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About longshotgene

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    Indiana, U.S.A.
  1. longshotgene

    defense of the roman house

    The best defense would have been cabbage! The Romans ate a lot of cabbage.
  2. longshotgene

    Romans in Norway?

    This message got me wondering. Has any one put into the practice that Rome could have fallen due to a Revolution of some sort? Think about it. Armies spread all over the place. Heartland unprotected. Easily opened to battle from within.
  3. longshotgene

    Books you absolutely think unscholarly?

    I would like to generate a list of books we all think unscholarly. My intentions would be to hand this list out to students as "books band from being used" in their research. In a previous thread I hit on Nigel Hawthorne, the writer and his various on the sex lives of famous individuals. Next!
  4. longshotgene

    Nigel Hawthorne-Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors?

    Needless to say, I have not made the effort to read any more of the book. I went to bed last night with a good copy of the writings of Cicero on my stand. How can a publisher allow that stuff to be published? I will have to tell my students not to even consider him as a legitimate source. This leads me to another question. Do any of you have modern sources you just can't stand? I will start a new discussion over this topic.
  5. longshotgene

    Nigel Hawthorne-Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors?

    Correct. I have done some more research and have come to the conclusion that I should burn the book. This man is full of poppycock.
  6. I picked up a copy of this book at the local seller. I have been reading, but wonder how much of this book is actually accurate? There is a part towards the beginning of the book where Hawthorne discusses Roman soldiers capturing enemy soldiers, busting out their teeth and orally raping them. How accurate is this? Does anyone have any idea where he might have obtained this information? The more I read his books, the more I think he is doing nothing more than sensationaling the truth. None of his material is really cited, so there is no way of tracing it. I would tend to believe his material is rather non-scholarly. Tell me what you all think. I believe his Sex Lives of the Popes is a load of rubbish as well.
  7. longshotgene

    Roman Cohort versus a Macedonian Phalanx.

    I would it depends on what era of Roman soldier you are talking about. Marian/Caesar era, I would say the Cohort would have won. The Roman legion was structured down to the common foot soldier. The phalanx had structure, but not that far down. With the cohort having an elastic quality as someone mentioned, I think a section of the cohort could have easily outflanked the phalanx on the weaker right side. Remember, the phalanx needs to act and think as one. You couldn't have guys flipping that sarissa backwards while some pointed forward. The whole formation would fall apart. The Roman pilum could harass the Macedonians from the front while the smaller unit broke off and harassed the flank. Hands down, the cohort would win. It has speed, mobility, and adaptability. The phalanx relied heavily on the heavy cavalry. That is what made it so destructive. It was literally a moving wall of sharp points. It worked primarily off of the anvil/hammer principle. In essence, it only had one direction; forward. Cohort, hands down!
  8. longshotgene

    Eagle of the Ninth

    That is an awesome book. When I was up on Hadrian's Wall digging, I picked up that book at the local gift shop. I have been looking to buy all of her books. They are very good.
  9. longshotgene

    Ancient Warfare Magazine

    Has anyone read this magazine? I live in the U.S. and was thinking about getting a subscription. Are the stories in-depth, brining new information, or does it hit on the already known?
  10. longshotgene

    The Inner Moat of Hadrian's Wall

    You should email Mr. Birley. He is probably one of the most authoritative people on the wall. I think people are discounting one big thing in Northern England: Rain! If you dig a ditch between and below the two continuous mounds, the ditch will eventually fill in. The question is whether or not the water would stay for any period of time? That would be an interesting experiment. I still stick to my theory that the vallum on at least one side had a wooden palisade of some sort on top of it. Usually when the wall was attacked, it was by people taking boats around the wall. Think of it as outflanking a phalanx. Why attack head on when you can go around?
  11. longshotgene

    Roman Valli?

