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Who are the best leaders

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

  1. hoopsnerd

    hoopsnerd Prince

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    Quite plausible. It certainly wouldn't be without precedent. Was Greek Mythology based on actual happenings? What about Norse? A lot of mythologies could have begun with actual facts and then become myths about Zeus and Hera through entropy, which is pretty much what I'm suggesting about Jesus.

    The existance of Zeus and Thor is written in many Greek and Norse texts but noone would claim that they existed. Simply being written about does not prove existence. Ancient seamen would tell you Poseiden himself forced them off course...

    It is a bad comparison, I only pointed that out because I was making a weak effort to stay on topic, and the fact there is no evidence of his existence from his own time shows that he was an extremely minor spiritual leader whose significance came much after his death (if he did in fact live from 0 BC to ~30AD or if he did live at all) -- which would keep him off any list of great leaders in history.

    On another OT note, there are so many holes in the history of Jesus theory that I can't see how it's taken seriously. Obviously a lot of history as we know it is based off of Christ, including the AD-BC seperation. The book "The New Chronology" does a great job of describing why this is such a problem. By your logic, you are "only blowing hot air" if you haven't read it. I don't want to get into all the reasons why in this forum, only because I don't think I would do it justice.

    I won't say that it's more likely that Jesus didn't exist than it is than he did. I will say that there are a lot of problems with the consenual western history
    and at the root of it is the history of christ. If you think that Christ's place in history is set in stone and no longer up for debate, you should take a look at the books i referenced earlier, or do some investigation on your own. I think you'll find that the case is not closed.
     
  2. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    You have no idea then. Men-at-arms are civillian militia leveed by a lord from his own estates.
    Men-at-arms also liberally combined divisions of professional military ( few who are the guards of the nobles) with large # of peasantry !
    This has been the case till late 1400s for most land wars in Europe, barring the Roman, Byzantine and Greek civilizations !

    Strange then that your historical knowledge of Asia- iran, India, china- is so narrow. Not to mention, western education on Asiatic studies has a lot of room for improvement and scholarly approach.


    !!!
    I give up. its pointless to argue with someone who thinks that tactical training is not part of being 'trained or untrained' as a soldier.
    i wonder just how many soldiers would laugh at you for saying that.
     
  3. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    No worries mate. completely understandable.
    ;)
     
  4. UnspokenRequest

    UnspokenRequest Prince

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    You're comparing Gods to an actual person...
    - Zeus = a god. You can't prove in any way it ever was (or is) real
    - Jesus = story about a person who supposedly existed. In theory, you can prove a person existed
    - Iliad (war between Greeks and Troy) = an event related in an epic and fantastic manner. In theory, you can prove that a war between some Greeks and Troy occured.
    - Arthur = a Britton king/leader. In theory, it is possible to prove that Brittons were once led by a person named Arthur (or Artos as those claiming he existed say)
    Conclusion: Bad comparison, bad argument



    Of course, I would never say that Jesus is a great leader as intended by the question of the OP. But nothing in this text of yours is an argument proving or indicating that Jesus didn't exist.

    First, the existence of Jesus is not a theory. The story of his life is another thing though. If that was the case, every ancient character for which we don't have too much evidence would be called a theory. What about Hammurabi, Akhenaton or as other said Alexander? That would be nonsense to call into question the very existence of every ancient political/spiritual leader for which the traces of their passage on this earth has been mostly destroyed by time.
    Calling into question the histories surrounding the way they lived is something else, though...

    There are holes in most history of the people of these times. Pointing out holes will never prove that a character never existed. It merely proves that information about him is at best fragmentary.

    On hot air. Calling into question the credibility of reference means you have examined the said reference, which you haven't. Contrary to you, I never said your sources were not credible. I merely hinted to the fact that they were marginal, which is a fact.
    And I quoted a citation (of a scholar) reproduced in wikipedia that says the theory of Jesus being only a myth has been "refuted". This is not hot air. This is an opinion of a scholar on the state of the debate on the reality of Jesus.

    Agreed. As with any popular representation of history. Things are usually always more complex and less obvious than they seem.

    Jesus place will (and should) always be debated.
    Claiming that a person so many people talked about never existed is a very hard case to prove. As there are many evidences, indications and references to Jesus in a number of early AD documents, since there are billions of people believing in his existence, the burden of proof is now on those claiming Jesus never existed.

