Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 February 27

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February 27[edit]

Presidential inaugural address which is said by heart[edit]

Is It usually said this way? Did some of the previous presidents read it from a paper? When it is said by heart, like this time, is there someone close by with the written text, to help in a case of a problem? This may be asked of course regarding other big addresses, like state of the union etc. Thanks! נרו יאיר (talk) 08:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

When they do it without notes, I'd be very surprised if there's anyone on hand with a "cheat sheet". It's not like singers at the opera, where there's a prompter in a box to help them along if necessary (but there's a complicating factor there - they're singing in a language they may not normally speak at home). Some politicians are naturally gifted in the area of public speaking (not that they probably don't practise behind the scenes), and Obama seems to be one of them. Some public speakers have their main points written on a small card, which would be very easy to disguise. Some do it completely without notes. I'll leave the rest of the question to those who know what they're talking about. -- JackofOz (talk) 11:36, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
By the way, if you are thinking of Obama's inaugural address, which it sounds like you are, I don't think it was said by heart. Today's speeches by politicians are almost always said while looking into transparent screens, on which the text is projected (much like news reporters use). I expect every recent inaugural address has been given this way. I'll see if I can find a picture. — Sam (talk) 13:51, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
This system is mostly known as a teleprompter (originally a brand name) or autocue device. --Anonymous, 20:08 UTC, February 27, 2009.
You can see a picture of the screen in the image of the audio linked in the article: Barack Obama 2009 presidential inauguration#Inaugural address. Note that they put two screens up, one on either side, so that the speaker can turn his head and look natural as he speaks to the audience. — Sam (talk) 13:53, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
A wise speaker has a printed copy of the address in front of him, to refer to in case the teleprompter breaks or is hacked by the equivalent of a Wikipedia vandal. There appears to be such a script on the podium in most Presidential addresses. Edison (talk) 02:16, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
In this link from the speech to Congress last week, you can see the president with an open binder with the speech inside. Though some politicians like David Paterson have to memorize entire speeches in his memory but he's a special case as he is blind. --Blue387 (talk) 06:44, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Life in the Papal States[edit]

Does anyone know where to find information on people's daily life in the Papal States and how it compared to life in other European nations at the same time? Were there significant differences for the average inhabitant? I don't see much about that in the Papal States article... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

What time period? The Papal States existed for about 1200 years. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:15, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
They kinda still do... 17:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It is a late source but you should read Pictures from Italy a travelogue by Charles Dickens. It is public domain and available online. He travels through various areas so it would give you something of a comparison. --JGGardiner (talk) 20:20, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

"Authorized to brief reporters on condition of anonymity"[edit]

Today in the Post I read

Two senior officials authorized yesterday to brief reporters, on conditions of anonymity and a news embargo on their remarks until this morning, said that no politics were involved in Obama's decision and emphasized a series of high-level meetings he has held with his national security team and military commanders since the inauguration.

How can you be authorized to say something anonymously? Why would it need to be anonymous if it were authorized? — Sam (talk) 13:47, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

That you are anonymous to the public does not mean you are anonymous to the company/government body you are speaking on behalf of. The individuals in question were likely authorised to give comments on behalf of an organisation on the basis that these comments would be reported on an anonymous basis. ny156uk (talk) 15:33, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
And because organisations (or estates, if you prefer) adopt conventions which enable them to communicate to mutual benefit (administration gets story out on terms acceptable to it, newshounds get fragment for story). Not everyone connected with (or unconnected with) the transaction may be happy with the convention. In the UK until very recently (and details are hazy) the administration would give anonymous briefings to so-called lobby correspondents. Eventually one paper (either the Guardian or the Independent) rebelled, got sulky, kicked up a stink and refused to attend on anonymous terms ... later IIRC the briefings were de-anonymised. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:39, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
What is the benefit of it being anonymous if it's an official comment? Anonymity is usually used when the speaker isn't authorised to speak and they don't want their superiors to know it was them. --Tango (talk) 18:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
They want to control the spin on the news stories, which is driven considerably by the names of the people involved. Imagine how different reaction to that paragraph would be if it said "Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod", or "Leon Panetta and Robert Gates", or "Hillary Clinton and George Mitchell", instead of "two anonymous officials". All of those named people are plausible candidates for being those officials. Substitute in your own officials too, and see how they sound. (talk) 13:40, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Legality of Nazi Germany as a state/government[edit]

