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Lanista last won the day on January 20 2015

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About Lanista

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  1. Lanista

    The Eagle

    Just because I've got new trainers don't mean I'm a riotin' chav, innit.
  2. Sure, but we're not talking about warfare: "everyone is saying that one-on-one, a Roman would lose to a Spartan, Samurai, Celtic Warrior, etc. so easily and he would need to be in a group formation to even have a chance to defeat other warriors one-on-one." I agree that gladiators would be not much good in pitched battle - there's even evidence to support it. (begs the question though - army of gladiators vs army of rampaging barbarians? Hmmm...there's a book in there somewhere...) I do think they'd hold their own against the above in a 1-2-1 match. In the Spartan/Celtic example they were even trained to do so as I pointed out in the earlier fighting style example. Against a samurai - I don't know, it'd be interesting: the katana is a pretty tasty weapon after all, but the gladiator has his shield. Lierelou will know more about this than me, but I'm not sure if the ancient/medieval Japanese warriors used or had any experience of fighting against individuals (or indeed formations) that used shields. If this IS the case, then I'd say - in our "Ultimate Warrior" test, the Murmillo (given that he's one of our legionary clones) wins. Isn't there some sort of loony UFC-style sword tournament that takes place where you get all sorts of styles facing off - there maybe an example of an equivalent match there. I saw a documentary about it on the history channel, but I can't remember much more about it. It was a two-parter called "The Sword." But, the original point/question has been answered. Most Roman soldiers couldn't stack up to a trained warrior in a 1-2-1 stand off. They weren't trained for it... or really equipped for it - the gladiatorial shields in MOST cases were smaller (I forget the one that actually used the scutum - provocator I think) and lighter. If you've lugged around a scutum for any length of time, they get very unwieldy and heavy for our 21st century muscles. Indeed, our gladiatorial expert Medusa points out that a good tactic for the gladiator carrying the big shield was to rest it on your greave to give your forearm and shoulder a break). We're kind of preaching to the converted - we know that Roman tactics were to stay in formation, barbarian tactics to break that formation - if the machine breaks down... we break down and all that. Getting in amongst the Romans was the best way to defeat them because in that scenario, the barbarians held the advantage.
  3. As I say, I'm no expert on that, thanks for the clarification.
  4. I'm not sure - the Centurion would have the same training as his men. They were promoted to the centurionate after serving as an optio (think corporal to sergeant, though the apprenticeship would have been much longer than in a modern day army) and had to have a decent length of service and have shown competence in battle, leadership and so forth. I guess if you were going for archetype, it would be "grizzled veteran." But I don't think that they'd be marked out because they were stunning individual warriors (I think that this sort of mano-a-mano stuff was frowned on by centurions in fact). As I said - we're really comparing cultural differences. The Romans didn't place value on that sort of combat and didn't think it was cowardly to fight in such a manner. Similarly, these same Romans thought the Parthians were cowards because they wouldn't stand and fight, but would rather shoot arrows at them and ride off quickly. The "barbarians" thought the Romans were cowards because they ganged up and wouldn't fight "properly" and (I'm no expert) I think the Samurai thought the same of the Monguls when they invaded. The Samurai warrior would ride out to face a champion and get butchered by laughing Koreans. I don't think we can generalise here: as I say, I'm sure some Romans were pretty tasty with a sword, others not so. But they just didn't have the same ethos as the cultures you mention here.
  5. Lanista

