View Poll Results: Which era is your favorite and why?

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  • Ancient period, Antiquity

    60 74.07%
  • Medieval period, Middle Ages

    15 18.52%
  • Early Modern period

    5 6.17%
  • Modern era

    1 1.23%
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Thread: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

  1. #1
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Icon5 Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    After voting in the poll, feel free to explain why you are most fascinated in either ancient, medieval, early modern, or modern history. Personally I am most fascinated in ancient history, because it is the most far removed from our modern world. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamian Sumer ruled over much of civilization during the early Bronze Age, and by the Iron Age we had Archaic and Classical Greece colonizing virtually the entire Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. The Roman Republic soon dominated the Mediterranean arena and its successor the Roman Empire encompassed so many different territories that now make up a myriad of modern nations in Europe, North Africa, and West Asia.

    Meanwhile, the Qin Dynasty of China unified the Warring States, extended the Great Wall, built the Terracotta Army and tumulus for its first emperor, and collapsed during a rebellion that would lead to the establishment of the Han Dynasty of China. The latter was mostly contiguous and contained within the boundaries of modern China (although branching out into what is now North Korea and northern Vietnam); its collapse into the Three Kingdoms of Wei, Wu, and Shu mirrored the Crisis of the Third Century in Rome and China's reunification by the Western Jin Dynasty that of Aurelian's reuniting of the Roman Empire (split into the Gallic and Palmyrene empires). The Mauryan Empire, Kushan Empire, and Gupta Empire of South Asia encompassed much of Pakistan and India, while the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires ruled over a united Persia and Mesopotamia. The Olmecs of Mesoamerica (i.e. Mexico) built a civilization that would serve as a foundation for later ones in the region such as the Mayans and Aztecs. Northeast Africa saw the rise of both the Sudanese Kingdom of Kush and Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum.

    If I had to pick a second favorite it would be the medieval period, since it represents an odd transitional phase in which some of our present-day nation states had their nascent beginnings, such as in the Kingdom of France, Kingdom of England (combined with Wales), Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Denmark, etc. It was also the era of the rise of the Islamic caliphates, the Carolingian Empire, the Crusades, the Mongol Empire and travels of Marco Polo, the infamous Black Death, and the beginnings of gunpowder warfare in Song-dynasty China. It also saw the development of medieval republics from Novgorod to Venice, and the birth of the Renaissance in Italy. It contained both the Islamic toppling of Visigothic Spain and the Spanish Reconquista that drove the Moors into Granada, which finally fell to the Spanish in 1492 at the onset of Columbus' discovery of the Americas. It was also the era of brutal tyrants such as Vlad the Impaler and Timur the Lame, and epic conflicts such as the Hundred Years War.

    I suspect some will choose early modern history as their favorite thanks to the Age of Sail, Age of Exploration, the Columbian Exchange and beginnings of globalism, the primacy and waning of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, the building of the British Empire, the European interactions with Ming China and Sengoku/Tokugawa Japan, the European wars of religion, rise of the Dutch Republic, Oliver Cromwell and the English Commonwealth, the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and Incas, the expansion and decline of the Ottoman Empire, the expansion and decline of the Mughal Empire, the conquest of Ming China by the Manchu Qing Dynasty, the Golden Age of Piracy, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the start of Napoleonic age.

    I could be wrong, but I think only a handful of you will pick modern history, and only because of World War I and World War II, if not the previous 19th century conflicts such as the Franco-Prussian War and such. Or perhaps I'm wrong...perhaps there are a great many fans of the American Wild West, the Industrial Revolution, the collapse of colonialism, communist revolutions, the Soviet Union and Cold War, the advances in science with works by Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur, the radically progressive technological innovations before and after the world wars, the creation of so many new genres of music over the course of the 20th century (ragtime, blues, jazz, rock, R&B, soul, funk, disco, hip hop, punk rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, techno, house music, etc.), and, of course, the rise of Justin Bieber.

