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MothraAttack
Apr 28, 2008



Whoops, not technically spheres.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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What's the most widely supported hypothesis as to the intended usage of those strange metal spheres the Romans produced periodically?

Ritual purposes.





That is an archaeologist's joke because we are SUCH CUT UPS. If we have no loving idea what something is, "ritual purposes" is a standard way to dodge the question.

There are lots of different hypotheses but none with any real widespread support. Without a reference in a written record or finding one in a situation with some other material associated with it, there's no way to know what they were used for.

This, incidentally, is why you shouldn't buy artifacts unless they're a museum sale. Some douche with a metal detector finds a dodecahedron and digs it up. Maybe it had some associated material that, together, could've been used to discover what they were used for, but now it's been dug up improperly and that information is gone. Was that the only site where everything survived? Welp, we will now literally never know what they were for. Thanks, metal detector douche.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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I'm also interested in how defeated generals were treated. I remember in high school learning about the general who lost against Hannibal (I think it was at Cannae) and the Senate was really impressed that he had the guts to show his face back in Rome after losing a whole army.

A badly defeated general no longer had a career. You wouldn't necessarily be executed, in fact I don't think it was common at all, but that was it. If you lost a legion you were done. The only way to regain any of your honor, and the path many defeated generals took, was suicide.

Hannibal was kind of a special case since he defeated chris evans naked pics everyone, and the defeat at Cannae was so spectacular and horrific that Rome was in such a state of shock that I don't think that was on their minds.

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Forgive me if the answer to this is the seemingly obvious one (i.e. a desert), but why didn't Rome ever (or did they?) try to take more of Africa?

A little bit more on this, you could draw Rome's African border a lot further south if you wanted to. The Sahara was, at best, sparsely populated (same as today) and the Romans maintained client kingdom relationships with the nomads there as much as possible so they wouldn't have to deal with raids. The Sahara was within Rome's sphere of influence. Where you draw the line between sphere of influence and part of the empire is up to debate. I don't think most would include the Sahara in Rome's borders but it's not like someone else was there.

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How did Romans see themselves?

I remember taking a classics course where the professor mentioned how many of the great roman writers and orators spoke of Rome being eternal. The pinnacle of civilization, an everlasting glory.

Did the Romans believe themselves to be the ultimate civilizing force in the world? Did they take great pride in their culture, art, religion and history?

The Romans saw themselves as the ultimate civilization. They were descended from the gods, an amalgamation of all the peoples of the world, who would bring liberty and peace to the ends of the Earth.

The Aeneid is a good way to understand the Roman point of view. Imperium sine fine--empire without end, promised by Jupiter. Romans were superior but not exclusive, they were able to bring in others and make them Roman. For Greeks, there was no becoming Greek. A slave would always be a slave, a barbarian would always be a barbarian. Romans did not share this. It was an open society that took people from across the world, took culture, technology, religions, and combined them all together. Foreigners were still inferior to Romans, but that line between them could be crossed.

If you were a Roman living in say, 120 CE, it wasn't hard to believe this. The empire had been continuously expanding for centuries. Roman armies were, overall, unstoppable. Rome itself hadn't been attacked in five hundred years. Roman technology was demonstrably superior to everyone else's. Romans were rich and happy. You could walk from one end of the empire to the other on clean, straight highways without fear for your life. It'd be hard not to believe yourselves superior in such a situation.

They were proud to be Romans, but not blind to the fact that other people knew things too, and their culture adapted as it went.

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Also, Egypt (and Greece in some ways) was a special exception within the Roman world view that I'll go into detail on.

Romans also deeply respected the old, and Egypt was treated differently because of it. Almost reverently. Remember, when Rome shows up on Egypt's doorstep, there's been some form of Egyptian civilization for 3,000 years. Egypt is as ancient to the Romans as the Assyrians are to us.

Egypt began as a client kingdom with a lot of freedom, then became a province in 30 BCE. The Egyptians generally got more respect and there are various Egyptian fads throughout the empire. Romans didn't systematically suppress native cultures, but even by Roman standards the Egyptians had a lot of freedom to keep to their traditions. Not to say that Rome was any less harsh when Egyptians revolted, but other than that Egypt in large part enjoyed its traditional culture and life despite being Roman. It also changed how Rome behaved, since the Roman emperors allowed themselves to be depicted as divine pharaohs in order to keep the Egyptians happy. This is where the idea of a divine ruler really begins seeping into Rome.