    The Eagle

    I loved it - though I wish Jamie Bell had a more impressive 80's metal barnet rather than his usual hairstyle. I always think of the Brigantes with epic Adrian Vandenberg blond locks. Neat touch making all the Romans American (or American sounding) a la "Alexander" Irish/English: Macedonian/Greek too. I can't agree that Tatum was wooden - his scene with Sutherland was clearly indicative of the first crack in his super-soldier veneer - which I guess is being read as him being wooden. I'd say he was conveying that his character a personification of the Roman military machine. He's a stickler for rules, regulations - he wants to make amends for his father's "sins" so he's this more-Roman-than-Roman super soldier as I say. As the film progresses, that attitude changes. Sure its a buddy movie, but its got heart and is a lot better than its been given credit for. Brilliant music too.
  6. The original question was why do people always say the legionary was crap in a mano-a-mano - so I'm not sure that the military effectiveness of gladiators is an issue? Sorry if I wasn't clear - what I'm, saying is that if you're stacking up a gladiator against an individual warrior culture representative then I think he'd do ok - because he was trained to fight one on one. As a martial artist who's done gladiatorial re-enactment, I'd probably take issue with the kung fu movie analogy. Gladiators were trying to hurt each other, actors clearly aren't. Experimental archaeology shows us that gladiatorial fights weren't like they were in the movies either - to a modern audience, they'd probably look a bit shit to be honest, as expectations would be let down. There's only so much theatricality involved in a fight with sharp weapons, and I think this "fact" is probably a bit of a red herring. Maybe their sword arm movements were bigger than they had to be to make it easier to see the moves from the seats, but I think that would be more than compensated for by the shield - even if it was the case they used bigger movements. But we can't see how they fought, only rely on ancient testimony, which, in the case of gladiators, was often hyperbolic or overly derogatory. It'd be interesting to see one of those hard core nutters who run the gladiator school in eastern europe against a kendo expert - that might make a fair approximation. But at the end of the day - it ain't the style, its the fighter.
  7. I think the simplest thing to say here is that you're comparing "warriors" to "soldiers." Samurai, Britons, Celts, Germans adhered to a "heroic" ideal, champion vs champion, honour for the victor... all that stuff. The Roman solider wasn't trained to be a duellist: the techniques used in massed, heavy infantry formation combat are totally unsuited to duelling one on one. I'm sure there were some excellent legionary swordsmen - they practised day in and day out after all, but they were practising pretty basic techniques for use with with a shield (and a heavy one at that) and in concert with other men from their unit. Gladiators, on the other hand, would probably hold their own in most circumstances - indeed, some gladiatorial styles were based on the techniques used by Rome's enemies... Samnite, Hoplomachus and Gaul for instance. Of course, I often wonder why no one ever asks the question what would happen if a Spartan Phalanx met an early Roman Legion.... oh no, wait a minute...
  8. Lanista

    What the hell is going on in the UK?

    Putting it into some sort of socio-political context give it credence than its worth. Thuggery and opportunism, plain and simple - organised on expensive blackberry's, pcs and I-phones, so I doubt its got anything to do with being poor and disaffected. And we're forgetting that rioting is a bit of a laugh. Good fun, smash some stuff up, nick stuff out of Dixons... and not get caught. And stick two fingers up at an impotent police force - clearly, if one of the rioters is hurt or killed, the tactics the police used will be branded "heavy handed" and "inappropriate."
  9. The publishers are doing a promo of Roma Victrix on Kindle for a limited time only: 97p for all the sex and violence you can shake a stick at. Not to mention a character driven story of redemption and all that kissy stuff. But mostly sex and violence. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0050Q4DRU/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=03V4MWPT3YF4T2SSFNQN&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467128533&pf_rd_i=468294
  10. Lanista

    Decurions In Roman Navy?

    I agree with you, Neil - it probably didn't cause any confusion to the casual reader. Centurion=bloke in charge of a hundred men. Decurion=bloke in charge of ten men - a sergeant equivalent and it keeps it simple, yet differentiated from the army rank. Having marine optios, infantry optios and so forth running around would probably just get confusing for people who just read the books for entertainment. So, I reckon that's its probably a deliberate "mistake" to keep the flow of the narrative in check and not having to write sentences like "I'll go and check" said the marine optio to the legionary optio. (OK, not that, but you get the drift).
  11. Lanista

    Soccer World Cup 2014

    Clearly, England are going to win the world cup and not waltz through the group stages looking like world-beaters, only to get to the finals and be utterly crap. Cos that never happens.
  12. Lanista

    Interview with Russell Whitfield

    Thanks, guys - was good fun to do, Ghost made it easy with the ace questions. Cheers Russ
  13. Lanista

    How did the ancients manage a six pack?

    Don't forget that their food was more organic, less "bad" fats and all that stuff. I read somewhere that "rock hard abs aren't built in the gym... but in the kitchen." (either that or it was on a shopping channel). But I suspect that diet and training were the key to this. The Greeks had developed gym work to an art form (the perfection of the body was something they admired - clearly!)... so not too much of a stretch to see how this was done with the proper training and lack of McD's. Cheers Russ
  14. Lanista

    Hannibal: Enemy of Rome Trailer

  15. Lanista

    Happy Birthday GhostOfClayton

    \m/ Rock on, man!