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 Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.

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Zer0Morph
Caine
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PostSubject: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:16 pm

So, I've officially become absolutely OBSESSED with world history because of the game "Civilization V". I spend 8 hours a day at work, reading about the different civilizations you can play and find I want to know EVERYTHING about them, so I read read read.

So, I wanted to start a thread about world history and specifically want my European friends to jump in. You see, in the United States, we learn so little about other cultures and the history of Europe, all we learn about is our own short history and I know there is so much more out there to know.

Take for instance, Catherine the Great from Russia. Did you know she supposedly had sex with horses? And Elizabeth I from England was known as the virgin queen? I just learned about Otto Von Bismarck and how he basically formed modern day Germany, and he was Prussian. All I know about Napolean is that he was short and conquered tons of stuff, but we never learned much more than that and I know there's much more to know.

So, my first question is...
What's the oldest known civilization in the game, would that be the Egyptians, Carthage, Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, or Byzantines?
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Feral
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:31 pm

As civilizations go... Founded circa:

Egypt ca. 5300 BC

Greeks ca. 3200 BC (from Cycladic civilization)

Rome and Carthage ca. 1000 BC

Babylonians came after Assyrians from 1894 BC (first Amorite Dynasty)

Byzantine Empire formed at AD 395 from split of Roman Empire.

Wait, you read at work? What does your boss think about it? Are you not worried by the consequences?
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:04 am

Egyptian civilization does have it's roots around 5000 BC, but proper Egyptian history began "only" around 3100-3200 when the kingdoms of Lower and Upper Egypt were united under the first pharaoh. BTW "pharaoh" literally translates to "great house". You know how how the news reports about the stuff the USA government did by saying "the White House did this or that"? That's sort of how the ancient Egyptians did it too. And then they started using "great house" as the monarch's title. Imagine that 1000 years from now the USA are still around, but instead of calling the leaders "president" people call them "whitehouse". As in "whitehouse Barrack Obama VII".

I'm not sure if they're a civilization in the game, but worth mentioning are also the Sumerians, whose written history began around 3500 BC in Mesopotamia (but their prehistoric civilization might date back to 5000 BC). And the Indus Valely civilization started around 3300 BC and they were pretty awesome.

If you want to learn about history check out the CrashCourse World History playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9

While it's not in-depth (being a crash course), it's still an excellent place to get a general overview of history. It'll take about 7-8 hours alltogether to watch all 42 of the the videos.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:03 pm

You are right of course... With Egyptians I meant 5000 years ago, not BC. My brain is overloaded recently...

Great House Gorge W. Bush XXXIII... Sounds nice... Laughing 
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:33 pm

Two were enough, we don't need 31 more.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:23 pm

Dragatus wrote:
Two were enough, we don't need 31 more.

Why not? You could bring democracy to Antarctica and drill for petrol there!  lol! 
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:34 pm

HAha thanks for the lesson guys, I love learning about this stuff. Right now I'm playing/learning about Morocco. The relationship between Morocco and Spain/France is very interesting. The Sumerians are unfortunately not in the game but I wish they were. Sounds like the Egyptians are the oldest civilization in the game then and I can't wait to watch those videos, maybe at work, haha.

And no, I can read at work as long as I get my work done. Smile

I'm curious to learn more about Otto Von Bismarck and Napolean also. Anyone care to comment?
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:03 pm

Otto von Bismarc: de facto unifier and ruler of Germany, as well as Polish (and Jewish) basher. Fond of Polish children. Raw.

Napoleon Bonaparte: Corsican (i.e. Italian) Emperor of the French. One in a country to have balls. Wannabe EU creator, turned to has been after visiting Russia.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:39 pm

Fond of Polish children? Like a child molester?
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:13 am

No, like in minced, roasted, served with cold beer...

He was (in)famous for his pathological hatred of Catolicism in grneral and Poles in particular. He thought both are bad for the strenght and unity of German state.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:33 am

Bismarck was practically the only sane person in Germany at the time, from what I was taught in school. Still, he was pretty batshit himself, so 'sane' is in relation to everybody else. Razz
(Fun fact: We call a sort of fish the 'Bismarckhering' (translates as pickled herring). It's very tasty on a roll with remoulade, some salad and pickled cucumber (couldn't find the English translation, we call them 'cornichons' or 'Gürkchen'), yum yum.)

