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Ancient Rome: the Rise and Fall of an Empire
#31
Quote:I kinda missed Masada, I had expected them to finish the siege of Jerusalem and switch to that more famous one.
I kinda missed a proper representation of Jotapata!
What a wonderful siege, and all we got were some soldiers sneaking over a ridiculously low wall. (Remember: this was the siege where Josephus actually heightened the town wall!)
posted by Duncan B Campbell
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#32
Quote:
Vortigern Studies:2iivmuf1 Wrote:I kinda missed Masada, I had expected them to finish the siege of Jerusalem and switch to that more famous one.
I kinda missed a proper representation of Jotapata!
What a wonderful siege, and all we got were some soldiers sneaking over a ridiculously low wall. (Remember: this was the siege where Josephus actually heightened the town wall!)

Don't forget the 160 artillery pieces represented in this case by one seriously dodgy onagar.

I did feel rather let down on that score; Josephus' account reads like a masterclass in ancient siege warfare and what do we get? Some rickety old ladders.
Carus Andiae - David Woodall

"The greatest military machine in the history of the universe..."
"What is - the Daleks?"
"No... the Romans!" - Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens
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#33
I have been enjoying this series. I thought it was my imagination that it seemed a cut above the usual fare, but I'm glad to see that others more knowledgable are of a similar opinion.

The thing I most noticed about the Gracchi and Caesar episodes was that not a single Roman seemed to be using a Gladius Hispanicus type blade (maybe I missed them). It has been pretty good so far and I am looking forward to tomorrow's Constantine episode. There was a Constantine documentry a few years ago that incorporated Hamata and Oval Scuta with what appeared to be the right sort of Helmet. It was a rather unflattering affair, with Constantine getting rather a rough deal, but interesting.
It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one\'s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)
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#34
Robert wrote:

Quote:The Romans with with their "after all we did for you, you still rebel, you ungrateful lot" was downright sanctimonious,

I think that would have been exactly their attitude. In fact the very same comment was made in another BBC documentary this week on the Suez crisis by a British soldier regarding the Egyptians. It is just our modern view of Empires that has changed.

D.B Cambell wrote:

Quote:I kinda missed a proper representation of Jotapata!
What a wonderful siege, and all we got were some soldiers sneaking over a ridiculously low wall. (Remember: this was the siege where Josephus actually heightened the town wall!)

Yes, I was looking forward to seeing some of the types of siege engines depicted in Connolly's book.


Some of those awful Imperial Gallic helmets were visible in the last episode with the 'v' shaped neck guard. Mind you I have even seen some re-enactors wearing those this year!

Graham
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#35
Quote:Robert wrote:
Quote:The Romans with with their "after all we did for you, you still rebel, you ungrateful lot" was downright sanctimonious,
I think that would have been exactly their attitude. In fact the very same comment was made in another BBC documentary this week on the Suez crisis by a British soldier regarding the Egyptians. It is just our modern view of Empires that has changed.

Can we really compare the British' conduct in Egypt with the occupation of Judaea, samaria and Galilea by the Romans??
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#36
Robert wrote:

Quote:Can we really compare the British' conduct in Egypt with the occupation of Judaea, samaria and Galilea by the Romans??

Well, I wasn't talking about the British conduct. After all compared with the Rotten Romans we British have always been jolly decent chaps, but why not in it's basic sense. At the end of the day it was still the foreign occupation of another country.

Even I had not realized, because the subject is not widely known anymore, that there were still 80,000 British troops in Egypt in 1950. The point was after bringing the Suez canal (OK that was the French), the education etc...etc... (actually I am struggling here to stretch this out, what did Britain actually give to Egypt?) The Egyptians still wanted the British out.

An echo, I am sure you will agree of the famous Monty Python line.

One hundred years earlier the British treatment of rebellious 'natives' in India was pretty bad even by Roman standards.

Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#37
Quote:One hundred years earlier the British treatment of rebellious 'natives' in India was pretty bad even by Roman standards.
Or elsewhere.
My favorite Churchill quote:
"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes."
(Sir Winston Churchill, then British secretary of state for war and air, about the indiscriminate use of aerial bombardments and poison gas of after a countrywide Arab rebellion in Iraq, 1920).
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#38
As indicated last week, I'm going to leave commentary on the equipment to the experts, though I must say I did like the cameo performance by the mattiobarbulus at the Milvian Bridge, though I thought that that battle was a little bit small and low-key.

