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If You Could Travel Back To An Ancient Culture...

...what would it be?

Personally, I'd love to explore the nooks and crannies of Ancient Greece. The nation state easily ranks as one of the most diverse bipolar in world history. This was manifested clearest in the juxtaposition of the Spartan oligarchy and Athenian democracy. It's not far from the truth to say that Spartans sought to capitalize on the strength of the male gender through use of brute forces whereas their fellow Athenians desired to bring out the poetic, philosophic side in men.

And while seemingly contradictory, the two cultures shared the same prejudices and stereotypes barring women, slaves, and non property owners. This provides unparalleled insight into the founding of the country I reside in, the United States. Why did slavery and gender spheres permeate a nation founded on the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? The answer could be traced back to Greece's very narrow definition of eligible voters. White men were deemed superior components of society and heralded for centuries as commandeers of the political order.

Conversely, Ancient Greece also provides striking insight into the first documented direct or popular democracy, Athens. The philosopher Aristotle defined such a political system as "rule of the many". Whereas the U.S. was the first nation state to apply these principles on the national level, the idea had already been probed over 2000 years before.

You can't visit Ancient Greece without paying homage to its mythological attractions and a trek to the past would not only provide an educational but enjoyable experience. I've long taken interest in mythology and seeing the artifacts detailed in it first hand would further entrench my appreciation for the area. The Parthenon and Temple of Zeus come to mind. By observing the world through past lens, I'd likely uncover part of the reason for such amazingly detailed and vivid superstition.


Down for maintenance.
Apr 26, 2012
It would me Mayan culture for me. I just love how advanced as a nation they were for the time, and how they took the universe as a key element in day-to-day life. I also sort of have this inexplicable connection to them, I think I must've been one of them in my many past lives (not that I actually believe in that, but oh well).

Night Owl

Oct 3, 2011
Skybound Coil Tree, Noctilum
Ancient Egypt, I'd Like to see how they really played duel monsters ;)

All jokes aside, I'd still visit Ancient Egypt. Just to be able to see the pyramids and such being built would be cool. I'd also like to get to see the events involving Abram and later the Israelites take place.

Going back to see any ancient civilization would be fun and educational.


Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
I would travel back to the medieval Europe times. I am so interested in what it has in store; aside from major events like the Inquisition among other things, life sounds relatively simple from my history book and the inaccurate representations in a variety of "Medieval Europe" plays and events I've been to. Also, the women. The women as describe by many history books I've glimpsed at sound like beings totally different compared to this day and age. For one, back then apparently the typical woman wouldn't dream of leaving her man or trying to be separate from him. That is something I would love; I have a dream of being someone who is depended on and is a dependable person. In this day and age, such a thing is nigh impossible. Back then, in those times and in those locations? Oh, yes my dreams could very well come true!


Sep 19, 2011
V2 White Male
I would go back to the ancient 90's and laugh so hard at all there stupid checkered shirts.... Then sit down with kidz and watch those cartoons what were ever so great ! :')
I would then go and beat up my old school bullies. (tbh they would kick my *** still)


The Sexy One
Aug 18, 2012
In your pants.
As a woman, I don't think it would be a good idea to visit civilizations because I'd be opressed by all the men. ;)

But seriously I'd love to visit ancient Greece. They seem like they had lots of fun back then. Except of course if you were a foreigner slave woman or child. The whole of Greek culture seems magnificent : all the poetry and art ; and I would very much like to see today's great sculptures still in one piece and all colorful. That way I'd also see lots of lost statues and Mosaics and plays... I just think I'd have a really good time.

It would be nice to see the people I've studied for about five years by doing Latin.

Mr Reaper

Fear The Reaper
Aug 16, 2012
Myrtle Beach, SC
Feudal Japan, so many reasons, probably the most chill place ever, I mean just look at the place, I just want to go there, chill, and do absolutely nothing else, and it's centered almost entirely around values such as honor and importance of nature, and FOOD ALL THE WAY, but I guess that apply in modern day too wouldn't it? :hmm:


Sage of Tales
Atlantis! Sooooooooo much Atlantis, it'd be awesome i'd finally be able to know which sci-fi show had it right all along. =]

Agreed! I'd like to be sent back to Atlantis just to see if it was real... Then I'd probably end up in...Atlanta. (I haven't been there, either).

