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Oldest Countries

Name the 10 oldest countries
Quiz by James32
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First submittedJanuary 29, 2015
Last updatedJanuary 29, 2015
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Hint
Answer
900 AD
Turkey
660 AD
Japan
632 AD
Bulgaria
486 AD
France
301 AD
San Marino
Hint
Answer
625 – 559 BC
Iran
2,100 – 1,600 BC
China
2,500 – 3,000 BC
Ethiopia
3,000 BC
India
3,150 – 3,500 BC
Egypt
+1
level 76
Jan 30, 2015
How can any of these be considered right? What makes a country a country? Western inability to differentiate between modern nation states and historical antecedents roughly in the same geographic area? I mean, for one example, the People's Republic of China was formed in the 1950s. Qin Shi Huang didn't even unify the 3 kingdoms of ancient China until 221 BC. So how do they get credit for being around since 2100 BC? And the Egypt of the Scorpion King really has almost nothing at all to do with the Egypt of Mohamed el-Sisi. Just because we, today, refer to these ancient kingdoms with the same names that we apply to their modern-day counterparts doesn't make them the same. Similarly, just because we call the Roman Empire the Roman Empire and not the ancient Italian Empire... that doesn't make the Romans more distinct from modern Italians than ancient Pharaohs were from modern Arab Egyptians and Copts.
+1
level 76
Jan 30, 2015
Digging a little bit deeper into this, I think San Marino might be the only one on this list that really qualifies. Seems they have been sovereign and had a more-or-less unbroken line of republican government since declaring independence from the Romans in 301 AD.
+1
level 65
Jan 30, 2015
France would also be acceptable, I believe. In 486 there were already Franks, not Gauls, and since then there is a pretty clear continuity of national culture and political history
+1
level 76
Oct 18, 2016
I would personally date France to 1792 when the Republic was founded. Though the current constitution only goes back to 1958. 486 seems like an enormous stretch, for all the reasons I gave above and more. It's really not the same country.
+1
level 76
Oct 18, 2016
Nationalism has led to most people in most nation-states believing in a creation myth of some sort. Often those creation myths require establishing some sort of fabricated continuity with past peoples or countries or empires. The longer back in history you go the more ridiculous these myths become. Relatively young countries, like the United States, don't really have to fabricate much. But then, look at the stories behind Greek, Persian, Israeli, Chinese or Egyptian nationalism with any reasonably high level of scrutiny or criticism and they become absurd. France, Germany, Russia, etc. fall somewhere in between.
+1
level 76
Oct 18, 2016
One irony here being that the USA, with it's very old and still-relevant Constitution, is actually arguably older than almost any country in Europe.