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  1. A common claim in the occult and pagan communities is that pagan gods never stopped being worshipped- they simply were canonised as Saints by the Catholic Church. That Sainthood is a way to "worship the old gods" while also remaining monotheistic under the new state religion of Roman Catholicism established and enforced by Constantine. I seen so many claims about many Saints having similar names or appearances to pagan gods because they are essentially the old gods. Such as Martin of Tours being Mars, Mother Mary being Diana, Jesus being Mithras, etc. Around the world many foreign traditions blended Christianity to disguise old pagan gods with Catholicism. There is Santeria in Latin America which worships old African gods using Saint statues as disguise, Hoodo which alters African magic to be practised in a Christian framework, and plenty of Hispanic countries have local uncanonised Saints not endorsed by the Vatican such as Santa Muerte as well as customs directly from pre-Spaniard invasion. In addition many associated Catholic iconography such as the Lady of Guadalupe were attempts to use local pagan deities such as Tonantzin to make it easier for locals to accept Christianity. So it shouldn't surprise me if there is a connection of using Saints as a proxy to worship old Roman gods. Hell in Italy there is even Stregheria and Stregoneria, a recent underground movement of witchcraft and sorcery using reconstruction of old lost Roman religion and using the Saints as a guise to worship the old gods (because Italy still has violence against pagans and accused witches). Some Stregoneria websites and Stragheria books even mentioned that the Roman paganism was never lost and as far as the Medieval ages many old Italian aristocrats and locals were already practising pre-modern versions Stregoneria and Stragheria, worshipping pagan gods and casting spells to curse others or for selfish acts such as money gains or earning someone's love. Just a FYI tidbit, Stregoneria and Stragheria translates as witchcraft inmodern Italian with the latter being the old common word and the former being contemporary usage to refer to local witchcraft. I am curious from the perspective of Academia and Ancient Rome studies, how accurate are these claims? Just the fact every place the Iberians conquered ended up having local syncretism of paganism and Catholicism wouldn't surprise me at all if Italians still continued worshipping the old gods as far as into the Renaissance and even Napoleonic era. I mean the Scandinavians did try to worship both Viking gods and Christian saints using the same statues in simultaneous rituals. So shouldn't something like this have happened to the Roman pagan religions and various Italic peoples and states post-Rome? Can anyone give their input? With reliable sources (preferably books and documentaries but anything including websites will do)?
  2. Before I created my account on reddit, I saw two posts much earlier this year when I was lurking. https://old.reddit.com/r/MilitaryHistory/comments/7vkyb0/how_important_is_individual_marksmanship_is_in/ https://old.reddit.com/r/ArmsandArmor/comments/7sxy9c/does_the_skill_of_individuals_in_martial_arts_and/ As both discussions state,indeed you always see the notion of "teamwork trumps all" in beginners book on history and history channel documents as well as internet discussions. I am wondering if individual skills matter in formations too? For example would how well a Roman raw recruit could stab his sword an important factor in formation? Like the poster in the two links state many statements such as "the side whose phalanx holds together longest will wins" makes it sound as though its pointless to learn how to aim at a target when throwing javelins at a mass of enemies. However even formation-heavy cultures like the Romans still emphasized training an individual to be both in his best physical shape and to individually stab at an enemy in single combat or aim at wooden target dummies to practise hitting darts on with individual marksmanship. Is formation simply an automatic force multiplier like many TV shows or 5th grade history books imply? Since its always pointed out that the individual doesn't matter but the team does in pop history media such as games? Why even bother teaching a new Roman recruit in bootcamp the weak points of the human body or make an English yeoman practise his own bow skills by shooting targets as an individual if formations is the most important thing? I mean if you're going to shoot volleys I don't see why its important a javelineer be taught how to throw a spears at the farthest distance possible. If you're going to be protected by a phalanx, why teach Athenian militia how to use his spear to parry and defend against attacks? Can anyone explain why Mongol light cavalry would be taught how to hold a spear properly for a single jousting style duel even though his role is to be a hit-run archer? Or why Romans had young boys just recruited into camp practise one-on-one dueling if the Roman formations are what win battles? Why bother with these specific training if the side that holds the Phalanx longest is the winner?
  3. I made a recent post. So I am curious of how Romans stereotyped themselves in appearance during their times and how foreigners such as Germanic pictured a typical Roman. Modern Hollywood portrays them as fair skinned as your typical Anglo Saxon Whites. Even Italian actors are used, they still show Romans as milky white as your average American and Brit despite the fact the movie was made during the time of Eugenics and Racism being so bad even "lesser whites" such as Hungarians faced discrimination and physical stereotypes were made to demean them namely Italians being olive skinned almost bordering brown skin that the stereotypical Mexican looks like, they hired Italians movie stars who would easily pass for WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) in America with extremely light skin. Biggest offender of this being Sophia Lauren who was frequently casted into leading ladies in ancient era movies such as The Fall of the Roman Empire. Were Romans given stereotypes like "olive skinned" by their enemies? I know Romans were written to be 5'3-5'5 range on average and barbarian warriors as 6 footers. But even this is flawed since they are typically comparing barbarian retainers who were not only the cream of the crop of Germanic society but also often made up a significant, if not most, of the forces in some battle. While the Romans they were using as a base for comparison was the AVERAGE pleb. Did Roman appearance vary on region (like modern Italy today) and social classes (such as how Hindu Brahmins and Ksatriya Princes are often lighter skinned than Hindus of lower class, many even passing for what constitutes as "white skin" in America)? Or were Romans different in appearance today than many modern people in Rome (who are often medium toned skin-not olive nor white as snow but can still pass for a white person who intentionally tans)? Were most Romans as fair as movies would have you believe and the Roman gene pool got diluted by barbarian invasions (which brings stuff like some dark skinned people in Rome and also blondes in the same city with most people being in between)?
