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Romanus

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About Romanus

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  1. Romanus

    To be CE or AD, that is the question.

    Are you talking about how you should use it in exposition or in dramatization? In dramatization, it would be anachronistic to use CE (a PRC tag adopted in 1949) or AD (also hadn't been invented until 525). So, unless your characters are time travelers, it would be weird for them to use CE or AD. Same thing if the novel is told in the first person. But in standard (i.e., 3rd person) exposition, it's your voice that counts. How do you want to come across? Personally, I think AD sounds old-fashioned and parochial; others think CE sounds politically correct. Thanks Cato. They are not speaking of the year to one another. If they were I would most likely go with what some have mentioned: the year of the consul etc.. This is just a chapter sub-heading, ex. Germania A.D. 448. I use Latin chapter titles, so as suggested, A.D. might blend better because it is Latin. Originally I did use CE, but readers in my writers group mentioned that it might be what's happening in the academic community but the general population is still somewhat unaware. It is a mainstream novel. I also see that movies and TV are still using A.D.. I saw a commercial for Terra Nova and they listed the year as 2149 A.D. It was tagged after the number but as stated in this thread, I believe it is accurate to tag it before the numbers. Also, I went and changed it all, so at this point there's no goin' back. BTW there is a cat in my story named Cato. <g> Better yet, a reader in my group read the scene with the cat and circled the name and wrote Kato beside it. I felt like saying, "Ah, dude (me being cool) that's the Green Hornet's sidekick." Cinzia. Try this [Germania in the year 448]. You don't need to add Anno Domini or Common Era to the end that way and just use B.C. in the form of Germania 25 B.C. for earlier than 1 A.D. this way the person reading it will know by context what you are describing. This Idea doesn't work if you need something like Carthage in the years 25 B.C. and 25 . Depending on who your audience is and what you are discussing A.D. may be be the better choice or C.E. could be. If you are aiming for the Average person use A.D. if it's for the Academic use C.E. If it's general Roman history you can use A.D. but if you are dealing with Jesus then you must use C.E. as having him born in 8 A.D.or before 5 B.C. can confuse and anger the reader.
  2. DNA markers don't help that much for the great migration period as it was to small geologically with to many overlapping migrations from the same genetic stock. A large problem with genetic studies is that it's very hard to separate Anglo-Saxon and Danish genetic markers to tell how much of the population is truly Anglo-Saxon and what part came later. The easier way is with archaeological digs where you look at the tools, clothing, lifestyle, population density and such of the region just before then during then shortly after Hengist's and Horsa's landing. You can also read The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which paints a picture of the two seeing a weak and helpless British population on rich and fertile land ripe for the pickings.
  3. Romanus

    Byzantium - Khazaria - Arabs

    The Kaliphate was ultimately its own largest enemy. In the 8th century, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen at that point, surpassing both Persia and Rome. Yet, it lacked institutions advanced enough to administrate the Empire. The evidence is by the speed it fell to pieces. http://moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2008...pire-750-ad.jpg In 1000 AD, the Kaliphate just comprised the southern half of Iraq. It was a giant failure of an empire, but it is at the same time possibly the only world empire which has spawned an entire civilisation in such a short period of time. The reason the Caliphate fell to pieces was the Sunni Shia split no bad governance. The accent of Omar over Ali set the fuse and his Assassination by the Persians lit it. Omar's death lead to the apointment of Uthman which lead to the first Sunni Shia civil war which ended the moderate Rashidun Caliphate and started the rule of the extremist Umayyad Caliphate which was in turn overthrown by the persian backed Abbasid which went into decline with the rise in power of the Turkish Mamluk army it had created. In the end the Abbasid fell apart by the loss of military dominance to it's Turkish slave soldiers not because of poor governing ability. Now as far as the Question on Byzantium first during the Rashidun period the Omar was afraid that Heraclius would repeat what he did against the Sassanid Empire so left Eastern Rome mostly alone. The Umayyads on the other hand set about trying to conquer Europe. If you look at the Caliphate you only had two paths into Europe one was to take Constantinople and the other was via Spain (The Asian steeps was out of the question as Eastern Rome was watching the steeps closely and would pay the tribes in the region to raid and harass any army which came that way. As the heart of the Islamic Empire lay in Egypt and Persia any Invasion by way of Spain would be at the end of a long logistical nightmare. any attempt to move supplies by way of north Africa or the Mediteranian would have met with raids and attacks by Roman forces leaving the Constantinople rout and the only option. As far as the "Defender of Europe" Byzantium didn't do it out of kindness or sense of duty she did it to survive. Two thirds of Europe's wealth was in Eastern Rome and she was always afraid of being out flanked by her enemies who saw her as the jewel in the crown.
  4. Romanus

