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I'm in Palolem in Goa where I arrived few hours ago by superfast train from Delhi. I and my sister have visited Taj Mahal in Agra and mosque and palace complex in Fatehpur Sikri.

My sister was left speechless by timeless Moghul monuments. She said it's only ideal symmetry and outstanding architectural skills that impressed her much but also as it's her first in India now she understands how Europe was lagging behind Asia till recent times till creation of European colonial empires in Asia. Taj was stunning and she thought it was something to do with breathtaking color contrast - silver white mausoleum was gleeming in the backdrop of brightly green manicured lawns, picturesque river (there was no stench though this time) and red sandstone mosques on both sides.

Absolutely stunning and better if you have good video/photo camera.

We were planning to visit Red Fort in Agra but spent too much time in Taj then went nearby to eat with a look at the monument so have had time only for Fatehpur Sikri and Salim Chisti tomb.

28-hour train delivered us to Goa in the middle of monsoon season. There are not so many tourists but still many expats, we have met one Georgian woman (I knew her from my previous visits there) who was reconstructing her rented home where she makes wonderful cheese and one German girl who started kindergarten for children of expats. Then we visited Smugglers Inn, bar owned by Englishwoman Dorotha but who is away in England, if anyone know her please tell her that her beefburgers are still great the only difference since last time pints of beer got expensive by 20Rs.

I recommend visiting India in monsoon because at the time it's looking most attractive. The only drawbcak will be no swimming. Bye.

by FarEasterner on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:16:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
now she understands how Europe was lagging behind Asia till recent times till creation of European colonial empires in Asia. Taj was stunning

Oh, I don't know, methinks Europe was well into competition in producing shiny big buildings for aristocrats while the rest lived in poverty -- Exhibit A: the châteaus of the Loire Valley.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jul 15th, 2009 at 12:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thhe chateaux of the Loire valley, like Chambord, were built a century earlier (XVIth century). Actually, Versailles was built at the same time as the Taj Mahal.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 05:16:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant the entire Mughal Empire era architecture, which began in 1525.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 08:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not that Moghul architecture is most impressive concerning antiquity. there are stupas and buildings from Ashoka's time in 3rd century BC. Only few buildings in Italy and Greece can rival them, but in Greece they were quite small. Construction of grandiose public buildings started in Europe rather late with Christian cathedrals. About later architecture, especially secular architecture like tombs or palaces I think not even one can challenge Taj - just think about what was recently shortlisted for Wonders of the World. There were no Versailles or Shonbrunns in that list. And there was Taj. Unique.
by FarEasterner on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FarEasterner:
there are stupas and buildings from Ashoka's time in 3rd century BC. Only few buildings in Italy and Greece can rival them, but in Greece they were quite small.
Hmm, I'm not able to actually carry out the comparison, but I'm not that sure that Alexander's empire and the city of Alexandria which he founded in the 4th Century BC don't measure up against Ashoka's kingdom. The two empires were neighbours at the time of Ashoka, as you know. The frontier between the two gave rise to a hybrid Greco-Buddhist art.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France and UK are not inheritors of Alexander's empire (or even Roman empire) and I think he was more Asian in his actions, civilisationary approach and did not want to live in Europe at all. Since he crossed Bosphorus strait he had not returned to Europe if I remember correctly.
by FarEasterner on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the Hellenistic Civilization is only Greek and therefore European when it suits your argument?

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 09:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair, he didn't live that long, and was rather busy. and at the time his civilised world was all to the east and south of his starting point.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 10:00:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FarEasterner:
France and UK are not inheritors of Alexander's empire (or even Roman empire)

France (Gaul) has been an important part of the Roman empire from 120 BC for the South and from 52 BC for the whole country to the end of the empire. Two Roman emperors (Claudius and Caracalla) were born in Gaul. And the French language is derived from Latin. Great Britain has been part of the Roman Empire from 43 BC...
But maybe this doesn't fit your definition of inheritor.  

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 03:37:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And so what, India was important part of British empire for centuries and many Russian emperors were born in Germany. Even cultural links with Byzantium did not make Russia heiress of medieval Greek empire.

I found the claims for Greco-Roman heritage ridiculous, especially from those with at best dubious connections. Even Modern Greece and Italy are recent creations in many ways (ethnic, religious, cultural, political, etc) different from their glorious predecessors.

by FarEasterner on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 08:36:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, I can claim descent from the Proto-indoeuropean people and take pride in the Vedas, too.

What is the point of this exercise? It's not much different from "who's stronger, Mighty Mouse or Superman?" What can it possibly matter today whether we agree that the Taj Mahal was unparallelled in its time? What use is past glory? And why should peasant farmers in Utar Pradesh feel proud of some wealthy guy's mausoleum for his wife, any more than a Frenchman should feel proud of the palace of some other wealthy guy built for his court?