I liked the 'in hoc signo' scene - that and other scenes of religious observance showed very well the power of religion and belief in antiquity and how it could affect whole armies. And the cutting of the final major scene, when Constantine was reciting the Nicene Creed whilst Licinianus was being slaughtered was very effective. I didn't think the programme got across Constantine's apparently very ambivalent attitude towards Christianity, especially in his earlier years, and his continuing involvement in things like the imperial cult, or the schismatic nature of Christianity. Basically, that was a bit simplistic, which certainly wasn't what Averil Cameron, today's historical consultant, taught me when I was an undergrad! (And she was a damned good teacher).

I also thought the imperial costumes were very effective, though don't know precisely how accurate they were - but in terms of colour and flashiness they certainly tied in with the literary descriptions.

Pity they used 'stock footage' from some of the earlier programmes, but I guess they blew the budget on the late military equipment and Constantine's clothes!

So, middling I feel, in terms of quality and content, but in terms of presenting Roman history to a wide audience, I still think the BBC are doing an excellent job. Next week - the sack of Rome.
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#39
Well, just now we had Constantine and his Holy Wars!
[Image: pp_constantine.jpg]
It looked well enough, I must say. They attempted to make Intercisa helmets (even if these did not seem to have any neck guards), as well as long hamatas, oval dished shields, spathae. The clothes looked reasonably good too, with attempts at Late Roman fashion. I noticed at least one good draco and there was a plumbata scene in Milvius Bridge battle!

Of course, there were also goof-ups, such as senes from earlier episodes (with early equipment). Or the drowning of Maxentius (no cavalry? Where was the original Milvian Bridge?), the absence of Licinius'cataphracts, the absence of any spears in battle scenes...

The total focus of Constantine on Christianity was also totally over the top, making his conflict with Licinius into a war of Christianity against all other gods. It wasn't.

And, of course, Constantia was not Constantine's sister, but his half-sister, being one of Constantius Chlorus' 6 children with Theodora, and about 20 years younger than Constantine. The child of Licinius (who was in fact killed a year after his father) Valerius Licinianus Licinius and called Licinius. The BBC must have found all these similar names too confusing for the audience...

Well, they are. Big Grin

Next week the final episode about Honorius and Galla Placidia!
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#40
I'd swear I saw a Montefortino (outside the recycled footage, I mean). However, overall it looked pretty authentic (to my relatively untrained eye).

I suppose the simplistic concentration on Christian was the result of the same belief that dropped Agrippina from the Nero episode that too much information only confuses the Great British Public.

By the way, there's an interesting letter in new Radio Times. Apparently Rome was "entertaining and, yes, educational" :? the Rise and Fall of an Empire[/i] (Thursdays BBC1) which has proved what every schoolchild knows: plain history is boring. Don't listen to the geeks again!"

So there you are. We're all geeks. Be proud of it. And I expect to see a great deal more sex on these forums from now on, otherwise how will we know that what is being said is historically accurate? :roll:
Carus Andiae - David Woodall

"The greatest military machine in the history of the universe..."
"What is - the Daleks?"
"No... the Romans!" - Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens
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#41
Quote:"But the BBC just had to succumb to the history geeks who accused it of 'dumbing down'... The result was Ancient Rome: the Rise and Fall of an Empire (Thursdays BBC1) which has proved what every schoolchild knows: plain history is boring. Don't listen to the geeks again!"

So there you are. We're all geeks.

Yup! Big Grin
So if a hero does not struggle from one battle scene to yet another bed scene, it's boring? Silly gits.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#42
Thought tonight's episode on Constantine was excellent with a real attempt to get the costumes right (apart from a brief battle scene nicked from an earlier episode...prob to save costs!).
What did our late Romans think?

Cheers

Caballo
[Image: wip2_r1_c1-1-1.jpg] [Image: Comitatuslogo3.jpg]


aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
Moderation in all things
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#43
Quote:Well, just now we had Constantine and his
Of course, there were also goof-ups, such as senes from earlier episodes (with early equipment). Or the drowning of Maxentius (no cavalry? Where was the original Milvian Bridge?), the absence of Licinius'cataphracts, the absence of any spears in battle scenes...

No Pila in earlier battle scenes either, if I recall correctly. Safety and insurance issues I would imagine!

Overall, another reasonably good presentation. A less mad hatter Constantine would have suited me better, but it was pretty much what I was expecting...
It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one\'s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)
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#44
Quote:
Vortigern Studies:3miwwjub Wrote:the absence of Licinius'cataphracts, the absence of any spears in battle scenes...
No Pila in earlier battle scenes either, if I recall correctly. Safety and insurance issues I would imagine!

I just remebered, that statement was not totally correct. Whilst no infantry seems to use the spear, we see Licinius kill a cavalryman with a hasta before taking the horse to flee.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#45
True enough; I think the context is important though; it's a one on one combat scene, which I would imagine is easier to control than the multiple combatants involved in the battle scenes...
It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one\'s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)
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