    help required

    Alexius IV or Anastasius III would work Romanus IV would be a very strong name in both Russia and restored rome but if you are willing to see how well the person running the game knows history then have his last name changed to Palaeologus with the title the Marble Emperor Constantine XII.
  5. Can you give me a source fro the Spartans vs Visigoths? It is a widely held assumption that the Hellenistic military system deteriorated after Alexander and Pyrrhus, but how much clear evidence is there of this. The Hellenistic kingdoms fought against each other, so they had to constantly be on edge, and work on strategies to constantly improve their systems. Pyrrhus was able to defeat the Roman Legions in 2 out of 3 battles, but I somehow doubt that these legions were anywhere near as advanced as those of Scipio, Flaminius, or Paulus. In the Punic War I, the Carthaginians used Hellenistic style warfare to defeat Roman Armies at leat once. It was not until Punic War II that the Roman and Carthaginian forces developed the advanced systems that empahsized mobility along with the deadly effects of the Gladius at close quarters. I suspect that they developed these systems from their experiences in Spain. Despite their rivalry amongst themselves, the Hellenistic Kingdoms were still able to mobilize large armies to confront the Romans (Cynocphelae, Pydna, Magnesia) and the Romans defeated them handily every time. THere was always an excuse. At Cynocephalae, Philips army wasn't fully lines up, at Pydna there wasn't enough cavalry and the phalanx advanced too far into rough terrain, At Magnesia the land was flat and there was more than adequate cavalry as well as light troops, but they weren't able to put it together despite the presence of Hanibal as an advisor. Much later Mithradates seemed to have the same problem in his wars with the Romans. Pyrrhus never had to face these more advanced legions, and he probably would not have been able to win a single battle against the likes of Paulus or Sulla. My point is that I don't think that their system really declined, but the Roman system evolved to surpass the Hellenistic system. Do we know of any post Punic War II battles where a Hellenistic army defeated a Roman legion? If I did not add the Supposedly disclaimer to the statement let me apologize for that. The main source is The Military Engineer By Society of American Military Engineers. The decline of Sparta wasn't due to the quality of it's Phalanx deteriorating it was because Laconia became depopulated and Sparta lost to many men at The Battle of Leuctra and other battles. Back to China a short list of the pre Qin dynasties. The two mythical ones are the 3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors period and the Xia then you have the two historic dynasties of the Shang or Yin Dynasty and the Zhou Dynasty. The Zhou was the longest lasting Dynasty in Chinese history and it broken into the Western Zhou, Eastern Zhou, Spring and Autumn period and the warring states period. As a coherant nation state only the western Zhou would count which lasted from 1045 BCE to 722 BCE. From that point the power of the Zhou Emperor declined till he became nothing more than a figurehead and the various nobles held all the real power.
  6. Were they really decadent? The Hellenistic world was probably the most advanced civilzation of the time. As for the ease at which they were beaten militarily by the Romans, there was something about the Macedonian system that made it exquisitely vulnerable to the Roman legions. Many of the late Hellenistic kingdoms still had great success against numerous opponents, but they fell apart against the Romans and were subject to wholesale slaughter. True, they were advanced but "weak". And while the hellenistic world was advanced, their military wasn't very good. At least compared to Rome and Carthage. I think that one important factor was the fact that the Romans mobilized a very large proportion of their population to the military, about 10-15% of the adult male population of Italy was in the military during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. I have read that all of the warring states in China mobilized their populations to the same extend as Rome. Maybe the other mediterranean powers didn't mobilize their populations to the military like Rome and the warring states. That may not be true as Sparta was a traditional ally of Rome and enemy of Macedon and the Spartan militia phalanx lasted well into late antiquity. Spartan forces Supposedly defeated the Visigoths in battle after the disaster of Adrianople. As Rome and Sparta (who retained it's independence until just before the roman conquest of Greece) never met in open battle you can't say the Hellenistic military wasn't very good. Greece was never united against the Roman while the Seleucid empire was fighting a loosing battle to the east against Parthia and was internally torn apart by civil wars which left it powerless against rome. For China Qin wasn't the start of the Chinese nation as China had broken up into waring states before Qin came to power. The Qin was just the start of the Imperial period of Chinese history with 2 known and one possibly mythical dynasty existing before The Qin. So in China you had a Kingdom which had existed for centuries fall apart into waring factions
  7. Romanus

