Ancient History and Our Funny Ancestors

 [This is a comment in reply to Neo’s post and the barrage of comments there. It is more user friendly than other things I have written on blogs given that I am not using any bolded quotes here. This is my personal attempt to sort of do a Grand Summarization of ancient history in terms of our modern trends.]

Some comments after reading the topic about Lawrence of Arabia. There are certain types of leaders, like Alexander, that knew how the tribal mind worked and functioned. They were able to lead Arabs and see the strength of the Arabic people precisely because they knew the weaknesses and strengths of the Arabs and Persians.

When such people, as Alexander, was empowered by their entire nation and civilization, great things can be accomplished. When they are not backed by their nation, then you can only get a TE Lawrence. Which in the end, will only filter down to us as legends and stories. Nothing fundamental will have changed.

The bedouin Arabs relying upon Desert Power is the same now as they were before in our ancient’s past. We have changed, they have not. And in this, we have found our salvation. Our Western culture is rotten at the core, for the core contains parasite inumerable. We need to purge such malcontents from our system in order to make it healthy once again, but where do we find our medicine? In the Arabic world where armies and legions have contested land and might for centuries. They will remind us of what it takes to survive and solve factionalism and tribalism in our own nation, or they will kill us. Simple as that. A harsh solution for a harsh world of corrupt bureacrats, child rapist/murderers, and politicians.

Islam, with the influx of oil wealth and Western weakness, is having a resurgence. Although technically, dead Empires like the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire are supposed to stay dead. Only their children may flourish. Arabic oil wealth and Western decadence may indeed bring about the resurrection of the Muslim conquests of Constantinople and renaming the Hagia Sophia, Emperor Justinian’s commissioned work, a Mosque for the Faithful. Instead of the Cathedral for Christianity it was meant to be.

Turks and Muslims are justifiably proud of the Hagia Sophia. It is a magnificent work. It was meant to be handed down to the descendants of the Eastern ROman Empire, of course, but inheritances don’t always come through. Because of estate taxes if nothing else.

They conquered it and so they keep it. That is the law of warfare and the laws of a vital world.

However, what one has taken can also be taken from them. That is part of the laws of warfare as well. Including the law of the jungle.

Empires fall because they grow weak, as the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphates did. And the Eastern Roman Empire with their capital in Constantinople and the Persian Empire of the Sassanids. Yet they can be resurrected by their children, at least in part.

Even Europe is attempting to get into the resurgent game of Empires. One of the EU commissioners said that the EU is the first non-colonial or expansionist Empire in the world. Another quiped that you had to be either French or God to understand.

500 years after the birth of Christ, Rome had fallen to the Barbarians with a Vatican sitting amongst their barbarian hordes. The beginnings of Islam was just about to stir. Now a few years after the 2 millenium mark, things are starting up once again.

Humanity is caught in this circle because we are mortal and we make mistakes. Weak Empires are replaced by those with a stronger sense of certainty and implacable will. That will be our fate should we prove unworthy. Just as it will be the fate of Islam should they prove unworthy.

Germany is still around and so is Japan, but their defeats changed them as much as our victory changed us. Some for the better, some for the worse, but they are no longer world powers or military powers because they have lost the right to such. They can reclaim it, as the EU is trying to do for their former Imperial and Colonial historical glories, but as with all things, it requires effort. Incompetent and feckless effort on the part of the EU or bloodthirsty and suicidal effort on the part of the Islamic war on goodness.

There may not be such a thing as Divine Right behind the power of monarchs and dynasties, but there is certainly a score card kept by someone for entire nations, cultures, and civilizations.

Score too low and you’ll end up like Carthage.

[Another topic that came up that was pretty funny concerned women in combat.]

Cinci Bob

You Said:

She wants to go with the Marines into battle

I appreciate your daughter’s willingness to go into COMBAT.

But I cannot for the life of me understand how a FEMALE in the US Armed Forces can be designated a COMBAT MEDIC.

I don’t want to rain on your parade or your daughter’s aspirations, but the thought of a female in a COMBAT situation disgusts me. Sorry buddy, but thats the way it is for a lot of us warriors..


I am a Marine, and after I was a Marine, I was USAF Combat Search and Rescue, or PJ. In other words a COMBAT MEDIC.

The subject of women in our career field used to come up and it was universally regurgitated as a very bad idea.

If there are women who are who have been designated as COMBAT medics who actually go on missions I’d love to hear their stories, but I highly doubt that this is reality.

