a reply to: Flavian
Yes it was a much later city but you have missed out on many point's, they were not directly linear in there comparison, you know Rome took it's
sciences and ideas from other cultures including the Arch which they attributed to the Etruscan's and the Road's which they attributed to the ancients
(but of course we now know that despite Roman propeganda that the Celtic cultures of Gaul and elsewhere were far more advanced than the legacy view
the Roman's left us with of mere barbarian's, they also had road's though often they were built of timber not stone.
Despite the roman's superb hydraulic engineering they may actually have been surpassed in there undestanding of among other's the meso american
civilization's (though I know of no aqueduct's in south america there may have been but I am sure there is someone whom will put me right on that),
and also the builders of Angkor Wat itself knew very much more about hydraulic engineering than they have been credited with.
Were Rome really had it's great achievement was in Concrete, they used volcanic pumice which allowed Roman concrete to set underwater as it then
contained it's own source of oxygen so allowing it to cure even when fully immersed.
The Roman's also had triple glazing in the bath's of at least one bath house in Rome but not triple glazing as you or I would know it today, we have
a little invention created not very far from where I live in Lancashire were sheet's of glass are created but back then and right up to the invention
by Pilkington glass had to be Rolled and flattened then cut to usable sizes so glass window's were immensely expensive as a result since only some of
that glass would be suitable.
Angkor Wat is both immense (even larger than ancient Rome as well as having canals and at one time the entire area was NOT jungle but tamed and
cultivated farm land with Angkor Wat being one of the largest and most extensive city's in Asia.
As for which was the greater period of development and which was the more advanced culture, well as far as I can see the people of Angkor did not put
slaves in a stadium with wild animal's or commit regular human sacrifice to there Cultic god's, they also did not steal the science's, architecture
and knowledge they had but borrowed and/or exchanged it, yes they were built by a great empire that had beaten off it's enemy's but there was a far
more civilized culture than our western centric view is actually comfortable with.
So to my mind they were the more advanced and highly evolved society of the two.
In the west there are many example's of high civilization rising then falling or otherwise being obliterated and non of them were that high as we may
like to posit.
Carthage for example was at least as large as Rome, perhaps even more architecturally stunning but we shall never know since the Roman's obliterated
the city almost entirely at the end of the Punic wars but what we do know of them is that they were a Barbaric bunch, they sacrificed children to
there female God whose symbol oddly enough resembled an Ankh (but the Egyptian's had no such tradition), they had Hydrolic Engineering that may have
surpassed the Roman's also but on a smaller scale (remember the Roman's are not remembered for the small thing's but there huge aqueduct's some of
which are still to be found today AND which may have been surpassed long before there time by the Babylonian's whose work's lasted right up until old
Temugen and his boy's raided and destroyed the Babylonian irrigation system's in Iraq - actually Ghengis did not do that but his boy's did - or did
you think the fabled hanging garden's were there only achievement) and also there Sewers, the system in London for example still uses some of the
ancient Roman period sewers though it is almost entirely of much later Victorian era engineering.
The difference with the Carthaginian hydraulic engineering was water delivered into there home's, private and very modern to our eye's bathroom's
complete with a tub etc, of course Santorini show's that the ancient people whom lived there thousand's of years before Carthage also had excellent
hydraulic engineering and so too did the Indus valley civilization whom apparently had covered sewers long before it was fashionable.
Of course one lesson of History that the like's of Harte may dispute is the fact that the Roman's, at least the Patrician class poisoned themselves
with the plastic of there day, that being LEAD, they had lead for everything, lead pipes for there water, lead pot's, pan's and dishes and even red
lead oxide used for food coloring, it has been theorized by some that this led to a generation of imbecile's.
Lead as you know is bio-accumulative and build's up in the system, it's effects include sterility, imbecility and several other deleterious symptom's
as well as of course severe lead poisoning causing death.
So the upper echelon's of Roman society, the old Patrician class or REAL roman's died off and were replaced by other's from elsewhere in the Empire,
culminating in the eventual sidelining and eventual fall of Rome itself BUT had the Rise of Islam not happened it may be seen that there is a good
case to argue that the Roman empire would still exist today in the form of the Byzantium empire - though arguably it would have been the
Constantinople empire rather than the Roman empire it was a direct descendant of the older empire if moved more into the Greek Sphere of influence.
Now there was an Empire I shall not see as inferior, the Byzantium marines for example had Ship to Ship flame Throwers that fired Greek fire (a form
of Naptha or Napalm that stuck to it's target's and burned even in water, in fact throwing water onto it apparently made it worse).
But here is the real lesson, non of these civilization's or cultures arose in Isolation (Regardless of the extremely flawed and idiotic view of the
founder of the Smithsonian institute) but they fed upon one another, lesson's and ideas have a way of spreading and dispersion of knowledge does
There are instances of two separate group's reinventing something though.
We all know that had the Chinese imperial army's ever met the Roman army's it is almost certain that the Chinese would have won because the Chinese
had superior weapon's and equally advanced tactic's and training as well as actually far larger army's, they also had standardized part's mass
manufactured for there personal Crossbow's.
The Roman crossbow by comparison was not a man powered or portable weapon but a large device that was more like a cannon which would fire a huge bolt
into the enemy army, the Roman metallurgy was NOT as advanced as the Chinese metallurgy and there sword's be it the Spatha or the earlier Gladius were
by and large inferior to eastern weapon's.
Also the Economy of China was probably far superior, these two cultures did have link via trade and even Ambassador's though despite the great
distance between them and of course during the Roman imperial period the importance of the Silk Road was at it's greatest with entire cultures and
even civilization's rising on the back of that trade then later falling and vanishing from history through a series of catastrophe's such as climate
change and of course war and invasion - most notably the duel destruction of the Islamic expansion then the Mongol.