Greeks were also treated like poo poo for being pansies, but Greek culture and learning were hugely popular. Ultimately the two cultures merged quite a bit and the Greek side became dominant in medieval Rome, so they got the last laugh there.

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WoodrowSkillson
Feb 24, 2005

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I'm also interested in how defeated generals were treated. I remember in high school learning about the general who lost against Hannibal (I think it was at Cannae) and the Senate was really impressed that he had the guts to show his face back in Rome after losing a whole army.

I believe you are thinking of Spurius Postumius, one of the consuls that headed the army that was disgraced at the Caudine Forks. In short the Romans got caught in a mountain valley by the Samnites and were forced to surrender, agree to a peace treaty, and then humiliated by having to pass under the yoke, an arch made of lashed together spears. The consuls were made to submit to an oath that they would become Samnite slaves if Rome broke the peace treaty.

In response, Spurius Postumius then returned to Rome, and immediately recommended attacking again, and when he came back to the Samnite general, the general was so angry about the whole situation he let Postumius and his men go.

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Haydrian
Sep 30, 2001
Paid way too much for what I do.

What was the deal with the sponge on a stick instead of TP? Is that a real thing, was it a universal appliance or just in bigger cities that didn't have outhouses or whatever? I always thought of the Romans as being pretty clean/hygene minded, I'm pretty sure if I had to wipe my rear end with the poo-residue of everyone else that came along before me, I'd freak the gently caress out.

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Mescal
Jul 23, 2005



What is the most egregious error on the page hottest college girls nude ?

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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What was the deal with the sponge on a stick instead of TP? Is that a real thing, was it a universal appliance or just in bigger cities that didn't have outhouses or whatever? I always thought of the Romans as being pretty clean/hygene minded, I'm pretty sure if I had to wipe my rear end with the poo-residue of everyone else that came along before me, I'd freak the gently caress out.

Totally a real thing. You would clean it between uses.



This is a typical Roman toilet. That little channel in front of the toilets? That would have running water in it, and you washed your sponge there.

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What is the most egregious error on the page heather brooke porn videos ?

I'm not getting paid enough to read all that, but I will say that the wikipedia Rome articles I've read are pretty good. It's still wikipedia but I guess the density of Rome nerds helps? I don't know but overall I haven't had many objections to them.

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MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

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Was the bureaucracy in Rome really as bad as tiffany taylor playboy nude would want you to believe?

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Alan Smithee
Jan 3, 2005


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Hannibal was kind of a special case since he defeated download porn to mp3 everyone, and the defeat at Cannae was so spectacular and horrific that Rome was in such a state of shock that I don't think that was on their minds.

Speaking of Hannibal, was there any particular reasons for Rome's exceptional hatred towards Carthage? I mean Rome was often sacked by barbarian tribes and yet it's MO towards them was always conquer and assimilate. And yet Rome didn't take chances with Carthage, opting instead to famously raze the city and salt the earth (yeah yeah this is speculation)

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Octy
Apr 1, 2010



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Speaking of Hannibal, was there any particular reasons for Rome's exceptional hatred towards Carthage? I mean Rome was often sacked by barbarian tribes and yet it's MO towards them was always conquer and assimilate. And yet Rome didn't take chances with Carthage, opting instead to famously raze the city and salt the earth (yeah yeah this is speculation)

I was always under the impression that the Third Punic War was more of a symbolic act. There was no threat from Carthage at this point and Scipio Aemilianus just took Cato's words a little too seriously (you know, heidi klum naked ass Carthago delenda est). But I think there was also a lot of resistance from Carthage itself in being assimilated. They were Rome's only true equal and rival for centuries before and to come.