Do we have any articles or can anyone refer me to any reliable sources regarding whether or not the government of Nazi Germany was legitimate and legal? I'm referring to its very existence, not the actions taken by it. On one of our article's talk pages [1], there's an editor who's claiming "historians do not accept that the Nazi State was legal". This is news to me but granted I'm not a professional historian. He references a 1974 book by someone named "Harold Kutrz" but I don't have this book nor am I familiar with historians enough to know them by name. I'm aware that the Nazis used intimidation and many questionable if not illegal tactics to gain control, but I've never heard it said that the state on the whole was illegal. I've heard arguments that Vichy France wasn't legal, but not Nazi Germany. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Are you asking whether the transition from the previous Weimar Republic was done in accordance with German law or the Treaty of Versailles ? Or are you asking about whether the actions of the Nazi government, once in power, were in accordance with German law (which they then wrote) or international law at the time ? StuRat (talk) 17:19, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The former. I'm trying to understand another editor's comments that according to historians "Hitler was not 'legally elected'" and "the state was not legal therefore its laws were not either". (Yes, I know I can just ask him/her but the discussion on the talk page has evolved into a slight war, so I figured I would get a better answer here.)
As an example, there are arguments that Vichy France wasn't the legitimate government of France. I'm wondering if there's anything similar in regards to Nazi Germany. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Legal is defined by the local authority in charge of the plot of land where the event occured. If the Nazi government was in charge of the plot of land where they came to power, then their rise was legal under any normal definition of the term. Now, whether their rise to power was moral or just or ethical or right or good is open for debate, and well within reasonable bounds of the meanings of those words, one way or the other. However, charges of "illegality" need to be narrowly defined. 17:23, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The Nazi party was of course not in control of Germany before the election that (more or less) put them in power. Said election did indeed involve a bit of intimidation and vote-rigging, but in my experience it's not usual to call a state (or even a government) illegal just because of questionable elections; there would be a lot of illegal governments around if this were so. Algebraist 17:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
They are usually called "illegitimate" rather than "illegal", but only when there was actually some reason to expect a real democracy. There are plenty of dictatorships posing (very poorly) as democracies, and those aren't usually considered illegitimate or illegal. --Tango (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
You can interpret "legal" as "constitutional" and often get a pretty well defined answer - selection of leaders is usually determined by a constitution rather than regular laws (there are exceptions, of course). --Tango (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I've modified my original question to be a little more clear. I'm referring to its very existence, not the actions taken by it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

There is a distinct difference between saying that there was vote-rigging and intimdation in the elections that broght the Nazi party to power and saying that its existance itself was entirely illegal. It is rarely helpful to reduce a complex historical situation to a single sentance, especially one as oversimplified as that. One can note that there were problems with the elections that brought the Nazi's to power, but pragmatically they were really in charge of Germany after those elections, so it becomes pointless to debate whether, from the moment they took power, the entire government was somehow illegal. Its something of an ex post facto situation, but once they were in power, it becomes silly to refer to the government itself as illegal. They may have committed illegal acts, under the laws of the nation at that time, during the elections that broght them to power. That, however, does not make the entire government of Nazi Germany "illegal" from 1933-1945. Again, it may have been unjust, it may have been immoral, it may have been evil and bad and an abomination, but use of the term "illegal" is not really applicable in the way you seem to be using it. 17:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, just to clarify, I'm trying to understand another editor's comments. You can follow the link in the original question if you want to see the actual statements. (This in the section about whether "execute" or "murder" is NPOV). A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
They were certainly elected, although I'm not sure those elections were free and fair. The kind of intimidation used during the elections was probably illegal, but I don't know if that would actually invalidate the result under the Weimar laws. --Tango (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The kind of intimidation was more like street brawls between Nazis and Communists (not like, say, what happens in Zimbabwe). People tend to forget (and definitely do not like to hear) that the Nazis were a perfectly reasonably choice made by perfectly reasonable people; in hindsight it was obviously a bad choice, but in 1932 was there really a better option? Adam Bishop (talk) 18:19, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It was a little more than that. Would the Enabling Act been passed if the SA hadn't surrounded the Reichstag? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:30, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

