Franks as Fraxinet (or "Freinet" today).

Established by Andalusians in 889 in Provence, the Muslims of Fraxinet caused all sorts of headaches for their neighbors. They raided not only Provence, but overland into Italy, and for several decades made the Alpine passes unsafe for travel; Germans travelling into Lombardy worried about being attacked by Saracens. While the Christians called them "pirates" and many were surely interested in material gain, they seem to have considered their actions to be within the context of jihad. Fraxinet may also have been a mercantile center of some importance.

King Hugh of Italy came close to destroying Fraxinet with the help of a Byzantine fleet and their "Greek Fire" in 931. Yet though the Saracens were defeated on land and sea, Hugh opted not to wipe them out, and instead made a deal with them to maintain their control of the Alps since Hugh was worried about invasion from Germany or Burgundy. They were not destroyed until they kidnapped a revered abbot in 972, which spurred William, Count of Provence, to take action. He crushed them at Tourtour in the following year, capturing or killing them all, and earning the name "William the Liberator."
I actually had a campaign once that used the concept of early eras and timeskips. It was fun mainly because the group started to dissolve and new people came in and picked up the story
was there even a historical Gilgamesh? Isn't that mostly a no?
The ancient Egyptians would shave off their eyebrows to mourn the death of a pet cat.

The ancient egyptians also used linen sheaths for condoms, colored condoms were meant for men of importance

Children went about naked until age 12. After this young boys would have their single "lock of youth" cut off and be completely shaved.

They firmly believed in magic which was thought to come from the gods.
We know he was a real person, but much like the random welsh war leader who got blown up into King Arthur
But Andalusia needs special schools lest it's language dies. Your outrage is wrong and fabricated.
Just woke up. Did we ever find out if OP is a dog or not ?
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>They adored lapis lazuli much like the egyptians.
he's a dog, as far as we know.
Testament D20.
Where Temple Prostitute is a class, and Egyptian Paladins fall if they don't return lost cats to their home.
In the 19th Century, some scholars thought everyone was ancient vikings. Even the Chinese were vikings, until Ghengis Khan invaded and racemixed them into being asians.

Then again, they believed all sorts of crazy things back then.
Pretty much. We learn new things every day.

Historians generally just assumed that the pyramids were built by slaves, since they couldn't imagine anyone working at such a difficult, back-breaking job voluntarily. This theory was exploded when archaeologists discovered contracts and other evidence showing that the pyramid builders were almost allfree men. Historians now suspect that the pyramids were not just tombs but also enormous public works projects intended in part to give underemployed farmers something to do in the off season.

Conventional historical wisdom had it that Hatshepsut was a wicked stepmother whostole the Egyptian thronefrom Thutmose III, the legitimate heir (andher nephew,son-in-law,andstepson), and had herself crowned King of Egypt. She supposedly allowed Thutmose to control the army but otherwise ruled the country with an iron hand until her death despite Thutmose being a competent adult for most of her reign. The proof? After Hatshepsut's death, Thutmose walled up all her inscriptions, tore down her statues, and obliterated her name from the histories - clearly, a sign of someone who had finally had enough of a meddling mother-in-law. Putting aside for the moment how unlikely it would be for a woman to stage a successful palace coup in 1514 BC when her opponent had complete control of the military, it was discovered in the 1990s that Thutmose didn't even begin to obliterate Hatshepsut from the historical record until twenty years after she died. Historians now think that Hatshepsut and Thutmose were friendly allies who ruled as co-monarchs, and that the elderly Thutmose or his son walled up her inscriptions because even decades after her death the people saw her as a more legitimate ruler than Thutmose. This has also put a few thorns into the common belief that Thutmose was Egypt's most successful and best-loved ruler.
What is their language?
A.... Andalusian. Andaluz.
Presumably the Andalusian dialect of Spanish.
But their language is perfectly preserved already in the new world
Andalucismo pls go
hey, that's not right. the only time anybody was buried with their king was the Ur III dynasty which was at the end of the sumerian era.

So that I'm not just nitpicking:

The Sumerians also began a tradition that only makes sense when rain can destroy a building: they planted cuneiform tablets under the floor of their temples and palaces adressed toward the people of the future, asking that they should restore this temple if it was destroyed and that they should remember the kings of old who built it in the first place.
yeah they were slavers, but not like Romans or Greeks or the Southern States. more like forced labor for people they captured in war and for people who went bankrupt. It's also interesting to notice that in Sumerian, the word for "mountain" and for "foreign country" is the same, so all that "mountain man/girl" tells you is that slaves were usually not sumerians, i. e. semitic
>The Amorites found that cities are much nicer to live in than tents, art is REALLY pretty, music sounds wonderful, taverns are fun, farming yields WAY more food than desert herding, and high class prostitutes will make your dreams come true far better than screaming tribal girls being dragged by the hair.

I like how this is a repeating historical theme: City-folk get a bit soft because life is so good, hard-ass nomad-folk show up and kill them. Shortly the hard-ass nomad-folk realize how good city life is, adopt it, become a bit soft just to be wiped out by the next group of hard-ass nomad-folk. This seems to be a pretty big pattern in early history until city folk started making better forts and weapons and then it slowed down and largely stopped.
>Fun fact: noble women who were mummified were allowed to slightly rot for a few days to keep away necrophiliacs.
On one hand, I don't believe this, it just sounds absurd. On the other hand, humans are disgusting creatures, so it probably is true.
Pretty much that's what happened. Gunpowder weapons are effective as shit, and spell the end to nomad power.
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But no, for realises, I've got an undying love of the Great Northern War and it always saddens me to see it sort of ignored on /th/

I thought that something can make African people have red hair... though I don't recall if it was mutation or i want to say malnutrition, but that doesn't make sense, so it is probably rubbish.
"African" covers more genetic diversity than the entire rest of the Human species (due to founder effects from those who migrated from Africa). There are some African ethnic groups that can have red hair.
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Didn't Malcolm X have reddish hair too? I know nothing of racial genetics, but I think it's mostly a trait of "black" people with mixed ancestry. Kind of like how some mulattos have light eyes.
Western a shit, superior Chinese people please!

(no matter what you do, it is much appreciated)
It happens. My grandma is a redhead and as far as we know her side isn't mixed.
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I like how, in the early 20th century, lots of Chinese characters for different cultures were changed because they had semantic radicals meaning things like "slave", "savage", "animal" and "vermin"
The end of the last ice age, about 10 000 years ago.

Most geologists dismiss the idea of Anthropocene due to there not being a good globally recognized formation to date it by. I subscirbe the the newsletter of the American Society of Geology, and when somebody brought up the subject, the idea was mostly met with ridicule or derision.

Not that it really matters. BP is usually sued to refer dates far enough in the past that 50 or so years is inconsequential.

Of course, as a geologist I'll have to say that all of the squabling about date standards is irrelevant when the entirity of human history can just be referred as >1Ma.
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Are you after a rumble?
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Do you even have to ask ?
>Fertile Crescent
The whole GNR, starting from the march through Ukraine was one giant cockblock by Peter.
Lock damn, I'm a filthy Brit and I'm gay as hell for Karl
I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he misread the "standardbearer of Mari" as "standardbearer of Mali".
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>I'm a filthy Brit and I'm gay as hell for Karl

Fite me when you dont have the element of suprise and see what happens!
>no element of surprise
>what are tactics
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You are right. I expected honour from an Englishman!

But seriously, it was a bit of a dick move
There's a recent osprey that may or may not be a decent synthesis of the available resources, but it won't take you long to flick through at least
You got anything on the Elamites, bruh? You mention them at like, the very beginning of the Sumerian arc, and at the very end, and they seem to be Big Guys throughout. Inquiring minds wanna know.
A recent... what?

Somehow I don't think you mean a bird, or a helicopter.
Friend, you are a history buff but have never heard of Osprey Publishing?


Pop over to the Historical Wargames Thread and peruse our collection

>Friend, you are a history buff but have never heard of Osprey Publishing?

How is that even possible ?
Until fairly recently, I never much looked at Historical Wargaming. My usual main concerns are towards cultural, political, and economical.

And looking through their online catalogue, I recognize the books; Brookhurst Hobbies has 'em on the shelves in the back, but it mainly pertained to... military items.
Between 1206 and 1150 BC, the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria,[2] and the New Kingdom of Egypt in Syria and Canaan[3] interrupted trade routes and severely reduced literacy. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Pylos and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter: examples include Hattusa, Mycenae, and Ugarit.

The gradual end of the Dark Age that ensued saw the eventual rise of settled Syro-Hittite states in Cilicia and Syria, Aramaean kingdoms of the mid-10th century BC in the Levant, the eventual rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and after the Orientalising period of the Aegean, Classical Greece.
Fuck me.

I was thinking not an hour ago reading this thread "Man, I wish I had those Osprey books, I love those". I've been here at least a year and never realized those were there.
>Every ancient person was black
>All cultures come from Africa
>Every important human development comes from Africa
Black nationalist, please.
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>Did the ancient Egyptians get freaky with their Neanderthal cousins at some point too?

Neanderthal women were short and round, with very wide hips and presumably massive asses.

How could any red-blooded Egyptian male turn down a shortstack Neanderthal waifu with ass for days and an adorable nose to mouth ratio?
>them DSLs
I thought sub-Saharan's had almost 0% Neanderthalness, it was mostly white people and some Asians who were Neanderthal-fuckers.
Muslim are very butthurt about the whole Reconquista.
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>Still stinks of their reconquest dreams.
Spaniard here
Literally what?
>andalusia has another language
What the fuck
They all look the same to me!

Ok, not really, I just brain farted on the Egyptian part.
Of course it has its own language, it took centuries for if to get conquered by the Castilians and most of the folk just converted, and since Spain didn't have the whole "murder all dialects" policy that France had it survived well, at least until Franco
It doesn't have its own language. It's an accent, a dialect at most.
Alrighty, I'm back!

Here's a general overview of the Mediterranean world around 1500 BCE.

It was an age of widespread trade, and major civilizations were making regular contact,

The Achaens (Mycenaen Greeks) took up dominion over the Greek mainland and became expert sailers. They were a nation of pirates and merchants...emphasis on the "pirate" part.

The old Minoan civilization on Crete was rapidly declining, and the Achaens took their place eventually. The Minoans were famed for their elaborate palaces, artwork, and boobie exposing dresses.

The Achaens were merely one branch of the Indo-European family.

Around the time of Sumer, the Proto-Indo-Europeans EXPLODED out of the black sea steppes and their language, culture, and gods diverged into unique yet vaguely recognizable forms all over Europe, Anatolia, Central Asia, Persia, and Northern India.

The Hittites were one branch of the Anatolians and discovered Ironworking...well for the middle east and europe anyway.

The Hittite empire was bordered by fellow Charioteers called the Mitanni.

The Canaanites were living under Egyptian power, and were bordered by the ocean, the Hittites, and the Mitanni.

And FAR to the east of all this there was another branch of Indo-Europeans called the Aryans. They were busy helping to destroy one of the greatest civilizations of the bronze age. But I'll tell that story later...

