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  1. Very late response and I hope you still lurk here to read my response. But yes its one of the downfall of the Roman Empire but paradoxically one of the reasons the Roman Empire survived so long. A great introductory book is The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. Its not specifically on the Roman Empire but he does note some universal factors that led to the downfall of civilizations among which he quotes events in the Roman Empire. I'll try to look for quotes. But I hope you are here to see my post. Go read The True Believer and you will see how much education and the elitist intellectuals both destroyed and ensured the survival of the Roman Empire.
  2. Well I have read stuff in Medieval Hagiography saying the Church had succeeded in civilizing warlike backward pagan savages like the Scots which is where the Roman Empire most definitely failed in. I'm not siding with the Church at all as I'm a heretic who personally has apostasized but I can see their point considering Germany started becoming civilized and the country began to develop real infrastructures like bridges, roads, farming communities, etc after the country was converted due to the efforts of various saints. Even in the uninhabitable north full of wilderness. I mean Church influenced converted Sweden and Northern Europe as well as Ireland and Poland and so many places the Romans never got conquered territory and the histories of those places esp Ireland and Poland credits the morals and social order the Church has created in those places as the whole reason they turned from mostly uninhabitable places into civilized kingdoms (I'm not talking about hagiography either but actual history written down and put in school textbooks by the now mostly secular governments of those places). As an example, Romans absolutely failed to spread their architecture, economic model, court system, etc into Scotland but the Church not only converted the whole region but Scottish culture basically became a Roman Catholic one using architecture and so on that was often originating in Italy (and based on some Roman concepts just as the Empire was falling) is what the Church historians and Medievalists meant when they claim the Church succeeded in many areas where the Roman Empire completely failed in. Even the Scandinavians failed to leave a touching mark on Scotland when they attempted colonization and raids and they even stopped going there out of fear due to Scots being so violent and savage even by VIking standards............. Yet the Church was able to convert the whole country and instill Catholic civilization in it and Scotland would be a Roman Catholic country at the core until the Protestant Reformation. Lets not forget the Catholic influence has far expanded further than the Roman Empire ever did outside of Europe........... South America? Brazil alone is as large as the USA which is in the same ballpark as Europe's total landmass even discounting Russia and we are not counting the rest of the world where every nation has a diocese as well as colonies elsewhere like Catholic majority countries today in Africa. But Latin America is proof of how further Church influence has surpassed Rome at its peak on the world. I'm not pro-Church in fact I truly hate Catholic teachings But reading Hagiography that Medievalists have recommended seems to bring me into Saints and Church authority emphasizing how barbarians who Rome failed to civilized were converted into Catholicism and not even by invading armies but by missionaries who roamed far across Europe including famous Saints like Patrick of Ireland. They make a good argument about barbarians refusing to adopt Roman culture yet were successfully convinced to convert to Western Roman Christianity.