  4. Considering the common stereotype that Italians are olive skinned and among the darkest of the white people? I can understand modern cinema showing them as fair and even pale since much of the Italian Americans nowadays either have Germanic or Celtic blood or are immigrants from the wealthier Italian regions (or of middle class origin). However even old movies from the 30s-50s, when racism against specific nationalities of white immigrants was still a thing, show them as fair skin. Even the stereotype of Italians being (by white standards) dark skin still lasted into the 70s. Yet much of the most popular flicks revolving around Italians or Italian Americans such as Rocky show them as milky white as your average American (especially Sylvester Stallone who is really of Italian descent). Even films that show Italian stereotypes such as The Godfather tended to portray them considerably lighter skinned than stereotypes at the time. Why did this phenomenon occur in cinema despite Italians being portrayed as dark and borderline nonwhite in American bias at the time (and heck even Western Europeans saw them as lowly whites especially Anglo Saxon and Germanic nations)? I mean Hollywood stereotyped much of the Spaniards, Portuguese, and such as olive skin (with much of the same stereotypes as Italians in the early 20th century). So why did Italians break away from this stigma in popular movies? Hollywood usually portray the Arabs as brown skin as Mexicans or at best olive skinned if they are shown as white. Enough that when they use big stars like Guinness they darkened them intentionally with makeup and such (as seen in Khartoum and Lawrence of Arabia) to at least look olive skin dark shade. With the Balkans swarthy whites is the typical portrayal in cinema and recently video games as seen in Grand Theft Auto 4's protagonist Niko Bellic. However Italians are shown as much lighter even when they hire olive actors (even using make up as seen in some of Rudolph Valentino's behind the scene stuff). Stallone may have facial features associated with Italians, but his skin can pass off as WASP esp in his younger years and in certain shades of light. The point I'm making is that from the 19th century up until the 50s Italians had a lot of prejudice similar to what Mexicans and other Latinos currently face. Dark skinned, uneducated, and lazy criminals or manual laborers. They practically repeat these stereotypes with Hispanics and same with whatever national negative stereotypes with other groups (such as Russian immigrants being commies, French being perverts and white skinned, etc). With the Italians, they refused to revert to stereotypes and portray them positively, even going as far as using make up to lighten up darker skinned Italians to make them appear more WASP in skin tone. VERY STRANGE which is why I asked this question. Why portray Italians in a positive manner and refuse to use the old negative racist stereotypes actual Italians were facing at the time? Why couldn't say the French (portrayed as all pale skinned whites and aggressive imperialists abusing natives or perverts who chase skirts) be shown with an olive skinned citizen who has the sex drive of a monk? Or Chinese guys being romantic and rebelling against parents? Or better yet use a Mestizo Mexican who's light skinned with a role of a scientist (I know Salma Hayek is already one example but most roles don't try to aver stereotypes)? What made Hollywood interested in averting negative prejudices about Italians? I mean Rudolph Valentino was Hollywood's first sex symbol and he was a recent immigrant when he became a star!
  5. A friend of mine told me its because Italians lacked the qualities that made the Roman people create the one of if not the greatest civilizations in the history of the world: 1)Industriousness 2)Stoicism 3)Frugality 4)Toughness 5)Discipline 6)Militarism and above all: 7)Willingness to sacrifice everything(including one's self and one's entire family) for the country. Is my friend right?If not,then what are the reasons why Italy is so weak today?
  6. An interesting post I found online. https://www.deviantart.com/lustyvenusianjuuza/journal/Individual-Fighter-Warrior-Culture-and-Team-Work-581995798 Although the writer focuses on criminal activities and civilian violence, he does have a point.I mean if drunkards in a bar are able to work together in such coordination that one angry customer pins you down while his drinking buddies are stomping on you.......It makes me doubt the notion the barbarian tribes who lost to Roman Legions such as the Celts lacked any notion of team work. I can understand the Romans being far superior in their coordination and team-based tactics.But after reading the link's statements about lower class civilians able to work together in riots-despite typically being individual brawlers in most fights they participated in and lacking ANY TRAINING what so ever- it makes doubt that barbarians fought completely as individuals who only knew how to battles as one-on-one duelists.If civilians like prisoners, angry farmers in a riot, and even some people drinking at a bar could work together to surround youa nd hit you from blind angles or stomp you on the ground while you try groundfighting with BJJ , I find it ridiculous barbarians wouldn't think of something as simple as "my friends throw javelins at those Roman legions to distract them while I attack the from behind their shieldwalls where they are exposed!"I mean not just many movie but even many history books even describe barbarians as lacking the common sense to do something as basic as dogphile a Roman Legionnaire who was knocked to the ground and stab said Roman soldier to death.Which is sounds utter BS to me because guys at bar do such teamwork all the time. Hell even high school jocks (who tend to be egotistic enough to prefer one-on-one fights) can call their friends to surround you should you prove too tough to take on!So I seriously doubt warriors who fight for a living couldn't think of something as simple as "I duel this Roman Legionnaire" while other Celt warriors sneak behind him and cut the Roman soldier from behind.I have no doubt Barbarians tend to train more as individuals and Romans are far better organized in their teamwork. But to claim barbarians only knew to fight as individuals and lack any sense of teamwork is a slap in the face against human nature because even untrained civilians who never been in a fight before could work together to overwhelm a much tougher opponent using basic "common sense" teamwork moves like my friend rearchokes that jerk from behind while I beat him up.