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Thread: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

  1. #221

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    I have numerous Chinese friends and all would care less about the Mongols. My Chinese mother who came from China barely knows who the Mongols were.
    Anecdotal.

    Afghans are in a country too screwed up to care.
    You speak on behalf of Afghans now? Great, so tell me why they dislike Hazara people in Afghanistan.

    WTF do you know anyway. You're only here to whitewash and bootlick Genghis Khan.

    I don't know about Iranians, but if you say the Mongols offend them, I can say that the movie 300 also offended them, yet that movie is considered okay by people.
    What a stupid argument. 300 is a crap racist movie made to serve a vile agenda, not only Iranians are offended by it. And nobody should be offended by a stupid American movie anyway, that's giving it too much weight. However, we are talking about people who understandably have not forgotten the atrocities of a mass murderer whose impact on their history is still visible today, so whether or not they are offended by 300 is of absolutely no relevance to their natural hatred of the Mongols.

    Interesting. So your morals are correct while others' morals are wrong? How condescending of you.
    No, I'm using your own twisted morality against you. And yes, your apologising for a vile criminal like Genghis Khan is an evidence which proves that my morality is superior to yours.

    I stated that he used violence to inspire fear to disprove your lie that he randomly slaughtered people for no reason.
    Tell that to the peasants who were randomly slaughtered for no reason. Or tell that to the inhabitants of a city who were almost exterminated even though they had not resisted the Mongols.

    Assuming that he did slaughter people in order to strike terror in the hearts of enemies, does that make Temujin's crimes less heinous and more acceptable? He was a filthy terrorist if what you are saying is true then.

    The Mongols mostly slaughtered the enemy soldiers and their bureaucracy.
    That's a shameless lie. Have you got no face to preserve even online? Anyone familiar with Mongol history would laugh at you for saying that.

    Are you kidding me? Really? Basing all Europeans on a few countries? And yet you call me biased.
    Europe was a backwater then. Deal with it.

    And yet you spout lies.
    No, I'm slapping you around with hard facts.

    Explain why the Ming remained far more advanced than Europe on many things, as well as the Mughals and the other gunpowder empires of the Middle East? Europe started becoming a "world power" much later.
    The process of decline was gradual. And gunpowder is not the only criteria for superiority BTW.

    Also, explain why China and Russia today are generally thought to be two world powers, if you say the Mongols hindered those area's developments so much.
    They began to recover much later, but they are still behind the West thanks to the Mongols.

    Are you really calling Roman culture more barbaric (less advanced) than Gallic culture? Wow.
    Gallic culture was only slightly less barbaric.

    Yet you said the Mongols should have massacred the useless Europeans. How biased and racist of you, to generalize all Europeans and think them inferior to other cultures.
    Nobody should have been slaughtered. Again, I was only using your own stupid and immoral argument against you. What you said is just sick and twisted. Your lack of respect for those who perished by Mongol swords is really disgusting. But that's not surprising, because Mongol apologists are by definition quite disgusting.

    A Sassanian king had a roman executed through getting crushed by an elephant when he refused to marry his Christian daughter to him, a Zoroastrian.
    Did you just make this up, or did you learn about the Sassanids from biased Christian historical sources that fail to even convince us why the Zoroastrian King of Kings of Iran and non-Iran wanted to marry the Christian daughter of a lowly Roman prisoner of war?
    Last edited by Kardarigan; February 19, 2016 at 06:34 AM.

  2. #222

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    The fastest way to get yourself off a list of potential heroes is by massacring innocent civilians in my book. Made worse if no regret or remorse is shown.
    “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” ― Elie Wiesel
    "No nationality or race is preferred over another in any way in the Eyes of the Almighty" - Mufti Ismail Menk
    “What's unnatural is homophobia. Homo sapiens is the only species in all of nature that responds with hate to homosexuality.” ― Alex Sanchez
    “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.” ― Albert Einstein

  3. #223

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    The Romans and the Persians were similar in terms of inflicting as little damage as possible during the conquering phase.
    Carthage, Dacia, Gaul? The Persians never did anything like that, except on very rare occasions as in Athens where the Persians were on a punitive campaign. So I don't agree with you here.

    However the Romans score additional points compared to the Persians because they actively pursued a state policy of adopting the best practices from everybody (including enemies not yet conquered) and then disseminating them throughout their Empire.
    The Persians did the same, since they considered themselves to be the heirs of the civilisation they ruled, especially Mesopotamia.

    ... the Persians didn't do anything of the sort. And such approach means their empires might have just as well not existed, without the human race losing anything.
    Unfair. The Achaemenid Persians gave the world many things: the postal system, highways, the military decimal system, wind towers, standardised currency, federalism, the know-how of imperial administration, and the art of imperial tolerance. The Achaemenid Empire was the prototypical global state, I think we should be all be fair and acknowledge its contributions to humanity and civilisation.

    This inability to turn their empires into melting pots meant those empires were destined to remain parochial. That in turn made them extremely fragile and unable to survive internal tensions or a determined external foe. The Persian and the Mongol empires cracked unde pressure along those parochial lines.
    All empires eventually collapse, it has nothing to do with whether or not they are melting pots. I can use the Western Roman Empire as an example against your argument. It was an empire you would call a melting pot, and yet it succumbed to barbarian invasions and internal strife.

    The Persian Empire collapsed in the face of the Macedonian invasion due to various reasons, tolerance towards conquered subject was not one of them.

    For instance the Persians badly needed a good heavy infantry but didn't manage to create one for some 200 years.
    The Immortals and the Kardakes were heavy infantry.

    Because they constantly employed Greeks in large numbers. Had their cavalry been enough, they would not have spent money on the Greeks.
    They spent money on Greeks soldiers mostly because it was more convenient to employ foreign mercenaries than risk losing their Persian satrapal forces. The satraps had no shortage of money, and they took advantage of that.

    As for their victories against the Ionian Greeks, those were victories against people with next to zero military experience (as they had been already under the Lydians for 15 year before Cyrus annexed them, followed by 40 years of Persian rule and zero opportunities to gain experience).
    False. Asiatic Greeks served in the military of the Lydian Empire; they had lots of mercenaries and professional soldiers who fought for Croesus.

    (nobody knows what the Kardakes really were).
    They resembled hoplites.

  4. #224

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Clearing wild land for farmland is going to be bad for most species no matter what. It will lead to loss of homes, more conflicts between predators and livestock, leading to dead predators, more conflicts between herbivores and crops, leading to dead herbivores, and ultimately less wild land for the animals to live on. Clearing the land will also kill many plants and trees.
    I wasn't referring to land clearance, but more to maintenance. Many species in Europe are only widely distributed because of traditional land use related to farming, which can still support a rich bio-diversity. And it wasn't the farmers who exterminated most of the megafauna in North America, Europe, Australia, and North Asia.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    What a stupid argument. 300 is a crap racist movie made to serve a vile agenda, not only Iranians are offended by it.
    It's a stupid comicbook movie and I very much doubt that it was made to serve any political agenda (unless you can prove that). It's still a better reason to be offended than the Satanic Verses (which only caused offence to bigots), but not comparable to the Mongol conquests, since nobody was killed for the production of this movie. Also, lots of people are "offended" just because they love to be offended.