The part of me that has read the Bible is curious about what "Bible Times" were really like - seeing which kings were real and what was mythologized... the part of me that loves Ancient Egyptian art would be totally jazzed to see what that empire was like... Greco-Roman style facinates me, but...

The problem I have with all of it is that I'd have to change my gender before departure to the past. There are a lot of things to consider in hypotehtical time-travel (how do you eat food without dying of some horrible foodborne illness? Will I have a Bablefish stuck in my ear because even "English" has changed over the centuries to the point where the modern form isn't the same as the original, let alone ancient languages that scholars get PHDs in and still don't fully understand....)... The biggest one for me is - back in the old days, women *weren't* PEOPLE to most ancient cultures. We were the ground men planted their man-seed in, if not thought of as outright "evil" in some way. Ancient Egypt might be a better choice for folks with boobs because they did actually have some women-rulers along the empire's time...

If I had to go back to an ancient culture? Cavemen. Send me back to the days when humans were first discovering art and abstract thought, when they started to learn agriculture and the first types of animal-domestication... When the first cities were little mud-hut villages and everyone hunted and gathered... before people really had a concept of politics and money. It would be interesting to see our roots.


Nov 12, 2010
Sparta. Not even going to have to think about that one. Sparta happens to be my absolute favorite Greek city-state. I believe it was Aristotle who said,

Aristotle said:
People in the future will look back at Greece and believe that Athens was the finest city-state, when in fact it was Sparta.

To many people, this is the truth. Athens is seen as the center for philosophy, math, rhetoric, and many different sciences. Sparta, however, was a warlike empire that dedicated its entire civilization to keeping their enslaved masses, the Helots, under control. Trained in rhetoric like the Athenians, the Spartans were best known for their short-but-sweet diction. For this reason, the Greek city-states usually wanted Sparta to speak for them as a civilization. I deeply respect this, and I adore the silver tongue that the Spartans acquired from their rigorous teachings - something I'd be fine with being trained under.

The Spartans were well-known in their time for their rhetoric - as I've already stated - but many people don't know to what degree of bluntness they would stoop to when staring their enemies in their eyes. In a letter to the Spartan King - sent by Alexander the Great himself - he offered them an ultimatum, saying - and I am paraphrasing here, "If you do not comply and give up immediately, I will murder your men. I will burn down your villages. I will enslave your women and children. I will erase you from all of history," and so forth. To such a venomous offer, the Spartan King replied, "If."

Another notable conversation was one between two Greek women concerning the rights the Spartan women had that other Greek women did not,

Athenian Woman said:
Why do you act as though you are equal to your men, do you have no respect for yourself?

Spartan Woman said:
We act as though we are equal to men, because only Spartan women make real men.

Although not quite as great as the response to Alexander's letter, I still found this to be a very interesting conversation. One could argue the fact that this may actually be true. The Spartan men were among the most feared men in their time. They were brought to specialized schools for training in the art of combat at the young age of six. From there, they were massively underfed, and left to the teachings of Spartan adolescents and young adults. This led to constant theft of food. The Spartans did not dislike this, though. Their silent approval of stealing food did not stop them from punishing the offenders, however. Unlike nowadays, however, they were only punished if they were caught.

One great example of this is an old wives' tale told by Spartan women. It spoke of a small boy who stole a young fox. The fox, still alive, alerted the Spartans of the boy's attempted thievery. When approached, the boy stuffed the fox in his robe, and began to argue with the Spartans that he had not stolen anything. While this conversation happened, the fox began to eat away at the boy's stomach, tearing apart his organs. Due to the rigorous training of the Spartans, the boy did not flinch, and only showed any indication of pain when he fell to the ground, dead.

Although I would hate to have to go through such training, I would adore seeing it in action. Watching the people who fought the Persians back harder than any other Greek city-state. For any of you who don't know what I'm getting at, I'm talking about the Battle of Thermopylae - better known as 300. This amazing battle was the result of a Spartan traitor, who disclosed to the Persians the Spartan's blind spot in their war formation - the Phalanx. This forced the Spartans - save 300 - to evacuate. The last 300 fought until the bloody end, killing hundreds of Persians. The Spartans lost the battle in the end, but won the war. Seeing that first-hand - from a distance of course - would be great.