I'm sure Grand Fromage will soon come and give a more in-depth explanation. My knowledge of the Punic Wars is not what it should be.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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Speaking of Hannibal, was there any particular reasons for Rome's exceptional hatred towards Carthage? I mean Rome was often sacked by barbarian tribes and yet it's MO towards them was always conquer and assimilate. And yet Rome didn't take chances with Carthage, opting instead to famously raze the city and salt the earth (yeah yeah this is speculation)

Rome was completely poo poo-your-pants terrified of Carthage.

The first Punic War was a typical war between major powers. Rome wins, Carthage is made a client state. There's nothing terribly unusual about it.

The second Punic War, Hannibal fucks Rome's poo poo sex toy stores online up. Hannibal's invasion is the closest Rome has ever come to being destroyed. Rome is badass enough that I think some people forget that Hannibal was unstoppable. Any time the Romans were foolish enough to meet him in battle, they were obliterated. Zama was his only defeat, it took someone of equal or greater badass like Scipio to stop him.

Carthage kept coming back. After the first Punic War, Rome imposed serious peace terms, intending to keep Carthage down by draining its economy. They rebounded and attacked again. After the second war, Rome's peace was absolutely devastating. Carthage couldn't have any military and the economic sanctions were intended to keep Carthage paying forever. But Carthage rebounded and rapidly paid off its debt. The Romans were terrified, stirred up some bullshit reasoning to deliver a completely ridiculous ultimatum, and then used that as an excuse to finally get rid of Carthage. The earth salting didn't happen but they did burn the city to the ground.

Carthage, and specifically Hannibal, represented sheer terror to the Romans, and when they could get rid of it they did. Gauls occupied a similar space in the Roman psyche after they sacked Rome in 390 BCE. The Romans kept that grudge going for centuries until Caesar finally brought Gaul into the empire.

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Alan Smithee
Jan 3, 2005


Were they unable to simply install a governor/puppet govt?

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physeter
Jan 24, 2006

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Speaking of Hannibal, was there any particular reasons for Rome's exceptional hatred towards Carthage?
Maybe this story will help. Marcus Atilius Regulus was a consular general taken captive during a failed invasion of Carthage during the First Punic War. That much we know to be true, but the rest was a story told to Roman children for centuries to come.

The legend has it that Regulus remained a POW for a few years before the Carthaginians decided to send him back to Rome as a peace envoy and to offer ransom terms for Roman captives. Before he was allowed to leave, he was forced to swear on pain of death by torture, that he would beg the Roman Senate for peace terms. He agreed. When he arrived in Rome, he addressed the Senate and told them to fight on and never surrender, never come to terms with Carthage. Afterwards he boarded a ship and returned to Carthage, to keep his word. Let's be clear: he was honor bound to return and offer himself up for torture, and he did it. The gentlemanly thing to do, even by classical standards, was to recognize his courage and let an old man go.

So the Carthaginians went ahead and tortured him to death.

Sitting alongside the agrarian farmer mindset in the heart of Republican Rome was a taste for revenge that would make the worst gangster in the best Scorcese movie turn pale. poo poo like torturing Regulus to death was the kind of thing that could drive the entire city into an Italian vendetta blood rage that would last a bajillion years.

Little things like this, alongside the Hanniballistic (just made it up ) rear end beatings delivered in PW2, resulted in a legacy of hatred that far exceeded even the normal Roman reaction to opposition. Actually I just wanted to tell the Regulus story because it owns.

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DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009


Also, can someone tell me how the heck did Romans keep putting armies in the field time after time Hannibal top teen romantic comedies wiped them out? It seemed to me that Hannibal's army was a single one that Carthage wielded in his campaigns while Romans lost what, 100,000 men alltogether and yet were able to invade and completely destroy Carthage not that long afterwards.

Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?

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Iseeyouseemeseeyou
Jan 3, 2011


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Also, can someone tell me how the heck did Romans keep putting armies in the field time after time Hannibal jayden james nude pic wiped them out? It seemed to me that Hannibal's army was a single one that Carthage wielded in his campaigns while Romans lost what, 100,000 men alltogether and yet were able to invade and completely destroy Carthage not that long afterwards.

Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?

I'm under the impression that all military's rarely utilize more than 23-3% of the able male population. If that's at all true with the Romans, then they would have plenty more fighters, but it would be at the expense of the crops, etc.

