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Everything posted by tk421

  1. tk421

    What Roman Personality Are You?

    This was a very interesting test. My Roman personality best match by far was Augustus, followed by Q. Horatius Flaccus, Livius, Hadrianus, with Marcus Aurelius placing a distant 12th.
  2. tk421

    Total War: Rome II

    The latest game footage in the above post looks like a definitive step up from the original Rome Total War. The graphics are very impressive. The gameplay expands on the existing Total War style.
  3. tk421

    End of Pax Romana

    A number of you have it right. The pax romana does refer to the period of romanization ending in 180 AD.
  4. My recommendation is the old 1986 game Annals of Rome. It is a game featuring CGA graphics so the game relies on its underlying complexity and strong gameplay to shine. It does not feature the stunning graphics of Rome Total War but it is a fun game. It is very simple looking on the surface but the game is actually very complex and well thought out. You might need DOSBOX to run the game. DOSBOX will run the game well enough to play it through to the end. The game begins in the 275BC timeframe. You will start in Italy and try to establish and defend the Roman Empire for as long as you can keep it alive. This is a difficult task as you will face up to 13 enemy factions at one time. There are no alliances or negotiations in the game. Old factions die out as they did historically, and are replaced by new ones all vying for your territory. You will fight the Carthaginians, the Seleucids, the Parthians, the Sassanid Persians, the Gauls, the Celts, the Dacians, the Illyrians, the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Egyptians, the Jews, the Berbers, the Numidians, the Celtiberians, the Saxons, the Goths, the Franks, the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Vandals, the Huns, the Phrygians, the Arabs and more. You will even fight the Turks. Many many enemy factions emerge at various periods of the game and must be repulsed. The game can go on almost indefinitely but keeping the empire alive through the middle ages can be difficult. In this game you have to manage economic, social, military and political factors. You will have to manage civil wars as well. It is a fascinating game and worth a try for any Rome Total War fan or fan of games based on Rome. The game manual, now only found in txt format on some old game websites, concludes with one overriding question, "WAS THE FALL OF ROME INEVITABLE GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE TIME?" Annals of Rome game manual, circa 1986 If you do a google search for the game you will most likely find it on some old game websites. These change from time to time. The game manual is also found and is not bad. I highly recommend this old game. I hope this post was useful to you, or at least worth reading.
  5. tk421

    A First person Shooter set in Roman times?

    It would be good to play as a member of the Roman Army fighting with Roman weapons in a historical Roman battle.
  6. tk421

    Relive the Roman Empire

    It sounds interesting.
  7. tk421

    Antoninus Pius: was he really so peaceful?

    His reign was prosperous and relatively peaceful compared to previous or subsequent periods. The barbarians had not yet arrived. The Parthians were still pacified. Trajan and Hadrian had reformed the Roman system of governing. Hadrian had even planned the succession. Antoninus Pius was a very diligent, hard-working, shrewd Emperor. He was seen as a simple man, with simple pleasures and tastes. He was frugal with money and spent public money improving the lives of his subjects, and not his own. He avoided scandal, at least when compared to other emperors. He did not tolerate scandal and held public officials accountable. He worked to improve the lives of his subjects. In law he is credited with the concept not treating the accused as guilty before trial. Antoninus Pius did not have to contend with the problems facing Trajan, Hadrian or Marcus Aurelius. He was an Italian and never left Italy during his reign. He did not have to, problems were dealt with, not ignored. He was not a general like Julius Ceasar or Marc Antony, instead relying on capable generals to fulfill military commitments. His reign is notable for not being Caligula, Nero, Commodus or Elagabalus. His reign is notable for not having to deal with the major problems faced by Augustus, Vespasian, Trajan or Marcus Aurelius. He was an excellent leader.
  8. tk421


