Author Topic: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?  (Read 10203 times)

aligern

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Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« on: May 16, 2012, 08:02:32 PM »
The purpose of this board is to place onto the Forum Ancient descrptions of battles in the words of the original source, translated into English.

The Format Envisaged is:
1)Name of the Battle and Date
2) Protagonists (opposing nations and generals)
3)Numbers if known  or a reasonable estimate
4)The title of and chapter and verse of original source with edition and citation if possible.

5)The Quotation about the battle in full in italics.
If there are multiple sources then repeat (4) and (5) for each.
Commentary  This can be short and pithy or a few paragraphs, particularly as to what this description tells us about warfare both specifically and more generically.

The objective is to provide a research tool to allow members to go to descriptions of battles without having to have an extensive library of original sources or  spend an age thumbing through an edition of a book.
We hope that, over time, we will build this into a useful resource. . Maps are not required because we just do not have the resource to draw them to a standard methodology. One day maybe maps, but for now, just the text.

Any member can put a battle description up.  Please try and follow the conventions that I have indicated above.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 06:40:52 PM by Mark »
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Tim

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 11:00:49 AM »
Could I request that the date include BC or AD (as appropriate)?  It is fine for the more well read amoungst us but for me some of the battles are so unfamiliar that from the name alone, that a battle in the 13th C in Anatolia could be BC or AD...
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 04:50:50 PM »
Doing this retrospectively might be a problem.  On the positive side, so far we have managed to label every BC battle as BC; assuming we can keep this up in future, then any absence of designator can be taken to signify AD.

Not perfect, but it should do the job!

Patrick
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Mark

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 04:55:48 PM »
I can probably go through and modify them; will try and do so when I get 15 or so minutes spare.

(edit - have done it; I have also made sure there is a space between the year and the epoch - e.g. 1317 AD - and made the abbreviation consistent to either AD or BC - as opposed to A.D. If someone comes in and asks for CE and BCE however I am going to give it a good ignoring …)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 05:50:29 PM by Mark »
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Sharur

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 07:23:49 PM »
Well done Mark, on all counts.

I went through a "politically correct" phase about 15-20 years ago now and started using the "CE/BCE" protocols, until I had an editor of an international journal write asking me not to use it as it confused many readers, so just to use AD/BC instead. Happy to do so, of course!

The dates are really important generally, as not all battles have a single agreed name.
  • Alastair McBeath

Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 08:01:04 PM »
Good point, Alastair: some battles have multiple designations (Dertosa/Ibera, Arbela/Gaugamela, etc.).  When entering these, it might be an idea to put in a line: "Also known as ..." and if one wishes to be really conscientious, one could put a separate entry for each alternative designation, e.g. "Arbela 331 BC see Gaugamela 331 BC".

And yes, well done Mark.

Patrick
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Mark

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 11:55:40 PM »
It took about 5 mins so don't worry too much on the praise.

I take the position on Slingshot that if someone sends it in in BCE/CE that's how I'll print it. My personal preference is BC/AD but it's not up to me to tell people what to believe (as long as it makes sense, if it was in a Chinese or Islamic epoch, I'd have to footnote it). I just remove the abbreviating punctuation.

I'll look at somehow linking articles so that an article can be indexed from two points.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 12:09:05 AM »
4)The title of and chapter and verse of original source with edition and citation if possible.
5)The Quotation about the battle in full in italics.
If there are multiple sources then repeat (4) and (5) for each.
Curry gives "no fewer than twenty-six chroniclers’ accounts of the campaign, amounting to 170 printed pages" for Agincourt. I can see that some of the better-documented battles would be a very formidable task for this topic. Even the five or six accounts of Gaugamela would be no small task.

Still, I suppose the better-documented battles do tend to be the best-know anyway, so might benefit the least from this treatment.
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Erpingham

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2012, 07:48:08 AM »
I've certainly been concentrating on the small actions you don't tend to see covered elsewhere and often having a single source, because they fit the format better.  An expanded version for more major actions with multiple sources, not yet covered by a published sources and interpretations approach, would make a good Slingshot piece though.

If I could make a request from the medieval perspective, I'd love to see some battles not easily accessible in English translation coming through e.g. from Italy or Germany or (bit specialist this  :) ) later medieval Scandinavia.  I know we have active members in these places, so how about it, guys?

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aligern

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 11:24:59 AM »
Perhaps our esteemed editor could put a request in a future editorial for  pieces on Battles in Scandinavia, Italy Germany, Spain  etc. that are not available in English. It is an excellent idea.
Roy
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Mark

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 09:45:36 PM »
I'll try to get something in 283 editorial.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 01:24:02 PM »
Can I ask what was the thinking behind putting the battle-map uploads in this thread? I found it extremely annoying to have these completely different posts dumped on top of the (entirely different) battle-accounts.
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Mark

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 04:37:37 PM »
Can I ask what was the thinking behind putting the battle-map uploads in this thread? I found it extremely annoying to have these completely different posts dumped on top of the (entirely different) battle-accounts.

Hm. I consulted with the committee lists - maybe should have consulted more widely - and had a couple of affirmatives and no no's.

The thinking was that the Battle Maps were in some cases kicking off their own discussions and I thought it might be better to keep them in one place, given this forum is also alphabetically indexed (hit Automatic Index in the menu above). The impact is probably more keenly felt due to the large number coming in at once; this is a one-off, as a result of Roy sending me 60 or so maps to upload.

The only thread which ended up being merged as a result was one on Marathon.

Apologies if the effect was annoying.
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Duncan Head

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 12:23:15 PM »
It seems to me that the two sets of posts were doing completely different things. Now if I see a thread for a new battle, I don't know if it's posting the original narrative or some dodgy early-modern map. Oh well, it's done now.
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Mark

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Re: Ancient and Mediaeval Battles -What and Why?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 10:34:14 PM »
It seems to me that the two sets of posts were doing completely different things. Now if I see a thread for a new battle, I don't know if it's posting the original narrative or some dodgy early-modern map. Oh well, it's done now.

It's undone. Happy new year!
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