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Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

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Were they unable to simply install a governor/puppet govt?

The boogeyman factor still exists in that scenario. Carthage kept on coming back, and if Carthage as an entity existed in any fashion they may once again challenge Rome, or at least stir up rebellion in the provinces Rome had captured during the Punic wars. To put the bogeyman factor into perspective, just take Cato's famous Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam quote. Cato ended every speech he gave regardless of the topic with "Furthermore I think Carthage must be destroyed". Carthage really scared the poo poo out of Rome and this was basically reenforced in how quickly Carthage managed to rebound after the first and second Punic wars despite exceedingly harsh peace terms.

Plus north Africa was a pretty productive region, why instal a puppet when you can have it for yourself. Not just the land and resources but probably most important, the coast line, further turning the Mediterranean into Mare Nostrum

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Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011





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Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?

Maybe the Germans? The Germans destroyed three legions in the battle of the Teutoburg Forest and the numbers of those legions were never used again.

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physeter
Jan 24, 2006

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Also, can someone tell me how the heck did Romans keep putting armies in the field time after time Hannibal asian male porn star wiped them out? It seemed to me that Hannibal's army was a single one that Carthage wielded in his campaigns while Romans lost what, 100,000 men alltogether and yet were able to invade and completely destroy Carthage not that long afterwards.
The Roman fondness for the farmer's life wasn't just an affectation. That was the core of their power: the ability to produce so many drat calories that they not only always had more guys, they had guys whose job it was to just sit around and train & equip those guys. Farmers don't sound impressive on paper but in Antiquity they were boss as gently caress. Dad fights, boys of age can fight. Survivors have a place to go and feed themselves when battle is over, and they're not going anywhere until you call them up again. In the meantime they're breeding more farmers. A solid agrarian system was a powerhouse. When war loomed the first question wasn't "do we have guys?", it was "do we have centurions to make those guys worth a drat?" It's debatable, but the real loss at Cannae wasn't the rank and file or the nobility. The centurions are what hurt the most.

The Romans also had a property requirement back then. Being in the army was a "privilege" for land-owning citizens. And when all of those were dead or maimed, well, Romans invented modern lawyering. They suspended the property requirements in the Second Punic, so suddenly Hannibal realizes he only just killed the guys with money. Now he's got to deal with all the rest of them, and he's got whole cities full of workaday citizens still out there.

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Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?
After PW2 I'm only aware of the Romans fighting counter-insurgencies. And until Attila no individual comes close, though Romans adopted the Germans as their default boogeyman for a long time. Kind of unfair to the Germans since the Romans kept the upper hand for the majority of their co-existence but there you have it.

Editing to add that the Sertorian War in Hispania seemed to degenerate pretty quickly into guerilla tactics on both sides so maybe that qualifies.

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sbaldrick
Jul 19, 2006
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Valentinian III was assassinated due to political intrigue, he didn't die in battle. But Nikephoros I probably did have what you describe happen to him:

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By a dude named Krum too. I don't think there's a more stereotypical Conan-the-barbarian-name out there - if I told you a Roman Emperor had his skull turned into a cup by someone, you could almost guess by pure chance that his name was Krum. Here he is dining with his new tableware:

Aw poo poo, sorry, I'll stop posting.

drat it, I got my Emperor's mixed up.

The worst Emperor was clearly Romanos IV, who lost the Battle of Manzikert.

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WoodrowSkillson
Feb 24, 2005

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Also, can someone tell me how the heck did Romans keep putting armies in the field time after time Hannibal does sex search work wiped them out? It seemed to me that Hannibal's army was a single one that Carthage wielded in his campaigns while Romans lost what, 100,000 men alltogether and yet were able to invade and completely destroy Carthage not that long afterwards.

Hannibal's army was one of two main Carthaginian armies. The other fought in the Spanish theater of the war, against the eventual Scipio Africanus.As for the Romans seemingly endless manpower, physeter just gave a great explanation. On top of that, the Romans have a cultural inability to admit defeat. They showed this throughout their rise to power. No matter how many armies you destroyed, no matter how many men you killed, they kept coming. It was not always the generals that pushed super hard for battles, the common people and common soldiers would as well. Many of Hannibal's victories came about from Roman soldiers and others goading their generals to attack.

