Monday, January 02, 2006


Greek peninsula?

What would today's world be like if the land mass that formed the Greek peninsula had never existed? Would this effect be lesser or greater than if the Italian peninsula had never existed?

***Cliff or Rita, I posted a comment to this question only to notice my internet connection had dove into it's own bellybutton after I submitted. I'm almost 100% certain that my comment didn't go through; however, I apologize in advance if this turns out to be a double post***

I always wanted to see James Burke do an alternative history documentary. Maybe you and he should get together, Cliff.

Anyway, at the very least, the Romans would not have learned to cook as well as they did without the Greeks.

Seriously though, given the fact that the Greeks represented such a profound portion of exerted infulence it is very difficult to say for certain what today's world would be like.

At the very least, Eastern Europe would have a much more profound Arab flavor while Western Europe would have a much more profound Celtic flavor (don't discount the Irish because of modern stereotypes. The Romans and Cromwell were much more insidious than booze). Arguably, Judaism would have flourished in Israel well beyond 79 C.E. And Mithraism might be the religious flavor of the day.

Furthermore, I think the lack of the Greek peninula would be of lesser effect when compared to an utter lack of the Italian peninsula. Why? One word, "Romans". At least as far as our timeline is concerned. The Greeks may not have been quite as effective without the advantage of their Roman assimilation. Why else? Well, who is to say that the Greeks were the only one thinking big thoughts? Generally, any pivotal contribution is pivotal because of who got it to market first.

Lastly, I really like speculating about things like alternative history and in an attempt to be humane, I'm gonna stop typing now.
We can speculate all we want. Every culture is a little bug, a speck, before it balloons into a large and dominant society. Who knows what little bugs the various societies of Greece and Italy have squished in their lifetimes?
Is this a trick question?
We wouldn't have any delicious gyros. :(
....I wonder what ethnicity I would be? I am not quite sure everything would fall into to place so that I would exisit. And we would all miss out on very good food.
Not having the peninsula does not necessarily mean we would not have had the Greeks. Might they have settled on the mainland north of the peninsula?
However, it is also possible the peninsula meant having the Greek world. If that is the case, the thing that bothers me most is there would have been no-one to stop the arab invasion (Thermopolae, Salamis, Marathon, & Darius come to mind) which could have drastically changed Europe.
The horror of that is beyond my imagination.
I'm going to comment on the second of the two questions. And I'm going to assume the loss of each peninsula meant the total loss of each civilization for comparison purposes.

The loss of the greeks would have meant great losses in all branches of learning & the arts. There would have been no Alexander conquest & the world he left & no one to stop the Arab invasion at that point.

But the loss of the Italian peninsula would have meant the loss of Rome. The Romans were around impacting the world for almost a thousand years in a row. The impact of Rome to today's world, I believe would have been greater.

Then you have to add to that Rome & Christianity. Rome adopted, formed, and became Christianity. If you combine these two worlds of Rome, doesn't the Italian peninsula have a much greater impact on all of history?
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