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Battles from the past


Calax

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Ok, the purpose of this post is two fold. I've been watching a series on youtube called Time Commanders which pits random brits against an ai in rome total war in historical battles. Telamon is probably the funniest out of the episodes made. This made me go on a history kick and re-install Rome Total War (doing vanilla for now, may pull out total realism later).

 

Now, the double points of this

 

1) Anyone know any good books that aren't to dry about roman historical battles (or battles of that period) that I could look at? I mean these guys give a tiny backstory in the last five minutes but that's just really a "this is how they set up and attacked and bam win!" sort of thing rather than a discussion on the battle and troops etc.

 

2) Watching this made me realize something that's on a larger scale than just this. During school I often found myself a bit lost in certain aspects, mainly relating to pop history (if you will). People would make references to the bible and I'd have no clue. Similarly it feels often like in school we're doing all these lessons on things like Cesar and Alexandr and Hannibal, but are told almost nothing beyond "they made big empires and that last guy almost brought the first guys to its' knees!". Hell, it wasn't until this week when I actually looked up Julius Cesar that I realized that "crossing the rubicon" was when he publicly decided to take over via military coup. Before that it'd always been hints or suggestions about the fact that "once you do this you can't go back" but it was never actually explicitly stated at any time during my education wtf it was. Similarly, I never knew when I studied him exactly WHY he was such a powerful man beyond just "He was killed and is the subject of this Shakespearian tradgedy". Sure they'd say something along the lines of him being the first emperor, but they never really seemed to say much more than "He was a great man because he was a great man!"

 

Anyone else recognized the feeling that these massive people who changed the paradigm of our world in times past, are simply glossed over because they aren't the main factor in what you're studying? Cesar is the most egregious example, but Napoleon was a victim too (I literally knew nothing about him other than he was short, and scary militarily and lost at waterloo... oh and he sold the US the luisiana purchase).

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Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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It is probably hard to find not so dry stuff. For all it's artistic license, the tv series "Rome" does a damn good job (imho) of portraying the time period and the mentality of the people who lived 2000 years ago. It doesn't cover his rise to power as legion commander, the wars in Gaul or his captivity by the mediterranean pirates or any of the other obscure yet interesting stuff, but you have to read really dry stuff (Suetonius?) to get a more detailed biography.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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If you're looking for something interesting, I'd stay the hell away from De Bello Gallico. It's miserable. That having been said, I might be a little biased because i read it in Latin :) .

 

Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :lol:

Edited by I want teh kotor 3
In 7th grade, I teach the students how Chuck Norris took down the Roman Empire, so it is good that you are starting early on this curriculum.

 

R.I.P. KOTOR 2003-2008 KILLED BY THOSE GREEDY MONEY-HOARDING ************* AND THEIR *****-*** MMOS

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Short corporals makes famous leaders :lol:

 

One of Napoleons overlooked legacies is, besides the dream of a united Europe, the Napoleonic Code. Since that is all legalese, it is probably dry stuff too :)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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If you're looking for something interesting, I'd stay the hell away from De Bello Gallico. It's miserable. That having been said, I might be a little biased because i read it in Latin :) .

 

Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :lol:

Thing is he made everyone else run, and completely changed how wars were fought.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Similarly it feels often like in school we're doing all these lessons on things like Cesar and Alexandr and Hannibal, but are told almost nothing beyond "they made big empires and that last guy almost brought the first guys to its' knees!". Hell, it wasn't until this week when I actually looked up Julius Cesar that I realized that "crossing the rubicon" was when he publicly decided to take over via military coup.

 

That is because from what little I've seen for myself, non-American history in America is a big bucket of retardation.

 

Anyway, depends on what your definition of 'dry' is. I mean, Suetonius is pretty good when it comes to old historical texts... the Gallic Wars were never really intended to be written as a sit-down thing anyway. I'd say starting off with modern texts is a better idea, something that focuses on the area of your interest (I.e. military). Sorry if you wanted exact names, but I haven't touched classics in a while.

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If you're looking for something interesting, I'd stay the hell away from De Bello Gallico. It's miserable. That having been said, I might be a little biased because i read it in Latin :) .

 

Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :lol:

 

De Bello Gallico was great. Caesar's prose is nice and consistent - no ****ing thesaurus abuse there!

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"It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built." - Kreia

 

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Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :lol:

He wasn't really a Frenchman, he was from Corsica. :p

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :p

 

To be fair to the French.. they actually had a much better reputation (military speaking) before the 20th century... With a couple of standout moments ..Quebec... Agincourt... They were actually quite competent for a fair few centuries.

 

Although one of the funky things of historical posits.. If the French king hadn't spent so much money supporting the American Revolutionaries to spite the English, the French economy wouldn't have gotten so screwed.. and that, combined with the shining example of the American Revolution succeeding, was a big factor in the French Revolution kicking off.. which led to Napoleon rising to power.

