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Is Arab culture Hellenistic?

suttichart.denpruektham
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10/29/2013 11:56:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Of course, they're not Hellenistic in a classical sense as in ancient Hellenistic culture. However, compare to the Latinized western culture, the Arab and islamic cultures (with the exception of Iran and perhaps Malay) are influenced Byzantine culture (through the reign of Ottoman) both in architect, culinary, custom, and science.

I am wondering that in a sense, if the Arab conquest has never happened, the middle east might look exactly as what we've seen today only with Muslim replaced with greek orthodox
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/30/2013 12:49:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hmmm.

I think asking a question like this is akin to asking if hellenic culture is babylonian or egyptian or what not. The distinction is not significant except in the realm of current geopolitics, i.e. if Arab culture is hellenistic and not vice versa, then obviously hellenic cultures should be presiding over arabic countries, and not vice versa.

This kind of historical bickering happens a lot in east/SE Asia, to my knowledge.

I am wondering that in a sense, if the Arab conquest has never happened, the middle east might look exactly as what we've seen today only with Muslim replaced with greek orthodox

Would Indians be adopting English today were they not a former British colony?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/30/2013 5:18:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/30/2013 12:49:45 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Hmmm.

I think asking a question like this is akin to asking if hellenic culture is babylonian or egyptian or what not. The distinction is not significant except in the realm of current geopolitics, i.e. if Arab culture is hellenistic and not vice versa, then obviously hellenic cultures should be presiding over arabic countries, and not vice versa.

This kind of historical bickering happens a lot in east/SE Asia, to my knowledge.

I am wondering that in a sense, if the Arab conquest has never happened, the middle east might look exactly as what we've seen today only with Muslim replaced with greek orthodox

Would Indians be adopting English today were they not a former British colony?

in a sense, I consider that Egypt culture and Babylonian are Hellenistic since Alexander conquest. From historical point of view the Alexander's Diadochyies are considered Hellenistic civilizations (I think it is Hellenistic because it is a mixture of Hellene and local Persian culture), thus both Ptolemic and Roman Egypt as well as Seleucid Babylonia are very mush Greek. If the arrival of Islam didn't make significant change in other aspects except its spiritual sense, then I suppose it can be considered Greek too, the same way as how Eastern Roman Empire is considered Greek despite their Abrahamic worship.

The Western Roman Empire on the other hands, I am not sure if they can be considered Hellenistic (but should be so as they still share many philosophy, invention, and laguages) but the culture of Western Europe at the time, which lay a foundation of modern European society is Gothic which is neither Roman or Hellene so it is certainly distinguished from the Hellenistic culture of the east despite being partly Romanized.

Not sure what kind of case you are talking about SE asia though.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/30/2013 2:28:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/30/2013 5:18:23 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/30/2013 12:49:45 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Hmmm.

I think asking a question like this is akin to asking if hellenic culture is babylonian or egyptian or what not. The distinction is not significant except in the realm of current geopolitics, i.e. if Arab culture is hellenistic and not vice versa, then obviously hellenic cultures should be presiding over arabic countries, and not vice versa.

This kind of historical bickering happens a lot in east/SE Asia, to my knowledge.

I am wondering that in a sense, if the Arab conquest has never happened, the middle east might look exactly as what we've seen today only with Muslim replaced with greek orthodox

Would Indians be adopting English today were they not a former British colony?

in a sense, I consider that Egypt culture and Babylonian are Hellenistic since Alexander conquest.

And then I would ask you if Greek culture is actually Persian, after Persia successfully subjugated most of Greece.

From historical point of view the Alexander's Diadochyies are considered Hellenistic civilizations (I think it is Hellenistic because it is a mixture of Hellene and local Persian culture), thus both Ptolemic and Roman Egypt as well as Seleucid Babylonia are very mush Greek. If the arrival of Islam didn't make significant change in other aspects except its spiritual sense, then I suppose it can be considered Greek too, the same way as how Eastern Roman Empire is considered Greek despite their Abrahamic worship.

Egypt had a much longer and arguably much more significant history that contributed to Mediterranean culture than just the Ptolemies.

The Western Roman Empire on the other hands, I am not sure if they can be considered Hellenistic (but should be so as they still share many philosophy, invention, and laguages) but the culture of Western Europe at the time, which lay a foundation of modern European society is Gothic which is neither Roman or Hellene so it is certainly distinguished from the Hellenistic culture of the east despite being partly Romanized.