    Europe was a backwater then. Deal with it.
    You're over-generalizing.


    The process of decline was gradual. And gunpowder is not the only criteria for superiority BTW.
    Agreed.


    They began to recover much later, but they are still behind the West thanks to the Mongols.
    I've heard the Mongol occupation blamed for everything that "Western-minded" Russians - or Westerners - think is wrong with Russia.


    Gallic culture was only slightly less barbaric.
    Frankly, I don't see how Roman culture was anymore "barbaric" than Persian culture. In fact, the Romans can be argued had a technological edge in many areas over everybody else for much of the time.


    Did you just make this up, or did you learn about the Sassanids from biased Christian historical sources that fail to even convince us why the Zoroastrian King of Kings of Iran and non-Iran wanted to marry the Christian daughter of a lowly Roman prisoner of war?
    Maybe she was really hot? Sometimes, it's best to go for the easiest explanation...

  5. #225

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    It's a comicbook movie and I very much doubt that it was made to serve any political agenda (unless you can prove that).
    Comic books are not allergic to agendas. Other than Snyder claiming that the film was historically accurate, I cannot prove any agenda behind the movie, but there is a certain undertone.

    Aside from making money, the following is what 300 the movie is all about, and it does it subtly:

    Slavish brown Persians invade free white Spartans because Persia is evil and Greece is good.
    Slavish brown Persians are naturally checked by free white Spartans.
    Slavish brown Persians are effeminate and weak and thus cannot handle the manliness of tough and free white Spartans.
    Slavish brown Persians naturally resort to a cowardly solution in the end and decide to annihilate free white Spartans by showering them with arrows.
    Slavish brown Persians are evil and thus naturally too stupid to realise they could have finished off free white Spartans with arrows right from the start without losing a single brown Persian slave soldier.
    Free white Westerners watching the movie become convinced that free white Spartans represent free white West and free white America whilst slavish brown Persians represent slavish brown East and slavish brown Iran.
    Free white Westerners watching the movie start hating slavish brown Iranians even more, so much so that one free white Westerner from the free white Western audience says to his free white Western friends that the movie makes him want to slice up some slavish brown Iranians.

    It's still a better reason to be offended than the Satanic Verses
    You're not talking to an Ayatollah here.

    but not comparable to the Mongol conquests
    Tell that to our resident Mongol apologist.

    Also, lots of people are "offended" just because they love to be offended.
    Agreed. Iranians of all people have more things to worry about instead of getting worked up over a stupid American movie made for a stupid audience that's easily impressed. Iranians care too much about their image, it's one of our natural shortcomings.

    You're over-generalizing.
    Maybe, but that's beside the point.

    I've heard the Mongol occupation blamed for everything that "Western-minded" Russians - or Westerners - think is wrong with Russia.
    I'm under the impression that Russia was the least affected nation that fell under Mongol rule.

    Frankly, I don't see how Roman culture was anymore "barbaric" than Persian culture.
    The Romans killed people for fun, amongst other barbaric things they did which the Persians didn't.

    In fact, the Romans can be argued had a technological edge in many areas over everybody else for much of the time.
    The Nazis had a technological edge over everyone else for some time, but it doesn't mean they were less barbaric.

    Maybe she was really hot? Sometimes, it's best to go for the easiest explanation...
    Whilst I think you are joking, I'm tempted to say that if she was really hot, he could have introduced her to the harem instead of asking for her hand in marriage. I'm not sure, but I think this incident is mentioned in the Christian Martyrologies, not exactly examples of impartiality when it comes to historical sources.
    Last edited by Kardarigan; February 19, 2016 at 11:27 AM.

  6. #226

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    300 = Nine Eleven.
    Eats, shoots, and leaves.

  7. #227
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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Anecdotal.
    Provide me an instance. (Besides Iran who seems to get pissed at everything)

    WTF do you know anyway. You're only here to whitewash
    Lol? My argument is that Genghis Khan should not be viewed as worse than Caesar or Alexander, and since all 3 did harsh things, they should all be judged based on their military excellence.


    whose impact on their history is still visible today
    \

    Where is the impact? Iraq? You mean the guys who have no money to fix things and are plagued by constant warfare?

    I suppose you're going to say the Ottoman Empire's fall in WW1 was because of the Mongols and that the Mongols created ISIS.

    No, I'm slapping you around with hard facts.
    No, you're biased against anything that is not Persian.

    And gunpowder is not the only criteria for superiority BTW.
    Did I ever say it was? By mentioning "gunpowder empires", I was saying that the areas post Mongol kingdoms were able to advance to better military technology faster than Europe, which shows something, although European weapons did improve later. The reason the Europeans defeated Ottomans in gun battles was not because Europe had better guns, but because European units were more organized.

    but they are still behind the West thanks to the Mongols.
    Yes, Russia and China that can take on any Western country by themselves (with an exception to the United States perhaps). But if you argue the Mongols are the reason the US is more advanced than Russia and China, you are just babbling nonsense, as the Ottomans did not effect British colonialism and their area of conquest was very far away from Western Europe. Even if they were not attacked by the Timurids, it would have affected Western Europe very little.

    Gallic culture was only slightly less barbaric.
    Barbaric equates to primitive. The Romans were definitely not more primitive than the Gauls.

    Nobody should have been slaughtered. Again, I was only using your own stupid and immoral argument against you. What you said is just sick and twisted. Your lack of respect for those who perished by Mongol swords is really disgusting.
    Do you praise the Persians? Do you lack respect for those they killed, even if they killed less? Those people still died. Do you think someone has to kill a certain amount of people before they die? Do you lack respect, again, for those families who mourned their lost ones from the hands of Persian swords?

    You do not really care about anyone who died, you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Many species in Europe are only widely distributed because of traditional land use related to farming
    When you think of Europe you do not really think of nature do you?

    Maybe, but that's beside the point.
    Why? Throwing away the fact that you are biased against non Persians?

    I'm under the impression that Russia was the least affected nation that fell under Mongol rule.
    What is the most affected nation, then, solely from Mongol rule?



    NOW, regarding "Persian tolerance", with our Sassanian friends.

    "in 277 A.D. Mani, the founder of a new faith, the Manichæans, was crucified and his body flayed."
    - H.G Wells

    http://www.bartleby.com/86/41.html

    "He was flayed alive and his skin stuffed with straw, was nailed to a cross and suspended over the main gate of the great city of Jundishapur as a terrifying spectacle for those who followed his teachings. His corpse was decapitated and the head placed on a spike. Bahram also ordered the killing of many Manicheans."


