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Pony Queen Jace

History Thread!

107 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

@Corvinus

summons

I'm flattered, but I have not read a proper history book in a long time. That being said, I'm always interested in learning more history, and the medieval age of Europe and the Renaissance (the military aspects) interest me the most. Thanks to reading Bernard Cornwell's fictional series, the Saxon Chronicles and the Warlord Chronicles, I have also become more interested in early medieval England, and of course, the Norse. I think learning about the formation of any country is quite fascinating.

My grandpa is a retired high school history teacher, and he has plenty of books. I recently visited him in Romania, and he let me take a book back home. I chose one about Dacians, but haven't started reading it yet.

My home town has made some truly impressive efforts in revitalizing the town's history in the years since I left, doing a great job at restoring the Vauban-style fortress, first built in 1715, as well digging up, and building a museum around what's left of the Roman castrum, where the XIII Gemina legion was stationed during the Roman occupation of Dacia. Yup, there was human habitation where my home town is since ancient times. And the town itself has borne many names throughout history, thanks to the many peoples who either passed through, lived there, or simply knew about it. And my forum name is not randomly chosen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hunyadi This guy is buried in home town.   

On another subject, recently, I read a bit about the ill fated crusade which ended with the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Haughty crusaders, led by French nobles, marched all the way to Bulgaria, as part of European efforts to stop the Ottoman advancement, and got crushed. Of course, people who actually had experience in fighting the Ottomans, i.e. King Sigismund of Hungary and Mircea the Elder, voievod of Wallachia, were largely countermanded in the war council by the French knights who refused to allow someone else to lead the charge.

 

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5 minutes ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

That's awesome! I've always regretted taking a different road, you live the dream for me eh?

Spoiler alert, on account of us just becoming best friends, when this guy named Caesar shows up your range of Celtic peoples to study is going to shrink pretty drastically.

:P

I also have a BA in Ancient History (ie Ancient Greece and Rome) ;)

It would be the dream if I wasn't a totally awful student lol.

I'm currently browsing my phone and watching trash TV instead of working on my thousand word essay that's due the first week of November :P

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I am currently listening on audio books Shelby Foote's Civil War: A Narrative. It is very engrossing and it brings what I enjoy of studying that period. I really like the books does not try to stay linear on a timeline. Depending what is discuss it will mention battles or campaigns not covered and later on will return to them in more detail. I am currently on Book 2 about a quarter through.

For ancient history I found Historyden on YouTube and are now current on both Ancient Greece and Rome, and pleased to see it is still ongoing. Greece is at the background of Macedonia and Rome was at the 2nd Punic Wars though the last few touched on other subjects like Religion. 

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I love history!

I'm a history teacher. :P

All of it, from as many perspectives as I can find!

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9 hours ago, Theda Baratheon said:

I also have a BA in Ancient History (ie Ancient Greece and Rome) ;)

I normally shy away from Great Man history, but isn't the story of Flavius Stilicho just amazing?!

To anyone who hasn't seen it, look it up.

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19 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Don't you fools go turning my history thread into a pre-history thread!!! :angry2:

History: Tywin destroys Jace by 100 points.

Pre-History: Jace goes 3-1 against Tywin.

I agree Jace, screw pre-history!

Also, you don’t own this thread just like Trump doesn’t own the military.

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19 hours ago, Theda Baratheon said:

I also have a BA in Ancient History (ie Ancient Greece and Rome) ;)

It would be the dream if I wasn't a totally awful student lol.

I'm currently browsing my phone and watching trash TV instead of working on my thousand word essay that's due the first week of November :P

Totally awful student? If I remember correctly "the totally awful student" finished with a first class BA. Modesty is for those that need it. :cheers:

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3 hours ago, maarsen said:

Totally awful student? If I remember correctly "the totally awful student" finished with a first class BA. Modesty is for those that need it. :cheers:

Lol. It wasn't a first it was a 2:2 that got bumped up to a 2:1 because my dissertation was pretty rad

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14 hours ago, Yukle said:

I normally shy away from Great Man history, but isn't the story of Flavius Stilicho just amazing?!

To anyone who hasn't seen it, look it up.

I don't know what story!! :o

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4 hours ago, Theda Baratheon said:

I don't know what story!! :o

Edward Gibbon made him out to be the last "Great Noble Roman General," which is kind of a stretch, but his story is a lesson of one of the key reasons Western Rome fell.