  2. #2
    Morrowgan's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    You will receive biased responses by posting here
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    I've always been fascinated by ancient times from the Stone Age to the beginning of the Roman Empire. But especially from the Bronze Age to Classic Greece. In Ancient times Man lived in harmony with Nature, wonder cities and temples built by artists, epic stories of Gods and Heroes told by great philosophers and poets, a world to explore, life had more meaning.

  4. #4
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    In order for me Antiquity>Early Modern>Modern>Medieval. I'd happily ignore everything from 200AD to 1600AD.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Early Modern > Medieval/Antiquity > Modern
    I am quite fond of early modern state building and warfare. I can't really put Medieval and Antiquity on anything but an equal footing because I find both immensely interesting but might be persuaded for Antiquity if someone has live footage of the battle of Magnesia.
    I could however do without modern history at all. The whole period between 1870-2017 I would happily ignore.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    I tend to have periods where i am extra interested in a particular time and place. right now it is ancient greece, specifically homeric and classical (or rather, differences between the two and evolution from one to other). When i have such periods i buy and read books about it. also if a historical war game covers that time and place i install it (thus i play much eb2 atm). These "focus periods" can be from any era or place. previous one was about teutonic order and crusades generally, and before that about phoenicians. while i do know broadly what happened in the rest of the world, i am most interested in europe and middle east, because it feels more big things happen there until modern age.

    as for most interesting age, the order starting from best is: ancient, modern, early modern, medieval. but there are sub-eras which i find boring. Late antiquity with roman dominance and civil wars is kinda lame, but gets interesting with great migration period. high medieval era is lame because it is so familiar and cliche with knights, kings, crusades and castles. and of course ww2 is interestig, but how everyone always talks about it and repeats the same things makes it lame.

  7. #7
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrowgan View Post
    You will receive biased responses by posting here
    Well, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, with that vote count so far (13 in favor of ancient times, only 1 in favor of medieval thus far). Perhaps I'll get different results in the Vestigia Vetustatis forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagusCaligula View Post
    I've always been fascinated by ancient times from the Stone Age to the beginning of the Roman Empire. But especially from the Bronze Age to Classic Greece. In Ancient times Man lived in harmony with Nature, wonder cities and temples built by artists, epic stories of Gods and Heroes told by great philosophers and poets, a world to explore, life had more meaning.
    I'm not so sure if life had more meaning per se, but it was certainly more mystical since the powers of nature were so poorly understood by the people who lived in those times. Well, at least in the superstitious, wider society outside the tight-knit circles of studious Greeks, Babylonians, and Chinese astronomers who made some correct assumptions in their speculations about the earth, moon, planets, sun and stars.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    In order for me Antiquity>Early Modern>Modern>Medieval. I'd happily ignore everything from 200AD to 1600AD.
    I'm assuming you chose 200 AD because you don't like the Crisis of the Third Century and then Christianization under Constantine? Not a fan of the Byzantines, huh? Hagia Sophia doesn't do it for you? I'm actually surprised you went as late as 1600. The Renaissance doesn't it do it for you either? Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo not good enough for you, huh? Is that it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seimour View Post
    Early Modern > Medieval/Antiquity > Modern
    I am quite fond of early modern state building and warfare. I can't really put Medieval and Antiquity on anything but an equal footing because I find both immensely interesting but might be persuaded for Antiquity if someone has live footage of the battle of Magnesia.
    I could however do without modern history at all. The whole period between 1870-2017 I would happily ignore.
    I'm perhaps less interested in modern history, but the two World Wars and subsequent Cold War still interest me a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by NosPortatArma View Post
    while i do know broadly what happened in the rest of the world, i am most interested in europe and middle east, because it feels more big things happen there until modern age.
    I think you've got that slightly backwards. If anything Europe and the Western world took off and shot ahead of everyone else from the 16-17th centuries onward. Before that it was more of an equal playing field if not at times unbalanced with greater technological innovation, scientific advancements, and development occurring in China or India, the two greatest economic powerhouses of the world since ancient times. Before the expansion of the Roman Empire beyond the Mediterranean, most of Northern Europe and Eastern Europe (outside of Greek colonies in places like Bulgaria and Ukraine) were still illiterate and in the prehistorical phase, and that includes Great Britain (although various Celtic groups at least had a sophisticated enough economic system to mint their own coins in imitation of the Greeks and Romans). The Middle East was arguably the first area of the world to become urbanized and developed, so no arguments there.

