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Old 03-13-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

I'm quite interested in this, as whenever bored there is a high likelihood i will sprawl the internet or books on various histories, clicking on links, and spamming through articles and chapters in books.
I do get weirdly interested in some area's of history, and especially some places more than others. I think most of the time this is just opinion; where you grew up, which culture you find most interesting/close to, how strongly you think they effect you/us etc..

For me there are a few contenders-
France= French revolution,Napoleon, cultural and philosophical powerhouse for many years, hugely important in world wars, involved in creation of USA, Canada etc. pretty heavily, and pretty much been at war for 2000 years I just get caught up in the characters and events. However I do get that some people will just find them boring...

USA= Though new it's pretty hard to ignore 300-400 odd years of the building of the most powerful and influential country in the world. Also some of the idea's and people are just amazing when looked at in the full context of a growing and real superpower

Germany= Holy roman empire to to world wars then manic super powers; unification, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietschze, Heidegger, and Marx their culture gets out people who's ideas just **** us about.

I know that i'm missing out some huge one's like Russia (I find them a bit dull till USSR, which to be fair is mad interesting), UK (as a Brit student I have studied this for 14 odd years so it's kinda like taking the trash out), Greece and Italy (following the ancient times just got a bit bland)
as well as many more- China, India, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, Iran/Persia, Egypt, Spain etc....
Just wondering what people think and why.
This is definitely not intended as a MY COUNTRY IS BEST thread, or even who's history is most influential/important merely which you find most captivating to read and why
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:40 AM   #2
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Obviously England. Why else would I have specialized in it?
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

What about Greece? The home of conceptual democracy. Even their historians are unequalled, in Herodotus, and Thucydides. Classical Greek Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Heraclitus, fathers of rhetoric and logic. Legends of Athens and Sparta, Dionnysus in the Oddyssey. Achilles and Agamemnon in the Illyad or Troy. And that isn't mentioning our calenders and alphabet, months of the year, and days of the week. Beautifully preserved architecture, and the great polytheistic monuments to the Gods of Mount Oympus.

I'm too tired to go into more detail, but wanted to get something in. Don't forget Greece. It would certainly be in my top three.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:41 AM   #4
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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What about Greece? The home of conceptual democracy. Even their historians are unequalled, in Herodotus, and Thucydides. Classical Greek Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Heraclitus, fathers of rhetoric and logic. Legends of Athens and Sparta, Dionnysus in the Oddyssey. Achilles and Agamemnon in the Illyad or Troy. And that isn't mentioning our calenders and alphabet, months of the year, and days of the week. Beautifully preserved architecture, and the great polytheistic monuments to the Gods of Mount Oympus.

I'm too tired to go into more detail, but wanted to get something in. Don't forget Greece. It would certainly be in my top three.
That time in Greece was pretty awesome no doubt, and it really should be included but after classical Greece the literature and events are just so non-mainstream and dwarfed by other European states its hard to get caught up in it. Obviously it still pops in there though just because of the awesomeness of Athens
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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Obviously Greece and Italy (Rome). Why else would I have specialized in it?
FYP
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

China gets my vote. One of the oldest lands, a long complex history, and, frankly, a pretty bright looking future.

I took a course on 'non-western' history in college, but the focus for the China portion was just 20th century, which is not the period I would have chosen to study first.

I've read about daoism, confucianism, and the spread of buddhism through China on my own but haven't felt up to going into a comprehensive history.

If anyone knows a good Chinese history text that is both readable and starts at earliest recorded times, pls. let me know. Will tell wife to buy for birthday...
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Tough to get past the obvious number one choice of England but as well as China and Rome mentioned we could maybe add India and Turkey
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Mother Russia
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:16 PM   #9
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Scotland
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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Scotland
Is it even a country?
England, France, Germany and Russia are getting my vote.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #11
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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.