    I concur that the best estimated date would be in the Sixth Century AD when the Roman Senate was finally dissolved.
  9. It is interesting that in all the Western Empire, Gaul retained a Roman presence in the period immediately after 476 AD. I doubt Syagrius could have survived as he would have been a threat to the surrounding barbarian kings. At this point in European history the new kingdoms were still trying to establish themselves. Defeating rivals would have been considered a major priority. Having a remaining Roman rival could not have been satisfactory to kings like Clovis. Syagrius would have had to win the day over and over again. I believe his downfall was assured in 476 AD and it was simply a matter of time before he was defeated and destroyed.
  10. An interesting collection of photos of a depopulated urban area. It would have been quite something to see the eternal city fall to such depths. Imagine what it would have been like to see the Pantheon during this time, or the Colosseum? Would the forum of Trajan have looked the same as it did a century before? What would we have thought about the Roman Senate building during this low period in Roman history? What famous parts of the city were already ruined? Did Justinian see Rome during this time?
  11. I prefer to think of this period as a shift from the old stable Roman system of government to a feudal system of government where there are local landowners who administrate and defend their domains, and tenant serfs who farm the land and pay taxes to these landowners in exchange for government and protection from external threats. These landowners were the knights and lords who held all the wealth. They usually kept this wealth for themselves rather than give food and entertainment to the masses like a classical Roman Emperor (ie Trajan). The serfs were anybody else not in the local power circle. They stayed in the local area and lived locally, abandoning the trade, commerce and mobility offered by a safe and industrialized Roman Empire. Life in this feudal system became very local as it was dangerous to travel to other lands. This process began during the Crisis of the 3rd Century and ultimately culminated in the fracturing of the Western Roman Empire into barbarian kingdoms. This did not happen swiftly but took place over the time period specified by the topic author. The breakup of the Western Roman Empire can be explained in simple terms. One of two things happened; 1- The local people in a given area stopped paying taxes to the Emperor , opting instead to pay taxes to local kings or knights who could defend them better and for less money. Taxes were high in the late Empire. 2- The local people in a given area were deliberately abandoned by the Emperor and told to look to their own defence. Conquest by barbarian tribes was the usual result. A prime example of this would be Roman Britain in the 5th century. When it comes to militarisation, it depends what is meant by this. Society has had a military capability for some time. Although the Romans of the late Empire did have to become more entrenched and fortified to defend against internal and external threats, Roman society in general continued as before with a continued distinction between military and civilians, until conquered by the barbarians.
  12. tk421

    ATHALARIC (516-534)

    Agreed. Typically it was the elite of the conquered peoples who were incorporated into the Roman system of government. This did not mean that the conquered became romanized right away. As you pointed out, the conquered peoples had to want to adapt to roman culture, it was not thrust upon them. Hadrian was also laughed at because of his accent so it did take longer for the Roman elite to accept a provincial as Emperor. What I find fascinating about the Roman Empire was how successful they were at incorporating conquered territories into the Roman system and hold onto these lands for so long. This was hard to do if the people resented them at every turn.
  13. Good day, From what I understand the Roman Empire suffered from a number of plagues from the 2nd century on to the 6th century. This would have reduced the size of the population down considerably from the glory days of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. Civil wars would have hurt the size of the population as well. This reduced the taxbase as well as the recruitment pool of soldiers for the Roman army. Another factor to consider was the transfer of the Roman capital from Rome to other cities, culminating in the rise of Constantinople. The Emperor(s) would have, over time, brought with them enough patronage from Rome that the population in Italy would gradually weaken. Finally the barbarians themselves can be blamed for a reduced population in Italy as well as other parts of the Empire. In the barbarian invasions, or migrations, many Romans were killed or enslaved by the advancing tribes. The sack of Rome in 410 and 455 would have forced many Romans to flee the city into the countryside. Although Odoacer and Theodoric tried to maintain Roman customs, laws, infrastructure and institutions, it was impossible to keep everything running as smoothly as it did pre-5th century. Clearly the Romans in Italy were under pressure well before Justinian's reconquest of the old heart of the Empire. His wars with the Ostrogoths were very damaging to Italy and his wars with the Lombards fractured Italian unity. Italy would not be united again until the 19th century. This is a small answer to your question. I am sure there are many scholars and experts on the site who can expand on my quick reply to your question. Sources you could look into include some TV documentaries (Hail Caesar, Byzantium: the Lost Empire) and some recently published books (Fall of the West, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, The Fall of the Roman Empire). The classic 18th century book "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is an excellent read as well. There are some good old websites out there, some of which may even predate wikipedia. roman-empire.net is one such website. It is well done and easy to read. Please remember that this is just a small sampling of sources available. I hope I have been helpful. Have a good day, tk421
  14. Antony lost a great deal of charisma late in season 2. No doubt he handed the charisma over to Cleopatra. Before that he was the brave yet debaucherous general who did not like politics very much. Perhaps he liked Cleopatra because she would do the politiking for him. The first time I saw 'A Necessary Fiction', I inititally did not find her that attractive, although I am sure she would have been in person. The drama in that episode was amazing and that last scene of the episode was no exception.
  15. tk421

    BBC's I, Claudius

    I, Claudius picks up after the first or second episode. If you like Roman epics do give it another try and watch the next episode. I think they were trying to do something different with Augustus in this series. He is ably played by Brian Blessed and more resembles Augustus later in life than in the Battle of Actium. There is one scene where Augustus breaks from the easy-going princeps and shows his pre-Actium side. In this scene it is obvious he is Emperor, despite Livia's scheming. The tone of the series changes in dramatic fashion at almost the half-way point and then changes again. The last episodes are almost completely different from the first episode. I, Claudius does not pretend to be historically accurate. It is based on the novel of the same name. It relies heavily on superb acting to bring the story to life. I strongly recommend it to any fan of Roman epics.
  16. tk421