The Egyptian empire was running like a well fed Kenyan, and they kept the peace by marrying their princesses to foreign kings.

Around 1370 BCE, Pharoah Amenhotep announced "There is no God but my God and I am his prophet" :3

Shit. Just. Got. Real.

The idea of one god was completely alien.

When Ahmose I conquered Egypt he placed all the Gods into the temple of Amun. Amun's priests became rich and tried to get richer by selling "Get out of Ammit Free cards".

The priests even had mechanical statues of Amun who spoke and moved with hidden mechanisms.
The Amarna letters are unusual in Egyptological research, because they are mostly written in Akkadian cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, rather than that of ancient Egypt. The known tablets total 382: 24 tablets had been recovered since the Norwegian Assyriologist Jorgen Alexander Knudtzon's landmark edition of the Amarna correspondence

Letters from the Babylonian king, Kadashman-Enlil I, anchor the timeframe of Akhenaten's reign to the mid-14th century BC. and the quarrelsome king, Rib-Hadda, of Byblos, who, in over 58 letters, continuously pleads for Egyptian military help. Specifically, the letters include requests for military help in the north against Hittite invaders, and in the south to fight against the Habiru.
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Amenhotep declared Aten AKA the sun to be the only God.

And Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten or "useful to Aten".

Akhenaten closed the Amun temples and created a new capital city called Akhetaton. The construction workers played it safe and brought amulets and idols of their own gods.

And inside of their huge palace (the coronation hall alone was bigger than an NFL field) he and his bride Nefertiti devoted themselves to Aten and ignored the rioting provinces.

...until Akhenaten fell in love with his NEPHEW Sekhen-Re and Nefertiti left him.

Sekhen-Re died and was buried in a woman's coffin. Akhenaten died soon after.

Nefertiti gave the crown and her daughter to a little boy named Tut...

1200 BCE was rather shitty.

After Ramses died in 1255 BCE, Egypt tuned inward and fell to foreigners 300 years in.

The Mitanni were under siege by a new power called "Assyria:.

The Hittite empire was devastated fighting Egypt and collapsed into warring city states in less than 50 years.

And in the west the Greeks were laying siege to Troy.
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Go on...
>a fucking accent

How much of what we know about Akhenaten can be trusted, and how much is posthumous slander?
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I'm actually using Aten in my game right now! Admittedly, I've made some... changes.
I find any time a historical figure is commonly portrayed as having The Gay information gets a bit sketchy as you have to wonder how much is slander due to people hating him making it an issue.

This is opposed to other people who were otherwise liked, who were gay but it isn't historically a major point.

It is often similar to women, if a woman gets in power and fucks up, people go "See! Women are terrible!" but when they do well it's "Soandso was awesome, and may have been a woman".
History fag here (yes I have a degree in it) and this is bloody brilliant. We need more of these threads more often
give us a rundown of something Ancient culture or event then. Historyfags must provide for the masses to feed off of.
I'm currently writing a game (although at this point it's not at all playable) where the players run a Greek colony somewhere in the Mediterranean, in the time after the successor wars. Focus will be on the different kinds of government, internal and external difficulties, and the gain or loss of personal and state resources, much inspired by the A Song of Ice and Fire rpg, but with a more "Shakespearean" approach to war and murder: It happens quickly and off-screen, with actual play focusing on how characters deal with the events instead.

Of course I'm afraid of fucking up the historical stuff, I've only really read one book about the Hellenic world (coincidentally called, "The Hellenic World"), so I'm not really an expert. I'm more of a literature nut, so I tend to gravitate to books that are more story than history, which usually aren't reliable at all
>Greek colony somewhere in the Mediterranean

A real one, or a fictional one?
So kind of like Syracuse?
Make it a colony in Anatolia or new one in siria or even the black sea. In those times Greek was considered the learned tongue, so kings competed to have more Greek speaking people than the other, I think it was one of the kings of Pontus than kidnapped hundred of them to make colonies in his territories.
I would suggest Massillia. Greek but with Celtic influence
>not Baktrian Greek military kolonia
muh dick
I love /tg/
I'm uploading all of Mythic Vistas on Mega right now. I'll deliver, sooner or later.
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Iran is an old country, I mean a REALLY old country dating back to 3200-3800 B.C.

It's by and by large a mountainous plateau, like Tibet but less dramatic and with no floating enlightened guys.

The first settlers called it Haltamti., but the Sumerians pronounced this as "Elam". And like the Sumerians, the Elamite language was a unique isolate.

Proto-Elamite civilization grew up east of the Tigris and Euphrates alluvial plains; it was a combination of the lowlands and the immediate highland areas to the north and east.

Remember those wretched "mountain people"?

In 2500 BCE Elam was conquered by Enmebaragesi of Kish...but keep in mind the Sumerians also claimed this guy lived 900 years.

The Avan dynasty was partly contemporary with that of the Mesopotamian emperor Sargon of Akkad, who not only defeated the Awan king Luhi-ishan and subjected Susa, but attempted to make Akkadian the official language there. From this time, Mesopotamian sources concerning Elam become more frequent, since the Mesopotamians had developed an interest in resources (such as wood, stone, and metal) from the Iranian plateau, and military expeditions to the area became more common.

When the Akkadian empire fell, the Elamites broke free from the Sumerian/Amorite yoke in the 22nd century BCE under king Kutik-Inshushinnak. He was a pretty cool guy, he saved the Elamite language from being overwhelmed by Akkadian and promoted the new Liner Elamite script. For the first time the Elamites stood together as one.

Following his reign, the Awan dynasty collapsed as Elam was temporarily overrun by the Guti, a people from what is now north west Iran speaking another language isolate (There was SO much linguistic diversity back then linguists are still creaming themselves).

About a century later, the Sumerian king Shulgi of the Neo-Sumerian Empire retook the Elamite city of Susa and the surrounding region.
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Elam was under attack from all sides, Sumerians and Gutians were running a train on poor Elam.

Fortunately, the Sumerians were starting to decline. And in 2004 BCE the Elamites rallied under Kindattu and sacked Ur., taking its king as a slave. AND looting the temple of Innana (Amorites called her Ishtar) old testament style.

The dynasty of 1970–1770 BCE was around the same time as the Old Babylonian and Assyrian empires.

For Elam, this meant constant fighting to preserve their independence. Siwe-Palar-Khuppak was a mighty king and general, even the Mesopotamian kings like Hammurabi called him "daddy". (I'm not shitting you).

The Elamites retook their old city of Susa in the middle period (1500–1400). And Elamite culture flourished.

They were on amicable terms with the Kassites of the Zagros mountains (even if they were a tad barbaric) and sometimes married them. The Kassites at the time were doing awesome because the Hittites had crushed Babylon. And Elamite gods were being worshiped all over the place.

Under the Shutrukids (c. 1210–1100), the Elamite empire reached the height of its power. They engaged in wars of conquest against Kassite Babylon with the help of Assyria. They even stole the statue of Marduk!

Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon attacked Susa and reclaimed Markduk before being crushed by Assyria.

The period between 1100 and 770 we don't know dick about except they were allied to whoever was the biggest Assyrian or Babylonian bully around.

And between 770 BCE and 646 BCE came the Aryans from central asia. No, they were not a blonde haired blue eyed 7 foot tall master race with psychic powers.

They were another branch of the Indo-Europeans who wandered around on horses, Their sister branch conquered the Indus Valley Civilization which was already on the brink of collapse.

These new guys called the plateau Airyanem kshathra, or "land of the Aryans". Which is where we'll eventually somehow get Iran from.
fun fact: it wasn't uncommon for egyptian nobles to marry their sons qnd daughters to eachother. (for a certain period of history anyway)
>No, they were not a blonde haired blue eyed 7 foot tall master race with psychic powers.
0/10 historically implausible dropped
And thus Testament is uploaded, will be followed up by more.
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These Aryan tribes grew stronger than Elam over time, especially in the northwest.

Parthians, Sagartians, Margians, Bactrians, Sogdians etc

Among these pressuring tribes were the "Parsu", first recorded in 844 BC as living on the southeastern shore of Lake Urmiah, but who by the end of this period would cause the Elamite's original home, the Iranian Plateau, to be renamed Persia (Parsu...Persia, get it?).

These newly arrived Iranian peoples were largely regarded as vassals of the Neo-Assyrian Empire until the late 7th Century BC.

Urtaku (674–664) for some time wisely maintained good relations with the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (668–627), who sent wheat to Susiana during a famine. But these friendly relations were only temporary, and Urtaku was killed in battle during a failed Elamite attack on Assyria.

In 653 BCE the Iranian plateau was subjugated by the Scythians (think white marijuana smoking mongols and you get the idea) led by Madius.

The Parsu were given their own kingdom,which was going to become the core of the Achaemenid empire (Y'know, from 300 but without the naked god kings, demonic soldiers, and slavery).

The Assyrians soon kicked out the Scythians, and the Elamites wouldn't stop fighting each other.

Eventually they earned the ire of Assyria, and well....

"Susa, the great holy city, abode of their Gods, seat of their mysteries, I conquered. I entered its palaces, I opened their treasuries where silver and gold, goods and wealth were amassed...I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns. I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur. I devastated the provinces of Elam and on their lands I sowed salt."

Of course he was exaggerating, but the point stands.
At least be gay for Gustav II Adolph.
Gotta keep it in the family somehow I guess.
sorry about going back to Sumeria, but
what do we know of these pre-sumerian villages? how did they start? better yet, what's the earliest known point where humans (or any hominids) possessed abstract thought?
The Assyrian Empire started to decline in 627 BC which gave way to raging anarchy and roving warlords.

The Aryan tribes saw this colossal shitstorm and were like "wow, uh we're just gonna go free now..."

The Medians took control of Elam during this period. Cyaxares the king of the Medes and Persians, entered into an alliance with a coalition of fellow former vassals of Assyria. And on top of this, he allied with the far northern Aryan tribes like the Scythians and Cimmerians.

This coalition sacked Assyria itself, and conquered everything from Arabia to Egypt to Cyprus to the Caucaus mountains.

Elam was quietly absorbed in the late 7th century BCE.

"There is Elam and all her multitude, All around her grave, All of them slain, fallen by the sword, Who have gone down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, Who caused their terror in the land of the living; Now they bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit."

(Ezekiel 32:24)
>what's the earliest known point where humans (or any hominids) possessed abstract thought?
As far as we know, hominids have had it since humans diverged. So we're looking at around 140,000 to 200,000 years ago
I was hoping to create to create a setting that took place sometime after the first person wondered "why?", and wanted to know what it was like at that point.
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Now for someone who rarely gets much spotlight.

The Hittites!

I'm certain you've seen that word scrolling around history websites and flipping through books. But who WERE these guys?

According to them, the land was called Hatti. (No relation to the Hattians).

They spoke Nesite, which belongs to the Anatolian branch of Indo-European.

Around 5000 BCE, Anatolia was populated by the non-indo-european speaking Hattians and Hurrians.

The Hattians were organised in city-states and small kingdoms. These folks worshiped the earth mother, the storm bull (all over the middle east bull cults were very popular), the sun goddess, and many other nature gods.

