The Instigator
zhakiro
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
henryajevans
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Western society as we know it would not exist had the Greeks lost the Persian wars

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after 1 vote the winner is...
henryajevans
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,624 times Debate No: 37506
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

zhakiro

Pro

Ancient Greeks had developed the basics of western cultures. Their works of philosophy, government, literature, art, and architecture are the ancestors of modern western culture. If the Persian army had won the war against the Greek army, it is highly likely the Persian army would have marched onto the city-states and Athens would have been destroyed and burnt down. As a result, Greek"s enormous works of philosophy, government, literature, art, and architecture would be completely effaced from Greek history and they would not have been able to pass down to next generations. We may not have heard of the greatness of Julius Caesar and the great Roman Empire. Alexander the Great would not have been able to defeat the heirs to king Xerxes and reintroduce a Hellenistic culture up to the borders of Middle East. Instead of learning about the greatness of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great in our history class, we would be learning about the greatness of king Xerxes. Our founding fathers have built the United States based on the ideology of democracy and the rights of citizenship that the ancient Greeks have created and practiced long times ago. We can assume that with the absence of ancient Greek"s invention of democracy and freedom, the United States we now live in would not had been created. By closely observing the conditions of current Middle East countries, we can assume that we would be living in undeveloped world following the principles of anti-modernity. Freedom or a sense of being free would not exist, thus we would be living under the oppression and also there would be excessive sex discrimination exists. Spread of religion throughout the world would be in very different shape from now. Christianity may not have existed as we know it. Because of the absence of Roman Empire, it is highly likely that there would not be a creation of Roman Catholicism. Instead, it is highly likely that a religion based on the Persian belief structure would have been spread throughout the Europe. Even in the case of existence of other religion, we would be restricted to believe in only one god. Many famous architectural designs and arts that have been developed from ancient Greece to Roman Empire and then passed down to present would not have exist, instead, there would be Persian architectural designs and arts remaining in the present.

I did not write this I only agree with it's entirety. Taken from a passage at http://kwltimes.wordpress.com...
henryajevans

Con

My main point is that the Persian Empire's dominance would not have made much difference to Greek culture or society.

The Persian Empire, like all empires of antiquity, was not one to have a dogmatic culture. Rather than simply impose its culture on others, it instead created Satrapies, which operated as autonomous vassal states. The Greeks would still be Greek; they would still worship Zeus, and they would still have democracy and build buildings like the Parthenon. The only difference is that they would have to pay tribute to the Emperor, and would provide soldiers for his army. The Greek, especially Athenian, was the best suited to the region, and it would have made sense to the Persians to preserve the culture. Persia conquered Egypt, Anatolia and large portions of Central Asia, but they retained their cultures until long after the fall of Persia to Alexander.

Also, Ancient Greece was essentially the world's first colonial power. It held colonies as far afield as Spain, the Bosporus, Cyrenaica and Italy. This is without mentioning the essentially Hellenic Carthaginian States, which dominated Tunisia, Algeria and Tripolitania. The Greek culture already had a foothold in most of the Mediterranean, and it had influenced the tribes and city states living there extensively. The Romans were rather Hellenicised, though they combined it with the Etruscan and Samnite penchant for war. Do you think that all of the Greek colonies would have been abandoned because Persia was in control? Of course they wouldn't have been. They would still be part of whichever city founded them, and would continue to exert influence.

The Persian Empire would have been a force for stability within Greece as well. There would be no more scrapping city states that allowed Philip of Macedon to invade. Greece would be bound together by its feudal master, and in actual fact, the culture would have probably flourished due to the Athenians being able to focus more on culture than on warfare. Though Napoleon would not have had Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great to be inspired by, he would have been able to look to the military leaders of the Persian Empire, such as Cyrus the Great and, as you said, King Xerxes, and all of the military leaders Persia would go on to produce.

Neoclassicism would still have existed also. Ancient Greece's culture would not have been wiped out, and the Romans would still have become the dominant tribe of Italy, so its neighbours would have been subjugated as easily. The Persian Empire would reach the end of its life cycle, and Rome would take advantage of this and conquer what remained of it. This is only natural, as all great powers have a limited shelf life before they implode. It happened with Babylon with the rise of Persia, it happened with Rome, Byzantium, Charlemagne's Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Aztecs and Incas, Spain, France, Britain, China, and now it is happening to the United States. The Persian Empire would still have declined, especially given the inept, increasingly narrowing genepool Persia's leaders were originating from, and the internal conflicts that escalated. Either way, it would have become a footnote in history before too long, and certainly wouldn't have seen the Common Era. Rome would have exerted similar cultural influence on western society, and with it Greek, which would in turn have lead to a rediscovery of the classics. Perhaps the only difference would be the influence of Persian culture may have been greater, and Washington DC may look a little more like Persepolis.

