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A quotation from:

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/17-roma...135#331460


Quote:My dear Peter,

(...) And as far as differences between Albion and the continent are concerned, I strongly recommend you try Etudes sur le combat, for some very sobering and professional continental scepticism on the performance of cavalry as a projectile to crush infantry. (...)

My dear Eduard,

Plutarch describes chariots (drawn by horses) as exactly this - a projectile (= missile) to crush infantry:


Quote:[Sulla] robbed the scythe-bearing chariots of their efficiency. For these are of most avail after a long course, which gives them velocity and impetus for breaking through an opposing line but short starts are ineffectual and feeble, as in the case of missile which do not get full propulsion. And this proved to be true now in the case of Barbarians. The first of their chariots were driven along feebly and engaged sluggishly, so that the Romans, after repulsing them, clapped their hands and laughed and called for more, as they are wont to do at the races in the circus.

From Plutarch's "Life of Sulla" (description of Chaeronea 86 BC in chapters 17-19).

http://thesaurus.com/browse/projectile - Synonyms: missile

At Chaeronea in 86 BC Roman infantry also used palisades and trenches to repulse Greek cavalry.

Field fortifications were extensively used by infantry vs cavalry throughout history of wars.
There is no doubt that contemporary commanders and commentators thought that heavy chariots were effective against massed infantry. The degree of effectiveness seems to vary but it is reasonable to conclude that at least some horses were capable of smashing into a line of spearmen.
Quote:Peter wrote: Plutarch describes chariots (drawn by horses) as exactly this - a projectile (= missile) to crush infantry

Peter, I read your Plutarch Sulla quote entirely differently from you. He does not call chariots "missiles", but instead, seems to be saying metaphorically, if chariots are not give enough space to build up speed/momentum, they are like missiles that are not given full velocity.

A gently tossed javelin will likely not injure anyone severely. A slowly moving chariot falls into the same category. That's the meaning I get from what was written.

This, naturally, presumes the translation as quoted from the original is correctly made.
Quote:seems to be saying metaphorically

Stubbornness of some people to automatically label every single evidence which shows that cavalry could smash into solid lines of infantry as "metaphorical" or "unreliable" is astonishing.

I am of course now talking not only about this comment of Demetrius quoted above, but also about various posters from the recent thread "cavalry and chariots vs infantry".

You guys are really trying to defend this collapsing hypothesis with tooth and claw...
To all who posted here:

This thread may or may not be a continuation of an earlier, now locked thread.
This thread therefore may or may not be in violation of the rules.

I would like to remind everyone that this forum is about Ancient warfare and not about Agincourt, Hussars or 19th c. cavalry. Such topics may occur to discuss ancient warfare, but not become a topic themselves. There are other forums for that.

If this thread derails into non-ancient warfare, it will be removed.
Yes, guys - this thread should be only about Ancient times (otherwise I get banned, so please don't post anything about later times unless you want me to get banned :whistleSmile:

A relief showing a Parthian cataphract smashing into a lion (a horse is not afraid):

[Image: 741px-ParthianCataphract.JPG]

======================================

Also:

Quote:Ammianus Marcellinus remarked in his memoirs that members of the Pushtigban were able to impale two Roman soldiers on their spears at once with a single furious charge.
Quote:Yes, guys - this thread should be only about Ancient times (otherwise I get banned, so please don't post anything about later times unless you want me to get banned :whistleSmile:
Rest assured Peter, you can only get banned by your own actions.. :wink:
Quote:........
A relief showing a Parthian cataphract smashing into a lion (a horse is not afraid):
............

That is a piece of artwork that, ostensibly, shows a probably armoured cavalryman, but a possibly not armoured horse (so likely not a traditional cataphract) engaged on a lion hunt.

If an accurate depiction of an event, then one assumes that the man is using a two-handed grip on a kontos-like weapon (which we might expect indeed) in the act of spearing a lion.

I can most probably assure you that the "cataphract" is not smashing into the lion as that would be counter-productive (the lion is unlikely to be much impressed by a mere grazing animal shoulder-charging it), but trying to kill it - the normal purpose of a hunt.

In addition, throughout history and certainly for the period we are interested in, horses were often specially trained to the hunt and to become used to wild animals; this normally doesn't apply to the majority of cavalry horses. Trained warhorses being a speciality normally restricted to much later periods.
Quote:Stubbornness of some people to automatically label every single evidence which shows that cavalry could smash into solid lines of infantry as "metaphorical" or "unreliable" is astonishing.
If you are calling me stubborn for a simple, accurate reading of what you posted and promptly misinterpreted, well, then perhaps we define those words differently as well.

Do you read that he is saying something other than what you quoted as being written? That would require additional quotes to support that statement, would it not?

Quote:You wrote:You guys are really trying to defend this collapsing hypothesis with tooth and claw...
Seems like that could apply to your own actions here and elsewhere, sir, akin to the "pot calling the kettle black".

Let's take a look at it.
Quote:You wrote: For these are of most avail after a long course, which gives them velocity and impetus for breaking through an opposing line but short starts are ineffectual and feeble, as in the case of missile which do not get full propulsion.
The phrase, "as in the case of" clearly indicates that he is making a comparison, not stating an equality. He is not saying chariots are missiles, but that if they are not moving at full speed, they are ineffectual and feeble JUST LIKE missiles not thrown with full force. And for the record, not only did I not say, "every single evidence", I personally think you are impolite for saying so. First you quote then reinterpret your quote, then when I said, "look again, it doesn't say that, Plutarch is making a comparison", you call me stubborn, and attempt to put words in my mouth that I did not say. Please don't do that, as many people find that quite offensive.