    I have read several texts stating the Caledonii were present along Hadrian's Wall. Their attacks became worse as the Romans pushed north with further expansion. The berms as you mentioned are still typical today in modern armies. A berm's function is to act as an obstacle in time of attack and to become in essence a "killing hole". In the American Army doctrine, if you have time to modify your berm, you should. The reason no palisade has been found remaining in Hadrian's Wall is because the British civilians probably picked it clean. If you look at much of Hadrian's Wall, it has been dismantled by the local population. In fact, during the middle 19th century, the remains of the docks at Newcastle upon Tyne were submerged by the new shipping and fishing port. Wood rots, but there should be something down deep if we are to believe in the accumulation of topsoil. Something has to be there. The berm would have acted as a fallback line should the wall be over run. It was over run a couple of times through out the Roman occupation. Generally as history moves on, the Saxon incursions bipassed the wall and attacked lower England in conjunction with the Northern tribes.
  12. longshotgene

    Roman Valli?

    I disagree. I have walked the wall in depth and studied extensive parts of the remains of the vallum. Cart, yes, it may be a little difficult. As far as a horse, it would be easy to traverse the vallum. The Caledonians mostly would have been on foot, which would have proved far more suitable for crossing the vallum. I just don't see a giant mound of dirt as being an effective deterrent without some further measure. Something else had to have been there at one time. Even if Agricola had built the vallum as an early means of defense, it had to have had something else on it. Sheep cross it every day as they graze. Either it has been worn down, or it is not even a fragment of its once glory.
  13. longshotgene

    Roman Valli?

    I understand what you're saying, but why have a three foot tall mound of dirt with gates placed so far along at certain intervals? That would be like placing a framed door in the middle of a field without any accompanying wall to connect to. They are finding the foundational remains of timbers in the stratum in the United States at certain archaeological sites. Why it would seem ludicrous to have had timbers or some sort of wall connecting these gates before allowing someone to enter upon the main wall? The vallum had to have served some purpose other than being a mound of dirt that acted as a boundary. By building the mound, you would allow proper drainage. By allowing proper drainage, you would help prohibit the risk of rotting on the palisade structure. The vallum had to serve some sort of purpose other than being a mound of dirt. If this is not the case, the only other thing I could see the vallum as being, is a leftover feature from the days of Agricola when he pushed his domain to that far extent. By the time Hadrian got there, the vallum was merely carved up to allow people to pass through at the various checkpoints. After all, this is what Hadrian did in Germania superior and inferior. He created new fortifications in place of the old.
  14. longshotgene

    Roman Valli?

    I just read in a text this weekend that there were gates at the vallum. Now I don't know about you guys, but the vallum is not that tall. Did the Romans have a running palisade on top of it? I have read several texts and cannot find anything about a palisade on top of the vallum. If there were gates directly in line with the mile castles, there would almost have to have been a palisade of some sort. The vallum is not tall enough to keep people out. As far as the composition of the land, I am not too sure. I never did soil sampling. I do know from my excavation work at the forts some mile or two from the wall that there is a great deal of topsoil and then clay. The wall was constructed from dry stone on the facade, but the interior is constructed of loose rubble mixed with concrete. That would void the dry wall argument. The reason the majority of the wall is not standing today is because almost every house along the wall possesses several pieces of the exterior. I saw people carving on the wall to get a piece of it when I was there. Everyone wants a souvenir.
  15. longshotgene

    Roman Valli?

    To answer your question about the gateways follows: You would have to see photos of it, but the ground upon which Hadrian's Wall is built is very unstable. If you talk to any shepherds in that country, they are constantly re-building their rock fences. Ground shift and constant rainfall leads to plenty of erosion and tumbling of stone. A wall ten feet thick, twenty feet tall places a lot of additional stress upon the ground. When you examine the valli aerially, they look like gigantic drainage downspouts that border the roads leading through the gateways to the major highway on the southern side of the mountain. To see it as a drainage ditch would also explain the need of a vallum on the opposing side of the wall. If it were to have acted as a moat, it would have been filled with water constantly to prevent an assault. The Caledonii to the north did not have siege equipment. They simply went around the wall in times of war. The texture of the ground also does not prove to be conducive to the building of a large scale sewer system. Hadrian