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About Sequens

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  • Birthday 02/23/1958

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    PA USA
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    History, Collecting and making historical type figures
  1. Hey Caldrail, Good stuff. I wanted to just look at this point at the moment. I agree with you that is the most likely. The excavators do not yet mention fighting at this point, but only as an area the romans massed prior to assaulting the Germans on the hill top. But the Legionaries massing alone does not seem to explain so many hob-nails coming loose here. So far I can only think of 3 possibilities. - The Germans made an assault on the Romans who were formed at the bottom of the slope first. Hand to hand fighting is a bit of a misnomer as combatants kick as much as anything else, and plenty of sandal nails could come loose then. Very possible. - It was, or had been raining, and the Legionaries scraped the mud off the soles of their sandals (removing some nails) prior to their assault uphill, as they formed at the bottom. Possible - The Legionaries stamped their feet in some sort of chanting prior to making the assault. Unlikely.
  2. If the 2000 date of discovery is correct then I would go slightly further, given the script's first draft is dated April 4, 1998 and the film shot between January and May 1999, there is no way any 'similarites' can be anything but coincidence. BTW a link to the more recent articles mentioned may be of general interest to anyone wishing to follow up on this story. Yes Medvadius, I will try to post some links tonite.
  3. Yes, that is one of the initial reports, but there are more recent ones now, with the artifact count up to around 1500. One point I think can be laid to rest is on the curious similiarities to the battle in the movie 'Gladiator' The discovers, at first kept their discovery secret and did not inform authorities... for about 8 years. I wondered if the film makers or screenplay writer had somehow caught whiff of the story. But if the reports are correct, they discovered the first artifacts in the summer of 2000, and 'Gladiator' came out in May 2000. So it is coincidental it seems.
  4. Hi, I haven't been here in a while, but have continued to study the Roman - Germanic conflict on and off. I only recently found out about the recent discovery of a battlefield near Kalefeld on the Harzhorn Hill. I looked for an exsisting thread on the subject, assuming it must have been much discussed, but could not find a recent one, so hope you do not mind another. More up-to-date information is now being posted on some german sites associated with the excavation, and pictures of the finds and site. I was mainly interested in what people here thought of the interpretations so far coming from the excavation group and if they had any ideas at variance or supplementary in nature. Also since this is not a well documented event in roman histories much remains in question. A rare feast for delightful spectulation. Some questions I had about it were: - If a roman legion, and auxillaries was involved, why do the excavators estimate the roman force at 1000 ? - Why are most of the sandal nails, so far found concentrated at the base of the slope leading to the Germanic tribes position on the top of the hill ? - How did the romans have enough time to get their 'artillery', that is ballista, up the hill and into position if this was an ambush ? - Why are their no Germanic artifacts found ? - Why did the Romans not collect their used arrows and ballista projectiles after the battle ? - If it was a Roman victory why was it not more recorded ? - Which Legion(s) were involved ? - Is the similarity to the opening battle in the film 'Gladiator' purely coincidental ? ...
  5. Sequens

    Civilized Germanics

    It sounds like he is remembering Tacitus's 'Germania'. It is often on the shelves of larger bookstores, as a Roman History classic. It is about the longest discussion of Germanic customs and culture that I am aware of. I believe it does mention certain tribes along the Rhine that did trade with the romans.
  6. Sequens


    I believe I have seen that myself when stationed in different parts of the South. I think it often comes down to individuals and small groups. Our national situation is the sum total of it all, but we generally only see and hear part, and that part either generated by political groups or shown to us selectively by media groups.
  7. Sequens


    Although, to my mind the war was justified to free the slaves alone, I am also convinced that demonizing the South is not justified. The South embraced many people with many opinions, and they were by and large exactly the same sort of people you found in the North. Negative attitudes such as racism were as common north as south of the Mason-Dixon line. The so called 'Draft Riots' in New York were actually anti-black pogroms. I would sum it as the South was wrong to try and maintain slavery & the war itself was due to it, but the war only changed some legal code and did not fix the embedded racism throughout the entire country that lasts to this day.
  8. Sequens

    Teutoburger Wald Pipe-dream

    I really agree with your analysis of the focus of films and storytelling aspects. It is very difficult to thread your way through the material without getting muddled. I do have an interest in seeing this period as accurately pictured as possible, but like you say as a backround you appreciate (as a historian) or do not notice much (casual viewer). But it is the personality aspects that interest me most within the context of politics of that time. This story is quite dramatic just as it is, and it is endlessly fascinating to me to try to get into the heads of the participants. Arminius was attempting something very difficult to do and succeeded to a large degree. He walked that strange path between advanced classical civilization and primative tribalism. I am very curious about what sort of man he was and what were his motivations. You are absolutely right. It would take masterly performances and interpretations to draw out some of the answers and be worth doing. I just sense this is a great story, if done right.
  9. Sequens


    Not at all. Reading a biography of his life was what really gave me a deep admiration for the man. Among other things his humor is famous, and lives on in some ways. I was reading something recently about humorous things written by kids. One started their book report with 'Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.' One of his own quips I thought very good which I only can paraphrase was during a speech or town meeting sort of thing. Someone asked him how long a man's legs should be, making allusion I guess, to his tall, spare appearence. He instantly came back with something like 'long enough to reach the ground I reckon'
  10. Sequens


