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Did the Late Bronze Age Collapse, or Was It Pushed?
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The downfall of numerous previously stable Bronze Age civilizations in the Fertile Crescent/Eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BC, leading to a Dark Ages of several centuries, is known as the Late Bronze Age Collapse (a.k.a., World War Zero).

But maybe the warmer weather civilizations didn’t so much collapse 3200 years ago as were knocked over, directly or indirectly, by newly dangerous northern or western barbarians?

Over the last 20 years, archaeologists have been digging up the site of a surprisingly large battle from the 1200s BC along the Tollense River between Berlin and the Baltic Sea. Previous thinking had been that Northern Europe was too underpopulated back then to support such large scale violence.

From Science:

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle

By Andrew Curry Mar. 24, 2016 , 9:30 AM

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.

Struggling to find solid footing on the banks of the Tollense River, a narrow ribbon of water that flows through the marshes of northern Germany toward the Baltic Sea, the armies fought hand-to-hand, maiming and killing with war clubs, spears, swords, and knives. Bronze- and flint-tipped arrows were loosed at close range, piercing skulls and lodging deep into the bones of young men. Horses belonging to high-ranking warriors crumpled into the muck, fatally speared. Not everyone stood their ground in the melee: Some warriors broke and ran, and were struck down from behind.

When the fighting was through, hundreds lay dead, littering the swampy valley. Some bodies were stripped of their valuables and left bobbing in shallow ponds; others sank to the bottom, protected from plundering by a meter or two of water. Peat slowly settled over the bones. Within centuries, the entire battle was forgotten.

A couple of things to keep in mind: the archaeologists’ estimate of 4,000 combatants is a back of the envelope extrapolation. So far they’ve found about 100 dead bodies while digging up about 10% of the potential site. If the rest of the site is 80% as productive as what they’ve dug up so far, that would be 800 dead bodies. If 20% of the combatants died, that would be 4,000 total combatants.

Or something like that.

An alternative theory is that this didn’t resemble the Battle of Gettysburg, but, perhaps, it was more like land piracy, with raiders attacking an armed caravan of merchants (being the Bronze Age and all, the most likely high value product to be transported for commerce was bronze and its key constituent tin).

Northern Europe in the Bronze Age was long dismissed as a backwater, overshadowed by more sophisticated civilizations in the Near East and Greece. Bronze itself, created in the Near East around 3200 B.C.E., took 1000 years to arrive here. But Tollense’s scale suggests more organization—and more violence—than once thought.

It took a long time for crops that originated in the Fertile Crescent to be optimized for the short growing seasons at northern latitudes. This fight took place at almost 54 degrees north, which is further north than Edmonton.

There was a general progression northward over the millennia in the west of the centers of power as agriculture adapted to higher latitudes. Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust.

“We had considered scenarios of raids, with small groups of young men killing and stealing food, but to imagine such a big battle with thousands of people is very surprising,” says Svend Hansen, head of the German Archaeological Institute’s (DAI’s) Eurasia Department in Berlin. The well-preserved bones and artifacts add detail to this picture of Bronze Age sophistication, pointing to the existence of a trained warrior class and suggesting that people from across Europe joined the bloody fray. …

As University of Aarhus’s Vandkilde puts it: “It’s an army like the one described in Homeric epics, made up of smaller war bands that gathered to sack Troy”—an event thought to have happened fewer than 100 years later, in 1184 B.C.E. That suggests an unexpectedly widespread social organization, Jantzen says. “To organize a battle like this over tremendous distances and gather all these people in one place was a tremendous accomplishment,” he says. …

Before Tollense, direct evidence of large-scale violence in the Bronze Age was scanty, especially in this region. Historical accounts from the Near East and Greece described epic battles, but few artifacts remained to corroborate these boastful accounts. “Even in Egypt, despite hearing many tales of war, we never find such substantial archaeological evidence of its participants and victims,” UCD’s Molloy says.

Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way most of the famous battles of the English over the last 950 years, like Agincourt, Blenheim, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

In Bronze Age Europe, even the historical accounts of war were lacking, and all investigators had to go on were weapons in ceremonial burials and a handful of mass graves with unmistakable evidence of violence, such as decapitated bodies or arrowheads embedded in bones. Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says. The grave goods were explained as prestige objects or symbols of power rather than actual weapons. “Most people thought ancient society was peaceful, and that Bronze Age males were concerned with trading and so on,” says Helle Vandkilde, an archaeologist at Aarhus University in Denmark. “Very few talked about warfare.” …

Standardized metal weaponry and the remains of the horses, which were found intermingled with the human bones at one spot, suggest that at least some of the combatants were well-equipped and well-trained. “They weren’t farmer-soldiers who went out every few years to brawl,” Terberger says. “These are professional fighters.”

Body armor and shields emerged in northern Europe in the centuries just before the Tollense conflict and may have necessitated a warrior class. “If you fight with body armor and helmet and corselet, you need daily training or you can’t move,” Hansen says. That’s why, for example, the biblical David—a shepherd—refused to don a suit of armor and bronze helmet before fighting Goliath. “This kind of training is the beginning of a specialized group of warriors,” Hansen says. At Tollense, these bronze-wielding, mounted warriors might have been a sort of officer class, presiding over grunts bearing simpler weapons.

But why did so much military force converge on a narrow river valley in northern Germany? Kristiansen says this period seems to have been an era of significant upheaval from the Mediterranean to the Baltic. In Greece, the sophisticated Mycenaean civilization collapsed around the time of the Tollense battle; in Egypt, pharaohs boasted of besting the “Sea People,” marauders from far-off lands who toppled the neighboring Hittites. And not long after Tollense, the scattered farmsteads of northern Europe gave way to concentrated, heavily fortified settlements, once seen only to the south. “Around 1200 B.C.E. there’s a radical change in the direction societies and cultures are heading,” Vandkilde says. “Tollense fits into a period when we have increased warfare everywhere.”

So maybe the Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?

For example, since the 18th Century it has been argued, with some but not complete persuasiveness, that the consolidation of the Chinese empire in the 3rd Century BC propelled the steppe barbarian Hsiung-Nu to the west. The Huns’ irruption into Eastern Europe hundreds of years later terrified the huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy, let them into Roman Empire in 376 AD, only to be killed by the refugees two years later, events that Gibbon saw as central to the sacking of Rome in 410, the subsequent Hun invasion of Italy in the 450s, the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the ensuing Dark Ages.

 
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  1. Tarrou says:

    The standard mode of history since the bronze age collapse is barbarians from the edge just beyond civilization overrun more advanced but softer groups, take over the empires, and are civilized and acculturated in their turn, until another group does the same to them. China saw many cycles of this, it holds for the Vikings, the Goths, the Vandals, the Huns, the Mongols, even the Macedonians. Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these “sea peoples”.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    If you recall Steve's "We Three Kings" post from January, the source article (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8152) included Figure 2, which showed that around the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, most western and northern European peoples suffered a severe population bottleneck (i.e., most of them died). Depopulation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East was less severe or nonexistent. So whatever it was that afflicted the peoples of Europe at that time, it was pretty severe: 90+% losses in many cases.

    By contrast, the Vikings, Goths and Macedonians didn't inflict that kind of attrition on their victims. I have heard 60%-90% figures for some Mongol invasions, but I've not seen it verified by, for example, genetic data, the way this is.

    Speaking of Vikings, a recent National Geographic summarizes new research. They suggest that the Vikings became a fierce warrior society only after a volcanic eruption in the mid-first millennium knocked a few summers out of the Scandinavians' marginal agriculture causing mass starvation and neighbor-pillaging. The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.

    The Figure 2 cited above also shows that, like the Vikings, even though the northern and western European societies were devastated at the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, the survivors rebounded and thrived beyond the numbers of their pre-collapse ancestors.

    , @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these “sea peoples”.

    This time around it seems that superior communication abilities of the invaders has proven decisive. Cell phones, mass media and the internet have allowed millions (billions?) to see the good life of the civilized up close. Imagine sending the Huns movies about the splendor of Rome and selfies from Hun warriors riding through Europe enjoying the local women.

    However, I'm not convinced that these new invaders will be willing and able to acculturate. This is more of a slow raid than a turn from one civilization to another.
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  2. Some DNA analysis of the remains seems in order and should be possible. This might provide evidence of whether this was a clash between two racially distinct groups, i.e., the autocthones versus invaders or a battle between different groups of locals. This is all very exciting stuff.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @backup
    A DNA analysis is being carried out, earliest results suggest a lot of different people:

    Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color. Genetic analysis is just beginning, but so far it supports the notion of far-flung origins. DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia. “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says University of Mainz geneticist Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.”
     
    http://eurogenes.blogspot.de/2016/03/epic-bronze-age-battle-near-baltic.html
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  3. Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I’m astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Well, it's not an accident. The English had themselves to thank for the Battle of Gravelines and the Battle of Britain. They prevented beachheads from being established, as happened at Pevensey under William. (And not for no reason is he known by the Conan-esque moniker "the Conqueror.")
    , @Diversity Heretic
    The seas around the British Isles and the English Channel are notoriously difficult waters in which to sail, considerably increasing the already-difficult problems of amphibious operations.
    , @unpc downunder
    Judging by the massive percentage of GDP the Brits have spend on their navy over the last 400 years, I don't think they take their geographic luck for granted. Some historians argue that the industrial revolution was primarily driven by the material needs of the navy.
    , @fitzGetty
    Indeed. Britain has fought off repeated invasions over the millennia - always the elusive prize for Continental hoards.
    And, at the same time repeatedly saved the roiling Continent from its home grown despots .
    It can only be undone by invasion by stealth, latching parasitically onto its Judeo Christian ethos. Some say that that is well underway now - after all, as a litmus, British Airways is all-halal now. The locals never asked for that ...
    , @Hunsdon
    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?
    , @(((Owen)))

    Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I’m astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia (sic).
     
    Well, it's all over now. Four hundred years of keeping all the worst battles overseas thrown away by a traitorous elite seeking cheaper labor and preening ninnies showing off their cheap kabobs.
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  4. Luke Lea says:

    “Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says.” That seems awfully naive. Hansen had never studied the histories of North American Indians perhaps?

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Anthropologists of the most recent generation have been brainwashed with a lot of hippie nonsense about there being no violence in prehistory, despite the fact that many of the remaining stone age cultures encountered by explorers from 1600-onward were violent and warlike.
    , @JerryC
    Extravagant naiveté is the mark of the true intellectual.
    , @dearieme
    I've read about archaeology since I was a teenager. It was obvious even then that large chunks of what archaeologists "think" is mere fashionable doctrine, unbased on any evidence.
    , @Dieter Kief

    “Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says.”
     
    Jared Diamonds "The World Until Yesterday" is full of wars and proto-wars (attacks and counter-attacks) and rape and murder.

    Somwewhat confusing is, what he makes of his really impressive field-experiences when it comes to conclusions though: "Be careful in the shower, watch your diet...(salt!!)" - this part sounds almost like a self-pardody.

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  5. pyrrhus says:

    “So maybe Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?”

    Or maybe a population explosion created by warm weather and peace outstripped resources, and the result was an armed free for all…

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Or maybe a population explosion created by warm weather
     
    Or maybe warm weather created by a population explosion?

    I like to extrapolate "global warming" back to the era of Viking Greenland, but never thought to do it to the Bronze Age.

    It's written in Chapter 1 of AnthropoGenesis.
    , @Eagle Eye

    So maybe Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?
     
    The opposite is also conceivable - an existing warrior culture experiences bad harvests or overpopulation (or perhaps just boredom and rivalry within the ruling clan), and a group of warriors with retainers (perhaps led by a younger son of the chieftain) take off in search of new lands to conquer and rule.

    This kind of branching-off happened repeatedly throughout Chinese history and accounts for Chinese settlements in Korea, Japan and as far as Malaysia going back some 2000 years.
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  6. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Luke Lea
    "Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says." That seems awfully naive. Hansen had never studied the histories of North American Indians perhaps?

    Anthropologists of the most recent generation have been brainwashed with a lot of hippie nonsense about there being no violence in prehistory, despite the fact that many of the remaining stone age cultures encountered by explorers from 1600-onward were violent and warlike.

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    • Agree: dfordoom
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  7. psmith says:

    But maybe the warmer weather civilizations didn’t so much collapse 3200 years ago as were knocked over by newly dangerous northern barbarians?

    Burn the cities! Revolt of VITALISM!

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    • Replies: @george strong
    Been reading Bronze Age Pervert / Pirate (now on GAB)? I'm also hoping for total civil war. Destroy it all and rebuilt something better. Most institutions and people are not worth keeping.
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  8. Glossy says: • Website

    “That’s why, for example, the biblical David—a shepherd—refused to don a suit of armor and bronze helmet before fighting Goliath. “

    Goliath was a Philistine. The Philistines were one of the Sea Peoples, thought to be Indo-Europeans from Greece, who settled in Palestine (named for them) around 1,200 BC. Goliath being a giant probably preserves the memory of Indo-Europeans being taller than Semites.

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    • Replies: @StAugustine
    Speaking of Goliath - I always remember the nameless six-fingered man who appears (apparently twice) in 1 Chronicles 20:6, and the identical verse in 2 Samuel 21:20, and it tells much of "who was also descended from the giant(s)"

    http://biblehub.com/nasb/1_chronicles/20.htm
    http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_samuel/21.htm
    , @dearieme
    "probably preserves the memory of Indo-Europeans being taller than Semites": I've conjectured that too. Or maybe it was just that agriculturalists/fishermen from near the coast were taller than wiry shepherds and bandits in the hills.
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  9. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    A few observations:

    They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. If they could build a bridge like that, they could build other wooden structures which I assume have rotted away over time.

    Presumably most of the fallen were the losers. 27% were said to have previous healed wounds. They sound like mercenaries. Teeth isotopes said they came from areas further south because of their diet of millet, so they must have been invaders. Professional mercenaries or not, they got whomped by the locals. Nothing is said about their size of the invaders, but they may have been undersized. All the way up to Roman times the Romans kept remarking about how big the Northern barbarian tribes were compared to the peoples living around the Mediterranean. The invaders at Tollense may have been simply outclassed by weight and strength in man-on-man fighting. Either that or the Northerners were better at tactics, even compared to trained mercenaries.

    Examining the remains of the weapons and ornaments may tell us a lot. Flint-knapped arrowheads, for example, can be very individualistic to particular cultures. Archaeologists have a whole catalogue of different types of arrowheads just from the American Indians, and you can tell what tribe manufactured what just by looking at the arrowheads.

    One further observation: It’s been said if you go back 800 years in a certain region and pick one person, that one person, mathematically speaking is either the ancestor of everyone now living in that region, or that person’s line has died out. It’s very likely that most of Europe today is descended from the victors of Tollense.

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    • Replies: @Busby
    I'm inclined to think it was a disastrous defeat for one side. Taken by surprise with their backs against a river. I'm also skeptical of the number 4,000.
    , @Sunbeam
    "They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. "

    Things were a bit different than our CW assumes today concerning history prior to writing.

    Here is a link to a wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    "The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[29] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 long tons; 11–22 short tons), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[30] It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[8]"

    Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture - for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.

    Also someone brought up the Iroquois raiding far south. The Zulus big thing was how many swinging... clubs they could bring to a fight. So it isn't unknown for low tech societies to pull off logistics (think they managed to bring 30 or 35 thousand to that fight in the Zulu movie).

    And I believe Steve Sailer has noted several times about how deep into Mexico the Commanche would raid. Brought back parrots I believe (though heck since seashells were trade items around the Great Lakes, I wouldn't be surprised if the American Indian trade network brought them further north).
    , @HA
    "That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC."

    The megaliths of Stonehenge were erected somewhere around 2500 BC, possibly even earlier.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge
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  10. jb says:

    From the article:

    Genetic analysis is just beginning, but so far it supports the notion of far-flung origins. DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia.

    What this strongly suggests to me is Indo-Europeans (Yamnaya) driving the Middle Eastern Farmers out of Northern Europe.

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    • Replies: @Flinders Petrie
    Probably descendents, but as much time separated this battle from the Yamnaya as separates us from Macbeth.
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  11. Lot says:

    Greek legend involves an invasion of “Dorians” who were the descendants of an expelled Hercules around the Collapse.

    Here is an article about the “vae victus” Gaulish invasion of Rome, at the time merely the leading city-state in central Italy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennus_(4th_century_BC)

    Here is an article about a second Brennus’s Celtic invasion of Greece in 280-279 (at the time the successor state of Alexander’s empire). They were defeated, but it was again a close call:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennus_(3rd_century_BC)

    A century later, wandering north Germanic tribes invaded and crushed one after another Rome’s barbarian allies north of Italy and the Roman armies sent to protect them, before they were completely destroyed in their two attempts to invade Italy proper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimbrian_War

    It is quite possible any of these invasions could have led to the collapse of Western civilization.

    The first Brennus’s invasion was not large enough to have destroyed Italy, but if he had returned north after looting Rome in an easy victory, it might have sent waves of further invaders.

    The Germanic tribes that occupied Rome 500 years later were far more civilized than these groups as centuries of living near the borders of the Roman Empire had civilized them, and they mostly aspired to replace the Roman elite. Many of them had served in the Roman army, or had even grown up in Italy and attended Italian schools as well-treated hostages.

    These earlier groups could plausibly have been more like Tamerlane or Genghis Khan and decided to burn down the cities they conquered and massacre their populations. In particular, the Cimbrians, coming from modern Denmark and the far north of Germany, might have considered Italy too far south to settle, but wanted to completely destroy its population as a potential threat to their settlement in modern France, Alpine valleys, and along the Danube.

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  12. Chemical tracers in the body remains indicate most of the Tollense warriors were from hundreds of kilometers away and ate millet, not grown in that part of the country at that time. Based on the difficulties of fighting in armor for novices, the warriors are inferred to have been professional fighters. -Wiki

    Millet was the grain ingredient of the much later Hallstatt miners’ lunchpails, a porky/celery/parsleyroot, beany and extremely salty, smoked pork stewy thing, a bit like petit salé and even more like Ritschert. Hmm, could be clue?

    I like the “ambushed convoy” hypothesis, due to the disparity in equipment between the presumably successful, presumably local or even more northerly assailants (shillelaghs and bone&stone-tipped arrows ffs, like the “Tchudes” out of Ofelaš) and the glittering elegant chevaliers who were apparently defeated. It’s on one of the major amber/furs/etc.-for-bronze trade routes, I guess some (Scanian? Old Prussian??) chieftain never got his courier delivery from the Erzegebirge, or even the Med.

    On the other hand, it could have just been a particularly bad traffic incident on the bridge, w/roadrage.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    never got his courier delivery of shiny from the Erzegebirge, or even the Med.
     
    Or possibly, just possibly decided that he didn't fancy paying for it, and set up a hit, just far enough away to plead plausible deniability?
    There's a tiny bit of ("cash"?) armring tin that sank out of sight of the assailants, if that was what they were after. Only a couple of oz., enough to alloy with maybe a pound-and-a-bit of copper, say a smallish sword, or more likely refresh a founder's(much larger) scrap bronze melt. Spectroscopic source analysis indeterminate so far, there's some lead lumped in with it, maybe too much as you'd only get brass then.
    https://www.academia.edu/13269665/Bronze_Age_tin_rings_from_the_Tollense_valley_in_northeastern_Germany

    The unfortunate incident at the river is bang in the middle of the local bronze age (Nordic Bronze Age, (Montelius') Period III). Local iron production doesn't appear for about another 700 years.
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  13. Wilkins argued that Troy was located in England, and that the war was fought over access to tin required to make bronze, the defining material for that era. And when the tin ran out, well… civilization and trade collapsed (people would hoard whatever bronze they had left?) until knowledge of iron spread widely enough.

    In that context, the Tollense battle could have been a battle involving trade control of key trading materials.

    There’s also the Lake Superior copper mine mystery. Wilkins’ thesis of a pan-Atlantic Bronze Age civilization matches some of these mysteries quite nicely.

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  14. Spmoore8 says:

    No written history, so this where we turn to legend. Was the guy stabbed in the back the Ur-Siegfried?

    DNA and archaeological and linguistic analysis will provide other clues.

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  15. Lot says:
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  16. Bill P says:

    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don’t think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn’t the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow – a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples – is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day’s work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don’t seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    I agree. I think a lot of anthropology is suspect as its scholars are all too willing to attempt to grease their results in order to shoehorn history into whatever viewpoint they want.

    For example, there are a number of anthropologists who take seriously the idea that pre-history was peaceful matriarchies until they were overthrown by CISHET MEN. These men were so jealous that they erased all evidence of the matriarchies, presumably to attempt to foil feminist scholars in the future.

    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    There are also cases of peoples who willingly jumped off the hunter/gatherer-farming village-divided labor city transition pattern. The Lakota were a more eastern farming people who abandoned that lifestyle completely when they got horses in the early 1600's and agressively took over a chunk of the Great Plains to live a hunter-gatherer life following the buffalo.
    , @whorefinder

    Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers.
     
    The guns used by the European pioneers were not that efficient, and bows and arrows and spears in the hands of skilled warriors were equal to or better to pre-19th century guns.

    Pre-19th Century guns were hard to load and didn't have much accuracy beyond a short distance. Benjamin Franklin, among others, suggested that the poor Continental soldiers ditch their arms and cut down native trees and make bows and arrows like the Indians, saving cannons and larger guns only for sieges. (Ben had never been a warrior, and his idea had more than a few holes in it, so no one really listened).

    Of course, the fact that the Indians for the most part refused to fight Europeans in the open also made them more formidable. The European line-up-in-the-open-and-fire style that had evolved made guns more useful, but Eastern North America Indians fought by quick strike raids and/or close up, melting in and out of the heavy woods with a lot of ease.

    It's not for nothing that many of the early stories about Indian wars involved massacres by Indians against whites out of nowhere, and then escaping away into the dark of the forests. The U.S. Army's Ranger special forces originally evolved from a group of Revolutionary War soldiers ditching the European style and adopting Indian tactics of be silent, move fast, and hit hard.
    , @Flinders Petrie

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.

     

    I think the point he is making is that the scale of organized violence looks different from Neolithic raiding parties. For example, the Tallheim death pit in Germany (and several other examples like it) show that farmers were indeed violent, but the majority killed were clubbed in the back of the head while running away, often with defensive injuries on their arms. Not armored warriors in a heated battle.
    , @Anonym

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.
     
    As you allude to, when the universities send their anthropologists, they are not sending their best. Damn right farmers are strong. I would expect many of them to be both stronger and tougher than professional warriors. Discipline, training and experience would probably be wanting though.
    , @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Yep. I played football in high school and noticed right away that farm kids could easily toss around guys who developed their muscles in the gym.
    , @Randal

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.
     
    Farmers were often the backbone of very effective fighting forces (such as hoplite armies), given some training and good organisation, but that doesn't mean that a farmer would beat a fully equipped, trained and experienced warrior in a brawl.

    In your example, I'd rather fight the scribe than the farmer, but the farmer would still get gutted if he came up against an armoured man-at-arms who'd been training himself to fight all his life and had experienced real battles. Or against a professional boxer, for that matter.

    “If you fight with body armor and helmet and corselet, you need daily training or you can’t move,” Hansen says
     
    This does seem to imply incorrectly that farmers are wimps, but whether Hansen intended it or not the real point is not that an inexperienced man can't move in full armour, but that he's unlikely to move as effectively, or use his weapons as effectively.
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  17. JerryC says:
    @Luke Lea
    "Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says." That seems awfully naive. Hansen had never studied the histories of North American Indians perhaps?

    Extravagant naiveté is the mark of the true intellectual.

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  18. Boomstick says:

    The digs at Tollense don’t seem to show iron weapons, and that argues against the emergence of iron as a catalyst for the fighting and collapse. At least in the north.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill P
    Iron could have been the catalyst that emboldened them to strike south against richer, civilized people. The introduction of guns and horses prompted some American Indian tribes to vastly extend the range of their attacks. When Lewis and Clark made their way to Idaho they found that the Nez Perce were already in possession of some of the finest horses in the world. Technology travels very quickly.
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  19. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Womb Boom

    or

    Womb Doom.

    How did white folks go from boomers to doomers?

    All connected to the politics of the womb.

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  20. @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    I agree. I think a lot of anthropology is suspect as its scholars are all too willing to attempt to grease their results in order to shoehorn history into whatever viewpoint they want.

    For example, there are a number of anthropologists who take seriously the idea that pre-history was peaceful matriarchies until they were overthrown by CISHET MEN. These men were so jealous that they erased all evidence of the matriarchies, presumably to attempt to foil feminist scholars in the future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Random Dude on the Internet
    Yeah it's hilarious how they use an ancient society with no written records to be their tabula rasa of social justice theories. Not only were ancient societies matriarchal, there were also ancient transgendered people because they found jewelry at a burial site next to a male skeleton. Also because they were hunter gatherer societies, they shared everything, including wives so marriage was not a thing and if it was, it was okay to have sex with the other members of the tribe. So polyamory therefore was a thing. One other thing to note is that I've seen the theory floated that their agricultural conquerors were so envious of these peaceful leftist societies that they were intentionally targeted because they were so peaceful and matriarchal and couldn't wait to inject the patriarchy into their peaceful societies.

    I've seen a lot of crazy stuff emerge recently because they struggle to find any society that conforms to their cultmarx crap so they now pin it all on societies with no written records. Anything from an anthropologist is suspect until they have more proof than a necklace of beads next to a male skeleton that transgendered people were celebrated in ancient society.
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  21. Bill P says:
    @Boomstick
    The digs at Tollense don't seem to show iron weapons, and that argues against the emergence of iron as a catalyst for the fighting and collapse. At least in the north.

    Iron could have been the catalyst that emboldened them to strike south against richer, civilized people. The introduction of guns and horses prompted some American Indian tribes to vastly extend the range of their attacks. When Lewis and Clark made their way to Idaho they found that the Nez Perce were already in possession of some of the finest horses in the world. Technology travels very quickly.

    Read More
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  22. @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    There are also cases of peoples who willingly jumped off the hunter/gatherer-farming village-divided labor city transition pattern. The Lakota were a more eastern farming people who abandoned that lifestyle completely when they got horses in the early 1600′s and agressively took over a chunk of the Great Plains to live a hunter-gatherer life following the buffalo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I remember reading that the government of Quebec was exasperated that a lot of the early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they'd been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters.
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  23. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers.

    The guns used by the European pioneers were not that efficient, and bows and arrows and spears in the hands of skilled warriors were equal to or better to pre-19th century guns.

    Pre-19th Century guns were hard to load and didn’t have much accuracy beyond a short distance. Benjamin Franklin, among others, suggested that the poor Continental soldiers ditch their arms and cut down native trees and make bows and arrows like the Indians, saving cannons and larger guns only for sieges. (Ben had never been a warrior, and his idea had more than a few holes in it, so no one really listened).