    as for most interesting age, the order starting from best is: ancient, modern, early modern, medieval. but there are sub-eras which i find boring. Late antiquity with roman dominance and civil wars is kinda lame, but gets interesting with great migration period. high medieval era is lame because it is so familiar and cliche with knights, kings, crusades and castles. and of course ww2 is interestig, but how everyone always talks about it and repeats the same things makes it lame.
    I feel the same way about the High Middle Ages, although things were far better off for Europe then than during the Early Middle Ages, when only the Carolingian Empire and remnant Byzantine Empire could stem the dreary breakdown of civilization following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. For me the Late Middle Ages were far more interesting due to the introduction of gunpowder warfare to the European theater and the gradual growth of the Renaissance movement emanating from northern Italy. Literature also became far more interesting and diverse during the Late Middle Ages, and advancements in philosophy and the sciences grew at an exponential rate in Europe just as these disciplines in the Islamic world were stagnating and even regressing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Well a period as a whole i pretty much prefer basically EB's setting to any other, say from alexander to 100 a.d or so. While though i find the medieval era quite cool, its not anywhere near the top for me.

    From 1630 to 1815 however really comes close to antiquity on being my favorite, specially the seven years wars, spanish war of succession, napoleonic wars and what not.
    On third it has to be the first half of the 20th century, while the second world war is the single topic that i love to read the most about. (So not in terms of period but wars im most interested in its ww2 for sure). And also that interest in ww2 is mostly about the british war effort, came to notice that literally all the books in my ww2 goodreads shelf were about it lol
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Hard to say for me. Two top contenders are antiquity and WWI-Cold War era, can't really decide.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    My interest is divided more by geographical location than time period, and what is classed as "ancient history" makes up a greater span of time than all the other categories combined, but I'm mostly of a mind with QuintusSertorius. At least as far as European, near eastern and North African history goes, anything between 4000 BCE - 300 CE fascinates me no end. Anything after the Christianisation of the Roman Empire bores me to tears to be honest. Aside from a passing interest in the formation and expansion of Russia (which was mostly eastwards anyway), history only becomes interesting to me again with the onset of the French revolution (and perhaps the enlightenment ideas that preceded it). I like the Modern period almost as much as antiquity (though less in terms of fact dumps and more in terms of the development of philosophy and economic thought in the wake of the French revolution) and can ravenously absorb absorb anything, anywhere in the world after 1900 (though WWI gets a little dull what with all the trenches).

    Also everything to do with China and the far east in general at any period is pretty interesting to me. Anything in China from Xia to Mao, it's all good. though the late Qing-Republic-early PRC era is most fascinating. Also the Mongols, I love a good horde.

    Ancient>Modern>Early Modern>Medieval

    Although for the sake of clarity: Classical Antiquity>Early Antiquity>Late Antiquity, though sometimes if it isn't Bronze Age it can off.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    For me it's not so much the era, as the process of having your interest piqued in some way. "Franco-Prussian War? What the heck was that about anyway?" And then you do some top level reading and that leads you deeper, and deeper, and eventually you get down to the level of why some guy's mistress caused general x to lose battle y. Down the rabbit hole every time, yet it's always a fascinating journey.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Kull's point is on the mark in every way - start reading about any particular topic in history and (unless it really bums you out for some reason) you'll quickly get sucked into a mess of interesting socio-demographic, economic, military, and political (to name just a few) texts about that astoundingly little slice of time. All it takes is a small amount of interest and you're off.

