Nobody Cares: PRS

Dakota Tebaldi

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Yeah, Classical Greece was extremely misogynist, on par with or even surpassing the most oppressive cultures today. Some make much ado about the fact that women in Sparta particularly were allowed to own property; but they could only inherit it from a dead husband if there were no adult male heirs, and technical control (the best kind of control) by a woman of property and its wealth was meaningless since landowning women still weren't citizens and had no political rights to show for the taxes they of course had to pay.

Rome started out no better, but eventually became surprisingly progressive (for the time) about women's rights for a while. But when the emperors came a lot of that progress was lost.

Interestingly, ancient Egyptian women had pretty much as close to an example of factual equality as can be found. Although, the king famously (and exclusively) was allowed to have a harem of many wives, so take that how you want.
 

Soen Eber

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Interestingly, ancient Egyptian women had pretty much as close to an example of factual equality as can be found. Although, the king famously (and exclusively) was allowed to have a harem of many wives, so take that how you want.
Harems were usually places of sanctuary for high-status women and their non-adult children - as contrasted to Europe where they were often forced into convents and their children were split off to occasionally indifferent relatives when the family unit had broken. Also with the king controlling the harem, they would not fall victim to petty squables between various factions, and was expected to be responsible for them or he'd lose his power base pretty damned fast. It is the exceptions we tend to focus on.

Humans are humans. People want to take care of their friends & relatives, their "tribe", even in the most mysogynististic of cultures.
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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FWIW, the harem also included effective hostages. It was as common in ancient times as in medieval times for two powers to signify an alliance by sending a royal family member to the other country to marry one of their royal family members and live in their court. If the powers weren't...enthusiastic friends, having a royal relative at your mercy was something of a hedge against any kind of treachery or belligerence on the other guy's part. It didn't always work, though...
 

Fionalein

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That’s SO not what the SCA types tell me. It turns out that being short and nimble is good in a sword fight.
I would not consider the SCA an authority on historical matters though. If I take their take on dancing is a good indicator they emphasize way to much on the C in SCA. For a more realistic take on historical warfare ask ARMA (who appear to have some funny ideas as well, but apparently less of those).

For swordfights one must distinguish highly ritualized duels from roadside skirmishes between civilians and again from military battles. In the latter nimbleness still might be a favourable trait but key characteristic will become more and more endurance (still nothing women of the past could not be as good as men in, in fact strictly biologically women can endure far more than men on average).
 

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So I just weighed one of the swords in my closet (a cutlass that's part of my pirate outfit). It's 2.5 pounds. Anyone in reasonable shape can handle it. Note that this isn't a toy or a prop, but a functional replica from my historical reenactment hobby.

I would not consider the SCA an authority on historical matters though. If I take their take on dancing is a good indicator they emphasize way to much on the C in SCA. For a more realistic take on historical warfare ask ARMA (who appear to have some funny ideas as well, but apparently less of those).
Having been a long-time member, the SCA as an organization has no opinion on such things. Some people have done tons of research on their subjects of interest, and others had just wandered over from cosplaying at Comicon. We welcomed the newbies, and encouraged them to learn at their own pace, by example and a multitude of classes. But we also had fun, because if you made it as tedious as taking a history course, they wouldn't stick around.

I'm more at the "tons of research" end of the scale. For example, I built medieval tents for myself and others. I have two books on historical tents, and studied lots of period artwork before attempting to build them. I freely admit to using a modern sewing machine, because I didn't have time to hand-sew something that large, but otherwise it was as close to the originals as I could get, and I knew where I deviated for practical reasons. But at the other end of the scale you've got people who know little more than what they got from popular culture.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I would not consider the SCA an authority on historical matters though. If I take their take on dancing is a good indicator they emphasize way to much on the C in SCA. For a more realistic take on historical warfare ask ARMA (who appear to have some funny ideas as well, but apparently less of those).

For swordfights one must distinguish highly ritualized duels from roadside skirmishes between civilians and again from military battles. In the latter nimbleness still might be a favourable trait but key characteristic will become more and more endurance (still nothing women of the past could not be as good as men in, in fact strictly biologically women can endure far more than men on average).
It presumably varied from army to army and time to time, but weren't most infantry tactics based on moving as a group, with your shields locked together, stabbing with your short-swords between them? And, of course, as soon as they discovered the pike in medieval warfare, that was the infantry weapon of choice for centuries.

The typical medieval battle we see on TV and in the movies, with the lines of infantry breaking down into lots of individual melees, hacking at each other with swords, always seems a very odd way of doing it.
 
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Fionalein

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And, of course, as soon as they discovered the pike in medieval warfare, that was the infantry weapon of choice for centuries.
Some say re-discovered and claim the Age of Chivalry should be renamed "age when Europe forgot about the pike".
The typical medieval battle we see on TV and in the movies, with the lines of infantry breaking down into lots of individual melees, hacking at each other with swords, always seems a very odd way of doing it.
Odd but will "look better on on the screen".
 

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Was about to chime in that swords are usually over romanticized. If a battle turned into the messy cluster of individual duels most movies show, things had gone very wrong. Units with large shields and pole arms providing cover for banks of archers would be how most large scale battles worked.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Some say re-discovered and claim the Age of Chivalry should be renamed "age when Europe forgot about the pike".
Was about to chime in that swords are usually over romanticized. If a battle turned into the messy cluster of individual duels most movies show, things had gone very wrong. Units with large shields and pole arms providing cover for banks of archers would be how most large scale battles worked.
There's this movie called Braveheart. Yeah, the Mel Gibson one. I actually like it, it's kind of a guilty pleasure if I want to be honest. Anyway, so people have always loved to point out the historical inaccuracies in the movie. Honestly, things like who married whom, who killed who's lover, whether Edward really died in the middle of Wallace's execution, what happens militarily in the movie's first battle is actually what happened in the last battle - I don't really care about those things. But the one thing that always made me shake my head and giggle about the movie is the part where the Scots, I guess as an act of unrivaled genius, spontaneously decided to invent polearms to counter cavalry. I'm not saying I know enough to know that this was positively untrue, it just always sounded really silly to me.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Anyway, so people have always loved to point out the historical inaccuracies in the movie.
As I recall, someone memorably suggested it could hardly have been less historically accurate had they given Mel Gibson a large claymation dog as a companion and retitled the movie "William Wallace and Gromit."
 
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Brenda Archer

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Springtime for Strongmen

Autocracy flourished in 2018 because when Washington pursues a so-called realist policy of global retrenchment, it looks for dictators it thinks it can rely on. This was Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s strategy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The famous Nixon doctrine, which aimed at reducing U.S. commitments overseas, put all of Washington’s chips on the Shah of Iran and the Saudi monarchy. One produced the Iranian revolution that still bedevils the region today; the other produced rampant Wahhabism and 15 of the 19 hijackers who attacked the United States on 9/11