    Of course, the fact that the Indians for the most part refused to fight Europeans in the open also made them more formidable. The European line-up-in-the-open-and-fire style that had evolved made guns more useful, but Eastern North America Indians fought by quick strike raids and/or close up, melting in and out of the heavy woods with a lot of ease.

    It’s not for nothing that many of the early stories about Indian wars involved massacres by Indians against whites out of nowhere, and then escaping away into the dark of the forests. The U.S. Army’s Ranger special forces originally evolved from a group of Revolutionary War soldiers ditching the European style and adopting Indian tactics of be silent, move fast, and hit hard.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    It’s not for nothing that many of the early stories about Indian wars involved massacres by Indians against whites out of nowhere, and then escaping away into the dark of the forests. The U.S. Army’s Ranger special forces originally evolved from a group of Revolutionary War soldiers ditching the European style and adopting Indian tactics of be silent, move fast, and hit hard.
     
    The English were using Ranger tactics as early as King Philip's War:

    Colonel Benjamin Church (c. 1639 – January 17, 1718) is considered the forerunner of the United States Army Rangers.[1] He was the captain of the first Ranger force in America (1676).[2] Church was commissioned by the Governor of the Plymouth Colony, Josiah Winslow to form the first ranger company for King Philip's War. He later employed the company to raid Acadia during King William's War and Queen Anne's War.
    Church designed his force primarily to emulate Indian patterns of war. Toward this end, he endeavored to learn to fight like Indians from Indians.[3] Americans became rangers exclusively under the tutelage of the Indian allies. (Until the end of the colonial period, rangers depended on Indians as both allies and teachers.)[4]
    Church developed a special full-time unit mixing white colonists selected for frontier skills with friendly Indians to carry out offensive strikes against hostile Indians and French in terrain where normal militia units were ineffective.
    His memoirs "Entertaining Passages relating to Philip's War" were published in 1716 and are considered the first American military manual.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Church_(ranger)
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  24. Jim says:

    Of course the proximate cause of the near simultaneous collapse of these civilizations was the onslaught of the Sea Peoples (the literal translation of the Egyptian term for them is actually “Peoples of the Islands”). The question then is what set this Voelkerwanderung into motion? The most likely cause is immigration from the North of new Indo-European peoples. The “Doric invasion” remembered by the classical Greeks is probably part of it. The Phrygians also appear at about this time.

    While the details of what happened are murky it has always been pretty clear that a new wave of Indo-Europeans coming from the north was probably the driving force behind the collapse. Some have emphasized institutional decline in the Hittite Empire and the Mycenaean principalities. But that wasn’t very likely to have caused a near simultaneous collapse of both together with near universal destruction in the Levant and the unsuccessful invasion of Egypt.

    Anyway the Hittite Empire had gone through a lot of previous periods of decline and revival. Then suddenly it is gone. In the Peloponnese the number of settlements collapses in a few decades from about a 1000 to 10. Gradual institutional decline cannot explain this. Changes in climate had very little if anything to do with this widespread cataclysm.

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  25. whorefinder says: • Website

    When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, it was from a Gothic invasion marauding up and down every Roman village west of Greece. The Dark Ages followed in Western Europe. So there is historical precedence for this: barbarians invading and shattering a cohesive empire into fragmented little fiefdoms that do not have safe, amicable trade between them, resulting in a huge dip in civilization for the region.

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  26. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “…(horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well)…

    “…The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock…”

    The Mongol army was entirely mounted on horseback and every man led a string of about 8 horses. (Conquistadors did the same, to this day you have the remuda.)

    All these Mongol horses were mares. Mongols could survive for extended times in the field on milk and blood. The milk required preparation for the lactose intolerant Mongolians, but the blood was apparently often drunk directly.

    Horse culture in Mongolia, as warhorses:

    “…In times of desperation, they would also slit a minor vein in their horse’s neck and drain some blood into a cup. This they would drink either “plain” or mixed with milk or water…

    …This habit of blood-drinking (which applied to camels as well as horses) shocked the Mongols’ enemies…

    …Matthew Paris, an English writer in 1200s, wrote scornfully, “…they [the Mongols] have misused their captives as they have their mares. For they are inhuman and beastly, rather monsters than men, thirsting for and drinking blood…”

    …they and their horses lived off the land…

    “Moreover they [the Mongols] need no commissariat, nor the conveyance of supplies, for they have with them sheep, cows, horses, and the like quadrupeds, the flesh of which they eat, naught else. As for their beasts which they ride, these dig into the earth with their hoofs and eat the roots of plants, knowing naught of barley. And so, when they alight anywhere, they have need of nothing from without.”

    A Marco Polo quote:

    “…And in case of great urgency they will ride ten days on end without lighting a fire or taking a meal. On such occasion they will sustain themselves on the blood of their horses, opening a vein and letting the blood jet into their mouths, drinking till they have had enough, and then staunching it

    …Timothy May did the research on how many calories come from a pint of horses blood! He estimates that a horse can donate one third of its blood without any serious health risks. You can reason that the horse will be fatigued, but major health effects would not be a factor here. That means that a horse can provide about 14 pints of blood, each pint can supply 156kcal per pint. So, approximately 2,184 kcal or almost 2/3 of the 3,600 calorie diet of a Mongol. Each soldier took between 5-8 horses with them on campaign. The maximum eight horses could supply a warrior with approximately 6 days of full rations…”

    Because the Mongols were relatively lactose-intolerant milk was prepared in various ways (fermenting, drying/powdering). Milk could be processed on horseback (in saddlebags): Kumus

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    I don't think it was lactose intolerance as we are used to. All mammals' milks have the same basic ingredients but in different proportions. I don't believe you'll find people anywhere in the world drinking untreated horse milk.

    BTW, the Mongolians don't make kumus, they make "arikh":

    http://cxlxmxrx.blogspot.jp/2012/03/mongolian-food-airag.html
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  27. wiseguy says:

    Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,”

    The speaker must have misspoken or exaggerated. If not, then how could we possibly take archaeologists’ opinions on Bronze Age and earlier history seriously?

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    • Replies: @John Cunningham
    Actually Wiseguy the prevailing view among scholars has been that early peoples were pacifists and that war is a capitalist invention. It is impossible to overestimate the stupidity of lefty academics.
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  28. Hokie says:

    In the Germanic mythologies, the end of the world involves the enemies of the gods destroying a rainbow bridge and then fording the river to fight the gods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bifr%C3%B6st

    Since the Germanic peoples began expanding out of Scandinavia not long after the battle on the bridge, perhaps Ragnarok and the battle on the rainbow bridge are folk memories of the old battle. And perhaps Odin and Thor are the memories of the old warriors that led the Germanics against their enemies, who are remembered as giants.

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  29. Gosh, you’re all missing what is obviously the key finding from this dig:

    Body armor and shields emerged in northern Europe in the centuries just before the Tollense conflict and may have necessitated a warrior class.

    So it’s now proven that even three millenia ago, the very existence (via ‘emergence’, of course) of battle gear forced nice peaceful caring and sharing societies to become all violent and icky, just as the mere presence of guns drives crime today.

    Oh, if only those poor, innocent cultures could have achieved some really progressive legislation that placed sensible controls on body armor and shields, and been able to set up effective after-herding-and-fieldwork arts and crafts programs to keep warrior-like youth off the battlefield, how different history might have been!

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    • LOL: Randal, Desiderius
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  30. @Expletive Deleted

    Chemical tracers in the body remains indicate most of the Tollense warriors were from hundreds of kilometers away and ate millet, not grown in that part of the country at that time. Based on the difficulties of fighting in armor for novices, the warriors are inferred to have been professional fighters. -Wiki
     
    Millet was the grain ingredient of the much later Hallstatt miners' lunchpails, a porky/celery/parsleyroot, beany and extremely salty, smoked pork stewy thing, a bit like petit salé and even more like Ritschert. Hmm, could be clue?

    I like the "ambushed convoy" hypothesis, due to the disparity in equipment between the presumably successful, presumably local or even more northerly assailants (shillelaghs and bone&stone-tipped arrows ffs, like the "Tchudes" out of Ofelaš) and the glittering elegant chevaliers who were apparently defeated. It's on one of the major amber/furs/etc.-for-bronze trade routes, I guess some (Scanian? Old Prussian??) chieftain never got his courier delivery from the Erzegebirge, or even the Med.

    On the other hand, it could have just been a particularly bad traffic incident on the bridge, w/roadrage.

    never got his courier delivery of shiny from the Erzegebirge, or even the Med.

    Or possibly, just possibly decided that he didn’t fancy paying for it, and set up a hit, just far enough away to plead plausible deniability?
    There’s a tiny bit of (“cash”?) armring tin that sank out of sight of the assailants, if that was what they were after. Only a couple of oz., enough to alloy with maybe a pound-and-a-bit of copper, say a smallish sword, or more likely refresh a founder’s(much larger) scrap bronze melt. Spectroscopic source analysis indeterminate so far, there’s some lead lumped in with it, maybe too much as you’d only get brass then.

    https://www.academia.edu/13269665/Bronze_Age_tin_rings_from_the_Tollense_valley_in_northeastern_Germany

    The unfortunate incident at the river is bang in the middle of the local bronze age (Nordic Bronze Age, (Montelius’) Period III). Local iron production doesn’t appear for about another 700 years.

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  31. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @yaqub the mad scientist
    There are also cases of peoples who willingly jumped off the hunter/gatherer-farming village-divided labor city transition pattern. The Lakota were a more eastern farming people who abandoned that lifestyle completely when they got horses in the early 1600's and agressively took over a chunk of the Great Plains to live a hunter-gatherer life following the buffalo.

    I remember reading that the government of Quebec was exasperated that a lot of the early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they’d been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    ...early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they’d been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters...
     
    ...and miscegenists.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    Trying to farm in the climate of Canada in the Little Ice Age was probably largely an exercise in futility with 17th Century technology. Becoming a coureur de bois was a reasonable alternative. The Indians were generally more comfortable with coureur de bois than farmers with families.
    , @Neil Templeton
    The Coureur de Bois, bane of the Cucks.
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  32. @jb
    From the article:

    Genetic analysis is just beginning, but so far it supports the notion of far-flung origins. DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia.
     
    What this strongly suggests to me is Indo-Europeans (Yamnaya) driving the Middle Eastern Farmers out of Northern Europe.

    Probably descendents, but as much time separated this battle from the Yamnaya as separates us from Macbeth.

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  33. @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.

    I think the point he is making is that the scale of organized violence looks different from Neolithic raiding parties. For example, the Tallheim death pit in Germany (and several other examples like it) show that farmers were indeed violent, but the majority killed were clubbed in the back of the head while running away, often with defensive injuries on their arms. Not armored warriors in a heated battle.

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  34. Anonym says:
    @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.

    As you allude to, when the universities send their anthropologists, they are not sending their best. Damn right farmers are strong. I would expect many of them to be both stronger and tougher than professional warriors. Discipline, training and experience would probably be wanting though.

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  35. Busby says:
    @Anon
    A few observations:

    They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That's an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. If they could build a bridge like that, they could build other wooden structures which I assume have rotted away over time.

    Presumably most of the fallen were the losers. 27% were said to have previous healed wounds. They sound like mercenaries. Teeth isotopes said they came from areas further south because of their diet of millet, so they must have been invaders. Professional mercenaries or not, they got whomped by the locals. Nothing is said about their size of the invaders, but they may have been undersized. All the way up to Roman times the Romans kept remarking about how big the Northern barbarian tribes were compared to the peoples living around the Mediterranean. The invaders at Tollense may have been simply outclassed by weight and strength in man-on-man fighting. Either that or the Northerners were better at tactics, even compared to trained mercenaries.

    Examining the remains of the weapons and ornaments may tell us a lot. Flint-knapped arrowheads, for example, can be very individualistic to particular cultures. Archaeologists have a whole catalogue of different types of arrowheads just from the American Indians, and you can tell what tribe manufactured what just by looking at the arrowheads.

    One further observation: It's been said if you go back 800 years in a certain region and pick one person, that one person, mathematically speaking is either the ancestor of everyone now living in that region, or that person's line has died out. It's very likely that most of Europe today is descended from the victors of Tollense.

    I’m inclined to think it was a disastrous defeat for one side. Taken by surprise with their backs against a river. I’m also skeptical of the number 4,000.

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  36. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    This seems to fit with the theory I’ve had for some time, but it’s the opposite of what Steve seems to be implying. Many parts of the middle east and north Africa (Morocco to India, really) used to be occupied by (Aryan/indo-) Europeans who moved in from the north (Anatolia or Ukraine maybe–this aspect is less clear), and semitic tribes seemed to be largely confined to the Arabian peninsula. It’s most likely the case that these European tribes were responsible for creating the civilizations that sprang up in Egypt and the fertile crescent, which is why the ancient population of Sumer spoke an Indo-European language prior to its replacement by Akkadian, a semitic language.

    There remain traces of European DNA throughout these places (even whole groups such as the Yazidis) but there doesn’t seem to have been a whole lot of admixture, so where did they go? I’ve presumed many must have gone north, and that at least part (if not all) of the reason these civilizations collapsed was because the original European inhabitants who built them were forced out, killed, or simply left because they didn’t want to live around the more brutal semitic tribes that came in and took over (sound familiar?). Perhaps some made it to places like Germany and squared off against the locals….

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    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    Sumerian is not usually identified as IE, because it is agglutinative it is considered either unknown or connected to Dravidian. (There's a Hungarian who says it is Finno Ugric.) However the idea that IE mastered agriculture in Turkey is a prominent IE theory.
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  37. syonredux says:
    @whorefinder

    Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers.
     
    The guns used by the European pioneers were not that efficient, and bows and arrows and spears in the hands of skilled warriors were equal to or better to pre-19th century guns.

    Pre-19th Century guns were hard to load and didn't have much accuracy beyond a short distance. Benjamin Franklin, among others, suggested that the poor Continental soldiers ditch their arms and cut down native trees and make bows and arrows like the Indians, saving cannons and larger guns only for sieges. (Ben had never been a warrior, and his idea had more than a few holes in it, so no one really listened).

    Of course, the fact that the Indians for the most part refused to fight Europeans in the open also made them more formidable. The European line-up-in-the-open-and-fire style that had evolved made guns more useful, but Eastern North America Indians fought by quick strike raids and/or close up, melting in and out of the heavy woods with a lot of ease.

    It's not for nothing that many of the early stories about Indian wars involved massacres by Indians against whites out of nowhere, and then escaping away into the dark of the forests. The U.S. Army's Ranger special forces originally evolved from a group of Revolutionary War soldiers ditching the European style and adopting Indian tactics of be silent, move fast, and hit hard.

    It’s not for nothing that many of the early stories about Indian wars involved massacres by Indians against whites out of nowhere, and then escaping away into the dark of the forests. The U.S. Army’s Ranger special forces originally evolved from a group of Revolutionary War soldiers ditching the European style and adopting Indian tactics of be silent, move fast, and hit hard.

    The English were using Ranger tactics as early as King Philip’s War:

    Colonel Benjamin Church (c. 1639 – January 17, 1718) is considered the forerunner of the United States Army Rangers.[1] He was the captain of the first Ranger force in America (1676).[2] Church was commissioned by the Governor of the Plymouth Colony, Josiah Winslow to form the first ranger company for King Philip’s War. He later employed the company to raid Acadia during King William’s War and Queen Anne’s War.
    Church designed his force primarily to emulate Indian patterns of war. Toward this end, he endeavored to learn to fight like Indians from Indians.[3] Americans became rangers exclusively under the tutelage of the Indian allies. (Until the end of the colonial period, rangers depended on Indians as both allies and teachers.)[4]
    Church developed a special full-time unit mixing white colonists selected for frontier skills with friendly Indians to carry out offensive strikes against hostile Indians and French in terrain where normal militia units were ineffective.
    His memoirs “Entertaining Passages relating to Philip’s War” were published in 1716 and are considered the first American military manual.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Church_(ranger)

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  38. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    Well, it’s not an accident. The English had themselves to thank for the Battle of Gravelines and the Battle of Britain. They prevented beachheads from being established, as happened at Pevensey under William. (And not for no reason is he known by the Conan-esque moniker “the Conqueror.”)

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Depends on what you mean by "invasion."

    The Glorious Revolution was, in effect, an sea invasion by a Dutch King that was supported by many of the English leaders. What's more, previous English Kings and Queens came to power or suppressed revolutions by importing troops from their cousins in France. England, I would argue, suffered numerous invasions, except that those "invaders" were retconned into legitimate British heirs.(I believe in Shakespeare's Richard II, Richard realizes he's doomed when he hears that the future Henry IV has come back to England from France with an army).

    And then the little thing called the Spanish Armada---which was defeated mostly by bad weather and poor coordination by the Spanish. And then Spain, the greatest navy of its time and England's big rival then, kept it's attention on securing the Mediterranean and then guiding it's voyages to South America. If the New World hadn't been discovered, I would venture that Spain might have re-tried to invade England.

    And that's before we get to Scotland attacking Northern England and taking more than a few towns for centuries. It was only by the late 18th Century that England could safely say that Scotland was no longer a threat.

    And let's not forget that our own American Revolutionary war naval hero, John Paul Jones, made his bones running his boat to seaside towns in England, raiding and burning them.

    And the British also had the historical good luck that it's great 19th-Century rival, Napoleon's France, had a cripplingly mediocre naval tradition and leader who was heck bent on making himself into the greatest land general of all time, making him neglect ever putting more than minimal effort into his navy. Had Napoleon been pushed into naval service (as his Military Academy professors recommended) we might be talking about how the sun never set on the French Empire.

    I think that a strong argument can be made that the idea that England's island status kept it safe from invasion for a thousand years really isn't true.

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  39. Sunbeam says:
    @Anon
    A few observations:

    They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That's an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. If they could build a bridge like that, they could build other wooden structures which I assume have rotted away over time.

    Presumably most of the fallen were the losers. 27% were said to have previous healed wounds. They sound like mercenaries. Teeth isotopes said they came from areas further south because of their diet of millet, so they must have been invaders. Professional mercenaries or not, they got whomped by the locals. Nothing is said about their size of the invaders, but they may have been undersized. All the way up to Roman times the Romans kept remarking about how big the Northern barbarian tribes were compared to the peoples living around the Mediterranean. The invaders at Tollense may have been simply outclassed by weight and strength in man-on-man fighting. Either that or the Northerners were better at tactics, even compared to trained mercenaries.

    Examining the remains of the weapons and ornaments may tell us a lot. Flint-knapped arrowheads, for example, can be very individualistic to particular cultures. Archaeologists have a whole catalogue of different types of arrowheads just from the American Indians, and you can tell what tribe manufactured what just by looking at the arrowheads.

    One further observation: It's been said if you go back 800 years in a certain region and pick one person, that one person, mathematically speaking is either the ancestor of everyone now living in that region, or that person's line has died out. It's very likely that most of Europe today is descended from the victors of Tollense.

    “They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. ”

    Things were a bit different than our CW assumes today concerning history prior to writing.

    Here is a link to a wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    “The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[29] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 long tons; 11–22 short tons), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[30] It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[8]”

    Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture – for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.

    Also someone brought up the Iroquois raiding far south. The Zulus big thing was how many swinging… clubs they could bring to a fight. So it isn’t unknown for low tech societies to pull off logistics (think they managed to bring 30 or 35 thousand to that fight in the Zulu movie).

    And I believe Steve Sailer has noted several times about how deep into Mexico the Commanche would raid. Brought back parrots I believe (though heck since seashells were trade items around the Great Lakes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the American Indian trade network brought them further north).

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    The Zulu were Iron Age agriculturists.
    , @Neil Templeton
    "Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture – for some reason. No idea what this thing was for."

    Why would any man farm unless he has to? Believe me, men dragged out all of the alternatives as long as they were able.
    , @Sam J.
    "...It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place..."

    They always say "religious leaders" get these things done. I protest. I have a much better theory. It was beer drinking Yahoo's that did this. The whole idea was to make a cool place where they could hang out without their Wives bothering them and drink beer. They decorated it up with some animal totems just like we do today.

    http://mashkulture.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/arthur-sarnoff-12.jpg

    http://huntdrop.com/uploads/drops/trophy-room.jpg

    Beer drinking Yahoo's, that's who did this.
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  40. “The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood……”

    Is this BROnze Perv’s-on a steroids post- or a really serious scientific science-scientism?

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  41. @pyrrhus
    "So maybe Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?"

    Or maybe a population explosion created by warm weather and peace outstripped resources, and the result was an armed free for all...

    Or maybe a population explosion created by warm weather

    Or maybe warm weather created by a population explosion?

    I like to extrapolate “global warming” back to the era of Viking Greenland, but never thought to do it to the Bronze Age.

    It’s written in Chapter 1 of AnthropoGenesis.

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  42. @Anon
    I remember reading that the government of Quebec was exasperated that a lot of the early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they'd been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters.

    …early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they’d been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters…

    …and miscegenists.

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    • Replies: @Karl
    42 Reg Caeser > …and miscegenists


    if your frogo-euro women are a dumpster fire on wheels, don't blame the boys for going all Pocahantas when the opportunity appears.
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  43. HA says:
    @Anon
    A few observations:

    They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That's an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. If they could build a bridge like that, they could build other wooden structures which I assume have rotted away over time.

    Presumably most of the fallen were the losers. 27% were said to have previous healed wounds. They sound like mercenaries. Teeth isotopes said they came from areas further south because of their diet of millet, so they must have been invaders. Professional mercenaries or not, they got whomped by the locals. Nothing is said about their size of the invaders, but they may have been undersized. All the way up to Roman times the Romans kept remarking about how big the Northern barbarian tribes were compared to the peoples living around the Mediterranean. The invaders at Tollense may have been simply outclassed by weight and strength in man-on-man fighting. Either that or the Northerners were better at tactics, even compared to trained mercenaries.

    Examining the remains of the weapons and ornaments may tell us a lot. Flint-knapped arrowheads, for example, can be very individualistic to particular cultures. Archaeologists have a whole catalogue of different types of arrowheads just from the American Indians, and you can tell what tribe manufactured what just by looking at the arrowheads.

    One further observation: It's been said if you go back 800 years in a certain region and pick one person, that one person, mathematically speaking is either the ancestor of everyone now living in that region, or that person's line has died out. It's very likely that most of Europe today is descended from the victors of Tollense.

    “That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC.”

    The megaliths of Stonehenge were erected somewhere around 2500 BC, possibly even earlier.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    New Grange in Ireland is older still and very impressive.
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  44. @anonymous
    "...(horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well)...

    "...The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock..."

    The Mongol army was entirely mounted on horseback and every man led a string of about 8 horses. (Conquistadors did the same, to this day you have the remuda.)

    All these Mongol horses were mares. Mongols could survive for extended times in the field on milk and blood. The milk required preparation for the lactose intolerant Mongolians, but the blood was apparently often drunk directly.

    Horse culture in Mongolia, as warhorses:


    "...In times of desperation, they would also slit a minor vein in their horse's neck and drain some blood into a cup. This they would drink either "plain" or mixed with milk or water...

    ...This habit of blood-drinking (which applied to camels as well as horses) shocked the Mongols' enemies...

    ...Matthew Paris, an English writer in 1200s, wrote scornfully, "...they [the Mongols] have misused their captives as they have their mares. For they are inhuman and beastly, rather monsters than men, thirsting for and drinking blood..."

    ...they and their horses lived off the land...

    ..."Moreover they [the Mongols] need no commissariat, nor the conveyance of supplies, for they have with them sheep, cows, horses, and the like quadrupeds, the flesh of which they eat, naught else. As for their beasts which they ride, these dig into the earth with their hoofs and eat the roots of plants, knowing naught of barley. And so, when they alight anywhere, they have need of nothing from without."

     

    A Marco Polo quote:


    "...And in case of great urgency they will ride ten days on end without lighting a fire or taking a meal. On such occasion they will sustain themselves on the blood of their horses, opening a vein and letting the blood jet into their mouths, drinking till they have had enough, and then staunching it...

    ...Timothy May did the research on how many calories come from a pint of horses blood! He estimates that a horse can donate one third of its blood without any serious health risks. You can reason that the horse will be fatigued, but major health effects would not be a factor here. That means that a horse can provide about 14 pints of blood, each pint can supply 156kcal per pint. So, approximately 2,184 kcal or almost 2/3 of the 3,600 calorie diet of a Mongol. Each soldier took between 5-8 horses with them on campaign. The maximum eight horses could supply a warrior with approximately 6 days of full rations..."

     

    Because the Mongols were relatively lactose-intolerant milk was prepared in various ways (fermenting, drying/powdering). Milk could be processed on horseback (in saddlebags): Kumus

    I don’t think it was lactose intolerance as we are used to. All mammals’ milks have the same basic ingredients but in different proportions. I don’t believe you’ll find people anywhere in the world drinking untreated horse milk.

    BTW, the Mongolians don’t make kumus, they make “arikh”:

    http://cxlxmxrx.blogspot.jp/2012/03/mongolian-food-airag.html

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  45. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous
    Well, it's not an accident. The English had themselves to thank for the Battle of Gravelines and the Battle of Britain. They prevented beachheads from being established, as happened at Pevensey under William. (And not for no reason is he known by the Conan-esque moniker "the Conqueror.")

    Depends on what you mean by “invasion.”

    The Glorious Revolution was, in effect, an sea invasion by a Dutch King that was supported by many of the English leaders. What’s more, previous English Kings and Queens came to power or suppressed revolutions by importing troops from their cousins in France. England, I would argue, suffered numerous invasions, except that those “invaders” were retconned into legitimate British heirs.(I believe in Shakespeare’s Richard II, Richard realizes he’s doomed when he hears that the future Henry IV has come back to England from France with an army).

    And then the little thing called the Spanish Armada—which was defeated mostly by bad weather and poor coordination by the Spanish. And then Spain, the greatest navy of its time and England’s big rival then, kept it’s attention on securing the Mediterranean and then guiding it’s voyages to South America. If the New World hadn’t been discovered, I would venture that Spain might have re-tried to invade England.

    And that’s before we get to Scotland attacking Northern England and taking more than a few towns for centuries. It was only by the late 18th Century that England could safely say that Scotland was no longer a threat.

    And let’s not forget that our own American Revolutionary war naval hero, John Paul Jones, made his bones running his boat to seaside towns in England, raiding and burning them.

    And the British also had the historical good luck that it’s great 19th-Century rival, Napoleon’s France, had a cripplingly mediocre naval tradition and leader who was heck bent on making himself into the greatest land general of all time, making him neglect ever putting more than minimal effort into his navy. Had Napoleon been pushed into naval service (as his Military Academy professors recommended) we might be talking about how the sun never set on the French Empire.

    I think that a strong argument can be made that the idea that England’s island status kept it safe from invasion for a thousand years really isn’t true.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Just found out the Spanish attempted two later Armadas in 1596 and 1597, both failed due to storms and poor planning. It seems the Spanish just couldn't catch a break when it came to English invasions.
    , @reiner Tor
    By that metric, Hungary has had perhaps a hundred invasions or more since 1066. Being the majority of an island did make things easier for the English.
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  46. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    The seas around the British Isles and the English Channel are notoriously difficult waters in which to sail, considerably increasing the already-difficult problems of amphibious operations.

