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Who are the best leaders

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Bast, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    That's only because the political structure set up in the Western world was set up around the religions, whereas the religions in the eastern world were set up around the political structure. The Chinese and Indians have killed more people combined than the Abrahamic religions could ever hope to match, they just didn't do it over religion.
     
  2. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    Eh ?! I seriously doubt that claim, for in most of Chinese & Indian history, combat was almost completely restricted within combatants. levelling cities/outright pillage in ancient India/China was extremely rare but fairly common through most of European history, so i don't see how this is possible, even with India/China having much bigger/advanced armies for its time compared to Europe & Arabia. Up until 1600s, it was a fairly common European & Arabian practice to torch/kill entire cities and thats been done since pre-historic Greek days. Whereas in most of Indian(pre-islamic) & Chinese history, conquest was done on the battlefield & population usually didn't care if they were part of this empire or that, since all it meant was the taxes were gonna go to some different city. Most of Indian & Chinese emperors were simply greedy for power & most of the prevalent philosophies deeply condemns violence- so they had to keep it within armed combatants or there would've been massive civil unrest. The emperors/competing kings cared more about capturing city X, getting revenue from city X, which means more revenue, which means more development + bigger army etc etc. so it was completely detrimental to destroying cities wholesale. Besides, the prevalent philosophies & religions of India/China did not sanction warfare did not sanction warfare in the name of God to begin with, like Islam and Christianity does. Or at the very least, while Christian,Judaic & Islamic texts have room for interpretation in this issue, there is very little wiggle room for hinduism/jainism/buddhism/taoism to wage war for God. Jains wont fight, period and neither would Buddhists. Daoists & Hindus would require pretty much a 'living God avatar' to command them to fight for spreading religion and there are simply zero references to any outside of mythology. Note- this is not the same as a king/empror being deified after death(not a very rare practice in ancient world) but pretty much a case of literally a guy/girl being God from birth capable of insane 'powers'.

    Plus India & China have had long periods of stability in their history. While Europe Christian & muslim Middle east saw a major war atleast once a century(often more) practically every century, there were centuries at a stretch where most of China/India did nothing but sit bored at their borders, keeping a lookout for invading barbarians. (later Tang dynasty period, latter Gupta & Pal period, etc).

    Plus if you throw in the millions upon millions of natives that Europeans killed in the 'colonial period' times, including the millions of African slaves dead,millions of Zoroastrians( for thousands of years, THE dominant faith in Persia) practically wiped out of persia by series of Islamic warlords, 50-70 million+ of indians killed during the Islamic invasion period,untold butchery of Turkoman muslims in central asia, etc. the body count of Abrahamic religions easily outstrip any sort of religious and non-religious bodycount of the non-abrahamic world.
     
  3. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Never happened, unless you count disease as "killing in the name of God."

    Anyway, the reason India and China (China in particular) have killed so much is because their armies alone were bigger than most European countries at the time and were almost entirely untrained, whereas European armies tended to engage in at least some drilling for most of their troops (because each man was individually more valuable due to less total population). Untrained men are much more likely to mortally wound one another because they do not understand how to properly defend themselves, so almost every blow is a killing blow.

    Plus, you act like the Hindi people just sat there and got slaughtered by the Islamic invaders. The Hindi did their share of killing in the name of religion, too.
     
  4. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    That is worse than holocaust denial really. Nobody is denying that disease killed a lot of natives but fact is, European GUNS went a long way in practically obliterating natives from most of US,Australia and many parts of central & Latin America. The historical source for this is exhaustive.

    Eh ?! Where are you getting this from ? You realize that until the 'fall of India' due to Islamic invasion onslaught, India was considered a super-power and one of the best trained militaries of its time ( AND huge) by many foreign writers- Strabo, Manetho, Pliny, etc. are all on record talking about the highly skilled and technologically advanced archers & swordsmen from India ( plus the feared war elephants in massive numbers). China was the most technologically advanced army of its time (and the most organized) for most of middle age period and in ancient times, they are acknowledged by their neighbours to be one of the most skilled bunch.
    Unfortunately, your impression derives from a poor ( and completely Eurocentric) idea of history of those lands, simply because Europe came into contact with these nations directly very recently in history ( just 400 odd years at best and no substantial contact till last 300 yrs) and it was a time of decline for both these civilizations.