 

It can be interesting to trace some causes and consequences back..... :lol:

 

 

The tv series Rome, yes it is good at providing the general sense and feel of the times..but they did mash up some of the history and characters a fair bit as it ran on..

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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To be fair to the French.. they actually had a much better reputation (military speaking) before the 20th century... With a couple of standout moments ..Quebec... Agincourt... They were actually quite competent for a fair few centuries.

I would say up untill around 1870 when hte Prussians trashed them, they were actually doing quite well. They were no pushover in WWI either.

 

Wrestling most of the continental parts of the Angevin Empire from the English (who claimed it through the Plantagenet bloodline) and assimiliating Burgundy and Brittany (resistance is futile) were no small feats. I think the only reason people mock them a bit these days is because they lost out to numerically and materially inferior foe in WWII.

 

Oh yeah, and then there was that thing with Nelson and sea engagements that didn't go down too well :lol:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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To be fair to the French.. they actually had a much better reputation (military speaking) before the 20th century... With a couple of standout moments ..Quebec... Agincourt... They were actually quite competent for a fair few centuries.

I would say up untill around 1870 when hte Prussians trashed them, they were actually doing quite well. They were no pushover in WWI either.

 

Wrestling most of the continental parts of the Angevin Empire from the English (who claimed it through the Plantagenet bloodline) and assimiliating Burgundy and Brittany (resistance is futile) were no small feats. I think the only reason people mock them a bit these days is because they lost out to numerically and materially inferior foe in WWII.

 

Oh yeah, and then there was that thing with Nelson and sea engagements that didn't go down too well :lol:

 

Or Indochina. Or Algeria.

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

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Raithe has a point. There's a reason why so many military terms are from the French you know. It's just that since acquiring freedom form tyranny they've gone the way of all civilizations. They don't want to fight for what they've got, because what they've got is basically 'not fighting'. And cheese.

 

Jokes aside I'd recommend three books on ancient warfare:

- Persian Fire; Tom Holland

- The Art of War in the Western World; Archer Jones

- Imperium by Robert Harris

 

The first is narrative history that reads easily. The second is a primer which will give some technical insight into how and WHY armies were composed as they were. the third gives you some of the social setting for the Roman world, and helps enormously in understanding why the Romans bothered at all; and why it all went ***s up.

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Something that's a more "general" approach rather than Roman specific.. I've got a copy of The Timecharft of Military History.

 

I'd recommend it.

 

The first half of the book is a continuous timechart from 3000bc to modern day, divided into geographical regions (The Americas, Europe, The Middle East, South-East Asia, India, China and Japan, and Africa), and listing key battles, the generals who fought in them, the kingdoms/empires/nations that were in existence at that point in time, and assorted useful info..

The second half is more of a breakdown, brief biographies of the "great commanders", key battles, and including a variety of maps of said battles, and a few further in-depth flowcharts of specific wars.

 

Great for getting an overview, and narrowing down specific information to look into and research elsewhere.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Something that's a more "general" approach rather than Roman specific.. I've got a copy of The Timecharft of Military History.

 

I'd recommend it.

 

The first half of the book is a continuous timechart from 3000bc to modern day, divided into geographical regions (The Americas, Europe, The Middle East, South-East Asia, India, China and Japan, and Africa), and listing key battles, the generals who fought in them, the kingdoms/empires/nations that were in existence at that point in time, and assorted useful info..

The second half is more of a breakdown, brief biographies of the "great commanders", key battles, and including a variety of maps of said battles, and a few further in-depth flowcharts of specific wars.

 

Great for getting an overview, and narrowing down specific information to look into and research elsewhere.

Can you give me like an amazon link for this?

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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- Persian Fire; Tom Holland

- The Art of War in the Western World; Archer Jones

- Imperium by Robert Harris

 

Agreed here, the second is a good read and the third, well, Robert Harris is pretty interesting 'light read'.

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The Napoleon thing was a joke, people. Lighten up.

 

If you're looking for something interesting, I'd stay the hell away from De Bello Gallico. It's miserable. That having been said, I might be a little biased because i read it in Latin :- .

 

Also, what else do you need to know about Napoleon? He was short, and was the only Frenchman in history to not run. :lol:

 

De Bello Gallico was great. Caesar's prose is nice and consistent - no ****ing thesaurus abuse there!

 

In English, sure. In its original language, its a ****fest.

 

 

- Imperium by Robert Harris

:p

In 7th grade, I teach the students how Chuck Norris took down the Roman Empire, so it is good that you are starting early on this curriculum.

 

R.I.P. KOTOR 2003-2008 KILLED BY THOSE GREEDY MONEY-HOARDING ************* AND THEIR *****-*** MMOS

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