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  47. donut says:

    OT fellows , but I’m watching a movie on Amazon right ? And as I was watching this movie which I really enjoyed BTW , it occurred to me that somewhere between the awkwardness of the Archaic period and the grace of the Classical period art approached perfection . Well we have to make these assessments based on what is left to us . And in my own uneducated opinion art reached it’s apogee in the caves of Lascaux . There , in those caves the unknown master achieved perfection . And all that have come after to a greater or lessor degree though they may display artistic genius and leave us inspired , slack jawed , weeping or set back in our seats can never equal his achievement .

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  48. whorefinder says: • Website
    @whorefinder
    Depends on what you mean by "invasion."

    The Glorious Revolution was, in effect, an sea invasion by a Dutch King that was supported by many of the English leaders. What's more, previous English Kings and Queens came to power or suppressed revolutions by importing troops from their cousins in France. England, I would argue, suffered numerous invasions, except that those "invaders" were retconned into legitimate British heirs.(I believe in Shakespeare's Richard II, Richard realizes he's doomed when he hears that the future Henry IV has come back to England from France with an army).

    And then the little thing called the Spanish Armada---which was defeated mostly by bad weather and poor coordination by the Spanish. And then Spain, the greatest navy of its time and England's big rival then, kept it's attention on securing the Mediterranean and then guiding it's voyages to South America. If the New World hadn't been discovered, I would venture that Spain might have re-tried to invade England.

    And that's before we get to Scotland attacking Northern England and taking more than a few towns for centuries. It was only by the late 18th Century that England could safely say that Scotland was no longer a threat.

    And let's not forget that our own American Revolutionary war naval hero, John Paul Jones, made his bones running his boat to seaside towns in England, raiding and burning them.

    And the British also had the historical good luck that it's great 19th-Century rival, Napoleon's France, had a cripplingly mediocre naval tradition and leader who was heck bent on making himself into the greatest land general of all time, making him neglect ever putting more than minimal effort into his navy. Had Napoleon been pushed into naval service (as his Military Academy professors recommended) we might be talking about how the sun never set on the French Empire.

    I think that a strong argument can be made that the idea that England's island status kept it safe from invasion for a thousand years really isn't true.

    Just found out the Spanish attempted two later Armadas in 1596 and 1597, both failed due to storms and poor planning. It seems the Spanish just couldn’t catch a break when it came to English invasions.

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  49. @Anon
    I remember reading that the government of Quebec was exasperated that a lot of the early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they'd been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters.

    Trying to farm in the climate of Canada in the Little Ice Age was probably largely an exercise in futility with 17th Century technology. Becoming a coureur de bois was a reasonable alternative. The Indians were generally more comfortable with coureur de bois than farmers with families.

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    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Trying to farm in the climate of Canada in the Little Ice Age was probably largely an exercise in futility with 17th Century technology.
     
    There is some information on farming in Finland during the Little Ice Age, but I've found no accounts online of what it was like in Canada, where I assume the climate was similar to Finland.

    Canadians had to feed themselves, so I doubt if there was any large scale abandonment of agriculture, but I expect that there was severe deprivation or hunger in some years and some level of abandonment of farms, as you suggest. On the other hand, the human population in Canada was small, and the moose population large.

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  50. Whorefinder,

    I think Yaqub was talking about the kind of invasions that involve large-scale battles with a lot of death, not border skirmishes or “soft” invasions.

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go? England’s greatest piece of luck was being located in England and peopled by the English. The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?
     
    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world's super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.
     
    That's just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it's navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it's #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England's weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been
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  51. johnmark7 says:

    Red Ice has a program about an Italian professor: Felice Vinci & William Mullen – Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales

    The man lays out some fascinating possibilities and this bronze age battle in N. Germany adds more weight to his theory.

    He theorizes that the northern invaders into Greece brought with them their place names and their war tales. Ithaca looks nothing like what Homer describes, but there’s an island off Denmark that fits perfectly. Same thing with the Scylla and Charybdis. There are no eddies in the Mediterranean, but there is one off the Faroe islands.

    Interesting notions.

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    • Replies: @bored identity
    I feel like some Arthur C. Clarke' s enthusiastic fan- troll had hijacked Steve's blog.

    Denmark...?!


    Sure, and ancient Troy was in something called Gabela, just a few hundred miles from the equally plausible Cradle of Pyramids;

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-12-25/news/8503290382_1_theory-yugoslavia-greek
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  52. Dan Hayes says:

    HA:

    Even older. The Newgrange Passage Tomb in Ireland was constructed around 3200 BC. It amazingly and effectively detects/monitors the Winter Solstice.

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  53. Bruce says:

    I wonder why we never see wooden body armor from this period. Champlain shot Indians wearing slats of wood for armor, and I’d sure want some if I was stuck in a stone age or early bronze age battle.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I'd imagine a major reason is wood's proclivity for decay. Stone, pottery, and even metal last much longer. There is a reason archaeologists study stone and metal arrowheads, but rarely, if ever, arrows' wooden shafts....
    , @David
    Virgil talks about Teutons using bark from the cork tree as helmets.
    , @Anon
    One problem with wood is that it becomes brittle and easier to cleave if it dries out. When wood was used in armor, it was always covered in leather to help protect it from the effects of age and weather, and it may have been greased or oiled to help maintain its moisture level.
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  54. KunioKun says:

    I seem to recall Livy saying that the Gauls fought mostly naked or almost naked. Their tactic was to scream and yell for a bit and then in a group run at the Romans. The Romans were overwhelmed when they first encountered this tactic, but after they recovered their city and learned to resist the initial charge, they pretty much never lost against this tactic again in Livy’s books.

    If the Euros had armor in 1250 BC what happened between then and the 380′s BC when they showed up with little or no armor against Rome? Maybe they wanted to get a tan. Livy said they were very plump and white/pink.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    The Gauls (or rather, their star players) had spiffy maille corselets ("chainmail"), as well as pretty businesslike helmets and shields. The rankers seem to have relied on fancy shieldwork and lots and lots of agility and fitness, like the more primitive Germans beyond them.
    Maybe being canned up in a load of plate armor on your lonesome became a liability in highly mobile melee fighting, where the swampy and tree-infested terrain prevented the maintenance and maneouving of proper formations? As Varro for one found out, too late. The Celts seemed to conduct fights at boundary rivers and fords, which would also tend to make comprehensive heavy armor a bit of a nuisance.

    Iron mail seems on current evidence to be a Celtic or just possibly Etruscan invention (the Celt aristocracy were as thick as thieves with the Etruscans, and seem to have got along just fine, trade a-go-go), although the Romans, always having an eye for a neat bit of military kit, became very fond of it too, later on.
    I suspect it may originally be yet another bizarre Eurasian steppe innovation, like lamellar armor made of horse-hooves (later metal), or Siberian bone plate armor, but so far no clues.
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  55. donut says:

    A tribute to the Negro felon :

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  56. Vinay says:

    “huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy”

    Ok, so your point is that the Germans have always been barbarians and should never have been allowed into the EU? That it was a mistake for civilized European nations like Greece to join the German-led Euro and Schengen, believing it’d be good for the economy?

    I must admit the parallels are striking but I’m optimistic that the Germans really have changed.

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    I don't think that was his point. It wasn't the German ethnicity of the invaders, but the difference in civilization levels and mores and the mercenary and blank slate-ist attitude of the Emperor and his advisers, who prioritized an illusory rapid economic build-up and glossed over whether the Germans would become good little Romans. The Germans have certainly evolved since then, as "the 10,000 year explosion" argues they would have. And now they are facing the same situation, and with as little wisdom as was on display 2000 years ago to guide them.

    The Goths implore the protection of Valens, A.D. 376.

    But the most experienced statesman of Europe has never been summoned to consider the propriety or the danger of admitting or rejecting an innumerable multitude of barbarians, who are driven by despair and hunger to solicit a settlement on the territories of a civilised nation. When that important proposition, so essentially connected with the public safety, was referred to the ministers of Valens, they were perplexed and divided; but they soon acquiesced in the flattering sentiment which seemed the most favourable to the pride, the indolence, and the avarice of their sovereign.

    “That successful day put an end to the distress of the barbarians and the security of the Romans: from that day the Goths, renouncing the precarious condition of strangers and exiles, assumed the character of citizens and masters, claimed an absolute dominion over the possessors of land, and held, in their own right, the northern provinces of the empire, which are bounded by the Danube”. Such are the words of the Gothic historian,(72) who celebrates, with rude eloquence, the glory of his countrymen. But the dominion of the barbarians was exercised only for the purposes of rapine and destruction.

    An army of forty thousand Goths was maintained for the perpetual service of the empire of the East; and those haughty troops, who assumed the title of Foederati, or allies, were distinguished by their gold collars, liberal pay, and licentious privileges. Their native courage was improved by the use of arms and the knowledge of discipline; and, while the republic was guarded or threatened by the doubtful sword of the barbarians, the last sparks of the military flame were finally extinguished in the minds of the Romans….The advocates of Theodosius could affirm, with some appearance of truth and reason, that it was impossible to extirpate so many warlike tribes, who were rendered desperate by the loss of their native country; and that the exhausted provinces would be revived by a fresh supply of soldiers and husbandmen. The barbarians still wore an angry and hostile aspect; but the experience of past times might encourage the hope that they would acquire the habits of industry and obedience; that their manners would be polished by time, education, and the influence of Christianity; and that their posterity would insensibly blend with the great body of the Roman people.
     
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  57. Sparkon says:

    According the the Greenland ice cores, the Minoan Warm Period peaked around 1200 BC. It hasn’t been that warm since. From that apex, temperatures fell rapidly over the next 200 years or so, during which time the Iron Age is presumed to have begun, while Mycenaean civilization, Hittite empire, and Shang dynasty all came to an end.

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  58. Anon says: • Disclaimer

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  59. Nick Diaz says:

    Steve Sailer:

    “The Huns’ irruption into Eastern Europe hundreds of years later terrified the huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy, let them into Roman Empire in 376 AD, only to be killed by the refugees two years later, events that Gibbon saw as central to the sacking of Rome in 410, the subsequent Hun invasion of Italy in the 450s, the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the ensuing Dark Ages.”

    No, it’s not familiar at all. The vast majority of Germanics that crossed the Danube in 376 A.D were warriors. They all were killers. They also specifically demanded to be allowed to cross the border with their weapons. Women and kids were in the minority. Conversely, the Syrians refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms. Many of them had jobs, and never committed any crimes in their homeland. So no, there is no familiarity or comparison between the two events.

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    • Troll: IHTG
    • Replies: @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    , @The Alarmist
    How about applying the analogy to all the MS-13 members streaming across the Southern US border and wreaking havoc in America's cities?
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  60. @Tarrou
    The standard mode of history since the bronze age collapse is barbarians from the edge just beyond civilization overrun more advanced but softer groups, take over the empires, and are civilized and acculturated in their turn, until another group does the same to them. China saw many cycles of this, it holds for the Vikings, the Goths, the Vandals, the Huns, the Mongols, even the Macedonians. Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these "sea peoples".

    If you recall Steve’s “We Three Kings” post from January, the source article (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8152) included Figure 2, which showed that around the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, most western and northern European peoples suffered a severe population bottleneck (i.e., most of them died). Depopulation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East was less severe or nonexistent. So whatever it was that afflicted the peoples of Europe at that time, it was pretty severe: 90+% losses in many cases.

    By contrast, the Vikings, Goths and Macedonians didn’t inflict that kind of attrition on their victims. I have heard 60%-90% figures for some Mongol invasions, but I’ve not seen it verified by, for example, genetic data, the way this is.

    Speaking of Vikings, a recent National Geographic summarizes new research. They suggest that the Vikings became a fierce warrior society only after a volcanic eruption in the mid-first millennium knocked a few summers out of the Scandinavians’ marginal agriculture causing mass starvation and neighbor-pillaging. The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.

    The Figure 2 cited above also shows that, like the Vikings, even though the northern and western European societies were devastated at the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, the survivors rebounded and thrived beyond the numbers of their pre-collapse ancestors.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yeesh, that Figure 2 looks like massive slaughter of males north of the Alps around this 3200 BC date.
    , @Anonymous

    The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.
     
    From what I've read, the Vikings, although effective small-scale raiders and explorers, actually fared rather poorly when they went up against organized military forces with similar armament to themselves, such as the armies of the Anglo-Saxons and Franks.
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  61. @Almost Missouri
    If you recall Steve's "We Three Kings" post from January, the source article (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8152) included Figure 2, which showed that around the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, most western and northern European peoples suffered a severe population bottleneck (i.e., most of them died). Depopulation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East was less severe or nonexistent. So whatever it was that afflicted the peoples of Europe at that time, it was pretty severe: 90+% losses in many cases.

    By contrast, the Vikings, Goths and Macedonians didn't inflict that kind of attrition on their victims. I have heard 60%-90% figures for some Mongol invasions, but I've not seen it verified by, for example, genetic data, the way this is.

    Speaking of Vikings, a recent National Geographic summarizes new research. They suggest that the Vikings became a fierce warrior society only after a volcanic eruption in the mid-first millennium knocked a few summers out of the Scandinavians' marginal agriculture causing mass starvation and neighbor-pillaging. The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.

    The Figure 2 cited above also shows that, like the Vikings, even though the northern and western European societies were devastated at the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, the survivors rebounded and thrived beyond the numbers of their pre-collapse ancestors.

    Yeesh, that Figure 2 looks like massive slaughter of males north of the Alps around this 3200 BC date.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Do you mean 3200 years ago (=1200BC)?

    The Nature chart x-axis is scaled to Kilo-Years Ago rather than to Christian dates.

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  62. Nick Diaz says:

    Funny that Himmler spent a significant part of the Reich’s budget for cultural development on archeological expeditions and historical research trying to find evidence of the great achievements of the Nordic Aryan super-Race in the past. Oh, nothing to be found. In fact, it was so embarrassing that Hitler himself ordered the archeological expeditions to end, because it was humiliating for Germany. So the Germans simply decided that they were actually Greeks because the ancient Hellenes were of their same race, and that therefore Hellenic civilization belonged to them. Problem solved! This despite the fact that the ancient Hellenes themselves remarked on how physically different the peoples of northern Europe were from themselves. The peoples they called the “Keltoi”(Celts) were their neighbors to the northwest, and there were contacts between them. The fact that the Hellenes took notice on the blondism and tall stature of the Keltoi in contrast to the Greek physionomy and morphology indicates that Hellenes were shorter in stature and darker in hair and eye color than the peoples of northern Europe.

    “Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust.”

    Europe has a much milder climate than America not only because of the Gulf Stream, but also because it’s temperature is far more affected by water than the U.S which is in a large continental mass. Europe is basically a peninsula surrounded by water from all sides. Water has a moderating effect on temperature. During the summer, water absorbs the heat from the Sun and evaporates. The evaporation lowers temperatures. During the winter, the water retains some of the heat it accumulated during the Summer, raising temperatures. So Summers in Europe are slightly cooler and Winters much warmer than in America. In the American midwest, for instance, temperatures of -22 F are pretty common during Winters. In Europe, these temperatures are unheard of. The only place in Europe where temperatures drop this low is Scandinavia, and even then only in Lapland. Even in Oslo or Stockholm temperatures seldom drop that low. The German immigrants that came to America from Hamburg, Germany’s most northerly city, were shocked by how much colder Winters were in America than in their homeland. The U.S.A is more similar to central Asia than Europe when it comes to climate. In terms of climate, the parts of the Americas most smiliar to Europe are Argentina, parts of Chile and southern Brazil high in the mountains. South America is a narrower stretch of land, therefore being more affected by water and near the coastal areas at temperate latitudes or at subtropical latitudes at high altitudes it has the same oceanic or maritime climate that characterizes most of Europe. The U.S has a harsher, more “Asiatic” or continental climate.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Water's high specific heat is most responsible for the phenomenon you are describing. At least you somewht understand some science.
    , @fitzGetty
    We the Celts are an informal, romantic people.
    When we visit the edge of the world, we take the Shamrock 787 from the East Coast - landing, often, at SNN just five hours later ...
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    You need to stop treating Indiana Jones movies as documentaries. Himmler's Ahnenerbe project was not even funded from the budget, it was basically a club with membership fees and donations. Hitler may have remarked on the uselessness of Himmler's archaeological and occult hobbies but he didn't forbid them and Ahnenerbe continued expeditions until the end, though of course they were much limited by the war.

    Himmler himself was a gullible fool who recruited some complete charlatans like Karl Maria Wiligut but he also found some perfectly capable scholars who found their work unjustifiably stigmatized after the war. The Americans and the Russians were eager to rehabilitate rocket scientists but they were not very interested in archaeology or linguistics. Many careers of capable men were lost because their academic rivals tarred and feathered them (instead of defeating them in debate) while many physicists and engineers with deep involvement in the National Socialist movement found their pasts easily forgiven by the new sponsors.

    Restoring sanity to Western humanities has to start with a realization that these disciplines were basically scapegoated for the needs of Great Power politics following the war and their role in the events was exaggerated beyond all reason.

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  63. @johnmark7
    Red Ice has a program about an Italian professor: Felice Vinci & William Mullen - Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6QPtcZWBPs

    The man lays out some fascinating possibilities and this bronze age battle in N. Germany adds more weight to his theory.

    He theorizes that the northern invaders into Greece brought with them their place names and their war tales. Ithaca looks nothing like what Homer describes, but there's an island off Denmark that fits perfectly. Same thing with the Scylla and Charybdis. There are no eddies in the Mediterranean, but there is one off the Faroe islands.

    Interesting notions.

    I feel like some Arthur C. Clarke’ s enthusiastic fan- troll had hijacked Steve’s blog.

    Denmark…?!

    Sure, and ancient Troy was in something called Gabela, just a few hundred miles from the equally plausible Cradle of Pyramids;

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-12-25/news/8503290382_1_theory-yugoslavia-greek

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  64. @Bruce
    I wonder why we never see wooden body armor from this period. Champlain shot Indians wearing slats of wood for armor, and I'd sure want some if I was stuck in a stone age or early bronze age battle.

    I’d imagine a major reason is wood’s proclivity for decay. Stone, pottery, and even metal last much longer. There is a reason archaeologists study stone and metal arrowheads, but rarely, if ever, arrows’ wooden shafts….

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  65. @Steve Sailer
    Yeesh, that Figure 2 looks like massive slaughter of males north of the Alps around this 3200 BC date.

    Do you mean 3200 years ago (=1200BC)?

    The Nature chart x-axis is scaled to Kilo-Years Ago rather than to Christian dates.

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    • Replies: @Greg Pandatshang
    The War on Christmas continues apace!
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  66. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    From Bronze Age pitched battles to Merkel’s Boner.

    - All within a hundred or so generations.

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  67. @Glossy
    "That’s why, for example, the biblical David—a shepherd—refused to don a suit of armor and bronze helmet before fighting Goliath. "

    Goliath was a Philistine. The Philistines were one of the Sea Peoples, thought to be Indo-Europeans from Greece, who settled in Palestine (named for them) around 1,200 BC. Goliath being a giant probably preserves the memory of Indo-Europeans being taller than Semites.

    Speaking of Goliath – I always remember the nameless six-fingered man who appears (apparently twice) in 1 Chronicles 20:6, and the identical verse in 2 Samuel 21:20, and it tells much of “who was also descended from the giant(s)”

    http://biblehub.com/nasb/1_chronicles/20.htm

    http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_samuel/21.htm

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Robert Chambers, who anonymously wrote the 1844 bestseller "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" that paved the way for acceptances of the "Origin of Species" by making evolution sound reasonable to the literate public, had six fingers on each hand, as did his brother. Chambers figured it was a clue about evolution, but he didn't managed to come up with the mechanism of natural selection.
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  68. @StAugustine
    Speaking of Goliath - I always remember the nameless six-fingered man who appears (apparently twice) in 1 Chronicles 20:6, and the identical verse in 2 Samuel 21:20, and it tells much of "who was also descended from the giant(s)"

    http://biblehub.com/nasb/1_chronicles/20.htm
    http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_samuel/21.htm

    Robert Chambers, who anonymously wrote the 1844 bestseller “Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation” that paved the way for acceptances of the “Origin of Species” by making evolution sound reasonable to the literate public, had six fingers on each hand, as did his brother. Chambers figured it was a clue about evolution, but he didn’t managed to come up with the mechanism of natural selection.

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  69. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    Judging by the massive percentage of GDP the Brits have spend on their navy over the last 400 years, I don’t think they take their geographic luck for granted. Some historians argue that the industrial revolution was primarily driven by the material needs of the navy.

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  70. @Nick Diaz
    Steve Sailer:

    "The Huns’ irruption into Eastern Europe hundreds of years later terrified the huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy, let them into Roman Empire in 376 AD, only to be killed by the refugees two years later, events that Gibbon saw as central to the sacking of Rome in 410, the subsequent Hun invasion of Italy in the 450s, the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the ensuing Dark Ages."

    No, it's not familiar at all. The vast majority of Germanics that crossed the Danube in 376 A.D were warriors. They all were killers. They also specifically demanded to be allowed to cross the border with their weapons. Women and kids were in the minority. Conversely, the Syrians refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad's counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms. Many of them had jobs, and never committed any crimes in their homeland. So no, there is no familiarity or comparison between the two events.

    Women and kids were in the minority.

    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.

    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet’s wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed “Before we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.” And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What’s more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

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    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev

    What’s more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.
     
    That is the key point. The Syrian refugees, so far, have not actually been a huge burden on Europe. It is more the Afghan and Nigerian "refugees" who seem to have a strong proclivity towards crime. It is not clear to me at all what guilt Europe could possibly have towards Afghanistan. Send the Afghans to Russia, Pakistan and the US.

    I also read a very interesting article over the week-end about the failures in the Austrian prison system. Naturally 50% of prisoners are foreigners, compared to 8% 30 years ago. No surprise there. What I found interesting was a point I keep making on these forums - according to prison guards by far the worst prisoners in terms of violence and depravity are the North Africans. Europe can go a long way towards restoring a sense of order by simply deporting Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians. Europe's terror problem has very little to do with the "refugee crisis", it is basically an undeclared war of North Africans against the French that is increasingly spilling outside French borders.
    , @dearieme
    "When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico": no but they'd already fled Washington.
    , @PiltdownMan

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada.
    , @Anon7
    Your argument is particularly apt when I recall the pictures that show that at least 80% of the "refugees" were men aged 18-30, that is, military age males.
    , @Chase
    "[T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe bearing no arms."

    So let's stipulate that every invader in the history of the world only invaded another country "trying to improve his life." I think that's fair.

    Now, if you are an invader, what do you do? If you anticipate a heavy defense, you arm yourself likewise or you die. If you don't expect a heavy defense, or if you are *actively being invited* there is no incentive to arm yourself. But that doesn't mean you aren't an invader...
    , @Randal
    Not disagreeing with your underlying point, but your examples were poorly chosen imo:

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude.
     
    The British weren't interested in conquering the US, and would much have preferred if the US hadn't opportunistically attacked them whilst they were fighting a real enemy, Napoleon. They were just raiding, and although the Americans certainly did flee before them (for instance the US government fleeing Washington), they were never there long enough nor penetrated deep enough for Americans to flee abroad in numbers.

    When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet’s wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada
     
    Likewise, the Japanese never "invaded Hawaii", and were never interested in invading US lands. They just wanted to hit the Yank military hard enough to stop them trying to economically strangle them and their attempts to build a European style colonial empire of their own.

    Perhaps better examples could be chosen from the several examples of resistance to US occupations, from the Philippines to Iraq? Or Russian resistance to German invasion?
    , @Daniel Chieh

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    To play devil's advocate, its pretty hard to leave and go elsewhere in an agrarian economy. You can't exactly pack up your forty acres and leave, even to go into the unsettled western part of the continent at the time, let alone another country.

    Migration is much more reasonable in an urban world.
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  71. ““If you fight with body armor and helmet and corselet, you need daily training or you can’t move,” Hansen says.”

    These ‘experts’ might like to try talking to HEMA people. They don’t seem to know anything about ancient arms & armour (or human nature, given their previous insistence that pre-modern people were ‘peaceful traders’.)

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  72. @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    What’s more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    That is the key point. The Syrian refugees, so far, have not actually been a huge burden on Europe. It is more the Afghan and Nigerian “refugees” who seem to have a strong proclivity towards crime. It is not clear to me at all what guilt Europe could possibly have towards Afghanistan. Send the Afghans to Russia, Pakistan and the US.

    I also read a very interesting article over the week-end about the failures in the Austrian prison system. Naturally 50% of prisoners are foreigners, compared to 8% 30 years ago. No surprise there. What I found interesting was a point I keep making on these forums – according to prison guards by far the worst prisoners in terms of violence and depravity are the North Africans. Europe can go a long way towards restoring a sense of order by simply deporting Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians. Europe’s terror problem has very little to do with the “refugee crisis”, it is basically an undeclared war of North Africans against the French that is increasingly spilling outside French borders.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    Agree - the North Africans are also the main ones raping their way across Sweden and Germany. I guess they are the descendants of Barbary pirates... North African soldiers also committed famous mass rape atrocities in Spain during the Civil War and Italy in WW2. Syrians as a group do not seem to have the same proclivity to mass raping.
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  73. dearieme says:

    “This fight took place at almost 54 degrees north, which is further north than Edmonton.”

    Pah! Southern softies!

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  74. dearieme says:
    @Luke Lea
    "Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says." That seems awfully naive. Hansen had never studied the histories of North American Indians perhaps?

    I’ve read about archaeology since I was a teenager. It was obvious even then that large chunks of what archaeologists “think” is mere fashionable doctrine, unbased on any evidence.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    deari, I loved archaeology when I was younger and read lots on the subject, but I have to agree with you. I have a book about paleo and meso American Indians and two of the archaeologists differ on some findings related to carbon dating, but they agree to disagree. The dating has a range of 680 years, which is close to seven centuries, but close enough.
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  75. dearieme says:
    @Glossy
    "That’s why, for example, the biblical David—a shepherd—refused to don a suit of armor and bronze helmet before fighting Goliath. "

    Goliath was a Philistine. The Philistines were one of the Sea Peoples, thought to be Indo-Europeans from Greece, who settled in Palestine (named for them) around 1,200 BC. Goliath being a giant probably preserves the memory of Indo-Europeans being taller than Semites.

    “probably preserves the memory of Indo-Europeans being taller than Semites”: I’ve conjectured that too. Or maybe it was just that agriculturalists/fishermen from near the coast were taller than wiry shepherds and bandits in the hills.