  3. I mean if you see a map of religion in Europe the places that are mostly Protestant today are the same exact places the Roman Empire could never subdue into a permanent territory. The same cities that are Protestant majority in Netherlands are in the North, the same places the Romans could never develop colonies under their sovereignty as an example. While the predominantly Catholic places of Europe today almost the entire places Rome successfully held as colonies until the decay around the 300s and its fall in the 400s. Just look at Southern Germany which was the north most that the empire was able to expand into and you will see the regions that Roman administration ruled over are the same exact Catholic arts of Germany while the Protestant parts are all in the north. In particular the strongest Protestant places of Germany are in the Northwest which would contain the location the defeat at Teutoburg would have taken place in.. England can even qualify because England became a Roman colony and than was abandoned but remain Roman influences for a while until Germanic invaders took over and Germanize the country. Yet the Germanic people of England would be the most Roman-like barbarians of Europe who weren't directly into the sphere of the Roman Empire. To put a parallel with religion England was one fo the most religious kingdoms of Europe, so devout into Catholicism was England that they sent some of the most volunteers after France and Germany to fight into the Middle East several English kings were the head leaders of several Crusades. England was so fanatical that when Henry VIII tried to reform English Christianity after cutting England's diocese from Rome, riots broke out and the loyalty of English Catholics would be one of the prime issues that went close to destroying the newly Protestant English kingdom until Cromwell expelled all Catholics from the country during the English Civil War. And even than after becoming Protestant the Church of England was a bizarre hybrid of Catholic and Protestant doctrines, being considered the "most Catholic" of the dominant Protestant denominations, even much more than the Lutherans, esp in Church art and buildings and religious practises (creating their own unique takes on Catholic stuff like the rosary replaced with Prayer Beads) while also blending in Protestant doctrines like predestination as part of the newly formed "Anglican" Church's teaching. Thus making very eerie parallels to Rome's status as a place that was colonized by Rome but quickly fell to Barbarians shortly afterwards including a complete invasion by a Germanic tribe that altered the DNA and culture of the pre-Roman Celtic Britons-yet also keeping elements of Roman culture like architecture despite apparent Germanization of the whole country. Once we get into the map of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries........ To start off go see the most Eastern countries that are still Catholic today before you start reaching the Orthodox majority parts of Europe. They are islands in Greece........ The same islands the Western Roman Empire continued holding after the Empire was divided into two despite being so far away in Greece! Prractically every major domain of modern Orthodox Christianity were all territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. While the Catholic countries near the Orhtodox nations like Hungary were part of the Western Roman Empire. If we want to go into another parallel, the Western Empire never had any significant contact with people from modern day Russia but the Eastern Empire began to develop trade routes after the division and onto the Middle Ages the contact of the Byzantine Civilization with pre-Christian Russians was so great that they not only had solid trade routes but frequent cultural exchange and direct interventions with each other like sending soldiers over to one another for help, sending priests into Russia, etc and as we now know Russia is now culturally and Orthodox Christian country. Not just that but Russia would become the most fanatical follower of Eastern Orthodoxy, waging wars against the Catholic Europe and various Muslim civilizations esp the Ottomans in an attempt to prevent the fall of Eastern Orthodoxy and defend remaining free nations but even waging offensives into Ottoman territory in an attempt to free Ukraine and other places conquered by the Turks. If there's one more very scary pattern I noticed........ All the countries that would become white European superpowers during the Age of Colonialism.......... France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and Germany are either Catholic or have a roughly equal Catholic-Protestant plurality. Were all important colonies of the Roman Empire. In particular Spain, Portugal, and esp France were the three most important hubs of the Roman Empire outside of Italy and of utmost essential commercial territorial, and military holdings of the Empire. Spain would conquer an entire continent and create the first white Colonial Empire while Portugal would later separate from a union and hold a large chunk of South America in what is now one of the largest countries in the world. A nation so large its as big as the USA, Brazil.And Portugal would conquer a modern nation in Africa and various bits of land in Asia. While France would become a global superpower that would conquer many places in Africa and Asia as well as once holding a large part of North America. Even England qualifies because of the bizarre hybrid nature of Anglicanism and would create the largest empire I ever seen. So I have to ask why are the places the Western Roman empire hold as permanent territory until the decay near the start of the Dark Ages all so Catholic today? With its three most important colonies Portugal, Spain, and France once being the most fanatical strongholds of Catholicism in the Medieval Ages and Renaissance period (even being more devout than Italy as a whole would often be across history)? Is it a simple coincidence that after England, the three most important and largest colonial powers were both once the most Catholic kingdoms of Europe and the most important territories of the Roman Empire? In addition despite the rise of Byzantium, why did regions the Western Roman Empire held East of Italy remained Catholic all the way today despite the 1054 schism? It doesn't make sense that the few Catholic islands in Greece were able to survive with allegiance to Rome considering how the Byzantines would do reprisal towards Catholicism! Esp if you see Romania which uses a Romance Language and was very near Italy and important colony and later given to the East would become Orthodox Christian despite the heavy influence of Roman culture into it esp Latin on modern Romanian! What is the reason why the division between Catholics and Orthodox is almost exactly the same today as the division of the West and East empires? Why is the Protestant and Catholic regions of Europe pretty much exactly the same as the divide between Roman territory and unconquered Germanic barbarian lands?