There are two issues I'm aware of. One is the passage of the Enabling Act that you just referred to. The other is Hitler's assumption of the presidency when Hindenburg died. Hitler assumed the office and combined it with his own to create the new one, Führer. This act was said to be both unconstitutional and a violation of Article 2 of the Enabling Act as well. This could be said to have turned Germany from a semi-Presidential state with a Nazi government into a Nazi state.

But one should remember that all states are, in a sense, illegal. My Constitutional Law prof. used to like to say that the Glorious Revolution was illegal and thus, in a certain sense, all British governance since then has been as well. --JGGardiner (talk) 20:16, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

One standard is whether the Nazi regime's ambassadors were accredited by other countries and international bodies. This standard would exclude the idiotic "micronations" which people create on their personal quarter acre. The U.S. and other countries , including the USSR, and the League of Nations, received German ambassadors credentialled by Hitler's government as the lawful representatives of Germany. Edison (talk) 02:13, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

If the government of Nazi Germany was not a recognized government, the International Olympic Committee would never have accepted Adolf Hitler as the head of state when he opened the Berlin Olympics. Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 01:02, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone for their answers! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:06, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Not mentioned above is another reason the statement "Hitler was not 'legally elected" is true: Hitler did not occupy any elective office. - Nunh-huh 08:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Is Elizabeth II's coronation footage in the public domain[edit]

The footage is classed as public domain at here. Thanks, -- (talk) 15:58, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

:And thank you for sharing. 17:20, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I misread your question. I thought that you were making a general statement. I will let someone else answer this question. My sincere apologies. 17:25, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I would imagine that it comes under Crown Copyright, which would probably make it free to use for news or noncommercial purposes, but I am not a lawyer and do not know the specifics of UK copyright law. Your best bet is to go to the official website for Buckingham Palace and send them an email. //roux   20:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

How many people have ever lived?[edit]

Apparently there are 6bn people in the world today, but i would like to know roughly how many people have ever lived. Even if their lived lasted a mere fraction of a second outside the womb. There must be some estimates out there somewhere? (talk) 16:47, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Somewhere around 100 billion. StuRat (talk) 17:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Using this link I found a source saying somewhere between 45 and 125 billion people have ever lived. Obviously, these estimates are going to be extremely rough -- what record do you think people kept of babies that survived for a "mere fraction of a second"? — Sam (talk) 17:15, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
There's a bit more information at Number of humans who have ever lived. Algebraist 17:16, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
It depends on how you define people. Do neanderthals count? Homo erectus? transitional forms between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens? Its a tough call, and any answer is bound to have huge degrees of uncertainty. 17:17, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
"People" is usually used to mean Homo Sapiens, the difficulty comes in defining what is and what isn't a Homo Sapien. --Tango (talk) 18:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
There's no such thing as a "Homo sapien"; the "s" in our species name isn't a plural marker. --Lazar Taxon (talk) 20:01, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought that as I typed it and tried to remember how it worked... I guess I came to the wrong conclusion! Is there a short way of saying "a member of the species Homo sapiens"? ("Human" isn't quite precise enough.) --Tango (talk) 19:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that is a challenge. The opinion that I received when I asked some academics about it recently is that species names really shouldn't be used as countable nouns (i.e. "one Homo sapiens, two Homo sapiens"), so you could just say "a member of Homo sapiens"; or you could use "modern human", which I think is arguably the common species name for "Homo sapiens". --Lazar Taxon (talk) 20:06, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
However, in terms of the Latin language (as opposed to English scientific terminology), "Homo Sapiens" is singular, and the corresponding plural would be Homines sapientes... AnonMoos (talk) 23:16, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but we use the singular in English as well - we refer to the human race as a whole as "man" not "men", so it makes sense to use the Latin for "wise man" not "wise men". --Tango (talk) 23:53, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Except that the Latin adjective (masculine singular nominative) for "wise" is not sapien, but sapiens. There's no such word as "sapien" in Latin. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Question: how do i go about doing a search for information on a legal data base for a particular issue?[edit]