Your statement about what I wrote is obviously incorrect, and is clear for any to read in the previous posts in this thread. Those are the kinds of actions Robert is talking about. For example, being needlessly combative to other members of the forum has resulted in official reprimand, including banning, in the past, and will probably do so in the future as well. I am not speaking here from the position of moderator, but simply as member posting on the topic, sir.

Respect for other members is required in our forum rules, and the rules are for all of us. Have you read the rules? If not, you can click on the link below to go directly to that topic.
Quote:He is not saying chariots are missiles

... But he is saying that they need speed to smash into infantry at full speed and pierce their lines just like missiles need speed to crush into infantry and pierce the individual soldiers in those lines.

And what do you think was my point? That charots are being fired from bows? ... :dizzy:


Quote:Respect for other members is required in our forum rules

I respect you & other members. But I don't get your point here - I know that Plutarch made a comparison, but this comparison clearly describes the method of chariot combat as that of a shock charge and collision into enemy line of infantry (hence they need speed to trample and smash / pierce it - like arrows need speed to pierce armor). And your response is like: you're wrong, chariots are not missiles... :?

If you are getting at the title of this thread - then you should notice that I also used a metaphor... But it describes the way of combat used by scythed-chariots - piercing through enemy formation.

Instead of nitpicking, explain exactly what is your point and what do you disagree with.
I am very much beginning to wonder why the last few weeks we have had a sudden influx of new users with very limited profiles who think a discussion is "stating a claim and then trying hard to prove themselves right". This is often accompanied by undiluted hero-worship (Dacians, Hussars). Several threads have been locked recently, a thing we have not seen on this forum in this frequency before. In all cases, the above behavior was a mayor cause. I also do not think continuing "discussions" by sending PM's to participants on locked threads is behavior to be encouraged .... or condoned for that matter.

So perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away :unsure: ? At least that will be my future course of in-action to posts or PM's of this nature.
Quote:So perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away :unsure: ?

<< The above excerpt is a textbook example of: "showing respect to other members" >>


Quote:who think a discussion is "stating a claim and then trying hard to prove themselves right"

Well, when there are 2 contradictory points of view, then usually their followers try to convince the opposite "team" that their point of view is more correct. I don't think that this is "abnormal" (discussion is an exchange of differing opinions and views by definition - if everyone's views are 100% exactly the same, then there is no room for discussion) - but maybe it is not worth the effort indeed.


Quote:This is often accompanied by undiluted hero-worship (Dacians, Hussars).

... by undiluted hero-worship (Roman legions, Ancient infantry, Roman "near-industrial" society).


Quote:I am very much beginning to wonder why the last few weeks we have had a sudden influx of new users with very limited profiles

And why not? You should be happy that the forum is gaining popularity.

I am now beginning to wonder if it is true that confined communities (like internet fora with permanent sets of members) tend to develop xenophobia and suspicion towards new-arrivals?

What do you think, Robert?
Having only had my account for just over a year, I consider myself a relative newcomer to the RAT community. I don't post nearly as often as the "regulars", because for the most part, I stand to learn from online discussion much more than I am able to contribute.

That being said, the usual pattern that "regulars" follow seems to be: "I want to know more about _____. What is the evidence that deals with it and how reliable is it?"

The more scientific nature of this approach is the opposite of just about any other forum for any other topic that I've found online. As others have mentioned, the usual formula for online discussion is closer to: "I believe in ____. Asking for evidence of ____ or presenting evidence that refutes ____ is personally offensive to me. Let the flame war commence."

I can't, of course, speak for others, but I would hypothesize that the recent difficulties in moderating tone and topicality of discussions involving newcomers stem from the fact that behavior that would be ok on other forums doesn't fly here. At RAT, one is expected to not track mud on the carpet, and to conduct oneself in an adult manner. Contrast any discussion on RAT, even a relatively uncivil conversation, with, say, the commentary on any given Yahoo news story.

RAT isn't perfect, but as far as cordial, evidence- based discussion of ancient Western civilization goes, I have not found it's equal.
Also: apologies in advance for the off- topic post.
This topic is hereby locked and may be deleted if we deem that it has nothing scientific to offer to the RAT community.

The reasons for this action are :

1. It looks like a disguised continuation of another locked topic that has started as reaction rather than true interest. The Original Point itself is an answer to another member regarding a post made in the locked thread...

2. Tones are already high and there is imminent danger of derailing.

3. Apart from the general tone, the irony expressed by users feeling that their universal truths are not accepted by us obsolete lot here in RAT will not be tolerated.

Peter, you are in our turf. RAT is not yet another forum of random internet surfers. Yes, we are mostly a clique of extremely well informed people, we mostly demand from newcomers more respect than we give them until they have proven that they can live up to our academic standards, it is unfair but you will have to earn that respect. You will do that by displaying less authority, less certainty, less aggressiveness, more readiness to conform to standards rather than use them as excuses (primary sources) and a sincere wish to debate rather than preach. Debating is a skill you will have to acquire or else you will not easily fit in. Please, do not try to lawyer yourself around, this is not a matter of justice.

The other topic you started goes well until now and I sincerely hope that it will not, in any way, be derailed.