I love Ancient Greece, but Sparta stands out best to me. What few people seem to recall is that the Spartans were extremely artistic prior to enslaving the Helots - formerly known as the Messenians. The Helots outnumbered them 3 to 1, and forced the Spartans to become war-centric. They abandoned all of their art for this lifestyle, and kept this way of life until the bitter end. I will never respect a civilization more.

As a note, I was going to name Byzantium, but it's not considered ancient, so Sparta was my second choice.


Sage of Tales
I like that Spartan woman's answer. That's just really cool.

I thought about it further and besides "Cavemen, so I can see human roots," I started thinking about how much I might like to try on Medieval / Dark Ages Europe on for size. Yes, you read right. You see, the "Dark Ages" get a bad rap, mostly for the name - people assume "Dark" means "evil / hard times / rampant stupidity," but that period of history was not originally called that for *any* of those things. It was merely a period that scholars did not know a lot about - few records, few grand works buildings save for castles and cathedrals...

And that would be part of why I'd want to go back there. Art history. When people started building cathedrals, they *invented* so many ingenious archetectural concepts, and there's the art of stained-glass, which was created as a respect for "light" to "let the light of God into the sacred space" while telling stories to those who could not read. Speaking of that, ignorant people in the modern era just *love* to blame religion (or just Christianity) for "squelching knowledge and holding science back" in that era, but anyone who knows a bit of history or even just a bit of art history knows that sentiment is lacking - it was, largely *just the opposite.* People who believed-in-stuff-and-junk were the people who *preserved* knowledge, made records of remaining ancient texts and did some of what we might call the firstlings of science in order to try to figure out what was according to them, "God's world." It was the monks and nuns who were taught to read and write and were the academic elite of their day.

(I'm not the most devout person, but I think I'd enjoy living in or visiting a time/place where the statement "Yeah, I believe in a God / world of spirit / something, at least just a little bit" would get you called *smart* instead of *stupid* or somehow weak). Erm.. And...
ART! Art! Art! Art! I mean, I might not even have to change my gender to get a position (as a nun) doing illuminated manuscripts. (I've seen some real ones, at a museum... they are AWESOME). I could even do funny and perverted things in the marginalia. ("marginalia" - look it up).

Even though pesant-life was very hard, I even like that idea - a life close to the land, in tune with seasons. I read somewhere that, according to a study, European Medevial pesants actually had more vacation-days than the average American business-worker because the peasants *demanded* their festivals. The kings and lords gave them their funtimes because, well... the farmers grew the crops and everyone wants to eat, especially kings.

I rather like the idea that people back then believed-sincerely-in all of the cool mythical animals I like. This wasn't because they were stupid, it was because the reports from world-travelers were shady and, hey, people found *evidence.* Narwhal tusks from northern shores were unicorn-horns, of course. Animal horns from darkest Africa were dragon and gryphon claws.

There's also my little fantasies about wandering a post-apocalyptic world, too... wandering through old Roman ruins not knowing very much what they were... the "emptied" world with a lot of open structures left after the Black Death and run its course...

Of course, it's not all fun, because, you know, Black Death... and knights that were more often than not more like the mafia than noble heroes... that whole Crusades business... no indoor plumbing... No age is golden, I just think it would be interesting to see. And if we did send time travelers there, they could illuminate more than manuscripts: by bringing back knowled to make the Dark Ages not so dark.
Jul 3, 2012
I would love to visit ancient Greece, Japan, and Egypt. Those civilizations just have so much rich history. Their art and literature is fantastic.
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Like a sir.
Apr 21, 2012
If I could, I'd like to meet with all the native-american tribes before the settlers came through. There's so much we don't know about them. It'd be cool to document what they actually did. Sure, we have accounts from of Spaniards of how they lived. But then again those reports are highly biased and contested. If I or a group of people could see with my own eyes how they lived, we could give a more detailed and accurate report. Heck, we could even have our own Firefox series.

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