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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VIII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Flying Pig, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Continuing from the old thread here.

    This thread is for quick/'simple' historical questions that do not have the scope for broad discussion to form their own threads. All time periods and geographical regions are fair game: discussions which develop may, from time to time, be split off into their own threads.

    As always, please keep discussion civil and friendly, particularly towards newcomers. As they say, the only stupid question is the one not asked!

    I am not doing a very good job at fighting the software here, but LouisPhillippe has provided our first question:

    From what I remember, the answer is 'no' - the framers of Versailles were clear that Prussia and its militarism were the reason for the Great War (rightly or wrongly), and many of them tried outright to dismantle it. The idea of Prussia remaining a micro-German Empire would have been unthinkable, because to their eyes, that had been the problem in the first place.

    EDIT: That seems to have worked. Does anybody see a post above this one?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  2. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    A new thread after well over two years? Impressive. :)
     
  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Nope. First post in the thread.
     
  4. LouisPhilippe

    LouisPhilippe Chieftain

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    Would the Allies have allowed Crown Prince Wilhelm to have become only the King of Prussia after his father Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated?
     
  5. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Wilhelm II didn't abdicate 'because Allies', he abdicated because republic. Republics tend not to have a monarch.
     
  6. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Just watched the ERB episode that had Gaius Julius versus Shaka Zulu and that got me thinking: Who would win in a battle/war between the Roman legions of Gaius Julius's time and the Zulu of Shaka's time? For this fictional battle we will assume equal numbers of 50,000 soldiers on each side so it would be more of a comparison of tactics, training, and equipment.
     
  7. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Presuming that you're referring to Caesar, I would imagine his troops. They were the best troops in the world at the time and likely wouldn't commit the same mistakes that the British Army did at Isandhlwana.
     
  8. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    This is a comparatively small point, but Shaka's favoured military tactics - called the 'bull horns', were based on having faster, younger men on the flanks to get behind the enemy and encircle them. This was functionally similar to what Hannibal did at Cannae, though they got there by quite different means. I found some diagrams:



    (Cannae is on the right)

    It's not easy to find a diagram that shows it, but Hannibal really got to the same place backwards - he put his most solid troops on the flanks, knowing that the centre would give ground and then allow him to envelop the Romans. Winning the cavalry battle cemented that advantage. Of couse, we all know how Cannae went for the Romans...
     
  9. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Yeah, but by the time of Caesar Scipio had annihilated the Cartaginians already and this tactic would be known to him. If Shaka was a one-trick pony and given the apparent Roman superiority in equipment and presumably training, I would put my money on Gaius Iulius Cæsar.
     
  10. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    I'm just going to point out that the Zulu had guns and used them. At Roarke's Drift five of the 17 British killed fell to firearms. ISandlwana also featured Zulu firearms.
     
  11. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    I blame everyone else for never mentioning that to me. D:
     
  12. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    The main thing I remember about Isandhlwana is that the casualties were so extreme because the Zulus had a religious reason to kill wounded soldiers, in case their spirits came after the Zulus for vengeance. Quite why they wouldn't do this if they were dead, I don't recall.
     
  13. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    How widespread were the use of firearms in Shaka's army? This is important to the earlier question I asked because if they aren't widespread and only see sporadic use, then Gaius Julius might still be able to overcome that disadvantage. It also begs the question of how resistant Roman armor and shields would be to late 19th century firearms.
     
  14. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Why do you keep calling him Gaius Julius? That's particularly ambiguous, especially with Roman names.
     
  15. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Because it is known who I am referring to in the context of the original question I asked and calling him Julius Caesar doesn't seem quite right to me.
     
  16. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    I don't know how true that is. I'd probably lean towards the rather more prosiac fact that the British broke into small groups and were surrounded and destroyed by a foe with superior mobility and a large numerical advantage. There just wasn't much hope of escaping for most of those involved. Surrender was possible - I suppose - but the British didn't do that. There's no hint on either sides accounts that it was even attempted.

    It's not surprising the guns weren't mentioned. ISandlwana didn't see them used all that much. The fighting was hand-to-hand for most of the battle. The rifles seem were discarded in favour of spears. At Roarkes drift the Zulu did use guns to good effect. IIRC the movie shows just that.
     
  17. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Well, given that only his close friends and family would ever have called him Gaius, using a praenomen and nomen in preference to a nomen and cognomen sounds even odder to me.
     
  18. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Well, his name was G. Julius Caesar. The pronomen was rarely used, because Romans had so few. There were also several G. Julii; but there was only one G. Julius Caesar.
     
  19. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    That's not strictly true - 'Caesar' was not, as commonly believed, one of those Roman nicknames given to an individual, but rather one of those Roman extra names designed to mark out branches of a family. Taking another famous Roman name, it was like the 'Scipio' in L. Cornelius Scipio Africanus, not like the 'Africanus'. As it happens, the famous Caesar had a father, grandfather and great-grandfather all named C. Iulius Caesar. However, you've hit the bigger nail on the head - people tended to be creative with which names were used in order to make sure that they could tell important people apart. We still have traces of that today - we know one emperor as Tiberius (the praenomen) and another as Nero (the cognomen), which avoids the confusion of having two called Tiberius.

    EDIT: Looking through the internet for evidence on this, I came across Gaius Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus, a distant relative who somehow ended up with two cognomina, despite not having any relatives with either or immediate relatives called Gaius.
     
  20. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Then there was Claudius (and his brother Germanicus), who was also (at one point) called Tiberius Claudius Nero. Each emperor was the great nephew of his ancestor, which is quite interesting.

    Wikipedia also mentions another five notable Romans by the same name, three of whom were apparently contemporaries of each other.
     

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