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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Oriental Weapons  (Read 19450 times)
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2002, 12:04:43 PM »

Bob no one is argueing any of that, so your straw man is entirely unwarranted.

What was being discussed was the quality of swords and armor put out by late medieval to renaissance era smiths.

Further, Gallileo could be persecuted for his astronomical theories because the noble lords didn't care.  Weapons and armor is something the noble lords DID care about and on that issue the church's track record on supression (witness the laws forbidding fighting on Sunday, and the use of the crossbow) was almost entirely ineffective.
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Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2002, 12:23:41 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
Bob no one is argueing any of that, so your straw man is entirely unwarranted.

What was being discussed was the quality of swords and armor put out by late medieval to renaissance era smiths.

Further, Gallileo could be persecuted for his astronomical theories because the noble lords didn't care.  Weapons and armor is something the noble lords DID care about and on that issue the church's track record on supression (witness the laws forbidding fighting on Sunday, and the use of the crossbow) was almost entirely ineffective.


I've already conceded the point concerning weapons and armor. I did that with my first post, if you'll look.

In case you hadn't noticed, the argument diverged. These things happen. And if you have a problem with that, do please take note that this started as a discussion of what the TROS stats for oriental weapons should be, not as a discussion of west vs east weapons technology.

The Church was generally more powerful than noble lords. Kings begged on their knees to be allowed back on their thrones when they violated one papal edict too many.
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So ye wanna go earnin' yer keep with yer sword, and ye think that it can't be too hard...
Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2002, 03:54:24 PM »

Quote
Aside of a new wave of revisionist history,..


I don't mind the strong arm approach, but this is rather poor.  All you're doing by this is slamming any argument that isn't yours.

Quote
it has never been doubted (certainly not by the people of the period...!) that much was lost in the gap between the fall of the empire and the renaissance.


This is a sweeping generalization, and it is false.  However, when you use vague phrases like "much was lost", it's hard to know to what you are referring.  If you're talking about social freedoms, I'll bow out because I'm not that well versed.  If you're talking about economic conditions, I'd agree; once the Jihad swept across N. Africa in the 600s (? memory bad), the established economy was wiped out and it took centuries for things to recover.

However, if we're discussing technology, then you're dead wrong.  Medieval Europe continually improved its technological base in numerous areas.  I'm not saying they invented it all (a rather silly thing to worry about), but they most certainly used.  For example:

- Sailing ships were far in advance of Roman times.
- Windmills, etc were far more in advance.
- Techniques for working iron.
- Farming technologies
- Dyeing
- Glassmaking
- Architecture


All of these, and I'm sure others that I forgot, advanced in the middle ages.  This isn't hypothetical, it's simply based on finds and digs.

Quote
Some people DID disagree with Columbus: the common sailors who manned his ships. They, at the very least, were afraid of sailing off the edge of the world. Columbus was himself a renaissance explorer, and (of course!) the learned renaissance men of his time were unlikely to disagree about the shape of the world,..


I'll have to reread books - I'd like to know which sailors and what their stories are and how we know their beliefs.  However, it's rather immaterial: saying that the 'average' person in the middle ages was uneducated is vastly different than saying Europe was behind technologically.  The fact remains that Christopher Columbus set sail in ships of a design far in advance of Roman ships.

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... but the "flat world" conception still largely held sway among the common people, as it had among even noblemen and scholars in times not too far previous.


I would like to see some support for the latter part of this statement, especially which noblemen and scholars.

...

I'm going to go a bit out on a limb here - what you were taught in history books in school was wrong.  The middle ages in Europe was a time of economic depression and vast social change, but technology marched ever onward.

-Jeff
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Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2002, 05:32:56 PM »

Quote from: Jaif
Quote

I'll have to reread books - I'd like to know which sailors and what their stories are and how we know their beliefs.  However, it's rather immaterial: saying that the 'average' person in the middle ages was uneducated is vastly different than saying Europe was behind technologically.  The fact remains that Christopher Columbus set sail in ships of a design far in advance of Roman ships.

-Jeff


Why on Earth are we talking about Columbus? The man lived in the middle of the Renaissance, after some VERY important developments in shipbuilding and navigation. Of COURSE his ships were superior to Roman vessels. For a truly pre-renaissance period, we need to back up about 200 years.
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So ye wanna go earnin' yer keep with yer sword, and ye think that it can't be too hard...
Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2002, 05:26:16 AM »

Bob,

To directly answer you, 200 years before you probably have cogs with keels, a development over square-rigged, flat-bottom boats.  Ok, that development may have taken place in 1000-1100 instead of 1300 (I don't remember off-hand), but close enough.  Compasses were probably also coming into vogue, and you are welcome to look up what changes in planting systems, clothing, architecture, and so on occured yourself.

I must say that at this juncture your point eludes.  I've stated specific areas of growth through the middle ages, cited a handy reference for these and others.  Your statements, on the other hand, have either been pejorative in nature - 'revisionist' - or overly general and unsupported.

...

Quote
Interesting. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Europe had no scientific progress, but, let's admit that they weren't up to par with their contemporaries in many fields.


I missed that earlier.  That's certainly a fair statement.  Europe grabbed lots of developments from others, and certainly used Arabic sources to recover lost greek texts.