    I think these people have proven that the sources talking about him are fragmentary, incomplete and sometimes partial, but claiming that all the gospels writers are part of some purposeful myth/messiah creation enterprise (conspiracy) is only a theory.
    Why was such a person created?
    Who created him?
    If he was created, where did the spiritual philosophy surrounding this guy came from?
    Was this philosophy singlehandedly created or was it done by many person?
    If this philosophy was created by a single person, can we logically affirm that this person is the historical Jesus (meaning the founder of the Christian religion).
    If not. Who is the founder of this religion that sprang up around the 1st century AD?
    In the end, I think the hypothesis that Jesus never existed calls more unanswered questions than the plausible possibility that this guy existed.
     
  5. meatwad4289

    meatwad4289 Prince

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    oo alright, lol everything i read kept saying Oppressive Buddist and oppressed hindus lol.



    You miss read my post, my point was that the ancient cultures used the Religion to "inspire" troops and push political agendas. They may not of said "LETS GO TO WAR IN THE NAME OF GOD" but they did say stuff along the lines of "Athena will ENSURE OUR VICTORY" amonf other things.


    I'm just saying that he can't say someone didn't exist, unless he's got proof. It's possible that Jesus didn't exist, but very likely he did exist. To go against the most of the world which would say "yeah he probably existed" you would need proof to say "no he didn't exist because look at this and this". instead of
    "well he didnt exist because hes a myth. "


    As I said before, many events in the bible happened, just with out the Religious flare. For example, a Volcano erupts destroys a city, this could be Considered God's wrath in a holy text. However, the Volcano still erupted be it God's wrath or natural occurance. The bible has many stories that are actual events, they've just up played the religious aspect.
     
  6. blakos

    blakos Chieftain

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    Enjoyable banter. Just read My name is Judas by CK Stead. Brilliant book.
    Yes Ahim the colonialists killed many Maori in New Zealand with Muskets and also with disease. I agree with the majority Hoopsnerd.. Jesus was a brilliant orator, but not the son of god. History is so interpretative as is religion.

    America as with most dominant Powers has alot of blood on its hands. But hey who doesn't??? I.E. The East timor>Indonesian conflict(funding of Indonesian army) conflict, Vietnam, Iran/Iraq (backing of Saddam vs Iran) war of the 80's, etc etc.
    LOL at what the American administrations interpretation of the constitution has been over the last 150 years.....................
     
  7. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    man-at-arms
    –noun, plural men-at-arms.
    1. a soldier.
    2. a heavily armed soldier on horseback, esp. in medieval times.

    That is, not peasants with pitchforks. This is basic military history knowledge to know what a man-at-arms is.
    Or our lessons are less riddled with propaganda as yours apparently were.
    None of them. Tactics is not part of soldier training, it's only a part of commander training. You can have the best tactics in the entire world and still be leading a company of completely untrained morons with pointed sticks.
     
  8. Bastian-Bux

    Bastian-Bux King

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    Unspoken Request, I'm afraid hoopsnerd has non-scientific reasons to dismiss the mere existence of that Jesus Nazarenus. Mind you, not Jesus Christus, which would be a theological statement about his "messiashood". Interesstingly he is the one that uses Jesus and Christus without differentation.

    In my opinion there are several "layers" of questions. The most basic layer:

    Did a person named Jesus, according to different sources probably a jewish carpenter as well as a religious preacher, exist as a person?*

    The overwhelming majority of the scientifically educated will answer this question with yes. There is enough evidence to "prove" his mere existence, and to little counterevidence to disprove it. Mind you, the mere lack of information doesn't disprove anything. If I see a tree thats laying in the forest (probably broken down by the storm last night), I can not assume that its still standing because nobody was there to see it fall nor hear the sound of the fall. I can doubt that the storm was the reason, but the tree DID fall and MADE a sound.

    Now why should someone try to dismiss such a simple and easily solved question? I suppose there is just one reason: the person is afraid of, or to lazy, to ask the follow up questions. And we must assume that he is to lazy or to dumb to understand, that even a negative answer to an existance question will result in even more, and as you pointed out, more difficult questions.

    Tyring to avoid those questions by shouting down those that are willing to accept the simple fact of the existence of the jewish carpenter and preacher Jesus Nazarenus will fall back on those that try to take this "easy" route.