  4. Its a common thing echoed around religious universities and scholars, and not just Roman Catholics but even education centers by pre-American Protestant Denominations concede the same thing. Hell Islamic universities and colleges as well as those in the Arab World often describe the Catholic Church as the Heathen Empire of the Frankish invaders and historical texts of the Ottoman Empire often states the conquest of Rome as the ultimate ambition because it will be the apocalypse when God's prophecy has finally been fulfilled. Even contemporary Jewish Medieval texts that speaks about anti-Semitism often blames the Church for all the crimes. In Italy the Church is often treated as the successor to the Roman Empire in history texts and Poland emphasizes how without Catholicism Polish civilization would never come to be. Hell despite the brutal colonization, much of the Latin American population actually believes the Spain and Portugal coming in and colonizing the country was needed because it civilized people from backwards paganism by teaching them the true faith and some historians in Latin America at the time even points out the Iberian Empires show how the Vatican have far surpassed the Roman Emprie's territory and wealth and in turn is superior to Ancient Rome at its peak. What are your thoughts on this? It seems the fall of the Roman Empire is not taken as badly among the very conservative religious but proof of a great thing and in particular the Vatican sees it as the triumph of the true Church. Hell I even seen some Church historians even say the Vatican succeeded where the Roman empire absolutely failed in, which is penetrating its influence deep into Northern Germany and beyond and civilizing entire warlike backward savage clans the Romans can never subdue like the Scots and the Saxons and even colonizing places the Romans never touched like Sweden and Poland thus clamoring that the Catholic Church by the Middle Ages have far surpassed the Roman Empire.
  5. I can't tell you how many times popular portrayals of shieldwall formations by disciplined armies were so well coordinated that they did not have any holes or gaps in them that no arrows can possibly hit a single soldiers in the ranks. In fact disciplined armies such as the Normans are often portrayed as being so interconnected in their wall formations that there is no way for even an opposing army without a shieldwall to inflict casualties. So long as you remain in the wall formation your shield will protact you from any direct blow and the enemy soldiers would have to either break the formation by overwhelming with sheer numbers or hit with weapons strong enough to pierce or smash the shields of individual soldiers.If they can't do that and if they fight otuside a shield formation, you're guaranteed to win with minimal or even no casualties. Pop media portrayals of the Greeks and Romans take this up to eleven in specific film portrayals where the Greek Phalanx and (especially) Roman Tetsudo are done with such coordination and discipline that they LITERALLY CONNECT like Lego pieces! The opening scene from Gladiators where Roman legions battle Germaic barbarians exemplifies just how "perfectly" connecting the Roman Tetsudo is portrayed in movies and shieldwalls are in mass media in general. Not a single gap enemy arrows could penetrate and despite the terrains Romans were able to hold a near perfect front wall shield row while on the march. However I was watching a historical reenactment the other day and I was absolutely shocked at just how much gaps there were int he Tetsudo formation just as practised by re-enactorrs. There was so much obvious holes that it looked like even a harpoon could enter the formation without a shield getting int he way and in the reenactment many participants admitted they were hit by arrows despite being in shieldwall. In addition not counting the gaps, the shields did not look like they could connect perfectly like lego toys that is often portrayed in movies. Even when they stop marching and assume defensive position awaiting the barbarian rush the front row don't even look like a wall of shields more like individuals holding their shield outs. Despite attempting to interconnect their shields together as they awaited the Barbarian rush, they looked less like the wall in movies and more like barbarian hordes they were supposed to fight in the re-enactment. Even the shields they wielded looked too bulky to ever "connect perfectly like lego pieces". I actually went and talk to some of the enactors to help me do an experiment in an attempt to imitate the Tetsudo in movies and when I tried to connect my shield to enacters side by side me, it was so damn difficult to literally make them touch each other and in fact the shields were of various sizes it was impossible to keep a symmetrical front row that looked perfect like in films. Even when we did come close to copying placing the shields close together side by side, it was so skimpy trying to copy movie style shieldwalls that we could barely move forward in a march let alone swing our sword or thrust our spear. In fact in some attempts we were even literally touching each other should by shoulder and nd some of us got scratches and scrapes by our weapons and armor parts. We ultimately had to put some distance between our shields to effectively simulate swinging weapons. I know we were just re-enacting but this event made me curious if the Shieldwall was not as fancy looking and perfect protection movies portray. The fact trying to connect it like lego pieces in the front row alone made it so tight we couldn't even march nevermind throw a spear. We even had difficulties getting out of the wall.