I have to find legally binding authorities supporting the proposition that "an oral contract is binding on the parties to by whom it was made. This is for use in the court of Law in Trinidad W.I. do note i am not asking for your opinion on my particular issue, just the way it is or can be done, thank you, D —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Does Trinidad have its laws in a database? That should be your first question. You should contact a library from one of these schools to find out. Followup questions should go to a librarian. --Moni3 (talk) 17:24, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
[2]. Kittybrewster 13:39, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Dickens character[edit]

The secret POW radio at Batu Lintang camp was nicknamed Mrs Harris, after the character in a Dickens novel who was a gossip-monger. Anyone know which novel that would be? Thanks Jasper33 (talk) 18:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit -- Fullstop (talk) 18:13, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Jasper33 (talk) 18:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Not really a character, since she never actually "appears" in the novel; she's just continually referred to by Sairy Gamp. Deor (talk) 19:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

men vs. women[edit]

My mom says women are a lot smarter than men. (I believe women are strong in faith and pride.) But still, are men physically stronger than women? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC).

Many people say many things. This does not make them true. 21:00, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The average male is stronger than the average female. Men hold most world records involving strength or speed, though women are gaining is some places, such as in marathons. Both sexes seem equally stupid, though often in different ways. Matt Deres (talk) 21:21, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
List of Olympic records in weightlifting may help! Livewireo (talk) 21:27, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Strength is relative. More than half the deceased members of the Donner Party were male. While women did not undertake tasks as risky and dangerous as men, there was also something more to their physiology that allowed them to survive. There is something to be said for emotional strength as well, although I am not comparing men to women. It's just a different type of strength. --Moni3 (talk) 22:40, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

It partially depends on what you measure and how you measure it. For example, if you measure absolute upper body strength (such as the ability to lift X number of pounds), then women are pretty much guaranteed to fail miserably. However, if you measure women's strength relative to their body weight, or set tests of dexterity and endurance, then women will come out relatively well.

Also, keep in mind that due to basic statistical properties, if the measured strengths of women and the measured strenths of men on some particular task each have a normal distribution, and the average strength of men is, say, one standard deviation greater than the average strength of women, then it will still be the case that over 15% of women are stronger (on the particular task measured) than the average man... AnonMoos (talk) 23:00, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

By the way, on intelligence -- IQ scores may or may not have any particularly deep connection to real intelligence, but IQ testing has consistently found that the average overall measured intelligence of men and the average overall measured intelligence of women are pretty much the same (i.e. not significantly distinguishable from each other with the methods of measurement being used). However, one real difference which does exist according to IQ scores is that the standard deviation of men's measured intelligences is greater than the standard deviation of women's measured intelligences -- i.e. there are more male geniuses, but also more male morons (for whatever that's worth). AnonMoos (talk) 23:09, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Aren't IQ tests designed and normalised to try and remove gender biases? So of course they come out with equal intelligence for men and women. --Tango (talk) 23:50, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
As a basic matter of balance, a well-written comprehensive IQ test will certainly not give undue weight to tasks which one particular sex can generally do more easily than the other (e.g. certain verbal tasks for women, or abstract spatial logic for men). However, it's still possible to try to use IQ tests to measure overall average intelligence for men vs. women, and the results seem to have been reasonably consistent over decades (as far as I'm aware) -- no real difference between average male intelligence and average female intelligence (insofar as this can be measured by means of IQ tests), but a greater range of measured intelligences among men (i.e. greater male variability). AnonMoos (talk) 03:06, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. IQ tests are designed starting from the assumption that men and women should come out with equal average IQs, and so the tests are tweaked until they do. As some point out, this makes the accepting of different ethnic groups getting different average results look rather bad. But that probably risks soapboxing. (talk) 00:50, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it just shows what nonsense IQ tests are. --Tango (talk) 01:22, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I once read in a semi-reliable publication that the difference in male and female race times among elite runners was roughly proportional to the difference in male and female heart sizes. I.e., both groups were limited by the amount of blood they could pump, and men simply had bigger pumps. --Sean 20:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
That sounds plausible, but the difference in heart size is probably roughly proportional to the difference in lung capacity, leg length, etc.. It's very difficult to pin it down on one thing. --Tango (talk) 20:40, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure it's all roughly proportional, but the point was that at the extreme of training and dedication, it comes down to the capacity of the machine. That's leaving out non-size structural differences like the pelvic angles mentioned. --Sean 15:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
For running, the difference between male and female pelvic angles might be relevant... AnonMoos (talk) 08:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Men and women are each individuals with individual strengths and weaknesses. Howzzat? Wrad (talk) 20:46, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
No one's asserting otherwise, it's no reason to ignore differences in the average specimen. --Sean 15:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Byzantine empress regnants[edit]