    The Problem with 'Roman' Games

    I think the appeal of 'Roman' games is recreating your favorite battles and historical events, not so much the educational value of these games. An old game but a fine one is Annals of Rome. I highly recommend it to fans of the Roman era. In it you play against up to 13 independent hostile nations every game turn. You cannot form alliances to help ease the burden of defending the empire. In Annals of Rome you must plan ahead of time and try to anticipate enemy actions as well as historical events. The big overidding question in the game according to the game manual is "WAS THE FALL OF ROME INEVITABLE GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE TIME?" Feel free to give this old game a try.
  17. tk421

    Rome total war & barbarian invasion

    I myself prefer BI to the original RTW. Defending Rome from the Barbarian invasions, or migrations if you prefer, is a great thrill brought to life by superb graphics and sound. The music adds much atmosphere to the game and is well worth listening to when not playing the game. The comment above by one of our comrades about pulling your troops back to your central plaza is a good one. It prevents troops from routing too easily and keeps their morale high even in what looks like a hopeless battle. With practice I was able to fend off some 200 East Roman troops with nothing more than one unit of Western bodyguard cavalry. By the end I had just one guy running from one end of the plaza to the other, not unlike what you saw in Monty Python Life of Brian. The enemy got tired and was routed, giving me victory in a battle against greatly overwhelming odds. Never underestimate the importance of morale in the game. Demoralizing the enemy's troops with fire arrows and artillery can make your job much easier, allowing you to win those pivotal first battles with much less troops. Infantry hate cavalry so run them down with your cavalrymen, do not leave them standing still. Use your religious units and your general to help bolster troop morale. Morale is that one factor that can win you some great victories at lower cost.
  18. tk421

    So you want to study History...

    Getting into the right university can be a challenge indeed. The above advice and suggestions can help a lot. Best not to learn those lessons in your fourth year.
  19. tk421

    New Roman History Books (June 2009)

    I think I'll look for Ancient Rome: A New History (Paperback) first. Sounds like a quick read.
  20. tk421

    Did Justinian I destroy the Roman Empire?

    Emperor Goblinus and Northern Neil I agree with you completely. Yes it is true that Justinian was an able leader in that he expanded the Empire to reclaim Africa and Italy, and even some small parts of Spain, but as mentioned above and in several books the cost of this growth was enormous for the Eastern Roman Empire. When the Lombards invaded Italy Constantinople simply wasn't able to hold on to most of Italy. The Empire did hold onto Rome, Ravenna and some scattered areas but by and large Italy was never the same again. I must admit I always found it odd that Odoacer and the Ostrogoths after him kept so much of the Roman administration, institutions and culture alive. I found it always ironic in my books that it was the Byzantines who dealt the final blow to classical Italy, and weakened the East to the point the Empire would lose the middle east and Egypt to the muslims just some 50 years later.
  21. tk421

    Pirkis or Blessed?

    I found this interesting yet brief comparison of actors who have played Augustus on TV. I thought it was interesting so here is the link, http://cominganarchy.com/2007/01/31/augustus-on-tv/ Who do you think made a better Augustus? Max Pirkis or Brian Blessed?
  22. tk421

    Galba and Nerva - similarity

    That is where things get a little weird. (that being said they get much more weird in 193 with the year of the five emperors, only 3 of which make it into the common lists of the Roman Emperors, the other two simply being rivals for the throne) Nero died in 68AD and Vespasian is often quoted as becoming Emperor in 69AD. When he died in 79AD his reign was 10 years long, making ascension in 68AD unlikely. Therefore I find it unlikely that Vespasian would be one of the four emperors of 68AD.
  23. tk421

    Downfall of Sejanus

    Didn't Piso have Germanicus killed? Whether this was on the order of Tiberius is uncertain from what I've read. It is possible but why would Tiberius do that with no alternative present in case he himself died unexpectedly? This had been a problem for Augustus up to 23AD but he had Marcellus and Agrippa to rely on for that circumstance. As for Sejanus, the sources I've read don't say a lot of good things about him. Sejanus is blamed for the reign of terror under Tiberius. Anyone who watches I, Claudius will see what I mean by that.
  24. I didn't know he was an Arian Christian. I thought he had only converted to Christianity as depicted in most historical texts on the matter.
  25. tk421

    Finally, Cleopatra Unveiled!!!

    Wasn't Cleopatra a little bigger than that as depicted in the coinage of the time?