He was Emperor in all but name under Honorius, following the death of Theodosius. Stilicho was a Roman citizen, and an orthodox Nicene Christian, was made consul at least once and rose to the rank of Magister Militum. He was in charge of all of the Western Empire's military... but he was also a Vandal. He spoke Latin, was unusually tall and won accolades for crushing revolts in North Africa, fending off two Gothic invasions of Italy and for dealing the last devastating blow to Alaric before his Goths later sacked Rome.

But through all of this, he wasn't ever anything but a shadow ruler. It took him lots of arm-twisting to raise any legions, or get any supplies due to the fact that, for all of his skill, he was ethnically "barbarian". Time and time again he was forced to thin out forces along the Rhine frontier because Italian and Spanish nobles refused to hand over their indentured workers to the legions. Even if it was in their best interests. More and more he had to use Germanic and Gothic mercenaries, which led to distrust against him as it was seen as a power play to topple the Roman order. It didn't help that his daughter married Theodosius' son, making him father-in-law to the Emperor, and therefore uncomfortably close to power for the racist nobility.

In the end, the Rhine frontier collapsed for good as the Goths and Germanians fled the Huns and poured into Gaul.

As if that wasn't bad enough, after the Roman nobility convinced Honorius to have Stilicho killed (he was beheaded on the threshold of a church the moment he left its protection) they then turned upon his forces. He had recruited about 30,000 ethnic Goths into the legions under Roman commanders (although bear in mind that most of them were, like him, ethnically Vandal, Burgundian, Alamani or Frankish - all of the ethnic groups Rome was unwilling to see as equal). To ensure their loyalty their families were spread out into Roman settlements. It was a nice quid pro quo, and was what Rome had done for centuries; initially the families served as hostages, but later they would ensure that their legionaries were loyal to Rome, since their families were now living in Roman provinces.

So... what did they do?

They committed genocide.

All of the families of gothic legionaries were ordered to be killed. The appalled and heart-broken men immediately abandoned their posts and fled to Alaric's banner. Alaric was a sort-of Roman general at this stage, in charge of auxiliaries, but he was none too pleased. So it's unsurprising that he was able to waltz into Italy while the now undefended Rhine frontier collapsed completely.

The worst part is, Rome still had a change to redeem itself here. Alaric held Rome under siege three times (the capital was now Ravenna, of course, but Rome was much larger and richer) and ended up dropping all demands except that his people be settled along the Danube, where they'd hold the border essentially for free in perpetuity.

Rome said no. The eternal city was sacked.

Essentially, Stilicho was the last man preventing the genocidal hatred of "barbarians" from breaking the dam walls. Basically the moment he was beheaded, Rome did all it could to collapse its Western Empire.

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11 hours ago, Yukle said:

Edward Gibbon made him out to be the last "Great Noble Roman General," which is kind of a stretch, but his story is a lesson of one of the key reasons Western Rome fell.

He was Emperor in all but name under Honorius, following the death of Theodosius. Stilicho was a Roman citizen, and an orthodox Nicene Christian, was made consul at least once and rose to the rank of Magister Militum. He was in charge of all of the Western Empire's military... but he was also a Vandal. He spoke Latin, was unusually tall and won accolades for crushing revolts in North Africa, fending off two Gothic invasions of Italy and for dealing the last devastating blow to Alaric before his Goths later sacked Rome.

But through all of this, he wasn't ever anything but a shadow ruler. It took him lots of arm-twisting to raise any legions, or get any supplies due to the fact that, for all of his skill, he was ethnically "barbarian". Time and time again he was forced to thin out forces along the Rhine frontier because Italian and Spanish nobles refused to hand over their indentured workers to the legions. Even if it was in their best interests. More and more he had to use Germanic and Gothic mercenaries, which led to distrust against him as it was seen as a power play to topple the Roman order. It didn't help that his daughter married Theodosius' son, making him father-in-law to the Emperor, and therefore uncomfortably close to power for the racist nobility.

In the end, the Rhine frontier collapsed for good as the Goths and Germanians fled the Huns and poured into Gaul.

As if that wasn't bad enough, after the Roman nobility convinced Honorius to have Stilicho killed (he was beheaded on the threshold of a church the moment he left its protection) they then turned upon his forces. He had recruited about 30,000 ethnic Goths into the legions under Roman commanders (although bear in mind that most of them were, like him, ethnically Vandal, Burgundian, Alamani or Frankish - all of the ethnic groups Rome was unwilling to see as equal). To ensure their loyalty their families were spread out into Roman settlements. It was a nice quid pro quo, and was what Rome had done for centuries; initially the families served as hostages, but later they would ensure that their legionaries were loyal to Rome, since their families were now living in Roman provinces.