These gods and their language would later become adopted by the Hittites for ritual use (Remember, civilization is NICE to live in).

The Hittites proper arrived around 2000 BCE to Anatolia. Labarna I was their king. And they got to work fast. They took most of Anatolia with their war chariots, and even sacked Babylon as well as much of Canaan.

And from Mesopotamia they adopted writing. King Mursili didn't want Babylon so he gave it to his Kassite allies for 500 years starting in 1531 BC.

But all this rapid conquest meant that nobody was watching things at home in Anatolia and infighting happened. So loads of Hittite troops were sent home to assert the king's power.

Mursili was assassinated shortly after his return home, and the Hittite Kingdom was plunged into chaos. The Hurrians (under the control of an Indo-European Mitanni ruling class), a people living in the mountain region along the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers took advantage of the situation to seize Aleppo and the surrounding areas for themselves.

This shit was going to happen over, and over, and over for the next 500 years due to how kingship worked. The Hittite ruler was the first among equals, even among the peasants.
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The Old Hittite kingdom, which existed up until 1500 BCE would just live like this until the middle kingdom when the egyptian God-King idea "You're committing blasphemy by trying to take my throne, enjoy hell" got popular.

The (rather feudal) Hittite empire was made up of two dynasties, leading to "Game of Thrones" style intrigue and fighting for the period.

The next monarch of any note following Mursili I was Telepinu in 1500 BCE, who won a few victories to the southwest by allying himself with one Hurrian state (Kizzuwatna) against another (Mitanni). Telepinu also attempted to secure the lines of succession.

The Hittites spent the Middle Kingdom era fighting off the non-indo-european speaking Kaskians who lived in eastern Anatolia near the black sea. The Hittites were never able to subjugate them.

With the rise of Tudhaliya I came the true glory of Hatti. The king was considered a god and called "my sun".

And later on the Hitties expanded in all directions. Egypt was seeking an alliance by marriage of another of his sons with the widow of Tutankhamen. Unfortunately, that son was evidently murdered before reaching his destination, and this alliance was never consummated. However, Assyria began to grow in power also, with the ascension of Ashur-uballit I in 1365 BC. Ashur-uballit I attacked and defeated Mattiwaza the Mitanni king despite attempts by the Hittite king Suppiluliumas I, now fearful of growing Assyrian power, attempting to preserve his throne with military support. The lands of the Mitanni and Hurrians were duly appropriated by Assyria, enabling it to encroach on Hittite territory in Asia Minor, and Adad-nirari I annexed Carchemish from the control of the Hittites.

Hittite prosperity was mostly dependent on control of the trade routes and metal sources. And Pharaoh Ramses II challenged them at the battle of Kadesh. (see above)

Both the Hittites and Egyptians began to decline yet again because of the rising power of the Assyrians.
The "Treaty of Kadesh", one of the oldest completely surviving treaties in history, fixed their mutual boundaries in Canaan, and was signed in the 21st year of Rameses II. Terms of this treaty included the marriage of one of the Hittite princesses to the Pharaoh Rameses.

Hattusili's son, Tudhaliya IV, was the last strong Hittite king able to keep the Assyrians out of the Hittite heartland to some degree, though he lost territory to them, and was heavily defeated by Tukulti-Ninurta I of Assyria in the Battle of Nihiriya. He even temporarily annexed the island of Cyprus, before that too fell to Assyria.

The very last king, Suppiluliuma II also managed to win some victories, including a naval battle against Alashiya off the coast of Cyprus. But the Assyrians, under Ashur-resh-ishi I had by this time annexed much Hittite territory in Asia Minor and Syria, driving out the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I in the process, who also had eyes on Hittite lands.

The Sea Peoples had already begun their push down the Mediterranean coastline, starting from the Aegean, and continuing all the way to Philistia—taking Cilicia and Cyprus away from the Hittites en route and cutting off their coveted trade routes. This left the Hittite homelands vulnerable to attack from all directions, and Hattusa was burnt to the ground sometime around 1180 BC following a combined onslaught from new waves of invaders, the Kaskas, Phrygians and Bryges.

The Hittite Kingdom thus vanished from historical records...

In the 1100's the Hittite world was divided into various city states which came under the power of Assyria.

These Neo-Hittites wrote Luwian, a language related to Hittite, using a hieroglyphic script.

It's believed by scholars that the Troy of "The Illiad" existed under a different name at roughly this point.
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Compared with the history of Egypt, historians know little about the history of Libya, as there are few surviving written records.

There were many Berber tribes in ancient Libya, including the now extinct Psylli, with the Libu being the most prominent. The ancient Libyans were nomad hunter gatherers, living off their goats, camels and other livestock while hunting and gathering at the same time. Milk, meat, hides and wool were gathered from their livestock for food, tents and clothing. Ancient Egyptian sources describe Libyan men with long hair, braided and beaded, neatly parted from different sides and decorated with feathers attached to leather bands around the crown of the head while wearing thin robes of antelope hide, dyed and printed, crossing the shoulder and coming down until mid calf length to make a robe. Older men kept long braided beards. Women wore the same robes as men, plaited, decorated hair and both genders wore heavy jewelry.

Herodotus divided them into Eastern Libyans and Western Libyans. Eastern Libyans were nomadic shepherds east of Lake Tritonis. Western Libyans were sedentary farmers who lived west of Lake Tritonis.
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Home of columned temples, chiton-wearing gods, slinkly dressed goddesses, amazons, and bearded philosophers. Also home to mythic thong-wearing (That's sandals by the way) heroes who ride winged horses and do great deeds (all without getting either chafed or sunburnt). The Spartans live here too, and they're known for their brutal training methods, stylish slow-motion fighting techniques and for being manly enough to charge nearly naked into battle even when outnumbered 70 to 1. And they ARE NOT gay at all, brah. Frequently confused with Ancient Rome by people who don't care.

In fact, this picture is a blend of two distinct periods; mythical Greece, conventionally said to end with The Trojan War around 1000BC, and classical Greece, home to the first philosophers.

The "classical Greece" period itself tends to blend cultures that evolved and combined over the course of many centuries. While Athens at one time pulled the city-states together for defense against Persia, and both Sparta and Athens were heads of large military unions at one time or another, Greece never had a monolithic culture any more than the NATO block or Europe; it was the sum of the cultures of many independent city-states, each with its own culture, religion and calendar, all ultimately blended together in the giant food processor of history.

If you were to visit the Balkan Peninsula in, say, Pythagoras' day, you'd find that religious practices and social mores varied heavily depending on what city you were in.

Nonetheless, it's suggested that the Ancient Greeks in general did see themselves as such, in a manner not too dissimilar to what's now called nationalism.

The ancient Greeks were also great colonists, founding cities across the Mediterranean from what is now Spain to the Black Sea. In fact after the 4th century BC the largest Greek-speaking cities were generally OUTSIDE the territory of modern Greece
Bumping with information that all of the historical-themed D20 Campaign Settings are uploaded, and here's the list:
>Egyptian Adventures Hamunaptra
>Testament - Roleplaying in the Biblical Era
>The Hitties (supplement for Testament)
>Trojan War
>Eternal Rome
>Medieval Player's Manual
>Mindshadows (SE Asia, mainly Indian subcontinent)
>Skulls & Bones
Tomorrow I may add more fantasy Capmaign Settings: The Black Company, The Red Star and Spiros Blaak.
Was never a big Greek fan, but I was reading about their military a bit ago, think it was because of Rome: TW 2.

Anyways, the classical warfare between Greek states was very odd and I suppose quite civilized as well.

Angry city states would challenge the other to battle, they would pick a valley and a date during summer, get their civilian armies together for it, go to the valley and just form lines and walk into each other more or less. Very few casualties, no "cheating" tactics, after a few days I guess they decided on who won, then go home. Whatever dispute was settled. At least until next year.

None of this running through the countryside raping and pillaging and damaging the civilian economies.

Times change and so did this of course, it was a quite "civilized" period of warfare.

I never knew this and found it quite interesting.
>In fact after the 4th century BC the largest Greek-speaking cities were generally OUTSIDE the territory of modern Greece

Well no shit. Greece was ill-suited for big cities (it's why they were so keen to colonize besides their closeted tribal mentality) while hellenic Asia was massively wealthy and fertile and probably hundreds of thousands of greeks and macedonians had emigrated from Greece to Asia during and after Alexander's conquests.
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When the first tribesmen came to Greece, they found a region full of mountains, warm seas, and more islands than the hekatonkheires number of arms.

This made things like agriculture and communication difficult. And that resulted in diverse isolated communities, excellent boat building (the sea was faster to travel than land), an emphasis on fishing, and a lack of cattle raising.

Around 10,000 or so years ago, pale skinned Anatolian farmers brought their way of life to Europe with Greece being the first. Funny thing is that the ancestors who brought white skin genes with them were mostly men. It's been theorized that these male farmers could feed hunter-gatherer wives better and out competed the swarthy hunter gatherer men.

The following Bronze Age saw major advances in social, economic, and technological advances that made Greece a hub of activity in the Mediterranean. Historians have identified three distinct civilizations to identify the people of the time. These civilizations overlap in time and coincide with the major geographic regions of the Greece. The Cycladic civilization developed in the islands of the Aegean, and more specifically around the Cyclades, while the Minoans occupied the large island of Crete. At the same time, the civilization of the Greek mainland is classified as “Helladic”. The Mycenaean era describes Helladic civilization towards the end of the 11th c. BCE and is also the called “Age of Heroes".

The proto-Greeks (The actual Indo-European speakers) probably arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC.

There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, and the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the older dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period.
if you know anything at all about the history of georgia and the caucasus, i think that it could be interesting as its a history not a lot of people consider
>Iran means land of the Aryan
I'm starting to get why Israel is so keen on nuking those guys
I and a few others have been reviving a Skype history chat to talk about cool events, get ideas for alt-history, share research, or just shoot the shit, and we're looking for new members to help make the place more active. I figured this thread would be a good place to spread the word.

Add themoxn on Skype if you're interested.
Well duh. Only Israel and jews are allowed to be supreme Menschen and national socialists. They even got Lebensraum in the east!
That one guy still taking aim.
>If you are finished posing, you could help winning this damn battle.
This aint working
>This aint working
What? What I did wrong, I wonder...
Yes, I am new to using Mega as uploader.
try now?
Now it works, thanks anon!
>Around 10,000 or so years ago, pale skinned Anatolian farmers brought their way of life to Europe with Greece being the first. Funny thing is that the ancestors who brought white skin genes with them were mostly men. It's been theorized that these male farmers could feed hunter-gatherer wives better and out competed the swarthy hunter gatherer men.
Damn whities invading europe and muh dicking our women! go back to Anatolia!
The Minoan civilization on the island of Crete has been called the "first link in the european chain" for good reason.

From 2600 to 1400 BC they were accomplished sailors, architects, and traders. Unfortunately we still can't translate their text, so anything we COULD know about their actually society or even language is out of our reach. Fucking cockteases.