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Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?

The Gauls. In 387 a Gallic tribe led by Brennus invaded Italy in devastating numbers, and simply obliterated the Roman armies. They then besieged Rome, and starved them out, eventually being let into the city. Rome was looted and the majority of the city was burned to the ground. According to the story, during the peace talks, the Romans were forced to weigh out 1000 pounds of gold and the scales had been tampered with. When the Romans tried to protest, Brennus got up, and after stating "Vae Victis" or "Woe to the Vanquished" he tossed his sword onto the scales as well, further shafting the Romans.

The Romans would never forget or forgive the Gauls until Caesar conquered them. When Rome was invaded by the Cimbri and Teutones in 105 BC, that is when Marius was allowed to make his reforms to the military. The Romans were so absolutely terrified of another invading Gallic (they were possibly German or a mixture of the two as well) tribe that they gave Marius far more power then any man prior had ever been allowed. It cannot be understated just how huge of a hero Marius was until all the political poo poo that happened late in his career.

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MothraAttack
Apr 28, 2008


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Also, was the Hannibal the only person badass enough to make Romans need to resort into guerilla warfare? Does anyone else come even close to his boogeyman status in the minds of Romans?

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WoodrowSkillson
Feb 24, 2005

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Nah, they fought a civil war over who got to go beat him. He certainly pissed the Romans off something fierce, but they always knew he would be easily beaten, and he was.

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Mr. Mambold
Feb 13, 2011

Aha. Nice post.


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Romans didn't benefit from many of the technologies that make modern crop yields so good. They had irrigation and mechanical grain mills. They also had some sort of mechanical grain reaper, we've never found one and the technology disappears but there are pictures of it.

Grapes were by far the most popular fruit to grow, both for eating and for making wine. Olives were the standard cash crop, olive oil is a big seller everywhere on Rome's trade network. The grains were a bit more varied than what we usually eat today. They grew wheat, millet, barley, emmer (very popular at the time but not much now), rice. Asparagus was highly prized, it would be dried for use throughout the year or stored in the snow in the Alps. Cabbage, turnips, and leeks were common. Beans and chickpeas, lentils were considered especially good. Kale, broccoli, cucumbers, artichoke, mushrooms. Any spices they could get their hands on were prized.

A lot of it is similar to the Mediterranean diet of today, since that's what grows in the region.

So they understood the principles of refrigeration to some extent, they created advanced ag. technology, they understood principles of civic sanitation apparently....I've long admired their aqueduct systems, highways, etc. but I'm enjoying learning more from this great thread.

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Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007



Could the Romans have weathered the disaster at Manzikert if things had gone a bit differently right after the battle?

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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Were they unable to simply install a governor/puppet govt?

That was basically what they did after the Second Punic War but it didn't work. Also, North Africa is rich as hell in this era so they weren't opposed to the idea of just incorporating it. But it was their first time creating a province outside Italy so they didn't go right to that idea.

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Also, can someone tell me how the heck did Romans keep putting armies in the field time after time Hannibal first date sex video wiped them out? It seemed to me that Hannibal's army was a single one that Carthage wielded in his campaigns while Romans lost what, 100,000 men alltogether and yet were able to invade and completely destroy Carthage not that long afterwards.

Romans didn't follow the rules of ancient warfare. What you were supposed to do is meet on the field, get defeated, then surrender. Everybody worked that way. Romans were, for whatever reason, incapable of admitting defeat. They never, ever stopped coming for you, no matter how many of them you killed. This is a large part of why they were so successful even before the transformation of the legions into the professionally trained, elite force we all know and love. The problem in the Second Punic War was that Hannibal was one of the greatest generals in world history and Roman determination wasn't enough to stop him. It was, however, enough to hold on and contain him until they could launch their own invasion of Carthage.

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So they understood the principles of refrigeration to some extent, they created advanced ag. technology, they understood principles of civic sanitation apparently....I've long admired their aqueduct systems, highways, etc. but I'm enjoying learning more from this great thread.

Fun fact, there are Roman sewers and aqueducts still in use in Rome 2000 years after their construction. Some other cities where that's true too I believe.