So... what did they do?

They committed genocide.

All of the families of gothic legionaries were ordered to be killed. The appalled and heart-broken men immediately abandoned their posts and fled to Alaric's banner. Alaric was a sort-of Roman general at this stage, in charge of auxiliaries, but he was none too pleased. So it's unsurprising that he was able to waltz into Italy while the now undefended Rhine frontier collapsed completely.

The worst part is, Rome still had a change to redeem itself here. Alaric held Rome under siege three times (the capital was now Ravenna, of course, but Rome was much larger and richer) and ended up dropping all demands except that his people be settled along the Danube, where they'd hold the border essentially for free in perpetuity.

Rome said no. The eternal city was sacked.

Essentially, Stilicho was the last man preventing the genocidal hatred of "barbarians" from breaking the dam walls. Basically the moment he was beheaded, Rome did all it could to collapse its Western Empire.

In partial defence of the nobility, they had been subject to repeated purges by the Imperial government, and the suppression of pagan worship, which Stilicho enthusiastically supported, had alienated many of them.

But, it's a very far cry from the attitude of the Senators at the time of the war with Hannibal, most of whom were killed in battle during the war, and who also donated vast sums of money to the war effort.

The Emperors, nobles, courtiers and generals in the Fifth Century,  far preferred stabbing each other in the back, and persecuting each other, to actually working together to defend the Empire.  In far worse circumstances, in 455 AD,  Valentinian murdered his leading general Aetius, who had saved what remained of the Empire from Attila, and then a few years later, the last Emperor to enjoy any military success, Majorian, was murdered by a treacherous general.  All the while, local governors were leading revolts against the central government, with the aid of the invaders, who would promptly turn on them.

Edited by SeanF

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 7:11 PM, Pony Queen Jace said:

Jace is guessing that Constantinople receives barely a mention in a book about societies trying to 'Inherit' the legacy they're still carrying?

My understanding is that Byzantine history is far better covered in French and Italian (and obviously Greek) universities than it is in universities in the English-speaking world, although it is far better covered here than was the case a century ago, thanks to the efforts of Sir Steven Runciman.  Gibbon loathed the East Roman Empire, and his judgements basically blighted study of it.

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20 hours ago, Theda Baratheon said:

Lol. It wasn't a first it was a 2:2 that got bumped up to a 2:1 because my dissertation was pretty rad

A rad dissertation is a sign of a great student. I am not letting you off that easily.

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4 hours ago, SeanF said:

In partial defence of the nobility, they had been subject to repeated purges by the Imperial government, and the suppression of pagan worship, which Stilicho enthusiastically supported, had alienated many of them.

But, it's a very far cry from the attitude of the Senators at the time of the war with Hannibal, most of whom were killed in battle during the war, and who also donated vast sums of money to the war effort.

The Emperors, nobles, courtiers and generals in the Fifth Century,  far preferred stabbing each other in the back, and persecuting each other, to actually working together to defend the Empire.  In far worse circumstances, in 455 AD,  Valentinian murdered his leading general Aetius, who had saved what remained of the Empire from Attila, and then a few years later, the last Emperor to enjoy any military success, Majorian, was murdered by a treacherous general.  All the while, local governors were leading revolts against the central government, with the aid of the invaders, who would promptly turn on them.

The question is why would people contribute to their own destruction for short term gains? That is why I find history so fascinating.  That and we seem to be reliving it now.

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8 minutes ago, maarsen said:

The question is why would people contribute to their own destruction for short term gains? That is why I find history so fascinating.  That and we seem to be reliving it now.

I suppose the fable of the Scorpiion and the Frog sums it up.

Also, in the words of Bronn "There's no cure for being a c*nt."

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9 hours ago, maarsen said:

The question is why would people contribute to their own destruction for short term gains? That is why I find history so fascinating.  That and we seem to be reliving it now.

 

Most people never seem to give the future much thought . Live now, pay the piper later.

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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22 hours ago, SeanF said:

In partial defence of the nobility, they had been subject to repeated purges by the Imperial government, and the suppression of pagan worship, which Stilicho enthusiastically supported, had alienated many of them.

...

in 455 AD,  Valentinian murdered his leading general Aetius, who had saved what remained of the Empire from Attila...