    Regarding other Persians,

    The Achaemenids crucified people before the Romans. Darius I crucified 3000 political opponents. (From Encylopaedia Britannica)

    The Arabs also got the idea from having women wear veils from Persia.


    he could have introduced her to the harem instead of asking for her hand in marriage. I'm not sure, but I think this incident is mentioned in the Christian Martyrologies, not exactly examples of impartiality when it comes to historical sources.
    Khosrau II, the Sassanid King, did try to introduce her to his harem. He demanded from a Christian Arab (Na'aman) his daughter (named Hadiqah). Na'aman refused and he was trampled to death by an elephant, by order of Khosrau II.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=6sDTAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA305&lpg=PA305&dq=na%27aman+arab+christian&source=bl&ots=_WMnerwZe9&sig=oFJJxubqVguYHHjXCWB67657IQk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirkquo5oTLAhVC0h4KHUCdDesQ6AEIOjAF#v=onepage&q=na'aman%20arab%20christian&f=false


    How about Islamic Persia? (oh boy)

    One word, Safavids (except for Shah Abbas I)
    All other Safavids were Shiite extremists and extremely intolerant to non Shiites, especially Sunni

    Last edited by drbehemothjr; February 19, 2016 at 04:49 PM.

  8. #228

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Carthage, Dacia, Gaul? The Persians never did anything like that, except on very rare occasions as in Athens where the Persians were on a punitive campaign. So I don't agree with you here.
    Carthage was sieged for 2 years and was conquered only through house-to-house fighting. That is why the loss of life was so great. The initial intention wasn't to actually destroy Carthage an the Roman commander was seen weeping as he watched the ongoing destruction happening. After the city was finally conquered, the Carthaginian leader Hasdrubal was paraded as part of the triumph in Rome but then he was set free (in spite of him having tortured Roman prisoners in full view of the besieging Roman army).

    The conquest of Dacia was similar to that of Carthage, in the sense the Dacian fortresses had to be taken one-by-one and on many occasions the defenders committed suicide when their cities fell. Even the Dacian king killed himself when the Moorish auxilia cavalry was about to capture him. Add to that the Dacian religion guaranteed instant access to Heaven for whoever was killed in battle, plus it was preaching that death should be celebrated because it was the passage to a better world. hence the contemporary sources tell the Dacian were weeping when somebody was born and partying at funerals.

    Remember the Dacians were the only Thracians who fought the Persian army crossing their lands? Any war against a population where women fought alongside their men (as seen on Trajan's column) and who didn't have any problem taking on enemies much stronger than themselves would tend to have an excessive rate of casualties.

    After the war was over, there were several Dacian uprisings taking place, which resulted in further destruction of the Dacian villages. However the archaeology shows the Dacian pottery continued to be manufactured in the Roman cities of Dacia and in the towns built around the Roman castra (forts). This indicates quite likely the Dacians didn't perish with the destruction of the villages but were relocated where the Romans could keep a closer eye on them.

    Given at least one Roman emperor (Regalianus) is described as being a descendant of the last Dacian king Decebalus it seems the Romans harbored no particular ill will against the Dacians either (provided they weren't up in arms).

    As for the Gauls, the Romans didn't take Caesar's figures seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    Unfair. The Achaemenid Persians gave the world many things: the postal system, highways, the military decimal system, wind towers, standardised currency, federalism, the know-how of imperial administration, and the art of imperial tolerance. The Achaemenid Empire was the prototypical global state, I think we should be all be fair and acknowledge its contributions to humanity and civilisation.
    You are beating a dead horse, I have already said myself the Europeans learned how to manage empires after they conquered the Persian one.

    However when I said that in the absence of the Achmenid Persian Empire the world would have not missed much I had in mind the whole world. Almost all of those things you listed were independently discovered by the Chinese. As such they would have ultimately spread to Europe, like all the other Chinese discoveries.

    As for tolerance I have explained there is a fine line between being tolerant and being dangerously careless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    All empires eventually collapse, it has nothing to do with whether or not they are melting pots. I can use the Western Roman Empire as an example against your argument. It was an empire you would call a melting pot, and yet it succumbed to barbarian invasions and internal strife.
    It did succumb after 500 years. Even the final stage took about 3 generations. As for the barbarian kingdoms which replaced it, they were almost as Roman and the Empire they took over. Charlemagne's Franks look like Roman legionaries, 400 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire (there's a thread in Vestigia Vetustatis with contemporary images of Charlemagne's soldiers). Not only they looked like Romans in their civil and military lives, they kept speaking Latin.

    That was the result of the Roman melting pot. When the Achmenids were gone everybody reverted to their local languages and customs or adopted Greek.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    The Persian Empire collapsed in the face of the Macedonian invasion due to various reasons, tolerance towards conquered subject was not one of them.
    Actually it was.

    The lack of standardization and the lack of Persianization meant the satraps would be hard to replace. That in turn gave ideas to the likes of Besus.

    Remember the incident after the battle of Cunaxa, when the Greek mercenaries offered to make Ariaeus king of Persia?

    The episode is telling for two reasons:

    1) It shows how little the Greeks were thinking of the huge Persian army, at the end of a battle which had been a Persian victory;

    2) Ariaeus' answer is also telling: the other satraps would not accept him as a king. That meant the satraps had real power bases in the provinces they governed.

    Contrast that situation with the Roman Empire, where troops in a province would proclaim their general as emperor and most of the other generals stayed put. If there was a civil war, that would involve at most 3 parties, even though the Romans had much more legions than that. Why? Because the standardization resulted in generals being rotated from one corner of the empire to another, likewise with the provincial governors. As such only a handful of those highly ranked people was confident enough his local power base was strong enough to make a bid for the position of emperor. That in turn meant the civil wars were actually a very localized affair, with most of the empire being left untouched. That explains the bouncing back as soon as a good emperor managed to win the civil war: he didn't have to reconquer it province by province.

    That system also gave the Roman Empire superior resilience to losing large chunks. The Western Roman Empire kept losing provinces without the remaining parts breaking away from the center. It didn't disappear even after losing Italy. A chunk of Gaul keep on till the Franks conquered it 10 years later. The Roman governor of that part kept calling himself "dux", which indicated he though his province to be still just a part of the Roman Empire. Why didn't he pull a Besus on Julisu Nepos? Quite likely because he didn't think the Western Roman Empire won't bounce back this time again. And had Nepos lived long enough, the thing might have happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    The Immortals and the Kardakes were heavy infantry.
    The Immortals were what Persia called heavy infantry, but with wicker shields and scale armor they would be medium infantry.

    As for the Kardakes nobody knows exactly what they were. Given that at Issus the Macedonian cavalry charged them head on suggests they were at best medium infantry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    They spent money on Greeks soldiers mostly because it was more convenient to employ foreign mercenaries than risk losing their Persian satrapal forces. The satraps had no shortage of money, and they took advantage of that.
    Really?

    Those satrapal forces were so effective that in Anabasis they run away when the Greeks launch a mock charge, then they run away again at Cunaxa. Could that be the satraps already new that thus preferred to hire Greeks for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    False. Asiatic Greeks served in the military of the Lydian Empire; they had lots of mercenaries and professional soldiers who fought for Croesus.
    Not quite. They left Croesus hang dry, then stayed put in their cities when Harpagus conquered them one by one. Could it be because they were fully aware of their low fighting performances?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    They resembled hoplites.
    Actually the two eye witnesses whose testimonies survived (unfortunately through other authors) call them differently: Ptolemy calls them "hoplites" while Calisthenes calls them "peltasts". That suggests they were hard to classify by the Greeks, which in turn means they were most likely medium infantry, just like the Immortals have been.