Bismarck was very good at politics. He played different parties/factions out against each other and chose to side with whom had the most votes at the recent election, so as to have the most support. He introduced the first basic social laws (health insurance at work, for example) in Germany, mostly to get rid of the social parties' influence and appease their power base. As Feral pointed out, he also had a clash with the Catholic church and restricted much of its influence.
He also played different countries against each other and wove a tight net of allegiances across Europe, with partially secret treaties between Germany, Austria and Russia, to keep France and England in check. It was extremely delicate business, as there were constant tensions during his time across Europe, but he managed to keep a balance by keeping every country in check with another, basically.
That's not to say he avoided wars - in his earlier years in politics, he played an important part in unifying Germany through war; he manipulated documents to make France declare war on Germany (so as to not seem the aggressor), could therefore call upon his allies (German states, in this case), punched France in the face and declared this enough reason to now have a German emperor and thus, a German national state. (His logic is not flawless, as you might observe, but it actually worked.)
Then, the 'year of the three emperors' happened. Wilhelm I. died, Friedrich III. became emperor and died just 99 days later because he had cancer, and then Wilhelm II. became emperor, just 29 years old at the time. Suffice it to say, he and Bismarck didn't see eye to eye on many things; the emperor didn't like that Bismarck had practically been able to run the country by himself (manipulating parties to his advantage to do so). Thus, he fired Bismarck (the emperor had a lot of power during this time, as there were many flaws in the constitution).
When Bismarck was fired, the shit hit the fan in Germany. Wilhelm II. was not liberal as his parents, but very conservative and eager for war (as much as Bismarck had been in his earlier years - though Bismarck only chose conflicts he knew Germany would win, and the emperor didn't). It basically led up to the First World War, because the balance that Bismarck had so carefully set up with his secret treaties was upset. The treaties he had achieved were broken or not renewed, and soon, Germany and Austria had alienated much of their former allies, who were now posing an overwhelming force opposing them. Wilhelm II. didn't do much to avoid war, either; he was obsessed with anything military and eager to charge into war at first opportunity to 'prove himself'. Yeah, that guy had problems.

Bismarck was also very much obsessed with his legacy; he was perpetually sick as he grew older, and tampered with history in his "autobiography" as to paint a better picture of himself and his achievements. Not that he'd need to; he may have been a sly and unlikable person, but during his time in politics, he did a lot of cool things. Lots of not so cool things, too - he did anything that was necessary for keeping "balance" in Europe, among other things fanning small conflicts in eastern Europe to keep Russia occupied, for example - so I don't want to idolize him in any way. Basically, he presented himself as Prussian to the core, with all the implications associated with it. Much of Germany had Prussian ideals at the time.

Fun fact: From what I think, Bismarck was also a stereotypical Ventrue. (He was even hated as much during his time. You either allied with him and 'loved' him, or you were ruled by him or his adversary and hated him. Not much ground in between the two.)

(That is from what I remember from my history classes, so believe me when I tell you there is a lot more to this guy. He's very interesting and tightly interwoven with German politics during his lifetime, so if you want to understand him and his reasoning, you also have to understand the time he lived in and his peers. I own a really good documentary on him from Geo's history magazines which are very well written and informational, but unfortunately, I don't think you can get a hold of them in English. They devoted an entire issue to Bismarck, which is awesome to read.)

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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:07 pm

EXCELLENT POST Eliza! I read the entire thing and it was very well written. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I am going to jump on Youtube right now to see if I can find a History Channel documentary of Bismarck.

I'd like to learn more about Napolean Bonparte as well. Any takers?
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:38 pm

Wikipedia is your friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:58 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_Bonaparte
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:08 am

And contrary to popular opinion he was neither short generally nor in pants department. At 169 cm he was taller than the average French of his time. As for short rod, that was a story by the media. Some didn't like him, apparently.

As for the history... Wikipedia is a start. Then go to books in pdf format. I can't even begin to think of a list... Would have been TLDR in and out of itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Because of Civilization V, I'm learning about world history and now I have questions.   Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:03 pm







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