  6. I had this chat with Caldrail by PM last year. I will quote some things I stated on an internet chat room. In addition another chat is happening right now on reddit and someone brought this up. What do you guys think? Its common to see on the internet lately esp in religious forums the claim that the Roman Empire never fell but transformed into the Vatican. They point out the same thing as the quotes above-that not only was it aspects of Roman civilization that brought order into Western Europe but a number of people point out the divisions between Protestant and Catholic Europe are eerily similar and the same places where Roman Catholic majority domain ends before entering Orthodox Eastern Europe are the same exact places that the Western Roman Empire held before the divided line with the Eastern Roman Empire was located! I mean look at a map of the Netherlands and Germany and see just how the Catholic majority places are shaped almost exactly the same as locations the Roman Empire could never colonize when they were barbarian pagans! See the Catholic majority islands of Greece-note that they were the same places that the Western Roman Empire still held in the East after Diocletian divided the Empire in two? Is it just an eerie coincidence? Honestly this leads me to believe the Catholic Church took over the Roman government and made the Empire survive not just unto the Middle Ages but even onto today! The Vatican is the 3rd Rome! Actually I'd argue the Medieval Byzantium was never the successor to Rome but was simply a continuation of the Western and Eastern Roman divide this time with the Catholic Church until it fell to the Ottoman Empire! Now that the Western Roman Church is the only church of the 5 original Holy Sees that still survives, it shows how Rome survives as a superpower, arguably even greater than ever before since the Roman Catholic Church is over tenfold larger than the Roman Empire's largest population count at its peak! Caldrail begs to differ and believes the empire permanently fell. But he states that it should not be a surprise that much of the provinces that were the most vital territories outside Italy before the Empire was divided are mostly Catholic today because Roman Catholicism was basically a cult created by a Roman emperor and Catholicism is simply a Roman take on Christianity. So whats your take on this? Yay or nay?
  7. I'm quite skeptical of this claim considering plenty of soldiers came from manual commoner background esp manual labor, agricultural, and poverty backgrounds. Sure the aristocrats, educated (esp intellectuals), and richer Romans probably look down on it (just like upper class Americans today look down on even baseball). But commoners? I mean you do have poor people working as Gladiators before joining army out of need for cash and some gladiator champions did come from military backgrounds. So I don't buy it esp Rome's machismo toxic masculine culture. And the fact so many soldiers (since much of them came from peasant background) grew up adoring not just gladiators but various athletes of different stripes including boxers and chariot racers. Not to mention military culture historically had fighting sports as the norm. I mean every culture from the Aztecs to the Egyptian and Mongols had some form of wrestling, boxing, or even MMA bout as something to kill time esp when left in an isolated fortress. So I doubt the Roman legion wouldn't have formal competition with rules based on wrestling or boxing or even MMA. Esp since Greece's influence on Rome was so damn strong and the Greek loved not just fighting sports but sports as a whole I don't buy it. You mean to tell me Roman culture even looked down on military men having running contests, arm wrestling games, gymnastics, and other athletics? It doesn't make sense considering commoner Romans often went to gyms and practised gymnastics, acrobatics, and other Greek sports to keep in physical conditioning. Hell several emperors such as Commodus even partook in wrestling and other athletic games! So it doesn't make sense!