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Xguard86
Nov 22, 2004

"You don't understand his pain. Everywhere he goes he sees women working, wearing pants, speaking in gatherings, voting. Surely they will burn in the white hot flames of Hell"

Ya the Romans way of war was much closer to our modern idea than any of their contemporaries. Weird how that worked.

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euphronius
Feb 18, 2009



Romans also got lucky in that Hannibal's motives may not have been perfectly aligned with Carthage (Or Carthage's aligned with Hannibal's). He certainly seemed like he could have taken Rome at some point but never did.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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Romans also got lucky in that Hannibal's motives may not have been perfectly aligned with Carthage (Or Carthage's aligned with Hannibal's). He certainly seemed like he could have taken Rome at some point but never did.

As Maharbal said (not really but who cares), "Hannibal, you know how to gain a victory, but not how to use one."

Why he didn't immediately march on Rome and take it after Cannae is one of those great mysteries of history that will never be solved.

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Jan 24, 2006

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Ya the Romans way of war was much closer to our modern idea than any of their contemporaries. Weird how that worked.
Well, yeah but there's a good reason for that. They had force projection and most other nations didn't. Today, force projection boils down to aircraft carriers and ICBMs but it still translates into the same thing: can hit you where you live.

It wasn't to be taken for granted in Antiquity, because as silly as it sounds 10,000 man armies could be defeated by 30 foot high walls. Seriously, it happened all the time. Fun fact: more cities were taken by all sides in the First Punic War by internal betrayal, than by siege. Frontal assaults failed ALOT. Say some Gallic warchief gets an extra bit of mead in him and decides to raid the next tribe's town, so he blunders over to this other tribe's wall of solid tree trunks, and gets some rocks thrown at him and he leaves. He definitely leaves when he gets hungry because what's he going to eat when the game is gone, while he sits there trying to starve them out? Assuming he doesn't die from squatting in his own feces for a month, which is likely. Oh he'd LOVE to plunder the place and surprise sex it into oblivion but he can't because he basically sucks.

I've just described Pre-Roman Warfare in Antiquity in a nutshell. Not so much rules, as a stalemate in an arm's race between offensive operations and the ability of regular people to pile rocks and logs vertically. It's understandable if you think about. I have a graduate level education and if you gave me an axe and told me to go build you a 45-high ladder that doesn't easily catch on fire, can support ten fully armored men climbing on it at once who are being pelted with stones, AND can remain stable the entire time, I probably cannot do it. The average Classical warrior has to do that working with much shittier tools than I've got, plus a kindergarden education, and that's just a ladder, the very basic entry level piece of siege equipment they need to take a town.

So it wasn't rules, really. It was inability. So they'd meet in open fields and pound the poo poo out of each other, take some casualties and either pay tribute or scurry back and eat out of the granary for awhile until the winner got bored and left. See, the "rules" were invented by people who couldn't siege worth a poo poo.

Romans were really the first to NOT have that problem, at least not after PW1. Their siege engines became so advanced they probably looked like alien technology to the average barbarian, and even though people like the Greeks could build the same things, the Romans had the training not to squat in their own poo and the logistical ability to make sure food shipments arrived for besieging forces. It's true Romans would never stop coming for you, but the really horror show started when you realized that having found you, they weren't going home like Uncle Jethro the Gallic Warchief. They'd crack your best fortress like a pinata and if they didn't, they'd just sit there and wait, eating fresh bread and smirking at you while you starved or surrendered.

So force projection in antiquity meant siegecraft and the ability to get into your enemy's lands long enough to use it well. Only Romans could do that with any reliability.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

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If you've not read about the Battle of Alesia, that is the place to start on how terrifyingly effective Roman siegecraft could be. Having all your soldiers trained in basic construction and engineering gave legions an edge that is hard to adequately describe.

Edit: Masada is also quite the feat too. My favorite non-Roman siege from the era is Alexander's assault on Tyre.

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May 8, 2007

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How come Rome became so powerful? What was it they had that no one else did?

Like, what was the catalyst that took them from just another Italian city to unstoppable?

I know all the obvious answers, technology, military strategy, etc. But why them and not any of the other places in Italy at the time?

