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 Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread

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Mordred
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   01.07.13 1:19

There are several different versions which I will try to relate when I can (this will mostly be by memory!) The one I know most about was the version called "Le_Morte_d'Arthur" by Sir Thomas Malory; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Morte_d'Arthur

In Arthurian legend, Arthur is the son of the former king, Uther Pendragon, who is then fostered to Sir Ector, and there he serves as a squire to Sir Kay. During that time, Uther dies, and the people of Britain seek a new king. Meanwhile Merlin gets a sword from The Lady of the Lake (this differs, sometimes its Merlin, sometimes its Arthur).

The myth goes, that whomever could pull the sword Excalibur from the stone would be the rightful King of England. Lots of people try, including Sir Kay but all fail to pull it. As a mere squire, Arthur does not. Then, at a joust, Sir Kay fights in the melee and loses his sword. Arthur is charged with finding a new one, and finds one buried in a stone. He pulls it out, and gives it to Kay to fight with. Kay, suspicious at the speed Arthur got the blade asks where he found it, and Arthur points at the stone.

Unbelieving, Kay puts the sword back, and then tries to pull it out (as do many others) but it remains stuck. Arthur then is given a go, and pulls it out easily. Everyone falls to their knees and proclaim the young boy king.

Fast forward a load of time which centres on the Knights of the Round Table and their home in Camelot;
Lancelot; the greatest of the knights, but ultimately falls from grace when he steals Arthur's wife, Guinevere.
Gareth; initially the most humble, he fights for damsels in distress disguised as a kitchen boy, but eventually beats several very high profile knights (including Lancelot), and joins the Round Table.
Kay; starts out as Arthur's lord, but eventually becomes his most loyal follower.
Tristan; of Tristan and Isolde fame.
Galahad; the purest of the knights, and the only one who manages to find the Holy Grail.
Bedevere, Gawain, Gaheris; to name some others. There seem to be hundreds of them!

Finally, Lancelot and Guineveres relationship is revealed and Arthur goes to war with Lancelot. Many knights, including Gareth are killed in this struggle, but eventually the two sides are reconciled. Unfortunately Mordred (Arthur's half brother, nephew or son depending on the source) decides to usurp the throne while Camelot is so badly weakened. The two bitter rivals fight, and Mordred is killed but not before mortally wounding Arthur leading to his death.

Merlin then takes the sword, and throws it back into the lake whence it came, and it is plucked out of the air by an eerie arm (the Lady of the Lake).

It does have some similarities to the Vietnamese version, yes. There are different versions of the text, and multiple authors have given it a go, though Mort d'Arthur seems to be the most accepted account. Some will place more emphasis on the Lady of the Lake than I did, and the earlier ones focus a lot more on Merlin and magic. There was even one I read where Arthur was actually the usurper, and Mordred returned to claim his rightful throne.

I love Arthurian legend, it's definitely one of the coolest stories to have come out of Britain. You might have guessed that though by my names (Gareth Kay, Mordred) :PI actually had an interview once, where the first question I was asked was; "Is that your real name?" "Errr, yes" "Someone clearly likes Arthurian lore then!"
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   01.07.13 7:45

I get this strange feeling, how is both connected to the "lake". Just amusing how 2 part of the world would have such story in common.

You name is indeed a big fan of the Arthurian legend itself now that I know it lol.

On another topic, what do you think about the Mongol conquests into half of the Asia-Europe continent? It is something that even the Nazi couldn't do, invaded half the continent and actually control them, set up political provinces. I'm not very familiar with the European history, so at the 13th and 14th century, what is the status of the medieval kingdoms?

At that time, the Song Dynasty, the reigning Chinese Dynasty is very civilized and advance, to the point of using paper currency, gunpowder, and compass. Yet they still failed against the Mongolians.

Only 2 dynasties that withstood the invasion was Vietnamese and Japanese one and all were achieve mainly because of the geographical advantage.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   01.07.13 9:17

This is very interesting. Comparative mythology is always enlightening.

Quote :
On another topic, what do you think about the Mongol conquests into half of the Asia-Europe continent?


1. Civ series survivor tip: never start a land war in Asia.
2. I immediately associate it with the plague outbreaks that happened shortly afterwards.

