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Humankind - Franks Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Humankind by Amplitude' started by Eagle Pursuit, May 12, 2020.

  1. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    The Khmer card (next week?) is colorful enough for two...

    Well, as Bernd Roeck put it: "Great cultures never have autochthonous or national roots." Sure, people and traditions from different places are involved with the scriptoriums and it's not a Frankish invention at all (Western European monasteries are of course as you point out heavily influenced by Benedictus' rules and life, and the monastic life in turn comes, via some detours, from the Egyptian desert fathers). That was not quite my point.

    The Carolingian Minuscule is also not a sudden invention, it's a development lasted over several decades. Early forms of it appear in French monasteries (e.g. Corbie) before Charlemagne was even crowned, possibly influenced by Irish monks. It's 'final' form appears in Tours with Albinus/Alkuin. So, the development happened within Frankish land and culture, and heavily relied on the present infrastructure and circumstances (Charlemagne's goals) at this time and place. That is what I meant to point out. I understood the scriptorium EQ in HK as an architectural manifestation of said events, which turned out to have utmost importance for medieval Europe, allowing written discourses and shared heritage detached from still-alive individuals over a larger part of the continent again (although not with quite the same world-changing impact as Gutenberg's milestone later on) - until today, as we know a substantial amount of classical works from versions written in this script during Frankish rule. A different story than the 'borrowed" longbows.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  2. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    The development of Carolingian Minuscule is why I used the phrase 'frequently attributed to' Alcuin instead of flat-out invented by him, as was once thought. It was, as you say, a drawn-out development preceded by several other 'scripts' from both Frankland and elsewhere. And, of course, it was specifically created and spread in response to Charlemagne's desire to increase the availability of the Vulgate Bible by having it reproduced in a clear and easy-to-read form.

    To turn, briefly, to the other half of the Emblematics revealed, if the Scriptorium is Emblematic of the spread of (biblical) literacy represented by Charlemagne's legacy, the armored horseman is anachronistic. He's shown with an at least partially barded horse, plate metal reinforcement of his shoulder armor and a rather complex visored helmet: all of these are developments from the 12th century and later, not the 9th century of Charlemagne. They still, obviously, fall within the 'Medieval' Era, but would possibly indicate a single Faction in that Era with attributes from several very different parts of it.

    Or just an artist who wasn't properly supervised - the wide-flanged spear/lance point is Carolingian, it just doesn't belong with the armor shown on man and horse!
     
  3. bite

    bite Unofficial Civilization Cartographer Moderator

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    I can't find out anything about the unit bar generic stuff, does anyone else know?
     
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  4. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    Well, the latin name just translates as frankish soldier, so there isn't much on that. Going by the picture, what's meant seems to be the Frankish cataphract variant, which is a historically important development as it formed the basis for the medieval knight tradition. There's a german wikipedia article on it: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerreiter or with google translate: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerreiter
     
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  5. bite

    bite Unofficial Civilization Cartographer Moderator

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    thanks, I was trying to find out the info for the features thread, and my google-fu was failing me
     
  6. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Using as my source Ian Heath's Armies of the Dark Ages 600 - 1066 (revised 2nd edition) and Armies of Feudal Europe 1066 - 1300, which are based on contemporary illustrations, descriptions and accounts as well as archeological evidence, the problem is that the illustrations have elements in them dating from the 9th to the 13th century and, in 'France' or Frankland, ranging from Carolingian/Capetian to the Valois and the beginning of the 100 Year's War.

    First, it is definitely late or post-Charlemagne: Charlemagne himself is said to have used a throwing spear and for most of his reign his army was largely infantry, with very little cavalry of any kind.
    Under the later Carolingians and Capetian dynasty, the 9th century 'heavy cavalry' wore an open-faced wide-flanged helmet almost like that shown, and carried large round shields and flanged spears with pennents (indicating that unlike earlier, they were thrust or couched, not thrown) but their body armor was link mail or scaled (that is, small metal overlapping plates sewn to a leather or canvas undergarment)
    By the 11th century the high-cantle saddle was in use and the shield had changed to the kite or long pointed oval type, and the helmets were almost always a conical type with a nasal protection, and body armor almost entirely link mail. Basically, the figures from the Bayeau Tapestry, since most of t he 'Norman' knights at Hastings in 1066 CE were virtually identical to the majority of knights/heavy horse in the rest of France.
    BUT no horse armor of any kind is evident west of Byzantium until the 12th century - after the first Crusaders came home with the idea, and no armored gauntlets, gloves, or plate body armor/arm armor until the late 12th - early 13th century.

    There's nothing wrong with the illustrations for a Medieval Frankish/French Knight, except that they represent a 'knight' (miles, miletes) from about 4 different centuries.