As far as someone who is NOT a Marine wearing a Marine Corps uniform. I’ll just forget that you said that.

Semper Fi, and Hoo Yah!-Winemkr

“I have no problem with your feelings.”-Bob

Well I do.

No, no, I’ve got no intentions of trying to claim women have the same physical ability as men.

But it *is* about raining on aspirations, isn’t it. It’s about denying the honor as much as it is about denying the risk.

Women have never been safe in war. Ever.

Posted by: Synova | January 05, 2008 at 08:41 PM

The Marine Corps was one of the most resistant, of all the branches, to integration during WWII of blacks and whites. After WWII, once they got over the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theme, they were the first and best service for ignoring color differences in promotion and recruitment.They desegregated about 10 years before Robert Byrd ever took off his white hood to attempt to block the Civil Rights Act in the Senate. [Due to an EO by Truman if I recall]

It doesn’t really matter what people think now about women. All that matters is the future, and the past has given plenty of hints concerning the future.

Besides, unless America copies the Marius Reforms, we aren’t going to have the manpower to deal with the world’s problems if we also drop 50% of the US pop.

No, no, I’ve got no intentions of trying to claim women have the same physical ability as men.-SynovaJihadists don’t have the same physical ability as US Marines either, coincidentally, that don’t keep them from killing and blowing up their enemies.

The same macroscopic considerations that Rome had to deal with concerning Horse Archer steppe tactics, applies the same way to bulky but immobile body armor and women’s lack of brute force strength on the microscopic scale.

War was never entirely about who had the brute force strength. Back in the muscle powered days, the need for muscles was pretty much true for everybody and non-violable yet they still had room for deception tactics. With pilots flying UAVs and exo-skeleton armor systems being researched if not developed now, the future is going towards a de-emphasis on brute force strength. If only because nuclear weapons will be the beginning and end of most wars. Brute force strength of the Roman heavy infantry vs the mobility of Hunnish, Sarmatian, Saka Rauka, etc horse archers will see a resurgence in the debates about modern sensibilities.

This also reminds me of those crazy Gauls that were said to have women almost as strong as the men, who were also expected to command and fight in the wars just as the men were. Barbarians, what can you expect.

They lost to the Roman patrician society, of course, but now a days we’re the Romans but the Islamic fighters for an unholy world are far more patrician than the Romans ever were. A kind of ironic reverse. Then again, the cannon fodder of Arabia uses their women for shields, so maybe that counts for something in that matriarchy-patriarchy dichotomy.

Oh ya, for some laughs, try to recall some of the legends about Sarmatian virgin archers. Supposedly they were a light cavalry force using hit and run tactics, Hunnish/Parthian sally/shot, utilizing the composite/recurved bows of the steppes. They had to kill a man before they could marry.History is so funny. How do humans come up with this stuff anyways.

Light cavalry, heavy cavalry, light infantry, and heavy infantry. Every light unit sacrifices armor and firepower for speed and mobility. Every heavy unit sacrifices mobility and flexibility for increased firepower and armor.

Can’t exactly catch insurgents with ease in a M1A2 tank or when you got the heavy heavy body armor.

It is a fact ascertained by many writers, That women in the north of Europe were eminent for resolution and courage. Caesar, in the first book of his commentaries, describing a battle he fought with the Helvetii, says, that the women with a warlike spirit exhorted their husbands to persist, and placed the waggons in a line to prevent their flight. Florus and Taci-tus mention, that several battles of those barbarous nations were renewed by their women, presenting their naked bosoms, and declaring their abhorrence of captivity. Flavius Vopiscus, writing of Proculus Caesar, says, that a hundred Sarmatian virgins were taken in battle. The Longobard women, when many of their husbands were cut off in a battle, took up arms, and obtained the victory (a) . The females of the Galactophagi, a Scythian tribe, were as warlike as the males, and went often with them to war (b) . In former times, many women in Denmark applied themselves to arms (c) . Jornandes describes the women of the Goths as full of courage, and trained to arms like the men. Joannes Magnus, Archbishop of Upsal, says the same; and mentions in particular an expedition of the Goths to invade a neighbouring country, in which more women went along with the men than were left at home (d) . Several Scandinavian women exercised piracy (a) . The Cimbri were always attended with their wives even in their distant expeditions, and were more afraid of their reproaches than of the blows of the enemy. The Goths, compelled by famine to surrender to Belisarius the city of Ravenna, were bitterly reproached by their wives for cowardice (b) . In a battle between Regner King of Denmark and Fro King of Sweden, many women took part with the former, Langertha in particular, who fought with her hair flowing about her shoulders. Regner, being victorious, demanded who that woman was who had behaved so gallantly; and finding her to be a virgin of noble birth, he took her to wife. He afterward divorced her, in order to make way for a daughter of the King of Sweden. Regner being unhappily engaged in a civil war with Harald, who aspired to the throne of Denmark; Langertha, overlooking her wrongs, brought from Norway a body of men to assist her husband; and behaved so gallantly, that, in the opinion of all, Regner was indebted to her for the victory.To find women, in no considerable portion of the globe, rivalling men in their capital property of courage, is a singular phenomenon. That this phenomenon must have had an adequate cause, is certain; but of that cause, it is better to acknowledge our utter ignorance, however mortifying, than to squeeze out conjectures that will not bear examination.

