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M. Scaevola

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  1. M. Scaevola

    Battle of the Talas

    You are correct because I used the term as a short hand for enrollment on the military roster. The effect was virtually the same as the Ghazi system, so I just co-opted the term.
  2. M. Scaevola

    Battle of the Talas

    Well, from what I've been able to glean from sources, this seems to have been regarded as a minor battle (at best) at the time. While it was a clear victory for the Abbasid ghazi and their allies there doesn't seem to be much to be drawn from it militarily. The Korean commander of the Chinese forces - Gao Xianzhi - severely underestimated the Abbasid numbers of troops. He thought that he had a superior number and marched to the attack when in reality he had parity or even a small inferiority. The Chinese cavalry were able to push back and severely press their Muslim counterparts, but an Abbasid detachment was able to ford the river the battle was named after and flank the Chinese infantry. As they began to roll the line, the Karluk mercenaries (who formed a majority of the Chinese forces) defected and effectively cut the infantry off from the rest of the army. The infantry was slaughtered but they were mostly allies and recruits from the area. Gao was able to withdraw most of the Chinese troops, but their allies suffered heavily. The Chinese were not trusted by peoples in central asia again (in very broad terms). I would say that this battle illustrates the weakness of China in dealing with foreign ethnic groups. The T'ang period that this battle was in is one of the high points of Chinese expansion and foreign policy periods...yet they lost influence on central asia due to incompetence. Gao's retreat under combat conditions and preservation of his core forces shows a good deal of discipline, especially with how quickly he was able to get his forces back up to strength afterwards. A plus in China's military column. Even without the desertion of the Karluks, the Abbasids were working on flanking and rolling the Chinese line. It is possible that they would have won just as much of a victory on their own. This shows the relative strength of using the ghazi system when expanding control over new areas. At least in my opinion. The ghazis had a vested intrest in converting, signing on to Muslim armies and winning new areas of influence. They would have their names on the military rolls for loot (though not as high as earlier troops-hence a problem that eventually broke the Ghazis) and proably end up as tax collectors and timur land holders. Also if you signed on and had lands already under your control, you could retain local control of them instead of losing them to the Caliphate. So mostly I'd say this battle shows the strength and weaknesses of the respective governmental policies at the time rather than military differences. Now with the prisoners taken by the Abbasids and the effects on society (like paper making technology coming to Baghdad) illustrates how the Caliphate definitely won more than China.
  3. M. Scaevola


    Maybe switch an " f " with a " p "... ?
  4. M. Scaevola


    Say what you will, you'll only pry my double bean burrito out of my cold, dead (and hot sauce covered) hands...
  5. M. Scaevola

    Avatars And Signatures

    I have always thought that Cincinnatus served as a partial inspiration for The Married Man by Kipling. Though his inspiration probably came from a more common source, it sooo fits the poem. My sig is from another of his poems, The Destroyers , because I love the image invoked by "The hand that heaves the headlong force, The hate that backs the hand:." My Avatar, well it's a roman statue head that mimics what most people remark upon as the state of my mouth - always open.
  6. M. Scaevola

    Ploughing with Camels??

    Here's one link to an agriculture site. Another page from the an agriculture company (Camel and camels milk...). And finally, The Camel in Eritrea: an all purpose animal (maybe we need a smiley with a hump.) :horse:
  7. M. Scaevola

    Ibn Khaldun: On Leadership

    Here is a link to its Google book preview. Looks like good advice Onasander.
  8. How does that saying go? "Give a man a fire and he'll warm his hands. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." (Er,...helpful subject change:) I'm good with a hammer. If you pay for my plane ticket (trans-atlantic) and lodging I'll come and help you remodel. (Or, how about....) Thanks for helping average out the rest of our good luck. (Hmmm, one last try) Sorry about the health and well faring problems. Sounds like you'll get this licked, but until you confirm it I'll just keep a small lucky wish in my patron gods shrine for you.
  9. M. Scaevola

    Your Hidden Roman Name

    Woot! Are you a patrician? I'd love to have you swoon... :wub: Thanks a lot!
  10. M. Scaevola

    Your Hidden Roman Name

    Can I get one too? haeltx rwceae ddrsr (first, middle, last - male) Thanks!
  11. M. Scaevola

    Roman Legions vs Medieval Armies

    Right off the top of my head, I'd say the Battles of Morgarten - Swiss vs Austrians (1315) and Laupen- Swiss vs Burgundians (1339) were high medieval battles with no gun use and definite infantry defeating 1000+ cavalry. Mortgarten, about 1,000 to 1,500 cavalry...Laupen, about 3,000-4,000 cavalry.
  12. M. Scaevola

    Saddam's execution

    Islamists Bravo! They are the ones benefiting the most from this. They have both the cultural climate and large amounts of hard to trace resources necessary to stir the pot and benefit from the resulting chaos.
  13. O - H -... OH - NO !!! Good luck and may the OSU clutch curse not bite them in the ...er, endzone.
  14. M. Scaevola


    Didn't someone once say you need about fifty years after an event to write the first good history of it? This is a good example of how complex issues finally surface after the simplified version has worn out its single monolithic answer (la,la,la...one note, how boring). Thanks for the link.
  15. M. Scaevola

    how far could a pilum be thrown?

    That's why pila were better employed in a counter charge situation. And, perhaps that is why the roman civil war battles were slaughters - with the issue being decided by the glaudius and its higher kill rates.