Quote :
even the Nazi couldn't do

Hitler's military strategy was essentially flawed in that he preached that constant war makes one's folk and country strong (so he fought everyone constantly). Economics dictate that wars should be short, because they're very expensive.


Quote :
Yet they still failed against the Mongolians.

Depends what you consider technology. The Mongols' special horses, special bows, special techniques and special training could also be considered a kind of technology.

Quote :
Only 2 dynasties that withstood the invasion was Vietnamese and Japanese one and all were achieve mainly because of the geographical advantage.

Fighting in the jungle should be horrible, no wonder the Vietnamese resisted the Mongols. Seriously, in my mind it's the worst place one could fight in.




*. Digression on the mythology: Lucifer means "light bearer" in Latin. Do you know another dude who stole the light from the god boss? Prometheus.

Digression II: we also have dragons in native Atlantic South American mythology.

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Mordred
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   01.07.13 9:42

The Mongols (under the generals Subutai and Jebe) were poised to strike (and probably take) Europe, but then their ruler, Genghis Khan died causing massive leadership struggles. The generals of the Western Tumens (Mongol Armies) were among the most loyal to the old dynasty, so they headed home to keep order).

After that the Mongols (under the new name "The Golden Horde") continued their attacks primarily against Russia and the Caucuses, but were repulsed after making great headway. I believe the Polish-Lithuanians were involved in the final defeat of the Mongols, but I am not to hot on that era of history.

Same nearly happened with Tamerlane the Great (actually a bastardised version of Timur the Lame, so called due to his club foot)  and the Timurids from Persia, however Timur died before his invasion plans could be realised, and the once great empire fell to infighting.

Also interesting note, the Mongols were among the first to use biological warfare. When they fought the Genoans in the Crimea, the defending Italians were so hard to beat that the Mongols started catapulting casualties of the plague into the city. Because it was such an important trade hub, the plague was shipped back into Europe likely causing the Black Death.

Jing Ming wrote:
Digression II: we also have dragons in native Atlantic South American mythology.

Yeah the symbol of the Dragon has evolved independently in a number of cultures. There are early examples of it both throughout the Roman Empire and in Scandinavia despite there being limited to no contact between them. The Dragon was a powerful idol for the Vikings too... just look at the Dragon Ships with the Dragon figurehead at the prow!
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   01.07.13 15:55

I would argue that the Mongol style of overlordship was so radically different that there isn't much to compare. Peasants, or nomad-peasants, more or less lived the same lives regardless of the ruling class above them. Replacing local lords leads to localized rebellions only in most cases, which are more easily curtailed through fear/violence or appropriate politicing. Extracting taxes via goods and labor with new middlemen isn't terribly upsetting to the population as a whole. It's just those pesky minor nobles with charisma and ambition that you've got to worry about!

ributary empires are quite stable in the big picture. Sure they collapse suddenly, but in most instances another simple rose up to take its place, and they lasted for several generations anyway. Unlike partisan puppet-confederacies.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.07.13 2:16

Quote :
I believe the Polish-Lithuanians were involved in the final defeat of the Mongols, but I am not to hot on that era of history.
Indeed they were, i don't know impact on horde as a whole, but Lithuanians-Polish defeated mongols in battle of Blue waters(In English name sounds somewhat strange)

Also is it true that Timur used Horses or Camels loaded with wood logs and set on fire to counter Elephants?

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.07.13 3:07

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Also is it true that Timur used Horses or Camels loaded with wood logs and set on fire to counter Elephants?


I don't know about that, but this seems to be a recurring stratagem. There is a story of a Chinese general who set bulls on fire and let stamped toward the enemy's camp.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.07.13 15:59

Jing Ming wrote:
Quote :
Also is it true that Timur used Horses or Camels loaded with wood logs and set on fire to counter Elephants?


I don't know about that, but this seems to be a recurring stratagem. There is a story of a Chinese general who set bulls on fire and let stamped toward the enemy's camp.

Never heard of that, it seems like a very unlikely thing since an animal on fire isn't likely to run only one direction. Honestly, it sounds more like a land version of a fire ship like the kind the english sent against the spanish armada.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.07.13 17:35

There's a story of Hannibal setting pigs on fire and sending them against the Romans as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   04.07.13 1:53

Heh, reports of military feats are perfect for overglorifying the winnners with things that are improbable or even impossible.

