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[–] CobraStallone 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Only since the renaissance did we actually have a few advantages over others

I'm sorry, the Greeks and the basis of philosophy, mathematics, democracy, out ideal canons of the human body, is that for nothing? The Late Republic Early Imperial professional legionnaire and their impressive organization? Better than most. Better than everybody except the Han Chinese core during a few peaks of high population but stable centralized states.

So yeah we rule, sorry about that.

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[–] carlinco 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

The problem is that after those two highlights and the Roman implosion, there was pretty much nothing in Europe for easily a thousand years. So I count Europe as the most advanced (but only thanks to one small city heavily influenced by Egypt and Asia) during the Greek golden age, then Europe as the strongest during the conquests at around the time Rome turned from republic to empire (thus starting the destruction from within, though the violent democratic competition already did more to kill off the elite than Hannibal). And then we had to wait until Italy entered the Renaissance - probably only because the popes finally realised that continuing their policies would make the rest of Europe Muslim pretty quickly, as they already had southern Italy, Spain, and the Balkans. The renaissance brought one of the biggest advances to Europe in the history of the world, and a golden age which would last for 500 years - but is over for the last 100 or so years.