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Thread: POTF 11 - Winner and Runner up

  1. #1
    Flinn's Avatar ehhhhh.. You don't say???
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    Default POTF 11 - Winner and Runner up


    The winner of POTF 11 was Katsumoto with his third win, earning 1 competition point and 5 rep points. Well done!

    Winning Post
    The Putin - Trump Controversy: Here to Stay - Links between Trump and Russia are being officially investigated by the FBI
    The fact that obstruction of justice doesn't need an underlying crime for it to be obstruction is such a basic concept that it doesn't even warrant addressing. You can obstruct justice to hide embarassing information for example. In regards to collusion, this is the summary that continues to ring true:

    To me, the salient facts from this section are the following:

    *> Trump was willing to do business with and seek favors from the Russian state even as it was attacking the country for whose presidency he was running—and he was willing to lie about doing so.
    > His campaign’s senior leadership was eager to benefit from that country’s efforts to dish dirt on his opponent and was willing to meet with people it knew to represent that country in order to receive such information.
    > Multiple campaign staff and advisers engaged in conduct in relation to that country that legitimately gave rise to counterintelligence scrutiny.
    > Multiple campaign staff and advisers lied to investigators about their dealings with Russian officials or intermediaries to such officials in a fashion that gave rise to criminal charges or other actions.

    I don’t know the right word for this pattern of conduct. It’s not “collusion,” though it may involve some measure of collusion. It’s not “coordination” or “conspiracy.” But in Clinton, Democrats, and liberals, the Trump campaign saw a sufficiently irreconcilable enemy that it looked at Vladimir Putin and saw a partner. To my mind, anyway, that’s the story Mueller told in this section. It may not be a crime, but it is a very deep betrayal.
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/notes-mu...o%20Volume%20I


    Runner-up this week is Roma_Victrix. See you next time!

    Runner-Up Post
    Cleopatra's endgame: what did she really hope to accomplish with Mark Antony?
    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    I agree completely about the hesitations of Rome to add new territories to its empire, but I still believe that Cleopatra had no choice. The problem was that the circumstances had gradually changed every since the Marian reforms were implemented. As ambitious generals gained more power over their professional armies, the foreign policy of Rome evolved accordingly, even despite the objections of the Senate. Military commanders now enjoyed more freedom and were often allowed to pursue a more personal policy, not hesitating to casually provoke conflicts with neutral neighbors and annex new territories. The reasons for this shift of policy are exactly what you described above: As the Senators were afraid of the possibility of a governor accumulating too many resources, so were the generals motivated to expand their sphere of influence, by installing obedientl governors to recently conquered regions, by stabilising the throne of now completely dependent client-kings and by positioning friendly tyrants to nominally autonomous cities. Not to mention the fact that loot and military glory guaranteed the loyalty of their troops in times of need. All these assets would come very handy, when a civil war broke out and the Roman general attempted to usurp the ultimate power.

    Now, to come back to the subject, a series of semi-successful imperialist strongmen, from Marius and Sulla to Crassus, Pompey and Ceasar had indicated to Cleopatra that the good, old times of senatorial conservatism were over. Whoever emerged as the final victor from the second Triumvirate, Octavian, Mark Anthony, Lepidus or even Sextus "Pirate" Pompey, the days of an independent Lagid dynasty were few. Neutrality was frankly not an option, because it would have saved the kingdom, according to the most optimistic scenario, as long as the Roman Empire remained fragmented. Once the Empire was reunited (an inevitable result, in my opinion), the new dictator/emperor/Augustus would hardly hesitate to invade the wealthy Nile valley. It would have been an easy campaign, which would reinforce his prestige, restore the finances of the state and provide him with a precious basis of support for his fragile and precarious position as the "absolute monarch" of the empire. Cleopatra was obliged to join one of the two camps, in order to have a chance to save her royal career. Unluckily enough for her, she bet on the wrong horse.
    Do you think Cleopatra fully understood the intricacies of what was going on in Roman politics and generals gradually amassing more power since Marius and Sulla, at the expense of or despite the Senate? She certainly knew that Sulla was the power broker who brought her father's predecessor Ptolemy XI to the throne in Egypt by marriage to Berenice III. With the Romans installing her father twice to the throne without showing a huge interest in taking over the country, I don't think she would have figured they wanted direct rule. Well, at least not until it became clear that she and Antony were to fight a colossal war against Octavian, pitting two halves of the Roman world against each other.

    When Cleopatra was still alive I don't think it was quite clear to her and to every other client ruler that Rome would eventually gobble up their territories and transform them into fully controlled provinces. Right next door to her was Herod's kingdom of Judea and it was decades after Cleopatra's death that Herod's triad of successor kingdoms were fully taken over by the Romans. While the Romans took over the Kingdom of Numidia by 40 BC, they left others alone, like the Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace, which lasted as a client state until 46 AD.

