Re: My Romance Conlang
|From:||Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 24, 2003, 21:19|
Quoting John Leland <leland@...>:
> On Thu, 19 Jun 2003, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> > I find it unlikely that he would have gotten that far.
> > His advantage lay in the particular tactical layout of
> > the German environs, to which the Romans were not accustomed.
> > He would additionally almost certainly never been able to
> > organize a large army for action *outside* Germania because
> > Germania was divided into tens if not hundreds of
> > tribelets, each of which was narrowly concerned about its
> > territory alone.
> Actually, there are historical examples of barbarians originally divided
> into many small warring clans, who united and conquered large civilized
> empires. Consider the Arabs just after Muhammd, or the Mongols (and
> asssorted other nomads) under Genghis Khan, so instance.
This is true, but that's somewhat beside the point. The point
is that, as a matter of fact, the barbarian tribes were *not*
united, and they were *not* accustomed to warfare outside their
home territory. Moreover, Rome was also at the height of its
powers at this time, with forty years of the Augustan peace
behind it. Compare this to Rome 620 years later, after it and
the Sasanid Empire had just worn themselves down to mutual
exhaustion from a bitter multi-decade long total war. Or take
China, which was before Genghis Khan divided between the Jin
and later Song Empires which were themselves chronically at war.
In both cases you mention, in other words, there were highly unusual
*external* conditions which favored expansion of "barbarian"
Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637