On the heels of the earlier post regarding Wakanda, we get the comment to consider the example of the "university" at Nalanda, in India.
"Not so. The first Western-style university may have been founded in 1818, but the earliest major center of learning in India (known so far), which was structured more or less like a university (various schools with dedicated professors etc) was Nalanda, which was founded around 500AD, and flourished until it was sacked by islamics (big surprise) in the late 1100s.
Much of Indian culture and learning was suppressed or otherwise smothered by the British, but prior to that, India had been one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and highly developed. I'll grant that they didn't reach the level that Rome managed, but they did have sewer and irrigation systems (3000BC), some of the earliest steel processes (high-carbon Wootz steel prior to 500BC exported across Asia and Middle East) and Crucible steel 300-200BC also for export, earliest known plough 2300BC, earliest known stirrup 500-200BC, first articulation of Pascal's Triangle, and so on. Also, first demonstration of radio transmission 3 years prior to Marconi, the precursor to Chess, the development of cotton as a clothing fiber including early cotton gins, decimal place value and zero, and lots more.
The problem with India stems from entering a dark age when islam invaded in the 1100s, got somewhat better under the Mughals, and then sank again when the East India Company came in and dismantled most of India to finance various other initiatives, while beating the initiative out of the populace. Despite having fairly extensive trade with both East Asia and the Middle East/Mediterranean, India was always somewhat isolationist, so others easily took credit for their work, because India didn't have the expansionist bent that others did.
A considerable amount of discovery is being re-attributed to India, albeit not much since the Colonial period.
So, let us examine this idea best, by simply granting the premise.
Not disputing nor gainsaying the existence of the offered example of Nalanda per se (which, I must observe, is far too linguistically close to Wakanda for many to resist witticisms at its expense, including your humble author), I doubt just the influence or significance of it. (TL;DR: none).
If it all was as claimed, one cannot but wonder how, short of an Indian sub-continental genocide then unseen in the world, and of which no record yet exists, a mere Muslim invasion could suffice to so destroy not just that lone university, but the entire concept of one, culture-wide, specifically in the minds of the very 2000 professors and 10,000 students who'd experienced it, functionally forever, such that they never had nor created another one, ever, anywhere, until British rule, despite being in presumably vigorous existence for a mere 700 years prior to their destruction(!).
It's as implausibly so as that Alexandria were the only library in the entire world until the Italian Renaissance. Which, of course, it was not.
If the university were there, and such an early great idea, one would expect there would be multiple of them, and the concept to have spread across all sorts of cultures, and destroying one would no more suffice to extinguish the model than destroying the first round wheel would do. There should be exemplars from India to Korea, let alone across Africa, were that tale any sort of true, just as in the Bolognese example in the West, to which multiple thousands of colleges and universities now trace their direct lineage.
Granting the premise of a therefore dubious history shows its unlikelihood, and the monumental flaws in the whole thing. It's a little like waving your hands and conjuring SMOD to explain the sudden inexplicable extinction of dinosaurs, instead of just offering the humble but intellectually authentic "we don't know".
I suspect revisionism is at the root, along with an addiction to the diversity mythos, and some fanciful imaginary elaboration on the part of those spreading the tale, along with the same sort of intellectual vigor that leads comic book authors and Hollywood screenwriters (often the same thing) to always posit some convenient and mystically hidden monastery in the Himalayas that possesses the hidden knowledge to alter time and space and make one a super-warrior, whether we're talking about Dr. Strange or The Dark Knight, or combining both myths into one, adding SMOD to the cake/screenplay recipe, and then positing the Magical Meteorite Made Of Unobtanium, to get us the exact Wakanda Myth itself, as in Black Panther.
Once we leave the suspension of disbelief inherent in a comic book or a mediocre screenplay, it doesn't hold up well in the light of day.
What we actually have in Nalanda is a Buddhist monastery, whose curriculum consisted of Buddhism, grammar, logic, and magic. Apparently they hadn't yet invented alchemy.
Supposedly, they discovered all sorts of things, and worked on such things as medicine, law, astronomy, and city planning. Despite the supposed 600-year headstart on Bologna, they never discovered planetary rotation, the telescope itself, or a plethora of other things that made Western civilization itself what it is. Like, as in SiG's original example, the entire constituent members of the Periodic Table of Elements, the building blocks observed for all matter in the universe.
Once again, much like the Soviet claims circa the 1950s and 1960s, Nalanda would become a convenient portmanteau, exactly like Mary Poppins' handbag, Merlin's suitcase from Sword In The Stone, or Hermione's purse in the latter Harry Potter flicks, into which one can posit that they discovered everything from baseball to movies to ice cream, and put in or pull out anything they like at their leisure contrary to all laws of the physical and intellectual universe, until those durned Muslims came in circa 1200 AD and kicked over the picnic table.
Like the joke about the psychic who gets creamed by a falling piano, apparently for all their attributed brilliance, they did not see that one coming.
This was a monastery, not a university; insular, self-absorbed, and primarily concerned with the arcana of Buddhism, not discovery nor learning, and wholly insignificant intellectually to anyone, let alone everyone, on that subcontinent. And its ultimate significance to any but a few random monks, during its heyday and after its destruction was effectively nil. One look at India from 1200-1800 would confirm that diagnosis in a heartbeat.
Try to tell me that a volcanic eruption that decimated Bologna and wiped out the university there in 1800 would have wiped out all of Western Civilization, for a glimpse into the magnitude of the feat attempted with the story of poor Nalanda, wiped out by Muslim invaders circa 1200 AD. It's simply farcical.
This is the power of fantasy, not rationality, and we find it implausible and highly dubious that Nalanda was ever much of anything beyond a very insular Buddhist monastery, with so little influence on learning, or the culture itself, that the destruction of the one lone exemplar could eliminate any shred of influence it supposedly had on seven centuries of the Indian subcontinent during its existence, let alone afterwards unto the present day. It amounted to no more than a stain upon a dinner napkin in the grand scheme of world history, if even that much.
And lo and behold, it turns out that in the flight of some of its surviving acolytes to Tibet with the Sacred Scrolls, it's the exact exemplar of the mythos behind comic books and screenplays for The Dark Knight and Dr. Strange.
Color me shocked.
And once again, Western Civilization for the kill-shot win in the panorama of world history.