    That being said, I will always be an antiquity man. My own area of expertise is moral and political philosophy, and I also love engineering and invention, and the sheer developments from those eras have always astounded me. Read any historical, legal, or philosophical text from that time, and you will find a host of things still relevant today (often even cutting-edge), and rediscover moral and political ideas that are way ahead of our own time, but have been lost to the sands of time. The idea of citizen, law, and right have such a deep tradition in Rome, and there are so many other little concepts that trace their origin back to antiquity.
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  13. #13
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I'm assuming you chose 200 AD because you don't like the Crisis of the Third Century and then Christianization under Constantine? Not a fan of the Byzantines, huh? Hagia Sophia doesn't do it for you? I'm actually surprised you went as late as 1600. The Renaissance doesn't it do it for you either? Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo not good enough for you, huh? Is that it?
    Correct, none of those interest me in the slightest. The only reason I have M2TW is for EBII (I bought it on budget and it literally sat in a drawer, unopened for several years until EBII appeared), the period does nothing for me at all.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I think you've got that slightly backwards.
    okay, it's not that nothing happens there, it just that it feels like the same things just keep happening. Look at china: they are united under emperor, then there is civil war, then reunification, then civil war, then maybe some nomad invasion, and on it goes it feels like. Same is true for japan, all about shogunates being established and then civil war then shogunates again. With few exceptions China and japan are content to just sit there are be isolationist. The japanese invasion of korea, and the few expansionist ventures of china dynasties are itneresting but they are unusual. It is for similar reasons I find the dominate and principate era of roman history to be dull, because it's just about endless civil wars, nothing big really happens until the empire actually falls. When the migration period and justinian comes along, things get interesting again with the arabs, franks, and byzantines fighting everywhere. I guess I find it boring when civilizations just sit there, without a clear (or interesting) goal to progress towards. china and japan become interesting when they are forced by the west to stop being isolationist.

  15. #15
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar I am your sovereign now
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuintusSertorius View Post
    Correct, none of those interest me in the slightest. The only reason I have M2TW is for EBII (I bought it on budget and it literally sat in a drawer, unopened for several years until EBII appeared), the period does nothing for me at all.
    Man, I didn't think I'd ever meet someone who had such spite for Leonardo da Vinci. What did poor Leo ever do to you?

    I'm just curious as to why you chose 1600 instead of 1500, though. Any particular reason you don't like the 16th century? Is it because you dislike the wars of religion on the European continent and Luther's Reformation? I mean, there was a lot more going on in this period than this stuff, including the building of the Spanish Empire overseas.

    Quote Originally Posted by NosPortatArma View Post
    okay, it's not that nothing happens there, it just that it feels like the same things just keep happening. Look at china: they are united under emperor, then there is civil war, then reunification, then civil war, then maybe some nomad invasion, and on it goes it feels like. Same is true for japan, all about shogunates being established and then civil war then shogunates again. With few exceptions China and japan are content to just sit there are be isolationist. The japanese invasion of korea, and the few expansionist ventures of china dynasties are itneresting but they are unusual. It is for similar reasons I find the dominate and principate era of roman history to be dull, because it's just about endless civil wars, nothing big really happens until the empire actually falls. When the migration period and justinian comes along, things get interesting again with the arabs, franks, and byzantines fighting everywhere. I guess I find it boring when civilizations just sit there, without a clear (or interesting) goal to progress towards. china and japan become interesting when they are forced by the west to stop being isolationist.
    Ah, so it seems you're basing this largely on conquest and military history, and not so much other parameters, I take it? Sounds like you're just a fan of chaos. Therefore I dub thee NosPortatArma, Lord of War.

    Japan's isolationism makes sense given it's an island nation, but I suppose China's isolationism was spurred somewhat by geography as well, given the enormous mountain ranges separating it from Central Asia. There was also no developed civilization north of the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, so no desire for various Chinese dynasties to expand further than the Mongolian frontier. The ancient Han Dynasty and medieval Tang dynasty fought battles as far as Kazakhstan (against the Xiongnu) and Kyrgyzstan (against the Abbasid caliphate and allies), while the Han also briefly fought the Kushan Empire in the Tarim Basin during the late 1st century AD. The 15th-century Ming-dynasty Treasure Fleet under Zheng He fought a war in Sri Lanka to place another loyal tributary vassal on the throne of Ceylon. This was the same period when the Yongle Emperor conquered northern Vietnam, which rebelled against Chinese rule just a couple decades later, though. Northern Vietnam had been under Chinese dominion from the 2nd century BC to the 10th century AD, and various Chinese dynasties also fought against the Champa kingdom of southern Vietnam. The Korean peninsula was at times invaded by the Han Dynasty, the Sui Dynasty, and the Tang dynasty. However, you are right about the Chinese basically sticking to their sphere of influence in the Confucian-oriented Orient (heh).