Not sure what kind of case you are talking about SE asia though.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Basically, who cares? The only people who care are those who are currently in power. Europe will make a huge deal about the decline of Islam culturally, economically, and politically because it suits their interests. The cultural aspect of their argument would then dictate that European culture heavily influenced Islamic culture, and that it's Europe's "right" to subjugate the Middle East.

Japan and Korea fight all the time over ridiculously insignificant islands off their coasts.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

China tried to label the Goguryeo dynasty of Korea as Chinese, even though it was what Korea was named after.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/31/2013 3:02:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
in a sense, I consider that Egypt culture and Babylonian are Hellenistic since Alexander conquest.

And then I would ask you if Greek culture is actually Persian, after Persia successfully subjugated most of Greece.

Hellenistic culture is mostly a mixture of Greek and Persian. I would rather say the Parthia and Sassanid who emerged as post-Alexander state would have to be Hellenistic in some sense.

Egypt had a much longer and arguably much more significant history that contributed to Mediterranean culture than just the Ptolemies.

Not sure about that, I don't really see any Egypt contribution toward Mediterranean culture beyond their border. Even if they did the mainstream culture of Mediterranean world at the time is Greco-Roman so I am pretty sure that it will be absorbed and represent as Greek already.

The Western Roman Empire on the other hands, I am not sure if they can be considered Hellenistic (but should be so as they still share many philosophy, invention, and laguages) but the culture of Western Europe at the time, which lay a foundation of modern European society is Gothic which is neither Roman or Hellene so it is certainly distinguished from the Hellenistic culture of the east despite being partly Romanized.

Not sure what kind of case you are talking about SE asia though.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Basically, who cares? The only people who care are those who are currently in power. Europe will make a huge deal about the decline of Islam culturally, economically, and politically because it suits their interests. The cultural aspect of their argument would then dictate that European culture heavily influenced Islamic culture, and that it's Europe's "right" to subjugate the Middle East.

Japan and Korea fight all the time over ridiculously insignificant islands off their coasts.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

China tried to label the Goguryeo dynasty of Korea as Chinese, even though it was what Korea was named after.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I knew, that's why this trend is not create for political discussion such as those who've given example. My discussion here is concern with the cultural and social aspect of Greek civilization which existed for a thousands of years since its creation, do the culture and custom of the ancient world is lost forever or is it still exist in some degree among Arab and Islamic culture.
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/31/2013 3:07:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Japan and Korea fight all the time over ridiculously insignificant islands off their coasts.
http://en.wikipedia.org...


I guess a it is part of their sea culture, I don't know every many island nation seem to treasure all their islands territory no matter how small or insignificant i.e. the the English Falkland
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/31/2013 11:13:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/31/2013 3:02:59 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
in a sense, I consider that Egypt culture and Babylonian are Hellenistic since Alexander conquest.

And then I would ask you if Greek culture is actually Persian, after Persia successfully subjugated most of Greece.

Hellenistic culture is mostly a mixture of Greek and Persian. I would rather say the Parthia and Sassanid who emerged as post-Alexander state would have to be Hellenistic in some sense.

Ok, so this brings to bear exactly what "hellenism" means. Hellenism is distinctly Greek culture. It's not a "mixture"...otherwise, "hellenism" would be synonymous to "culture" and not "Greek culture".

So yes, any society that was conquered by a Hellenistic society would have been influenced by Hellenism. However, the opposite would also be true. The Persians held Greece for as long as Alexander held Persia. Does this make Greek culture Persian? Does this make Persian culture Greek?

Egypt had a much longer and arguably much more significant history that contributed to Mediterranean culture than just the Ptolemies.

Not sure about that, I don't really see any Egypt contribution toward Mediterranean culture beyond their border. Even if they did the mainstream culture of Mediterranean world at the time is Greco-Roman so I am pretty sure that it will be absorbed and represent as Greek already.

The Egyptians developed notions of mathematics and engineering that spread throughout the Mediterranean and far pre-date Greek notions of mathematics. Egyptian gods were worshiped during the Roman era in areas far beyond Egyptian borders. You could say that much of Western civilization is actually derived from Sumerian and Egyptian culture...but no one would say that, because it's not "politically expedient" to make such a statement. It benefits the "wrong" people, i.e. non-European people.

To say that the "mainstream culture of the world at the time is Greco-Roman" would make me wonder what period of time you're talking about, and what you would consider "mainstream" (because Egypt and Persia were the centers of the world in their respective times, when what was north of the Mediterranean was either a backwater or wholly unsettled).