Homer recorded a tradition that Crete had 90 cities. And the greatest was Knossos, what with it's vast palace complex.

These guys traded with Anatolia, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Canaan, and even Spain!

Minoan men wore loincloths, and woman wore short sleeved robes that exposed their breasts.

Their people left us various frescoes, statues, and pottery. Some very curious images are of young men seemingly performing leaps over bucking bulls. We don't know if this was a sport, religious ceremony, myth, or even just some asshole guy who wanted to trick us 3,000 years later into trying it.

Most of the seemingly mythological images are of women. Of course since we don't know what their religion WAS it's all guesswork for now. In the 80's and 90's agenda driven feminists jumped all over this claiming that Crete was an egalitarian matriarchy utopia dominated by women who worshiped everything female.

Of course that's pure conjecture, and we used to think the classic Mayans and Shang Chinese were "Utopias that didn't even COMPREHEND warfare" until we learned to read their scripts and dug out more artifacts.

Minoan cities were connected with stone paved roads and there was a sewer system with piping.

These guys performed human sacrifice, even young children were violently sacrificed and eaten at times.

Their demise was a result of the Mount Thera Eruption as well as conquest by the Mycenaen Greeks who'd already adopted much of their technology.

What a mysterious people...
Glad I could be of assist.
Bacchus(Dionysus) was conscripted into the official Roman pantheon as an aspect of Liber, and his festival was inserted into the Liberalia. In Roman culture, Liber, Bacchus and Dionysus became virtually interchangeable equivalents. Bacchus was euhemerised as a wandering hero, conqueror and founder of cities. He was a patron deity and founding hero at Leptis Magna, birthplace of the emperor Septimius Severus, who promoted his cult. In some Roman sources, the ritual procession of Bacchus in a tiger-drawn chariot, surrounded by maenads, satyrs and drunks, commemorates the god's triumphant return from the conquest of India, the historical prototype for the Roman Triumph.

In The Birth of Tragedy (1872), the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche contrasted Dionysus with the god Apollo as a symbol of the fundamental, unrestrained aesthetic principle of force, music, and intoxication versus the principle of form, beauty, and sight represented by the latter. Nietzsche also claimed that the oldest forms of Greek Tragedy were entirely based on suffering of Dionysus. Nietzsche continued to contemplate the character of Dionysus, which he revisited in the final pages of his 1886 work Beyond Good and Evil.

This reconceived Nietzschean Dionysus was invoked as an embodiment of the central will to power concept in Nietzsche's later works The Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist and Ecce Homo.
>the random welsh war leader who got blown up into King Arthur
Source? This sounds mighty interesting.
>Homer recorded a tradition that Crete had 90 cities.

I'm not one to argue with Homer, but 90 cities on Crete? Isn't it a very small island? Is he using a different definition of "city"?
Greek polis during classical age was around 3-4k in population so I doubt bronze age cities were larger on Crete.
Arthur is a hotbed of bollocks with very little that actually says anything about anyone actually existing.

The closest you get is Gildas comparing a warlord/warrior and stating 'he was not Arthur'. Arthurian scholarship is a full of hopes and dreams of people that follow poor history and don't use the sources (archaeological and textual) to anything approaching the rigour seen through other early medieval and any other field.
Most of that was terribly worded but it's very late and I'm tired. If this threads about tomorrow I can continue the discussion.
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Mycenaean Greece (The Acheans of the Illiad) refers to the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece 1600–1100 BC. Mycenaean Greece perished with the collapse of Bronze-Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean. Various theories have been proposed for the end of this civilization, among them the Dorian invasion or activities connected to the “Sea People”. Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have been also suggested.

Figuring out the linear B script was pivotal in figuring out the identity of these people. The Acheans were already in western Anatolia at this point.

Our heroes built palaces and military fortresses, these were not the simple traders of Crete: They were warriors, pirates and proud of it.

In 1400 BCE, Hittite records mention the military activities of an Ahhiyawan warlord, Attarsiya, a possible Hittite way of writing the Greek name Atreus, who attacked Hittite vassals in western Anatolia. The Hittite-Ahhiyawan confrontation in Wilusa, the Hittite name for Troy, may provide the historical foundation for the Trojan War tradition. As a result of this instability, the Hittite king initiated correspondence in order to convince his Ahhiyawan counterpart to restore peace in the region. The Hittite record mentions a certain Tawagalawa, a possible Hittite translation for Greek Eteocles, as brother of the king of Ahhiyawa.

According to the Achaeans themselves, the Trojan War took place during the 12th or 13th century BC, with Troy itself located somewhere in modern-day Turkey. During classical history, the Greeks accepted the war as fact, although many doubted that it transpired exactly as stated. Thucydides for instance doubted that the war could have occured as described, he being a military man was sure that it was logistically impossble, but he accepted that it was a real conflict.
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This continued through the middle ages. However from the time of the enlightenment onwards, they began to doubt it. By the time of the nineteenth century historians believed Troy to be just north of Albany. Really.

For those unfamiliar with American geography, there is a small city called Troy in Upstate New York, just north of the state capital, Albany...

The historian, George Grote in his massive 11 volume "History of Greece" devoted only a few pages to it, stating (with the smug certainty and confidence that only the damn Victorians could have) that it was a fun but baseless story... at least until archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann unearthed the ruins of a city he identified as Troy in 1870. His claims have not been challenged. Uh oh. More archeology was done at the site, which confirmed the hypothesis.

In the early 20th century, the writings of the Hittites and other contemporary civilizations were deciphered which seemed to affirm the theory and gave names. Wilusa for Troy. And Alexanderus as a King. But then a snag, further excavations seemed to show that the site was too small to have been a city of the type and nature stated in the story.

But, in the 1990s and the early 2000s more and more discoveries once again led credence to the claims of historicity. The site is now thought to have been a major city, or at least a major city at the relevant time

And descriptions of the geography of the time is now confirmed to be in consonance with what we know. Looking deeper into the source you can see many clues in Greek records which seem to bear the story out.
How dare you question the Victorians! They new everything!
Even within the story, there are clues that it's not an invention, the catalog of ships was basically a list of all the troops from all the Greek cities involved in the Iliad that mention cities who did no longer exist at the time of writing of the Iliad and indeed whose existence could not have been known to Homer through any other means.

So while there is no consensus, there is a great weight of evidence that something happened that was remembered, be it a series of wars or one rather memorable Trojan war

The problem is, however, that there have been nine cities on the site, built in layers one atop the other. The oldest (Troy I) was founded somewhere around 3000 BC; the last (Troy IX) was founded by The Roman Empire somewhere around 100 BC. It is generally accepted that Troy VII is the city which the Achaeans burned to the ground. Part of the problem is that Schliemann is perhaps the world's luckiest decidedly amateur archaeologist; the deep gash he cut in the site makes it easy to date layers but hard to identify artifacts. As to the dates, the Achaeans weren't far off; scholars estimate the war took place around the 12th or 11th century BC, and (at least partially out of affection) often let stand the dates provided by the Greek historian Eratosthenes, 1194-1184 BC.

Troy was so very rich because they were on main trade route for bronze, and was destroyed so very often because everyone wanted a piece of the action. To make things worse, they were also on the border when the cold war between the Achaeans and their Anatolian neighbors, the Hittites, turned hot. There are actual letters from the Hittite royal archive thought to discuss this war as what it was: a trade conflict,which takes away a lot of the romance.
If you ain't got a boars tusk helmet, you ain't my Nigguh.
However, a lot of this is still more speculative than you would think; for instance, the German archaeologist Dieter Hertel makes a not unconvincing case that the archaeological evidence is consistent with the city being destroyed by an earthquake, not war, and considers it more likely that migrating Aeolians eventually moved into the destroyed place and that the myths about Troy reflect either this or a previous unsuccessful Greek attack on Troy. He also casts doubt on the wealth and wider importance of Troy, pointing out that it was by no means the only town on the coast of that part of the Hellespontos. Finally, the identity of the town called "Wilusa" in Hittite sources with Ilium or Troy is still unproven.

And in 2008 the Austrian writer and philologist Raoul Schrott after translating the Iliad from scratch and comparing it to Assyrian literature advanced the highly contentious hypothesis that Homer's work is set not in north-western Asia Minor, but in Cilicia, in the south.

Because Helen had a nine-year-old daughter by Menelaus, it can be assumed that the two of them had been married for at least that long when Paris arrived. This raises the question of how old Helen was, not to mention how old Paris was, and what sort of relationship they had. Keep in mind that, here in ancient Greece, girl-children were considered burdens: you had to pour wealth and food into them, and send them off with a dowry, and what would you get in return? The gratitude of her husband and his family, sure, but that might not be worth much. So the smartest thing you can do is get rid of this PARASITE as fast as possible. Greek girls were married off the instant they hit menstruation. Men, on the other hand, needed some time to build up industry and wealth before they took a wife. The end result was that, on her wedding night, Helen would have been something like 14, and Menelaus more like 30 or 35.

She was till a bit too old for /tv/'s taste.
>implying the Greek dark ages happened.

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Now enter Paris, who was probably much closer to Helen's age, with whom she could have bonded with as an emotional equal, and who was almost certainly more attractive to her than Menelaus for these reasons. Either way it's perfectly in-character for an Achaean wife. (There's a reason they worshiped Hera to keep them chaste)

Helen would have been dutiful, of course, and gotten on with her life as Menelaus' woman; but she was a normal human being too, who longed for love and probably didn't get to spend much time with anyone of equal status, male female or otherwise. Both forces were undoubtedly present in her heart.

So off Helen goes, and Menelaus rallied his forces. This would have been a lot more difficult than it sounds, because the Hellenes were not particularly united at that point in time. This was the age of "Heroic Warfare", which is rather like the bronze-age version of feudalism: any central authority was pretty weak, so while a king like Agamemnon might theoretically command the loyalty of his vassals, it would be a real pain in the neck trying to get them all pointed in one direction and going off to fight the Trojans rather than feuding among themselves. Getting multiple kings to do this would have made cat-herding look easy.

Frankly, what's surprising is not that it took them eight years to land at Troy, but that it didn't take them longer. The military setup was rather medieval as well. In The middle ages, you had knights: professional soldiers, who spent all their time either fighting one war or training for the next one. In Mycenaean Greece, you had equeta, chariot warriors who filled much the same role.
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So, if these guys spent all their time sword-swinging, how did they eat and have a home to sleep in and clothes to put on their backs?

They had a bunch of "civilians"! (Slaves. euphemistic language aside, Archaic Greece was HEAVILY dependent on slaves, treated anywhere from "one of the family" to "I will make you beg for death" who worked for them to provide all these things, which in medieval Europe were called "peasants" or "serfs" and in Ancient Hellas were "all" called...something. We really don't know. Sorry. The "freedom-loving" Spartans of the Classical era called them Helots anyway, but that's just Sparta; every city had its own terminology.