    Rome didn't really have some master plan when it came to expansion. Like the historian Klaus Bringmann (2002) says, it just kind of lurched from crisis to crisis, reacting to them instead of acting proactively, with big exceptions during the late Republic, of course, like Caesar's ambitious campaign in Gaul that used any little excuse and diplomatic faux pas to take over new territories. Sulla's war against Pontus and then Pompey's conquests of Anatolia and the Levant in the eastern Mediterranean would be another example, but even Sulla was reacting to the Asian Vespers and hostility against Romans and Roman allies by Mithridates. Rome had previously been extremely reluctant to take over new territories directly, case in point, the Kingdom of Macedonia, which the Romans tried to break apart into three different allied republics, but once the pretender Andriscus raised a revolt, it became clear that a directly controlled province was necessary.

    To be honest, if Cleopatra had just stayed quiet after Ptolemy XIII was killed and acted like an aloof monarch who didn't care about politics, how could Octavian have toppled her along with her son and heir Caesarion, who was his true target as an heir to Caesar? Cleopatra VII was a legitimately recognized client ruler. While Octavian held an enormous amount of power as one of Rome's triumvirs, he didn't yet possess the full absolute power and hadn't yet usurped nearly all meaningful constitutional powers, not until he became Augustus in 27 BC, three years after he conquered Egypt. Even his proposed war against Antony met with stiff resistance until he couched it in terms that a foreign queen, Cleopatra, was illegally funding the military operations of a private citizen without holding office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    Perhaps Cleopatra was hoping in getting a sister of Julian blood for Caesarion (Ptolemaĩos Philopátor Philométor Kaĩsar), to marry him and save her bloodless dynastic line ..
    Heh! That would be a very Ptolemaic move on her part. Bring on the incest!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Have to agree. I think local instability was a threat too: when Rome broke up Makedonia they caused chaos for the Southern Balkans as the bulwark against Thrakian and Gallic incursions was removed, and they were forced to create a (heavily militarised) province within a decade. Romans like provinces with easily conquerable tribes to farm VPs for the cursus honorum: Egypt was unfamiliar terrain: it had a theocratic economy with an alien elite planted on a sullen peasantry, hardly suitable for aspiring magistrates to cut their teeth.
    That's another excellent point and another reason why the Romans were more interested in receiving many economic benefits of linking itself to Egypt without actually having the headache of ruling it directly. To be honest, her kingdom was the only one that fell during Octavian's war against Antony. Even client kingdoms that sided with Antony at first but switched over to Octavian's side were spared, including that of Herod (Octavian was apparently very impressed with his speech and sense of loyalty that he let him keep his kingdom). If Cleopatra had kept herself distant from all of this and never bothered to build a relationship with Antony but sided with Antony as soon as the war started, there could have even been a chance that Octavian would have been lenient with her like he was with Herod!

    That's why I think she made the wrong decision to hitch her fortunes on Antony, who was admittedly a storied veteran commander under Caesar, but simply too much of a gamble.

    As a Ptolemaic princess she was playing the Game of Throne with the usual stakes: I think she had no quiet retirement option. Her options were to bang the warlords or not bang the warlords: she gave herself a better chance to keep her throne and even influence affairs if she was close to Caesar and Anthony.

    She may even have podded Anthony to something like the excesses Augustan propaganda insists. Obviously it was mostly crap but Rome was inclining to monarchy already and within two generations would see heritable monarchy established. Maybe Cleopatra just punted early and as we know on the wrong horse. The Hellenised Romans found the Hellenistic East intoxicating, a victorious Anthony may have been the agent for a Hellenised West and a less divided Empire.
    I think Cleopatra simply let her success in nabbing Caesar, the most powerful Roman general up until that point, and having a child with him go to her head, especially since Caesar largely ignored his official wife. Cleopatra literally thought she could have Caesarion named as his heir when she was living in Italy at Caesar's villa at the time of his assassination. Octavian being named the official heir was the reason she eventually fled Italy with Caesarion back to Egypt where the distance was obviously safer (the longer she stayed in Italy, the worse it made her look to the Roman people as a meddler in their affairs, and it would have given Octavian the excuse he needed to end her and her son's life then and there).