The Western Roman Empire on the other hands, I am not sure if they can be considered Hellenistic (but should be so as they still share many philosophy, invention, and laguages) but the culture of Western Europe at the time, which lay a foundation of modern European society is Gothic which is neither Roman or Hellene so it is certainly distinguished from the Hellenistic culture of the east despite being partly Romanized.

Not sure what kind of case you are talking about SE asia though.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Basically, who cares? The only people who care are those who are currently in power. Europe will make a huge deal about the decline of Islam culturally, economically, and politically because it suits their interests. The cultural aspect of their argument would then dictate that European culture heavily influenced Islamic culture, and that it's Europe's "right" to subjugate the Middle East.

Japan and Korea fight all the time over ridiculously insignificant islands off their coasts.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

China tried to label the Goguryeo dynasty of Korea as Chinese, even though it was what Korea was named after.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I knew, that's why this trend is not create for political discussion such as those who've given example. My discussion here is concern with the cultural and social aspect of Greek civilization which existed for a thousands of years since its creation, do the culture and custom of the ancient world is lost forever or is it still exist in some degree among Arab and Islamic culture.

My point is that this discussion is political in nature. If you attempt to take out the political element, you will find that there is nothing to discuss.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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11/1/2013 12:30:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago

Hellenistic culture is mostly a mixture of Greek and Persian. I would rather say the Parthia and Sassanid who emerged as post-Alexander state would have to be Hellenistic in some sense.

Ok, so this brings to bear exactly what "hellenism" means. Hellenism is distinctly Greek culture. It's not a "mixture"...otherwise, "hellenism" would be synonymous to "culture" and not "Greek culture".

That's why I said it is Hellenistic (Hellene-liked) not Hellenic (Greek). Ancient civilization such as Selucid or Baktria isn't Greek per se, they have Greek ruler and probably have Greek as their official language but they also adopt many of the India and Persian custom in to their mainstream culture i.e. archery, combat animal etc. I remember reading a document that said Alexander even encouraged the mixing of Greek and Persian culture both through marriage and cultural assimilation before he passed away.

So yes, any society that was conquered by a Hellenistic society would have been influenced by Hellenism. However, the opposite would also be true. The Persians held Greece for as long as Alexander held Persia. Does this make Greek culture Persian? Does this make Persian culture Greek?

Not sure, although Greek had never been subjugated by Persia, so even though some degree of cultural exhange might occurred through commerce and diplomacy, I don't think it went to the same level as the widespread of Hellenistic culture under Alexander and beyond.

The Egyptians developed notions of mathematics and engineering that spread throughout the Mediterranean and far pre-date Greek notions of mathematics. Egyptian gods were worshiped during the Roman era in areas far beyond Egyptian borders. You could say that much of Western civilization is actually derived from Sumerian and Egyptian culture...but no one would say that, because it's not "politically expedient" to make such a statement. It benefits the "wrong" people, i.e. non-European people.

I doubt that the modern European nations can be considered part of Greek-Roman world either. Greek and Roman culture is influenced mostly by oriental culture of Persia, and other middle east civilization. Look at how they at the Greeks (which is in fact a Roman, the closet representation of their remnants), they don't really view them as a true representation of European culture isn't it?

For me modern Europe is a mixture of Nordic, Gothic, and Germanic culture with a just a bit of Roman final touch.

To say that the "mainstream culture of the world at the time is Greco-Roman" would make me wonder what period of time you're talking about, and what you would consider "mainstream" (because Egypt and Persia were the centers of the world in their respective times, when what was north of the Mediterranean was either a backwater or wholly unsettled).

I look at its influence on modern middle east culture, ancient Egypt, Babylonia, ancient Persia etc. are a bit too old, plus they were already be assimilated and wholey represent by Greek (eastern), and later on, Roman. So I don't think I have to go that far to observe what kind of impact it would have been to modern middle east world. In fact, may be a better question would be, did Islamic Empire had preserved this knowledge and culture of the ancient world prevously hold by the Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire, or whatever you called them) or discarded it? Would it be better preserved in anyway if Islamic invasion had never happened?

I knew, that's why this trend is not create for political discussion such as those who've given example. My discussion here is concern with the cultural and social aspect of Greek civilization which existed for a thousands of years since its creation, do the culture and custom of the ancient world is lost forever or is it still exist in some degree among Arab and Islamic culture.

My point is that this discussion is political in nature. If you attempt to take out the political element, you will find that there is nothing to discuss.

