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Countdown: Top 10 Ancient Capitals

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posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:14 AM
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Top 10 Ancient Capitals


Rome




It's impossible to stroll through modern Rome and not bump into reminders of its ancient past. The Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, just to name a few, are lasting testaments to the capital of an empire once made up of 2.5 million square miles, three continents and about 100 million people. The empire reached its zenith in 117 AD, when the emperor Trajan ruled from Rome and months-long gladiator games were held to celebrate the city's glory.

Athens




Democracy, math, philosophy, the Olympics-what didn't come out of Athens, the ethereal capital of ancient Greece? Athens fought long and hard, in conflicts on the sea and on land, to become leader of all Aegean city-states by the early 5th century BC. It celebrated its victories by building great temples like the Parthenon, the iconic symbol of art and architecture in ancient Greece. A plague-likely typhoid fever-contributed to the empire's fall.

Constantinople




Today it's shared by two continents as the Turkish city of Istanbul, but ancient Constantinople never once had to share the spotlight after Rome fell from grace in the 4th century AD. From that date through the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the world's largest and richest city, becoming the center of the new Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and finally the Ottoman Empire. Art and learning flourished in its universities and cathedrals, including the spectacular Hagia Sophia.

Babylon




Famous for its "wondrous" hanging gardens, the ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon had as turbulent a history as its location in present-day Iraq suggests. Everyone from the ancient Assyrians to Alexander the Great wanted to get their hands on this strategic location, and it would become the capital for many ruling groups over a period of several thousand years. King Nebuchadnezzar II, creator of the gardens, led the city during its splendid architectural heyday around 600 BC.

Thebes




Most people think of Cairo and the Great Pyramids when they think of ancient Egypt, but the heartbeat of the magical pharaonic dynasties actually beat much further up the Nile at Thebes. Thebes was the ruling capital of ancient Egypt during its most dominant eras, beginning with the Old Kingdom 4500 years ago, and is home to two of its most revered temples at Karnak and Luxor. Most of Egypt's holy rulers are also buried nearby in the famous Valley of the Kings.

Great Zimbabwe




At 1,800 acres in breadth and the only one of its kind in Africa, the complex of Great Zimbabwe confounded early European colonialists, who couldn't believe that sub-Saharan peoples were capable of its creation. They were, in fact, and built the complicated structures sometime after 1200 AD, when a wide-reaching empire of about 20,000 Shona cattlemen ruled the area.

Just wanted to share a few of these with everyone,
More at the Link if your interested. Anybody have any ancient capitals to add to the list?
The rest of the List contains: Cahokia (Native American) Xi'an (Chinese) Cuzco (Inca) Tenochtitlan (Aztec)




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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Indus Valley Civilization

the above link is quite enlightening. Enjoy. Though google search will bring up a more thorough article.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by DoctorSatan
 


Nice Link, I had the pleasure of visiting India earlier this year although decided not to go into Pakistan, I wish i had.
But i Did Get to go to Hampi And wander around the ruins, amazing place i highly recommend.

edit on 8/9/11 by Freedom_is_Slavery because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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cant forget the ancient Cambodians, Angkor Wat was built around 800 AD
sacredsites.com...
..........how'd they do it..............



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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Vijayanagara





The name translates as 'City of Victory', from vijaya (victory) and nagara (city). As the prosperous capital of the largest and most powerful kingdom of its time in all of India, Vijayanagara attracted people from all around the world.
The ruined city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known in that context as the Ruins of Hampi.
It is widely believed that Vijaynagar was the largest city in India and the second largest city in the world at the end of 15th century with 500,000 inhabitants.
Vijayanagara



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 01:55 PM
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Petra




Petra (Greek "πέτρα" (petra), meaning rock; Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ) is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,[2] it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction.[2] It lies on the slope of Mount Hor[3] in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
Petra



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Very cool journey. How come most of my history teachers failed to bring history to life? Thanks.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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Think I would have put UR on the list above Babylon, but then again most of what we know of the Sumerians came from Babylonian and Assyrian sources, who in many cases copied verbatim ancient texts from their predecessors.




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:27 PM
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Very nice! I'm particularly glad that they got away from the Western European idea of "important capitals." There are so many that could be contenders but it' was a reasonably nice choice there.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by The GUT
Very cool journey. How come most of my history teachers failed to bring history to life? Thanks.


It is hard to bring this to life when you have
* 20-30 students
* many more interested in gossip, romance, and friendship than in scholarship
* no support from families to push new ideas to kids
* students with different levels of reading and understanding
* student distraction (like hunger and poverty and family problems)
* teachers who may have gotten tired of trying to force-feed things through the system
* teachers who are weary of kids not interested in the wonderful things there are to learn
* teachers who are having to teach to standardized tests
* textbooks that are outdated
* complaints from various social factions that you're teaching this subject or NOT teaching this subject.
* city, state, and national politics that dictate what should be taught.

I think they stick with dates because it's safe.

Just imagine (for a moment) if when they brought up Greece, they ALSO went into the cultural pederasty of Sparta, the virtual enslavement of women, the practice of infanticide for weak and sick children, the 'death for blasphemy' laws, the complex governmental structure, etc. IF you could find a teacher courageous enough to present this in school, they'd be out of a job 30 minutes after the students left class with "WOW! Do you BELIEVE what they did back then to kids??? That's just... HEY-- LISTEN TO WHAT MY TEACHER JUST TOLD ME!!"

And then the little darlings grow up believing that they learned everything there ever is to know in school and now have the tools to figure out all the answers of the univers.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 

Yeah, I see your point without totally abandoning mine. Our teachers are as much a victim of our lazy apathy as anyone.

But that apathy belongs to most of us teachers included. Here's to those that long to teach the truth.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 11:18 PM
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Originally posted by Freedom_is_Slavery

Vijayanagara





The name translates as 'City of Victory', from vijaya (victory) and nagara (city). As the prosperous capital of the largest and most powerful kingdom of its time in all of India, Vijayanagara attracted people from all around the world.
The ruined city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known in that context as the Ruins of Hampi.
It is widely believed that Vijaynagar was the largest city in India and the second largest city in the world at the end of 15th century with 500,000 inhabitants.
Vijayanagara


I've been here, amazing place. At it's height it had about 600,000 inhabitants. I also almost got skewered by a water buffalo on a motorbike riding up to one of the temples....close call.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:54 AM
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your pictures reminded me of architecture being music frozen in stone.

man builds great civilizations, but the barbarians are always at the gate.

war is but organized crime, man's downfall.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 12:52 PM
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Id have included Damascus



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by citizen6511
your pictures reminded me of architecture being music frozen in stone.


This is a great line. From whom did it originate?



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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...dont know if it qualifies as a capital city but its certainly ancient - caral peru...








posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 11:56 PM
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Thanks all for the great contributions.

Originally posted by Johnze
Id have included Damascus

I was going to but got side tracked, but here we go

Damascus




Damascus (Arabic: دِمَشق‎ Dimashq, Ottoman Turkish: شام Shām), commonly known in Syria as Al Sham (Arabic: الشام‎ Al Shām), and as the City of Jasmine (Arabic: مدينة الياسمين‎ Madīnatu 'i Yāsmīn), is the capital and the second largest city of Syria
In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious center of the Levant. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 (2009 est.).

Located in southwestern Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.4 million people (2004).[3] Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea-level,



First settled in the 2nd millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.

During Ottoman rule, the city decayed completely while maintaining a certain cultural prestige. Today, it is the seat of the central government and all of the government ministries. Damascus was chosen as the 2008 Arab Capital of Culture.
Damascus
edit on 9/9/11 by Freedom_is_Slavery because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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Rome, yeah, everybody knows Rome. How about the eastern counterpoint to the Roman Empire, Parthia? Most people have never even heard of it, but it was large, populous, and advanced. It just did not get the spotlight in western history. Even I can not name its capital without looking it up.



posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 10:11 PM
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Interesting thread, love the pictures. Thanks.
Would love to see Yerevan (Armenia) on here. Yerevan is one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities and has such a rich history and interesting architecture.
Recently watched a whole bunch of documentaries on ancient civilizations, and a couple of them mentioned some sort of ancient metal pillars discovered in Armenia during soviet times (and quickly covered up as to not rewrite history
) that were way older than they were "supposed to be". Not to mention a 5500 year old shoe and a 5900 year old skirt.
I just joined so no clue how to post links or pictures yet



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:00 AM
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Yerevan





The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain.[3] After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide settled in the area.
The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became one of the fifteen republics in the Soviet Union. In fifty years, Yerevan was transformed from a town of a few thousand residents within the Russian Empire, to Armenia's principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of national government.




However, the territory of Yerevan-Erebuni was settled in the fourth millennium B.C., fortified settlements from the Bronze Age include Shengavit, Tsitsernakaberd, Teishebaini, Arin Berd, Karmir Berd and Berdadzor.
Archaeological evidence, such as a cuneiform inscription, indicates that the Urartian military fortress of Erebuni (Էրեբունի) was founded in 782 BC (29 years earlier than Rome) by the orders of King Argishti I at the site of current-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort and citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus.[6] Yerevan, as mentioned, is one of the most ancient cities in the world.



Looks like a very beautiful city Yerevan



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