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About Crag

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  1. Just saw an interesting program on the history channel, that put forth the theory that Julius Caesar knew he was deteriorating physical and mentally (epilepsy) and purposely provoked the senate to assassination...a suicide by police scenario. He then handsomely awarded the roman peolple assuring he woud be cast as the people's champion assuring his fame, heir and the birth of the empire when the roman citizens demanded vengence directed towards the senate. Thoughts, opinions, crack pot ideas. all welcome. Discuss...
  2. Remember though, the landed aristocracy, heavy industry and the military (slaves as war booty) benefit from the slave trade. Which pits you against the military and the wealthy elite of the empire which causes a fairly short political career. Politics hasn't changed today, why do you think oil companies and tabacco manufacters have powerful lobbies in washington.
  3. Crag

    What If?

    I know it's heresay but in hindsight Caesar may have been a military genius but politically he left alot to be desired... alienation of the senate resented by the patrician class Eygptian scandal Augustus showed at that time political aptitude was much more valuable Given the roman aggression of the state and obsession for conquest to secure positions within it. Well Caesar military skill is a loss given the ruthless legions of rome it is almost certain another general would have undertaken the conquest of Gaul and due to the sickness of the republic and the consolidation of power in fewer hands the overthrow of the state also seems very likely by several contemporary candidates.
  4. Crag

    The Julio-Claudians

    Well Cal and Nero would be interesting for the sheer spectacle of unbridled mental instability... Claudius is admirable especially give his handicap and how his society viewed his flaw... I have to join the majority and say Augustus, he is right at the heart of the transition to Empire and the genesis of western Civilisation as we still percieve it today.
  5. Crag

    Trajan Attack On India?

    As written it all depends on your definition of "Attack". Is a small troop poking their roman noses south of the hindu kush considered an attack? However I feel safe in saying the chances of the romans invading and retaining India as part of the Empire to be next to nil. Although nothing is impossible.
  6. Thanks Viggen Just pointing out the obvious
  7. Another reason was political...namely the long bitter rivalry between the Greek city states and the Persian Empire as a percieved semi-civillized greek region Alexander used the "Persian Threat" to cement the Greek states into a tempory alliance based on the tried and tested means of revenge and plunder. Ofcourse given the success of Alexander no one was complaining about the "barbarous macedonians" once the spoils caravans arrived in Greece but one has to wonder would Alexander have become Great if his campaign recruitment among the Greeks had been... Soldiers of Greece, I ask you forget the East, where the Persian threaten to invade again and forgive the persians, the burning of our cities, the enslavement of greek wives and daughters, put out of your mind the emmense wealth of fabled Troy and instead follow me westward where Rome, a village by greek standards is fighting it's neighbors for control of central italy where resources are fairly scarce and the march hard given the mountainous terrain but if successful pottery and grain is your spoils of war.... Anyone...come on someone must want to head West...anyone at all...
  8. Crag

    Roman Tattoos

    The tattoo for the romans judging by the negative reactions roman historians gave to the celtic tattoo and body art became socially something "the barbarians did" another aspect the civilized romans used to feel superior.
  9. I agree PP I was just pointing out that the celtic tribes were not isolated noble babarians living in quaint self-sufficent little villages as many believe rather their was an extensive and vibrant resource trade functioning in northern europe well before the romans arrived. Sorry if I was unclear...
  10. Since the topic seems to be drifting into Celtic trade...a little while ago I saw a BBC program that claimed the tribes of britain not only exported metals but also large amounts of grain to the continent before and after the roman conquest of Gaul. The narrator even claimed that a motive for the roman conquest was to control the abundant and lucrative grain market within britain especially once advanced roman agricultural practices were introduced turning britain into the "northern bread basket" of the empire.
  11. Crag

    The Greatest Romans

    Shakespear would say Brutus Who can argue with that !!
  12. Crag

    Christianities impact on Rome

    I feel their is consenus that christianity was not the cause of the Empire's fall. Perhaps the better socially unified and militarily stronger Eastern Empire was able to acclimate the christian religion to bolster the state much faster then the more fractured collasping Western half of the Empire, explaining in part the resurgence and continued stablity of the east.
  13. I chose option 3... The Punic Wars did shape the future of the world and set Rome on the road to Empire although many at the time failed to realised it. I won't go into all the "what if" scenarios, just the fact that so many possible turning points exist amply prove the victory of Rome was far from assured. The one turning point I feel is often minimized despite it's tremendous impact is the loss of the mediterranean in the first punic war due because of a shipwrecked Carthagian warship. This loss of mobility and freedom of action would hamstring Hannibals efforts time and again during the second war as his war strategy took a back seat to supply problems and Carthage failed often to reinforce their forces in Spain and Italy because of the fear of a possible roman assault on north africa. The roman control of the sea also had enormous psychological impact, to put it simply Carthage once it lost the mediterranean could only hope for a negotiated peace. While the romans had the freedom of action that bolstered their morale. As commented elsewhere the famous "what if" was hannibals failure to march on rome after Cannae, hannibal could not successfully besiege rome lacking seige weapons but given the shock in rome due to numerous losses would a "peace party" in rome come to power, we will never know because hannibal was forced by his ever present supply problems to march into southern italy in search of food. Despite his military genius hannibal, he had no military chance to conquer the fortified cities of italy, sadly his impressive campaign truthfully amounted militarily to a massive raid to force a favorable peace not a conquest of Rome itself.