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Damned Muslims
#51
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm)Rayaan Wrote:
(October 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm)Cerrone Wrote: If that ever happened to me and i ended up in your afterlife Rayaan, the first thing i'd do would be to break Gods jaw, just on general principle.

Break His jaws? You can't even touch Him. Tongue


It's hard to touch figment of someone's imagination. Tongue
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#52
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:So to put it simply; the Romans eventually realised that there was no point waging war on barbarians when it was so easy to delude them into passivity under christianity.


Nah. Gives xtians too much credit for things. The church found a way to survive without their Roman patrons and by the end one had become indistinguishable from the other. Mainly they did this by conning the barbarians.

Constantine's biggest error was political. Noting that the army was the single biggest de-stabilizing force ( and he would have known since he used his army to rebel against the sitting emperor ) he downgraded the legions into a force called the limitanei, basically border guards, without the discipline and training of the legions. In order to forestall revolts by disaffected generals, as he had been, he created a mobile reserve army (the comitatenses) which was under his personal command. The system quickly broke down as even with Roman roads the army could not meet every threat in time and the limitanei were ill-equipped and ill-trained for prolonged resistance. It became necessary to make detachments and this re-created the problem of jealous generals under a new name.

The major error, which Constantine tried to undo but eventually failed, was the division of the empire into East and West under Diocletian. In short, the West did not have the economic resources of the East and with them separated there was no more of the East subsidizing the west.
"The sinew of war is infinite money," to quote M. Tullius Cicero.

I know you've done your research on this too, but were you aware that the first bishops in the roman church were the same wealthy patricians who were high priests in the old roman religion? The says to me that the church then had nothing to do with any kind of spiritual revolution and was more like a rebranding of product.

The East/West division itself had pretty much existed since the triumverate with Octavian and Mark Antony since the provinces were far too large and distant for Rome to effectively govern as the capitol of such vast and distant outposts. But all provinces were self sufficient and capable of sustaining at least themselves. The wealth of the provinces in Syria and Byzantium though meant that Rome wouldn't ever let them seperate away from it, thats even more reason for Rome to have taken up the spiritual/propaganda status while Byzantium and the levant territories were the military frontier.
[Image: cassandrasaid.jpg]
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#53
RE: Damned Muslims
Quote:I know you've done your research on this too, but were you aware that the first bishops in the roman church were the same wealthy patricians who were high priests in the old roman religion? The says to me that the church then had nothing to do with any kind of spiritual revolution and was more like a rebranding of product.

Yes. Some of the earliest popes were real scumbags, too. If I'm not mistaken one was a fucking pirate!

Quote:The East/West division itself had pretty much existed since the triumverate with Octavian and Mark Antony since the provinces were far too large and distant for Rome to effectively govern as the capitol of such vast and distant outposts.


No. Rome had no trouble maintaining her far-flung empire until the military disasters of the mid 3'd century any more than Britain had trouble maintaining her empire in the days before radio communication. The provincial governors, either imperial or senatorial, had great discretion but as we know from Pliny's correspondence they regularly wrote reports to Rome. Those governors were also rotated frequently.
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#54
RE: Damned Muslims
@Min

MY understanding is it was Roman policy to always accommodate local/new religions as long as they respected Roman gods and were not a political threat. I think the comment about elitism and rebranding is a reasonable observation. It's also irrelevant. Seems to me the most successful religions invariably become part of the status quo.
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#55
RE: Damned Muslims
I don't disagree with that part. In fact, it was not until after the death of Julian the Apostate in 363 that the xtians really cracked down on the pagans in an attempt to make sure that they could never be threatened with losing their gravy train again.
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#56
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm)padraic Wrote: @Min

MY understanding is it was Roman policy to always accommodate local/new religions as long as they respected Roman gods and were not a political threat. I think the comment about elitism and rebranding is a reasonable observation. It's also irrelevant. Seems to me the most successful religions invariably become part of the status quo.

I think in earlier days of the Empire the Romans tended to respected local religion locally, or amongst the part of the original ethnic group that had migrated to other parts of the Empire. But they did not always accommodate the spread of local religions to other ethnic groups in other parts of the Empire unless local dieties can be merged with classical Roman deities and presented to the empire as being different names for the same thing. So the Gallic godess of Sulis was deemed to be one and the same as the Roman godess Minerva, and Sulis cult was allowed to spread. Egyptian godess of Isis was deemed to be alien to Roman pantheon, and its cult in Rome was suppressed by Tiberius.