Perhaps, but I am not trying to say this-lands-should-go-to-who things, ancient culture is not necessarily better than a modern one (some is equally bad like Hippodrome and football hooligan). I am more interested in its evolution, how it growth or die through the test of time.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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11/1/2013 7:16:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/1/2013 12:30:38 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

Hellenistic culture is mostly a mixture of Greek and Persian. I would rather say the Parthia and Sassanid who emerged as post-Alexander state would have to be Hellenistic in some sense.

Ok, so this brings to bear exactly what "hellenism" means. Hellenism is distinctly Greek culture. It's not a "mixture"...otherwise, "hellenism" would be synonymous to "culture" and not "Greek culture".

That's why I said it is Hellenistic (Hellene-liked) not Hellenic (Greek). Ancient civilization such as Selucid or Baktria isn't Greek per se, they have Greek ruler and probably have Greek as their official language but they also adopt many of the India and Persian custom in to their mainstream culture i.e. archery, combat animal etc. I remember reading a document that said Alexander even encouraged the mixing of Greek and Persian culture both through marriage and cultural assimilation before he passed away.

Lol, well, by this account, nearly every civilization in the world has influences from nearly every culture in existence. Maybe American culture is Apache-like, after all, we have absorbed various Native American influences.

So yes, any society that was conquered by a Hellenistic society would have been influenced by Hellenism. However, the opposite would also be true. The Persians held Greece for as long as Alexander held Persia. Does this make Greek culture Persian? Does this make Persian culture Greek?

Not sure, although Greek had never been subjugated by Persia, so even though some degree of cultural exhange might occurred through commerce and diplomacy, I don't think it went to the same level as the widespread of Hellenistic culture under Alexander and beyond.

Hmmm..ok. I may have been overplaying the period between Darius and Xerxes. Still, most of the Aegean sea was controlled by the Persians during this period, and Xerxes burned Athens to the ground.

The Egyptians developed notions of mathematics and engineering that spread throughout the Mediterranean and far pre-date Greek notions of mathematics. Egyptian gods were worshiped during the Roman era in areas far beyond Egyptian borders. You could say that much of Western civilization is actually derived from Sumerian and Egyptian culture...but no one would say that, because it's not "politically expedient" to make such a statement. It benefits the "wrong" people, i.e. non-European people.

I doubt that the modern European nations can be considered part of Greek-Roman world either. Greek and Roman culture is influenced mostly by oriental culture of Persia, and other middle east civilization. Look at how they at the Greeks (which is in fact a Roman, the closet representation of their remnants), they don't really view them as a true representation of European culture isn't it?

Almost all "Western" philosophy and governance has Greco-Roman roots.

For me modern Europe is a mixture of Nordic, Gothic, and Germanic culture with a just a bit of Roman final touch.

I can easily see what you're talking about, but IMHO the backbone of all of this is built upon Roman traditions, and hence Greek traditions. England in particular takes pride in making comparisons to Roman culture...as evidenced by Shakespearean plays, for example.

To say that the "mainstream culture of the world at the time is Greco-Roman" would make me wonder what period of time you're talking about, and what you would consider "mainstream" (because Egypt and Persia were the centers of the world in their respective times, when what was north of the Mediterranean was either a backwater or wholly unsettled).

I look at its influence on modern middle east culture, ancient Egypt, Babylonia, ancient Persia etc. are a bit too old, plus they were already be assimilated and wholey represent by Greek (eastern), and later on, Roman. So I don't think I have to go that far to observe what kind of impact it would have been to modern middle east world. In fact, may be a better question would be, did Islamic Empire had preserved this knowledge and culture of the ancient world prevously hold by the Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire, or whatever you called them) or discarded it? Would it be better preserved in anyway if Islamic invasion had never happened?

I've been listening to some lectures on philosophy that assert that Islam's only contribution to the world of ideology was that they preserved and brought new life into the various philosophical debates that were characterized by Greek classics. Although the lectures are excellent, they are, needless to say, extremely biased towards Western culture.
http://www.thegreatcourses.com....

I knew, that's why this trend is not create for political discussion such as those who've given example. My discussion here is concern with the cultural and social aspect of Greek civilization which existed for a thousands of years since its creation, do the culture and custom of the ancient world is lost forever or is it still exist in some degree among Arab and Islamic culture.

My point is that this discussion is political in nature. If you attempt to take out the political element, you will find that there is nothing to discuss.

Perhaps, but I am not trying to say this-lands-should-go-to-who things, ancient culture is not necessarily better than a modern one (some is equally bad like Hippodrome and football hooligan). I am more interested in its evolution, how it growth or die through the test of time.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?