    Five Spartan Villages

    I understand your problem as that answer is for districts and regions not the name of towns. If you look at Laconia proper during the time of the Peloponnesian wars you could add Tyros, Prasiai, Kyphanta, Zarax and many others into the mix. as far as Messena Messenia? It was a separate city state from Laconia and even though Sparta conquered it Messenia was never incorporated as part of the Laconian state. The use of the term Messena should be avoided as it's also the name of a region and historic state in West Africa.
  8. Romanus

    Five Spartan Villages

    here are three if I my spelling of them is correct. Helos near the cost, Amyelees just to the south of Sparta and Therapne north and east on the other side of the river. These are the ones I know were part of Laconia but there are others which could be depending on the territory the Spartans held.
  9. In a way it was. What the Qin faced were healthy and organized nation states. While the Romans outside of Carthage (not just Hannibal) faced Iberian and Celtic tribes who were not united in standing against Rome and The Hellenistic states which were 1) in decline or 2) divided between Rome and other Hellenistic nations or 3) decedent. The Seleucid Empire was in decline and nearly gone by the time of the Roman arrival as two prolonged periods of civil wars doomed the empire. The Kingdom of Macedon was hated by most of the Greek city states who stood by or even aided Rome against Philip V While Ptolemaic Egypt was the decedent kingdom who relied on mercenaries to do it's fighting. The Gauls were a Very major threat perhaps even a greater threat than Carthage was but the tribal nature prevented them from putting a united front against Caesar when Rome was finally able to go on the offensive. The same can be said about the Iberians and Hellenistic city states who couldn't united against the Romans.
  10. Romanus

    Byzantine Infantry

    It is generally assumed that the Romans actually outnumbered the Arabs at Yarmouk. Would you agree with the following statement made by a previous poster? "From a purely military standpoint, a most critical contributor was definitively the command of Khālid ibn al-Walīd, a tactician of the same magnitude as let say Timur or Alexander Magnus." http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10534 Yarmouk was everything the Romans had. After that they couldn't counter attack and had to take a defensive posture which proved impossible to maintain outside Anatolia. The Sassanians on the other hand Fought and lost, Counter attacked and lost several times. If the Sassanians had given up on Iraq after the Arabs finally conquered it then They would have at least held onto Iran proper. Omar said as much when he stated that he wished there was a mountain of fire between the Caliphate and the Sassanian empire. I also agree about Khālid ibn al-Walīd but I would add that without the women holding out against roman breakthroughs until the Rashidun army could recover the Romans would have most likely won. Here's a good description of the Byzantine Scoutatoi http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Medieval/war...tleTactics.html In some ways a throwback to the pre-sarissa hoplite phalanx. The intermediate length spear, the relatively large shield, and the close order. The main difference being better armor and sword for effective one on one fighting once they came into close quarters with opposing infantry. And I agree that theirs was a very effective system, and their infantry often fought from a defensive position, delivering an effective counterblow. They did not take the aggressive advance movements of the Swiss and other pike units of the later middle ages. The Byzantine system worked very well for the most part, but they didn't do too well against the Normans at Durrazo in 1081. It wasn't a throwback to the hoplite phalanx in any way. The Spears were only equipped by the first ranks so they could counter cavalry charges with the main weapon being the spathion long sword. A standard tactic was to have the infantry advance under cover of archery to take some important point on the battlefield then when the enemy counter attacked the cavalry who had stayed behind the infantry would flank or the infantry would open up to allow the cavalry to charge there by enveloping and crushing the enemy. The Byzantine system worked very well at The Battle of Dyrrhachium and they would have won until the army collapsed on it's own. The Norman right had collapsed and the entire Norman army was in danger of being encircled and destroyed until the Varangians most of whom were Saxons who were driven out of England by the Norman conquest chased the Norman right wing ending up being separated from the rest of the army and being completely destroyed. then both King Constantine Bodin of Duklja and the Turkish mercenaries abandoned the Byzantines This left the Byzantine center exposed and it was at this point the Normans struck and crushed Alexius's Army. If the Byzantine left along with the Varangians had remained within striking distance of the center it would have been the Normans who would have been destroyed not the Byzantines.
  11. Nice article. I didn't understand the following statement, "Now the Byzantines came into direct contact with the Seljuks, whose fighting style of mobile horse archery they were unfamiliar with." Were the Seljuk horse archers any different than the horse archers that the Byzantines had faced before? It was The Turkomans who were under the Selijuks which were the problem. All the other enemies, The Avars, Arabs and Sassanian Persians used combined lance Cavalry and archers (Sassanian army used foot not horse but they could keep up with the horse until the charge.) The Turkomans were only nomadic horse and were stopped before by the Arabs, Armenians or Slavs before ever reaching Byzantine territory. Rome in general and Byzantine in particular always had major trouble against a fully mounted force. The Komnenos finally figured out how to beat them but Manuel I Komnenos ruined it and doomed the Empire by ignoring the working system. Even Parthia who was almost completely mounted fought differently than the Turkomans.
  12. Romanus