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  76. @Nick Diaz
    Funny that Himmler spent a significant part of the Reich's budget for cultural development on archeological expeditions and historical research trying to find evidence of the great achievements of the Nordic Aryan super-Race in the past. Oh, nothing to be found. In fact, it was so embarrassing that Hitler himself ordered the archeological expeditions to end, because it was humiliating for Germany. So the Germans simply decided that they were actually Greeks because the ancient Hellenes were of their same race, and that therefore Hellenic civilization belonged to them. Problem solved! This despite the fact that the ancient Hellenes themselves remarked on how physically different the peoples of northern Europe were from themselves. The peoples they called the "Keltoi"(Celts) were their neighbors to the northwest, and there were contacts between them. The fact that the Hellenes took notice on the blondism and tall stature of the Keltoi in contrast to the Greek physionomy and morphology indicates that Hellenes were shorter in stature and darker in hair and eye color than the peoples of northern Europe.

    "Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust."

    Europe has a much milder climate than America not only because of the Gulf Stream, but also because it's temperature is far more affected by water than the U.S which is in a large continental mass. Europe is basically a peninsula surrounded by water from all sides. Water has a moderating effect on temperature. During the summer, water absorbs the heat from the Sun and evaporates. The evaporation lowers temperatures. During the winter, the water retains some of the heat it accumulated during the Summer, raising temperatures. So Summers in Europe are slightly cooler and Winters much warmer than in America. In the American midwest, for instance, temperatures of -22 F are pretty common during Winters. In Europe, these temperatures are unheard of. The only place in Europe where temperatures drop this low is Scandinavia, and even then only in Lapland. Even in Oslo or Stockholm temperatures seldom drop that low. The German immigrants that came to America from Hamburg, Germany's most northerly city, were shocked by how much colder Winters were in America than in their homeland. The U.S.A is more similar to central Asia than Europe when it comes to climate. In terms of climate, the parts of the Americas most smiliar to Europe are Argentina, parts of Chile and southern Brazil high in the mountains. South America is a narrower stretch of land, therefore being more affected by water and near the coastal areas at temperate latitudes or at subtropical latitudes at high altitudes it has the same oceanic or maritime climate that characterizes most of Europe. The U.S has a harsher, more "Asiatic" or continental climate.

    Water’s high specific heat is most responsible for the phenomenon you are describing. At least you somewht understand some science.

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  77. dearieme says:
    @Sunbeam
    "They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. "

    Things were a bit different than our CW assumes today concerning history prior to writing.

    Here is a link to a wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    "The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[29] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 long tons; 11–22 short tons), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[30] It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[8]"

    Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture - for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.

    Also someone brought up the Iroquois raiding far south. The Zulus big thing was how many swinging... clubs they could bring to a fight. So it isn't unknown for low tech societies to pull off logistics (think they managed to bring 30 or 35 thousand to that fight in the Zulu movie).

    And I believe Steve Sailer has noted several times about how deep into Mexico the Commanche would raid. Brought back parrots I believe (though heck since seashells were trade items around the Great Lakes, I wouldn't be surprised if the American Indian trade network brought them further north).

    The Zulu were Iron Age agriculturists.

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  78. dearieme says:
    @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    “When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico”: no but they’d already fled Washington.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Har har. You had might as well call Lee a coward for returning to Virginia following the Battle of Gettysburg.

    Read the Treaty of Ghent if you are still confused about who made who.
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  79. @Diversity Heretic
    Trying to farm in the climate of Canada in the Little Ice Age was probably largely an exercise in futility with 17th Century technology. Becoming a coureur de bois was a reasonable alternative. The Indians were generally more comfortable with coureur de bois than farmers with families.

    Trying to farm in the climate of Canada in the Little Ice Age was probably largely an exercise in futility with 17th Century technology.

    There is some information on farming in Finland during the Little Ice Age, but I’ve found no accounts online of what it was like in Canada, where I assume the climate was similar to Finland.

    Canadians had to feed themselves, so I doubt if there was any large scale abandonment of agriculture, but I expect that there was severe deprivation or hunger in some years and some level of abandonment of farms, as you suggest. On the other hand, the human population in Canada was small, and the moose population large.

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  80. @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.

    Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    To your point, the razing of DC was a response to the American attempt to relieve the British of the rest of North America.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    "Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada."

    There are some historians who think that if the US had not provoked Britain and Canada into the War of 1812, Canada may have ultimately joined the US on its own. I've always thought the big dividing line in North America shouldn't have been between the US and Canada, but rather the Northern US and Canada on one side, and most of the future Confederate States on the other. And maybe Quebec could have been its own separate French-speaking country.

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  81. fitzGetty says:
    @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    Indeed. Britain has fought off repeated invasions over the millennia – always the elusive prize for Continental hoards.
    And, at the same time repeatedly saved the roiling Continent from its home grown despots .
    It can only be undone by invasion by stealth, latching parasitically onto its Judeo Christian ethos. Some say that that is well underway now – after all, as a litmus, British Airways is all-halal now. The locals never asked for that …

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  82. Romanian says: • Website
    @Vinay
    "huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy"

    Ok, so your point is that the Germans have always been barbarians and should never have been allowed into the EU? That it was a mistake for civilized European nations like Greece to join the German-led Euro and Schengen, believing it'd be good for the economy?

    I must admit the parallels are striking but I'm optimistic that the Germans really have changed.

    I don’t think that was his point. It wasn’t the German ethnicity of the invaders, but the difference in civilization levels and mores and the mercenary and blank slate-ist attitude of the Emperor and his advisers, who prioritized an illusory rapid economic build-up and glossed over whether the Germans would become good little Romans. The Germans have certainly evolved since then, as “the 10,000 year explosion” argues they would have. And now they are facing the same situation, and with as little wisdom as was on display 2000 years ago to guide them.

    The Goths implore the protection of Valens, A.D. 376.

    But the most experienced statesman of Europe has never been summoned to consider the propriety or the danger of admitting or rejecting an innumerable multitude of barbarians, who are driven by despair and hunger to solicit a settlement on the territories of a civilised nation. When that important proposition, so essentially connected with the public safety, was referred to the ministers of Valens, they were perplexed and divided; but they soon acquiesced in the flattering sentiment which seemed the most favourable to the pride, the indolence, and the avarice of their sovereign.

    “That successful day put an end to the distress of the barbarians and the security of the Romans: from that day the Goths, renouncing the precarious condition of strangers and exiles, assumed the character of citizens and masters, claimed an absolute dominion over the possessors of land, and held, in their own right, the northern provinces of the empire, which are bounded by the Danube”. Such are the words of the Gothic historian,(72) who celebrates, with rude eloquence, the glory of his countrymen. But the dominion of the barbarians was exercised only for the purposes of rapine and destruction.

    An army of forty thousand Goths was maintained for the perpetual service of the empire of the East; and those haughty troops, who assumed the title of Foederati, or allies, were distinguished by their gold collars, liberal pay, and licentious privileges. Their native courage was improved by the use of arms and the knowledge of discipline; and, while the republic was guarded or threatened by the doubtful sword of the barbarians, the last sparks of the military flame were finally extinguished in the minds of the Romans….The advocates of Theodosius could affirm, with some appearance of truth and reason, that it was impossible to extirpate so many warlike tribes, who were rendered desperate by the loss of their native country; and that the exhausted provinces would be revived by a fresh supply of soldiers and husbandmen. The barbarians still wore an angry and hostile aspect; but the experience of past times might encourage the hope that they would acquire the habits of industry and obedience; that their manners would be polished by time, education, and the influence of Christianity; and that their posterity would insensibly blend with the great body of the Roman people.

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    • Replies: @Vinay
    "I don’t think that was his point."

    No kidding? Look, historians love to tell history in the form of these kind of just-so stories. But they're terrible guides to the future because they tend to blow up trivial occurrences into major causes.

    Indian history is full of these kinds of stories and they completely miss the actual historical factors, like military and technological innovations, or the actual alliances prevailing at the time. And even if these stories ever had any merit, the West utterly changed the world with the industrial revolution and an advanced modern state is about as likely to fall to hordes of refugees as it is to a new Mongol invasion.

    If you want to look for examples of rag-tag bunch of migrants challenging a state, you might find them in Africa, like the Ivory Coast civil war, perhaps. Even there, I doubt it's all that clear-cut.
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  83. fitzGetty says:
    @Nick Diaz
    Funny that Himmler spent a significant part of the Reich's budget for cultural development on archeological expeditions and historical research trying to find evidence of the great achievements of the Nordic Aryan super-Race in the past. Oh, nothing to be found. In fact, it was so embarrassing that Hitler himself ordered the archeological expeditions to end, because it was humiliating for Germany. So the Germans simply decided that they were actually Greeks because the ancient Hellenes were of their same race, and that therefore Hellenic civilization belonged to them. Problem solved! This despite the fact that the ancient Hellenes themselves remarked on how physically different the peoples of northern Europe were from themselves. The peoples they called the "Keltoi"(Celts) were their neighbors to the northwest, and there were contacts between them. The fact that the Hellenes took notice on the blondism and tall stature of the Keltoi in contrast to the Greek physionomy and morphology indicates that Hellenes were shorter in stature and darker in hair and eye color than the peoples of northern Europe.

    "Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust."

    Europe has a much milder climate than America not only because of the Gulf Stream, but also because it's temperature is far more affected by water than the U.S which is in a large continental mass. Europe is basically a peninsula surrounded by water from all sides. Water has a moderating effect on temperature. During the summer, water absorbs the heat from the Sun and evaporates. The evaporation lowers temperatures. During the winter, the water retains some of the heat it accumulated during the Summer, raising temperatures. So Summers in Europe are slightly cooler and Winters much warmer than in America. In the American midwest, for instance, temperatures of -22 F are pretty common during Winters. In Europe, these temperatures are unheard of. The only place in Europe where temperatures drop this low is Scandinavia, and even then only in Lapland. Even in Oslo or Stockholm temperatures seldom drop that low. The German immigrants that came to America from Hamburg, Germany's most northerly city, were shocked by how much colder Winters were in America than in their homeland. The U.S.A is more similar to central Asia than Europe when it comes to climate. In terms of climate, the parts of the Americas most smiliar to Europe are Argentina, parts of Chile and southern Brazil high in the mountains. South America is a narrower stretch of land, therefore being more affected by water and near the coastal areas at temperate latitudes or at subtropical latitudes at high altitudes it has the same oceanic or maritime climate that characterizes most of Europe. The U.S has a harsher, more "Asiatic" or continental climate.

    We the Celts are an informal, romantic people.
    When we visit the edge of the world, we take the Shamrock 787 from the East Coast – landing, often, at SNN just five hours later …

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  84. Karl says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    ...early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they’d been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters...
     
    ...and miscegenists.

    42 Reg Caeser > …and miscegenists

    if your frogo-euro women are a dumpster fire on wheels, don’t blame the boys for going all Pocahantas when the opportunity appears.

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  85. Hunsdon says:
    @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?

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    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    There's the probably apocraphyl Bismarck quote: "“God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”
    , @Almost Missouri
    The ones who are trying to stop the soft invasion of mass immigration, yes.
    , @Autochthon
    We have always contemplated it.

    "It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." —George Washington, Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, 15 November 1781
     

    "You see, we learned that oceans no longer protect us; that a threat that gathers on the other side of the Earth can strike our own cities, can kill our own people." —George W. Bush, Address to Naval Station Mayport, 13 February 2003
     
    , @Citizen of a Silly Country
    "There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America."

    Otto von Bismarck

    Nope. We're proving that right now with our immigration policy.
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  86. @Peter Akuleyev

    What’s more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.
     
    That is the key point. The Syrian refugees, so far, have not actually been a huge burden on Europe. It is more the Afghan and Nigerian "refugees" who seem to have a strong proclivity towards crime. It is not clear to me at all what guilt Europe could possibly have towards Afghanistan. Send the Afghans to Russia, Pakistan and the US.

    I also read a very interesting article over the week-end about the failures in the Austrian prison system. Naturally 50% of prisoners are foreigners, compared to 8% 30 years ago. No surprise there. What I found interesting was a point I keep making on these forums - according to prison guards by far the worst prisoners in terms of violence and depravity are the North Africans. Europe can go a long way towards restoring a sense of order by simply deporting Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians. Europe's terror problem has very little to do with the "refugee crisis", it is basically an undeclared war of North Africans against the French that is increasingly spilling outside French borders.

    Agree – the North Africans are also the main ones raping their way across Sweden and Germany. I guess they are the descendants of Barbary pirates… North African soldiers also committed famous mass rape atrocities in Spain during the Civil War and Italy in WW2. Syrians as a group do not seem to have the same proclivity to mass raping.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon, @Sunbeam
    I don't dispute your numbers. But it could get worse.

    My take is that whatever Europe has seen in this regard from North Africans, wouldn't hold a candle to what you would see from mass immigration from West Africa, Nigeria, and the like.

    So if you are feeling down, it could get worse. Cause, fellas you just don't know. Yet. Just nothing like them. That goes for the Chinese too.

    On a sort of bright side, I have a feeling that Sharia Law Europe would *cough have a totally different attitude towards immigrants from the areas I just mentioned than Snowflake Europe.
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  87. @Hunsdon
    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?

    There’s the probably apocraphyl Bismarck quote: ““God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

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  88. @Jack Hanson
    I agree. I think a lot of anthropology is suspect as its scholars are all too willing to attempt to grease their results in order to shoehorn history into whatever viewpoint they want.

    For example, there are a number of anthropologists who take seriously the idea that pre-history was peaceful matriarchies until they were overthrown by CISHET MEN. These men were so jealous that they erased all evidence of the matriarchies, presumably to attempt to foil feminist scholars in the future.

    Yeah it’s hilarious how they use an ancient society with no written records to be their tabula rasa of social justice theories. Not only were ancient societies matriarchal, there were also ancient transgendered people because they found jewelry at a burial site next to a male skeleton. Also because they were hunter gatherer societies, they shared everything, including wives so marriage was not a thing and if it was, it was okay to have sex with the other members of the tribe. So polyamory therefore was a thing. One other thing to note is that I’ve seen the theory floated that their agricultural conquerors were so envious of these peaceful leftist societies that they were intentionally targeted because they were so peaceful and matriarchal and couldn’t wait to inject the patriarchy into their peaceful societies.

    I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff emerge recently because they struggle to find any society that conforms to their cultmarx crap so they now pin it all on societies with no written records. Anything from an anthropologist is suspect until they have more proof than a necklace of beads next to a male skeleton that transgendered people were celebrated in ancient society.

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  89. @Simon in London
    Agree - the North Africans are also the main ones raping their way across Sweden and Germany. I guess they are the descendants of Barbary pirates... North African soldiers also committed famous mass rape atrocities in Spain during the Civil War and Italy in WW2. Syrians as a group do not seem to have the same proclivity to mass raping.
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  90. George says:

    “huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube ”

    I think the story was Emporer Valens (at the time the Empire had 2 or 3 co emperors, Valens ruled from Byzantium, not Rome) invited the tribes so that he could use them to invade the world (war on Partha). That this particular group was already heavily armed and had military experience was seen as a plus. Valens even commanded that they should keep their weapons with them, overruling his bigoted anti-immigrant sub commanders who thought immigrants should check their weapons at the border. At some point, a local Roman governor attempted to extract taxes from them or something and that set off the insurrection. Valens shows up to stop the insurrection with an insufficient number or quality of soldier and he and his army perish. Unlike other groups, for example the Vandals, you don’t hear much about the people who defeated Valens, so maybe they ‘assimilated’. Anyway that’s my recollection, so some details might be fuzzy or even never happened.

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  91. @Hunsdon
    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?

    The ones who are trying to stop the soft invasion of mass immigration, yes.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
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  92. Spmoore8 says:
    @Anon
    This seems to fit with the theory I've had for some time, but it's the opposite of what Steve seems to be implying. Many parts of the middle east and north Africa (Morocco to India, really) used to be occupied by (Aryan/indo-) Europeans who moved in from the north (Anatolia or Ukraine maybe--this aspect is less clear), and semitic tribes seemed to be largely confined to the Arabian peninsula. It's most likely the case that these European tribes were responsible for creating the civilizations that sprang up in Egypt and the fertile crescent, which is why the ancient population of Sumer spoke an Indo-European language prior to its replacement by Akkadian, a semitic language.

    There remain traces of European DNA throughout these places (even whole groups such as the Yazidis) but there doesn't seem to have been a whole lot of admixture, so where did they go? I've presumed many must have gone north, and that at least part (if not all) of the reason these civilizations collapsed was because the original European inhabitants who built them were forced out, killed, or simply left because they didn't want to live around the more brutal semitic tribes that came in and took over (sound familiar?). Perhaps some made it to places like Germany and squared off against the locals....

    Sumerian is not usually identified as IE, because it is agglutinative it is considered either unknown or connected to Dravidian. (There’s a Hungarian who says it is Finno Ugric.) However the idea that IE mastered agriculture in Turkey is a prominent IE theory.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    Sumerian is not at all Indo-European nor is it Finno-Ugric.
    , @Anon
    There's a lot of denial going on when it comes to who created civilizations like Sumer. Yes, some try to classify the original language as "unknown" but there's plenty of evidence to back up the claim that it was indeed an Indo-European language, such as the below.

    http://www.academia.edu/1869616/The_Case_for_Euphratic
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  93. @Nick Diaz
    Steve Sailer:

    "The Huns’ irruption into Eastern Europe hundreds of years later terrified the huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy, let them into Roman Empire in 376 AD, only to be killed by the refugees two years later, events that Gibbon saw as central to the sacking of Rome in 410, the subsequent Hun invasion of Italy in the 450s, the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the ensuing Dark Ages."

    No, it's not familiar at all. The vast majority of Germanics that crossed the Danube in 376 A.D were warriors. They all were killers. They also specifically demanded to be allowed to cross the border with their weapons. Women and kids were in the minority. Conversely, the Syrians refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad's counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms. Many of them had jobs, and never committed any crimes in their homeland. So no, there is no familiarity or comparison between the two events.

    How about applying the analogy to all the MS-13 members streaming across the Southern US border and wreaking havoc in America’s cities?

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  94. Sunbeam says:
    @Simon in London
    Agree - the North Africans are also the main ones raping their way across Sweden and Germany. I guess they are the descendants of Barbary pirates... North African soldiers also committed famous mass rape atrocities in Spain during the Civil War and Italy in WW2. Syrians as a group do not seem to have the same proclivity to mass raping.

    I don’t dispute your numbers. But it could get worse.

    My take is that whatever Europe has seen in this regard from North Africans, wouldn’t hold a candle to what you would see from mass immigration from West Africa, Nigeria, and the like.

    So if you are feeling down, it could get worse. Cause, fellas you just don’t know. Yet. Just nothing like them. That goes for the Chinese too.

    On a sort of bright side, I have a feeling that Sharia Law Europe would *cough have a totally different attitude towards immigrants from the areas I just mentioned than Snowflake Europe.

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  95. @PiltdownMan

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada.

    To your point, the razing of DC was a response to the American attempt to relieve the British of the rest of North America.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    ...Which was a reponse to the British impressment of nearly ten thousand American sailors.

    Who am I, Paul Harvey?!
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  96. @PiltdownMan

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada.

    “Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada.”

    There are some historians who think that if the US had not provoked Britain and Canada into the War of 1812, Canada may have ultimately joined the US on its own. I’ve always thought the big dividing line in North America shouldn’t have been between the US and Canada, but rather the Northern US and Canada on one side, and most of the future Confederate States on the other. And maybe Quebec could have been its own separate French-speaking country.

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    • Replies: @George
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebellions_of_1837

    But by 1837 the US of A was 'reactionary' not revolutionary, and did not support the Canadian revolutions.

    "The time has come, to melt our spoons into bullets."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfred_Nelson
    , @Uncle Remus
    Hapalong you couldn't be more right. This reasonable proposal was brought home to me when I spent a frigid graduate school year in Toronto in 1972-3, when it was full of American draft dodgers
    and filling with all the flotsam not only of the Orontes but of everywhere else. The Yankees and the Canadians were made for each other. Non-urban Ontario had all the flat dullness of parts of the Midwest and people who were cut from the same cloth. The Yankees could have had all that vast Canadian territory to make into a City on a Hill and left us below the Ohio and the Mason-Dixon line to our devices. It would have been great then and it would be great now.
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  97. David says:
    @Bruce
    I wonder why we never see wooden body armor from this period. Champlain shot Indians wearing slats of wood for armor, and I'd sure want some if I was stuck in a stone age or early bronze age battle.

    Virgil talks about Teutons using bark from the cork tree as helmets.

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  98. @Hunsdon
    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?

    We have always contemplated it.

    “It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.” —George Washington, Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, 15 November 1781

    “You see, we learned that oceans no longer protect us; that a threat that gathers on the other side of the Earth can strike our own cities, can kill our own people.” —George W. Bush, Address to Naval Station Mayport, 13 February 2003

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  99. Anon7 says:
    @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    Your argument is particularly apt when I recall the pictures that show that at least 80% of the “refugees” were men aged 18-30, that is, military age males.

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  100. Chase says:
    @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    “[T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe bearing no arms.”

    So let’s stipulate that every invader in the history of the world only invaded another country “trying to improve his life.” I think that’s fair.

    Now, if you are an invader, what do you do? If you anticipate a heavy defense, you arm yourself likewise or you die. If you don’t expect a heavy defense, or if you are *actively being invited* there is no incentive to arm yourself. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t an invader…

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  101. @Nick Diaz
    Funny that Himmler spent a significant part of the Reich's budget for cultural development on archeological expeditions and historical research trying to find evidence of the great achievements of the Nordic Aryan super-Race in the past. Oh, nothing to be found. In fact, it was so embarrassing that Hitler himself ordered the archeological expeditions to end, because it was humiliating for Germany. So the Germans simply decided that they were actually Greeks because the ancient Hellenes were of their same race, and that therefore Hellenic civilization belonged to them. Problem solved! This despite the fact that the ancient Hellenes themselves remarked on how physically different the peoples of northern Europe were from themselves. The peoples they called the "Keltoi"(Celts) were their neighbors to the northwest, and there were contacts between them. The fact that the Hellenes took notice on the blondism and tall stature of the Keltoi in contrast to the Greek physionomy and morphology indicates that Hellenes were shorter in stature and darker in hair and eye color than the peoples of northern Europe.

    "Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust."

    Europe has a much milder climate than America not only because of the Gulf Stream, but also because it's temperature is far more affected by water than the U.S which is in a large continental mass. Europe is basically a peninsula surrounded by water from all sides. Water has a moderating effect on temperature. During the summer, water absorbs the heat from the Sun and evaporates. The evaporation lowers temperatures. During the winter, the water retains some of the heat it accumulated during the Summer, raising temperatures. So Summers in Europe are slightly cooler and Winters much warmer than in America. In the American midwest, for instance, temperatures of -22 F are pretty common during Winters. In Europe, these temperatures are unheard of. The only place in Europe where temperatures drop this low is Scandinavia, and even then only in Lapland. Even in Oslo or Stockholm temperatures seldom drop that low. The German immigrants that came to America from Hamburg, Germany's most northerly city, were shocked by how much colder Winters were in America than in their homeland. The U.S.A is more similar to central Asia than Europe when it comes to climate. In terms of climate, the parts of the Americas most smiliar to Europe are Argentina, parts of Chile and southern Brazil high in the mountains. South America is a narrower stretch of land, therefore being more affected by water and near the coastal areas at temperate latitudes or at subtropical latitudes at high altitudes it has the same oceanic or maritime climate that characterizes most of Europe. The U.S has a harsher, more "Asiatic" or continental climate.

    You need to stop treating Indiana Jones movies as documentaries. Himmler’s Ahnenerbe project was not even funded from the budget, it was basically a club with membership fees and donations. Hitler may have remarked on the uselessness of Himmler’s archaeological and occult hobbies but he didn’t forbid them and Ahnenerbe continued expeditions until the end, though of course they were much limited by the war.

    Himmler himself was a gullible fool who recruited some complete charlatans like Karl Maria Wiligut but he also found some perfectly capable scholars who found their work unjustifiably stigmatized after the war. The Americans and the Russians were eager to rehabilitate rocket scientists but they were not very interested in archaeology or linguistics. Many careers of capable men were lost because their academic rivals tarred and feathered them (instead of defeating them in debate) while many physicists and engineers with deep involvement in the National Socialist movement found their pasts easily forgiven by the new sponsors.

    Restoring sanity to Western humanities has to start with a realization that these disciplines were basically scapegoated for the needs of Great Power politics following the war and their role in the events was exaggerated beyond all reason.

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  102. Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Yeah, Dr. Shaquille O'Neal. An EdD doesn't go as far as it used to, I guess.
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  103. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Bruce
    I wonder why we never see wooden body armor from this period. Champlain shot Indians wearing slats of wood for armor, and I'd sure want some if I was stuck in a stone age or early bronze age battle.

    One problem with wood is that it becomes brittle and easier to cleave if it dries out. When wood was used in armor, it was always covered in leather to help protect it from the effects of age and weather, and it may have been greased or oiled to help maintain its moisture level.

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  104. The only immutable truth of archaeology seems to be that, sooner or later, its current understanding of the distant past will prove to be wrong.

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  105. Randal says:
    @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    Not disagreeing with your underlying point, but your examples were poorly chosen imo:

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude.

    The British weren’t interested in conquering the US, and would much have preferred if the US hadn’t opportunistically attacked them whilst they were fighting a real enemy, Napoleon. They were just raiding, and although the Americans certainly did flee before them (for instance the US government fleeing Washington), they were never there long enough nor penetrated deep enough for Americans to flee abroad in numbers.

    When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet’s wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada

    Likewise, the Japanese never “invaded Hawaii”, and were never interested in invading US lands. They just wanted to hit the Yank military hard enough to stop them trying to economically strangle them and their attempts to build a European style colonial empire of their own.

    Perhaps better examples could be chosen from the several examples of resistance to US occupations, from the Philippines to Iraq? Or Russian resistance to German invasion?

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Kidnapping and enslaving ten thousand foreign nationals is tantamount to an invasion of their nation and deserving of reprisals.

    The deaths of some two thousand and five hundred Americans on 7 December 1941 make your argument that Japan never invaded the U.S.A. insulting and contemptible.

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  106. Vinay says:
    @Romanian
    I don't think that was his point. It wasn't the German ethnicity of the invaders, but the difference in civilization levels and mores and the mercenary and blank slate-ist attitude of the Emperor and his advisers, who prioritized an illusory rapid economic build-up and glossed over whether the Germans would become good little Romans. The Germans have certainly evolved since then, as "the 10,000 year explosion" argues they would have. And now they are facing the same situation, and with as little wisdom as was on display 2000 years ago to guide them.

    The Goths implore the protection of Valens, A.D. 376.

    But the most experienced statesman of Europe has never been summoned to consider the propriety or the danger of admitting or rejecting an innumerable multitude of barbarians, who are driven by despair and hunger to solicit a settlement on the territories of a civilised nation. When that important proposition, so essentially connected with the public safety, was referred to the ministers of Valens, they were perplexed and divided; but they soon acquiesced in the flattering sentiment which seemed the most favourable to the pride, the indolence, and the avarice of their sovereign.