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 08:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However you do not write to Melanchton and argue with his  or her ridiculous claims...

He (she) posted several times suggestions for me to improve my knowledge of history:

Melanchton: ...makes me think you should improve your knowledge of European history...

And then posted this here:

Melanchton:  France (Gaul) has been an important part of the Roman empire from 120 BC for the South and from 52 BC for the whole country to the end of the empire. Two Roman emperors (Claudius and Caracalla) were born in Gaul. And the French language is derived from Latin. Great Britain has been part of the Roman Empire from 43 BC...

But maybe this doesn't fit your definition of inheritor.  

And you apparently did not find in it anything objectionable.

From few remarks and comments here and there I cannot make any judgements and recommend improving knowledge of history but I found in one recent Russian guidebook about London (Orange guide, Eksmo publishing house, 2008) interesting information about historical knowledge in England. There, it was claimed, most people think that first prominent Briton was Julius Caesar indeed, and the next great Englishman was William The Conqueror (ethnic Norman from France). And two more Greats are Oliver Cromwell and Winston Churchill. And the rest of history in public mind is of the same quality which is well enough for ordinary people.  

However people participating here on forum should understand that others might learn different history of their countries where inconvenient facts were not hidden under the carpet.

by FarEasterner on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 01:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Glorious predecessors? like those that in India who built the Taj for the Modern Indians? I dont see how that comment dosn't drive a wrecking ball through the  rest of the comments that you have made.

If you're saying that the Europeans claims for Greco-Roman heritage is ridiculous, then Why does the Indian culture  have any better connection, other than living on the same piece of earth. Modern India is also a relatively recent creation too, I dont see that whole last comment making any real sense.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 09:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 09:37:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Glorious predecessors for Italy and Greece if you would bother to read my statement correctly. Not for UK or France.
by FarEasterner on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 01:44:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think that France has any less connections to the Roman Empire than Italy? The bulk of both were part of it for roughly 400 years, after the Empire's collapse, both areas were ruled by invading Germanic tribes that were a minority of the population, all of these Germanic kingdoms had a short life and they assimilated into the existing population.

And again, what closer connection does modern India have to Asoka or even the Mughal Empire? For that matter, by all insistence on continity, wasn't China more a succession of different empires not even on the exact same area (f.e. little common area between the Qin dynasty and Southern Song) than one?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 04:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being part of empire even for many hundreds of years does not make part a heiress of the empire. Otherwise Latvia might claim for heritage of empire of Peter Romanov.

It's nice you mentioned invading Germanic tribes, that's why purists might even deny Italy and Greece any connection to their glorious predecessors.

France and UK have negligible ethnic connection to Romans or Greeks.

Here is the difference with India - unlike Europe here ethnic mix did not change much and modern states may claim historical legacy freely. The same population, the same territory.

In Europe Italy and Greece have the same territory as Roman empire and Greek city states but population might had changed ethnically significantly over the centuries, not speaking about Christianity which was not existent in ancient societies.

About China I would recommend you to read any history book, for example John Keay's History of China and you will understand where your question or statement is fundamentally flawed.

by FarEasterner on Tue Jul 21st, 2009 at 01:33:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you're saying that culture is a heritable trait. Essentially that the son or daughter of a German tribesman could not possibly adopt Roman culture.

That's a popular line among the European far-right. It does not, however, have anything to do with reality.

The reality, of course, is that most empires succeed to some extent in imposing their culture on their colonies, and in some measure adapt their culture to reflect that of their colonies.

And, of course, cultures evolve over time, to the point where they become unrecognisable as the ancestor culture. To say that modern Greece or India has any claim to the monuments located there - other than the geographic fact that they are located in their jurisdiction - is vaguely silly. Just as it is vaguely silly to suppose that Germany has some claim to the merits of the Hanseatic League.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 26th, 2009 at 03:08:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would also ask how large are the buildings of Ashokas time, compared to similar times Greek and Roman Buildings? and how many  buildings from Ashokas time fall into the comparison, if it's said that only few Roman and Greek buildings rival them.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jul 16th, 2009 at 10:19:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only few buildings in Italy and Greece can rival them, but in Greece they were quite small.

Small, do you mean by height? In that, I think the mounds of the megalithic ulture (e.g. Silbury Hill), or the original Mausoleum, or the Collossus of Rhodes on its piedestals measure up with Kesariya Stupa. In general size, I wouldn't call f.e. the Temple of Artemis small.

just think about what was recently shortlisted for Wonders of the World

That shortlist was nicely apportitioned according to geographic regions -- with Europe getting the Colosseum. The European monuments among the discarded among the 20 finalists included Neuschwanstein castle, the Eiffel Tower, the Alhambra in Granada, the Acropolis of Athens, Hagia Sophia in Istambul, the Red Square i Moscow, and Stonehenge. Some competition for Versailles et al to go under against.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 17th, 2009 at 06:19:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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