    Why? Because the "faithfull" (theists or atheists) will see the "fear" behind that decission, and the educated will see the lack of wisdom and knowledge.

    Its like the position of the geocentric christian clerus "the sun can't be the center of the system, because it can't be what we don't allow to be."

    *You could probably just ask "Did Jesus exist?" But this question is meaningless because the answer is always "yes". Jesus/Jeshua/Joshua was a rather common name back then. Only adding a minimum of information to that name to single out one specific person makes this a usefull question.
     
  9. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    This is not how men-at-arms started out and your 'horseback heavily armed men at arms' is a 1500s derivation from the Hapsburgs.
    Men-at-arms before that referred to landless peasants armed with assortment of items.

    Given the history of European education of the last 300 years, i find that claim to be highly ironic. The culture with the highest level of propaganda and brainwashing in modern times and its product(you) are claiming the opposite. How laughable indeed. And if you think it is 'propaganda' i am spewing- please feel free to underline it.

    We were talking about MILITARY MIGHT and competence of these civilizations.
    As such officers and their trainings most definitely figure in the equation.
     
  10. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    The 1500's is not the middle ages. Are you saying that the dictionary is wrong? Well you can feel free to argue with the dictionary all day.
    If you think European education has more propaganda and brainwashing in it than any other form of education, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why you so unflinchingly believe the things you believe when even the dictionary is disagreeing with you.
    I wasn't talking about military might, I was only talking about the training levels of the soldiers. If we're talking military might, then I'll absolutely concede that China and India were the most powerful empires in the world until about 1600 AD, but they built their might primarily on peasant levees supplemented by comparatively smaller elite guard units (such as India's elephants, bowmen, and macemen and China's chariots in their early period, and their siege engineers and heavy infantry in their middle and late eras).
     
  11. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    There is no clear-cut definition of when 'middle ages' ended from entire European context. I highly doubt your knowledge of history if you want to argue semantics about what is/what is not middle ages- generally 1500s onwards is seen as definitely not middle ages.


    No, i do not need to take a long hard look at the mirror, i just need to look at historical FACTS in the last 200-300 years.
    That Europe and its education system was by far the most racist and academically dishonest in Euro-centric ways throughout the 1700s,1800s and half of 1900s is not a question of dispute- it was Europeans who argued at that point about racial superiority and re-writing most of its OWN HISTORY due to racist propagandism.
    Societerially that has largely ended in the last 30-40 years but academically its effects still linger,especially in history and as someone who has lived & been brought up in multiple cultural spheres ( my family did move around a lot every few years), its very easy for me to spot that.
    Sorry if i don't take the PC way out at the expense of the truth. This is not a question of superiority or inferiority as you inherently jump on ( which again are very much more present in European & Arabic cultures) but simply a question of one aspect where one cultural sphere is behind others. Every culture sphere has some aspects it lags behind others in, historical insight and truthfulness is one aspect where the western cultures lag behind significantly and i mentioned that because it is relevant to THIS TOPIC.

    As i have already said, that is categorically false and the other way round.
    Up until 1500s, outside of Imperial Roman, Byzantine and classical Greek lands, European armies for the most part were unprofessional soldiers with nobility tagging along. You have very little idea on what men-at-arms were, how that term even originates and how the equipment levels were in Europe in those days.
    I can produce extensive evidence to suggest that the bulk of Chinese & Indian armies were professional soldiers because the bulk of these lands were RICH ENOUGH till the last 1000(in case of India) or 300(in case of China) years to support completely professional standing armies- something that Europe COULD NOT AFFORD BEFORE THE COLONIAL ERA DAWNED.
    The dawn of professionalism in European armies ( after the Roman period) coincides with that of Mercantalism & colonialism. This is a fact, very pointedly expressed by JJ Rosseau, Machiavelli as well as Garibaldi and i don't think you are in any position to contradict either men in their observations about European military history.

    You speak from the heart, not from historical basis- if you did, you would not be contradicting western chroniclers of Machiavelli or Rosseau's stature. And you are stubborn too - i've pointed out in my previous posts why your claim about 'india being primarily peasant leevees' is categorically false- none of the posts you contested directly ( lemme guess: you know squat-all about Indian history,correct?) but yet again, you are back to the same broken record nonsense. You may have an opinion on history and pretty haphazard grasp of it, but i find your idea and pronouncements on history to be laughably inaccurate and categorically false for most part. Pretty disappointing, really.
     