    “That successful day put an end to the distress of the barbarians and the security of the Romans: from that day the Goths, renouncing the precarious condition of strangers and exiles, assumed the character of citizens and masters, claimed an absolute dominion over the possessors of land, and held, in their own right, the northern provinces of the empire, which are bounded by the Danube”. Such are the words of the Gothic historian,(72) who celebrates, with rude eloquence, the glory of his countrymen. But the dominion of the barbarians was exercised only for the purposes of rapine and destruction.

    An army of forty thousand Goths was maintained for the perpetual service of the empire of the East; and those haughty troops, who assumed the title of Foederati, or allies, were distinguished by their gold collars, liberal pay, and licentious privileges. Their native courage was improved by the use of arms and the knowledge of discipline; and, while the republic was guarded or threatened by the doubtful sword of the barbarians, the last sparks of the military flame were finally extinguished in the minds of the Romans….The advocates of Theodosius could affirm, with some appearance of truth and reason, that it was impossible to extirpate so many warlike tribes, who were rendered desperate by the loss of their native country; and that the exhausted provinces would be revived by a fresh supply of soldiers and husbandmen. The barbarians still wore an angry and hostile aspect; but the experience of past times might encourage the hope that they would acquire the habits of industry and obedience; that their manners would be polished by time, education, and the influence of Christianity; and that their posterity would insensibly blend with the great body of the Roman people.
     

    “I don’t think that was his point.”

    No kidding? Look, historians love to tell history in the form of these kind of just-so stories. But they’re terrible guides to the future because they tend to blow up trivial occurrences into major causes.

    Indian history is full of these kinds of stories and they completely miss the actual historical factors, like military and technological innovations, or the actual alliances prevailing at the time. And even if these stories ever had any merit, the West utterly changed the world with the industrial revolution and an advanced modern state is about as likely to fall to hordes of refugees as it is to a new Mongol invasion.

    If you want to look for examples of rag-tag bunch of migrants challenging a state, you might find them in Africa, like the Ivory Coast civil war, perhaps. Even there, I doubt it’s all that clear-cut.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Uh, no? They don't need to violently overthrow the government. Simply through demographic replacement, the migrants are playing the winning game of having more butts, when democracy is the game of having as many butts as possible.

    They're doing perfectly fine at destroying the state, simply because the state is committing suicide.
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  107. @Tarrou
    The standard mode of history since the bronze age collapse is barbarians from the edge just beyond civilization overrun more advanced but softer groups, take over the empires, and are civilized and acculturated in their turn, until another group does the same to them. China saw many cycles of this, it holds for the Vikings, the Goths, the Vandals, the Huns, the Mongols, even the Macedonians. Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these "sea peoples".

    Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these “sea peoples”.

    This time around it seems that superior communication abilities of the invaders has proven decisive. Cell phones, mass media and the internet have allowed millions (billions?) to see the good life of the civilized up close. Imagine sending the Huns movies about the splendor of Rome and selfies from Hun warriors riding through Europe enjoying the local women.

    However, I’m not convinced that these new invaders will be willing and able to acculturate. This is more of a slow raid than a turn from one civilization to another.

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    • Replies: @Jack Highlands
    In almost all previous cases of Tarrou's 'standard mode of history' (which I agree with), the barbarians were as or more intelligent than the civilized they invaded. Among Aryan European civilizations the standard model has been barbarians closer to their Aryan roots invade Old European or decayed Aryan civilizations and gradually make a new one: proto-Greeks vs 'Pelasgians', Dorians versus Mycenaeans, Romans versus Etruscans, Germanics versus Romans. If Western civilization falls to the enstupidated dark hordes it will be the end of a 4,000 year cycle that's as old as China. Far better if we fall to Russians, though we may recover our moxie yet.
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  108. The Huns’ irruption into Eastern Europe hundreds of years later terrified the huddled masses of Germanic barbarians into begging Roman emperor Valens for permission to cross the Danube into the Roman Empire as refugees. (Sound familiar?) Valens, believing the barbaric refugees would be good for the economy, let them into Roman Empire in 376 AD, only to be killed by the refugees two years later, events that Gibbon saw as central to the sacking of Rome in 410, the subsequent Hun invasion of Italy in the 450s, the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and the ensuing Dark Ages.

    While we are noticing the similarity of the Germanic refugees to the situation today, we might also take note of the similar degrading of the currency. There was much that preceded Valens allowing the Germans into Roman territory.

    Long video, but worth watching.

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  109. Clyde says:

    OT OT OT
    Spike Lee calls out teams for not signing free agent Colin Kaepernick
    Rich Cimini
    ESPN Staff Writer

    Film director Spike Lee has joined the Colin Kaepernick debate, suggesting Sunday in an Instagram post that one of his hometown teams — the New York Jets — should sign the unemployed quarterback.

    “The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback,” wrote Lee, who said he spoke with Kaepernick over brunch. “Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In.”

    Lee used his post to rail against the NFL for excluding Kaepernick, who ignited a firestorm last fall because he refused to stand for the national anthem as a way to protest social and racial issues.

    Lee said it “Smells MAD Fishy To Me, Stinks To The High Heavens” that Kaepernick, who opted out of his San Francisco 49ers contract, still doesn’t have a job.
    _____________

    More hijinx

    Boardman crime activity: Woman charged for pepper spray fight at Hair Depot
    WKBN.com ^ | 3/17/2017 | WKBN Staff
    Tuesday, March 14 (snip)7:46 a.m. – 8200 block of Market St., Wanda Jones arrested on an assault warrant. A woman working at Hair Depot said she was approached by Jones, who asked if she was “talking sh**.” She said Jones then charged at her and began to fight her. The alleged victim then sprayed pepper spray at Jones. Another employee told police Jones started the confrontation after walking into the store as if she were on a mission.

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  110. @Hunsdon
    Do Americans contemplate their shorter but similar fortune?

    “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”

    Otto von Bismarck

    Nope. We’re proving that right now with our immigration policy.

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  111. Gero says:

    “There was a general progression northward over the millennia in the west of the centers of power as agriculture adapted to higher latitudes. Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust.”

    Well, China have a temperate climate too. And developed a civilization in Yellow River, millennia before the people in the same climate in Europe.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "China have a temperate climate too." That's not what my Chinese acquaintances have told me. Nor my schoolteachers. This sounds a bit harsh to me:

    "Beijing weather features four distinct seasons - short windy spring, long hot summer, cool pleasant autumn, and long chilly winter. July and August are the hottest months with the highest temperature around 37 C (99 F), while January is the coldest time with the lowest temperature around -15 C (5 F).

    .... Considering the frequent sandstorms in spring and the extreme temperatures in summer and winter, the best time to visit should be September and October.
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  112. @Luke Lea
    "Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says." That seems awfully naive. Hansen had never studied the histories of North American Indians perhaps?

    “Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,” DAI’s Hansen says.”

    Jared Diamonds “The World Until Yesterday” is full of wars and proto-wars (attacks and counter-attacks) and rape and murder.

    Somwewhat confusing is, what he makes of his really impressive field-experiences when it comes to conclusions though: “Be careful in the shower, watch your diet…(salt!!)” – this part sounds almost like a self-pardody.

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  113. @Autochthon

    Women and kids were in the minority.
     
    Nothing familiar about that bit at all.

    [T]he Syrian refugees entering Europe are simply civilians terrorized by ISIS and then by Assad’s counter-offensive. They came into Europe
    bearing no arms.
     
    Mr. Derbyshire has made the point, as have I once or twice in this forum, but it bears repeating: these men (and they are nearly all men) are cowards. If indeed their homelands have been overrun by villains, it is for them to defeat those villains, not run mewling to another continent.

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude. When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet's wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada; he vowed "Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell." And the Americans made good on that, too; again at great loss of life, but with courage and fortitude.

    Their lands ostensibly overrun by villains, the men of Syria run screaming to Europe like so many little girls. Pathetic & beneath even contempt.

    In the event, the cowards, if they sought merely refuge from war, can find it in Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Arabia, and any number of other places much more convenient to them than Sweden. No, they seek cash and prizes.

    What's more, the majority are not even from Syria; they are simply carpetbaggers from Africa and from western and southern Asia – all seeking cash and prizes; mere economic opportunitists.

    And so I agree with you that the comparisons are inapposite at least in this way: the Germans were warriors, defeated by the Huns and perhaps cleverly infiltrating Rome; the so-called Syrians are cowards, and their infiltration owes nothing to their cleverness and everything to the foolish, suicidal Europeans.

    Say, I nominated you for a Fields Medal last time you made such cogent arguments; has that come through for you yet?

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.

    To play devil’s advocate, its pretty hard to leave and go elsewhere in an agrarian economy. You can’t exactly pack up your forty acres and leave, even to go into the unsettled western part of the continent at the time, let alone another country.

    Migration is much more reasonable in an urban world.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    The Americans fighting in the War of 1812 were hardly strangers to arduous, pioneering treks; General Jackson's parents and brothers had traveled more than four thousand miles in 1765. Nevertheless, outnumbered three to one by the British at New Orleans, he vowed "By the Eternal they shall not sleep on our soil."

    I stand by my position that mettle, not the inconvenience of flight, has always motivated Americans' defence of their lands.

    If anything, by emphasising how easy modern travel is, you are just making the point that the rapefugees are lazy cowards.
    , @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    In the case of the Indo-europeans, migration is just "what was happening".

    It's helpful to think of the Indo-europeans in terms of a sort of "Asiatic Steppe Pump Hypothesis" where here is what we know:

    They obviously where there - that is: in the Asiatic Steppe, broadly anywhere from north of Mongolia to the Urals, Caucuses and generally north of the Black and Caspian seas in the post Neolithic period 4000 YBP, but they distinguished themselves from people in the Yellow River Valley, the Indus River Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Nile, and the general region around the Mediterranean Sea, by not distinguishing themselves at all.

    They pretty much aren't heard about until roughly 4000-5000 YBP when they start showing up variously in modern Pakistan/northern India / Iran, Anatolia, and north of Greece, up towards the mouth of the Danube, where they make a variety of appearances. Otherwise - the primary evidence of their post-Neolithic presence in Asia prior to 4000 YBP is burial mounds. They seem to have been a pastoral people who walked about - and there was a lot of space to walk about - and from time to time left big burial mounds.

    But round-abouts 4000 years ago they finally did distinguish themselves: they domesticated the horse, they invented the axle, shortly later they invented the chariot, and the composite bow, and when those were combined with iron which was cheaper, easier to make and more available than bronze, they make themselves a considerable nuisance to the many literate cultures to their south, just such a nuisance that their linguistic and genetic mark is apparent today in abundance from India to Ireland.

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  114. @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Yep. I played football in high school and noticed right away that farm kids could easily toss around guys who developed their muscles in the gym.

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  115. Jim says:
    @Spmoore8
    Sumerian is not usually identified as IE, because it is agglutinative it is considered either unknown or connected to Dravidian. (There's a Hungarian who says it is Finno Ugric.) However the idea that IE mastered agriculture in Turkey is a prominent IE theory.

    Sumerian is not at all Indo-European nor is it Finno-Ugric.

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  116. @wiseguy

    Before the 1990s, “for a long time we didn’t really believe in war in prehistory,”
     
    The speaker must have misspoken or exaggerated. If not, then how could we possibly take archaeologists' opinions on Bronze Age and earlier history seriously?

    Actually Wiseguy the prevailing view among scholars has been that early peoples were pacifists and that war is a capitalist invention. It is impossible to overestimate the stupidity of lefty academics.

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  117. Achilles says:

    One of the politically incorrect truths of colonial America is how economically dependent the neighboring Indian tribes were on the American colonies.

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.

    What the Indian tribes wanted, when they first came into contact with Europeans, was weapons in order to give them an advantage over enemy tribes.

    Over time the new weapons gave the Indians the ability to more efficiently kill fur-bearing animals, and the fur trade with the colonists became the main occupation of large numbers of Indians and supplied them with items such as clothing, blankets, metal tools, weapons, ammunition and adult beverages.

    These Indian tribes engaged in the fur trade were not so much pushed off the Eastern seaboard as they were pulled into the interior as they moved their operations in search of furs as over-hunting depleted the eastern hunting grounds.

    Something similar may have been going on in the Bronze Age with the hunter societies of Northern Europe. Like the American Indians, their economy may have become dependent on trading animal pelts, amber and other goods with the Mediterranean civilizations and occasionally fighting battles with them, as the American Indians did with the colonists.

    But in Europe there was a third very important group involved – the pastoralist warrior Indo-European societies from the steppes which developed an economy around herds of cattle and use of the horse and swept west into Europe against both the middle eastern farmers and the indigenous hunter societies.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Achilles, Very nicely stated.
    , @ChrisZ
    Achilles, your comment reminds me of "Black Robe," a Bruce Beresford film about a 17th-century Jesuit mission to the Algonquin and Huron Indians. It's been years since I watched it last; but I recall it was practically the opposite of a PC movie (it was released in the early 1990s, when PC had yet to achieve universal enforcement power). It confronts not only the wretched conditions (spiritual as well as material) of the natives, but also vividly portrays the difference between the West and the savagery that existed elsewhere in the world.

    I'm confident you'll appreciate it. It would even be worth a movie review and comment thread on iSteve.
    , @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.
     
    By contrast, the De Gannes Memoir of his time with the Peoria and other Illini tribes describes handsome, hospitable, fleet-footed, well-fed people living in a beautiful landscape with abundant game, but with some familiar human vices:

    These little hunts are ordinarily for bucks, bears, and young turkeys, on which they feast, not failing to invite the strangers whom they have among them (a very frequent thing), such as Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and others; so that there were days when I was invited as many as ten times.
    [...]
    More than 1,200 buffalos were killed during our hunt, without counting the bears, does, stags, bucks, young turkeys, and lynxes. We killed also some animals which the Illinois and Miami call Quinousaoueia, which signifies the big tails, as they have tails more than two feet long, a head like that of a cat
    [...]
    I saw an exploit of a young man of about twenty-two years which will show the agility of these savages... we saw on a large prairie ... a band of does numbering about sixty...Several young men started off, part to the right, part to the left... They chased them for half an hour, letting them go now to one side, now to the other, but steering them continually toward us...the most agile, outran his comrades and caught up with the animals, laying his hand on the back of one of them while uttering cries of victory; afterwards he drew several arrows from his quiver, with which he killed and wounded several.
    [...]
    You can see no finer looking people. They are neither tall nor short usually; there are some you could encompass with two hands. They have legs that seem drawn with an artist's pen. They carry their load of wood gracefully, with a proud gait as finely as the best dancer. They have faces as beautiful as white milk, in so far as this is possible for Indians of that country. They have the most regular and the whitest teeth imaginable.

    They are full of life, yet at the same time lazy. They are tattooed behind from the shoulders to the heels, and as soon as they have reached the age of twenty-five, on the front of the stomach, the sides, and the upper arms.

    They are proud and vain and all call themselves sons or relatives of chiefs; but in spite of this they are given to begging, are cowardly, licentious, entirely given up to their senses. They always take advantage of the weakness of those they deal with; they dress their best when they appear in public; they are as jealous as Italians, thievish, gourmands, vindictive, hypocritical, and perfidious.
    [...]
    The sin of sodomy prevails more among them than in any other nation, although there are four women to one man. It is true that the women, although debauched, retain some moderation, which prevents the young men from satisfying their passions as much as they would like. There are men who are bred for this purpose from childhood.

     

    http://virtual.parkland.edu/lstelle1/len/center_for_social_research/inoca_ethnohistory_project/DEGANNES.HTM

    "The pure and simple truth
    Is rarely pure, and never simple"

    --Oscar Wilde

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  118. Randal says:
    @Bill P
    The Iroquois were a neolithic society without beasts of burden (excepting their women), yet they managed to mount raids of up to a thousand braves. The pre-conquest Aztecs probably pulled it off, too.

    Iroquois raided as far south as the Carolinas, and as far north as Ontario and Quebec. Their armies marched with hominy and maple syrup as provisions, and hunted and fished along the way. I don't think a billiard ball effect is even necessary, especially if horses are involved (horses are not only good at carrying things and living off grass, but can be milked and/or eaten as well). People from north central Europe could easily have marched to the Black Sea and attacked Anatolia, then the Levant and Egypt.

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion. The backbone of the Mongol army was formed from herdsmen who had to ride around and guard their livestock. Why couldn't the northern Europeans have had similar tribes? The composite bow - a weapon that is crucial to pastoral peoples - is clearly described in the Odyssey. Killing herd animals and predators such as wolves, lions and leopards requires more than enough force to kill a man. These were people for whom killing large beasts was all in a day's work.

    Most anthropologists have little experience with manual labor of any sort. They don't seem to understand that driving a nail, handling livestock or splitting a log is good training for fighting. If, for example, you were to run up against a man in a dark alley, would you prefer he be a hog farmer, accustomed to killing 400 lb. pigs with a hatchet, or a scribe of some sort?

    I would first fear the hunter, then the herdsman and finally the farmer. But these people were all three! Just look at our neolithic Indians here in America and the fear they struck into civilized whites. Rude fishermen, farmers of corn and hunters of deer who used wooden and bone tools could hold their own against British musketeers. How much more could European savages, armed with metal weapons and mounted on horses against an enslaved, docile foe, have done?

    Also, this idea that prehistoric farmers were wimps incapable of fighting like trained soldiers is suspect in my opinion.

    Farmers were often the backbone of very effective fighting forces (such as hoplite armies), given some training and good organisation, but that doesn’t mean that a farmer would beat a fully equipped, trained and experienced warrior in a brawl.

    In your example, I’d rather fight the scribe than the farmer, but the farmer would still get gutted if he came up against an armoured man-at-arms who’d been training himself to fight all his life and had experienced real battles. Or against a professional boxer, for that matter.

    “If you fight with body armor and helmet and corselet, you need daily training or you can’t move,” Hansen says

    This does seem to imply incorrectly that farmers are wimps, but whether Hansen intended it or not the real point is not that an inexperienced man can’t move in full armour, but that he’s unlikely to move as effectively, or use his weapons as effectively.

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  119. “Dark Age” is such a BS term, very ideological and related to a Whig version of history. The notion of Dark Ages in the Ancient World and in later Europe are not taken seriously by scholars, though it continues in the popular culture.
    Classicists see what was once called the Dark Age of Greece, for example, to be the essential foundation time for the Classical Age. Dr. Erwin Cook summarized a lot of the best research in his book The Odyssey in Athens
    Likewise, in The Making of Europe, Christopher Dawson summarized all of the incredible accomplishments and culture from the Fall of Rome through the High Middle Ages.
    “How did the civilization, trapped between the Loire and the Seine, between Islam pushing from the south and barbarians from the east, turn the tide, break out, and conquer the world over the next several centuries?” Is his basic starting point. And it turns out that everything that became Europe was there at the beginning, between the Loire and the Seine, just like all the DNA is there at conception…

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    “Dark Age” is such a BS term: on the contrary it's a perfectly sensible term. The age was first called "dark" because so little was known about it because there was little written at the time.

    It has additionally since been found to be "dark" because archaeological traces are pretty sparse too.
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  120. @psmith

    But maybe the warmer weather civilizations didn’t so much collapse 3200 years ago as were knocked over by newly dangerous northern barbarians?
     
    Burn the cities! Revolt of VITALISM!

    Been reading Bronze Age Pervert / Pirate (now on GAB)? I’m also hoping for total civil war. Destroy it all and rebuilt something better. Most institutions and people are not worth keeping.

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  121. I am amazed at how many cultures, in so many far flung regions, from the Eskimos at the Artic Circle to the Indians in the deepest, darkest Amazon, across Africa and the Far East,have mastered the making and mastery of, bows and arrows. I wonder if there has ever been a study of the creation of and spread of this awesome weapon and hunting tool?

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    • Replies: @Anon
    I wouldn't be surprised if bows and arrows existed as a hunting tool before any Indians ever migrated to the New World, and they only took what was long-established hunting technology with them.
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  122. The Bronze Age: characterized by plenty of tinpot dictators.

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  123. @Almost Missouri
    Do you mean 3200 years ago (=1200BC)?

    The Nature chart x-axis is scaled to Kilo-Years Ago rather than to Christian dates.

    The War on Christmas continues apace!

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  124. RH says:

    Hi Steve,

    In referring to famous British battles, I’m sure you meant LAND battles. With the exception of Waterloo, most famous British battles were naval, Trafalgar, St. Vincent, the Glorious First of June, Quiberon Bay, Barfleur, Navarino, Jutland, the Spanish Armada, the Falklands (1914), Copenhagen, St. Kitts, the River Plate, Taranto, the Nile, Camperdown, to name just a few. Also, I kinda think that Gibbon thought that the rise of Christianity was pretty central to the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Regards, Robert Hadley

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  125. @Daniel Chieh

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    To play devil's advocate, its pretty hard to leave and go elsewhere in an agrarian economy. You can't exactly pack up your forty acres and leave, even to go into the unsettled western part of the continent at the time, let alone another country.

    Migration is much more reasonable in an urban world.

    The Americans fighting in the War of 1812 were hardly strangers to arduous, pioneering treks; General Jackson’s parents and brothers had traveled more than four thousand miles in 1765. Nevertheless, outnumbered three to one by the British at New Orleans, he vowed “By the Eternal they shall not sleep on our soil.”

    I stand by my position that mettle, not the inconvenience of flight, has always motivated Americans’ defence of their lands.

    If anything, by emphasising how easy modern travel is, you are just making the point that the rapefugees are lazy cowards.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    What would you make of the Pilgrims, then? Religious outcasts from England, they settled in Holland for awhile and were effectively an urban population - which dissatisfied them because "their children were turning Dutch." At which point, the decision was made to settle in the New World to build the City of God, and which they stubbornly adhered to.

    So as long as they did not largely possess land, they seemed to be relatively migratory. Once they inhabited a territory, though, they were pretty much resigned to the do or die ethic.

    An urban population has a different character and ethic from an agrarian one, and the very same people may behave differently once they adopt the agrarian method of life. This is why, I believe, Jefferson wanted the US to remain primarily agrarian.

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  126. The Bronze Age collapse took place over 100 years coming to its conclusion around 1177 BCE.

    Of course there were wars and invasions.
    We may be undergoing a collapse today, this very moment, and as part of a process that perhaps started all the way back in the 1960s, 70s or 80s.

    To read the articles and comments on this site, one wonders how anyone here doubts that.

    If, in 2022, the “collapse” comes, and the final blow that pushes us over is war, civil war, invasion, etc., all that will be is the final blow.

    Archaeologists and historians are quite sure the invasions of the Sea Peoples played an important role in the Bronze Age collapse. The Mycenaeans, the Hittites, the communities along the Levant – were all lost to history under the foot of the Sea Peoples and while Ramses III put an end to their scourge, Egypt would never recover to her former glory.

    So – that’s known. Well known. There isn’t even a question about it. But none of this happened in a vacuum. It happened after enormous upset and disruption between the Mycenaeans and the Minoans, after a 50 year period of earthquakes destroyed communities upon which regular trade had been conducted for the previous 1000 years in a time when commercial and educational dynamism was probably far short of its apex, and quite likely when a system of father-to-son education was already stretched past the reasonable limits of what such a system could return for investment placed.

    We know this: the Bronze Age collapse happened. There are almost 3000 years of lots of records, then after 1177 there is about 400-500 years of not very much, until around 700 to 600 BCE things start picking up again.

    But I don’t really understand the point of these frames, i.e.: “did it collapse, or was it pushed?” … is it just an interesting conversation starter, or do we really mean to suggest that these are reasonable either/or propositions?

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  127. Arim says:

    Greatly enjoying these types of posts. History is fascinating in understanding our current predicament.

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  128. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Buffalo Joe
    I am amazed at how many cultures, in so many far flung regions, from the Eskimos at the Artic Circle to the Indians in the deepest, darkest Amazon, across Africa and the Far East,have mastered the making and mastery of, bows and arrows. I wonder if there has ever been a study of the creation of and spread of this awesome weapon and hunting tool?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if bows and arrows existed as a hunting tool before any Indians ever migrated to the New World, and they only took what was long-established hunting technology with them.

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  129. Sparkon says:

    The fall of the Bronze Age civilizations occured during a ~200-year plunge in temperatures beginning c1200 BC, or about 3200 years ago, right about the time of this battle, but it’s a tad early to figure out what it all means, or why they were fighting, but the various speculations and interpretations are interesting.

    Even now, humans are figuring out new and breathtaking reasons for going to war and killing each other, as well as inventing new weapons to do it. Some of these fantastic new weapons may be very expensive, but due to the concern of the money-counters and arrow-smiths for your safety, they might just extend “easy terms” if you don’t have the gold, cash, jewels, virgins right now. They will give you the weapons, and hold on to your gold, cash, jewels, virgins, non-virgins, house and what have you, until you get back.

    Right. Recall how long it took to tease out Otzi’s secrets, and we still don’t know for sure what was going on with him, except that, well, ol’ Otzi was crossing the Alps around 1300 BC, when it was mild enough for him to make the trip, get himself killed, and then lie frozen in place until our current, or recent, mild warming, revealed his thawing remains.

    The Late Bronze Age civilizations had reached their zeniths at the very peak of the Minoan Warm Period, a several hundred year spell of warming climate, which was itself one of the three warmest periods since the ice sheets had receded, the warmest in the preceding ~3500 years, and remains the warmest period in the last 3000 years.

    Put another way, the Minoan Warm Period is one of the three warmest periods since the ice sheets receded, and the other two warmer periods preceded it. Since then, it has been getting cooler, gradually, in fits and starts, interspersed with Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, and our own, very feeble by comparison, recent or Modern Warm Period.

    And so, the Great Runaway Global Warming Hysteria relies on people’s ignorance of geology and the long-term climatic record of our planet. We are a carbon-based lifeform, yet the mindbenders have managed to make silly humans feel guilty about their “carbon footprint.”

    Even Swift would get a kick out of that one, I think, and you know the rest.

    So yes, climate change can play a significant if not decisive role in the affairs and fates of men. Long before humans could have played any significant role in it, climate change on Earth included severe fluctuations, with some of the most dizzying ups and downs taking place during the Younger Dryas:

    The change to glacial conditions at the onset of the younger Dryas in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere between 12,900–11,500 BP in calendar years has been argued to have been quite abrupt.

    Where this battle c1200 BC fits in to all of this remains inscrutable to me at first take for the simple reason that there are too many unknown variables, a common thorn in the side of many theories.

    But the idea that this new weapon or that new technology suddenly turned men into head-smashing ruthless brutes is hopelessly naive, in my view.

    The historical record of the native, aboriginal people of N. America at the time of the arrival of the Europeans is relatively sparse, but enough is available to get a picture of Stone Age life showing that some tribes were at peace, others were in intermittent warfare with neighboring tribes, making raids, and taking hostages to be tortured, in many cases, and eaten.