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#57
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm)Minimalist Wrote: No. Rome had no trouble maintaining her far-flung empire until the military disasters of the mid 3'd century any more than Britain had trouble maintaining her empire in the days before radio communication. The provincial governors, either imperial or senatorial, had great discretion but as we know from Pliny's correspondence they regularly wrote reports to Rome. Those governors were also rotated frequently.

Well, maybe i shouldve said that if a province wasnt substainable it wouldve ended up being abandoned, as britain eventually was. There'd be no sense in occupying land that wasnt of any economic or military importance afterall.

The reason the Empire was held together up until then was because of the idea of the triumverate, it took the admin pressure off of the roman senate and decentralized governance amongst provincial leaders. It still took a little over a week at the very best for a message from York to reach Rome, and if the governors had to wait 2 weeks to send and receive orders for eveyr facet of administration you can imagine how the empire wouldve been totally unworkable.

But that being said, the empire in the first days of the triumverate was half the size as it was in 300AD, and if the idea of decentralized government wasnt welcomed in the Octavians days it wouldve been desperately needed by Constantines time, else the empire wouldve collapsed.
[Image: cassandrasaid.jpg]
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#58
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm)Cerrone Wrote:
(October 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm)Minimalist Wrote: No. Rome had no trouble maintaining her far-flung empire until the military disasters of the mid 3'd century any more than Britain had trouble maintaining her empire in the days before radio communication. The provincial governors, either imperial or senatorial, had great discretion but as we know from Pliny's correspondence they regularly wrote reports to Rome. Those governors were also rotated frequently.

Well, maybe i shouldve said that if a province wasnt substainable it wouldve ended up being abandoned, as britain eventually was. There'd be no sense in occupying land that wasnt of any economic or military importance afterall.

The reason the Empire was held together up until then was because of the idea of the triumverate, it took the admin pressure off of the roman senate and decentralized governance amongst provincial leaders. It still took a little over a week at the very best for a message from York to reach Rome, and if the governors had to wait 2 weeks to send and receive orders for eveyr facet of administration you can imagine how the empire wouldve been totally unworkable.

But that being said, the empire in the first days of the triumverate was half the size as it was in 300AD, and if the idea of decentralized government wasnt welcomed in the Octavians days it wouldve been desperately needed by Constantines time, else the empire wouldve collapsed.

Triumverate ended with Lepidus, before the founding of the Empire.

Yes, later Discletian did find it more expedient to divide the empire into 2, but this was an Empire whose western half was much improverished by a century of civil wars, and the center of the National power has clearly shifted from the moral capital of the city of Rome to lands in the east whose wealth supported much of the empire's physical strength. So in some ways the division was to allow the rich eastern half to independently defend itself without having its strength sapped by the needs of the west.

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#59
RE: Damned Muslims
Quote:Well, maybe i shouldve said that if a province wasnt substainable it wouldve ended up being abandoned, as britain eventually was. There'd be no sense in occupying land that wasnt of any economic or military importance afterall.


The only instance I can think of for this was in 119 when Hadrian voluntarily relinquished territory east of the Euphrates which had been conquered by Trajan a few years earlier. Hadrian regarded the position as untenable in the face of a potential renewed Parthian assault and wanted the Euphrates for a boundary.

The whole thing was going to shit by the time the Romans withdrew from Britain.
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#60
RE: Damned Muslims
(October 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:Well, maybe i shouldve said that if a province wasnt substainable it wouldve ended up being abandoned, as britain eventually was. There'd be no sense in occupying land that wasnt of any economic or military importance afterall.


The only instance I can think of for this was in 119 when Hadrian voluntarily relinquished territory east of the Euphrates which had been conquered by Trajan a few years earlier. Hadrian regarded the position as untenable in the face of a potential renewed Parthian assault and wanted the Euphrates for a boundary.

The whole thing was going to shit by the time the Romans withdrew from Britain.

Dacia was abandoned around 250CE. It was a force economizing move that straightened the line of Roman frontier and thus reduced the amount of troops needed to defend it.

If only Augustus and Tiberius had persisted in straightening the Roman north western frontier to River Elba, Roman defensive posture would have been immeasurable stronger from 180 CE onwards.




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