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 No.31165[View All]

Lets talk history.

I'll start it off with Danton insulting Robespierre for being a virgin

194 posts and 46 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


>ethics and politics. Historiography is a value-neutral science
Ethics, politics and history is intertwined.

>Does reading the social history of everyday life in the past make you more grateful for the present?
I'm grateful for being able to study our history with such ease.

>reflecting on the pointlessness of life

Cognitively biased, try reflecting on the point of life.

>Driven by survival instinct and religion.

Collective religion is a unifying abstraction, it helped get us here.


It's as unifying as it is divisive. We'd still have the library of alexandria otherwise.


The serf and slave's life had no meaning, and it would have been rational to suicide


Humans in all their arrangements are divisive, religion got us working together under a common protocol.


Religion is what keeps serfs alive, when if they did a rational cost-benefit analysis of the pain and pleasures of life, they would suicide


Good thing they had religion then.

Suicide is imho irrational.

Pain and pleasure is variable, to assume it will always trend toward pain is a poor predictive model.


> to assume it will always trend toward pain is a poor predictive model.

pre-20th century it would be accurate for the lives of most peoples, when change takes centuries


Some people of the 23rd century might look back on us with the same absolutism. Nevertheless there are plenty of people living their meaningful lives.


>Some people of the 23rd century might look back on us with the same absolutism

Thats part of the point actually, that if the vast majority of past historical lives look unlivable from our vantage, maybe ours are as well


History is not some miserable nihilistic happenstance, it's a rich tapestry of humans overcoming adversity. Hero's venturing beyond the known into the unknown and prospering. Modern civilisation is lacking in areas. We shouldn't be blind to how well we're doing in many others.


Who is Hero?



>History is not some miserable nihilistic happenstance, it's a rich tapestry of humans overcoming adversity. Hero's venturing beyond the known into the unknown and prospering.

Once you start focusing on the small minority of heroes who make history, you're conceding that for the vast majority it is a miserable nihilistic happenstance

So many of the things that we take for granted that make our modern 1st world lives somewhat tolerable would have been absent to mitigate the misery of existence. There was no entertainment, no hygiene. The stench of history was overwhelming.


I thought this was cool as it goes all the way back to 1685, what I noticed about it in contrast to USA elections, is drastic swings between cycles, and it seems less geographically determined


What do you think the most dense battle in human history was of masses of troops packed into a single battlefield?

Like the 20th century battles like Verdun and Stalingrad are the largest in absolute terms, but they were campaigns fought over many months over hundreds of miles, and not "battles" in the narrow sense


Probably one of the Chinese battles. Often they would have armies of Hundreds of thousands.


I just found out my favorite King of England, for his radical Calvinism, Edward VI, had a law where the 1st person to denounce a NEET, would get that NEET as a slave

>Edward VI.: A statute of the first year of his reign, 1547, ordains that if anyone refuses to work, he shall be condemned as a slave to the person who has denounced him as an idler. The master shall feed his slave on bread and water, weak broth and such refuse meat as he thinks fit. He has the right to force him to do any work, no matter how disgusting, with whip and chains. If the slave is absent a fortnight, he is condemned to slavery for life and is to be branded on forehead or back with the letter S; if he runs away thrice, he is to be executed as a felon. The master can sell him, bequeath him, let him out on hire as a slave, just as any other personal chattel or cattle. If the slaves attempt anything against the masters, they are also to be executed. Justices of the peace, on information, are to hunt the rascals down. If it happens that a vagabond has been idling about for three days, he is to be taken to his birthplace, branded with a red-hot iron with the letter V on the breast and be set to work, in chains, in the streets or at some other labour. If the vagabond gives a false birthplace, he is then to become the slave for life of this place, of its inhabitants, or its corporation, and to be branded with an S.


Sad to see my people treated so poorly.


wasn't it illegal to enslave fellow christians?




What do you think is the relationship between Christianity and the fall of the western roman empire?



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The half animal half man tutor for the wine god dionysus was an antinatalist lol


I'm not good with ancient dates, its all hazy, but I was reading on Seneca and noticed that he was exiled for fucking Caligula's sister, and then served under Nero. And this was all by the 50s AD.

It kind of goes against the popular narrative of decadent debauched Empire in decline, in that the famously worse Emperors came relatively early on, not so much after Augustine. While the Emperors who lead Rome in its fall, were rather staid Christians, if not moral, not quite so exhibitionistly bizarre as the early ones.


I was reading on Erasmus and became interested in the Greek texts behind the Bible. Erasmus sources and editing was actually not very good. But it was the basis of the King James and much else.

I was shocked to learn that the Greek text used in most Bible translations today, is from 300s AD but was only discovered as recently as 1844 AD



Some think that the things written about the Julio-Claudian line was just propaganda. It could be true.

>It kind of goes against the popular narrative of decadent debauched Empire in decline,

The empire was in decline for many reasons. Not least was the fact that the barbarians that used to easily be subjected or repelled were now suddenly proving to be a match for them, what used to be a relativity fixed frontier was now an overbearing pressure on the empire.


Early ITT we had a comment defending McClellan and I was just thinking about him today as I was contemplating the nature of generalship in general.

I've never been able to get into wargaming despite my fascination, and I think a big reason is that I'm always trying to pull some Sun Tzu, Napoleonic, BHL Hart indirect approach move of genius. When the day to day of war is more about competence. Most of the time it just pays to be cautious and competent and by the book.

Way back in the 2000s I played a Civil War PBEM game, and as part of the quiz they asked me what I thought of someone who rereads the rules all the time. And I said he sounds too cautious.

Most of the time it pays to avoid risk. And most blunders come from being over daring.

McClellan 1862 and France 1940 are too examples where the over-cautious approach lead to fiasco.