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    • Agree: another fred
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    I've got Otzi dated incorrectly, just off by 2000 years:

    Ötzi also called the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from Hauslabjoch, the Tyrolean Iceman, Homo tyrolensis, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE,
     
    And not 1300 BC, so no Iceman connection to the Minoan Warm Period, but rather to a lesser, unnamed warm spell about 5500 years ago.
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  130. @Autochthon
    The Americans fighting in the War of 1812 were hardly strangers to arduous, pioneering treks; General Jackson's parents and brothers had traveled more than four thousand miles in 1765. Nevertheless, outnumbered three to one by the British at New Orleans, he vowed "By the Eternal they shall not sleep on our soil."

    I stand by my position that mettle, not the inconvenience of flight, has always motivated Americans' defence of their lands.

    If anything, by emphasising how easy modern travel is, you are just making the point that the rapefugees are lazy cowards.

    What would you make of the Pilgrims, then? Religious outcasts from England, they settled in Holland for awhile and were effectively an urban population – which dissatisfied them because “their children were turning Dutch.” At which point, the decision was made to settle in the New World to build the City of God, and which they stubbornly adhered to.

    So as long as they did not largely possess land, they seemed to be relatively migratory. Once they inhabited a territory, though, they were pretty much resigned to the do or die ethic.

    An urban population has a different character and ethic from an agrarian one, and the very same people may behave differently once they adopt the agrarian method of life. This is why, I believe, Jefferson wanted the US to remain primarily agrarian.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    It's not a question of the urban versus the agrarian; , or, to the extent that it is, the Pilgrims' actions support my point.

    The Pilgrims, like so many others of the founding stock, determined their circumstances to be untenable, and left. Finding themselves strangers in a strange land (the Netherlands); the realised this was no answer. Leaving for America, they found extremely sparsely populated land, land they could hold as their own, ultimatley defeating even the few inhabitants and taking the land by right of conquest, but at great cost in blood and treasure.

    The rapefugees, by contrast, seem only willing to accept coddling, urban environs in an extant civilisation.

    Now, I take your point (if I surmise correctly, that by my logic the Pilgrims and their ilk ought to have fought the monarchy in Britain. That had been the most noble thing, though perhaps suicidal, and therefore avoided wisely as futile. They did not however then impose themselves on the Dutch, demanding the Dutch coddle them and adopt their ways. Rather the opposite: they acknowldged that the Netherlands belonged to the Dutch, and rightly would require assimilation to Dutch ways, which they did not want. So, they left to find a third way. And having gone through all the hassle to settle New England (as their counterparts did Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc.); and deciding they now stood a chance, they adopted the "do or die" attitude you mention. It all seems sound enough to me.

    Coming back to the comparison, the rapefugees are unwilling to homestead inhospitable wilderness (you don't see them trying to get to Alaska or Siberia – and Russia welcomes settlers to the latter with inventives, though to be fair I doubt the Russians are foolish enough to let these scoundrels in under the programme...). They have no interest even in taming less desirable regions in the near east, which is not nearly as overpopulated as Europe. No, they seek only an advanced, extant, urban environment with cash and prizes.

    I agree entirely with your last paragraph. It's why I myself am lighting out from the horrors of cities as soon as I recover from my surgery.
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  131. @Vinay
    "I don’t think that was his point."

    No kidding? Look, historians love to tell history in the form of these kind of just-so stories. But they're terrible guides to the future because they tend to blow up trivial occurrences into major causes.

    Indian history is full of these kinds of stories and they completely miss the actual historical factors, like military and technological innovations, or the actual alliances prevailing at the time. And even if these stories ever had any merit, the West utterly changed the world with the industrial revolution and an advanced modern state is about as likely to fall to hordes of refugees as it is to a new Mongol invasion.

    If you want to look for examples of rag-tag bunch of migrants challenging a state, you might find them in Africa, like the Ivory Coast civil war, perhaps. Even there, I doubt it's all that clear-cut.

    Uh, no? They don’t need to violently overthrow the government. Simply through demographic replacement, the migrants are playing the winning game of having more butts, when democracy is the game of having as many butts as possible.

    They’re doing perfectly fine at destroying the state, simply because the state is committing suicide.

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  132. @dearieme
    I've read about archaeology since I was a teenager. It was obvious even then that large chunks of what archaeologists "think" is mere fashionable doctrine, unbased on any evidence.

    deari, I loved archaeology when I was younger and read lots on the subject, but I have to agree with you. I have a book about paleo and meso American Indians and two of the archaeologists differ on some findings related to carbon dating, but they agree to disagree. The dating has a range of 680 years, which is close to seven centuries, but close enough.

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  133. Eagle Eye says:
    @pyrrhus
    "So maybe Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?"

    Or maybe a population explosion created by warm weather and peace outstripped resources, and the result was an armed free for all...

    So maybe Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Mediterranean had to do with billiard ball effects set in motion by the entrance of European warriors onto the historic stage?

    The opposite is also conceivable – an existing warrior culture experiences bad harvests or overpopulation (or perhaps just boredom and rivalry within the ruling clan), and a group of warriors with retainers (perhaps led by a younger son of the chieftain) take off in search of new lands to conquer and rule.

    This kind of branching-off happened repeatedly throughout Chinese history and accounts for Chinese settlements in Korea, Japan and as far as Malaysia going back some 2000 years.

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  134. “Migration is much more reasonable in an urban world.”

    There’s been a lot of fleein’ in the modern world. We got former Soviet citizens, Iranians, Vietnamese, etc.

    Emblematic is the opening of “Casablanca,” which features a montage of millions of premature antifascists pouring out of Europe in a never-ending flow. The movie of course makes no mention of where they went, but we do know that some of them ended up in Casablanca – at Rick’s.

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  135. A bit OT,but Nat. Geographic has its rating of happiness among nations. As usual,the Scandinavians dominate. At the bottom is Central African Republic. You know what they say in Burundi:Thank God for the CAR.

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  136. @Achilles
    One of the politically incorrect truths of colonial America is how economically dependent the neighboring Indian tribes were on the American colonies.

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.

    What the Indian tribes wanted, when they first came into contact with Europeans, was weapons in order to give them an advantage over enemy tribes.

    Over time the new weapons gave the Indians the ability to more efficiently kill fur-bearing animals, and the fur trade with the colonists became the main occupation of large numbers of Indians and supplied them with items such as clothing, blankets, metal tools, weapons, ammunition and adult beverages.

    These Indian tribes engaged in the fur trade were not so much pushed off the Eastern seaboard as they were pulled into the interior as they moved their operations in search of furs as over-hunting depleted the eastern hunting grounds.

    Something similar may have been going on in the Bronze Age with the hunter societies of Northern Europe. Like the American Indians, their economy may have become dependent on trading animal pelts, amber and other goods with the Mediterranean civilizations and occasionally fighting battles with them, as the American Indians did with the colonists.

    But in Europe there was a third very important group involved - the pastoralist warrior Indo-European societies from the steppes which developed an economy around herds of cattle and use of the horse and swept west into Europe against both the middle eastern farmers and the indigenous hunter societies.

    Achilles, Very nicely stated.

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  137. George says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy
    "Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada."

    There are some historians who think that if the US had not provoked Britain and Canada into the War of 1812, Canada may have ultimately joined the US on its own. I've always thought the big dividing line in North America shouldn't have been between the US and Canada, but rather the Northern US and Canada on one side, and most of the future Confederate States on the other. And maybe Quebec could have been its own separate French-speaking country.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebellions_of_1837

    But by 1837 the US of A was ‘reactionary’ not revolutionary, and did not support the Canadian revolutions.

    “The time has come, to melt our spoons into bullets.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfred_Nelson

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  138. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Note that in almost all these cases, it is the superior transport of the invaders that proves decisive, horses for the steppe peoples, boats for the vikings, and perhaps these “sea peoples”.

    This time around it seems that superior communication abilities of the invaders has proven decisive. Cell phones, mass media and the internet have allowed millions (billions?) to see the good life of the civilized up close. Imagine sending the Huns movies about the splendor of Rome and selfies from Hun warriors riding through Europe enjoying the local women.

    However, I'm not convinced that these new invaders will be willing and able to acculturate. This is more of a slow raid than a turn from one civilization to another.

    In almost all previous cases of Tarrou’s ‘standard mode of history’ (which I agree with), the barbarians were as or more intelligent than the civilized they invaded. Among Aryan European civilizations the standard model has been barbarians closer to their Aryan roots invade Old European or decayed Aryan civilizations and gradually make a new one: proto-Greeks vs ‘Pelasgians’, Dorians versus Mycenaeans, Romans versus Etruscans, Germanics versus Romans. If Western civilization falls to the enstupidated dark hordes it will be the end of a 4,000 year cycle that’s as old as China. Far better if we fall to Russians, though we may recover our moxie yet.

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  139. @HA
    "That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC."

    The megaliths of Stonehenge were erected somewhere around 2500 BC, possibly even earlier.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge

    New Grange in Ireland is older still and very impressive.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
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  140. ChrisZ says:
    @Achilles
    One of the politically incorrect truths of colonial America is how economically dependent the neighboring Indian tribes were on the American colonies.

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.

    What the Indian tribes wanted, when they first came into contact with Europeans, was weapons in order to give them an advantage over enemy tribes.

    Over time the new weapons gave the Indians the ability to more efficiently kill fur-bearing animals, and the fur trade with the colonists became the main occupation of large numbers of Indians and supplied them with items such as clothing, blankets, metal tools, weapons, ammunition and adult beverages.

    These Indian tribes engaged in the fur trade were not so much pushed off the Eastern seaboard as they were pulled into the interior as they moved their operations in search of furs as over-hunting depleted the eastern hunting grounds.

    Something similar may have been going on in the Bronze Age with the hunter societies of Northern Europe. Like the American Indians, their economy may have become dependent on trading animal pelts, amber and other goods with the Mediterranean civilizations and occasionally fighting battles with them, as the American Indians did with the colonists.

    But in Europe there was a third very important group involved - the pastoralist warrior Indo-European societies from the steppes which developed an economy around herds of cattle and use of the horse and swept west into Europe against both the middle eastern farmers and the indigenous hunter societies.

    Achilles, your comment reminds me of “Black Robe,” a Bruce Beresford film about a 17th-century Jesuit mission to the Algonquin and Huron Indians. It’s been years since I watched it last; but I recall it was practically the opposite of a PC movie (it was released in the early 1990s, when PC had yet to achieve universal enforcement power). It confronts not only the wretched conditions (spiritual as well as material) of the natives, but also vividly portrays the difference between the West and the savagery that existed elsewhere in the world.

    I’m confident you’ll appreciate it. It would even be worth a movie review and comment thread on iSteve.

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  141. The downfall of numerous previously stable Bronze Age civilizations in the Fertile Crescent/Eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BC, leading to a Dark Ages of several centuries, is known as the Late Bronze Age Collapse (a.k.a., World War Zero).

    Now I get it. World War Zero is a variable. Clever, as always.

    Edit: should have read link first, but I think it still works, and has striking potential as an antidote to twentieth-century-centrism.

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  142. @Daniel Chieh

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico.
     
    To play devil's advocate, its pretty hard to leave and go elsewhere in an agrarian economy. You can't exactly pack up your forty acres and leave, even to go into the unsettled western part of the continent at the time, let alone another country.

    Migration is much more reasonable in an urban world.

    In the case of the Indo-europeans, migration is just “what was happening”.

    It’s helpful to think of the Indo-europeans in terms of a sort of “Asiatic Steppe Pump Hypothesis” where here is what we know:

    They obviously where there – that is: in the Asiatic Steppe, broadly anywhere from north of Mongolia to the Urals, Caucuses and generally north of the Black and Caspian seas in the post Neolithic period 4000 YBP, but they distinguished themselves from people in the Yellow River Valley, the Indus River Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Nile, and the general region around the Mediterranean Sea, by not distinguishing themselves at all.

    They pretty much aren’t heard about until roughly 4000-5000 YBP when they start showing up variously in modern Pakistan/northern India / Iran, Anatolia, and north of Greece, up towards the mouth of the Danube, where they make a variety of appearances. Otherwise – the primary evidence of their post-Neolithic presence in Asia prior to 4000 YBP is burial mounds. They seem to have been a pastoral people who walked about – and there was a lot of space to walk about – and from time to time left big burial mounds.

    But round-abouts 4000 years ago they finally did distinguish themselves: they domesticated the horse, they invented the axle, shortly later they invented the chariot, and the composite bow, and when those were combined with iron which was cheaper, easier to make and more available than bronze, they make themselves a considerable nuisance to the many literate cultures to their south, just such a nuisance that their linguistic and genetic mark is apparent today in abundance from India to Ireland.

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    • Replies: @Jack Highlands
    It's got to be a reflex in popular historiography on par with the knee-jerk in medicine: the attempt to expropriate the Yamna for Asia.

    "Asiatic Steppe"

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but the Pontic Steppe is just that part of the Great Steppe that is not in Asia, but Europe. And there is every reason to think many critical elements in the story could only be European. The first is that European HG genes survived mainly in the Steppe and environs by 4000 BC. The second is that the European part of the Steppe is the wettest and most fertile and so inevitably, the Pump began there, with its greater density. Third and related is that by fishing the great rivers of the Pontic Steppe, it provided a density transition between pure foraging and mixed farming/herding/warmaking. The Asiatic part of the Steppe is much drier. Fourth is that the European part is where steppe meets bronze: the two great centers of the early Bronze age were the Balkans and Anatolia, but the Pontic Sea got in the way as far as contact with the latter is concerned.

    About the only critical element of the story that is generally accepted as Asiatic is that the horse was first domesticated well to the east of the Yamna heartland in the true Asian steppe, and they probably imported the knowhow from there.

    Another example of kneejerk Asianism: Razib and his 'out-of-India' stuff. Suppose it's true and the Yamna genome was some 25% West Asian. So what? Under 'explosionism' it is crystal clear that the Yamna and their closest relatives became a new race over their two thousand year transition on the European Steppe, just as Neolithic farmers were a new race with mental adaptations never possible among foragers, just as we Westerners are a new, outbred, anti-clannish, pacified race mentally different from our pagan forebears.

    The worst reflex of all of course is the most ineradicable: the historical accident of the clumsy term 'Indo-European.' Their ancestors came mostly from Europe and perhaps not from India at all. They evolved to become the immense historical force they were purely in Europe. Their legacy was eventually very diluted in India but survives most strongly on the European Plain from Bordeaux to Russia.

    Just call them Aryans.

    And if you wish to show parallels with later Asiatic Steppe peoples, call it the Eurasian Steppe Pump Hypothesis.
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  143. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous
    Whorefinder,

    I think Yaqub was talking about the kind of invasions that involve large-scale battles with a lot of death, not border skirmishes or "soft" invasions.

    Why hadn't France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go? England's greatest piece of luck was being located in England and peopled by the English. The Spanish armada's worst piece of luck was being Spanish.

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?

    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world’s super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.

    That’s just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it’s navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it’s #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England’s weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    That’s just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it’s navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade,
     
    Therein lies the rub. Spain's New World Empire made her great, but it also (as you note) weakened her......
    , @syonredux
    It's important to remember that even Spain’s Golden Age was not all that golden when you compare it to what was going on in the arts and the sciences in the rest of Western Europe.Spain from 1500 to 1650 was just keeping up (barely) with England, France, Italy, etc.Afterwards, it fell far behind:

    Between 1650 and 1850 -during the same two centuries when Britain, France, and Germany were producing hundreds of significant figures and even Italy in its decline produced several dozen-Spain produced a single major figure (Goya) and 11 significant figures.
     
    (HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, 338).
    , @dearieme
    "many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, ...". Sorry, that's plain wrong. England/Britain never had a great land-army tradition: it depended on its "wooden walls".
    , @jay
    Slavery is the undoing of many civilizations.
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  144. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Spmoore8
    Sumerian is not usually identified as IE, because it is agglutinative it is considered either unknown or connected to Dravidian. (There's a Hungarian who says it is Finno Ugric.) However the idea that IE mastered agriculture in Turkey is a prominent IE theory.

    There’s a lot of denial going on when it comes to who created civilizations like Sumer. Yes, some try to classify the original language as “unknown” but there’s plenty of evidence to back up the claim that it was indeed an Indo-European language, such as the below.

    http://www.academia.edu/1869616/The_Case_for_Euphratic

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    The article that you link to does not claim that Sumerian was an Indo-European language, to the contrary it makes an argument that accepts it as a premise that Sumerian was not Indo-European. You must be very confused if you think an article that considers Sumerian a non-Indo-European language is evidence of the opposite.

    What Mr Whittaker is claiming is that there are some Indo-European placenames and Indo-European loanwords ("substrate") that already existed when Sumerians were writing things down. Since Sumerian was not an Indo-European language such evidence of Indo-European presence would mean that there must have been an Indo-European speaking population in the region before Sumerian speaking people took it over. He names this hypothetical Indo-European language "Euphratic".

    This is of course possible but the claim is going to face a lot of skepticism since the date would be far earlier than other evidence of Indo-Europeans in the area.
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  145. Sparkon says:
    @Achilles
    One of the politically incorrect truths of colonial America is how economically dependent the neighboring Indian tribes were on the American colonies.

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.

    What the Indian tribes wanted, when they first came into contact with Europeans, was weapons in order to give them an advantage over enemy tribes.

    Over time the new weapons gave the Indians the ability to more efficiently kill fur-bearing animals, and the fur trade with the colonists became the main occupation of large numbers of Indians and supplied them with items such as clothing, blankets, metal tools, weapons, ammunition and adult beverages.

    These Indian tribes engaged in the fur trade were not so much pushed off the Eastern seaboard as they were pulled into the interior as they moved their operations in search of furs as over-hunting depleted the eastern hunting grounds.

    Something similar may have been going on in the Bronze Age with the hunter societies of Northern Europe. Like the American Indians, their economy may have become dependent on trading animal pelts, amber and other goods with the Mediterranean civilizations and occasionally fighting battles with them, as the American Indians did with the colonists.

    But in Europe there was a third very important group involved - the pastoralist warrior Indo-European societies from the steppes which developed an economy around herds of cattle and use of the horse and swept west into Europe against both the middle eastern farmers and the indigenous hunter societies.

    You wrote:

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.

    By contrast, the De Gannes Memoir of his time with the Peoria and other Illini tribes describes handsome, hospitable, fleet-footed, well-fed people living in a beautiful landscape with abundant game, but with some familiar human vices:

    These little hunts are ordinarily for bucks, bears, and young turkeys, on which they feast, not failing to invite the strangers whom they have among them (a very frequent thing), such as Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and others; so that there were days when I was invited as many as ten times.
    [...]
    More than 1,200 buffalos were killed during our hunt, without counting the bears, does, stags, bucks, young turkeys, and lynxes. We killed also some animals which the Illinois and Miami call Quinousaoueia, which signifies the big tails, as they have tails more than two feet long, a head like that of a cat
    [...]
    I saw an exploit of a young man of about twenty-two years which will show the agility of these savages… we saw on a large prairie … a band of does numbering about sixty…Several young men started off, part to the right, part to the left… They chased them for half an hour, letting them go now to one side, now to the other, but steering them continually toward us…the most agile, outran his comrades and caught up with the animals, laying his hand on the back of one of them while uttering cries of victory; afterwards he drew several arrows from his quiver, with which he killed and wounded several.
    [...]
    You can see no finer looking people. They are neither tall nor short usually; there are some you could encompass with two hands. They have legs that seem drawn with an artist’s pen. They carry their load of wood gracefully, with a proud gait as finely as the best dancer. They have faces as beautiful as white milk, in so far as this is possible for Indians of that country. They have the most regular and the whitest teeth imaginable.

    They are full of life, yet at the same time lazy. They are tattooed behind from the shoulders to the heels, and as soon as they have reached the age of twenty-five, on the front of the stomach, the sides, and the upper arms.

    They are proud and vain and all call themselves sons or relatives of chiefs; but in spite of this they are given to begging, are cowardly, licentious, entirely given up to their senses. They always take advantage of the weakness of those they deal with; they dress their best when they appear in public; they are as jealous as Italians, thievish, gourmands, vindictive, hypocritical, and perfidious.
    [...]
    The sin of sodomy prevails more among them than in any other nation, although there are four women to one man. It is true that the women, although debauched, retain some moderation, which prevents the young men from satisfying their passions as much as they would like. There are men who are bred for this purpose from childhood.

    http://virtual.parkland.edu/lstelle1/len/center_for_social_research/inoca_ethnohistory_project/DEGANNES.HTM

    “The pure and simple truth
    Is rarely pure, and never simple”

    –Oscar Wilde

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    • Replies: @Autochthon

    They chased them for half an hour, letting them go now to one side, now to the other, but steering them continually toward us…the most agile, outran his comrades and caught up with the animals, laying his hand on the back of one of them while uttering cries of victory; afterwards he drew several arrows from his quiver, with which he killed and wounded several.
     
    Twinkie assures me this feat is impossible.
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  146. @Daniel Chieh
    What would you make of the Pilgrims, then? Religious outcasts from England, they settled in Holland for awhile and were effectively an urban population - which dissatisfied them because "their children were turning Dutch." At which point, the decision was made to settle in the New World to build the City of God, and which they stubbornly adhered to.

    So as long as they did not largely possess land, they seemed to be relatively migratory. Once they inhabited a territory, though, they were pretty much resigned to the do or die ethic.

    An urban population has a different character and ethic from an agrarian one, and the very same people may behave differently once they adopt the agrarian method of life. This is why, I believe, Jefferson wanted the US to remain primarily agrarian.

    It’s not a question of the urban versus the agrarian; , or, to the extent that it is, the Pilgrims’ actions support my point.

    The Pilgrims, like so many others of the founding stock, determined their circumstances to be untenable, and left. Finding themselves strangers in a strange land (the Netherlands); the realised this was no answer. Leaving for America, they found extremely sparsely populated land, land they could hold as their own, ultimatley defeating even the few inhabitants and taking the land by right of conquest, but at great cost in blood and treasure.

    The rapefugees, by contrast, seem only willing to accept coddling, urban environs in an extant civilisation.

    Now, I take your point (if I surmise correctly, that by my logic the Pilgrims and their ilk ought to have fought the monarchy in Britain. That had been the most noble thing, though perhaps suicidal, and therefore avoided wisely as futile. They did not however then impose themselves on the Dutch, demanding the Dutch coddle them and adopt their ways. Rather the opposite: they acknowldged that the Netherlands belonged to the Dutch, and rightly would require assimilation to Dutch ways, which they did not want. So, they left to find a third way. And having gone through all the hassle to settle New England (as their counterparts did Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc.); and deciding they now stood a chance, they adopted the “do or die” attitude you mention. It all seems sound enough to me.

    Coming back to the comparison, the rapefugees are unwilling to homestead inhospitable wilderness (you don’t see them trying to get to Alaska or Siberia – and Russia welcomes settlers to the latter with inventives, though to be fair I doubt the Russians are foolish enough to let these scoundrels in under the programme…). They have no interest even in taming less desirable regions in the near east, which is not nearly as overpopulated as Europe. No, they seek only an advanced, extant, urban environment with cash and prizes.

    I agree entirely with your last paragraph. It’s why I myself am lighting out from the horrors of cities as soon as I recover from my surgery.

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  147. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Almost Missouri
    If you recall Steve's "We Three Kings" post from January, the source article (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8152) included Figure 2, which showed that around the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, most western and northern European peoples suffered a severe population bottleneck (i.e., most of them died). Depopulation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East was less severe or nonexistent. So whatever it was that afflicted the peoples of Europe at that time, it was pretty severe: 90+% losses in many cases.

    By contrast, the Vikings, Goths and Macedonians didn't inflict that kind of attrition on their victims. I have heard 60%-90% figures for some Mongol invasions, but I've not seen it verified by, for example, genetic data, the way this is.

    Speaking of Vikings, a recent National Geographic summarizes new research. They suggest that the Vikings became a fierce warrior society only after a volcanic eruption in the mid-first millennium knocked a few summers out of the Scandinavians' marginal agriculture causing mass starvation and neighbor-pillaging. The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.

    The Figure 2 cited above also shows that, like the Vikings, even though the northern and western European societies were devastated at the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, the survivors rebounded and thrived beyond the numbers of their pre-collapse ancestors.

    The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.

    From what I’ve read, the Vikings, although effective small-scale raiders and explorers, actually fared rather poorly when they went up against organized military forces with similar armament to themselves, such as the armies of the Anglo-Saxons and Franks.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Against the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings took and colonized most of northern England ("Angle-land") and made it the Danelaw. By contrast, the Anglo-Saxons took none of Scandinavia.

    The Franks were a little further south than the Vikings' typical opponents: the Irish, Anglo-Saxons, Balts, Russians, etc. Nevertheless, the Franks were Europe's premier military force between the Romans and Napoleon. They fought all across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Near East, racking up spectacular victories against powerful opponents, including the formerly unstoppable Saracens. Indeed, they not only stopped the Saracen invasion of Europe cold at Tours, they vanguarded one of the few successful rollbacks of Islam in history, in the Holy Land. I can't think of any direct Frank-on-Viking conflicts, but if the Vikings did lose a bout to the Franks, there is no great shame in that.

    In any case, the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Franks are all close close cousins ethnographically, so they tend to shade into one another.

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  148. @Anon
    There's a lot of denial going on when it comes to who created civilizations like Sumer. Yes, some try to classify the original language as "unknown" but there's plenty of evidence to back up the claim that it was indeed an Indo-European language, such as the below.

    http://www.academia.edu/1869616/The_Case_for_Euphratic

    The article that you link to does not claim that Sumerian was an Indo-European language, to the contrary it makes an argument that accepts it as a premise that Sumerian was not Indo-European. You must be very confused if you think an article that considers Sumerian a non-Indo-European language is evidence of the opposite.

    What Mr Whittaker is claiming is that there are some Indo-European placenames and Indo-European loanwords (“substrate”) that already existed when Sumerians were writing things down. Since Sumerian was not an Indo-European language such evidence of Indo-European presence would mean that there must have been an Indo-European speaking population in the region before Sumerian speaking people took it over. He names this hypothetical Indo-European language “Euphratic”.

    This is of course possible but the claim is going to face a lot of skepticism since the date would be far earlier than other evidence of Indo-Europeans in the area.

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  149. @KunioKun
    I seem to recall Livy saying that the Gauls fought mostly naked or almost naked. Their tactic was to scream and yell for a bit and then in a group run at the Romans. The Romans were overwhelmed when they first encountered this tactic, but after they recovered their city and learned to resist the initial charge, they pretty much never lost against this tactic again in Livy's books.

    If the Euros had armor in 1250 BC what happened between then and the 380's BC when they showed up with little or no armor against Rome? Maybe they wanted to get a tan. Livy said they were very plump and white/pink.