    Do not get me wrong: each type of infantry has its uses even today (when heavy medium and light refers to the firepower they carry). The problem is not that the Persians had developed their own medium infantry (which the Greeks didn't quite have), but the fact that after becoming convinced they indeed needed heavy infantry they didn't develop their own.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MareNostrum

  9. #229

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Carthage was continuously painted as an existential threat in the Senate; Rome would have either placed a permanent garrison within it's walls or levelled in any case, if only to get the guy to shut up. Their mistake was to recreate a secret arsenal of warships and get caught.
    Eats, shoots, and leaves.

  10. #230

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condottiere 40K View Post
    Carthage was continuously painted as an existential threat in the Senate; Rome would have either placed a permanent garrison within it's walls or levelled in any case, if only to get the guy to shut up. Their mistake was to recreate a secret arsenal of warships and get caught.
    They really had no choice but to arm themselves. Precisely because of what was said about them in the Senate and because how the Numidians were capturing their territories, with Rome's blessing.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MareNostrum

  11. #231

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Provide me an instance. (Besides Iran who seems to get pissed at everything)
    I already did, and you have conveniently ignored it.

    Lol? My argument is that Genghis Khan should not be viewed as worse than Caesar or Alexander, and since all 3 did harsh things, they should all be judged based on their military excellence.
    Genghis Khan was much worse than those two.

    Where is the impact? Iraq? You mean the guys who have no money to fix things and are plagued by constant warfare?
    Well yes, I don't see how Iraq currently "not having money and stability" invalidates what the Mongols did to that country.

    I suppose you're going to say the Ottoman Empire's fall in WW1 was because of the Mongols and that the Mongols created ISIS.
    Don't be stupid. The Mongol invasion led to the decline of these civilisations in general, but what the current region is suffering is not directly related to the Mongol Conquest itself.

    No, you're biased against anything that is not Persian.
    No, you're biased in favour of anything that is Mongol.

    Did I ever say it was? By mentioning "gunpowder empires", I was saying that the areas post Mongol kingdoms were able to advance to better military technology faster than Europe, which shows something, although European weapons did improve later. The reason the Europeans defeated Ottomans in gun battles was not because Europe had better guns, but because European units were more organized.
    But military technology is only one aspect of a civilisation's advancement. You can't just pretend that the areas invaded by the Mongols were not negatively affected on the long run just because some of them later developed gunpowder.

    Yes, Russia and China that can take on any Western country by themselves (with an exception to the United States perhaps). But if you argue the Mongols are the reason the US is more advanced than Russia and China, you are just babbling nonsense, as the Ottomans did not effect British colonialism and their area of conquest was very far away from Western Europe. Even if they were not attacked by the Timurids, it would have affected Western Europe very little.
    Not sure WTF you are trying to say here. I cannot really comprehend that incoherent part of your post.

    Barbaric equates to primitive.
    No, not really. The Nazis were barbaric and yet far from primitive.

    Do you praise the Persians? Do you lack respect for those they killed, even if they killed less? Those people still died. Do you think someone has to kill a certain amount of people before they die? Do you lack respect, again, for those families who mourned their lost ones from the hands of Persian swords?
    Praising the Persians is one thing, ignoring the few atrocities they committed or apologising for them is quite another.

    You do not really care about anyone who died,
    That's just your imagination kicking in.

    you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.
    Really? I'm not the one here who is trying to talk about Mongols, ISIS, hejab, Sassanids, Achaemenids, Arabs, Christians, and Manicheans all in the same post just to score some points.

    Why? Throwing away the fact that you are biased against non Persians?
    That's not a fact, but rather merely a product of your imagination. And why the hell are you responding to points I made whilst replying to another person?

    What is the most affected nation, then, solely from Mongol rule?
    Iran and Central Asia.

    NOW, regarding "Persian tolerance", with our Sassanian friends.

    "in 277 A.D. Mani, the founder of a new faith, the Manichæans, was crucified and his body flayed."
    - H.G Wells

    http://www.bartleby.com/86/41.html

    "He was flayed alive and his skin stuffed with straw, was nailed to a cross and suspended over the main gate of the great city of Jundishapur as a terrifying spectacle for those who followed his teachings. His corpse was decapitated and the head placed on a spike. Bahram also ordered the killing of many Manicheans."
    Nobody in this thread said anything about the Sassanids with regards to tolerance. You are strawmanning.

    The Achaemenids crucified people before the Romans.
    So?

    Darius I crucified 3000 political opponents.
    And?

    The Arabs also got the idea from having women wear veils from Persia.
    Your point being?

    Khosrau II, the Sassanid King, did try to introduce her to his harem. He demanded from a Christian Arab (Na'aman) his daughter (named Hadiqah). Na'aman refused and he was trampled to death by an elephant, by order of Khosrau II.
    That's nothing more than a literary motif repeatedly used throughout history. Cyrus the Great is said to have invaded the Scythians because their queen had refused to marry him. Cambyses II, we are led to believe according legend, invaded Egypt because the previous Pharaoh Amasis had tricked Cyrus the Great by sending him another girl after Cyrus had asked Amasis for his daughter in marriage. And know you are telling me that Khosrow II deposed the Lakhmid king because the latter had refused to marry him his daughter. That's just legendary nonsense. Khosrow probably had more convincing reasons to take over the Lakhmid kingdom, most likely because the rule of Khosrow II was exceptionally absolutist and aggressive, and having a client king was something to put an end to.

    One word, Safavids (except for Shah Abbas I)
    All other Safavids were Shiite extremists and extremely intolerant to non Shiites, especially Sunni
    Great, so you now turn to the Safavids after talking about the Sassanids for no apparent reason. Desperate and want to score some points perhaps? Strawmanning is not going to help you achieve that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    Carthage was sieged for 2 years and was conquered only through house-to-house fighting. That is why the loss of life was so great.
    House-to-house fighting? You're probably thinking of the Battle of Stalingrad. There was no "house-to-house fighting" in ancient warfare but rather house-to-house massacres, as most of the soldiers fought in the open and not inside houses whilst taking cover behind walls and shooting the enemy with firearms. You know who died in "house-to-house fighting" in Carthage and elsewhere? Helpless civilians; men, women, and children hiding from the invaders.

    The initial intention wasn't to actually destroy Carthage an the Roman commander was seen weeping as he watched the ongoing destruction happening.
    The intention was indeed to destroy Carthage, regardless of the fact that the Roman commander was overwhelmed by emotions whilst witnessing the ugly spectacle.

    The conquest of Dacia was similar to that of Carthage, in the sense the Dacian fortresses had to be taken one-by-one and on many occasions the defenders committed suicide when their cities fell. Even the Dacian king killed himself when the Moorish auxilia cavalry was about to capture him. Add to that the Dacian religion guaranteed instant access to Heaven for whoever was killed in battle, plus it was preaching that death should be celebrated because it was the passage to a better world. hence the contemporary sources tell the Dacian were weeping when somebody was born and partying at funerals.