In rude nations, prophets and soothsayers are held to be a superior class of men: what a figure then must the Vandal women have made, when in that nation, as Procopius says, all the prophets and soothsayers were of the female sex? In Scandinavia, women are said to have been skilful in magic arts, as well as men. Tacitus informs us, that the Germans had no other physicians but their women. They followed the armies, to staunch the blood, and suck the wounds of their husbands.* He mentions a fact that sets the German women in a conspicuous light, That female hostages bound the Germans more strictly to their engagements than male hostages. He adds, “Inesse quinetiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant: nec aut consilia earum aspernantur, aut responsa negliguntur.”* The histories and romances of the north represent women, and even princesses, acting as physicians in war.

Polygamy sprung up in countries where women are treated as inferior beings: it can never take place where the two sexes are held to be of equal rank. For that reason, polygamy never was known among the northern nations of Europe. Saxo Grammaticus, who wrote the history of Denmark in the twelfth century, gives not the slightest hint of polygamy, even among kings and princes. Crantz, in his history of the Saxons (a) , affirms, that polygamy was never known among the nor-thern nations of Europe; which is confirmed by every other writer who gives the history of any of these nations. Scheffer in particular, who writes the history of Lapland, observes, that neither polygamy nor divorce were ever heard of in that country, not even during Paganism.

Check out that polygamy reference.


The Persian and Arab world have often had multiple wives and concubines due to the fact that, unlike the Romans, they didn’t convert to Christianity.

So there’s some interesting socio-political issues going on here in history.

America does not just derive her foundations from Greek and Roman histories and cultures, America gets a lot of blood and history from Europe, both West and East.

Check out the Spartans for their dynamics on men and women in combat.

Don’t forget the Blackfive post that inspired some of my comments here. It’s about a woman in the Combat Medics going for the Miss America pageant.

PS. I like the Marines precisely because they as a force understand that the most deadly weapon available to humanity is the human brain.

P.S.S. Now wasn’t that a mega post covering writings that came on different days.

Explore posts in the same categories: History

11 Comments on “Ancient History and Our Funny Ancestors”

  1. GSheim Says:

    Great post, really, but do you really expect the neaderthal “marine’ to understand a word of it. he probably thinks patriarchal poligamy is a good thing, lol.

  2. ymarsakar Says:

    I’m sure they will feel it sooner or later.

  3. V.E.G. Says:

    Mark Anthony Bretz possibly have Roman ancestry (from Fabius Bretius). Bretz came from Bretzius, Pretzius, Pretz, Britzius, Pritzius, Bretius, Pretius, Britius, Pritius, or Bretches. Happy angel day, Mark Anthony Bretz and his name in Latin is Marcus Antonius Bretzius.

  4. V.E.G. Says:

    It seems possible that Mark Anthony Bretz is a descendant of Wendel Bretzius.

  5. V.E.G. Says:

    Actually, Mark Anthony Bretz is a direct descendant of Adam Bretz.

  6. V.E.G. Says:

    It seems possible Mark Anthony Bretz might be (or not) a descendant of Adam Bretz.

  7. V.E.G. Says:

    Mark Anthony Bretz has noble blood and it is possible he might be a direct descendant of Adam Bretz.

  8. V.E.G. Says:

    Mark Bretz’s relative, an immigrant and for right now I have no idea about the name of a man.

  9. V.E.G. Says:

    Mark Anthony Bretz is a Christian man and his parents are still living. All of the Bretz people came from Fabius Bretius.

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