    The Gauls (or rather, their star players) had spiffy maille corselets (“chainmail”), as well as pretty businesslike helmets and shields. The rankers seem to have relied on fancy shieldwork and lots and lots of agility and fitness, like the more primitive Germans beyond them.
    Maybe being canned up in a load of plate armor on your lonesome became a liability in highly mobile melee fighting, where the swampy and tree-infested terrain prevented the maintenance and maneouving of proper formations? As Varro for one found out, too late. The Celts seemed to conduct fights at boundary rivers and fords, which would also tend to make comprehensive heavy armor a bit of a nuisance.

    Iron mail seems on current evidence to be a Celtic or just possibly Etruscan invention (the Celt aristocracy were as thick as thieves with the Etruscans, and seem to have got along just fine, trade a-go-go), although the Romans, always having an eye for a neat bit of military kit, became very fond of it too, later on.
    I suspect it may originally be yet another bizarre Eurasian steppe innovation, like lamellar armor made of horse-hooves (later metal), or Siberian bone plate armor, but so far no clues.

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  150. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    In the case of the Indo-europeans, migration is just "what was happening".

    It's helpful to think of the Indo-europeans in terms of a sort of "Asiatic Steppe Pump Hypothesis" where here is what we know:

    They obviously where there - that is: in the Asiatic Steppe, broadly anywhere from north of Mongolia to the Urals, Caucuses and generally north of the Black and Caspian seas in the post Neolithic period 4000 YBP, but they distinguished themselves from people in the Yellow River Valley, the Indus River Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Nile, and the general region around the Mediterranean Sea, by not distinguishing themselves at all.

    They pretty much aren't heard about until roughly 4000-5000 YBP when they start showing up variously in modern Pakistan/northern India / Iran, Anatolia, and north of Greece, up towards the mouth of the Danube, where they make a variety of appearances. Otherwise - the primary evidence of their post-Neolithic presence in Asia prior to 4000 YBP is burial mounds. They seem to have been a pastoral people who walked about - and there was a lot of space to walk about - and from time to time left big burial mounds.

    But round-abouts 4000 years ago they finally did distinguish themselves: they domesticated the horse, they invented the axle, shortly later they invented the chariot, and the composite bow, and when those were combined with iron which was cheaper, easier to make and more available than bronze, they make themselves a considerable nuisance to the many literate cultures to their south, just such a nuisance that their linguistic and genetic mark is apparent today in abundance from India to Ireland.

    It’s got to be a reflex in popular historiography on par with the knee-jerk in medicine: the attempt to expropriate the Yamna for Asia.

    “Asiatic Steppe”

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but the Pontic Steppe is just that part of the Great Steppe that is not in Asia, but Europe. And there is every reason to think many critical elements in the story could only be European. The first is that European HG genes survived mainly in the Steppe and environs by 4000 BC. The second is that the European part of the Steppe is the wettest and most fertile and so inevitably, the Pump began there, with its greater density. Third and related is that by fishing the great rivers of the Pontic Steppe, it provided a density transition between pure foraging and mixed farming/herding/warmaking. The Asiatic part of the Steppe is much drier. Fourth is that the European part is where steppe meets bronze: the two great centers of the early Bronze age were the Balkans and Anatolia, but the Pontic Sea got in the way as far as contact with the latter is concerned.

    About the only critical element of the story that is generally accepted as Asiatic is that the horse was first domesticated well to the east of the Yamna heartland in the true Asian steppe, and they probably imported the knowhow from there.

    Another example of kneejerk Asianism: Razib and his ‘out-of-India’ stuff. Suppose it’s true and the Yamna genome was some 25% West Asian. So what? Under ‘explosionism’ it is crystal clear that the Yamna and their closest relatives became a new race over their two thousand year transition on the European Steppe, just as Neolithic farmers were a new race with mental adaptations never possible among foragers, just as we Westerners are a new, outbred, anti-clannish, pacified race mentally different from our pagan forebears.

    The worst reflex of all of course is the most ineradicable: the historical accident of the clumsy term ‘Indo-European.’ Their ancestors came mostly from Europe and perhaps not from India at all. They evolved to become the immense historical force they were purely in Europe. Their legacy was eventually very diluted in India but survives most strongly on the European Plain from Bordeaux to Russia.

    Just call them Aryans.

    And if you wish to show parallels with later Asiatic Steppe peoples, call it the Eurasian Steppe Pump Hypothesis.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    It's annoying that using the perfectly servicable term Aryans invokes conniptions from the uneducated about The Natzees!
    , @Numinous
    Hate to disturb your fantasies, but I'd like to interject with a few facts.

    There are no "Aryans" in Europe. There have never been any "Aryans" in Europe. The only people who have ever used the term "Aryan" or words close to it hail from India and Persia (including parts of what is now Central Asia.) Historians posit that Hittites and Tocharians may have used the term too, but the evidence is very sketchy and unconvincing. The one thing common to all of these people: they were all Asians.

    There is no archaeological evidence to support the migration of steppe people to India or Persia. None. Zip, zilch, nada. And all linguistic evidence can do is link different languages to each other; it cannot say anything about time and place to even a high probability.

    Up to the time when the Russians ventured east and conquered their way to the Pacific in the east and the Pamirs in the south, there had never been a recorded instance of Europe-to-Asia invasion in known history, while there were plenty of recorded invasions in the other direction.
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  151. @yaqub the mad scientist
    Or maybe Egypt, being the most easily unified nation-state, enjoyed the luxury of doing most of its fighting abroad, the way the famous battles of the English, like Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, are on the Continent?

    Do Brits contemplate this- their sheer historical luck compared to Europe- how a thoughtful Alsatians or Ukranians whose lands are layers upon layers of death would be so envious? Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia.

    Perhaps it motivated some Brexit votes. Sorry for the hyperbole, but I’m astounded how little England has had to face invasion in the last milennia (sic).

    Well, it’s all over now. Four hundred years of keeping all the worst battles overseas thrown away by a traitorous elite seeking cheaper labor and preening ninnies showing off their cheap kabobs.

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  152. syonredux says:
    @whorefinder

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?
     
    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world's super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.
     
    That's just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it's navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it's #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England's weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been

    That’s just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it’s navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade,

    Therein lies the rub. Spain’s New World Empire made her great, but it also (as you note) weakened her……

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Spain experienced, imported, a lot of inflation. Their society got corrupted by all that New World inflow of gold and silver and they never recovered. Too much of a good thing.
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  153. syonredux says:
    @whorefinder

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?
     
    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world's super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.
     
    That's just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it's navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it's #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England's weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been

    It’s important to remember that even Spain’s Golden Age was not all that golden when you compare it to what was going on in the arts and the sciences in the rest of Western Europe.Spain from 1500 to 1650 was just keeping up (barely) with England, France, Italy, etc.Afterwards, it fell far behind:

    Between 1650 and 1850 -during the same two centuries when Britain, France, and Germany were producing hundreds of significant figures and even Italy in its decline produced several dozen-Spain produced a single major figure (Goya) and 11 significant figures.

    (HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, 338).

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I feel like Spain's (& Portugal's) location negatively affected it. With a strong navy, it was unmolested by sea, and France's blockage of ang approach overland through the Iberian Peninsula, along with France's own perennial embattled state, meant Spain was somewhat isolated from the interchange of trade, ideas, and peoples that was going on throughout Europe, and it perhaps fell into a kind of content malaise or torpor due to all the bullion flowing in from overseas. In addition, the Spanish may have been retarded by the lengthy Moorish occupation, including, perhaps, the infusion of Arabian genes (with concomitant lesser intelligence).

    Then, when bad weather for the armadas, the Industrial Revolution, and its victory over Napolean left England to surge ahead of the Spain head and shoulders. Furthermore, as colonies in America became independent under Washington, Bolivar, etc. England benefited from having staked out Australia and New Zealand (as depositories for undesirables and militarily and commerically strategic ports) and India (for strategic ports and vast natural resources). Spain was left holding...not much, especially after its war with the U.S.A. The whole messy decline culminates with internecine fighting and thirty-six years(!) under Franco.

    The Spanish went from a magificent windfall under the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Inter Caetera, to abject mediocrity thereafter, and since their colonists chose miscegenation rather than conquest, they don't even have a diaspora to carry on their sometime greatness.
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  154. Achilles says:

    That was 1720? Colonies had been long-established by then along with fur trading networks running at least to the Ohio river.

    If the Illinois and the Miami were not then at war with each other, it was probably thanks to the efforts of the French.

    “[Pederasty] is the noblest form of affection.”

    -Oscar Wilde, pederast

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    • Replies: @Sparkon

    If the Illinois and the Miami were not then at war with each other, it was probably thanks to the efforts of the French.
     
    Really? The Miami shared language, custom, and calumet with the Inoca--as the Illini called themselves-- as well as common enemies like the Iroquois and Sioux, but peace between them was maintained only because of the French?

    More likely it was French treachery and double-dealing that contributed to the eventual virtual destruction of both Miami and Illini.

    The Illini, La Salle said, had about 1,800 warriors and should have been able to defend themselves against the Iroquois, but their organization was growing weaker. The French themselves were one cause of this weakness, for they did not wish to see the Illini become independent or establish peace with the Iroquois

    For these reasons, the French were slow to furnish the Illini with weapons and military support although they furnished arms and ammunition to the Iroquois.

    The Miami had about 1,500 warriors, who should have joined the Illini in their fight against the Iroquois, but fear and jealousy kept the Illini and Miami separated. The subtle Iroquois therefore made peace with the Miami and marched to strike the Illini in 1680.
     
    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?

    After several days of pillage, the Iroquois broke camp and followed the Illini down the river, not daring to attack because the Illini had mustered all their forces as they retreated. But although the Iliniwek Confedration was once again functioning, it lacked leadership and determination.

    On the retreat from Starved rock toward Peoria, the Illini made six encampments and the Iroquois camped opposite these spots each time. These maneuvers continued until both parties reached the mouth of the Illinois River, where the Iroquois announced that they were now content, having driven the Illini from their country once again, and promised to return home if the Illini would disband and offer no more resistance.

    The Illini were deceived by the wily Iroquois and separated, the Kaskaskia and Cahokia going up the Mississippi, the Peoria crossing the Mississippi, and the Moingwena travelling down the Mississippi, and the credulous Tamaroa remaining to hunt in Illinois.

    Immediately the Iroquois fell upon the Tamaroa and slaughtered about 700 women and children, the fleet-footed warriors escaping with few losses. In this battle the Tamaroa suffered a loss of about 1,200 persons—either killed or captured—while the Iroquois lost only thirty warriors. Many of the captive women and children were subjected to the most terrible tortures before being killed. Never again would the Iliniwek completely dominate the Illinois country.
     
    http://www.museum.state.il.us/publications/epub/indian_villages_il_country_wayne_temple.pdf

    Nor is this the only time the Inoca were betrayed by other Indian tribes.
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  155. whorefinder says: • Website

    Well the “Black Legend” promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It’s not surprising that any “great” figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend

    Furthermore, Spain had isolationist tendencies when it came to European culture. For example, Velazquez, a court painter for Spain and now regarded as one of the most important artists of his time, was unknown outside of Spain until the 19th Century: https://infogalactic.com/info/Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez#In_modernity.

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.

    One example: St. John of the Cross, whose mystical poetry is quite advanced and would have been embraced in the middle ages across Europe, but was ignored as “papist nonsense”. https://infogalactic.com/info/John_of_the_Cross

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca

    Spain also alienated Italian culture by taking the papacy and putting some of the most corrupt popes of all time —the Borgias, who came from Spain—on the throne of St. Peter. The Borgias were so hated by the Italians in the Church that the popes closed the Borgia’s apartments in Rome and refused to use them for centuries.

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold. Although no walk in the park, it took relatively few Spanish soldiers to conquer South America and start getting rich through gold. Meanwhile, Germans were having to react to incursions by the Ottomons (who reached Vienna in both the 16th and 17th Century) and the English had to react to the fact that making money off their north American holdings required efficient trade and regulation of piracy, meaning a lot of necessity to improve militarily and scientifically.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Well the “Black Legend” promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It’s not surprising that any “great” figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend
     
    Canny strategy on the part of Spain, pushing the "Black Legend" business. See, our achievements are undervalued because of Anglo propaganda. One assumes that Black Activists could look to Spain for a few pointers....

    Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.
     
    That's one of the nice things about achievements in the sciences and technology. They are universal.

    Spain's scientific output during the period 1500-2000 is a puny thing when compared to what was being done in Britain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca
     
    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold
     
    Yes. Murray likens Spain to a spendthrift heir, living large but creating little.
    , @dfordoom

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.
     
    An extremely good point. The vast majority of writing in English on history, including cultural history and scientific history, has a very strong anti-Catholic bias. It's all the more pernicious because it's a bias that is almost never openly admitted.
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  156. So, somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 years after the last major pre-modern demographic incursion, per Johannes Krause et al., that shaped Europeans as we know them. For those not up on your Krause et al., that would be Yamnaya-like peoples, not wiping out the previous inhabitants, but contributing a lot of genes basically everywhere in Europe (only a little for Basques and Sardinians, quite a bit everywhere else, majorities in some places). These Yamnayoids very likely brought Indo-European languages, unless maybe those were present already.

    Note that, while this was the last major incursion from outside Europe, that obviously doesn’t rule out further major incursions from one part of Europe into another.

    Proto-Germanic spread from what’s now Denmark and/or southern Sweden and would have developed somewhere in the range of 1500 to 500 BCE. That said, it doesn’t seem particularly similar to any other Indo-European branches, so Pre-Germanic might have been a distinct dialect quite a bit earlier than that. Germanic pre-history is a bit opaque, since the Germanic homeland is right on the fringes of the Indo-European world, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly related to its nearest relatives, Celtic and Balto-Slavic. So, how did they end up there? There were presumably some really interesting historical events that occurred before anything got written down and so are unknown to us. Not that the Proto-Germanics necessarily migrated from afar. Maybe the simplest model (I’m just coming up with top-of-the-head) is that there was once a larger “Old Old Baltic” Indo-European phylum, including Pre-Germanic plus other related dialects. But then they lost a lot of their territory to the Celtic expansion and what was left was all wiped out by the Balto-Slavs and Baltic Finns, except for the per se Proto-Germanics way out on the periphery … and all this before any written history, leaving no obvious traces.

    Anyway, my point is that, while I have no idea whether this particular battle had anything to do with Germanic prehistory, I have no trouble believing that there were beaucoup sagas’ worth of wars and adventures in that part of the world before what we know about.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    The differences in the language families (e.g., German vs. Romance vs. Balto-Slavic) is why people talk about native substrates over which the IE culture took over. (This is a bit like the argument earlier in this thread that the Sumers built their civilization on an IE substrate.)

    It's interesting and I have no clue, and I think we have to admit that quite a bit of this is highly speculative. Just for IE peoples, we tend to associate the language family with particular archaeological remains (thus, Yamnaya), but also chariots, also horses and livestock (this is the dominant view today) but also (Colin Renfrew) with the introduction of agriculture into Europe, which, in light of linguistic and archaeological evidence in Turkey (that Hittite was IE, that the monuments in Turkey presuppose agriculture) suggests that maybe, just maybe, there were IE speakers throughout the Fertile Crescent.

    But again, all of this is highly speculative and we need a theory that not only explains the most evidence the most convincingly but also doesn't just appeal to self-love. And it's that last part that causes most historical theories to run aground.
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  157. @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    If you read the very earliest French accounts of contacts with North American Indian tribes as they explored the St Lawrence river and the Great Lakes, you find descriptions of the Indians in a wretched condition, badly clothed and frequently experiencing starvation and famine and in a state of constant war with enemy tribes.
     
    By contrast, the De Gannes Memoir of his time with the Peoria and other Illini tribes describes handsome, hospitable, fleet-footed, well-fed people living in a beautiful landscape with abundant game, but with some familiar human vices:

    These little hunts are ordinarily for bucks, bears, and young turkeys, on which they feast, not failing to invite the strangers whom they have among them (a very frequent thing), such as Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and others; so that there were days when I was invited as many as ten times.
    [...]
    More than 1,200 buffalos were killed during our hunt, without counting the bears, does, stags, bucks, young turkeys, and lynxes. We killed also some animals which the Illinois and Miami call Quinousaoueia, which signifies the big tails, as they have tails more than two feet long, a head like that of a cat
    [...]
    I saw an exploit of a young man of about twenty-two years which will show the agility of these savages... we saw on a large prairie ... a band of does numbering about sixty...Several young men started off, part to the right, part to the left... They chased them for half an hour, letting them go now to one side, now to the other, but steering them continually toward us...the most agile, outran his comrades and caught up with the animals, laying his hand on the back of one of them while uttering cries of victory; afterwards he drew several arrows from his quiver, with which he killed and wounded several.
    [...]
    You can see no finer looking people. They are neither tall nor short usually; there are some you could encompass with two hands. They have legs that seem drawn with an artist's pen. They carry their load of wood gracefully, with a proud gait as finely as the best dancer. They have faces as beautiful as white milk, in so far as this is possible for Indians of that country. They have the most regular and the whitest teeth imaginable.

    They are full of life, yet at the same time lazy. They are tattooed behind from the shoulders to the heels, and as soon as they have reached the age of twenty-five, on the front of the stomach, the sides, and the upper arms.

    They are proud and vain and all call themselves sons or relatives of chiefs; but in spite of this they are given to begging, are cowardly, licentious, entirely given up to their senses. They always take advantage of the weakness of those they deal with; they dress their best when they appear in public; they are as jealous as Italians, thievish, gourmands, vindictive, hypocritical, and perfidious.
    [...]
    The sin of sodomy prevails more among them than in any other nation, although there are four women to one man. It is true that the women, although debauched, retain some moderation, which prevents the young men from satisfying their passions as much as they would like. There are men who are bred for this purpose from childhood.

     

    http://virtual.parkland.edu/lstelle1/len/center_for_social_research/inoca_ethnohistory_project/DEGANNES.HTM

    "The pure and simple truth
    Is rarely pure, and never simple"

    --Oscar Wilde

    They chased them for half an hour, letting them go now to one side, now to the other, but steering them continually toward us…the most agile, outran his comrades and caught up with the animals, laying his hand on the back of one of them while uttering cries of victory; afterwards he drew several arrows from his quiver, with which he killed and wounded several.

    Twinkie assures me this feat is impossible.

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  158. @Jack Highlands
    It's got to be a reflex in popular historiography on par with the knee-jerk in medicine: the attempt to expropriate the Yamna for Asia.

    "Asiatic Steppe"

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but the Pontic Steppe is just that part of the Great Steppe that is not in Asia, but Europe. And there is every reason to think many critical elements in the story could only be European. The first is that European HG genes survived mainly in the Steppe and environs by 4000 BC. The second is that the European part of the Steppe is the wettest and most fertile and so inevitably, the Pump began there, with its greater density. Third and related is that by fishing the great rivers of the Pontic Steppe, it provided a density transition between pure foraging and mixed farming/herding/warmaking. The Asiatic part of the Steppe is much drier. Fourth is that the European part is where steppe meets bronze: the two great centers of the early Bronze age were the Balkans and Anatolia, but the Pontic Sea got in the way as far as contact with the latter is concerned.

    About the only critical element of the story that is generally accepted as Asiatic is that the horse was first domesticated well to the east of the Yamna heartland in the true Asian steppe, and they probably imported the knowhow from there.

    Another example of kneejerk Asianism: Razib and his 'out-of-India' stuff. Suppose it's true and the Yamna genome was some 25% West Asian. So what? Under 'explosionism' it is crystal clear that the Yamna and their closest relatives became a new race over their two thousand year transition on the European Steppe, just as Neolithic farmers were a new race with mental adaptations never possible among foragers, just as we Westerners are a new, outbred, anti-clannish, pacified race mentally different from our pagan forebears.

    The worst reflex of all of course is the most ineradicable: the historical accident of the clumsy term 'Indo-European.' Their ancestors came mostly from Europe and perhaps not from India at all. They evolved to become the immense historical force they were purely in Europe. Their legacy was eventually very diluted in India but survives most strongly on the European Plain from Bordeaux to Russia.

    Just call them Aryans.

    And if you wish to show parallels with later Asiatic Steppe peoples, call it the Eurasian Steppe Pump Hypothesis.

    It’s annoying that using the perfectly servicable term Aryans invokes conniptions from the uneducated about The Natzees!

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  159. @syonredux
    It's important to remember that even Spain’s Golden Age was not all that golden when you compare it to what was going on in the arts and the sciences in the rest of Western Europe.Spain from 1500 to 1650 was just keeping up (barely) with England, France, Italy, etc.Afterwards, it fell far behind:

    Between 1650 and 1850 -during the same two centuries when Britain, France, and Germany were producing hundreds of significant figures and even Italy in its decline produced several dozen-Spain produced a single major figure (Goya) and 11 significant figures.
     
    (HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT, 338).

    I feel like Spain’s (& Portugal’s) location negatively affected it. With a strong navy, it was unmolested by sea, and France’s blockage of ang approach overland through the Iberian Peninsula, along with France’s own perennial embattled state, meant Spain was somewhat isolated from the interchange of trade, ideas, and peoples that was going on throughout Europe, and it perhaps fell into a kind of content malaise or torpor due to all the bullion flowing in from overseas. In addition, the Spanish may have been retarded by the lengthy Moorish occupation, including, perhaps, the infusion of Arabian genes (with concomitant lesser intelligence).

    Then, when bad weather for the armadas, the Industrial Revolution, and its victory over Napolean left England to surge ahead of the Spain head and shoulders. Furthermore, as colonies in America became independent under Washington, Bolivar, etc. England benefited from having staked out Australia and New Zealand (as depositories for undesirables and militarily and commerically strategic ports) and India (for strategic ports and vast natural resources). Spain was left holding…not much, especially after its war with the U.S.A. The whole messy decline culminates with internecine fighting and thirty-six years(!) under Franco.

    The Spanish went from a magificent windfall under the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Inter Caetera, to abject mediocrity thereafter, and since their colonists chose miscegenation rather than conquest, they don’t even have a diaspora to carry on their sometime greatness.

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    • Agree: BB753
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  160. @dearieme
    "When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico": no but they'd already fled Washington.

    Har har. You had might as well call Lee a coward for returning to Virginia following the Battle of Gettysburg.

    Read the Treaty of Ghent if you are still confused about who made who.

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  161. @The Alarmist
    To your point, the razing of DC was a response to the American attempt to relieve the British of the rest of North America.

    …Which was a reponse to the British impressment of nearly ten thousand American sailors.

    Who am I, Paul Harvey?!

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Yeah, that's the rest of the official story. What was the excuse for "54 40 or fight" or that little adventure in Mexico?
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  162. @Randal
    Not disagreeing with your underlying point, but your examples were poorly chosen imo:

    When the British razed Washington in 1814, the Americans did not flee to Mexico. They drove back the villains at great loss of life, with courage and fortitude.
     
    The British weren't interested in conquering the US, and would much have preferred if the US hadn't opportunistically attacked them whilst they were fighting a real enemy, Napoleon. They were just raiding, and although the Americans certainly did flee before them (for instance the US government fleeing Washington), they were never there long enough nor penetrated deep enough for Americans to flee abroad in numbers.

    When the Japanese invaded Hawaii, the great William Halsey, upon surveying the decimated Pacific fleet’s wreckage, did not cry and move to Canada
     
    Likewise, the Japanese never "invaded Hawaii", and were never interested in invading US lands. They just wanted to hit the Yank military hard enough to stop them trying to economically strangle them and their attempts to build a European style colonial empire of their own.

    Perhaps better examples could be chosen from the several examples of resistance to US occupations, from the Philippines to Iraq? Or Russian resistance to German invasion?

    Kidnapping and enslaving ten thousand foreign nationals is tantamount to an invasion of their nation and deserving of reprisals.

    The deaths of some two thousand and five hundred Americans on 7 December 1941 make your argument that Japan never invaded the U.S.A. insulting and contemptible.

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  163. syonredux says:
    @whorefinder
    Well the "Black Legend" promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It's not surprising that any "great" figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend

    Furthermore, Spain had isolationist tendencies when it came to European culture. For example, Velazquez, a court painter for Spain and now regarded as one of the most important artists of his time, was unknown outside of Spain until the 19th Century: https://infogalactic.com/info/Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez#In_modernity.

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.

    One example: St. John of the Cross, whose mystical poetry is quite advanced and would have been embraced in the middle ages across Europe, but was ignored as "papist nonsense". https://infogalactic.com/info/John_of_the_Cross

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca

    Spain also alienated Italian culture by taking the papacy and putting some of the most corrupt popes of all time ---the Borgias, who came from Spain---on the throne of St. Peter. The Borgias were so hated by the Italians in the Church that the popes closed the Borgia's apartments in Rome and refused to use them for centuries.

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold. Although no walk in the park, it took relatively few Spanish soldiers to conquer South America and start getting rich through gold. Meanwhile, Germans were having to react to incursions by the Ottomons (who reached Vienna in both the 16th and 17th Century) and the English had to react to the fact that making money off their north American holdings required efficient trade and regulation of piracy, meaning a lot of necessity to improve militarily and scientifically.

    Well the “Black Legend” promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It’s not surprising that any “great” figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend

    Canny strategy on the part of Spain, pushing the “Black Legend” business. See, our achievements are undervalued because of Anglo propaganda. One assumes that Black Activists could look to Spain for a few pointers….

    Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.

    That’s one of the nice things about achievements in the sciences and technology. They are universal.

    Spain’s scientific output during the period 1500-2000 is a puny thing when compared to what was being done in Britain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca

    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold

    Yes. Murray likens Spain to a spendthrift heir, living large but creating little.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder

    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc
     
    lol. Your secular humanism bias is showing. You may disagree with the premises, but to claim that the School of Salamanca's genius was not up to Hume/Kant standards is just silly.

    After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc
     

    Just explained it, don't be dense. They were funneled into art for the Counter-reformation and theology, while Spain had little use for the kind of scientific advancement the Northern Europeans did during the 1500-1700s, as Spain was getting wealthy enough through gold imports. The Northern Europeans needed the advancements to get trade to be profitable from their colonies and also (for the Germans) to improve their military to face the encroaching Ottomans. Necessity was the mother of invention.

    Spain and England are best compared to two hungry people where Spain got served a magical lifetime supply of sugary treats while England got handed a farm. Spain got fat and didn't bother to learn how to grow its own food, while England worked the farm into a hugely profitable business with multiple sources for protein, grain, and produce.

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  164. SPMoore8 says:
    @Greg Pandatshang
    So, somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 years after the last major pre-modern demographic incursion, per Johannes Krause et al., that shaped Europeans as we know them. For those not up on your Krause et al., that would be Yamnaya-like peoples, not wiping out the previous inhabitants, but contributing a lot of genes basically everywhere in Europe (only a little for Basques and Sardinians, quite a bit everywhere else, majorities in some places). These Yamnayoids very likely brought Indo-European languages, unless maybe those were present already.

    Note that, while this was the last major incursion from outside Europe, that obviously doesn't rule out further major incursions from one part of Europe into another.