    And as i said, your point of 'far more combatants' is rather moot, since Indian or Chinese combat rarely saw destruction of entire cities/countryside like in Europe/Arabia. Given that combat was much more strenuously limited to professional combatants (it is worth noting that both India and China had professional armies far before Europe did, so i dunno again where you are getting this idea of 'less trained' soldiers) for the most part, i don't see how the numbers of a battle would even begin to add up to the #s killed in a few towns and half a dozen villages butchered & torched.

    1. There is no such people called 'hindi' people. Hindi is a language, not a people.

    2. Please show me instances throughout history and its scale and then compare it with Europe-Middle east. as i noted earlier, there are 3 instances of religion being the cause of war in hinduism & once in buddhism- so thats 4 times there were any wars fought (nevermind, indiscriminate killing in name of religion) in 7500+ years of history. Does that seem in any way comparable to Abrahamic bloodshed in its 2000 yrs of history ?!?

    Pretty much thats what happened for the most part- and it is not just 'hindu/indian propaganda' - it is also recorded in the works of Islamic invaders like Mohd. bin Qasim, Nadir Shah, Mohd. Ghauri, Mohd. Ghazni, Tamerlane, etc. all left copious amount of writing about just how much they 'butchered' simply because they were 'infidels'.
    Early on, most cities were simply stunned and completely unprepared for genocide because as i said, it is extremely rare in Indian history pre-arrival of Islam. The few times its happened, it was due to extraordinary vendetta/blood feud due to complicated reasons between the monarchs. And even then it was very much looked down upon. Most cities in the early conquest phase were simply not prepared for a completely unknown army walking in and butchering all at a whim- indian cities were conquered many times in past by many forces, but it was always kept because of its cultural, technological and artistic prowess for most of recorded/known history. As i noted in a different thread, up until 1000 AD, ie, just over a thousand years ago, India was consistently amongst one of the top three superpowers- cultural, military, financial & technological for most of known human history and China was another of the consistent top 3 for most of human history until only 300 yrs ago. If today bunch of barbarians/backwards nation somehow manage to capture washington DC, they aint gonna just raze it to the ground- instead use its extensive infrastructural power to further boost their conquests !


    Anyway, please show me just how does Chinese & Indian warfare in its history ( outside of Abrahamic influences that is) come close to millions of slaves dead, natives exterminated, millions butchered during crusades & jihads ?
     
  5. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Actually, no. The vast majority of natives were killed by disease. Something like 2/3rds of them.
    It's just not true. India's army was much more professional than China's, but there's a reason why China equipped most of its armies with simple-to-use weapons like spears, halberds, and crossbows. They even invented the repeating crossbow just so that their completely incompetent soldiers could simply spray bolts into a general area at a high enough rate that they would be effective.
    Because first of all, a few towns in Europe at the time was a smaller number than a small Chinese army at the time. Second of all, I don't believe that the Chinese and Indians didn't kill civilians. That just doesn't figure.
    I say "Hindi" and mean "all people who spoke Hindi." I didn't want to single out any specific Indian civilization like the Guptas or the Vedic States.
    Battle of Hastings; 7-8,000 per side
    Battle of Huan Er Tsui; 200,000 vs 100,000
     
  6. meatwad4289

    meatwad4289 Prince

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    Well, I'm pretty sure that due to the increased populations, that any war in China/India meant more people would fight and more people will die. Regardless of holy war or not.

    However, I do know that I read many times in world history books that there were several wars waged in or by Chinese and Indian Civilizations over disputes in Religion, in some cases disputes over the same religion with different denominations, To say that the Abraham Religions carried more bloodshed than others is wrong. Most religions have a fair share of bloodshed. If you look before The age of Christianity or Islam, there were several Civilizations killing each other in the name of their God(s). Several nations after the spread of Christianity and Islam, continued to invade each other because of opposing older beliefs. I don't believe you can blame blood on religion, just the people guiding it. The Christian Churches of today are not the same as the Christian churches, 10 years ago, 50 years ago or even 200 years ago. Same for Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all other faiths.
    Some people use religion for political gains, doesn't matter what religion it is, if they can profit from it, they use it, whether the profit be money, war, trade, or land.
     