But in any case: when you read Homer, you see this bunch of names that are mentioned once, when they die: and it seems kind of pointless. But now you know that EACH one represents years of training and the collective effort of many people; the effect on Hellenic audiences would have been similar to your reaction to all those Jedi dying in Attack of the Clones (aside from eye rolling at the rest of it). This gives you a sense of just how wasteful the war was.
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Also, we should talk about Sacred Hospitality. American culture doesn't embrace this value very much (except maybe in the Deep South), but the Greeks (And most of the pre modern world) were absolutely mad for it; in fact, the god who took domain over Sacred Hospitality was none other than Zeus himself. 'Xenia'', sometimes translated as "guest-friendship" or "ritualized friendship," is the act of being really, really nice to passing strangers—they get the best food, the best wine, the seat of honor, gifts aplenty. Maybe he's a stranger, but you treat him like your favorite relative. In those days there weren't hotels everywhere, you stood a good chance of freezing to death, starving, dehydrating, or burning up when you traveled far from home. It was matter of life and death. All over the planet there's myths about scraggly strangers coming to visit and revealing themselves as Gods/Angels/Saints to good hosts, and punishing bad ones.

Seriously, the heroes of Greek myths are constantly washing up on distant, unmapped shores and having to beg help from the natives. So do unto others as you would have them do unto you, right?

It kept open the lines of diplomacy. Let's say you're at war with someone the Spartans, to grab a name out of thin air. During the war, Menelaus comes to visit. Xenia requires that you treat him with honor and respect, even though he's your arch-enemy: the best food, the best wine, the place of honor, etc, as opposed to say murdering him in his bed. And a good thing too, because what if he was coming to sue for peace? Besides, a fellow Hellene was much more likely to be a friendly enemy than anything else. Warfare was more genteel in those days.

A certain jewish carpenter from Nazareth put it best: "As you did for the least of these, you did it for me." And rather unlike the carpenter, if you slighted a GREEK god by ignoring him, he was not going to take it well.
The last written Linear B Mycenaean texts dates of the early 12th century BC, and the first Greek alphabet appeared in the 8th century BC,leaving a 400 year gap.

The reason this applies to the Trojan War is that when Paris made off with Helen, he was in gross violation of sacred hospitality. Even worse, the god of xenia is ZEUS: father Zeus with his lightning bolts and his beard. Paris didn't just offend Menelaus, he offended the gods, and the Greeks were obligated to avenge this insult with blood.

It's also worth noting that Helen was the actual Queen of Sparta, and that Menelaus only became King by marrying her. When Paris kidnapped/made off with her, he not only jeopardized Menelaus' position as King, but gave the Trojans a claim on a kingdom in mainland Greece. Given that after Paris' death the Trojans marry Helen off to his brother Deiphobus it seems likely that they were planning to make something of this claim which the Greek-city states, and in particular the Myceneans under Agamemnon would never have allowed.

Finally, there's often talk about what kind of relationship precisely existed between Achilles and Patroclus. The easiest jump to make is to the Hellenic custom of pederastic patronage; in the Erastes Eromenos relationship, the older man (the erastes "lover") traded advice, networking and business connections to a younger man (the eromenos "beloved"), who would in return make himself available for various sexual favors.

The historical objection to Achilles and Patroclus having this kind of relationship is that it might not have EXISTED at the time; this was a feature of Classical Athens, not Heroic Athens, and first developed in the 7th century BC, long after this war was fought.
>It's been theorized that these male farmers could feed hunter-gatherer wives better and out competed the swarthy hunter gatherer men.

Those stupid metrosexual farmers, coming in and stealing our women with their fancy civilized talk.
That "accent" was on all the signs at the airport, along with Spanish (usually above it).
Was it the Minoans or Mycenae that used Linear A and B as alphabets?
That kinda remind me of Artemis
>Oh you saw me bathing by accident? Might as well have you transformed into a stag and hunted by your own hounds
>Oh you mocked me? Might as well rain arrows on your whole town
>Oh you lost your virginity and still stayed with my group of virgin nymphs? Might as well transform you into a bear

And then there is Orion.

Goddamit Artemis, learn trigger policy
Minoans used A

Mycenae used B

Since the Minoans spoke a non Greek or even Indo-European tongue we can't tell what the fuck linear A says. If we could compare two of the texts like the Rosetta stone the archaeological, historical, and linguistic communities would explode with joy.
Alright guys, want me get into the Indus Valley Civilization, the Shang Dynasty in China, or Canaan/Israel next?

Let's hear about China
But we'll be here all week for China.
fugg them.
Gib ancient Iberia
Indus Valley.
Voting for Indus
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Math major?
That's one for China
One for Iberia
Winrar, Indus it is
Who said I'm not.
Curses, wanted to hear your words on the Xia Dybasty
Got you covered, OP.

Were the ancient Egyptians black?
>Inb4 the nubian dynasties
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The ruins of great cities cannot tell us everything about its people. A 5,000 year old mystery lingers in Pakistan and Northwestern India. The key to solving this may be found in the 3,000 km river Indus, which flows all the way from the Himalayas.

Humans settled along its banks and began to tame the floods, transformed deserts into gardens, and irrigated rivers for over 500 years.

"Once day at sunrise, after his morning ablution in the waters of the Sarasvati, Srila Vyasadeva sat down to meditate. The great sage saw anomalies in the fibers of the millennium. He foresaw that the life of everything material would be cut short due to lack of virtue"

-Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.4.15-18

Mohenjo-Daro sits on the banks of the Indus within the Sind province of Pakistan. It was settled by mysterious people from the border region with persia 2,000 BCE. And founded the largest of all the Indus Valley Cities. Numbering over 40,000 people within one square kilometer. The streets were expertly planned and cross at right angles. The main street was about9 meters wide. It had 80 public toilets, and a bettet sewer system than much of India and Pakistan TODAY. Each individual house had a tiled bathroom and a home well. There were drains, gutters, and water collectors. And many crossroads had public garbage cans. But its crowning achievement was the great bath in the center of the settlement, along with its galleries and fountains. The builders mostly used mud and stone bricks up to 15 meters high. Their carpenters used Himalayan ceder wood which fit precisely into columns.

There were underground conduits which cleaned the roads and funneled filth away from the city.

They built stone dams to control the raging rivers during the monsoon season. The people of Dholavira changed the entire course of the rivers to fill great basins (up to 79 meters long and 7 meters deep), they used the sloped land to carry water into the city in aqueducts.
If it's okay, I think I'll split these ancient threads up into easier to digest pieces.

I'd feel terrible to speedrun through Rome and Classical Greece AND the Persians, AND the Chinese, AND loads of other peoples.

Hell, I wanted to spend some of this thread talking about fun trivia like mummification and Mesopotamian poetry.
This sounds like the "Phantom Time" idea about the European Dark Ages with the 8th-11th centuries CE.
Did your grandma have any ancestors in the antebellum South? Then yes, she did.
Keep up the good work OP, making a historian proud.
OP, post what you want to talk about. It's fairly well written, and though it covers no new ground for me I am enjoying reading it.
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As far as we know the people of Dholavira probaly had an almost sacred reverence for water (a bit like the later Hindus and Jains). They had two tanks and one well at the heart of the city which pointed to the sky.The purest water came from the earth itself, and there was a staircase to the waters like some hindu shrines.

What was very odd is that most of the early urban sites in India and Pakistan are in the most arid regions like Sind and the Thar desert, until explorers realized that once upon a time the mighty Ghaggar river flowed through both.

They realized the now laughable Ghaggar river was actually the legendary Saraswati river mentioned in the Vedas.

There was a system of weights and measurements, and advanced tools were gaining ground, weapons, mirrors, razors, woodworking, ceramics, copper, bronze, ivory, and jewelry of gold and gems.

The merchants marked their products with clay stamps and copper plates as well as steatite (a metal that hardens when heated) seals. Merchants wore such things on their necks.

Long distance trade led to the use of contracts like we've found in Mesopotamia based on little cylinders. These stamps have all sorts of animals on them.

We can't really make out much social stratification like palaces and such aside from some folks having more jewelry.

In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, discovered that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh that dates from 7,500–9,000 years ago.

They don't seem to have been particularly warlike, preferring trade largely.
So that is why our sub mascot is a greek god.
I can feel it
Is there any information that shows sacred hospitality wasn't being acted upon all the time, I find it strange that people could of acted this way in the past.
Seals have been found at Mohenjo-Daro depicting a figure standing on its head, and another sitting cross-legged in what some call a yoga-like pose. Some local researchers as well as the Englishman who re-discovered the civilization have recognized the figure as Shiva.

Now we do not know this because we can't read their script, but if it is then Hinduism is FAR older than we imagined, even older than the Vedas the Aryans later brought with them.

Judging from the dispersal of Indus civilization artifacts, the trade networks economically, integrated a huge area, including portions of Afghanistan, the coastal regions of Persia, northern and western India, and Mesopotamia.

Studies of tooth enamel from individuals buried at Harappa suggest that some residents had migrated to the city from beyond the Indus valley. There is some evidence that trade contacts extended to Crete and possibly to Egypt.

We USED to think that the IVC was destroyed by rampaging Aryan tribes, but it's more likely they declined due to droughts and the decline of trade with the Middle East (Bronze age collapse? See how history has butterfly affects?)

Over time monsoons made it harder to farm due to shifting further east, and the civilization began to leave the scene quietly. And this wasn't overnight, there were still urbanized people in Pakistan and India by the Aryan invasion. The Aryans were pretty much like "you guys had a good run, it's our time now".

We THINK the IVC spoke a Dravidian language (which are now only dominant in south india) but they broke up as the climate changed. Some of the evidence lies in the random Dravidian tongues which pepper isolated areas of Pakistan and Indian within a sea of Aryan languages.
Damnit, I missed the vote for China.

I'll add my own tidbit about ancient China then!

In pre-Bronze and early-Bronze Era China, spears and arrows were weapons for the "lesser folk", kings and generals though, they had battle axes! Seems a bit of an odd symbol of status, but the old (6000 years ish?) statues and art of the time seems to show this, only people of high status were displayed with the axes.

Interestingly, unlike the West, or even Japan and to a lesser extent Korea, the Chinese traditionally were never big on the "warrior class", often placing them under farmers and craftsman.
Even though it is a bit of a time skip talk about the guy who though his brother was Jesus and then conquered a good bit of China.
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In the name of Indra we continue the topic of India!

With the fading of the IVC came the rise of the Vedic Age. It was here that the mighty Aryan warriors arrived from the steppes of Central Asia and split from their Iranian sister Aryans.

Now was the age of all those crazy heroes and wars from Hindu epics.

Indo-Aryan tribes moved into the Indus valley, and then, all of northern India. They brought the Sanskrit language, which is comparable to Latin and Greek in Europe COMBINED in terms of the influence it had on India.

These people brought the vedas, chariots, and a new social system.

Hinduism's roots can be traced back to Iron Age India, and as such it is believed to be the oldest living religion in the world. Contrary to popular Western belief, most modern Hindus will attest that it is monotheistic, not polytheistic. To sum it up simply, in the same way Catholicism has the concept of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being different forms of the same God, Hinduism has a similar belief: Vishnu, Lakshmi, Lord Shiva, Brahma, Hanuman, etc. are all different forms of one God, known variously as Brahman, Ishvara, or other names. So, though Hindu Mythology contains a vast pantheon of gods and beings, they are all recognized to be part of the same Sarvasva/Brahman or "All-Being", i.e, God

Of course, this is not set in stone, and debates on whereas Hinduism is polytheistic or monotheistic have occurred for centuries.

