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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Ancient Era

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The Ancient Era Discuss Ancient Warfare! Romans, Carthaginians, Greeks, etc.

View Poll Results: Which part of the Ancient Era are you interested in?
Romans 200 74.35%
Greeks 127 47.21%
Byzantines 77 28.62%
New World Ancients (Aztecs, Incas) 46 17.10%
Ancient Egyptians 54 20.07%
Ancient Israelites 25 9.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 269. You may not vote on this poll

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  #61  
Old 03 Aug 09, 00:23
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I'm surprised Ancient East Asia (especially Ancient China) isn't on here as well as India and Persia. Aren't the Byzantines supposed to be medieval? Also not sure if the Mesoamerican cultures (Aztecs, Mayans, Incas) should be considered ancient. I suppose so, considering their level of technology.
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  #62  
Old 03 Sep 09, 03:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granatiere View Post
I'd like to discuss how the changing warfare in ancient times had reverberations on the society and how political changes had reverberations on the way of battling.
Granatiere, I'm just reading VD Hanson's 'Western Way of War, Infantry Battle in Classical Greece' (bit belated I know) which just caters for this sort of discussions. In his book reverberations on society continue even up to our own time, e.g. how come that we in the West do not like terrorists...
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  #63  
Old 18 Dec 09, 14:04
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Roman more than others: just because of the imense variety of its armies (1000 years of History)
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  #64  
Old 06 Feb 10, 14:04
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My primary interest has always been the Greeks, with a branching out to the Romans, finally, in the beginning of 2009. Recently, I have been gobbleing up books on the ancient Isrealites, truly fascinating.
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  #65  
Old 06 Feb 10, 16:28
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The Greek era facinates me the most. Mainly because they were not so unicameral as the Romans.

The old saying "When in Rome..." is not a mistake. The "or else" is implied. The military might of Rome made their empire.

The Greeks, however were far more interesting, not only from a military standpoint, but also from the fields of Politics, Philosophy, to name just a couple.

The study of their diversity seems, to me, at any rate, more interesting.

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  #66  
Old 08 Feb 10, 00:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grognard Gunny View Post
The study of their diversity seems, to me, at any rate, more interesting.
It is a common misconception that the Romans were a monolithic society. In truth, they ruled over an incredibly diverse and variegated empire composed of hundreds of different ethnic groups, all of whom experienced and reacted to Romanization in different and unique ways. Take another look at diversity in the Roman empire...you won't be disappointed!
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  #67  
Old 08 Feb 10, 03:53
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Bloody Romans!!!!
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  #68  
Old 08 Feb 10, 04:19
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Quote:
The Greeks, however were far more interesting, not only from a military standpoint, but also from the fields of Politics, Philosophy, to name just a couple.

The study of their diversity seems, to me, at any rate, more interesting.
I'll probably give you philosophy for the Greeks. The Romans themselves could often be found wryly remarking upon the fact that they generally followed the lead of the Greeks. It never was much in the famed "Roman nature" to philosophize. That being said, let it not be thought that the Romans were utterly barren of philosophical thinkers of their own. For all that he was IMO a repulsive creature from a political standpoint, Cicero must be mentioned as doing the Romans well in this regard. The Greeks probably come in slightly ahead in the realm of literature as well, though here the Romans do a much better job of holding their own - names like Vergil, Horace, Ovid, Lucretius, Caesar, and once again Cicero are certainly not to be sneezed at. The Greeks top their neighbours across the Adriatic in the realm of mathematics and one might also be willing to concede astronomy to them. The Romans however match them here by being the acknowledged masters of Engineering, be it civil or military, in the Ancient World, as indeed they excelled in all such matters of a practical nature. We then come to matters military, and here we are in agreement that the Romans outshone the Greeks in the Art of War. That leaves us with politics. On the contrary to your assertion that the Greeks excelled the Romans in the political realm, I myself would opine that the Romans are from a political standpoint every bit as fascinating and relevant as the Greeks, indeed IMO they were far more so. The political achievement of the Romans in their Empire was beyond anything that the Greeks ever managed. Legatus Augusti has already alluded to this. And then there is the politics of Rome itself. The glory days of Roman politics were of course in the Republic, which can rival with ease Athenian Democracy as a political force of history. But even under the Empire Roman politics were nothing if not extraordinary in their complexity and the fascination and relevance that they hold. And one must also consider that most Roman of all institutions: the Law. No other Ancient Civilization ever left us the kind of legacy that the Romans did in their system of laws.

All in all I would contend that if any Ancient Civilization is deserving of being regarded as laying the foundations of "Western Civilization" it is Rome, not Greece.
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  #69  
Old 08 Feb 10, 05:38
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Don't let us forget that other part of true culture: the arts. Every Roman venture east brought ever more shiploads of Greek art westwards. Flamininus proudly procalimed that he'd liberated the Greeks. What he didn't them was of what exactly. A cursory glance over the Corinthian docks might have widened eyes....

The best education available to a Roman of note was Greek.
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  #70  
Old 08 Feb 10, 07:25
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Yep, the Romans certainly took a great fancy to fine works wherever they found them - Greece, Asia Minor, the various other "Eastern" provinces, Egypt, Africa, the Spains, the Gauls, Illyricum, the other parts of Italy, pretty much anyone they went on military campaign, which was just about everywhere. But that was just part and parcel of military conquest back then.

Th education that Romans recieved was a Roman education. Did a big part of that include being able to speak perfect Attic Greek? Certainly. Those who couldn't speak flawless Greek with the right accent were mocked for it by a large section of the First Class - Gaius Marius suffered dreadfully for being considered "an Italian hayseed with no Greek". It was for this reason that Greek tutors were especially valued. But to imply that "Roman culture" was simply stolen from the Greeks is in my view to commit a gross inaccuracy.
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  #71  
Old 08 Feb 10, 07:57
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I voted for the Romans as Colleen McCullough really turned me onto the late Republic and it seems that every little bit I learn makes me ask more questions, and then I want to learn more and ask still more questions.

I would also like to learn a lot more about the Byzantine era as well as the Alexandrian successor states.
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  #72  
Old 08 Feb 10, 09:11
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I said Romans,but I would have preferred a choice for western and northern Europeans.I'm also interested in north and south American cultures.
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  #73  
Old 17 May 10, 21:45
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The Persians. Their empire was larger in area than Rome at its height and covered a greater percentage of the world's population at the time (at least according to Wikipedia--I'm not an expert, and it's possible that information is wrong). Plus there is some evidence that they were a kinder, gentler empire--though again, it's hard to say.

And I've got a serious interest in Dark Age Greece--but unfortunately, there aren't a lot of good sources, except reading between the lines of Homer, trying to tease out what is history, legend, and personal experience.

And Bronze Age in general.
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  #74  
Old 17 May 10, 23:14
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I also enjoy material on the Greek dark ages. The idea that a civilization with culture, trade, architecture and language can be completely lost right down to the alphabet...well it makes for an interesting case study in the fall of civilizations.
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  #75  
Old 02 Aug 10, 04:58
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Hmmm...where are the East Asians? Surely they're out of the cave-age by now??
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