  7. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    In the US, yes. I am talking about the whole of Americas as one and that is nowhere close to 2/3rds figure.

    Yes. The reason for this was China mostly faced invasions from horseback hoards of Mongols & turks, who were mostly horse archers and who'd simply own your elite infantry swordsmen. But it is a fact, noted extensively in many scholarly works in the west, that Chinese army was/has been one of the most technologically advanced for its time from atleast 1000 BC to 1700 AD. Chinese army was also noted for its extensive mastery of tactics. It is also to be noted that China rarely got beaten when it was a big empire- it mostly got whacked (much like india) in inter-dynastic periods.

    As per Indian army goes- well, it is the first civ to come up with steel swords, steel tipped arrows and even steel bows. India's infantry was not the most skilled around, except for in swords ( similar to gladius) and mace (extensive record of skilled training & usage of mace exists). Indian archery was more or less legendary for its time- there are examples in history about Indian archers firing accurately by sheer sound and through fog, their bowmen completely outclassing most archers even after the Hun-bow was made. There exists huge data on archery champions in Indian literature ( just like Japan has a history of amazing sword-saints, India has a history of amazing archers), not to mention, being excellent at archery was a dream of practically every warrior, given how almost all Indian 'mythic war heroes' are primarily archers of insane 'godly powers'. Plus it had thousands of armored war elephants.It should be noted that Indians really did use the elephants for longer, in greater numbers and with much more warfare-skill than any other civ, basically because Persians were poor users of elephants- elephants is not native to persia, elephant training is very intricate and must be done from childhood, etc factors and only other civ to use war elephants extensively was carthage and the elephants Carthage used were of the much smaller (and now extinct) north-african variety. Many sources, Greek, Persian, pre-islamic Arabian, etc. sources considered Indian armies with thousands of war elephants on field to be practically invincible.
    not only were the elephants extensively armoured, attached with spikes,blades, spearpoints etc., battle-trained and in thousands, they also house 2 archers(indian archers of pretty high quality!) on top.Just about only thing that'd stop the elephant cavalry of thousands of elephants is overwhelming numerical advantage, but since this is Indian empire you are up against, you are the one facing overwhelming numerical advantage PLUS unbeatable elephant cavalry, crazy archers and swordsmen & macemen as good as any in the world. So i don't quite get where you are getting the concept that ancient China or India were largely unskilled warriors. There is a very good reason why until 200-300 yrs ago,India and china were rarely conquered by a foreign power when either nation is largely united by an empire. it was usually in inter-empire period when outsiders whacked these nations good.

    In terms of entire armies, perhaps. But its worth noting that China or India never really sent its entire half a million or thereabouts strong army all at once to war- war has almost always been done by 150-200,000 soldiers at maximum. And that is not even remotely comparable to many many genocidal warfare through most of medieval & Roman European times.
    As i said, it is a function of both frequency AND individual acts adding up.
     
  8. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    ?!? Hindi is less than 1500 yrs old as a language.

    Those arnt different civilizations- India and China present two continuous civilizations without any serious involuntary shifts. To differentiate between Guptas, Vedic states etc. as different civilizations is a bit like differentiating in French civilization and saying Napoleon = different civ. than Lous XIV, deGaulle= different civ than Napoleon.. rather strange ?!


    I didn't say it never happened. But as i said, the religions and philosophies that comprised much of India and China back in the day was extremely condenming of certain acts: murder of unarmed, regicide, infanticide, rape and treason. As such, the instances of mass murder is rare enough to be counted on one hand for both nations combined in their known history.
    Besides, as i said, India and China have extensive history being unified but also a significant history being divided- cities were used to being passed around from one kingdom/empire to another every couple of hundred years and unless it was the capital city, it rarely resulted in full-blown civil unrest.
    Since these cities were mostly very rich, very developed and had passed hands many times in history, the indian/chinese kings were mostly interested in controlling the city & reaping the huge financial rewards of controlling those massive cities than simply obliterating them as was the norm in middle east-europe for most of its history.