It should be noted though, that Hinduism encompasses a wide range of beliefs and is not bound by a single doctrine. There is no one leader of the religion, equivalent to the Pope or the Dalai Lama, so there are different sects of the religion with different dogmas.
Took me a minute to figure out what you were talking about, but yeah, the Taiping Rebellion. Honestly not something I studied a lot of as I tend to lose interest after the 16th or 17th century, Taiping was mid 19th.

But yep, run by a guy who thought Jesus came and gave him mandate to start this rebellion, though at the time the ethnic Chinese were under the Manchu for a while and everything was already going to shit for years. So Jesus was pretty timely.
I like a lot of what I read about Hinduism. Just a lot of really interesting ideas going on... and maybe I have a soft spot for polytheism as well.

Is Sanskrit still used today regularly or is it mostly dead like Latin?
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This makes Hinduism the only major world religion that is henotheistic by nature, i.e, involving devotion to one God while accepting the existence of others. This is why most Hindu sects do not seek converts, as there is an accepted belief that the goals of spiritual life can be attained through any religion, as long as it is practiced sincerely. It is also one of the only religions in the world that allows the practice of atheism within itself.

It is also common practice for a community to hold faith in a "local" god, associated with a single temple or location. On occasion these may not even have temples or even idols or statues; it might merely be the concept of a higher being, usually a protector and usually named after the location, that is believed in by the local population, with no particular rituals or prayers. Prayer locations of these deities are usually sacred groves, and there are thousands of such locations and gods scattered across India. Activities like logging and hunting are heavily prohibited in and around these areas, enforced by a combination of tradition, religious beliefs and the law. Because of this, over the years, these groves have become a haven for both rare animals and plants, as species seek shelter in them due to habitat destruction.
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According to Hindu Mythology, the universe was born from Lord Brahma, The Creator, and it is maintained by Lord Vishnu, The Preserver, and governed by Shiva, The Supreme God. Shiva is also known as The Destroyer, in the sense that after the age of man is over, the world will be destroyed to unite all individual souls with the Supreme Consciousness. The three together form the Great Trinity, more popularly known as the "Trimurti" of Hinduism. (note that Hinduism is a living faith like all others, the Trimurti wasn't a thing until the high middle ages. And Vedic religion is as alien to modern Hinduism as Canaanite mythology is to Islam.)

Both Vishnu and Shiva are widely popular among Hindus as deities, to the point that there has been some friction between the devotees of the two. Vishnu is arguably the better known, probably because of the vast amount of mythology surrounding Vishnu and his Avatars. Since the maintenance of the world is his responsibility, Vishnu will incarnate as an Avatar whenever Evil rises, to bring balance to the world. Prince Ram, Lord Krishna and Vamana are some of the popular incarnations of Vishnu. Ram's story has been chronicled in the Ramayana, and Krishna's in the Mahabharata, a part of which is the Bhagavad Gita.

>Is Sanskrit still used today regularly or is it mostly dead like Latin?
Sanskrit is deader than disco. I mean Sanskrit was DEADER than dead by the time of Classical Greece.

The Aryans of the Vedic Age were rapidly diverging into their own languages by the time they reached India.

But yeah, all Brahmins are pretty much OBLIGATED to learn it in order to chant the Vedas a preside over rituals. And ancient Indian nobles used it like Romans used Greek.
>We USED to think that the IVC was destroyed by rampaging Aryan tribes, but it's more likely they declined due to droughts and the decline of trade with the Middle East (Bronze age collapse? See how history has butterfly affects?)
This bit is new to me. Huh.

Makes sense with my greater personal theories, though.
No. They're about the same color now as they were way back in ancient times.
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(Love this song, it was written by a Brahmin devotee of Lord Hanuman who was imprisoned by the Muslim Mughal emperor who tried to ban his worship. Legend says that legions of angry monkeys attacked the emperor's armies until he revoked his decree. They say reciting it drives away demonic creatures and wizards/witches)

Apart from the Trinity, there are also a number of younger gods or Devas, who occupy the heaven, known as Swarga. Almost every entity in nature has a corresponding god or goddess - Agni (Fire), Vayu (Wind/Air), Varuna (Water & Sky), Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Bhumi (Earth), etc. Indra is the King of the Gods, and Lord of Swargaloka, which is Heaven. Narakaloka is the opposite, and is Hell. Naraka's lord is Yamadharmaraja (literally means yama the most just). He is not evil and takes no pleasure in punishing though. He just assigns them to Swarga (Heaven) or Naraka (Hell). Yama is the son of Surya(Sun).

The concept of the Devil/Apep/Ahriman/Morgoth/reddit/, a central being that causes all evil, does not appear in Hinduism. Simply put, such a character simply doesn't exist in the mythology. Instead, Hinduism states that good and evil exist inside all creatures, and, according to the path one chooses, his fate will be determined. This is where Karma comes into play - in accordance with your actions, in your next life you will be born as a lesser or higher being. Though demonic creatures do exist in mythology, even they are never portrayed as chaotic evil - even Ravana, the biggest, baddest big bad in the entire Hindu mythos, never comes off as pure evil, though he is definitely a bit crazy.

Pic related, Hanuman lifting a mountain to save his bro
That part about fighting being for farmers and the lower class is interesting. What little I've seen of Chinese history and culture indicates the have a great reverence for civil servants, bureaucrats, and any form of government that isn't evil or abusive. Is that all correct? China seems really big on Order
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After 1200 BCE, the originally tribal Aryan horselords spread across the Ganges plain.

And much like other nomadic conquerors they learned something from the IVC.

Cities are REALLY nice.

The end of the Vedic period witnessed the rise of large, urbanized states as well as of shramana movements (including Jainism and Buddhism) which challenged the Vedic orthodoxy. This would help lead eventually to Hinduism as we know it.

The caste system is a powerful institution prevalent in Indian society even today. For many Indians, caste is a major aspect of their identity. It is something one is born into. People are expected to marry (and in some places, even socialize) within their own caste. A person inherits their parents' caste, and it cannot change regardless of what job they have or how much wealth they accumulate.

And though there is a strong relationship between caste, occupation, and economic status, it is not as homogeneous or simple a system as Westerners are led to believe. Its power varies across India and across time. People can and have taken occupations outside those associated with their caste, historically as well as in the present day. (There was even a south indian dynasty of Sudra kings!)

The Manusmriti (Laws of Manu, the first Man in Hindu mythology) theoretically divides society into four varnas (Varna = Caste), which can be further divided into Jatis (sub-castes).

Brahmin - religious priests and scholars
Kshatriya - kings and warriors
Vaishya - merchants and artisans
Sudra - service

Outside of these four groups is the Dalit - earlier so called "untouchables" who can historically do only menial jobs, like street cleaning, cremation and leather tanning.
>any form of government that isn't evil or abusive

I almost can't wait to be done with India. You have SO much to learn.
Honestly, apart from Shiva being blue and smacking niggas with a chariot wheel, i know bugger-all about the non-abrahamics, so this is incredibly interesting. Can you give a rundown of some of the big things some of these gods did during history, like exactly why shiva was smacking people around with a wheel?
Wouldn't you, if you could?
But I thought Chinese rulers literally had a mandate from heaven to govern so long as they governed well?
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However, these are not THE castes. This is a common misconception.

There are thousands of groups in India that are called castes (such that it would be difficult to list all here in any meaningful way) and an Indian will identify with one of these thousands of groups rather than one of the varnas.

With the exception of Brahmins and Dalits, whose varna is truly a HUGE part of their identity.

The concept of jati is closer to the actuality of caste, and infact the two words "jati" and "caste" are often used interchangeably in India. There is not always a clear-cut hierarchy because there are a lot of jatis, and they change across region and time. Castes can also arise from various ethnic, tribal, or religious divisions (i.e, not solely from class or occupational divisions). In addition, there can be overlap and redundancy, with more than one jati occupying the same "niche" of occupation or function.

And how rigid caste was depended on the era you lived in. Women in the Mahabharata were less subjected to caste restrictions and could rise up to a higher caste/social station through hypergamy. Satyavati is the daughter of a fisherwoman and becomes the wife and Queen of Shantanu. Vidura's mother is a slave who slept with Vyasa whose son therefore easily rises to the level of Vizier.

Valmiki's (This was the sage who wrote the Ramayana epic) profession was that of being a thief. He repented of his thievery and became instead a hermit and a poet. It does not seem like Valmiki had any obstacles to this path, perhaps because being a hermit/sage removes one from all obligations to society and by default, caste.
>profession was that of being a thief
This is hilarious and interesting
>It's believed by scholars that the Troy of "The Illiad" existed under a different name at roughly this point.
>Also home to mythic thong-wearing (That's sandals by the way) heroes who ride winged horses and do great deeds (all without getting either chafed or sunburnt).
I thought they wore those ankle-high wrapped sandals, not flip-flops.
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In the expanded version, Krishna, the Avatar is criticized by Uttanka, a brahmin, for not having stopped the Kurushetra war and his partiality towards the Pandavas. Krishna is impressed by his argument and promises him that he would get water whenever he is thirsty. Uttanka wanders in the desert and is thirsty. He sees a untouchable who walks up to him and offers him water in a bag made of animal skin. Uttanka refuses due to his prejudice. Krishna appears and states that the untouchable was actually Indra who had ambrosia/nectar in his bag that would make him immortal. He then chastises Uttanka for his own prejudice.
They do, in a very romanticized kind of way.

There was a desire for "everyone in his place" and there was a complicated spirituality to it as well. As much as some would like otherwise, they were all ultimately people trying to keep order though, and had human failings like most others.

Except Koreans. Koreans are in fact semi-divine bear people. So better than the rest of the world.
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Many of the qualities of Indo-Iranian god of might/victory, Verethraghna, were transferred to the adopted non-Aryan or even Indo-European god Indra, who became the central deity of the developing Old Indic culture. Indra was the subject of 250 hymns, a quarter of the Rig Veda. He was associated more than any other deity with Soma, a stimulant drug probably borrowed from the central asian religion. His rise to prominence was a peculiar trait of the Old Indic speakers.

These migrations may have been accompanied with violent clashes with the people who already inhabited this region. The Rig Veda contains accounts of conflicts between the Aryas and the Dasas and Dasyus. The Rig Veda describes Dasas and Dasyus as people who do not perform sacrifices or obey the commandments of gods. Their speech is described as mridhra which could variously mean soft, uncouth, hostile, scornful or abusive. Other adjectives which describe their physical appearance are subject to many interpretations. However, many modern scholars connect the Dasas and Dasyus to Iranian tribes Dahae and Dahyu and believe that Dasas and Dasyus were early Indo–Aryan immigrants who arrived into the subcontinent before the Vedic Aryans.
>Shiva being blue
Only his neck, which was from swallowing a poison meant to DESTROY THE UNIVERSE
>Can you give a rundown of some of the big things some of these gods did during history
Can you give me 4 more threads to cover half of it?