Besides, democracy was not purely an Ancient Greek invention, other than the name. It actually originated in Sumeria, where they even had an upper and a lower house, and was passed onto the Greeks from there. Athens was the only remotely democratic Greek state; the rest were feudal monarchies. Democracy in the Greek form was also present in India, where independent republics kown as 'Sanghas' and 'Gana', the former a democratic republic and the latter a constitutional monarchy. So democracy would still have existed, despite the Ancient Greeks bending the knee to Persia.
Debate Round No. 1
zhakiro

Pro

zhakiro forfeited this round.
henryajevans

Con

henryajevans forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
zhakiro

Pro

zhakiro forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ozymandias_King_of_Kings 3 years ago
Ozymandias_King_of_Kings
This would prove to be a hard topic to debate because even the most seemingly insignificant change in our history could vastly effect many things, and with a change as broad as the Persians winning, then of course our perception of reality today would be different.
Posted by zhakiro 3 years ago
zhakiro
@mysticegg
Thanks and I have revised the topic
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
@zhakiro
That's good and fine! Except, I think you're slightly missing the point. This needs to become a resolution, not just a question. So, it could be:
"Life would be better if Persia had won the Persia-Greece war" or
"Democracy would still exist if Persia had won the Persia-Greece war."

In any case, it's an interesting debate, and I wish you good luck!
Posted by zhakiro 3 years ago
zhakiro
the main reason I posted this here is because there are alternate opinions to what may have happened, and of which I do not fully understand.
Posted by zhakiro 3 years ago
zhakiro
Thank you for your input oromagi, and I disagree guys, I believe there are many contradicting arguments and opinions to what I have posted. I will keep this open until the time concludes.
Posted by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
It is an interesting question, but not much of a debate. The assumption is that if the Greeks lost, all of its culture would have vanished and nothing would have filled its place. While it is impossible to know, there are plenty of reasons to question this assumption.

You forget that Athens was sacked and burned by the Persians in the days before the Battle of Salamis. In fact, Athens was sacked and burned again by Sparta during the Peloponesian War. Greece was subjugated by the Macedonians and again by the Romans. In these cases, Greek culture and influence expanded rather than contracted. We might suppose that if the Persian Empire had conquered Greece, Macedonia would not have successfully rebelled against Persia, but given Persia's laissez-faire management of her conquests, this is far from given.

John Keegan suggests that one of Greece's most important characteristics was total war, the willingness to fight to the end. This was created by the Greek geography, where small valleys and short growing seasons meant that if your valley was invaded and your crops destroyed, you were going to starve to death anyway, so you might as well fight to the death. Middle Eastern warfare was less vicious. Persian lines tended to break after sustaining about 10% losses. There is every reason to suppose that if Athens had lost the Persian War, even if Alexander had not conquered Persia, Greek warfare would have eventually overrun Persian warfare anyway.

So, history might have been very different, but its hard to imagine a scenario by which Greek culture would not have had a significant influence on Western culture. Certainly, a lot more would have to change than defeat in the Persian War.
Posted by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
It is an interesting question, but not much of a debate. The assumption is that if the Greeks lost, all of its culture would have vanished and nothing would have filled its place. While it is impossible to know, there are plenty of reasons to question this assumption.

You forget that Athens was sacked and burned by the Persians in the days before the Battle of Salamis. In fact, Athens was sacked and burned again by Sparta during the Peloponesian War. Greece was subjugated by the Macedonians and again by the Romans. In these cases, Greek culture and influence expanded rather than contracted. We might suppose that if the Persian Empire had conquered Greece, Macedonia would not have successfully rebelled against Persia, but given Persia's laissez-faire management of her conquests, this is far from given.

John Keegan suggests that one of Greece's most important characteristics was total war, the willingness to fight to the end. This was created by the Greek geography, where small valleys and short growing seasons meant that if your valley was invaded and your crops destroyed, you were going to starve to death anyway, so you might as well fight to the death. Middle Eastern warfare was less vicious. Persian lines tended to break after sustaining about 10% losses. There is every reason to suppose that if Athens had lost the Persian War, even if Alexander had not conquered Persia, Greek warfare would have eventually overrun Persian warfare anyway.

So, history might have been very different, but its hard to imagine a scenario by which Greek culture would not have had a significant influence on Western culture. Certainly, a lot more would have to change than defeat in the Persian War.
Posted by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
It is an interesting question, but not much of a debate. The assumption is that if the Greeks lost, all of its culture would have vanished and nothing would have filled its place. While it is impossible to know, there are plenty of reasons to question this assumption.

You forget that Athens was sacked and burned by the Persians in the days before the Battle of Salamis. In fact, Athens was sacked and burned again by Sparta during the Peloponesian War. Greece was subjugated by the Macedonians and again by the Romans. In these cases, Greek culture and influence expanded rather than contracted. We might suppose that if the Persian Empire had conquered Greece, Macedonia would not have successfully rebelled against Persia, but given Persia's laissez-faire management of her conquests, this is far from given.

John Keegan suggests that one of Greece's most important characteristics was total war, the willingness to fight to the end. This was created by the Greek geography, where small valleys and short growing seasons meant that if your valley was invaded and your crops destroyed, you were going to starve to death anyway, so you might as well fight to the death. Middle Eastern warfare was less vicious. Persian lines tended to break after sustaining about 10% losses. There is every reason to suppose that if Athens had lost the Persian War, even if Alexander had not conquered Persia, Greek warfare would have eventually overrun Persian warfare anyway.

So, history might have been very different, but its hard to imagine a scenario by which Greek culture would not have had a significant influence on Western culture. Certainly, a lot more would have to change than defeat in the Persian War.
Posted by leandro.sanchez 3 years ago
leandro.sanchez
What is this debatte about ?
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
Like MysticEgg said, the title of this debate really isn't a resolution. This would do better, in, say, the History forum: http://www.debate.org.... Or you could rephrase the resolution so that it's easier for your opponent to take a side.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
zhakirohenryajevansTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con at least came back.