    If Cleopatra were a bit less ambitious, I think she and her son would have lived much longer lives but would have been rather irrelevant or marginal in terms of Roman historiography, and certainly not popular or noteworthy enough to warrant a play by William Shakespeare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Oda Nobunaga View Post
    I don't think there was one. The claims that Cleopatra was planning on manipulating Antony to take over Rome or whatever sounds completely made up. Octavian needed it to be true so that he could declare war on Cleopatra and thereby erode Antony's power base. Since he could not directly try to fight Antony as Antony was still too popular and had the support of the Republican faction. The Donations of Alexandria being cited as an example for debauchery but making client kings is hardly a case for this kind of corruption. Not at all different from what Caesar or Pompey would have done. Cleopatra was very much a Roman client.

    Antony was so under prepared for any conflict that he had to demobilize his legions of old veterans and recruit locally from Roman and Greek colonies, as well as native easterners. Something practically unheard of at the time. While Cleopatra's fleet was formidable Antony also had to pass emergency legislation in order to take ownership of the resources (so for example groves from temples) to expand his fleet and take additional measures to recruit laborers and ship crews. Antony was so much at a disadvantage that he tried to avoid a pitched battle.
    Yes, I think it was clever but rather transparent propaganda on Octavian's part to blow up the threat of Cleopatra beyond measure, as the eminent historian Ronald Syme argued (although he likewise downplayed her importance too much, I think). Cleopatra certainly had the funds to keep Antony afloat, her greatest asset being, well, her enormous assets ...and big...tracks of land (to quote Monty Python). The Latin poets during the reign of Augustus were sometimes sympathetic to her, showing that Augustus had not completely destroyed her image and that there were still a variety of opinions, but they generally painted a rather ridiculous picture of her as being an exotic sorceress who bewitched Antony with witchcraft and planned on toppling good honest Roman gods with animal headed ones, "furries" basically.

    You know, Anubis, Horus, and the like.

    Basically the Romans didn't want the furries and otherkin to take over.

    Those are great points about Antony desperately trying to even the odds with Octavian in terms of armed forces. Also, Antony's fleet at Actium in 31 BC might have been larger, but his crews were largely inexperienced compared to Octavian's naval fleet of veteran marines and professional sailors. In comparison Antony acquired a lot of arguably unreliable ones from merchant ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    You're saying a Western ruler made up false claims about an Eastern ruler preparing an attack and used it as justification to start a war?

    Octavian brought the furry animal-headed Egyptian terrorists to justice.

    Under the patronage of Finlander, patron of Lugotorix & Lifthrasir & joerock22& Socrates1984; of the Imperial House of Hader

  2. #2
    Katsumoto's Avatar Quae est infernum es
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    Default Re: POTF 11 - Winner and Runner up

    Thank you for voting for my post those that did but I'm a bit embarassed to have won frankly, in comparison to the other posts mine was tiny - I hope people realise the quoted bit in the text wasn't my own but from the Lawfare link? Is it possible at all to have Roma be declared the winner instead if I refuse the win? His post is far more deserving.
    "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."
    - John Adams, on the White House, in a letter to Abigail Adams (2 November 1800)

  3. #3
    Flinn's Avatar ehhhhh.. You don't say???
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    Default Re: POTF 11 - Winner and Runner up

    There's nothing in the rules about refusing a victory, to be honest. I'd say that it would be better if one accepts the will of the voters, but of course if you feel like you absolutely want to retire your post I think we should accept the situation..

    If you want to hear mine I think that we'd better keep the results for what they are and take this as a lesson for the future.. if anyone feels like that their post is not deserving, they should withdraw it before it goes to vote (in the rules it is already stated that it's possible to withdraw a nominated post, for whatever reason). Besides retiring one post once it has been voted for, will invalidate the poll IMO, as all the votes could have gone somewhere else and this means that the victory of the Runner up post isn't necessarily a fair choice

    I won't be online again before next Monday, just to mention

    edit: I just realized that due to lack of manpower we might have skipped doing this

    - The authors of the nominated post will be informed so they can withdraw the candidacy if that is their wish.
    If that's the case, I apologize; originally the team was supposed to be composed from 5 people + Hex, today we only have one active member and 2 very discontinuous members, plus me as Hex support, so we are doing what we can to keep the ball rolling.

    I'll do my best to inform all the new nominated posters from now on
    Last edited by Flinn; June 21, 2019 at 10:18 AM.

    Under the patronage of Finlander, patron of Lugotorix & Lifthrasir & joerock22& Socrates1984; of the Imperial House of Hader

  4. #4
    Katsumoto's Avatar Quae est infernum es
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    Default Re: POTF 11 - Winner and Runner up

    That's fair enough, I did see the post was nominated but didn't think it'd win and admittedly it was nice to be nominated! I'll be sure to raise any concerns before the vote next time, apologies for the hassle.
    "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."
    - John Adams, on the White House, in a letter to Abigail Adams (2 November 1800)

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