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If you've not read about the Battle of Alesia, that is the place to start on how terrifyingly effective Roman siegecraft could be. Having all your soldiers trained in basic construction and engineering gave legions an edge that is hard to adequately describe.



I don't know what you mean. What exactly would regular soldiers engineer and build?

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I don't know what you mean. What exactly would regular soldiers engineer and build?



40km of walls, 20 watch towers, 20km of ditches, and a few culverts

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I don't know what you mean. What exactly would regular soldiers engineer and build?

Roman soldiers in the field would build a fortress to camp in every night. That was the most common construction. They would also regularly build walls, bridges, towers, and some of the siege equipment was built in the field, such as siege towers. At Masada, the soldiers built a gigantic ramp all the way up to the top of the mesa. They also worked in road construction and built the permanent border fortresses.

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Apr 6, 2009


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As Maharbal said (not really but who cares), "Hannibal, you know how to gain a victory, but not how to use one."

So he was a great tactician, not a strategist. A failing of many great military commanders.

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40km of walls, 20 watch towers, 20km of ditches, and a few culverts

And if it isn't clear from the picture, they used those fortifications to repel a superior attack from big pussy lips sex both sides.

Gladiuses, shields, pilum...nothing was a more useful weapon for the Romans then a simple legionary spade.

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euphronius
Feb 18, 2009



The Romans also built bridges better than anyone.

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Jan 30, 2006

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The Romans also built bridges better than anyone.

Some of which are also still in use to this day.

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How come Rome became so powerful? What was it they had that no one else did?

Like, what was the catalyst that took them from just another Italian city to unstoppable?

I know all the obvious answers, technology, military strategy, etc. But why them and not any of the other places in Italy at the time?

It's impossible to quantify. Why did Christianity become dominant and Mithras faded away? Why did the Mongols achieve so much more than the other very similar steppe nomads? It's just the way it worked out.

For my personal opinions, one was the aforementioned inability to be defeated. Whatever that was in the Roman character, it made them tenacious in a way other cultures weren't.

Another is their inclusiveness. The empire thrived because they didn't try to impose their will on everyone in it. They offered their culture to people, and the majority were happy to take it. That's why there are surprisingly few "nationalist" (nationalism didn't exist yet but it's a reasonable comparison) revolts throughout the empire's history. I can't actually think of any offhand other than the Jewish revolts and the Egyptian one. This isn't to say Romans wouldn't stomp out cultural traditions if they opposed Rome too hard--human sacrifice is a good example of one they didn't tolerate--but for the most part if you paid your taxes and didn't cause any loving trouble, the Romans left you alone to live your life however you wanted. That's a big help when you want a world-spanning empire. On the flip side, they didn't put up with any poo poo. If you threatened the state, the Romans would tiny teen pussy movies end you. Ruthlessly.

Also, Roman culture placed personal ambition and achievement very high, but below the ultimate cultural value, service to the state. There was no life more honorable to a Roman than a lifetime of hard work, rising through the ranks of society, dedicated to furthering the achievements of the state, your family, and yourself in that order. It's a good set of cultural values and priorities for a society to achieve great things, and when it breaks down later things go haywire.

And then the obvious answers go here.

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BrainDance
May 8, 2007

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I dont know enough about Roman culture, or that anyone does, but how much of that survived to the present? Sorry, another really vague question, but how much is my culture as an American Roman?

Like, if we were comparing modern Korea to Qing China?

Lets say, for example the traditional "individualist vs collectivist" society distinction. Did the European individualism come from Rome?

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sbaldrick
Jul 19, 2006
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Could the Romans have weathered the disaster at Manzikert if things had gone a bit differently right after the battle?

They did weather it pretty well and did manage to recover somewhat till the Sack. The real disaster at Manzikert was the loss of manpower to the Empire. After that it was pretty much cut in half which meant they couldn't keep as many armies in the field.

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Feb 16, 2011





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I dont know enough about Roman culture, or that anyone does, but how much of that survived to the present?


Basically a poo poo ton of modern politics comes from ancient Rome.
I also read that that the whole EU project it's a legacy from the ancient Rome when most of Europe was united.

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