One last point, and this one mostly my opinion based on admittadly a small amount of reading (I'm no historian).  My view of the middle ages is through an economic lens: specifically, the middle ages in europe was a time of economic depression, when the old latin economic systems were broken by the arab Jihad.  Unlike capitalist America, the Europeans of the time were unable to simply shrug this off after 10, 15, whatever years.  Instead, it took hundreds of years of fighting and technicological growth to overcome the situation.  

-Jeff
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2002, 05:54:56 AM »

Quote
One last point, and this one mostly my opinion based on admittadly a small amount of reading (I'm no historian). My view of the middle ages is through an economic lens: specifically, the middle ages in europe was a time of economic depression, when the old latin economic systems were broken by the arab Jihad. Unlike capitalist America, the Europeans of the time were unable to simply shrug this off after 10, 15, whatever years. Instead, it took hundreds of years of fighting and technicological growth to overcome the situation.


Actually you're a little mixed up here.  It was the Germanic tribes that broke up the latin economic system in Europe.  In the Levant and North Africa you do, in various stages, have the spread of Islam, but Islamic society at the time was quite advanced economically.  Indeed when you have the Moorish conquest of Spain you have the Islamic Jyhad bringing an intellectual and economic revival to a region that had been disrupted by the Visigoths.

Then as now the Goths are the root of all evil ;-)

What is very interesting from an economic perspective is the transition from global economy to insular economies and back to global economies from the ancient times to the renaissance and the corresponding changes to prosperity due to trade.
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Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2002, 09:33:15 AM »

I'm not as mixed up as you think.  As the goths came in they may have broken up the empire and established their own little fiefdoms, but they kept the society pretty much intact.  However, from what I've read a large part of that society was based on trade across the mediterranean, and when that trade was cut off it demolished the economy of southern Europe, leaving the way open for a rise in power of the agrarian north.

-Jeff
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svenlein
Member

Posts: 114


« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2002, 01:23:58 PM »

Here is a link with some fairly mainstream lectures on this subject:

http://orb.rhodes.edu/textbooks/Nelson/Nelindex.html
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2002, 01:38:33 PM »

Can I go out on a limb here and suggest that you guys just agree to disagree and leave it at that?

Some language and not-quite-name-calling-yet is just starting to slip in, and I can see the initial simmering of a flame war, which is something this forum really doesn't need.

Besides, you're all wrong - humans only got technology when the aliens landed at the Nazca plains and gave it to us :-)
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2002, 12:28:13 PM »

Totally off the topic this thread has taken, and back onto the original premise, for anyone interested in some good references as far as asian weapons go, I have to recommend two books:

Chinese Martial Weapons, by Dr. Yang-Ming
The Fighting Arts and Weapons of Indonesia, by Donn Draeger

Both come heavily illustrated, so you get a real good idea of the weapons used, a bit of mythology and history, and some breakdowns on what the designs are supposed to do or weigh.

Chris
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Crusader
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2005, 09:58:34 AM »

I thought I'd resurrect this thread just because I don't care for what Mr. Contracycle wrote.  His dislike for traditional Western culture is well-known, and he likes to believe anything that goes against what he perceives as being "The Man" (in this case, Western metallurgy) keeping the poor, underrepresented (in this case, the East) down.

I first take issue with his assertion that Eastern culture is more "coherent" or enduring than Western culture.  The Chinese were the greatest civilization the East had until very recently.  Just like in the West, they experienced ups and downs of fortune and technology.  Case in point:  the clock.  We know the Chinese invented it; by the time Western powers made large-scale contact with them, they had all but forgotten it, while it was a common itm in Europe.  China has its "dark ages" during which much learning (and technology) were lost, too, brought about by invasion, plague, and the whole host of reasons it happened in the West.  China has never been your precious "stable polity" either.  Why do you ignore the achievements of India, who produced wootz, arguably the steel best-suited to martial applications before the modern period?  If you're going to backpedal and say that you meant to include India, then I counter that India is not the *far* East, and has more in common with Western culture than it does with China.

I refer him to Dr. Alan Williams' work, "The Knight and the Blast Furnace" for research into whether or not Europe equalled the East in metallurgical achievement and particularly to answer his questions about "whether mediaeval metalworkers even matched the achievements of greece or rome, let alone china".  I especially think it's telling that China never was able to produce plate armour.  I deduce that, like Europe before the advent of armour of large sheets of steel, China simply lacked furnaces of sufficient size and sophistication.

I also call on him to produce reference for his claim that they produced "iron swords around a bronze core" 2000 years ago.  AFAIK, the only area in which China outdid the Europeans was in the making of cast iron, which doesn't really matter in weapons technology.  To say that " I also don't think that the european combatant was much of a match for his far eastern opposite number" is sheer wishful thinking.  Since most of your argument seems to be your uneducated and highly biased opinions, I offer my own:  IMO, most European fighters would have easily stomped their far eastern opposite numbers.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2005, 10:40:34 AM »

Hello,

None of these threads are currently active. You are invited to http://www.trosforums.com for any and all discussions about TROS and related matters.

Best,
Ron
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