    After the war was over, there were several Dacian uprisings taking place, which resulted in further destruction of the Dacian villages. However the archaeology shows the Dacian pottery continued to be manufactured in the Roman cities of Dacia and in the towns built around the Roman castra (forts). This indicates quite likely the Dacians didn't perish with the destruction of the villages but were relocated where the Romans could keep a closer eye on them.
    I didn't say Dacians had physically perished, but nevertheless the slaughter of Dacians in general (not only soldiers) was great and unnecessary.

    As for the Gauls, the Romans didn't take Caesar's figures seriously.
    But the slaughter and destruction must have been great, great enough to make Caesar indulge in hyperbole.

    You are beating a dead horse, I have already said myself the Europeans learned how to manage empires after they conquered the Persian one.
    And I have already refuted you by saying that Europeans (including the Macedonians) learned how to manage empires from Xenophon who himself had learned it from the Persians in general and Cyrus the Great in particular.

    However when I said that in the absence of the Achmenid Persian Empire the world would have not missed much I had in mind the whole world. Almost all of those things you listed were independently discovered by the Chinese. As such they would have ultimately spread to Europe, like all the other Chinese discoveries.
    Firstly, I don't know much about Chinese history to either agree or disagree, but for the sake of the argument, I'll assume you're correct in saying that China developed these things independently. Secondly, Europe is not the whole world. Thirdly, if the Persian Achaemenid Empire had not existed, the entire course of human history would have changed. The Near East would have remained dominated by the civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, there would have been no Iranian civilisation (with all its contributions) as we know it, there would have been no Cyrus the Great and therefore no Xenophon to teach Europeans, there would have been no Athenian Golden Age following the Greek victory in the Persian invasion, there would have been no Alexander and no Alexandria with its renowned library, and Europe would have had to wait for the Mongols in the 13th CE century to connect China to the West in order for Western civilisation to learn the Chinese things which they would otherwise have learned from the Persians of the 6th century BCE, meaning that the development of European civilisation and its colonisation of the would have been very much delayed or even prevented, and so the modern world you very much value would not have existed today. Lastly, the Achaemenid Empire didn't just exist in order to be conquered by Macedonians who would make good use of its legacy. On the contrary, the Empire made its own contributions to its own world.

    As for tolerance I have explained there is a fine line between being tolerant and being dangerously careless.
    I'm not convinced that Persian tolerance was "dangerously careless".
    It did succumb after 500 years. Even the final stage took about 3 generations. As for the barbarian kingdoms which replaced it, they were almost as Roman and the Empire they took over. Charlemagne's Franks look like Roman legionaries, 400 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire (there's a thread in Vestigia Vetustatis with contemporary images of Charlemagne's soldiers). Not only they looked like Romans in their civil and military lives, they kept speaking Latin.

    That was the result of the Roman melting pot. When the Achmenids were gone everybody reverted to their local languages and customs or adopted Greek.
    Nobody reverted back to their local cultures, because they had not been forced to abandon them in the first place. You are basically criticising the Persians for not Persianising the civilisations they conquered, which is unwarranted.

    The lack of standardization and the lack of Persianization meant the satraps would be hard to replace.

    You keep talking about the lack of Persian standardisation but you haven't yet provided a satisfactory reason for saying that. Lack of standardisation of what exactly? The core elements of the army were standardised, the administration was standardised, and the laws were codified. Just because the Persians did not impose their language and religion on their conquered subjects, it doesn't mean there was a lack of standardisation. And I don't see how this standardisation issue ties-in with the satraps and the ability of the central government to replace them.

    Remember the incident after the battle of Cunaxa, when the Greek mercenaries offered to make Ariaeus king of Persia?

    The episode is telling for two reasons:

    1) It shows how little the Greeks were thinking of the huge Persian army, at the end of a battle which had been a Persian victory;
    The opinion of Greek mercenaries is of no relevance to my original point, that the satraps preferred to employ Greek mercenaries instead of deploying their satrapal forces (the forces that actually constituted the power base of the satrap in his satrapy) because the satraps had plenty of money, and they preferred spending it on Greek mercenaries instead of risk losing the forces they primarily relied on as satraps. Without satrapal forces, a satrap would have been virtually powerless, and unreliable foreign mercenaries would not have helped him maintain position without loyal Persian troops (who were not infinite by the way, as the feudal lands granted to them could only support a certain number of troops).

    2) Ariaeus' answer is also telling: the other satraps would not accept him as a king.
    But he refused mostly because he was not of royal lineage to begin with.

    That meant the satraps had real power bases in the provinces they governed.
    Lots of money, plenty of satrapal troops, and executive power granted by the Great King, so yes of course. But a satrap could still be relieved from his duties at once if the King so desired, so a satrap was not really rooted in his office.

    Contrast that situation with the Roman Empire, where troops in a province would proclaim their general as emperor and most of the other generals stayed put. If there was a civil war, that would involve at most 3 parties, even though the Romans had much more legions than that. Why? Because the standardization resulted in generals being rotated from one corner of the empire to another, likewise with the provincial governors. As such only a handful of those highly ranked people was confident enough his local power base was strong enough to make a bid for the position of emperor. That in turn meant the civil wars were actually a very localized affair, with most of the empire being left untouched.
    You are piecing together irrelevant things and drawing the wrong conclusion from them. Not any satrap could make a bid for the throne of Persia, and the ones who did, Cyrus the Younger and Bessos, were able to do it only because they had royal blood. The situation was different in the Roman Empire, where any powerful military commander could claim the seat of Emperor, since Roman culture did not take into consideration or value royal lineage. It's also telling that even the Greeks did not understand the ideological situation in Persia, proven by the fact that they "offered" the crown to a satrap of non-royal lineage, not realising how silly to Ariaeus it sounded. Also, the satraps were ideally loyal to the Great King, and so even if Cyrus the Younger had succeeded in deposing his brother, not all satraps would have acknowledged him as a rightful King, and that's because of the royal principle of the Persians. The Romans were different in that regard not because they were more "standardised", but because they did not have a regal culture like the Persians.

    That explains the bouncing back as soon as a good emperor managed to win the civil war: he didn't have to reconquer it province by province.
    The only instance where the Persian Empire had to be reconquered province by province was when Darius the Great gained power after deposing an imposter. That was an exceptional situation for various reasons, but it requires its own thread, so I'm not going to dwell on it here.

    The Immortals were what Persia called heavy infantry, but with wicker shields and scale armor they would be medium infantry.
    Incorrect. The Immortals were armoured with iron scales and carried heavy wooden shields with metal rims and embossed with bronze circles. They were not lighter than hoplites in that regard, since hoplites also wore a scale armour and carried heavy wooden shields with metal rims. Both were heavy infantry, though the only disadvantage of the Immortal against hoplites was their shorter spears. The effectiveness of the armour the Immortals wore is demonstrated by the manner in which Masistius was killed by Greek hoplites; their repeated spear and sword strikes could not penetrate his scale armour, so they finally killed him by stabbing him in the eye.

    As for the Kardakes nobody knows exactly what they were. Given that at Issus the Macedonian cavalry charged them head on suggests they were at best medium infantry.