How many Byzantine empress regnants were there? That includes the one that co rule with their husband. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 20:52, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Also were the children of Byzantine emperors and empresses titled in any way. I notice the phrase Byzantine prince or princess but the Byzantine never gave such titles. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 20:52, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Was List of Byzantine emperors unhelpful? 20:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I was unsure if any were left out. Also I have a question about Eudocia Angelina. Was she ever married to Alexios V Doukas during his brief reign as emperor?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talkcontribs) 18:30, 27 February 2009
The article on Alexios V Doukas states that she was. - EronTalk 22:37, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Alexandrian and Augustan empires[edit]

I'm looking for an anachronistic map showing overlap of these two at furthest extent; Rome and Persia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Your question is a little unclear, since the maximum expansion of the Roman empire is more usually considered to have occurred in the second century A.D., rather than under Augustus -- and the empire of Alexander the Great, the empire of the Ptolemies with its capital city at Alexandria, and the various incarnations of the Persian empire are all different things... AnonMoos (talk) 23:21, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. This map shows the Roman Empire at its greatest extent (under Trajan). The article Persian Empire lists several candidates for that title. Alexander's empire is here. The Seleucid Empire, Alexander's Persian successor, is shown here in yellow. - EronTalk 01:06, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm just looking for an anachronistic map of the greatest extent of both Roman and Persian empires, showing where they overlap. My Penguin Atlas of Medieval History is an old book with black and white pictures, but it shows one with both empires. I know that Wikipedians like to make maps that show anachronistic accumulations of empires at different periods of their existence, like showing the British Empire having both the Thirteen Colonies in North America and Australia, along with India and South Africa, in the same map. There are also Roman maps depicting the furthest Rome ever expanded. Was Persia bigger under Alexander's conquest, or smaller? In any case, I wonder if there are any anachronistic, "furthest extent" (all territories ever occupied) images of Persia. Ideally, I'd like to see a map with both Rome and Persia under an anachronistic, furthest extent format and I know they'd overlap, but I want to see it with my eyes rather than my head. I'm not a great graphic editor and you guys probably have better paint/editing tools anyways. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I guess the overlap would be between Rome and the Islamic Caliphate, as a version of Persia. Is this right? Wouldn't one then include Holy Roman territories as "further Rome"? Would Russia be Roman too? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

The Islamic Caliphate would be a bad version of Persia. The Caliphate was an Arabic empire with a homeland in modern-day Iraq. It was absolutely not Persian/Iranian in any sense of the word. The problem is that there are several unrelated states which all get called Persia. There is as much continuity between Achaemenid Empire Persia, Seleucid Empire Persia, and Saffarid Persia as there is between, say, the Roman Empire, the Papal States, and modern Italy. However, if you want to get an idea about the sizes of the Roman and Persian Empires at approxiametly contemporaneous points, the specific Persian Empire you want is the Sassanid Empire, which was not Persia at its largest, but it was still pretty big, and it reached its height at around the same time as Rome reached its height. A map containing both the Roman and Sassanid Empires at their peaks would not be all that anachronistic. Persia at its greatest extent in terms of land area was probably the Achaemenid Empire, but that reached its peak while Rome was still a whistle-stop on the Tiber... 05:05, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
The caliphate was somewhat Persian in culture; Iraq was Persian long before it was Arab. But anyway, to include the HRE and Russia as "further Rome", why stop there, why not make a map showing all Christian and all Muslim territories? Also the "Persian empire" and the "empire of Alexander" are not really the same, Persia was simply one of Alexander's conquests. And he was hardly an emperor, he was a conqueror who left a big mess for his successors to deal with, and the whole thing immediately fragmented into numerous different states. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:21, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