If anyone knows a good Chinese history text that is both readable and starts at earliest recorded times, pls. let me know. Will tell wife to buy for birthday...
China: Its History and Culture:

http://www.amazon.com/China-Its-Hist...0156270&sr=1-3

This book is quite good, especially as an introduction to the History of China. At 285 pages it does not overwhelm and gives a readable and concise history and culture of the Chinese people, which is interwoven throughout the text. What is also very useful are the four pages of selected bibliography at the end of the text that reference excellent reading material about different aspects of China from ancient times to the present. This is not a comprehensive book and is not meant to be, but within the outline given by the authors they did an excellent job - A very well written text. No fluff.

-Zeno
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:03 PM   #12
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Going with a non-traditional answer, but Poland has an interesting/vibrant history. Very rich history, but often overlooked and forgotten.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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Going with a non-traditional answer, but Poland has an interesting/vibrant history. Very rich history, but often overlooked and forgotten.
Poor Poland , always being partitioned of for the gain of others.

I have fallen in love with both the Roman Republic and Empire, as well as Renaissance Italy.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:58 PM   #14
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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Going with a non-traditional answer, but Poland has an interesting/vibrant history. Very rich history, but often overlooked and forgotten.
Didn't they elect there kings or am i wrong?
Anything to read about them?
According to a study i once read they have some of the smartest people in the world and highest average iq's. Way to beat down a stereotype
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:09 PM   #15
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Italy.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:26 PM   #16
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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In the grand scheme of things, despite my specialization, I probably have to agree that China by any "objective" measure (as if such a historical thing exists) has about the most extensive, elaborate, and interesting culture out there. Certainly in terms of a continuous "civilization," China has the rest of the world beat by a considerable length. They were the most scientifically and technologically advanced culture in the world for far longer than Western cultures have been dominant.

I may take a look at that book... always looking to shore up my World History lectures.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #17
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Hmm....I don't think I can pick one...I've learned different things from many different epochs and different countries so it is hard to pinpoint one.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:48 AM   #18
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Take shelter, Im going to say it:

USA
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:33 AM   #19
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

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Take shelter, Im going to say it:

USA
If by history you mean 15 minutes of fame, you probably got it right.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:39 AM   #20
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

USA.
Yes 'newer' country, but still one could spend a lifetime studying and discussing it, and never get bored.

If I had to choose a #2, I would say Germany, but for me it's really close between the western European countries.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:45 AM   #21
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

I'll throw another vote in for China. Thousands of years of steady, continuous, imperial rule and then all hell breaks loose. Boxer Rebellion, warlords, Communist Revolution, Great Leap Forward (as in Backward, with something like 30 million people dying), Cultural Revolution, and now looking presently at Reform and Opening.

Also, Mao was one crazy bastard. It's amazing how someone could be responsible for more deaths than Hitler or Stalin (probably combined) without explicitly trying.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #22
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

Greece, Greater Iran, Central and East Europe in 18th and 19th century.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:05 PM   #23
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

I agree with Poland, even though there wasn't much action before the Middle Ages. But once we get there...

Spain doesn't get enough love either. Carthaginian, Romans, Muslims, Christians, etc. all taking turns to rule the peninsula.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:26 AM   #24
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

I think France is there for a reason. You get philosophy, intrigues, war(lots of it), art, culture, gossip - name it they had it.

I do think that scandinavia gets overlooked. It's a lot more then viking invasions. It's the jump start to russia and a lot more...
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:05 PM   #25
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Re: Which country has the most interesting/vibrant history?

I don't have enough information regarding China, but taking it for granted that they have been slightly ahead of Europe regarding certain developments, the country would make an interesting topic to study.

Obviously I am biased regarding Germany, but I think it's history uniquely interesting. In the end it wound up "on top" of Europe despite being a collection of small principalities, having been overrun several times in it's history and has usually been on the losing end of Europe's biggest wars (the Thirty Year's war was almost completely fought on German soil, Napoleon took Germany in a landslide, and obviously WW I & II). However singling out one European country is hard, as history is strongly intervened, especially since a lot of Royals have been related in (more often than not) more than one instance.

Also interesting is the history of Latin America, although rather short, the the 19th and 20th century developments of the continent are a great mirror of the fight for independence, democracy and development.
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