  12. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Sorry Peng, but I had to do this... In Denmark, the middle ages just ends in 1580 or such, we were behind in tech, but still.. :p so technically, the 1500's were the middle age from my perspective :p
     
  13. Ahimsadharma

    Ahimsadharma Warlord

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    Exactly my point. Most historians use 'middle age' as a generalized term, typically starting with the fall of western roman empire to late 1500s/early 1600s for european context.
    Not every european nation progressed to middle ages or industrial revolution or whatever at the same pace- and hence the definition does not have a very clear rigid terminus point in European scholarship.
     
  14. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Irrelevant.
    Almost every historian I'm aware of ends the middle ages at about the fall of Byzantium; 1453. If we're going to go by the absurd definition that anytime any country still has middle ages era technology it's still the middle ages, then we're still in the middle ages now in some remote areas.
     
  15. Bastian-Bux

    Bastian-Bux King

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    Gotta agree with Peng Qi here.

    While the middle age is a highly disputable term, the consensus is that ist usually ends with:

    a) the beginning of the age of discoveries, starting with Henry the navigator 1418 onward

    b) the italian renaissance 1420, 1500 in other parts of Europe

    c) the (european) discovery of the movable type printing 1450

    d) the fall of Constantinopel 1453 -> end of the east roman empire

    e) the fall of Granada 1492 -> end of the reconquista

    f) the (re)discovery of the New World bei Christobal Colon 1492

    g) the start of the reformation 1517

    So while its correct to consider different ends of the middle ages for different parts of the eurocentric world, you'd be hard pressed to find a date much later then 1520. For me its enough to say that the middle age "sweeped away" by a wave of changes between 1420 and 1520.
     
  16. zuraffo

    zuraffo Warlord

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    On China:

    i) Correct that the size of army is equal to many european nations.
    ii) Correct that at times of large conflict that majority of army consists of conscripted peasants.
    iii) Incorrect in the implication that chinese army are less trained or organized than europeans. By NUMBERS alone, trained soldiers far outnumber anything the other civilizations can produce during that era. This is not necessary a good thing because maintaining a large army always bankrupt the central government easily, but not maintaining sufficient army see foreign invasions along the long borders of the north and the west. Many of the Chinese medieval policies rooted from trying to address this issue.
    iv) Incorrect in the implication that chinese military discipline and techniques is not as developed as in europe. Chinese armies, for the majority (some even claimed the whole of) cold weapon era, remained the most consistently organized and well trained army, well diversed in many discipline including archery, short melee, long melee, calvary, siege.

    The large amount of casualties can be related to the following:
    i) Large number of soldiers involved.
    ii) Tendency to ignore armor (defense) in exchange for mobility (tactical reason, besides, human costs aren't so significant when you have a large population base). China military seldom see plated armors. Regular soldiers use cured leather while conscripted peasants usually are in plain clothes, or whatever they can get their hands on. Generals and officers might have chains or half-plated, but full-plated armor is almost non-existense.
    iii) Chinese weapons, especially the bows and piercing arrows, are much more lethal than their counterparts of the same time.
    iii) The tendency to kill all or most surrendered forces because there simply isn't enough food to sustain the original army AND surrendered forces.
    iv) Treacherous terrains enable more frequent application of mass killing techniques like fires in forest, choke points, daming and flooding in low lands, etc.
    v) Geographical diversity results in different climate and caused disease to soldiers attempting to fight outside their accustomed climate.

    To cite a typical example:
    During the 3-kingdom era (Post Han, around 270AD), when Wei (North China) Cao Cao attempted to invade Sunqian of Wu (South China) about a third of his force is inflicted by epidemic due to change of climate. The numeric figure of casualty due to disease alone is in tens of thousands(reserved estimation), While attempting to cross the Yangtze River, His fleet is burned by the oponent due to a sudden change of wind direction. That casualty also runs in the tens of thousands. There you have your high casualty rates. ;)

    Caocao was alledged to have a force of a million men at that time, although careful analysis by a reknown strategist of that time, Zhuge Liang (From whom Chukonu got its name, really :rolleyes:), shown that the regular armies probably is around 200,000, the rest made up by conscripts and surrendered forces, and probably double in exageration, to scare his southern opposition to submission. Still it's a substantial amount of soldiers.