    "Of the heavy armed infantry, he [Darius III] placed first the 30,000 Greek mercenaries to oppose the phalanx of the Macedonians, and on both sides of these he placed 60,000 of the men called Kardakes, who were also hoplites." (Arrian, Anabasis, 2.8.6)

    Really?

    Those satrapal forces were so effective that in Anabasis they run away when the Greeks launch a mock charge, then they run away again at Cunaxa. Could that be the satraps already new that thus preferred to hire Greeks for the job?
    I never said anything about their superiority or lack thereof. I merely talked about the fact that the satraps preferred not to risk losing them, due to aforementioned reasons.
    Actually the two eye witnesses whose testimonies survived (unfortunately through other authors) call them differently: Ptolemy calls them "hoplites" while Calisthenes calls them "peltasts". That suggests they were hard to classify by the Greeks, which in turn means they were most likely medium infantry, just like the Immortals have been.
    Since both Arrian and Ptolemy call them hoplites, we have little reason to favour Calisthenes' claim. What confuses scholars with regards to the Kardakes is mostly their origin, ethnic identity, and whether or not they were professional soldiers or mercenaries, not their arms and armour.
    Last edited by Kardarigan; February 21, 2016 at 10:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Pashtuns are Sunni and the Hazara are Shia. I hope that answers your question.

  13. #233

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    We risk to hijack the thread with this discussion about the Achmenids. Moderators might want to collect the relevant posts and build a new thread about why the Achmenids might have been better or worse than the Romans.

    That being said, there are a few points I'd like to make:

    1) The Carthaginian civilians were all armed. They had manufactured all the necessary weapons and armor both before the siege and during it. This is why the fight went from house to house. And if you think house-to-house fighting is something requiring firearms, think again. Hannibal had to conquer Saguntum that way and Pyrrhus was killed by an old woman while fighting on the streets of Argos;

    2) The Dacian "civilians" were all fighting, if we are to believe the images on Trajan's column. On the column the villagers fight, and the women fight as well both in villages and in cities. The human cost of such type of warfare is always going to be high;

    3) The Gauls had also put up a fierce resistance. Caesar was actually withdrawing from Gaul as a result of that. It was Vercingetorix who screwed up in the end, when he botched the attack on the retreating Roman army, near modern Dijon. Caesar's genius was to take advantage of the unexpected [and unhoped for] Gaulish debacle and of Vercingetorix's second miscalculation (locking himself up in Alesia). The high casualty rate was simply the direct consequence of pretty much every village in Gaul jumping on the Romans. Had Dijon and Alesia not happened, probably history would have recorded it as a cost worth paying (think the casualties of the Iraq-Iran war);

    4) The satraps were paying troops anyway, didn't they? The thing was they couldn't pay the "Asians" and get the same type of "quality of service" as they would get from the Greeks;

    5) An empire which is not transforming the culture and the language of the subjects is simply a parasite: those peoples had leaders to who were taxing them and ruling them before the Persians came, thank you very much! What the Persian subjects thought of the "benefit" of simply having a satrap on top and funneling the taxes to Susa/Persepolis was obvious when determined enemies came knocking: the satraps themselves either rolled over or tried to carve kingdoms for themselves.

    The Romans on the other hand practiced "transformational imperialism". As a result 10 years after Odoacer had ousted the last Western Roman Emperor, the "dux" of what was left of Gaul still kept waiting for the empire to be restored. He wasn't an idiot who didn't see the Western Roman Empire was gone. He was a high Roman official who knew the Empire had managed to recover before, either alone or with help from Constantinople. This time help would come some 100 years too late.

    6) Arrian uses Ptolemy. Only Ptolemy and Calisthenes were eye witnesses, Arrian wrote some 400 years later, using the works of Ptolemy (now lost). So if two eye witnesses disagree as to what the Cardaces were, it means they were neither heavy nor light infantry. That would make them medium.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MareNostrum

  14. #234

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    When you think of Europe you do not really think of nature do you?
    Actually, I do. There's plenty of it left here. You seem to be subscribing to a very narrow definition of "nature".


    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Pashtuns are Sunni and the Hazara are Shia. I hope that answers your question.
    Hazara also strongly resemble East Asians, which is at odds with the way the aboriginal population looks like. The only plausible reason for this is a large share of Mongol and Turkic ancestry. Even their name, although Persian in origin, might be a clue to that.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    When you think of Europe you do not really think of nature do you?
    Look at how he looks at you because of this statement.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardarigan View Post
    But you see, he and his Mongol hordes killed a lot of civilised and useful people. If it was about dropping Co2 levels by reducing the population size of the planet, maybe he should have started with Mongols who were basically useless and uncivilised. Or maybe he should have started with Europeans, who were at that time good at nothing except launching crusades and smelling like manure.
    That's more than an over-simplification. Although they were responsible for sacking Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade, European states of the 13th century like the wealthy maritime Republic of Venice were worth more than just smelling like manure, as you starkly suggest. Medieval Persia was more advanced, I'll give you that (with accomplished scientists and polymaths like Nasir al-Din al-Tusi), and in comparison to the Song Dynasty of China there is little competition (the last great golden age of Chinese science and technology, seeing how the Ming Dynasty Chinese didn't do much to enhance what was already known).

    However, by the end of the 13th century, Europe had produced such monumental things as the first eyeglasses, weight-driven mechanical clocks, the wine press (which was later instrumental in the invention of Gutenberg's printing press), the Artesian well, the true chimney and rib vault in architecture along with the reintroduction of the old Greco-Roman treadwheel crane. The counterweight trebuchet, which the Mongols adopted in China to devastating effect, most likely originated in Byzantium a century before this. Although the Eastern Han Chinese invented papermaking and Muslims in the Middle East adopted it centuries before Europe, Europeans were nevertheless the first to create functional papermills during the 13th century. In addition to his work on astronomical astrolabes, the French scientist Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt was the first in Europe to describe magnetic properties of freely-pivoted dry compass during this century. Although the Northern Song Chinese polymath scientist Shen Kuo had earlier discussed compass needles in his book published in 1088 AD, these were quite different in that they were suspended in midair by a silk string and wax, whereas the true mariner's compass - with a pivoted needle on a pin encased within a glass box with a wind rose showing the cardinal directions - was first described in Europe.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point. In either case I think no one then or now deserves to die just by being in the way of someone else's conquest, lust for blood and riches, and illusions of grandeur. However, to depict Europeans as expendable or disposable, if we're going to be cynical and rank the importance of peoples in the 13th century, is a bit much.

    Just because there were later empires, doesn't mean that the civilisation the Mongols conquered were not severely affected on the long run. The rise of nomadism in many of the former region of the Mongol Empire is a testament to that.
    Some civilizations bounced back quicker than others. The Chinese seemed to bounce back quite a bit after the Mongol Yuan Dynasty with the reestablishment of a native Han Chinese dynasty, the Ming. However, I'd argue that the Jurchen Jin Dynasty's earlier invasion of northern China in the 1120s AD was far more detrimental to Chinese civilization, especially high culture and mathematical, scientific, and technological progress. For instance, there was no repeat of Su Song's brilliant astronomical clocktower in Chinese civilization.