>like exactly why shiva was smacking people around with a wheel?
Not Shiva, Krisha: the Avatar of Vishnu. (Long story short, Jesus in Christianity would be considered an Avatar of God)

And the context was that he promised prince Arjuna he would never raise a weapon against his cousins (the bad guys). The wheel was a loophole.
Kek. Didn't stop many from being assholes like humans are wont to do. And the Confucianists and Legalists were often jerks.
You forgot the bit where he dug straight through Troy VII and claimed Troy IV as the Homeric Troy.
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Military conflicts between the various tribes of Vedic Aryans are also described in the Rig Veda.

Most notable of such conflicts was the Battle of Ten Kings which took place on the banks of the river Parushni. The battle was fought between the tribe Bharatas, led by their chief Sudas, against a confederation of ten tribes— Puru, Yadu, Turvasha, Anu, Druhyu, Alina, Bhalanas, Paktha, Siva, Vishanin.

Bharatas lived around the upper regions of the river Saraswati, while Purus, their western neighbours, lived along the lower regions of Saraswati. The other tribes dwelt north–west of the Bharatas in the region of Punjab. Division of the waters of Ravi could have been a reason for the war.

The confederation of tribes tried to inundate the Bharatas by opening the embankments of Ravi, yet Sudas emerged victorious in the Battle of Ten Kings. Purukutsa, the chief of Purus, was killed in the battle and the Bharatas and the Purus merged into a new tribe Kuru after the war.

After the 12th century BCE, as the Rig Veda had taken its final form, the Vedic society transitioned from semi-nomadic life to settled agriculture. Vedic culture extended into the western Ganges Plain. The Gangetic plains had remained out of bounds to the Vedic tribes because of thick forest cover. After 1000 BCE, the use of iron axes and ploughs became widespread and the jungles could be cleared with ease. This enabled the Vedic Aryans to settle at the western Gangetic plains. Many of the old tribes coalesced to form larger political units.

The Vedic religion was further developed when the Indo-Aryans migrated into the Ganges Plain after 1100 BCE and became settled farmers, further synchronizing with the native cultures of northern India.

However, the development of the varna system, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants, ultimately led to the excluding of indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure.
I've been to Troy. It's mindblowing how many cities were literally built on top of each other. I took a seashell embedded in what I think was the layer of Troy VII
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The Kuru Kingdom, the earliest Vedic state, was formed by a super-tribe which joined several tribes in a new unit. To govern this state, Vedic hymns were collected and transcribed, and new rituals were developed, which formed the now orthodox Srauta rituals.

Two key figures in this process of the development of the Kuru state were the king Parikshit and his successor Janamejaya, transforming this realm into the dominant political and cultural power of northern Iron Age India.

The enire Mahabharata epic is about the conflict between the Kaurava and Pandava families of Kuru.

The most famous of new religious sacrifices that arose in this period was the Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice). This sacrifice involved setting a consecrated horse free to roam the kingdoms for a year. The horse was followed by a chosen band of warriors. The kingdoms and chiefdoms in which the horse wandered had to pay homage or prepare to battle the king to whom the horse belonged. The horse was then executed and the queen would pretend to engage in necrophilic beastiality while the other wives ritually screamed curse words. (charming). Then the horse was chopped up, cooked, offered to the gods, and eaten. This sacrifice put considerable pressure on inter–state relations in this era.

The Kuru kingdom declined after its defeat by the non-Vedic Salva tribe, and the political centre of Vedic culture shifted east, into the Panchala kingdom on the Ganges. Later, the kingdom of Videha emerged as a political centre farther to the East, in what is today southern Nepal and northern Bihar state in India, reaching its prominence under the king Janaka, whose court provided patronage for Brahmin sages and philosophers such as Yajnavalkya and Uddalaka Aruni.
>Didn't stop many from being assholes like humans are wont to do. And the Confucianists and Legalists were often jerks.

I find the Chinese tend to, historically, take a big view of things and when it comes time to kill 100 people to save 1000 they just do it without much of a big deal then carry on.

King: "Will 5000 workers die building this massive dam/canal thing?"
Engineer: "Sure, but for decades or more the 10s of 1000s of people who will benefit from it will prosper."
King: "Oh, well ok then, get to work."

Try and get the world to agree on a single specific starting point for the historical calendar. Muslims want the Hirja, Jews want the creation of the universe, Christians want BC/AD, fedorafags want some convoluded "since big bang", Hindus have their own choice, Africans have their own, Chinese have their own, Japan has their own. You want to use the big bang or the emergence of homo sapiens when most folks outside of Europe, Australia, China, Japan and some of the North America don't believe in in evolution or the big bang?

BC/AD developed organically because of the predominance of the Christian West. Other cultures adopted it because of necessity in dealing with the foreigners, desires to westernize or by osmosis from being ruled temporarily by the West. It's the same reason English developed as a lingua francia for the world and while Esperanto went nowhere. Systems of culture or institution or language are not developed in a sterile office by bureaucrats if they want to be successful. Classical Arabic isn't dead like Latin, but it's largely only alive in a religious capacity and a great number of its adherents don't even understand the words they are saying.

I dislike XKCD but I'm reminded of this comic. Not to sound /pol/ but if someone gets butthurt about using the Western Imperialist's BC/AD then they've got a lot in their life they'll have to purge if they want to be earnest in their contempt.
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On that topic the whole notion of the Indo-Aryans sweeping in and wiping out the Harappans is patently false, as the Harappan civilization had collapsed centuries prior to their arrival. At best the Indo-Aryans might have come upon isolated residual states squatting on the ruins of the Harappans. Like you said there's some thought that the dasas/dasyus were fellow Indo-Aryans. After all the Vedic Aryans considered their undeniably Indo-Aryan neighbors over in the Indus valley and further afield along the Afghan-Pakistan borders as "mleccha" - barbarians without caste and proper vedic ritual.
I like the 1950 break point, as that is at least mostly scientific and can be pointed to as a pretty inarguable point of time free of controversy (though perhaps including a bit of guilt).
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Rig Vedic society was relatively egalitarian in the sense that a distinct hierarchy of socio–economic classes or castes was absent.

However, political hierarchy was determined by rank, where Raja(n) stood at the top and dasi at the bottom.

The Vedic household was patriarchal and patrilineal. The institution of marriage was important and different types of marriages— monogamy, polygyny and polyandry are mentioned in the Rig Veda. Both women sages and female gods were known to Vedic Aryans. However, hymns attributable to female sages are few and female gods were not as important as male ones. Women could choose their husbands and could remarry if their husbands died or disappeared. (Idiots came up with the bright idea of Sati later)

Cows were sacred at this point already. Hereditary kingship started emerging and competitions like chariot races, cattle raids, and game of dice, which previously decided who was worthy of becoming a king, became nominal.

Vedic religion evolved into the Hindu paths of Yoga and Vedanta, a religious path considering itself the 'essence' of the Vedas, interpreting the Vedic pantheon as a unitary view of the universe with 'God Brahman seen as immanent and transcendent in the forms of Ishvara and Brahman.

These post-Vedic systems of thought, along with later texts like Upanishads, epics (namely Gita "teaching" of Mahabharat), have been fully preserved and form the basis of modern Hinduism. The ritualistic traditions of Vedic religion are preserved in the conservative Śrauta tradition.

When the Kuru kingdom declined, the center of Vedic culture shifted to their eastern neighbours, the Panchala kingdom. The later part of this period corresponds with a consolidation of increasingly large states, republics, and kingdoms, called Mahajanapadas, all across Northern India.
Love these threads OP.

My problem is it's arbitrariness and pointlessness of it - you're still operating from a Christian timeline as 1950 is still the Christian 1950, not the Hijra 1950 or the Hebrew calendar 1950. All you did was subtract the BC/AD suffix but retain the feature that ostensibly is taken cause with (the Christian centricism of the calendar year). If that is your goal then it is simplier for everyone to just make it BCE/CE.

it reminds me of the silliness of the French Republican Calendar.
While there's controversy as to whether Mao was being serious, or just doing his own version of the Madman Strategy, I do love his viewpoint on nuclear war being a paper tiger: "At best, only one third of the population are killed. At worst, three quarters. China has survived similar things before. Nuclear war is therefore not to be feared."
haha oh wow, did he actually state that?
I can't believe that it wasn't a bluff. No way Mao was just going throw China away to show it could take some nuclear punches
>""Let's try to suppose, how many people would die if war breaks out? Of the 2.7 billion people on earth, the losses might be one-third, or perhaps, somewhat more, say half of mankind....As soon as war begins, atomic and hydrogen bombs will be used in abundance. I once argued about this with a foreign political leader. He said that in case of an atomic war absolutely everyone would die. I said that in the worst case half the people would die, but the other half would survive, and that imperialism would be wiped off the face of the earth and the whole world would become socialist. A certain number of years would pass, and the population would once again reach 2.7 billion and most likely even more."

What? You make 1950 "0".
>No way Mao was just going throw China away to show it could take some nuclear punches

Basically, he was saying that in the absolute worst case scenario he could envision, China would survive a nuclear war, although other countries might not.
>Mao’s exact words were: “I’m not afraid of nuclear war. There are 2.7 billion people in the world; it doesn’t matter if some are killed. China has a population of 600 million; even if half of them are killed, there are still 300 million people left. I’m not afraid of anyone.”
I think CPC is a pretty cool guy, eh swim river and doesn't afraid of anything

>Mao answered a question posed to him by the head of the Italian Communist Party. The question was, "How many Italians will survive an atomic war?" Mao calmly replied, "None at all. But why do you think that Italians are so important to humanity?"
Daqin BTFO
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"It is said that the empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."

—Luo Guanzhong

Ah yes, China. Zhongguo as it's natively called, or "the middle kingdom".

You're probably imagining misty mountains, pandas, people in straw hats planting rice, warrior kung fu monks, cunning dragon court ladies, fireworks, and an obsession with honor.

Well, you're probably wondering how it got that way.

The Chinese endured the ice age like the rest of us. When the glaciers melted though, it caused huge rivers to come gushing down the mountains (especially the Tibetan Plateau). These streams pushed down enough silt to lay down a 300 mile wide coastal plain in 12,000 years, add some yellow dust from Mongolia (assholes), and you have a recipe for spicy Chinese topsoil. Cultivate after cooling.

In the Yellow river valley, neolithic Sino-Tibetan and Tai-Kadai speakers settled and started raising pigs as well as farming.

These settlers grew bored and started tossing caterpillar cocoons into hot pots. But get this: when they came out, they unwound HUNDREDS of feet long!

So women started unreeling them 3-4 threads at a time. And these ladies began to farm cater pillars on mulberry frames (all the little niggers liked eating).

And so, Silk was invented.

According to the legends, a sage queen named Lei-Zu had the idea.

The sage Fu Hsi allegedly could tell the future by staring at turtles. The cracks in their shells were a binary code for communicating with spirits.

