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Old 04-20-2004, 06:33 PM   #1
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well i am into military history. my question is who is your favorite military commander and why? Mine happens to be Alexander of Macedonia. I believe that next to Jesus Christ he is the most influential person in European history. You just cant ignore his accomplishments. Bringing western civilization to the known world. Avenging the Greeks for those Persian invasions. New testament was written in greek because of that brave little fellow. Always on the front line, an audacious charge accross a river crushing a massive Persian force. Always outnumbered and never lost a battle. There are Ceasar, Ghengis Kahn, Napoleon, Hannibal, Shaka Zulu, Cyrus the Great, Attila the Hun, King Leonidas, even Boedica(sp?) the Celtic warrior queen, etc.

Also, who is your favorite army in history? Mine is the Spartans. The Romans, Mongols, and Vikings behind them.

For any other military history buffs please post your thoughts. Its interesting to me to see who people admire and why.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:50 PM   #2
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Hey, good topic. My favorite military commander, thats a hard question. Off the top of my head I would say Rommel. He was a damn fine tank general and had Hitler listened to him the Germans would have fared much better. He also was not into all the Nazi crap, he was just a straight up warrior whose only goal was to triumph militarily. Favorite army would have to be the Vikings, the last of the European barbarians. They established themselves throughout much of the known world and of course were the first ones to discover the New World.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:59 PM   #3
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Can't claim a favorite, don't know enough. However, my cat is named Boedicea, so I would have to vote for that (we call her Cici).
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:15 AM   #4
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Your cat is name Boedicea? We have/had a TP member named after that relatively obscure historical figure, too. For those that don't know, she was one of the queens of the Celtic tribes that resisted the Romans during their conquest of Britain. She led a revolt, slaughtered lots of Romans, then was defeated herself.

I know they certainly get bad press in Mel Gibson's "Passion," but I've always been fascinated by Rome and its accomplishments. Of course, being of Italian heritage, maybe that has something to do with it, as well.

Not sure who my favorite commander would be..."Big Al" would be a possible one, the Byzantine general Belisarius another...I'd have to think more on this.

Hey Luis, if you enjoy reading historical fiction, I highly recommend the books by Mary Renault (3 of them deal with Alexander), as well as the First Man in Rome series by Colleen McCullough (which covers the end of the Rome as a Republic period)...

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Old 04-21-2004, 09:48 AM   #5
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Always been a big fan of the Carthaginian General, Hannibal. Famous for invading Italy in the 2nd Punic War by marching his army, including elephants over the Alps. He went on to stay in Italy for 15 some odd years, dealing the Roman army defeat after defeat. Of course, ultimately Carthage was eradicated by the Romans......... Cool stuff nonetheless.
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:09 AM   #6
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<span style=\'color:green\'>celts all the way!!</span>

then the mongals, and then vikings and huns, have you noticed the guys from the stepps are always so much harder than the other guys , i mean the Mongals were the first army to actevly use psychological war fare, they would send spies to pretend to be refugees and tell the cities, (most places were city states) of the horrors of ghenges khan,

oh and 'barbarian' is a very roman term, the huns were just as great miliatry power, the goths were just as great archeitects(sp?) and the romans actualy altered some of the goths mosaques so that ppl would think they were roman not goth
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:07 PM   #7
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"barbarian" actually translates as someone who isn't from Rome (or is it someone who doesn't speak Latin? I can't remember which) but I did learn that in a class this semester, so it is completely a Roman term used to disparage foreigners.


Yep, my cat is named Cici, I'd never heard of her, but I guess she is better known in England (which is where my dad is from).

Cool lady B)
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:15 PM   #8
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Side note: cici (the cat) is Queen of our neighborhood; even the dogs are scared of her, and she's a really small cat... must run in the name.



hopefully the being killed thing doesn't
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:59 PM   #9
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well, i think the mongols, huns, steppe people, were pussies. Every single one of them on a horse shooting people from afar with arrows. (Each was on a horse and carried at least 50 arrows, by the way, they kept their meat underneath a lil pilllow under their ass while they rode. beef jerkey anyone?) i put them near the top only because of their accomplishments, but the sad thing is they used the enemy's women and children quite literally as shields. to me that is as low as a human being can get. anyhow, boedicea was awesome, her two teenage daughters were raped by Roman soldiers. She then killed something like 70,000 Romans, and inevitably, the Romans came back and smoked her. Anyhow, the word "barbarian" is a Roman word, anyone who did not speak Latin or Greek was a "barbarian". What it really comes down to is the Romans had plumbing, and everyone else did not. The Romans are the best all around army in history without a doubt. Think of every Roman soldier as a carpenter, an engineer, an architect, etc. What a great army. They were smart enough to take from the Spartans. The Spartans wore red capes (like Superman) not because it looks cool, and it does, but because it hides the blood. They also took from the Spartans, the mohawk. I think it looks supercool, and it adds a fiersome quality, it also made them look taller than they were. The Romans were awesome. I defy anyone to argue that.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:07 AM   #10
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I think we might have a f-e-w historical mistakes on this thread. One, the Spartans were proud of their long hair and spent a great deal of show and time combing it out. So, no they wouldn't shave it to a "mohawk" style.