    To have some perspective, during that era, an advance party vanguard was usually 5,000 men. A regular army unit was about 20,000 men. A major military campaign led by a high ranking general usually runs to 100,000s. A million was a bit of a stretch, but given that Caocao was the de facto ruler of north China at the height of his power at that time (He maintained a puppet emperor, calling himself the prime minister instead), it was not inconceivable.
     
  17. zuraffo

    zuraffo Warlord

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    20,000 Contracted Labor is considered normal size for most ancient civilization. Our ancestors are much more prolific since mortality rates are so high (both due to a harsh natural environment and ironically, human exploitation). Most of these are poor peasants whose choices are between toiling the land and die during a drought or flood or toiling for the pharoah and get enough food to survive. It's easy to see which choice those contracted labor will take, especially some don't even have land to toil on in the first place.

    In this context, it's generally meaningless to distinguish between contracted labor and slave, except that cotracted "labors" know their limitation of choice and are willing slaves.

    That said, to simplify these people as merely slaves undermine the complexity of our ancestors societies and underestimates the challenge and wisdom needed to meet that challenge from our ancestors.
     
  18. GenerallyCrude

    GenerallyCrude Chieftain

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    Maybe this has been addressed... but I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

    You're wrong. I'll also ignore the moral aspect in proving so.

    Stalin took the USSR from an agrarian, backward pariah state to the second most powerful nation on earth,

    True, with caveats. Most of the Soviet's apparent power was based off of technology stolen from the Americans, and their economic power was a thin facade, covering an inevitable economic collapse. For the statistics on the technology theft and the KGB, I would suggest the works of Dr. Adam Lowther (In print). The economic part has been repeatedly proved by the failure of communist (and even "liberal" (in the American sense)) economics. I'd recommend von Mises, the first economist to predict an inevitable communist collapse.

    with the biggest army on earth, nuclear weapons, the beginnings of a space program, a half dozen vassal states

    Again, mostly true. However, size doesn't necessarily indicate power. Look at the Chinese army compared to the American military. Much bigger, but much weaker. The situation was the same without the same huge gap. They were good, but you can accomplish amazing things when you destroy your economic infrastructure.

    a level of industrialism achieved in 25 years that it took the west 200 years to do, electrification to most of the country, ally states in Asia, including the worlkds most populous state...

    That level of industrialism wasn't necessarily meaningful. Once again, simply a facade for weakness. Their industrial complex was weak and inefficient, with relatively temporary effects. (Look at Russia today. Making a rebound? Only off of oil money.) Ally states in Asia weren't significant, except that we (America) chose to fight over them. China may have been the worlds most populous country, but in this case that population as insignificant. They were a resource drain to the Soviets.

    How can you concievably argue that the USSR was worse off in 1953 than it was in 1922???

    Someone mentioned that they were economically better off. Hah. Their GDP increased, bu that isn't your economy (At least, not by itself). Industry increased but life for the average citizen didn't change, or got worse. (Economically. Even leaving out the morals.)

    Stalin had a funny policy. (By funny I mean cruel and asinine) In Soviet society, you had the party elite and the poor. That's because whenever someone accumulated enough wealth to make it into a middle class status, Stalin had them killed or deported (Yay Siberia?), and redistributed the property to the poor. When those poor reached middle class, often because of the same redistribution, the process was repeated. Once again, GDP rose, but no one was better off. Except for the communist elite. GNP also rose, but that has a tendency to happen when you depopulate your country and the GDP rises.

    Hope I made sense.

    One more thing. To whoever said that "It wasn't Hitler, it was the people", that argument could be used about any leader or situation. Offer evidence, not a dodge.

    (In case I didn't win, Jesus was a libertarian.)
     
  19. Fjordson

    Fjordson Chieftain

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    Cyrus the great
    Turned a tribe into a great empire - and cared for the people, pretty great achievement.
     
  20. Blaarg

    Blaarg Prince

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    Even with thier collapse, they are one of the strongest economies in the world today.

    How do you know the chinese military is weaker than the American. Many thought the Russian military was invincible before the Crimean War, but were proved wrong. It's impossible to say how the Chinese or any other military force will fare until they are actually in combat.

    Was the economic collaspe of the Soviet Union due to the industrial reforms durning Stalin's era or due to later reasons. Again, it's impossible to tell.

    Have you seen supply side Jesus?











     

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