    On the battlefield, yes. But China/Indian history shows that they mostly kept their wars in the battlefields. Europe and middle-east did not(and in the case of latter, still does not) till the last 300-400 odd years or so.

    You kill off several villages + many cities = far more bloodshed than two armies 3x the size colliding on field of battle.


    Err, there is a grand total of ONE war in Chinese history motivated by religion (when some Taoist chinese emperor started killing off Buddhists and attacked Nan Chao kingdom coz they were buddhists and buddhism was spreading fast in China).
    There is a grand total of 1 mythological civil war due to religion ( mahabharata) in Indian and only three instances of kings ever going to war on the basis of religion in pre-Islamic Indian history- one buddhist & two hindu.)
    But in the last 1000-1200 years, ancient India has been ravaged by almost uninterrupted Islamic conquest & genocidal war until basically the British took charge in 1750s and instead preferred to tax the population to death.
    So most of the 'historical wars of religion' you've read about India is to do with Abrahamic religion's aggression anyways.

    Such as ?!?? Romans fought carthage coz of their God or for control of mediterranean ? Greeks fought Persians for God ? Alexander conqured almost all of west-asia for God ? Julius Caesar faught Vincengetorix for God ?!?

    If we can't say it about religion, then why are there ZERO instances of Buddhist Jihads, Hindu or Daoist or Zoroastrian crusades in the entire history of mankind that we know of ?
    How come there is zero-literally zero- record of hindus, jains, buddhists, daoists, zoroastrians, shintoists, confucists, etc. of stoning people to death for crime X or burning people alive on stakes for crime Y ?

    If we cannot say certain religions have certain traits (in this case, Abrahamics = bloodthirsty historically), then why is it that in every century of mankind for the last 1600-1700 years, we have extensive evidence Abrahamic religions committing a genocide or two in the name of religion (ie, claiming sanction from God/holy command) while there is literally once-in-a-blue-moon happening of such in far longer histories of non-abrahamic religions ?!?

    can you please tell me the # of wars Greeks launched for Athena/Zeus/Apollo etc's sake ? Can you please list me the wars that Indians or Chinese or Persians(pre-islamic) fought for religion ?
    I can straight-away give you atleast 13-14 crusades of Christianity alone as # of wars done on religious basis. And that is not even scratching the surface of warfare done in the name of God by Abrahamic faiths. Look, this is a fact evident from history. Pure and simple.

    Now, my question is, if it is simply a matter of 'bad people corrupting religions/using it for bad means', then why is it a trait seen mostly in Abrahamic religions ?
    If it is just a question of 'bad people and people guiding it' , then why arn't there 10 hindu crusades ?
    Why isn't there a single shred of evidence of a Buddhist China going slaughtering others until they convert to Buddhism and/or deeming non-buddhists as heretics, who should be burnt on the stake ?

    Why is it, when it comes to certain aspects ( i happened to pick on violence), Abrahamic religions are very very different in their history than other religions ?
    If it were simply a matter of people ( and since all people are essentially equal), why isnt the history of religion pretty much the same for every religion ?
     
  9. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    True. But my point is, there is a big scope in Abrahamic religions, to go wage war in the name of God. All it takes is a slightly hardline interpretation of the texts.
    But nomatter how 'hardline' an interpretation of texts you take, you will have zero leeway justifying a war you just started in Buddhism or Jainism.
    A Jain fanatic is one who wears a cloth over his mouth (so he/she doesnt accidentally chew a bug and kill it in their sleep) and walks barefeet( since bugs/small creatures less likely to die under naked feet than under boots) and is total veggie ( can't kill or consume killed animals!). Does that sound like a guy who's looking for a fight ?
    Likewise in Daoism- i dunno how you can possibly justify a war in Daoism unless it is to defend yourself from invaders.