    Massive depopulation, wholesale destruction of infrastructure, long-term environmental degradation, decline of urbanism, intellectual stagnation, massive braindrain, etc. All of that severely hindered the development of affected civilisations, which is why the West surpassed them, also thanks to the discovery of the New World.
    That was certainly the case with Persia and Mesopotamia. The fall of Baghdad wasn't exactly apocalyptic, but I'd place it on the same level as the loss of the Library of Alexandria. And after the initial Mongol invasions by pagan khans, then we had the Islamic incarnation of Mongol conquest in the person of Timur, who wreaked havoc and destruction across Asia and dragged countless artisans and craftsmen, mathematicians and astronomers, architects, bureaucrats, etc. from conquered regions back to his capital. I'd definitely call that a braindrain, so we're in agreement here.

    Absolute crap. The Persian Empire had long ceased to be a threat to mainland Greece, and the Persians had lost interest in invading that backwater and had instead been content with manipulating the cheap Greeks with gold. And modern civilisation is not based on only on classical Greece, but on various other civilisations. Even if the Persians had occupied Greece, the modern world would still remember Greek the legacy.
    I don't think Athens would have been the same under Persian occupation, especially after they had burnt it to the ground. Sure, the Greeks probably would have prospered under Persian rule (the states that surrendered quickly and did not infuriate the shahanshah like Athens did). However, the unique political environment of Athens would have been extinguished and Greece wouldn't have become the center of intellectual and scientific greatness in the ancient world. These were spurred and simply made possible by the political success, commercial freedom, and magnificent material wealth it soon acquired by building the Delian League (aka the Athenian Empire). Under the Persian Empire, Greece would have simply become another satrapy.

    Millions or not, the destruction and human loss was massive, and it resulted in the death of Gallic culture in favour of the bland and barbaric Roman culture.
    The Romans could boast of many things they contributed to the world, mostly in the field of architecture, with the invention of concrete, enormous arched acqueducts, segmental arch bridges, and huge free-standing domes. However, if we are honest, most scientific achievements made in the Roman world were made by certain Greeks living under Roman rule, such as Heron of Alexandria and Ptolemy. In that regard the Romans were certainly not barbarians, but you're obviously labelling them as such due to their brutal reputation with external foes they bested (or, it can be argued, against their fellow Romans in such awful episodes as Octavian and Antony's proscription lists of those who would be killed in cold blood and properties seized with the full sanctioning of the state). It's true, the Romans forced convicted criminals to face wild beasts in the amphitheatre and be torn apart by lions. They forced slaves to train and fight as gladiators for their entertainment (although originally this was rooted in ancient pagan religious rites, so it wasn't purely a form of public spectacle and stadium pastime like modern football, baseball, basketball, etc.).

    All of that being said, virtually no civilization back then, Parthian and Sassanid Persia included, was free or devoid of brutality in some form. Horrendous forms of capital punishment weren't the reserves of the Romans alone. Even the Carthaginians who you mention numerously in this thread sacrificed infants to the gods and crucified convicted felons and rebellious slaves just the same as Romans did. Hell, Carthage even spitefully crucified generals that they disliked or thought were traitorous for losing battles. In fact, crucifixion was practiced in areas as far afield as ancient Macedonia and yes, even Persia. Alexander the Great, who's been lauded in this thread, even cruficied some of his enemies after the siege of the Phoenician city of Tyre. In ancient China during the Qin Dynasty, capital punishment was horrific and involved everything from "slow slicing" (língchí 凌迟) to boiling offenders alive (although capital punishment made less severe and much rarer during the subsequent Han Dynasty). I'm not sure about ancient kingdoms like Pontus and Armenia, but I'm sure they did similarly brutal stuff as everyone else.

    The Romans are only slightly worse for making a cruel spectacle out of such horrific punishments, although by the Christian era the Romans basically abandoned gladiatorial games as pagan ritual. Yet as brutal as they were, gladiators weren't always made to fight to the death and were granted mercy (especially considering the expense of training them for a lifetime as useful fighters and crowd-pleasers). The Roman world was full of paradoxes. Gladiators were often seen as heroes and, to the ladies, as sex symbols akin to modern rock stars. After many of them were granted freedom and citizenship, these ones usually went on to become enormously wealthy and prosperous.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Actually, I do. There's plenty of it left here. You seem to be subscribing to a very narrow definition of "nature".
    Do you know why Europeans loved line battles with guns? Because many of the dense forests that filled Europe centuries before were reduced to desolate fields.

    http://www.picturescolourlibrary.co....go/1871414.jpg

    European farmland ^

    Simply a small portion of Europe.

    And by the way, European hunting and farmland expansion has led to far, far, far more extinctions than Mongolian horse herding, which I doubt has led to any extinctions. More extinctions = less biodiversity.


    Hazara also strongly resemble East Asians, which is at odds with the way the aboriginal population looks like. The only plausible reason for this is a large share of Mongol and Turkic ancestry. Even their name, although Persian in origin, might be a clue to that.
    That has nothing to do with their persecution. If it does, it is simply racism against people who look different. You cannot just assume that some Afghans hate Hazaras because they have Mongolian origin. I would like to use your word, "strawmanning" to describe that. The better explanation is simple Shia-Sunni hate, in which we have evidence for.

    Well yes, I don't see how Iraq currently "not having money and stability" invalidates what the Mongols did to that country.
    Because the Mongols hit China harder and they're a world power. You can't blame Iraq's horrible government on the Mongols.

    But military technology is only one aspect of a civilisation's advancement.
    But it is a decisive one

    Not sure WTF you are trying to say here. I cannot really comprehend that incoherent part of your post.
    Even if the Ottomans were not hit by the Timurids, I doubt they would have then been able to advance further into Europe. Thus, they would affect Western Europe, the powerhouse of colonialism (which made Europe the world power) very little. They would continue to advance. Therefore the Timurids can't be said to be why Europe became more advanced.

    On top of this, the Ottomans became heavily relied on agriculture later, which destroyed them as the Europeans were receiving an influx of gold from colonialism.

    No, not really. The Nazis were barbaric and yet far from primitive.
    We are arguing over two definitions of barbaric. Barbaric can mean violent or primitive. The more accurate definition would be primitive, as not of the barbarians (barbaric/barbarian) were more violent than Rome, but they were more primitive.

    That's not a fact, but rather merely a product of your imagination.
    You labelled all Europeans as one people.

    Great, so you now turn to the Safavids after talking about the Sassanids for no apparent reason. Desperate and want to score some points perhaps? Strawmanning is not going to help you achieve that.
    Mongols may have killed more, but they were far more tolerant than the Persians.


    Do you live in Iran?
    Last edited by drbehemothjr; February 22, 2016 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Do you know why Europeans loved line battles with guns? Because many of the dense forests that filled Europe centuries before were reduced to desolate fields.
    Firstly, that is completely wrong.

    Secondly, I do not think you understand the definition of the word "desolate".




    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    As if other farmlands are different...