  8. Just because swords were the primary weapon doesn't mean that they didn't know about stuff like elbow thrusts, stepping on an enemy's foot, and punching. It may be a move and the setting takes place centuries after the fall of Rome but the specific choreographer in this movie not only has experience in ancient warfare stuff but the style he specifically used for the movie was primarily early dark ages from the Irish and Brittanic Isles. Which not only was an iron culture but plenty of tribes in the region still had plenty of Celtic roots in their lifestyle despite Roman colonialism. This is not counting the fact experts agree that the Irish from this time fought similar to the Gauls and other Celtic peoples albeit more organized but at least the swordplay was almost the same and the experts also specialized in Scottish and Welsh historical styles which have some lineages that surprisingly survive to day and both Scots and Welsh are of Celtic origins. So this should be an apt comparison to how Gaullic swordsmanship would have been (esp since Gauls were a Celtic culture) and as you see stomp kicks and such were used in the sword duels. Nevermind the fact elbow thrusting attacks, soccer kicks, knee strikes, etc are common sense anyway and you don't need training to do them. They esp become completely fluid when you are holding a weapon, not even a sword but an improvised one like a heavy tree branch and brook stick since they are often the only way you can attack when both your hand are occupied by an object in fighting.
  9. Except the Ancient Greeks esp the Spartans fought with kicks even in organized formation and even developed a brutal deadly techniques capable of hurting a man in armor under the right conditions with right timing, precise aim, and specific technique (not just leather and chainmail, but even plate armor) . If the ancient Greeks, in particular the Spartans, had a technique for breaking shields, what makes you think the Gauls and other groups didn't? Esp since the Romans used stomp kicks too. Its a video game but they hired experts in ancient Roman Swordsmanship and historians of ancient Rome to help with a lot of the motion cap movements and in-game fight choreography and gameplay mechanics. As you see the ancient Roman martial arts Reconstructionists themselves say that kicks were used in Roman swordsmanship and Ancient Warfare. You also are taking the kicking things by Gauls out of context. The Gauls still used their swords as primary weapons. But they used kicks as a strategy for disrupting enemies including those holding shields in a formation as well as part of a combo to prepare a killing blow or to knock an enemy down after failed sword attacks you throw fails to hurt him but leaves him vulnerable and often out of balance from proper stance. Not thrown as solo attacks as in a kung fu movie but used as a system in swordsmanship is how the Gauls probably used kicks as the Ryse video shows the Romans doing.
  10. I'd like to chime in this is so wrong. Because not only did the Samurai and Chinese armies have leg attacks such as stomps on ankles and such in their sword systems while wearing full armor, but even armies that used plate mail such as the Ottomans and Indians used kicks in their sword system. Even sparring in full armor. In addition you also forget dueling where ground is even and you seem oblivious that Viking swordsmanship often involved kicking an opponent's shield to knock it away or make a person unbalanced and fall to the ground. At the bare minimal make them lose balance enough for your sword or other weapon to KO them or exploit a weakness caused by your kicks, sweeps, stomps, etc on their shield or on their exposed leg so you can stab through their now exposed neck and other places as a result. And of course you forget duels on fair even grounds where kicks become safer and common esp frontal stomp kicks done in the style of Leonidas at the start of 300 which was common as a follow up to sword strikes or to strike an exposed point at a precise moment when your enemy made a slip up in footwork. BTW for someone who claims to have experience in fighting armor I am so surprised you are ignorant of the fact that not all nights fought in visors and to start with not all helmets have visors to start with. I mean Mongol systems have techniques for poking through a guys' eyes while fighting in full armor against each other with fingers. This is not counting the fact even knights who wore visors as much as possible did not necessarily wear it at all times and some times took it off when sight got dim such as smoke surrounding a castle's breach because of gunpowder explosion destroying the walls. And again like kicks being used duels to the death which did not always have full sets of armor. You also ignore that knights can do cartwheels and other acrobatic feats. Even in battle there are instances. So why is kicks so ludricrous?
  11. 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)?
  12. 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?
  13. 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)?
  14. 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!
  15. 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?