    In Hinduism, even a completely hardline interpretation of text usually leads to 'we want to re-unite whole of Ancient India - which is India + Sri Lanka + bangladesh + Bhutan+ Nepal + Pakistan + Afghanistan + Tajikistan in historical terms- and then sit tight & make money like we did in those times' type of conclusion.
    There is literally zero concept of 'God says go kill X/ Y should be killed for not accepting God' in these religions because there their 'holy books' are explicit in stressing total non-violence ideally and limiting violence only to 'armed/participating combatants' in practical purpose.

    These are 'karmic' religions- where it is simply a 'cause---> effect' type of ideas. It is also stressed in ALL these religions that not even the highest of Gods can 'change karma' wholesale. So, basically, if you kill innocents ---> you are f*cked in your next life and nobody, not even Gods, can change that.

    There is however, too much loopholes and leeways in Christian & Islamic texts to interpret a hardline version that says 'go kill non-believers'.

    That is why history reflects this. I don't see how it can be possibly argued that non-Abrahamic religions have killed more/equal in name of God compared to Abrahamic religions. This just belies a total lack of historical knowledge!

    I don't even see how they've killed equally, since most killings occur in cases of genocides, pillaging & city razing- which as i said, is far lesser in Chinese/Indian history, discounting the ' being done by foreign invaders barging in, in times of instability, looting away' factor.
    And i don't see how exactly you can blame it on these ancient religions or cultures if they get their cities burned/raped/killed to the ground by foreign invaders ?!
     
  10. Theodorick

    Theodorick King

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    Hmm. I have to go with Ahimsadharma on this one. Peng Qi is proving himself the fool here. The only thing both of you are off on are the Americas. Disease from the 15th to the 16th century killed 9/10 of all natives, not just the mere 2/3 you guys are quoting. After this, the population recovered a little bit, with the exception of the occasional European disease born plague--the natives really were wrecked more by European disease than anything else. The actual amount killed by actual warfare from Europe is not near in the millions. Usually the landscape was cleared of native populations, especially in north america, before the Europeans even entered--this is why we commonly view the natives as nomadic, sparsely populated people, which only happened because a lot of their large population centers were ravaged by disease before anyone from Europe even saw them. These small populations were often easy to kick out. The exception would be the Aztec and Incan empires, were there was a brief warfare spawned death tally, but this didn't amount to much--the population of the entire Aztec empire was 25 million before the Spanish conquered it, and 96% of this was killed due to disease.

    Now the americas aside, where disease did nearly ALL of the killing, not European guns, the Europeans did practice genocide in others areas of the world where disease couldn't hurt the local population as well, namely Africa. You can't list Siberia here though, because the northern Siberians were prone to the same diseases the native americans were prone to, so disease actually hit them very hard when Russians invaded their land. Disease also hit Indigenous Australians far harder than Europeans guns did.

    I'm not denying genocide here. Some Europeans actually purposely infected native populations--you likely heard of pox infected clothing/blankets being given as a peace offering--especially in north america, just to weaken them before driving them out of their land. One group in Alberta was so weakened by small pox that they just completely collapsed, and gave a huge chunk of their land away, and this process repeated many times without barely a shot fired. I even remember an eerie painting done by a native at this time, showing a pox infected Cree turning the gun on himself instead of the British who were trying to claim his land.
     
  11. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Well then that's my mistake.

    Anyway, I think you're overestimating the abilities of the Indian army. Every army had elite units, but most armies were comprised of rank-and-file chaff whose only purpose was to hold ground until the elite units arrived. The thing is, in Europe, given the very small populations compared to Asia, this rank-and-file chaff was a very small percentage of the overall forces, especially in areas like late medieval Italy (which was very rich and most militia members could afford very good equipment), the Holy Roman Empire (which was very strong under the feudal system and able to field large amounts of heavy cavalry), and England (who painstakingly trained large longbow units).

    I mean, if India was as invulnerable as you painted them, how did the Mongols and the Mughals dominate them?

    Also, this idea of India and China having been unified since the dawn of time is total nonsense. It's nationalist propaganda that China (and I guess India) has been spreading only very recently and has no basis in reality.
     
  12. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    1. Mongols never made it to India successfully. When Mongols rose, much of northern India was dominated by the muslim Delhi sultanate- they could afford war elephants and war elephant = owns horse archers.