    Byzantine Infantry

    Their eastern opponents had not only horse archers, but heavy cavalry as well. On numerous occasions macedonian-style phalanxes held their pikes upward at an angle to deflect arrows or other missiles going their way. A good example was The Pontic phalanx at Chaeronea II. The Byzantine army worked as one unit. Heavy and Light Calvary and infantry so when faced with a Heavy cavalry charge the Byzantine infantry would become the anvil on which the Calvary would smash the enemy onto. another tactic would be to open a hole in the middle of the infantry letting the cavalry charge then hitting the opposing cavalry from the sides. long pikes would still not give you the flexibility of Byzantine combined arms. an example is the fact the Byzantine lance was even shorter than the Byzantine spear and could double as a javelin as well as the use of Bows. It seems to me that the Hellenistic system was supposed to do the same thing. It worked for Alexander. He used the mobile hypaspists as a flexible bridge between his companion cavalry and the phalanx. Later Hellenistic armies weren't able to apply this method against the Romans, perhaps because of the quality of the opposition. At Magnesia, the winning Seleucid cavalry overshot the battle line and broke off from the rest of the army. That is an incorrect comparison as no footman has the mobility of a horseman as well as the fact that the technology for controlling a horse from mounted position was much superior in the middle ages than during the classical age. The Stirrup was a much better way to control the mount than the saddles that were used during classical times. Yes later Hellenistic armies had degraded but the main reason the hypaspists weren't able to work on the Romans is do to the fact that the Roman maniple system was far more mobile and flexible than the hypaspist system. The Persians who where almost all Cavalry after they became independent from the Seleucid state never were able to completely defeat the Romans while the Romans were able to totally destroy both Parthia under Trajan (he was to old to take the whole thing) and Sassanian Persia under Heraclius (He didn't want to keep it so he went back to the defacto border). During the Byzantine
  13. Romanus

    Byzantine Infantry

    The Skoutatoi used kontarion 2-3 M long spears in the first ranks of the Byzantine battalions. to fend off Calvary charges. You need to remember however that the Byzantine army used combined arms where Infantry and Calvary worked in unison (and were the first army in the world to do so.) Please also take into account that the Pike is a great weapon against a Western European or Person Calvary but against Eastern horse archers they are powerless. Any time the Eastern Romans had competent leadership The could easily beat any Western Calvary With the more flexable system they used than the more ridged long pikes the Western European employed.
  14. Found a book that may be just what you're looking for Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests by Walter E. Kaegi who has written several books about that time period including his newest one on Heraclius. I'm still trying to find the name of the book that deals with the transformation of the eastern empire from the time of Justinian to the time of Heraclius. I think that is the one which covers the debate and conflict going on between the religious beliefs in Egypt and the Hellenized parts of the empire. Also look at this link on the Battle of Manzikert http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/markham.htm which argues for a political failure of the state not a military one. Religious conflict played a part in the disaster but was not the main cause.
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