There is a story of a Chinese general who tied metal pots on the bulls and sent them to confuse the enemy.

While looking for something more concrete to show you I found this caption on Google: "Stop Setting Live Bulls on Fire in Spain". It a real thing, apparently, with pics and all. Really, this world is sometimes more surreal than Monty Python.



Fun random military fact: the Brazilian imperial army once besieged a rebel republican town in the caatinga - a desertified terrain where everything is white and brown, including trees and people's clothes. The army went in with thick napoleonic red and blue uniforms, made of cotton. Under a 40°C sun. And their cannons were so shiny that one could see them from many miles away. They were ambushed repeatedly and slaughtered.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   04.07.13 3:06

I remember that story from my version of the Art of War with commentary/examples. The Chinese general tied blades to the bulls horns, then only lit their tails on fire. They were facing out of the city gate, so that's the way they ran. The enemy troops were of course prepared for a sally, and standing in the way. They were more terrified of the 'demons' than trampled by angry bulls, according to that text.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   05.07.13 12:15

Sooo.... French lore says wywerns are afraid of naked people.

Alduin will have a surprise next time we meet.




There was a picture of a naked man and a frightened wyverns, but it was on my advisor's facebook profile and I don't know how to link it here:

"A 'Wivre' in text (drawn as a Wyvern). Open-mouthed, the animal starts away in fear from the sight of a nude figure. (It is said not to be frightened by a clothed figure). ("So the lover is at first naked and vulnerable from being in love, but later is clothed in his pride at being loved and gains courage from this")."

(From Oxford Bodleian Ms. Douce 308, Bestiaire d'Amour by Richard de Fournival, made in Metz, first quarter 14th century)

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   14.07.13 8:54

http://blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2009/05/the-continued-adventures-of-wound-man/

A medieval surgeon's guide to the possible wounds one could suffer in field battles. Click on the picture.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   25.07.13 7:41


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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   25.07.13 8:48

Thor be praised! I'm not afraid of the berserkers, but that guy gives me the creeps. Crazy people are scary.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   29.07.13 14:16

I just thought something. Seeing how European towns are small today, I can only imagine how tiny medieval villageswere. So assume that a certain village has 200 inhabitants. Half of them are women, and most of the men are working or doing aristocrat stuff. Some of those would be sick, too young or too old.

What I'm thinking is: how difficult would it have been for the villagers to defend themselves! Assembling a party of 10 guards would be extremely difficulty, at least without help fromt the local lord. State of nature all the way.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   29.07.13 20:53

good thinking, with most of the men working the field it must have been very easy to steal everything.

On the other hand, what was there to steal? Only food I guess, and I don't think much...

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   29.07.13 21:29

Aand that's why cattle thieves were so despised.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   30.07.13 0:24

Quote :
Only food
Food is expensive! Think about Europe before potatoes and proper international commerce. I'm thinking about cattle as well. And pigs, far easier to raise I suppose.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   30.07.13 2:24

Cattle was (And is) extremely expensive to raise. You didn't see it unless you were very high on the medieval food chain, beef was a luxury food. Pork was much more common however.

EDIT: While still not common, it was eaten more often in England and northern France. Mutton was the most common meat eaten overall in the middle ages though.
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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   02.09.13 3:10

And why eat a cow when its the only thing that will till your fields?

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.09.13 10:18

Alright, so Rome 2 is out and I will be unable to play it for a few weeks or so.

So I ask you.....

How is it?

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.09.13 12:32

I've been planning to review rome 2 ever since i did my first video on why empire total war failed:

Beware its me complaining for 30 minutes
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Rome 2 ... how much you enjoy it depends what total wars you've played. If you have only played Empire or onwards, Rome will be an amazing step up in the series for you. If you have never played a total war, play Rome 2, it will blow your mind. But if like me you've played since medieval 1, played just about every one of the hugely detailed and lovingly made rome realism mods like Europa, Rome 2 will leave you dissapointed. That being said, its still something I want to keep playing.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.09.13 13:02

I haven't laughed so hard at someones videos on youtube in quite some time.

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PostSubject: Re: Medieval Weapons and Other Stuff Thread   03.09.13 13:29

I've never laughed that much at someone's youtube review. And you seem to know the games pretty well.

You should apply as QA Tester to Blizzard or similar.

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