    2. Mughals ( who were distant discendants of Mongols) made it because the first Mughal to step in India ( Babur shah) brought with him cannons- aka, elephant guns, aka elephants = running sh!t scared and trampling its own troops in its haste to get away = Indians owned.


    Nobody is saying that India and China have been unified since dawn of time.
    But there is extensive legend AND archaeological evidence ( uniformity in coinage, construction styles etc) to suggest that these lands had been unified very early in its history. What chinese & Indian history suggests is that much of India and China had been unified under central leadership many times and for a significant part of its known history.

    3. India usually got owned in inter-dynastic period, where one empire fell and created several city-state dominated kingdoms and it was a few hundred years or so till the rise of the next empire. You see, what made India invincible was its elephant cavalry. And elephant cavalry costs a $hitload of money- elephants eat 1/5th of its bodyweight in plants every DAY (that is 1 tonne of plant matter per elephant) and several gallons of water to drink, not to mention, they require a bath atleast once a day or they'd overheat. Plus each elephant required his/her unique mahout to be guided by( elephants arnt dumb creatures- nor are they very extroverted- they interact only with trusted human beings-especially when they are conditioned for war. You try to get on an elephant that isnt prepared by its mahout = you get thrown off its back and end up dead). This made elephant cavalry a very expensive unit that only big rich & mighty empires could afford, not smallish kingdoms, in any decent numbers.
    Turk/arab/iranian facing down little kingdom in outer-India, with 50-60,000 soldiers and 100-200 war elephants is one thing - not an unwinnable battle.
    But its entirely different story facing down the empire of Magadha or Gupta/Pal/Chola empires- 200,000-400,000 troops + 9000-15000 war elephants. Its the 9000-15000 war elephants that makes it literally impossible to beat such empires. Most Persian, Greek and Indian authors we know of say that an Indian war elephant was equivalent to 30 enemy soldiers. 9000 war elephants unleashed on you = your whole invasion force dies, especially when you consider that these elephants are backed up by 50-60,000 insane archers and 200-300,000 infantry. This is why Mauryan empire, Gupta empire, Chola empire, Pal empire, etc. were all unbeatable when in power and invasions usally occured AFTER these empires fell and such large professional armies ( especially the elephant cavalry bit) are impossible to maintain.

    Err facts prove otherwise.
    Facts show that both India and China have fielded professional armies ( remember, India used to have an entire caste- the warrior caste- dedicated to fighting/protection) from atleast 800 BC period.
    This means India/China rarely took peasants with pitchforks into battle like Europe did for most of its pre-reneissance history.
    Professional armies > peasant with pitchfork armies, which were the hallmark of Europe for most of its history.
    And the size of the population for India and china meant that whenever they were in the 'empire' period, the empire was insanely rich.
    D&B ( a reputed accountancy firm) for eg, estimates that in 200 AD-650 AD period, when the Gupta empire held sway in India, they accounted for 30% of the world's economic might ! That is, in relative terms, a nation 3 times more powerful than America economically today ! Insanely rich empires could afford to field a professional army of several hundred thousand staff, especially when their total population base is many many millions( Ashoka's India for eg, is estimated to have a population of 80-150 million-ish people).

    No, i am not. If you look at world historical maps, you will find that most of India was independent of non-Indian empires through antiquity- Alexander never made it past the frontiner little kingdoms of India, even Achamenid Persia, which conquered so much, didn't step beyond the Indus. As i said, Indian army had its specialities. India never had spearmen ( like Phalanx) worth talking about, they didn't have heavy cavalry worth talking about and rarely employed horse archers. They never heard of crossbows until just few hundred years earlier.
    But they did have very good macemen, decent/competent swordsmen, Godly skilled archers and most importantly, elephant cavalry.
    I think you are severely underestimating the impact of elephant cavalry in pre-cannon warfare.
    Not to metion, you are painting a totally incorrect picture historically when you say that 'these warriors were mostly cannon fodder, not very skilled and just overwhelms you with strength in numbers'. India is the first known place in the world to have created modern universities- thousands of students living in residence, hundreds of teachers living on campus, university offering courses in 200+ different fields. Chess is an Indian invention and it was played early on as a tool to sharpen your military strategy skills. All this suggests a highly skilled population, not a largely unskilled population.
     