    And for irony, the 'Frankish Knights' that faced the 'English' longbowmen at Crecy in 1346 CE were much more heavily armored and on armored horses, not represented by the illustrations at all!
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Just to be clear, I'm not criticizing the Emblematic Unit represented by the illustrations. IF the intent is to represent the French armored horsemen of the Medieval Era, then they have to show men whose armor and weapons were in a constant 'arms race' with their opponents: versus massed spearmen and axemen in the 9th - 11th centuries, crossbows in the 12th century, longbows and pikes in the 14th century, and enemy horsemen who were also 'upgrading' from simple link mail armor to mixed plate and mail to fully articulated plate steel armor in the same period, while wielding heavy throwing or thrusting spears and then couched lances, battle axes, long swords, maces, morningstars and hand cannon (Yes, that's right: the first small gunpowder weapons in Europe are shown being used by men in 'knightly' armor - by the late 14th century it was quite possible to bring a lance to a gunfight)
     
  8. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Office Linebacker

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    Excellent point, that's what I was thinking too!
     
  9. Catoninetales_Amplitude

    Catoninetales_Amplitude Warlord

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    I just wanted to pop in here real quick and let you know we've heard your feedback regarding the illustration of the Franci Milites. Our historians agree that it could be more focused on one period to be authentic, but I cannot at this time make any promises regarding changes to it.
     
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  10. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Frankly (;)), I found that criticism of the illustration of the Franci Milites a bit over the top. True, sure, but also pedantic. Of course we are here on the 'fanatics so I won't complain or debate that. No, rather I am in a bit of awe of all that knowledge. I did have to smile reading it though. :)
     
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  11. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Us? Pedantic? Here? Never! :mischief:
     
  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Shucks, you ain't seen nothing yet.
    Just wait until they reveal the Early Modern Russian Faction and I start my discussion of the variations in the styles of fur-trimmed coats and headgear in the Streltsy or English origins of the specialized leather hats worn by Peter I's Probrazhenskii Guards Regiment. :deal:

    (No, not really - I have documents on both of those topics, but they even bore ME!)
     
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  13. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Oh, I love watching youtube videos where a medievalist watches and comments the historicity of a Netflix or Hollywood production and by the end just mumbles "Why all that fur? Why?". Their despair is really something. I guess I have a strange sense of entertainment. :lol:
     
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  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    In addition to writing the excellent Flashman series of novels, George MacDonald Fraser also wrote scripts for Hollywood, and being a Scot, went into fits at the historical drivel that was the Braveheart move. He wrote an entire book (very well illustrated) on Hollywood's greatest historical bloopers. One of the highlights of the Seven Years War Association (yes, there are associations in the USA for just about Anything) meetings years ago was a tape of Most Incredibly Bad Movie Moments depicting mid-18th century warfare. We all used to sit around with plentiful supplies of beer and fall out of our chairs laughing. My favorite was the elephants at the Battle of Plassy in India throwing spears with their trunks as they charged the hapless enemy, from a black and white movie made in the 1930s on a budget apparently about equal to lunch money.
    So, your 'strange sense' is by no means unique . . .
     
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  15. Gwydden

    Gwydden Chieftain

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    Knowledge is a curse. As a kid, I would remain oblivious to all manner of ahistorical nonsense in AoE2 or wherever and happily coast along. Now, I can't watch the Assassin's Creed: Valhalla trailer without risking an aneurysm.

    Nothing remotely as outrageous in Humankind so far, gotta give them that. Now watch them make me look bad when the Viking culture card is revealed and they look like Conan the Barbarian.
     
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  16. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    IF there is a single A-Historical Image that can send me into a foaming, frothing, incoherent Rage, it's the 'horned helmet' shown on every other Viking image ever displayed in books, comic books, movies, cartoons, cereal boxes, etc. Repeat After Me: NO ONE wears a helmet into battle that has protrusions to make it easier for someone to knock it off!!!
    (More to the point, the 'horned helmet' was a Gaulish Ceremonial headgear from a completely different culture a thousand years before the first Vikings paddled off looking for loot)
    :ar15::viking:
     
  17. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Office Linebacker

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    Blame Wagner! ;)

    Weren't there contemporaneous Roman accounts of Gauls wearing helmets into battle with wings that flapped as they ran? Almost certainly hyperbole, but there's ample reason to think SOME helmets had garish protrusions.
     
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  18. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    Contemporary Roman stories on Gauls? Always makes me think of the Elk hunting in De Bello Gallico.... so, yeah, needs to be taken with a grain of salt
     
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  19. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    And Caesar claims he was outnumbered in every battle he fought in Gaul and before him the Romans give numbers in the hundreds of thousands for the Gauls that invaded northern Italy: "Migrations" that somehow managed to feed up to half a million people as they wandered over the Alps. This I don't take with a grain of salt, I take with the Great Salt Lake evaporated.
    As stated, the Gauls had a Horned Helmet that was a ceremonial piece of headgear, I suspect related to the Horns of Divinity that show up on altars from Crete to Mesopotamia - but since the Gauls never wrote anything down relating to thei religion, we don't really have a clue.
    There are a lot of illustrations from the Romantic artists of the 19th century in Europe showing wingy-helmeted barbarians of all kinds, including Gauls, Goths, Huns, etc - none of them with the slightest basis in archeology or common sense.
     
  20. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Office Linebacker

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    Sure, but the fact is that some helmets must have had protrusions that were just for show at one point or another. Why all those Egyptian depictions of Sherden/Shekelesh with horned helmets or helmets featuring a disc? Just one example.
     

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