On the McClellan case, I would say that the bigger problem was that he was too daring strategically. He tried to pull of a MacArthur Inchon-type amphibious flanking maneuver. Be the Little Napoleon. But he just wasn't cut out for that. Splitting his army in 2, seperating himself from his base and capital, was daring, too daring. He could have blitz'd into Richmond, but he wasn't that man.

If he had just done what Lincoln wanted, he could have just slowly crawled his way down from DC to Richmond. It would have been like Grant 1864. Even if he was slow and made mistakes, there wouldn't be the opportunities for Jackson and Lee to keep threatening DC and upend it all.

I guess being too by the book has its problems too. One example would be Old Brains Halleck, who wrote the Jomnian West Point manual on war. After the surprise at Shiloh, he took over from Grant, and made sure to fortify every single night like the Romans. And turned what coulda been a blitz into Corinth into a slow crawl.

I guess caution needs to be balanced with common sense flexibility and risk management which is the opposite of rash wreckless boldness.


I was reading this East Orthodox critique of Luther. I was always more sympathetic to Lutheranism over Catholicism, as encouraging more morality.

I knew Luther was anti-volcel and anti-monk. But this book cited some quotes on Luther using 1500s science about too much sperm inside the body corrupting men and making them stinky, and how unnatural virgins are.

Meanwhile he said married men should stay celibate if their wives couldn't have sex.


I always totally ignored BC and early AD dates, but I'm trying to work on them now. I really suck with numbers, so counting backwards just adds to the confusion.

I picture cartoony ancients running towards a cartoon Jesus arms outstretched in a big welcoming hug counting down to 1 AD


>I picture cartoony ancients running towards a cartoon Jesus arms outstretched in a big welcoming hug counting down to 1 AD
Heh, that is pretty good. If I ever have to explain it to a young kid I think I will use that one.

Yeah dates can be a pain at first, but I am sure you will get the hang of it eventually. Lot of interesting stuff happened back then so I think it is worth the effort.


That's actually really good.


File: 1568845128244.pdf (961.38 KB, How Excessive Government K….pdf)

Just getting into Roman history for real. My understanding of the empire's fall was basically limited to "barbarians rekt it". Found this article that explains the actual decline of the roman state in a good and structured way.

Damn, reading about the fall of nations always makes me itch to boot up a Paradox game.


> understanding of the empire's fall was basically limited to "barbarians rekt it".

well actually the more revisionist historians like Peter Heather are bringing back that thesis as opposed to the old narratives on internal decline. They say the Roman Empire was relatively healthy when it fell, and it was a more external push that brought it down.

If anything it had much more internal strife in the 200s AD than the 400s AD.

From Gibbon blaming Christianity to the present, various folks have used it as a morality tale of decadence, reading current political debates into the past.


I think the article makes perfect sense. It shows how the unsound fiscal policies created the preconditions for feudalism, by encouraging a decentralised society of large self-sufficient landlords. I seriously doubt that Rome could be defeated by barbarians had it been economically healthy. It's not that the barbarians suddenly got stronger, it's that they messed up their revenue system so bad that they eventually could no longer afford to pay the army.

More importantly, even if a healthy Roman empire were to be defeated, it would not be succeeded by a bunch of feudal states, because there would be no social preconditions for feudalism. The middle ages would have looked very different.


> It's not that the barbarians suddenly got stronger,

They did get stronger, in that there was a convergence with Roman military tech, and even more importantly there was suddenly a lot more of them with the aftershocks of the Hunnish migrations baring down on the Germanics


They did get stronger. The Germans that annihilated Rome's legions at Teutoburg were quite primitive and didn't make use of much metal. The average warrior had no armour to speak of, not even a helmet and used a shield with a spear with very limited amount of metal. Only the more important had armour and swords and they were generally acquired from Celts or Romans. Later on when the empire fell armour, swords, better spears and helmets were quite common and even heavy cavalry was becoming a thing.


On violence Jewish resistance to the Holocaust.


Incase you ever wondered what was actually going on during this often memed scene from a historical context.


Is Feudalism intrinsically more primitive than ancient slave society? After all the modern commercial capitalist society evolved out of the late medieval feudal society of the 1400s not from the Roman Empire



There were many economic steps inbetween feudalism and capitalism.


well what would that be in England's evolution between 1300 and 1700? Mercantilism?


Among others but yes.


I mean I'm pretty new to Roman history. But I was just shocked to learn that Caligula was only the 3rd Roman Emperor.

I mean I googled keywords like Caligula, decline, decadence, fall, civilization. And there were like a 1000 articles trying to draw moral lessons from the decline of Rome. And pointing to Caligula as exhibit A. When hes practically the George Washington of Rome. It didn't fall for 430 years after him.

And in a double irony you had the moral stoics and Christian Emperors coming way after him.

If you want a simple story bedtime lesson from Rome, at least Gibbon's matches up with the timeline "blame Christianity".


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What do our historians think of Atlantis? Just a myth? The Island of Mu? A lost island in the Atlantic? Mistaken for a different island to the north? Actually the Americas? Actually Dogger Bank? Did they have flying machines? Were they really as advanced as the ancient scripts say?




>Just a myth
I don't think so, the timing specified by Plato via Solon matches up with the Younger Dryas rather neatly.

>The Island of Mu & Dogger Bank

Wrong ocean(s).


This could be possible, I'm hoping GH uncovers something in the amazon. He's certainly pushing for exploration there.

>flying machines

I'm leaning toward highly unlikely here.

Geographically and dimensionally fits with Plato's description in an uncanny number of ways. I do hope more investigations occur.

A personal observation about the Eye of the Sahara is that one of the wealthiest kings of antiquity Mansa Musa was located not too far away.


Atlantis lies off of South America but was moved to Antartica

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