Rozza, it would be difficult for the Romans to copy the Goths, as the Goths are the ones who tore down the Western Empire (along with the Vandals and such). The Goths may have learned their architecture and stuff from the Romans, but not vice versa. Now, when the Eastern Romans (popularly called the Byzantines) retook Italy, they may have altered Gothic structures to put their own stamp on them, but the Romans as a whole couldn't have copied from them.

And Phlip, yep, barbarian is a term basically meant to mean those who don't speak our language. It is Greek and they coined it because those "uncouth peoples" who had no Greek sounded like sheep, merely making Ba-ba-ba like noises. The Romans (and Western culture in general) took over that term.

And, I doubt it is fair to say that the Mongols were the FIRST to use psychological warfare. Many, many conquering peoples used it. Heck, biological weapons were used by the Ancients, as well. Here are a few:
1. catapulting a basket of hornets (or scorpions) at the enemy (they be mighty pissed upon arrival!).
2. daubing pigs with tar and setting them alight and directing them at enemy elephants, hoping their squeals and sight would unnerve the beasts.
3. during siege operations, defenders would locate enemy tunnels being dug underneath the walls, intercept them, and release hungry bears into the tunnels to slaughter the miners.

I'm sure this grim topic may turn off a few, but it IS interesting. I hope I don't come across as a snob debunking some of the ancient warfare myths that pop up...just one of my pet peeves.

Hey, speaking of Hannibal, LiveFree, did you hear a Hollywood project was in the works about him? And guess what complete miscast they are proposing for the lead? Yep, for the most cerebral general from Ancient History, none other than one of the biggest dipshits in Hollywood, today -- Vin Diesel! I wil refuse to watch it if he plays Hannibal...

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Old 04-22-2004, 11:05 AM   #11
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WWM - I hope that is just an ugly, ugly rumor....my god I will be absolutely disgusted.

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but I would pick someone like Kevin Spacey. Perhaps ideas like that are why I am here in NH and not out in Hollywood making movies
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Old 04-22-2004, 12:00 PM   #12
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really cool thread, guys - consider me inspired!
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:05 PM   #13
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wwm, you now have me convinced that you are really knowledgeable in 75-80% of all areas of topic (have to hedge my bet) and a vast majority of those that are interesting!
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:43 PM   #14
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actually when i said mohawk i did not mean their hair, i meant their helmets with the mohawk on top, horsehair i think. Oh and about hannibal the movie, there are 2 in the works. both of them bring me chuckles. the one with vin diesel will be called hannibal the conquerer (he didnt conquer anything). the other is denzel washington starring as hannibal, which also brings me chuckles. hollywood is shit
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:57 PM   #15
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Hey at least now the Hannibal movie will be fast and furious, right? Right?


If you want to read a really good book about the final days of the Roman Empire and barbarians and such read The Dream Of Scipio. It follows three different people in modern day France, one guy during the end of the RE, another guy in the middle ages, and another during WW2, and they all must deal with impending "barbarian" encroachment and make sure all is not lost.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:40 PM   #16
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well my problem with these two upcoming Hannibal movies is the bullshit lies. Never let Hollywood give you a history lesson. Hannibal Barca (Barcid as in Barcelona). Carthage was in northern Africa. Denzel Washington as Hannibal, when i first found out it gave me a good laugh not to mention scholars. Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians, Tyre, Lebanon type folk, Middle Eastern Arab type. its like saying Genghis Kahn was a white dude. Its like Quentin Tarantino giving you a history lesson. They must be kidding. Then again they make millions with scooby doo and rush hour movies. the masses are gullable, damn the masses.

p.s. show me some skin baby (you know who you are)
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:01 PM   #17
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by the way worldwidemike, i doubt Belisarius ever took the western half of the roman empire back.
justinian said he took it back, but nope thats a lie. remember constantinople (istanbul) was in a fucked up situation. a shadow of its former glory, as was rome when Attilla came into the picture. Justinian was just being a politician. (the masses believe everything don they?)
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Old 04-25-2004, 04:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by phlipfudge23@Apr 22 2004, 09:05 PM
wwm, you now have me convinced that you are really knowledgeable in 75-80% of all areas of topic (have to hedge my bet) and a vast majority of those that are interesting!
Why, thank you, Phlip! Nice of you to say that. Of course, that COULD just be proof that you were being serious when you said you'd love me forever if I helped you out with a couple travel questions (back when you first signed on...).

Hey Luis, not sure what you meant about Belisarius. He did defeat the Vandals of North Africa, Ostrogoths in Italy, and Visigoths in Spain. These all became subjects, once again, of the Roman Empire (eastern, or Byzantine version). So, that is what I meant by reconquered the West.

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Old 04-26-2004, 04:11 PM   #19
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I'm gonna hafta go ahead and nominate Chief Sitting Bull of the Lakota tribe circa mid 1860's. Most of the guys we've been talking about so far have been conquering gents, miss bodaceaous notwithstanding. But Sitting Bull fought off the U.S. army for the better part of 3 decades.

In true 60's form he once led four of his men out into the field in the middle of a fight with bullets whizzing by their heads and sat down and what did they do? Lit up the peace pipe.

If it's success that you're looking for, he's maybe middle of the pack. But if it's courage you're looking for, look no further.
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:15 PM   #20
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As for the greatest military, as lame as this is, I'm gonna hafta nominate the U.S.

Believe me, I'm not saying this as an American. But when you're worst loss is a tie, and you were a push of a button away from winning, you gotta be ranked pretty high.
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