Greatest conquerors in history

Discussions regarding actual culture and history of Earth.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by threecat » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 20:52

Memes are one of the greatest conquerors in history. Religions (I'm counting atheism too), made massive impacts on human history. For example, Islam, founded by just one guy, ended up impacting history massively by inventions (compasses, astrolabes, the 9 figures) politics (the Caliphate, the Islamic Revolution) and society (i.e Arabic misogynism)
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Avo » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 22:52

threecat wrote:Memes are one of the greatest conquerors in history. Religions (I'm counting atheism too), made massive impacts on human history. For example, Islam, founded by just one guy, ended up impacting history massively by inventions (compasses, astrolabes, the 9 figures) politics (the Caliphate, the Islamic Revolution) and society (i.e Arabic misogynism)
What is "Arabic misogynism" and what does it have to do with Islam and how does the invention of the compass relate to it
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by decem » Sat 04 Jan 2014, 23:00

Avo wrote:
threecat wrote:Memes are one of the greatest conquerors in history. Religions (I'm counting atheism too), made massive impacts on human history. For example, Islam, founded by just one guy, ended up impacting history massively by inventions (compasses, astrolabes, the 9 figures) politics (the Caliphate, the Islamic Revolution) and society (i.e Arabic misogynism)
What is "Arabic misogynism" and what does it have to do with Islam and how does the invention of the compass relate to it
^

Besides, if you wanted to pick a defining feature of Arabic or Islamic society, misogyny isn't really valid. Misogyny is all over the place, unfortunately, and just as rife in the West as it is in the Middle East.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by threecat » Sun 05 Jan 2014, 00:02

I just meant that attitudes we Westerners would consider misogynist (the women may actually consider such attitudes to be normal)were byproducts of a conservative viewpoint of Sharia law, which in turn were a byproduct of Islam.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by threecat » Sun 05 Jan 2014, 00:06

NOTE: The compass has nothing to do with attitudes we Westerners would consider misogynistic resulting from a conservative viewpoint of Sharia law. However, it has something to do with Islamic culture because the Arabs popularized the compass from the Chinese.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Sun 05 Jan 2014, 15:20

threecat wrote:I just meant that attitudes we Westerners would consider misogynist (the women may actually consider such attitudes to be normal)were byproducts of a conservative viewpoint of Sharia law, which in turn were a byproduct of Islam.
Uh, no. Misogynism was not in any way a byproduct of Islam; it has always existed in Arabia just like it has existed pretty much everywhere in the world. In fact, Islam actually improved the status of women in many Arabic tribes, considering that before its advent they pretty much had no status at all.

Of course, it's true that strict interpretations of Sharia law are quite misogynist by modern Western standards. But religious fundamentalists are quite capable of finding religious justifications for screwing over those they deem inferior, no matter what religion they're practising.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by threecat » Sun 05 Jan 2014, 17:57

Xonen wrote:
threecat wrote:
Of course, it's true that strict interpretations of Sharia law are quite misogynist by modern Western standards. But religious fundamentalists are quite capable of finding religious justifications for screwing over those they deem inferior, no matter what religion they're practising.
That's what I was talking about. I wasn't trying to say that Islam is innately misogynist.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Torco » Tue 07 Jan 2014, 16:36

decem wrote:Besides, if you wanted to pick a defining feature of Arabic or Islamic society, misogyny isn't really valid. Misogyny is all over the place, unfortunately, and just as rife in the West as it is in the Middle East.
Not convinced of this: We in the Western World don't really stone our adultressess anymore. hell, we even let them drive cars and, get this, OWN stuff! i know, scandalous!
otherwise said: yes, it *does* seem to be a trait of agriculturalist societies: but most certainly it is not as rife in the west as it is in the middle east.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by masako » Tue 07 Jan 2014, 17:22

cybrxkhan wrote:I'd say Genghis Khan and his direct descendants: conquered something almost the size of the British Empire in a couple of decades. With an army of no more than 125000. And he wasn't actually too bad of a douchebag, with the tolerance for all religions and merit-based system of governing and all... well, unless if you pissed him off, then he killed every single man, woman, child, dog, cat, insect, ghost, and imaginary friend related to you, so yeah.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Micamo » Wed 08 Jan 2014, 21:54

Xonen wrote:That's largely because he lost the war, though. Had he won, German (and many other) history books would probably portray him in a rather different light. There are still plenty of people in the former USSR who think quite highly of Stalin. And even in the West - which you'd expect to have an extremely negative opinion of Soviet leaders in general - Godwin's law is still all about Hitler and the Nazis (as evidenced in this very thread...). Despite the fact that Stalin was actually worse than Hitler in several respects, including number of innocent people killed.
I'll agree Stalin has a better reputation than he deserves: I believe the main reason for this is the popularity of marxism in the west. In those days, many considered communism to be the inevitable end result of a progression toward liberty and democracy, and the USSR to be the test case. They ignored, or at least skimmed over, the horrifying realities of Stalin's regime because acknowledging them meant accepting the idea that communism was flawed.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by threecat » Sat 11 Jan 2014, 20:54

What's progress,anyways?
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Torco » Tue 14 Jan 2014, 18:40

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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Shemtov » Sun 09 Mar 2014, 04:18

