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  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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)?
  6. 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?
  7. 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)?
  8. 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!
  9. 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?
  10. 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.