  13. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    This is patently false. Look at the Byzantine Themata, Varangian Guard, and Kataphractoi, or the Roman Legion. Look at the Vikings, the Italian Militias, or the English army. Peasants with pitchforks were usually the exception rather than the rule except in times of great danger or in areas which were used to peace. In most societies where the peasants were expected to fight, the peasants also trained for war (such as in Italy) and were very, very skilled at what they did (such as Genoese crossbowmen).

    I think the problem with this discussion may be that you are much more familiar with Indian history as taught by India and I am much more familiar with European history as taught by Europeans, and each source is probably biased on some way. I still absolutely assert that the Chinese army almost always consisted of large numbers of largely incompetent soldiers with a few elite units.
     
  14. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    Romans and Greeks were notable exception periods but the Byzantines, for the most part, depended on paid mercenaries to defend itself. Which is the reason it often nearly died as an empire- mercenaries arnt reliable support.

    But for most of English history, post-Roman history of europe, especially in medieval times, armies = few nobility ( read: knights) commanding a few regiments of professional soldiers and the rest all peasants with pitchforks to be meatshields.

    I am fairly familiar with Indian AND european history ( european education is more than 50% of my education, really).
    I've already stated before that most of my historical knowledge is to do with Europe, Asia and Egypt- i don't know much outside of these histories.

    And i still see no basis for this assumption. And i still do not see acknowledgement from your part about historical acclaim for Chinese mastery of tactics. Tactics > elite soldiers in most scenarios.
     
  15. Bastian-Bux

    Bastian-Bux King

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    Ah, and the meassurement of credibility is? Let me guess: credible economists are only those favoring a "free market" economy with no state influence whatoever?

    Sorry, but discrediting an argument by claiming to cite (mind you, not citing) so called authorities credibility is weak. Not even naming those authorities or giving ANY rule how you decided their credibility is ... soviet style agit-prop at its worst. ;)

    If you now feel insulted because I compare your "free market - liberalism" propaganda with the agit-prop of the soviet "no free market - communism", then you might be able to think about "two sides of the same coin".

    -------------------------------
    Economic Left/Right: -6.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.87
     
  16. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    But mercenaries are professional soldiers, far from the peasants with pitchforks you were talking about.
    Not really. The only time peasants were fielded was in massive engagements like the Reconquista or Crusades or when the nobility didn't have the time to levee troops into effective fighting units, such as during the Viking era.
    I don't think you know European history very well.
    I don't need to acknowledge something that isn't the topic of conversation.
     
  17. hoopsnerd

    hoopsnerd Prince

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    That's the whole point, there is no proof or even actual historical evidence of any of the mythical figures you mentioned ever existing, except for Mohammed.

    Um, what? Did you just say that being written about in books is proof of actual existance? So Hercules was real also? The Illiad and the Oddysey are factual? The stories of the bible are proven to be factual? Please provide the links to a few peer-reviewed articles on that one for me please. Why is the burden of proof on me to prove that Jesus didn't exist - shouldn't the people making extraordinary claims need the proof? I can't call an entire religion mumbo jumbo? Ok, I'll call it BS then. Seriously man, listen to yourself.
     
  18. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    I don't want to get into the heart of your debate. I just want to make a single point. From what I know, there are more than enough written sources accounting for Jesus to affirm that the guy indeed existed. Whether he was the "son of god" or just another spiritual weirdo that managed to inspire a good bunch of people is another question, but the majority of scholar say the guy existed.

    Oh I'm an agnostic on the verge of being an atheist.
     
  19. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

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    There are no "best" leaders, only best players! :D
     
  20. hoopsnerd

    hoopsnerd Prince

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    Would you care to link us to some of these written sources that prove Jesus existed? It's a common myth that such sources exist outside of some theological texts written hundreds of years after his supposed life. I will concede the arguement in a second if you are able to find such sources that document reliable historical evidence of his actual existance.
     

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