Egerius wrote:
But for me, the greatest emperor would be... Trajan. The Roman Empire influenced us all in our favourite domain (languages) and this guy made Romanian possible.
Great in what way?
I'm sure you don't know this but Trajan is one of 5 people in history whom the Jewish people see as a big enough Anti-Semite to give the title "May-His-Bones-Be-Rendered-Into-Dust". Not even Hitler has that title (though that might be because of his recentness)
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Sun 09 Mar 2014, 19:35

Shemtov wrote:
Egerius wrote:
But for me, the greatest emperor would be... Trajan. The Roman Empire influenced us all in our favourite domain (languages) and this guy made Romanian possible.
Great in what way?
I'm sure you don't know this but Trajan is one of 5 people in history whom the Jewish people see as a big enough Anti-Semite to give the title "May-His-Bones-Be-Rendered-Into-Dust". Not even Hitler has that title (though that might be because of his recentness)
Source for this? Google finds plenty of results giving that epitaph (or some variation of it) to Trajan's successor, Hadrian (indeed, even mentioned in the Wikipedia article on him), as well as some dude named Jesus... But I found nothing for Trajan himself.

Also, as previously discussed in this thread, calling someone a "great conqueror" doesn't have to be understood as a positive statement about them as a person. Indeed, I'm not convinced there are circumstances where taking over other people's countries by force isn't an act of evil all by itself, although of course numerous justifications have been offered.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Salmoneus » Mon 10 Mar 2014, 12:30

Not to mention that the Jews tend just to have been keen on the grinding into dust of ANYBODY who came into conflict with the Jews or with Israel in ancient times. That's not necessarily an impartial metric of evil. For instance, was Sisera really one of the most evil men in history just because he happened to be the guy in charge of ruling over the Jews for a couple of years? And Amalek? Is he worse than Hitler purely because some of his reputed descendants fought back when their lands were invaded, and then got themselves genocided by Saul and David?
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Yačay256 » Mon 10 Mar 2014, 18:25

Xonen wrote:Indeed, I'm not convinced there are circumstances where taking over other people's countries by force isn't an act of evil all by itself, although of course numerous justifications have been offered.
What about the Tanzanian Invasion of Uganda, under Idi Amin? Or the Vietnamese Liberation of Cambodia, under Pol Pot?
Salmoneus wrote:Not to mention that the Jews tend just to have been keen on the grinding into dust of ANYBODY who came into conflict with the Jews or with Israel in ancient times. That's not necessarily an impartial metric of evil. For instance, was Sisera really one of the most evil men in history just because he happened to be the guy in charge of ruling over the Jews for a couple of years? And Amalek? Is he worse than Hitler purely because some of his reputed descendants fought back when their lands were invaded, and then got themselves genocided by Saul and David?
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Egerius » Mon 10 Mar 2014, 19:14

Egerius wrote:Indeed, I'm not convinced there are circumstances where taking over other people's countries by force isn't an act of evil all by itself, although of course numerous justifications have been offered.
*mumbles* None of these words left my mouth this way. :wat: [O.O]
Well, not pure evil, I never said that. It's evil + hatred (WWII, partitions of Poland) or the thought of being better than others (Romans and any other imperialist expansion).
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Mon 10 Mar 2014, 21:15

Egerius wrote:
Egerius wrote:Indeed, I'm not convinced there are circumstances where taking over other people's countries by force isn't an act of evil all by itself, although of course numerous justifications have been offered.
*mumbles* None of these words left my mouth this way. :wat: [O.O]
There appear to have been a couple of extra sets of quote tags in Yačay256's post for whatever reason... I took the liberty of editing them out.

Yačay256 wrote:
Xonen wrote:Indeed, I'm not convinced there are circumstances where taking over other people's countries by force isn't an act of evil all by itself, although of course numerous justifications have been offered.
What about the Tanzanian Invasion of Uganda, under Idi Amin? Or the Vietnamese Liberation of Cambodia, under Pol Pot?
Or, if we're going to take that route, the Allied occupation of Germany at the end of WWII and having Hitler assassinated by himself. Yes, sometimes an invasion might count as the lesser evil compared with letting a brutal dictator stay in power... But that does not necessarily make it a good thing. Also, when talking about great conquerors in this thread, I'm assuming we're talking about more or less permanent annexation of territories, not temporary military occupation followed by having a "suitable" but nonetheless local and mostly independent government take over.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Shemtov » Tue 11 Mar 2014, 08:30

Salmoneus wrote:Not to mention that the Jews tend just to have been keen on the grinding into dust of ANYBODY who came into conflict with the Jews or with Israel in ancient times.
Do I even have to point out how Anti-Semitic this statement is? This is like me saying that the Modern State of Germany can't be trusted because of what the Nazis did.
Also, Yacay, I just love how the byline is "the Bible isn't true"......until you find an opportunity to slam the Jews with it.
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Re: Greatest conquerors in history

Post by Xonen » Tue 11 Mar 2014, 12:07

Shemtov wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:Not to mention that the Jews tend just to have been keen on the grinding into dust of ANYBODY who came into conflict with the Jews or with Israel in ancient times.
Do I even have to point out how Anti-Semitic this statement is? This is like me saying that the Modern State of Germany can't be trusted because of what the Nazis did.
Um. I'd say there's a pretty noticeable difference between stating that an entire country is "untrustworthy" (and, implicitly, responsible for the Holocaust) and stating that some people of a certain ethnicity have historically ascribed perhaps undeservedly unflattering epithets to their perceived enemies. If you think Sal's exaggerating about the frequency with which this has been done, feel free to argue that, but there's no need to get so hostile about it.
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