So then, the HRE was only a Romanized Germania and Russia was only a Romanized Scythia, each claiming legitimate inheritance? What ever happened to the Hellenic culture of the Persian areas? I ask because there are still Nasrani (Nazarenes/Judaeo-Christians) in India who hold to St. Thomas...wouldn't there also be a Greek subset of India which remained to the present? Would Russia owe more to the Alexandrian world of Hellenistic peoples in the East, or its descent from Scythia Minor and the Black Sea Greek colonies, or the Byzantines? Would the vast difference between the usage of Latin and Cyrillic alphabets be because the Romans had their way, but the older, Oriental Hellenic tradition is what Russia got and gave to their bordering peoples? The reason I used the title "Alexandrian and Augustan", is to distinguish between the older Oriental and newer occidental worlds of the Greeks/Europeans. I think this is the true source of the European interest in Aryan theories, tied to the colonial period, on a Neoclassical basis, to revive and continue Alexander's conquests. The Alexandrian world seems to be the infrastructural blueprint for the Augustan, but not because of the Aryans, only because the Greeks adopted their secular government, just like they adopted the Jewish religion, which made a Roman and Christian world out of a Persian and Jewish. I think these are the origins of our "West", but it ultimately rests with credit for the Greeks, being continued by the Western/Roman Germans and the Eastern/Persian Russians, in one form or another until the 20th Century. It could be the differences between Centum and Satem in the languages. I think the ultimate legacy of the Greeks, was the ability for Indo-Aryan languages to be assimilated into the European family. Greeks colonized that region in the ancient era and the descendants of the Greeks revived these conquests in our own era. Otherwise, I can't really see the legitimacy for Aryan theories. This is my version of one, based in historical events, rather than extrapolated from "trajectory" ideas of diffusion. Am I in hot water? (talk) 06:36, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

The Centum/Satem division was due to a sound change of roughly ca. 2000 B.C., presumably in the general area of Russia. This was a purely phonological change of assibilation of velar consonants with secondary palatal articulations. The Centum/Satem groupings only emerged from linguistic work done in the 19th century, and have no particular cultural or historical political significance. And a form of Hellenistic culture did persist in the revived Persian empire, especially in the Mesopotamian cities under the Parthians. AnonMoos (talk) 09:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
And anyway some linguists[who?] believe that the assibilation of velars happened several times independently, rather than reflecting a single grand division. The western Romance languages show that it can happen at least twice, so why not more? —Tamfang (talk) 00:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
It is not "Oriental Hellenic tradition [that] Russia got", but rather the fact that the Russian emperors was followers of the Eastern Orthodox church, which has little to do with Hellenism. • With respect to the ambiguous use of "Persia" (abused beyond belief on WP), and to the propensity to name entire nations after the dominant tribe within that nation, Jayron32 has said what needs to be said. • With respect to whether Persia was bigger under Alexander's conquest, or smaller,... it did not change size. It became a 1:1 governate under Peucestas immediately following Alexander's arrival there in November 331 BCE. • The Greeks had nothing to do with "the ability for Indo-Aryan languages to be assimilated into the European family", regardless of how that phrase may be interpreted. • The fallacy of European Aryans derives not from "[Neoclassical attempts] to revive and continue Alexander's conquests", but from the erroneous belief that (a word like) "Aryan" was used by prehistoric Europeans as a name for themselves. • With respect to "What ever happened to the Hellenic culture of [post-Alexandrian Iran]?": the Seleucids were too few and weren't around long enough. In any case, they were too busy beating each other's brains out. Their successors, the Parthian Arsacids, were Hellenistic, and said so. The Arsacids' successors, the Persian Sassanians, defined themselves in Iranian nationalist terms, and were thus decidely anti-Hellenistic in most things. -- Fullstop (talk) 15:00, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