    I guess you can say the same thing about South Asia, India + Pakistan. However, it saw the rise of so many different kingdoms and empires since antiquity, including the invasion of the Punjab by Alexander the Great, the invasion of the Yuezhi who established the Kushan Empire, and the much later Muslim invasions.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    It's hard to order these kind of things, but i'll give it a go
    1. Medieval: roman and islamic civilization.
    2. Ancient: hellenistic era, late roman era.
    3. Early modern: south europe and middle east 16th-19th. I also like india/america colonisation.
    4. Late modern: I'm only interested up until WWI, the more contemporary it gets the less i like it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Hellenistic era. This was the most interesting period of history, I would say. So many interesting superpowers on the scene, slashing each other. After Rome conquered nearly everything becomes a bit boring to me. And I have that strange feeling that after 100 AD climate became colder, soldiers wore less tunic and more trousers and shirts with long sleeves. And I do miss bronze helmets, I do.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    I'm with Quintus, also is not that important if what people believed was really the truth or not, but what they achieved with that, it was the culture of the art, now is the culture of the money. Before when Man built something they wanted to built something beautiful, now when Man build something they just want something that gives them the most money. That's why everything nowadays look ugly while in antiquity everything looked beautiful

  19. #19
    Darios's Avatar Slava Darios!
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Two periods of history stand out for me -

    AD 500-650 (Balkans / Eastern Roman Empire) - Largely because during this time, you have a world that is still holding on to antiquity, despite being surrounded by a rapidly changing world. The majority of Roman emperors were (exactly as it was 2-3 centuries ago) largely derived from military stock from the northern Balkans. The Romans still engaged in campaigns to defend the Danube frontier just as much as the "classical" Romans would have defended the Rhine and Danube frontiers. I enjoy reading Kosmas Indicopleustes' description of the world as it comes off as more 'ancient' than 'medieval.' You have a flourishing of Roman culture and civilization that gives the impression that they finally begun putting the turmoil of Late Antiquity and the barbarian invasions behind them. All the same, I also enjoy reading about the Slavic migration and the Roman-Arab wars.

    1230 - 1530 (Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East) - The Mongol Empire might be my favorite historical empire of all time (probably second only to the Roman Empire). They brought both East and West together in a way that truly fascinates me. The Mongol influence on medieval and modern day Russia in regards to cultural, political, and taxation structures is really interesting. The early development of gunpowder is really neat and I like how it co-existed with more classical forms of warfare for a couple of centuries. This is probably the latest period of time where ancient armies could have still given "modern" armies a serious run for their money. This is the age of great invasions, and the development of new entities in their wake. The gears that the Mongol invasion put into motion (increased trade and knowledge of Asia) would one day lead to the Age of Discovery.
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  20. #20
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: Which historical period fascinates you the most? Ancient? Medieval? Early Modern? Or Modern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Man, I didn't think I'd ever meet someone who had such spite for Leonardo da Vinci. What did poor Leo ever do to you?

    I'm just curious as to why you chose 1600 instead of 1500, though. Any particular reason you don't like the 16th century? Is it because you dislike the wars of religion on the European continent and Luther's Reformation? I mean, there was a lot more going on in this period than this stuff, including the building of the Spanish Empire overseas.
    Superstition and feudalism, I find that whole span dreary and the domination of the Catholic Church something that turns the entirety of the period into something I don't want to read about. Until the Enlightenment and the breakdown of both monarchies and tehh chains on the minds of men, there isn't much to grab my interest. At least with the 17th century we begin to see the collapse of the Habsburg Empire.

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