    Now I did read Ruthers collected asphalt. But not much is to be made of that. I see validity in both sonic's and cosmo's summaries. The divorce analogy is interesting. Ratus, I have seen the racial strife that continue's to this day. Boy have I seen it, particularly during those 60's. Felt it too. I atribute more then one assault's on my person to racial causes. But I have witnessed it going both ways and I do not like it at all ever. But I really do not know if it is ever easy, or even could be easy. Most things I see in history go along similiar lines of where differences exsist conflicts flourish. But I do not think it is hopeless. In cerstain circumstances the barriers do come down and there is mutual respect. Probably the most dramatic example for me was my time in military basic training. First off I thought I had joined the wrong Air Force. I was one of about 10 Northerners with 40 Southerners that seemed to speak something like English! Even my recruiter warned me if I did not remembered anything else, to remember to never say I was from New York. Seriously though, we had northern and southern blacks, whites, hispanics and a few others & when we were done, the 40 or so left were closer then any mixed group I have ever seen. It was like the past was forgotten and having to work together to get thru the most difficult thing we had seen, we only went by what you did today, and we did not want to let each other down.
  11. Sequens


    I agree with both of those independently. In a recent history textbook teacher guide, its says that in class discussions of whether the South had the right to secede, the classes normally come to the conclusion that they did, and in many personnel discussions I also find the same opinion expressed. People generally make the comparison that if the colonies could secede from Britain, then the south should have been able to secede. Most, myself included are not familiar with, nor really understand the many legal arguements involved. But in 1861 of course, the two issues were connected. I have believed that it was simply a matter of the Slavery issue trumping the Secession issue. I have said if the South had no slavery, it would not have seceded and if it had anyway, the North would not have stopped it. I should qualify that I think. If the South had seceded into a relatively similiar form of government, the North without the moral imperative that slavery provided would probably had let them go. But if the South had tried to form a type of government too different from the original, say something like Communism, the North may have opposed it with force. One remaining question is whether the North was trully impelled primarily by moral reasons (abolition) or other reasons (perserving the Union, retaining power, secretly hating the south, etc.) ? Or put another way was the North using slavery as an excuse to perserve power, or was the South using the Right to secede as an excuse to retain slavery ? That is I think hard to determine and I suspect all those conditions probably exsisted simultaneously. One thought expressed here was it could have been done (emancipation) better, more peacefully, etc. And I had never even considered it before. But I have now, at least a little. I don't think it would have been possible to do it easier, as long as the bulk of slave owners did not want to give it up. Discussions only lead to disputes and eventually to hostilities. One thing I have found studying northern civil war soldiers, was that 'Preserving the Union' was at least as likely to be the reason they fought as freeing slaves. Many Billy Yanks were ambiguous or even hostile to the idea of emancipation or even having black union regiments. The war itself provided some transformations however. A very important one in the soldiers eye's being that once the Black regiments were formed and proved themselves servicable the white soldiers warmed to the idea of them stopping bullets otherwise aimed at them. Once you fight for something in essence you earn it, which brings me back to one of the quoted statements. My overall view is that both parties were wrong in one thing and right in another. Both sides fought like hell, and although professionals called them 'Armed Mobs', by the 3rd year they were as good soldiers as any anywhere. Almost too good, in that they would not give up until one side was shattered. My sum up would be: I think the South had the right to its freedom, but not at the expense of someone elses.
  12. Sequens


    This is one of those subjects people tend to come into with strong opinions & leave with the same. Skim the opposition and give your 2 cents worth. I kind of expect not to be read much in these fluries or see anyone change their view materially. Perhaps over time and multiple conversations someone might slowly change their prespective. The pox part caught my sttention though!
  13. Sequens


    Trying to figure out what caused the Civil War can be difficult. You can find speeches, events and laws that conflict and contradict and before you know it your wrapped around the axle...thump, thump, thump... It might be compared to the weather, in that you can feel wind, rain, cold, heat; see clouds, lightning, sun; hear thunder, etc. And they often change quite frequently. Its sunny, no its raining, no its snowing... But these are often symtoms and effects of larger forces that creature the weather. For these you need to see satelitte and other pictures of the larger waves of cold and warm air. For this question, I look to see what the real motive force behind it was. It seems very clear to me it was slavery. It was the basic element that was driving the North and South further apart. Legislation and discussions had been tried for quite a few years, maybe decades prior, but did not succeed and the two sides became ever more polarized. One big complication was how to end it (slavery). It seems to me no one could come up with a workable solution that did not include wrecking a large portion of the South's economy and creating 4 million possibly homeless unemployed people overnight. Even Lincoln, thinking slavery wrong, thought that they and the white citizens could not live together well and for a while advocated then shipping all the freed slaves to Liberia. The sides hardened, and of course made use of every possible legal and moral arguement that supported their view and finally came to blows. But I firmly think the right to secede was a secondary arguement only used when the South felt they had no other way to preserve the institution of slavery, which was also a large foundation of their economy and way of life.
  14. Sequens


    Hey, I thought you were out Moonlapse !
  15. Sequens


    The finer points of legal and moral issues have their place no doubt, but they can also obfuscate things too. Its good to remember also laws are there to serve people, not the other way around. Not being very knowledgable in either I tend to rely mainly on common sense. The basis for something being good or bad can be reduced to whether you would want it to happen to you. There are exceptions to everything, but its fair to say that these are some things people do not want to happen to them: Being killed or injured Being enslaved Being robbed of there family members or goods Starving Being social, we make rules based on these to live together. Some principles as well, continually surface in the process, perhaps the most basic being we are all equal.