Huang Di AKA the Yellow emperor was supposedly Lei-Zu's husband. He was credited with irrigation, fire, writing, war, and court ceremonies. Totally believable.

King Yao was said to have not given his son the throne, but Shun the pigfarmer due to his character.

And King Shun allegedly did the same.

Oh mythic China, you so cray cray
Also wasn't one of the mythic emperors a guy who shot nine out of ten suns, became tyrannical, and had his wife steal the secret of immortality and fly to the moon so he wouldn't rule eternally as an evil god-emperor?
>I find the Chinese tend to, historically, take a big view of things and when it comes time to kill 100 people to save 1000 they just do it without much of a big deal then carry on.

You haven't seen the submerged iceberg bit of it.
>An Lushan Rebellion: Turkish-Born Chinese General launches a rebellion against the T'ang Dynasty for no good reason other than a bid to be Emperor.
>Initially successful.
>Marches to the Capital.
>A bunch of outnumbered Imperial Army soldiers whole up in the city of Suiyang in an attempt to delay the rebels and get the court to safety.
>Get sieged.
>Run out of food, eat dogs/cats.
>Run out of dogs/cats, eat horses
>"Guys, we really must hold this place for as long as we fucking can."
>Run out of animals, start eating citizens.
>Hold off for a year.
>Eventually die to the last man as they charge out to meet the rebels.
>Mission Accomplished as T'ang Court manages to evacuate and prosecute the war better.
>Battle also causes a stalemate in the war that leads to the destruction of Rebel Dynasty due to infighting as Rebel Generals got angry for not being able to advance past the city.

It fucking became China's Alamo and everyone thought that the fact that the Imperial Forces ate people to prolong their battles was scary, yes, but very admirable
>King Yao was said to have not given his son the throne, but Shun the pigfarmer due to his character.

>And King Shun allegedly did the same.

As odd as it may sound to many, a king choosing his successor on merit is in many ways a better way than normal dynastic means. Though can cause a bit of jealousy and strife as well.
It worked for a bit in early Imperial Rome.

For a bit.
It also helps when you have a habit of giving your children brain damage
Meh, can always make more babies! When you have three or four wives how attached can you be to it? It can't even talk yet!
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Listen to this for maximum effect


What's interesting about kings Yao, Shun, and Yu is the fact that their stories have been handed down from the stone age.

When we dig this far back, obviously we don't find writing or metalwork.

But we DO find huge walls made of rammed earth, indicating large scale organization. And large (if very primitive) houses show the beginnings of social stratification.

And of the metal we WERE able to find, they're mostly weapons and pots. Indicating organized violence.

...and last but not least, large scale human sacrifice!

There's some evidence that the early Chinese may have been matrilineal. Now you see, Shun marrying Yao's daughter is what made him king early on. You had to marry INTO the royal family. Such a custom lead Egyptian princes to marry their own sisters for power.

The Chinese cut this out around 2200 BCE.

Chinese culture is based on bonds of reverence. Wife obeys husband, kids obeys parents, younger brothers obey older brothers, sisters obey all their brothers even the younger ones because bitches ain't shit in chinese culture, and daughter-in-law had it the roughest because she had to obey EVERYONE in her husband's family.

But, as you aged you got more prestige. And when you died people worshiped you as a god.

When your father died you were supposed to mourn him for THREE YEARS nonstop.

Emperors were sometimes titled "the lonely one" because he had nobody to obey, and technically no father.

Since antiquity, Chinese criminals were punished in 5 methods depending on severity of their crime

>Tattooing the face
>Cutting off the nose
>Cutting off the feet
>Full Castration or Vaginal circumcision
>Public execution

China only had 3 dynasties for its first 1,500 years! Better than Egypt, eh?

These were the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties.

The Xia were descended from Yu the Great.
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In the Early Kingdom there were straight-up Black pharaohs, look up "Huni."
>cray cray
say what
Valley Girl for crazy, I think.
You're me fall asleep. To death, bro.
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OP feels just like the world history professor I had last year. A lot of the pictures OP posted were in his power points too.

This is a recent favorite of mine. In 250-something BCE the king tasked an engineer with a big job: stop this massive river from flooding and killing lots of people almost yearly, and oh yeah, you can't just dam it because we need to still use ships on it to transport troops and warships on it.

This engineer, Li Bing, not only managed to do all this but also use the excess water to irrigate a neighboring dry province. It still functions to this day.

To me I find this boggling as how much practical engineering experience was there at this time, never mind written down.

It turns out China has been making complicated water works for 1000s of years between dams, irrigation and canals, including an 1100 mile long canal built piecemeal between the 5th century BCE to the 7th century CE.
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Xia emperor's gave their families and friends fiefs to live on.

He generally didn't give a fuck what you did as long as you left him alone.

As Yu neared death he passed the throne to his son, Qi, instead of passing it to the most capable candidate, thus setting the precedent for dynastic rule. The Xia dynasty was founded as a result of the Xia tribe conquering the Sanmiao tribe.

Jie was the last Xia emperor and was widely seen as an evil tyrant. Jie is known to have lived a lavish lifestyle with slaves and treated his people with extreme cruelty. His style of ruling was reckless and filled with sex, luxury and entertainment. He disliked people who criticized him, and many were afraid of him.

In the sixth year of Jie's regime, he entertained envoys from vassals and neighbours. He received an envoy from the Qizhong tribe. In the 11th year, he summoned all his vassals to his court. The Youmin kingdom did not come, so Jie attacked and conquered it.

In his 13th year of ruling, he moved his capital from Zhenxun to Henan. About that time, he began using the sedan chair, on which he was carried by servants.

The next year, he led an army to Minshan. There, he found two of the King of Minshan's daughters, Wan and Yan. They were unmarried and very beautiful, so he took them as his wives, renaming them Zhao and Hua. He abandoned his original wife Mo Xi and built a pyramid on top of the Tilt Palace for them to live in.

Jie was corrupted by his infatuation with his concubine Mo Xi, who was beautiful, but completely lacking in virtue. Among other things, she liked to drink, enjoyed music, and also had a penchant for jugglers and singing girls. Apparently, she had Jie order a lake of wine made. They both sailed about in the alcohol lake in an orgy of drunken naked men and women bathing and drinking. She then commanded 3,000 men to drink the lake dry, only to laugh when they all drowned.
>2.7 billion
That seems almost tiny now
Never heard of deliberate human sacrifice.

There seems to be lots of evidence of very early crop cultivation and rather large walled cities 6,000-10,000 years ago.
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A great deal of effort was spent on Jie’s cuisine and his requirements. Vegetables had to come from the northwest, fish had to be from the East Sea, seasonings and sauces had to come from ginger that grew in the south, sea salt had to come from the north. Several hundred people were employed just to supply Jie with his meals. Anyone that got his meal wrong was beheaded.

Jie was also a known alcoholic, but he did not drink regular wine. He drank a type of pure alcohol wine. The people working for him who could not supply this drink were killed.

And while he was drinking wine it was required that he ride on someone’s back like a horse. In one incident Jie was riding the back of a top chancellor like a horse. After a while the chancellor was tired to the point that he could no longer crawl or move. He asked King Jie to spare him. Jie immediately dragged him out to be executed.

Another chancellor, Guan Long-Feng, told the king that he was losing the trust of his people along with the Xia dynasty’s rivers and mountains. After yelling at Guan, he too was dragged out to be killed.

The Xia held suzerainty over a number of kingdoms, one of which was ruled by the Shang tribe. During Jie's reign, Shang's grew in power, initially at the expense of Xia's other vassals. A person by the name of Shang Tang was able to win many supporters from as many as 40 smaller kingdoms.

Shang Tang recognized that Jie mistreated the people and used this as a way to convince other supporters. In one speech Shang Tang said that creating chaos is not something he wanted, but given the terror of Jie, he has to follow the mandate of heaven and use this opportunity to overthrow Xia. He also pointed out that even Jie’s own military generals would not obey his orders.

After a series of natural disasters which seemed to confirm that heaven hated Jie, Tang marched on Mingtiao in 1600 BCE and fought an epic battle against Jie and his forces in a raging thunderstorm for the fate of China.
>And while he was drinking wine it was required that he ride on someone’s back like a horse. In one incident Jie was riding the back of a top chancellor like a horse. After a while the chancellor was tired to the point that he could no longer crawl or move. He asked King Jie to spare him. Jie immediately dragged him out to be executed.
>Another chancellor, Guan Long-Feng, told the king that he was losing the trust of his people along with the Xia dynasty’s rivers and mountains. After yelling at Guan, he too was dragged out to be killed.
*eyes narrow* I just read this passage, exact same wording, in another location.
Can't wait till we get to the Jin, had to write a fifteen page paper how they conquered China.
Tang had assembled the tribes and clans of China as well and even disgruntled Xia peasants. Jie's own historian switched sides.

Tang gave a rousing speech and Jie's army broke like a chair at a body positive meeting.

Jie was exiled and his people were enslaved.

Thus began the Shang dynasty.

The oracle bones used by Chinese sages and mystics would grow into the Chinese characters we all know and hate to memorize.

See while pictographs are very complex, it allows people who speak different dialects to clearly read and write the same things. You always get the idea behind it.

The Shang changed their capitals about 7 times before the end of the dynasty, most likely because of northern barbarian tribes.

No not Mongols, there WERE other marauding tribes in those days who didn't use horses.

In 1150 BCE Jou Sin used ivory chopsticks. And began building a pleasure garden for his concubine, and he SHREDDED a minister who complained. I mean actually shredded.

The minster of the west was jailed and spent his time in prison lifting weights and writing the "Book of Changes". If you're a paranoid schizophrenic from /x/ you probably already know it was "I Ching".

You toss small objects and try to recognize one of old Fu Hsi's magic turtle symbols.

And the book figures out the meaning of the symbol.

I Ching is the oldest book still in print.

But I digress, empire CANNOT survive decadence and softness. I'm not saying they cause the deaths of empires, but they are the canary in the mine.

The minister of the West was released from jail and immediately started a revolt.

King Jou Sin responded to an advisor's harsh warning by ripping out his heart.

The Shang fled for their lives while the emperor burned with his house.

Chief of the West renamed himself Wu and started the Zhou dynasty.

Nothing wrong with abusing every resource you can. I don't know much about the end of the Xia.
Also, to add there was human sacrifice for Chinese Kings funerals during the Shang and early Zhou.
As long as you admit it.

I stumbled upon it because there's a manga and later Anime about a sage who was sent to assist the Shang in revolting against the Xia. But I can't remember it's name, nor the Chinese book it's based off of.
Well, looks like I'm at the bump limit.

I'm gonna wait for this to drop off the catalog.

You guys wouldn't mind if the next thread picked up with the Zhou, Koreans, and early Japanese cultures? From there just a quick overview of the Bantu migration.

After that I'm getting into the meat and potatoes of ancient history. Rome, Zoroaster, Greece, Persia, Neo-Assyria, Buddha, the Warring States period, Asoka, the Guptas, Jesus, etc.
Thats fine.
You da man, history guy. i've got a torn hamstring and am chairbound, so this is good entertainment.
I like to yell at black people on the internet

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