    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Simply a small portion of Europe
    Nope, that is just Europe;

    https://www.google.hr/search?q=european+wilderness&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=935&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJloG9p4zLAhUCCpoKHd3vDXUQ_AUIBigB#q=europe+nature&tbm=isch&tbs=isz:lt,islt:xga

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    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Firstly, that is completely wrong.
    Europe was once filled with dense forests. Now there are less, much of the area cleared up for farmland.


    As if other farmlands are different...
    I'm using Europe as an example. The argument is that farming is much worse for the environment than horse herding.

  20. #240

    Default Re: Why is Genghis Khan characterized as a ruthless conqueror while Alexander and Caesar are praised as heroes?

    Quote Originally Posted by drbehemothjr View Post
    Pashtuns are Sunni and the Hazara are Shia. I hope that answers your question.
    That's only one reason.

    Because the Mongols hit China harder and they're a world power.
    A world power because they adopted the ways of the West and exploited their natural advantages (massive populations, etc), but only after their traditional civilisation declined thanks to the Mongols. There is a reason why China is no longer a centre of science, philosophy, technology, and high civilisational innovation and advancement, and that's the Mongol invasion.

    You can't blame Iraq's horrible government on the Mongols.
    Sigh, nobody is blaming the Mongols for Iraq's bad government. You are starting to sound childish now.

    But it is a decisive one
    And yet it is not the sole measure of a civilisation's advancement, no matter how important it is. A high civilisation is much, much more than just advanced military technology, something you clearly have difficulty understanding because your standard of civilisation is evidently very low.

    Even if the Ottomans were not hit by the Timurids, I doubt they would have then been able to advance further into Europe. Thus, they would affect Western Europe, the powerhouse of colonialism (which made Europe the world power) very little. They would continue to advance. Therefore the Timurids can't be said to be why Europe became more advanced.
    No idea why the hell you are talking about the Ottomans when in fact they are irrelevant to what I have been telling you in this thread.

    On top of this, the Ottomans became heavily relied on agriculture later, which destroyed them as the Europeans were receiving an influx of gold from colonialism.
    I already said that the discovery of the New World contributed to the rise of the West to prominence, and that was also facilitated by the discovery of new maritime trade routes.

    We are arguing over two definitions of barbaric. Barbaric can mean violent or primitive. The more accurate definition would be primitive,
    That's just your opinion.

    You labelled all Europeans as one people.
    A generalisation that was mostly correct.

    Mongols may have killed more, but they were far more tolerant than the Persians.
    The Persians killed way much less, destroyed way much less, and raped way, way much less than the Mongols, and also unlike the Mongols, they contributed to civilisation, and yet you want us to believe that the Mongols were better than them because they were "far more tolerant"? That's just utterly stupid and biased. And wait a minute, who the hell says that the Mongols were more tolerant than the Achaemenid Persians? Religiously they were as tolerant as the Mongols, so your argument falls flat on its face. As for the Sassanids (whom you're trying to bring into this discussion for whatever reason), they were mostly tolerant, as their brutal persecution of religious minorities was evidently an exception rather than the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dromikaites View Post
    That being said, there are a few points I'd like to make:

    1) The Carthaginian civilians were all armed. They had manufactured all the necessary weapons and armor both before the siege and during it. This is why the fight went from house to house. And if you think house-to-house fighting is something requiring firearms, think again. Hannibal had to conquer Saguntum that way and Pyrrhus was killed by an old woman while fighting on the streets of Argos;

    2) The Dacian "civilians" were all fighting, if we are to believe the images on Trajan's column. On the column the villagers fight, and the women fight as well both in villages and in cities. The human cost of such type of warfare is always going to be high;

    3) The Gauls had also put up a fierce resistance. Caesar was actually withdrawing from Gaul as a result of that. It was Vercingetorix who screwed up in the end, when he botched the attack on the retreating Roman army, near modern Dijon. Caesar's genius was to take advantage of the unexpected [and unhoped for] Gaulish debacle and of Vercingetorix's second miscalculation (locking himself up in Alesia). The high casualty rate was simply the direct consequence of pretty much every village in Gaul jumping on the Romans. Had Dijon and Alesia not happened, probably history would have recorded it as a cost worth paying (think the casualties of the Iraq-Iran war);
    And if you think there were not any innocent casualties and unnecessary material destruction, you need to think again, because we are talking about Romans engaging in something as chaotic and indiscriminately brutal as ancient warfare.

    4) The satraps were paying troops anyway, didn't they? The thing was they couldn't pay the "Asians" and get the same type of "quality of service" as they would get from the Greeks;
    My point still stands regardless of the fact that these satrapal troop were paid.

    5) An empire which is not transforming the culture and the language of the subjects is simply a parasite: those peoples had leaders to who were taxing them and ruling them before the Persians came, thank you very much!
    So a tolerant empire that promotes universal diversity, connects the whole civilised world together under one centralised rule, defends the civilised realm from the nomadic menace, facilitates land and maritime trade in addition to cultural exchange by building roads, highways, canals, and top notch communication system is a parasite just because it did not attempt to take the path of chauvinism and impose its culture on the conquered subjects? Don't be absurd. And by the way, no thanks needed, since the Persians were not there to do these peoples a favour in the first place (but decided to be mostly relatively nice anyway), and neither were the Romans or any other empire in history, all of which were "parasites" leeching off the conquered nations. Conquered peoples do not prefer to be forced to adopt the culture of the conquerors, whether it is Roman, Persian, or French culture. So if you want to thank the Persians on behalf of their deceased subjects, thank them for ruling an empire whilst managing to cause as little death and destruction as possible and for pulling it off with exceptional cultural tolerance that successfully preserved (and promoted) the local cultures and civilisations.

    What the Persian subjects thought of the "benefit" of simply having a satrap on top and funneling the taxes to Susa/Persepolis was obvious when determined enemies came knocking: the satraps themselves either rolled over or tried to carve kingdoms for themselves.
    Once again, you are trying to establish a link between irrelevant things.

    The Romans on the other hand practiced "transformational imperialism". As a result 10 years after Odoacer had ousted the last Western Roman Emperor, the "dux" of what was left of Gaul still kept waiting for the empire to be restored. He wasn't an idiot who didn't see the Western Roman Empire was gone. He was a high Roman official who knew the Empire had managed to recover before, either alone or with help from Constantinople. This time help would come some 100 years too late.
    You keep talking about the Romans and comparing them to the Persians, as if the Romans were the standard against which all empires should be measured. Why don't you stop doing that and instead admit that there is more than just the Roman way towards imperial success? The Persians were successful as an Empire, and so were the Romans, but both took different paths towards that success.

    6) Arrian uses Ptolemy. Only Ptolemy and Calisthenes were eye witnesses, Arrian wrote some 400 years later, using the works of Ptolemy (now lost). So if two eye witnesses disagree as to what the Cardaces were, it means they were neither heavy nor light infantry. That would make them medium.
    Let historian Duncan Head comment on that:



    (Duncan Head, Achaemenid Persian Army, p.42)
    Last edited by Kardarigan; February 22, 2016 at 07:04 PM.

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