So then, Persia and Rome were the only Hellenistic empires to exist, but one cannot define successor states in terms of any legitimate Greek inheritance, all the while they may be indirect heirs of Hellenic traditions? I'm trying to figure out the exact dimensions of Greek influence in all geographic directions, but not simply through trading outposts, only through government run by Greeks and the offspring of the Greeks. While we all know Rome as heir of the Greeks, I am more curious about the Oriental legacy of the Greeks, which is primarily through Persia, as an empire, with simultaneous rule of lesser nations and tributary chiefdoms alongside. Would the furthest east be India (yes Indus, but what about Ganges?), furthest north be Scythia (Transoxiana, or did they go beyond the Jaxartes as well? What of control over the Caspian and Aral seas? Lake Baikal?) and furthest south be which Nile Cataract? It seems explanatory that the whole Judeo-Christian tradition of St. Thomas owes itself to the Hellenistic influence, so there must have been a real creole, colonialist culture (e.g. Greco-Buddhism) comparable to Mithras in Rome. There must have been a kind of Americanism among the region descendant of the Greek conquests, like how the English influence in America remained the culture of the people, although they cast off any formal ties to Britain. Isn't all of this Greek experience the groundwork primarily responsible for Russia's ability to expand eastwards, despite all of the invading Asian nomads coming at them? The Kushan Empire article lists Greek language and religion. Whatever happened to all of the Alexandrias? I would assume the Muslims were the ones to try and erase that history, but I cannot imagine the earlier people doing so. I'm still trying to trace the heirs of the Greeks in two blocs, East (through Persia to Slavs) and West (through Rome to Germans), but you are stating that these are not successors? What about their claims of cultural inheritance? (talk) 22:56, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

There is no "so then". I've already noted why, and your insistance on using ambiguous vocabulary does not help matters (and provokes a gag reflex). • Not being able to "imagine the earlier people [erasing that history]" does not make it true; not only did Central Asian/Eastern Iranian Greco-Iranian syncretism vanish PDQ after the Persians (genuine ones, from south-western Iran) took control in the east, we also have evidence for why that happened. • The "whole Judeo-Christian tradition of St. Thomas" is about Thomas having (according to legend) travelled to India. This has nothing to do with Hellenism. • Mithras is not evidence of colonialist culture, but of Greco-Roman fantasy and pseudepigrapha ("alien wisdom", as Momigliano called it). Its a product of Greco-Roman throught, just as all the other mystery religions are as well, no matter what pseudo-oriental patina the Romans accorded each one. • European influence in North America (or Australia) is not comparable to Hellenistic influence in Western Asia. The numbers are reversed. A more appropriate comparison would be India or Hong Kong, 200 years from now. • I have already noted that your assumptions about Hellenistic->Iranic->Slavic influence are misguided. Oh, and "Germans" are not "heirs" of the Greeks either. These are not successors, and -- unless you are alluding to the German affection for Graeco-Turkish doener/gyros -- I have no idea where you get "claims of cultural inheritance" from.
It would seem that you have a particular outcome in mind, and are (consciously or unconsciously) tuning the evidence to suit that outcome. -- Fullstop (talk) 13:14, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

You have informed me of some specific things I did not know about, but are rather off base with assumptions on what I am getting at, apparently because you are viewing me as some kind of ignoramous, all the while proving that you think you can box the world's history and all the circumstantial causations into your own brain as sufficiently explanatory. My main interest was to trace the flow of the Classic World to revivals in Neoclassicism, Romanticism and even 20th century nationalism and the attempt was to look for confirmation on some suspicions, on a general basis and not impossible conclusions from minutiae, as I instead look at the forest for the trees. You should try it more. (talk) 05:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC)