Classic and ancient civilizations are a fascinating subject, and we can’t dispute their influences on today’s world. Some parts of their history still baffle historians, and it’s hardly a surprise that some of those civilizations were staggeringly advanced, even by today’s standards. Below is a list of ancient civilizations that were most advanced.
We all know about the influence of the Ancient Greeks on the modern world. The Olympics, the concept of democracy, the foundations of mathematics… History books are full of names like Homer, Plato and Aristotle – names that left an imprint in human history that’ll probably last forever. In terms of thought, culture and politics, Ancient Greece was certainly one of the most advanced ancient civilizations.The way the Greeks valued knowledge and learning is one of the reasons for all the things brought to us from Ancient Greece.
Of course, before the Greeks even thought of building the beautiful Pantheons, the Egyptians (for the sake of the argument, let’s ignore the aliens theories) created the last surviving Wonder of the World – the Pyramids. Indeed, the Egyptians far surpassed the Greeks in terms of architectural advancement. Also, Ancient Egypt was far more advanced in terms of gender politics – everybody knows about Cleopatra and Hatshepsut, two of the greatest female Pharaohs. Ancient Egypt was one of the few ancient civilizations that viewed men and women as somewhat equal before the law.
The Roman Empire spanned centuries, continents, nations… You don’t get to rule half the world for so long without a very high degree of military advancement and a solid political system in place. Until it was defeated by the barbarians from the North, the Roman Civilization basically ruled the world. Rome saw the rise and fall of some of the most notable figures in history – Julius Caesar, Emperor Constantine, Emperor Augustus… And of course, one mustn’t forget the Roman law – half the countries of the world adopted the system invented by the Praetorians and developed over the years. It still functions to this day in many parts of the world.
The big four inventions – compass, paper, gunpowder and printing – are only a small part of what makes Ancient China one of the most advanced ancient civilizations. Each dynasty has contributed something to the rich and vibrant civilization. For example, the Qin dynasty can be credited with developing a crossbow, later used by several civilizations on this list in warfare, such as Ancient Rome. And of course, one cannot forget about The Great Wall of China!
2012 might have provided some superficial insight into the Mayan calendar, but there was a lot more to this ancient Central American civilization. The Mayans were excellent mathematicians and can be credited for inventing a zero. They were also advanced astronomically and were able to create a very precise calendar. The Mayan pyramids were even bigger and more sophisticated than the Pyramids of Egypt. Their farming methods were also very advanced and are practiced by the surviving Mayans even today.
Before Christopher Columbus discovered America in the 15th century, the territory was a home to the Incas – one of the largest ancient civilizations. The empire reached from Colombia to central Chile. It’s impossible not to appreciate the sophistication and the reach of the transport system built by the Incas, particularly of the well-known Incan Trail leading to the Machu Picchu. The Incan society also had a solid government and social classes system, and the rulers were excellent diplomats, as demonstrated by the many lands peacefully acquired by them.
The Incan and Mayan contemporaries – the Aztecs – were also a very advanced ancient civilization, encompassing an alliance between three cities called Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), Texcoco and Tlacopan. The Aztec Empire was a very diverse society, and instead of a unitary government, the system of tribute was in place. There was a very well-established local government system in place, organized into the city-states.The Empire also had a well-developed judicial system with appellate, market-place, military and supreme courts, and a code of law regulating them.