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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Plotinus, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Algeroth

    Algeroth 8 and 1/2

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    The movement of deserts in North Africa was then caused by long-term climatic cycles, nothing that humans could change back then. If you want to look at some example of desertification in history caused by agriculture, Mesopotamia would be way better example.

    However, Romans managed to degrade Mediterranean ecosystems - but not through agriculture, but through industry. Preindustrial Premodern industry requires fuel just the same way the modern one needs it, but the only source it usually have is wood. And it needs lots and lots of wood for metalworking and glassmaking, as a building material for both houses and ships and as a simple fuel source for cooking and heating.

    Romans took whatever wood was available, turned some of it into ships and then turned the rest into charcoal. But to be fair, many Mediterranean cultures managed to deforest themselves pretty successfully without any Roman help (I am looking at you, Greece). It was similar deforestation that Western Europe gone through that resulted in peak wood in the 18th century, but the wetter climate is more resilient and the West and Central Europe is suffering now from biodiversity loss from reforestation.

    It is the same need for charcoal that is is making desertification in the Horn of Africa even more serve now. Really, one of the most beneficial discoveries for environment are fossil fuels.
     
  2. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Thanks to this post I understand the past more, I appreciate it.
     
  3. daft

    daft The fargone

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    He sounds like a standup guy!
     
  4. daft

    daft The fargone

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    How do Parthians and Sassanids differ? Which of these tribes first created/developed and used Cataphracts in combat?
     
  5. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Thought about starting a thread discussion about Iraq wars, the causes, all possible ones, stories of the many characters involved, secrets and tales not well know regarding these historical episodes/conflicts. Of course a similar discussion must have taken place here already before.
    Do you think we could have a discussion? If so, I will not be the one creating this thread, let it be someone more eloquent and "into" the topic.
     
  6. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    The difference between the Parthians and the Sassanids is that the Parthians were generally weaker than the Sassanids, or at least, less of a threat to Rome. Where the Parthians had been inwardly looking, the Sassanids were expansive and aggressive. Also the Sassanids were more adept at sieging cities than the Parthians which falls under the greater threat to Rome. The Parthians were also first, and the Sassanids were basically the reorganized remnants of the Parthians with some outsiders in the mix. Finally, cataphracts were first used by Parthians.
     
  7. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    The Parthians were a steppe people from central Asia. They conquered Persia and much of the Seleucid Empire and then set up a settled state. And had magnificent cataphracts.

    The Sassanids were not a tribe, but a Persian dynasty named for Sassan, the grandfather of the Sassanid founder Ardashir I. Unlike the Parthians they were pretty militantly Zoroastrian (though tended to follow a new branch of it called Zurvanism), and liked to proclaim themselves as a renewed Persian Empire. They too had cataphracts.
     
  8. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    I've seen it written that the Romans never had a serious Parthian problem, but the Parthians often had a serious Roman problem.
     
  9. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Neither of them did. The Scythian tribes already used cataphracts in combat much earlier, during the 6th century BC.

    In 530 BC cataphracts led by Queen Tomyris, leader of the Massagetae, destroyed the Persian army under Cyrus the Great.

    Here is one of available accounts of that battle: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/tomyris.asp

    As for the Parthians - their most well-known victory is that at Carrhae against the Romans. However, in 129 BC the Parthians under Phraates II also had a very spectacular victory in the battle of Ecbatana against the Seleucids under Antiochus VII. Seleucid army was crushed and Antiochus was killed in battle. His body was sent back to Syria in a silver casket, his son Seleucus was made prisoner, and his niece was taken by Phraates into his harem.

    The size of the Seleucid army in that battle is unknown - probably few tens of thousands.

    The total number of Seleucid soldiers who invaded Parthia was said to be 80,000 - but not all of them fought in that battle:

    http://www.forumromanum.org/literature/justin/english/index.html

     
  10. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    That's pretty accurate--I can't recall any major Parthian invasions of Roman territory, but Antonius and Crassus just couldn't keep to their side of the border.

    The Sassanids were a very different story.
     
  11. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    In terms of increasing centralization, the Sassanids also put forth a more effective uniting ideology revolving mainly around a revival of state-sponsored Zoroastrianism. It additionally seems to me that the Sassanids were better than the Parthians at using proxy states.
     
  12. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Thank you Domen, this is cool stuff, I learned something thanks to your post.
     
  13. daft

    daft The fargone

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    That is deep, thanks a lot!
    Things you learn, wow!
     
  14. r16

    r16 not deity

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    it must have been raining for a billion years , there must have been oceans for a long time and what was before the Pangea ? Any good links about a gif that shows the seperation of the continents and their travel to current locations ? Even lovelier would be an indication of the way they are likely to move in the future .

    on a closer time scale does anyone know those sites who save old forums ? ı clear my old computer time to time , moving saved material to flash memeories so that the Harddisc gets to work and saw a very promising site about battleships and ı must have been rather forgetful back in 2012 ; today it's just a page that offers the domain for sale .
     
  15. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    What happened to all the various Indian dynasties and aristocrats after independence?
     
  16. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    They were pensioned off, mostly, though the payments eventually stopped. Most are still very well-to-do and many are in politics.
     
  17. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

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    Did the French aristocracy receive the same treatment? I believe there's a number of them are diplomats and politicians
     
  18. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    The payments stopped, too:

     
  19. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    I've read that most of those titles postdate the revolution - either they were granted by later kings or simply made up.

    EDIT: The below is incorrect (thanks Masada) - kept here for honesty.

     
  20. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    This is true. Only about a quarter of noble titles that still exist in France date to before before the Revolution.

    Yeah, there is. First, the French state still verifies titles. That's now done by the le bureau du droit civil général. Once you've been approved you can be added to the Registre du Sceau which is the official register of titles. If your not on that register it's not a real title. People can consult it too. Second off, titles are not names in France. That's well established now. In 1900 or thereabouts the duc de Rivoli sued to have "comte de Rivoli" added to his son's birth certificate. The courts did not permit it. Third, the use of the aristocratic "de" or "de la" is not an indicator of nobility and never has been. Sure most aristocrats used either/or but so did a lot of non-nobles. Fourth, it's a civil and criminal offence to usurp a title... It doesn't even have to be a "real" title either. Mere pretense is sufficient. Article 433-17 of the French Penal Code covers this, I believe. It's... a weird situation to say the least and can lead to weird stuff happening.
     

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