That's true, they were briefly given a reprieve by Julian, but Stilicho did return to the days of suppressing pagan worship. That said, he didn't do it with much vigour - or even at all - after the Italian invasions. He'd nonetheless left a bitter taste, but not enough to justify how hard it was for him to recruit into the legions.

I think the fact he was Vandal annoyed the nobility more than the fact that he was a Nicene Christian, especially since the Spanish and Gallic nobility were also hardly better, and most of them were Christian by that point.

Gibbon called Stilicho the "last of the great Roman generals," which is weird, because he then went on to praise Aetius as the "terror of the barbarians," and he didn't die until almost 50 years afterwards.

Aetius wasn't as hardcore about the pagan suppression, and he also really struggled to get them to cooperate. He was Germanic or Gothic too, from memory, but I can't recall his exact ethnicity.

22 hours ago, SeanF said:

My understanding is that Byzantine history is far better covered in French and Italian (and obviously Greek) universities than it is in universities in the English-speaking world, although it is far better covered here than was the case a century ago, thanks to the efforts of Sir Steven Runciman.  Gibbon loathed the East Roman Empire, and his judgements basically blighted study of it.

I really don't know what Gibbon didn't give the Eastern Empire much pause for thought. The best I can think of is that his hypothesis was that Christianity was the largest leading factor in the West's decline, and this wouldn't be supported by the continued strength of the even more devoutly Christian East.

Edited by Yukle

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I'm a lover of history too and find myself these days not nearly reading as much of it as I would like.
I think here my reasons for liking it:


1. It's just plain old fascinating. I never get the chance to get on a space ship and go to another world. In many respects reading history is the next best thing. Seeing how people lived and what they did, when he world was different, is fascinating in and of itself.


At times the stuff that happened in the real world can be more entertaining than what even a very talented fiction writer can come up with.


2. Knowing a bit a history helps to insulate you from other people's propaganda. For example, I remember, very well, just about ten years ago when there was intense fights over what happened during the Great Depression and the legacy of the New Deal. Some of the stuff I'll just say was crap, and knowing enough history, helps you to spot the crap

.
3. You can learn stuff from history. Yeah, sometimes history can be misused to make very bad analogies, but I think it's important to have a very good grasp of history, if you are interested in how crap works, or more particularly, how human societies work and operate. There are obviously many fields that try to analyze how human societies work, like say sociology, economics, or political science, but if you work in any of those fields or just have a general interest in them, I think you'd do well, to be generally knowledgeable about history.


My own particular interest is in economics and economic history and a bit of knowledge of history can be a first indication on whether the model you're thinking about is crap. In fact, there has been quite a bit of criticism over the last few years that advanced econ departments teach too much mathematical theorizing and not enough history and I think I'm pretty sympathetic to that critique. For example, Robert Lucas (who has one a Nobel Prize by the way) is basically the inventor Real Business Cycle theory. According to Lucas and RBC there is basically no such thing as involuntary unemployment. But, then you look at say historical episode like say the Great Depression where unemployment reached about 25% in the US and say to yourself, WTF? Others have noted this little fact and have snarkily (which is deserved by the way) made remarks about "Great Vacation Theories of Depressions". The point I want to make here is basically: If you are work or are interested in another field that tries to explain how human societies work, at some point, you're probably building some kind of model, whether the model is simple or complex, and a bit of knowledge of history probably can go a long way to tell you whether the model is crap or garbage and you need to start over.


4. If you're just generally interested in why things are the way they are, knowing a bit of history can help to grapple with that question.

In short, history is pretty effing awesome.

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Not a big fan of history, don't think there's much to learn from it.

Dad jokes aside, I've always been acutely interested in 17th century England.  Politically, that's when the Western world was changed - from Hobbes to Locke.  When reading Hobbes' Leviathan I've always wondered about his weird capitalization.  Never seen that, even with Locke who was later nor Shakespeare which was earlier.  I dunno, maybe someone here can lend some insight on that.

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On 10/28/2017 at 7:51 AM, dmc515 said:

Not a big fan of history, don't think there's much to learn from it.

Dad jokes aside, I've always been acutely interested in 17th century England.  Politically, that's when the Western world was changed - from Hobbes to Locke.  When reading Hobbes' Leviathan I've always wondered about his weird capitalization.  Never seen that, even with Locke who was later nor Shakespeare which was earlier.  I dunno, maybe someone here can lend some insight on that.

Me as well.

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