    Proto-Germanic spread from what's now Denmark and/or southern Sweden and would have developed somewhere in the range of 1500 to 500 BCE. That said, it doesn't seem particularly similar to any other Indo-European branches, so Pre-Germanic might have been a distinct dialect quite a bit earlier than that. Germanic pre-history is a bit opaque, since the Germanic homeland is right on the fringes of the Indo-European world, but it doesn't seem to be particularly related to its nearest relatives, Celtic and Balto-Slavic. So, how did they end up there? There were presumably some really interesting historical events that occurred before anything got written down and so are unknown to us. Not that the Proto-Germanics necessarily migrated from afar. Maybe the simplest model (I'm just coming up with top-of-the-head) is that there was once a larger "Old Old Baltic" Indo-European phylum, including Pre-Germanic plus other related dialects. But then they lost a lot of their territory to the Celtic expansion and what was left was all wiped out by the Balto-Slavs and Baltic Finns, except for the per se Proto-Germanics way out on the periphery ... and all this before any written history, leaving no obvious traces.

    Anyway, my point is that, while I have no idea whether this particular battle had anything to do with Germanic prehistory, I have no trouble believing that there were beaucoup sagas' worth of wars and adventures in that part of the world before what we know about.

    The differences in the language families (e.g., German vs. Romance vs. Balto-Slavic) is why people talk about native substrates over which the IE culture took over. (This is a bit like the argument earlier in this thread that the Sumers built their civilization on an IE substrate.)

    It’s interesting and I have no clue, and I think we have to admit that quite a bit of this is highly speculative. Just for IE peoples, we tend to associate the language family with particular archaeological remains (thus, Yamnaya), but also chariots, also horses and livestock (this is the dominant view today) but also (Colin Renfrew) with the introduction of agriculture into Europe, which, in light of linguistic and archaeological evidence in Turkey (that Hittite was IE, that the monuments in Turkey presuppose agriculture) suggests that maybe, just maybe, there were IE speakers throughout the Fertile Crescent.

    But again, all of this is highly speculative and we need a theory that not only explains the most evidence the most convincingly but also doesn’t just appeal to self-love. And it’s that last part that causes most historical theories to run aground.

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    • Replies: @Greg Pandatshang
    Krause et al.'s findings support either the Anatolian or Kurgan hypotheses for IE origins. If agriculture was introduced along with IE languages, that would be the former. In that case, that makes PIE pretty damn early (unconventional, but, sure, why not?) and means that the Basal Eurasians, at least some of them, spoke Indo European ... which, like you're saying, would support Euphratic-type ideas. In that scenario, what is Basque? A relict WHG language? Or a relic of linguistic diversity among the Basals? Later obscured by the dominance of the main Basal language (i.e. PIE in this scenario).

    And then, what would be the linguistic impact of the Yamnaya-like people (half-Hyperboreans)? Different Indo-European languages? Proto-Celtic? Pre-Germanic? Or Balto-Slavic (Balts have the highest proportion of Yamnaya-like ancestry, right?)? Or Uralic? I seem to recall the thinking is none of the time frames work for those scenarios, but I don't know what the details are for that claim.

    If we're looking at a double Indo European invasion, then we'd expect to see lots of IE-on-IE substrate languages. Not that we would necessarily know what to look for to detect that.
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  165. @Hapalong Cassidy
    "Mainly because we were busy trying to steal pieces of Canada."

    There are some historians who think that if the US had not provoked Britain and Canada into the War of 1812, Canada may have ultimately joined the US on its own. I've always thought the big dividing line in North America shouldn't have been between the US and Canada, but rather the Northern US and Canada on one side, and most of the future Confederate States on the other. And maybe Quebec could have been its own separate French-speaking country.

    Hapalong you couldn’t be more right. This reasonable proposal was brought home to me when I spent a frigid graduate school year in Toronto in 1972-3, when it was full of American draft dodgers
    and filling with all the flotsam not only of the Orontes but of everywhere else. The Yankees and the Canadians were made for each other. Non-urban Ontario had all the flat dullness of parts of the Midwest and people who were cut from the same cloth. The Yankees could have had all that vast Canadian territory to make into a City on a Hill and left us below the Ohio and the Mason-Dixon line to our devices. It would have been great then and it would be great now.

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  166. dearieme says:
    @Gero
    “There was a general progression northward over the millennia in the west of the centers of power as agriculture adapted to higher latitudes. Europe is set extremely far north for a densely inhabited region (for example, Vladivostok in Siberia is only 43 degrees north) due to the Gulf Stream warming the higher latitudes, but it took a long time for crops to adjust.”

    Well, China have a temperate climate too. And developed a civilization in Yellow River, millennia before the people in the same climate in Europe.

    “China have a temperate climate too.” That’s not what my Chinese acquaintances have told me. Nor my schoolteachers. This sounds a bit harsh to me:

    “Beijing weather features four distinct seasons – short windy spring, long hot summer, cool pleasant autumn, and long chilly winter. July and August are the hottest months with the highest temperature around 37 C (99 F), while January is the coldest time with the lowest temperature around -15 C (5 F).

    …. Considering the frequent sandstorms in spring and the extreme temperatures in summer and winter, the best time to visit should be September and October.

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    • Replies: @Gero
    LOL

    When I am writing about temperate climate, I am writing about the basic types of climate of the world- tropical, temperate and artic.
    The name of this type of climate is temperate because it´s not so hot as tropical, but not so cold as artic, being intermediate between the two.The 4 distinct seasons in this climate, and the marked diferences between summer and winter, as you wrote, is the most distinct diference between temperaste climate and the others.
    The climate in the region of the orgins of chinese civilization is temperate as in Europe.

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  167. dearieme says:
    @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    "Dark Age" is such a BS term, very ideological and related to a Whig version of history. The notion of Dark Ages in the Ancient World and in later Europe are not taken seriously by scholars, though it continues in the popular culture.
    Classicists see what was once called the Dark Age of Greece, for example, to be the essential foundation time for the Classical Age. Dr. Erwin Cook summarized a lot of the best research in his book The Odyssey in Athens
    Likewise, in The Making of Europe, Christopher Dawson summarized all of the incredible accomplishments and culture from the Fall of Rome through the High Middle Ages.
    "How did the civilization, trapped between the Loire and the Seine, between Islam pushing from the south and barbarians from the east, turn the tide, break out, and conquer the world over the next several centuries?" Is his basic starting point. And it turns out that everything that became Europe was there at the beginning, between the Loire and the Seine, just like all the DNA is there at conception...

    “Dark Age” is such a BS term: on the contrary it’s a perfectly sensible term. The age was first called “dark” because so little was known about it because there was little written at the time.

    It has additionally since been found to be “dark” because archaeological traces are pretty sparse too.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It was probably pretty dark at night, too.
    , @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    Wrong. But understandably wrong.
    A lot was written, a lot was built, a lot was created; but the Enlightenment Whig view of how Classical Civilization got to the Renaissance without mentioning the Benedictines and the Holy Roman Catholic Church needed a vocabulary.
    "The Renaissance" as a term was coined by Jules Michelet, a Huguenot and a post-Catholic Frenchman of letters. I believe he termed the Middle Ages as "500 years without a bath." Hardly a fair assessment lol. Even Libertarian Tom Woods wrote a book on the essential role of the Church in creating "Europe", which is not a distinct geography from the Asian landmass, but which, for some reason has proven incredibly important...
    Indeed, the integration of ethnos with the Logos is the only thing that will save us, because that is what created us in the first place...
    "Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe" H. Belloc (O.G. Alt-Right)
    And so, I am sure once again the more fertile and devout Poles and their winged Hussars with the statue of our Lady of Częstochowa in their midst, will, in a few decades, need to descend upon the Mediterranean and wreck the Ottoman hordes while the last decadent yet devout Italians pray the Rosary for deliverance...
    The full content of Benedict's Regensburg Address continues to inform us...
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  168. dearieme says:
    @whorefinder

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?
     
    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world's super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.
     
    That's just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it's navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it's #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England's weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been

    “many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, …”. Sorry, that’s plain wrong. England/Britain never had a great land-army tradition: it depended on its “wooden walls”.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    On a per soldier basis, they weren't slouches. I doubt the Sun King would agree with your take, for instance.
    , @whorefinder
    I'd say taking down and conquering England, Scotland, Wales, and then much of Ireland stands for something, and then taking most of France during the Hundred Years War, where literally only an Act of God in the form of Joan of Arc could reverse it. Henry the V, anyone?

    Take a google of the term "Angevin Empire" to see some proof.

    And don't forget that Richard the Lionheart was a great English general, though he did most of his fighting in the Crusades.

    Then later they got to celebrate beating Napoleon at Waterloo and twice defeating the Germans on the Continent (and also in Africa) merits some distinction, even if they did have a lot of allied help.

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  169. dfordoom says: • Website
    @whorefinder
    Well the "Black Legend" promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It's not surprising that any "great" figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend

    Furthermore, Spain had isolationist tendencies when it came to European culture. For example, Velazquez, a court painter for Spain and now regarded as one of the most important artists of his time, was unknown outside of Spain until the 19th Century: https://infogalactic.com/info/Diego_Vel%C3%A1zquez#In_modernity.

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.

    One example: St. John of the Cross, whose mystical poetry is quite advanced and would have been embraced in the middle ages across Europe, but was ignored as "papist nonsense". https://infogalactic.com/info/John_of_the_Cross

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca

    Spain also alienated Italian culture by taking the papacy and putting some of the most corrupt popes of all time ---the Borgias, who came from Spain---on the throne of St. Peter. The Borgias were so hated by the Italians in the Church that the popes closed the Borgia's apartments in Rome and refused to use them for centuries.

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold. Although no walk in the park, it took relatively few Spanish soldiers to conquer South America and start getting rich through gold. Meanwhile, Germans were having to react to incursions by the Ottomons (who reached Vienna in both the 16th and 17th Century) and the English had to react to the fact that making money off their north American holdings required efficient trade and regulation of piracy, meaning a lot of necessity to improve militarily and scientifically.

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.

    An extremely good point. The vast majority of writing in English on history, including cultural history and scientific history, has a very strong anti-Catholic bias. It’s all the more pernicious because it’s a bias that is almost never openly admitted.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    English cultural writing (e.g., Ruskin) tends to be wildly pro-Italian.
    , @whorefinder
    They could be quite open about it when needed, complaining about "popery" and "papish plots". One reason the Jesuits became a byword for treachery was that the English used the corruption of the order as propaganda for years (see, for example, Shogun). The Jesuits didn't acquit themselves so well, especially when they came up with rationalizations for lying in order to get into England and reconvert the populace instead of being martyrs openly.
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  170. @dfordoom

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.
     
    An extremely good point. The vast majority of writing in English on history, including cultural history and scientific history, has a very strong anti-Catholic bias. It's all the more pernicious because it's a bias that is almost never openly admitted.

    English cultural writing (e.g., Ruskin) tends to be wildly pro-Italian.

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    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    And for all its anti-Spaniard leanings, Britain has been very friendly with Spain's neighbor Portugal. In fact, the Anglo-Portuguese alliance agreement, signed in the 14th century, is still in effect today. The English sure like their Port wine too.
    , @Desiderius
    Pro-Florentine at least, but the Pope tried to kill Lorenzo De Medici (and got his brother). Pro-Italian isn't necessarily pro-Catholic.
    , @whorefinder
    Middlemarch stands in opposition to that. The main character and her new husband honeymoon in Rome and her observations are quite downputting of the Catholic scene in a jokey, aren't-these-peasants-stupid sort of way.

    George Eliot had been a quite religious strict Protestant who drifted into either deism or atheism due to her falling in love with a married man who could not/would not divorce his wife. Middlemarch is largely about how her Protestant theology paled in comparison to the richness of romantic love.

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  171. @dearieme
    “Dark Age” is such a BS term: on the contrary it's a perfectly sensible term. The age was first called "dark" because so little was known about it because there was little written at the time.

    It has additionally since been found to be "dark" because archaeological traces are pretty sparse too.

    It was probably pretty dark at night, too.

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  172. Sparkon says:
    @Achilles
    That was 1720? Colonies had been long-established by then along with fur trading networks running at least to the Ohio river.

    If the Illinois and the Miami were not then at war with each other, it was probably thanks to the efforts of the French.


    "[Pederasty] is the noblest form of affection."

    -Oscar Wilde, pederast

    If the Illinois and the Miami were not then at war with each other, it was probably thanks to the efforts of the French.

    Really? The Miami shared language, custom, and calumet with the Inoca–as the Illini called themselves– as well as common enemies like the Iroquois and Sioux, but peace between them was maintained only because of the French?

    More likely it was French treachery and double-dealing that contributed to the eventual virtual destruction of both Miami and Illini.

    The Illini, La Salle said, had about 1,800 warriors and should have been able to defend themselves against the Iroquois, but their organization was growing weaker. The French themselves were one cause of this weakness, for they did not wish to see the Illini become independent or establish peace with the Iroquois

    For these reasons, the French were slow to furnish the Illini with weapons and military support although they furnished arms and ammunition to the Iroquois.

    The Miami had about 1,500 warriors, who should have joined the Illini in their fight against the Iroquois, but fear and jealousy kept the Illini and Miami separated. The subtle Iroquois therefore made peace with the Miami and marched to strike the Illini in 1680.

    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?

    After several days of pillage, the Iroquois broke camp and followed the Illini down the river, not daring to attack because the Illini had mustered all their forces as they retreated. But although the Iliniwek Confedration was once again functioning, it lacked leadership and determination.

    On the retreat from Starved rock toward Peoria, the Illini made six encampments and the Iroquois camped opposite these spots each time. These maneuvers continued until both parties reached the mouth of the Illinois River, where the Iroquois announced that they were now content, having driven the Illini from their country once again, and promised to return home if the Illini would disband and offer no more resistance.

    The Illini were deceived by the wily Iroquois and separated, the Kaskaskia and Cahokia going up the Mississippi, the Peoria crossing the Mississippi, and the Moingwena travelling down the Mississippi, and the credulous Tamaroa remaining to hunt in Illinois.

    Immediately the Iroquois fell upon the Tamaroa and slaughtered about 700 women and children, the fleet-footed warriors escaping with few losses. In this battle the Tamaroa suffered a loss of about 1,200 persons—either killed or captured—while the Iroquois lost only thirty warriors. Many of the captive women and children were subjected to the most terrible tortures before being killed. Never again would the Iliniwek completely dominate the Illinois country.

    http://www.museum.state.il.us/publications/epub/indian_villages_il_country_wayne_temple.pdf

    Nor is this the only time the Inoca were betrayed by other Indian tribes.

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    • Replies: @Achilles

    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?
     
    To the contrary, the French were trying to keep their Indians together and antagonistic to the British and the British-allied Indians. By 1720 the fur trade was already a rivalry between French and British traders in the Ohio valley.

    And the number of Indians you cite are minuscule compared to the population of colonists in America. By 1720 there were already almost half a million colonists in America.
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  173. Ivy says:
    @Under the Cone of Silence
    O/T, NBA players believe in a flat earth:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/hey-everyone-just-so-you-know-kyrie-irving-believes-the-earth-is-flat-222937229.html

    Evidently, some NBA retirees also believe in a flat earth:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/so-apparently-shaquille-oneal-is-a-flat-earther-too-035813782.html

    Yeah, Dr. Shaquille O’Neal. An EdD doesn’t go as far as it used to, I guess.

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  174. Achilles says:
    @Sparkon

    If the Illinois and the Miami were not then at war with each other, it was probably thanks to the efforts of the French.
     
    Really? The Miami shared language, custom, and calumet with the Inoca--as the Illini called themselves-- as well as common enemies like the Iroquois and Sioux, but peace between them was maintained only because of the French?

    More likely it was French treachery and double-dealing that contributed to the eventual virtual destruction of both Miami and Illini.

    The Illini, La Salle said, had about 1,800 warriors and should have been able to defend themselves against the Iroquois, but their organization was growing weaker. The French themselves were one cause of this weakness, for they did not wish to see the Illini become independent or establish peace with the Iroquois

    For these reasons, the French were slow to furnish the Illini with weapons and military support although they furnished arms and ammunition to the Iroquois.

    The Miami had about 1,500 warriors, who should have joined the Illini in their fight against the Iroquois, but fear and jealousy kept the Illini and Miami separated. The subtle Iroquois therefore made peace with the Miami and marched to strike the Illini in 1680.
     
    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?

    After several days of pillage, the Iroquois broke camp and followed the Illini down the river, not daring to attack because the Illini had mustered all their forces as they retreated. But although the Iliniwek Confedration was once again functioning, it lacked leadership and determination.

    On the retreat from Starved rock toward Peoria, the Illini made six encampments and the Iroquois camped opposite these spots each time. These maneuvers continued until both parties reached the mouth of the Illinois River, where the Iroquois announced that they were now content, having driven the Illini from their country once again, and promised to return home if the Illini would disband and offer no more resistance.

    The Illini were deceived by the wily Iroquois and separated, the Kaskaskia and Cahokia going up the Mississippi, the Peoria crossing the Mississippi, and the Moingwena travelling down the Mississippi, and the credulous Tamaroa remaining to hunt in Illinois.

    Immediately the Iroquois fell upon the Tamaroa and slaughtered about 700 women and children, the fleet-footed warriors escaping with few losses. In this battle the Tamaroa suffered a loss of about 1,200 persons—either killed or captured—while the Iroquois lost only thirty warriors. Many of the captive women and children were subjected to the most terrible tortures before being killed. Never again would the Iliniwek completely dominate the Illinois country.
     
    http://www.museum.state.il.us/publications/epub/indian_villages_il_country_wayne_temple.pdf

    Nor is this the only time the Inoca were betrayed by other Indian tribes.

    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?

    To the contrary, the French were trying to keep their Indians together and antagonistic to the British and the British-allied Indians. By 1720 the fur trade was already a rivalry between French and British traders in the Ohio valley.

    And the number of Indians you cite are minuscule compared to the population of colonists in America. By 1720 there were already almost half a million colonists in America.

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    • Replies: @Sparkon

    the French were trying to keep their Indians together
     
    Then you've got to explain why the French were selling arms to the Iroquois, but not to the Illini, and what led to fear and jealousy between closely related Miami and Illinois, or who encouraged the Miami to make peace with the Iroquois, thus isolating the Illini.

    When France was selling decisive weapons to its claimed enemy, but not to its claimed ally, then clearly, France was engaging in double-dealing, and treachery.
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  175. @Steve Sailer
    English cultural writing (e.g., Ruskin) tends to be wildly pro-Italian.

    And for all its anti-Spaniard leanings, Britain has been very friendly with Spain’s neighbor Portugal. In fact, the Anglo-Portuguese alliance agreement, signed in the 14th century, is still in effect today. The English sure like their Port wine too.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    The enemy of my enemy, and all that.

    Portugal was also in decline by the time England was building it's world empire, so there was not a lot competition between them.
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  176. @SPMoore8
    The differences in the language families (e.g., German vs. Romance vs. Balto-Slavic) is why people talk about native substrates over which the IE culture took over. (This is a bit like the argument earlier in this thread that the Sumers built their civilization on an IE substrate.)

    It's interesting and I have no clue, and I think we have to admit that quite a bit of this is highly speculative. Just for IE peoples, we tend to associate the language family with particular archaeological remains (thus, Yamnaya), but also chariots, also horses and livestock (this is the dominant view today) but also (Colin Renfrew) with the introduction of agriculture into Europe, which, in light of linguistic and archaeological evidence in Turkey (that Hittite was IE, that the monuments in Turkey presuppose agriculture) suggests that maybe, just maybe, there were IE speakers throughout the Fertile Crescent.

    But again, all of this is highly speculative and we need a theory that not only explains the most evidence the most convincingly but also doesn't just appeal to self-love. And it's that last part that causes most historical theories to run aground.

    Krause et al.’s findings support either the Anatolian or Kurgan hypotheses for IE origins. If agriculture was introduced along with IE languages, that would be the former. In that case, that makes PIE pretty damn early (unconventional, but, sure, why not?) and means that the Basal Eurasians, at least some of them, spoke Indo European … which, like you’re saying, would support Euphratic-type ideas. In that scenario, what is Basque? A relict WHG language? Or a relic of linguistic diversity among the Basals? Later obscured by the dominance of the main Basal language (i.e. PIE in this scenario).

    And then, what would be the linguistic impact of the Yamnaya-like people (half-Hyperboreans)? Different Indo-European languages? Proto-Celtic? Pre-Germanic? Or Balto-Slavic (Balts have the highest proportion of Yamnaya-like ancestry, right?)? Or Uralic? I seem to recall the thinking is none of the time frames work for those scenarios, but I don’t know what the details are for that claim.

    If we’re looking at a double Indo European invasion, then we’d expect to see lots of IE-on-IE substrate languages. Not that we would necessarily know what to look for to detect that.

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  177. Ivy says:
    @syonredux

    That’s just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it’s navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade,
     
    Therein lies the rub. Spain's New World Empire made her great, but it also (as you note) weakened her......

    Spain experienced, imported, a lot of inflation. Their society got corrupted by all that New World inflow of gold and silver and they never recovered. Too much of a good thing.

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  178. @Anon
    I remember reading that the government of Quebec was exasperated that a lot of the early French settlers, whom the government was hoping would become nice little farmers like they'd been in France, kept disappearing entirely into the woods to become trappers and hunters.

    The Coureur de Bois, bane of the Cucks.

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  179. @Sunbeam
    "They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. "

    Things were a bit different than our CW assumes today concerning history prior to writing.

    Here is a link to a wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    "The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[29] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 long tons; 11–22 short tons), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[30] It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[8]"

    Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture - for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.

    Also someone brought up the Iroquois raiding far south. The Zulus big thing was how many swinging... clubs they could bring to a fight. So it isn't unknown for low tech societies to pull off logistics (think they managed to bring 30 or 35 thousand to that fight in the Zulu movie).

    And I believe Steve Sailer has noted several times about how deep into Mexico the Commanche would raid. Brought back parrots I believe (though heck since seashells were trade items around the Great Lakes, I wouldn't be surprised if the American Indian trade network brought them further north).

    “Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture – for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.”

    Why would any man farm unless he has to? Believe me, men dragged out all of the alternatives as long as they were able.

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  180. @Steve Sailer
    English cultural writing (e.g., Ruskin) tends to be wildly pro-Italian.

    Pro-Florentine at least, but the Pope tried to kill Lorenzo De Medici (and got his brother). Pro-Italian isn’t necessarily pro-Catholic.

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  181. @dearieme
    "many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, ...". Sorry, that's plain wrong. England/Britain never had a great land-army tradition: it depended on its "wooden walls".

    On a per soldier basis, they weren’t slouches. I doubt the Sun King would agree with your take, for instance.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    On a per soldier basis, they weren’t slouches.
     
    Unfortunately battles aren't won on a per soldier basis. Britain did not field a land army comparable to continental land armies until the First World War. And even then they relied heavily on Dominion troops - Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, etc.

    The British army played a minor role in the Second World War. The great British battles of WW2 were minor battles in irrelevant side-shows (like Alamein). The First World War remains the only war in which Britain has been a serious military power in its own right.

    What's extraordinary is the ability of the Brits to persuade others to fight their wars for them. It's smart even if not very admirable.
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  182. […] 9. Very interesting comments on this post […]

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  183. whorefinder says: • Website
    @dearieme
    "many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, ...". Sorry, that's plain wrong. England/Britain never had a great land-army tradition: it depended on its "wooden walls".

    I’d say taking down and conquering England, Scotland, Wales, and then much of Ireland stands for something, and then taking most of France during the Hundred Years War, where literally only an Act of God in the form of Joan of Arc could reverse it. Henry the V, anyone?

    Take a google of the term “Angevin Empire” to see some proof.

    And don’t forget that Richard the Lionheart was a great English general, though he did most of his fighting in the Crusades.

    Then later they got to celebrate beating Napoleon at Waterloo and twice defeating the Germans on the Continent (and also in Africa) merits some distinction, even if they did have a lot of allied help.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    And don’t forget that Richard the Lionheart was a great English general, though he did most of his fighting in the Crusades.
     
    Agreed. Probably the only Crusader general who could win battles through tactical skill rather than through the courage and ferocity of his troops.
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  184. whorefinder says: • Website
    @syonredux

    Well the “Black Legend” promoted a very poor view of Spain and England, as it grew, certainly led the way in pushing that Legend upon the world, much of it untrue. It’s not surprising that any “great” figures in Spanish history would have been downplayed. https://infogalactic.com/info/Black_Legend
     
    Canny strategy on the part of Spain, pushing the "Black Legend" business. See, our achievements are undervalued because of Anglo propaganda. One assumes that Black Activists could look to Spain for a few pointers....

    Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.
     
    That's one of the nice things about achievements in the sciences and technology. They are universal.

    Spain's scientific output during the period 1500-2000 is a puny thing when compared to what was being done in Britain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc

    Another example: the School of Salamanca, an extremely in-depth philosophical school based on Catholic theology. https://infogalactic.com/info/School_of_Salamanca
     
    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc

    Finally, I think some of it may be due to how easily Spain subdued the New World and quickly grew fat on gold
     
    Yes. Murray likens Spain to a spendthrift heir, living large but creating little.

    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc

    lol. Your secular humanism bias is showing. You may disagree with the premises, but to claim that the School of Salamanca’s genius was not up to Hume/Kant standards is just silly.

    After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc

    Just explained it, don’t be dense. They were funneled into art for the Counter-reformation and theology, while Spain had little use for the kind of scientific advancement the Northern Europeans did during the 1500-1700s, as Spain was getting wealthy enough through gold imports. The Northern Europeans needed the advancements to get trade to be profitable from their colonies and also (for the Germans) to improve their military to face the encroaching Ottomans. Necessity was the mother of invention.

    Spain and England are best compared to two hungry people where Spain got served a magical lifetime supply of sugary treats while England got handed a farm. Spain got fat and didn’t bother to learn how to grow its own food, while England worked the farm into a hugely profitable business with multiple sources for protein, grain, and produce.

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    • Replies: @BB753
    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That's the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain's mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.
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  185. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    English cultural writing (e.g., Ruskin) tends to be wildly pro-Italian.

    Middlemarch stands in opposition to that. The main character and her new husband honeymoon in Rome and her observations are quite downputting of the Catholic scene in a jokey, aren’t-these-peasants-stupid sort of way.

    George Eliot had been a quite religious strict Protestant who drifted into either deism or atheism due to her falling in love with a married man who could not/would not divorce his wife. Middlemarch is largely about how her Protestant theology paled in comparison to the richness of romantic love.

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  186. whorefinder says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    Another inhibiting factor is that Spain was staunchly Catholic and the leaders in European culture over the next 300-400 years were either Protestant (England, Germany) or anti-Catholic/Anti-Christian (French Revolutionaries, Jews). Spanish intellectuals and artists were largely involved in either Catholic theology or Counter-Reformation art work, which would not have gone over well with those folks, so their contributions were deliberately overlooked.
     
    An extremely good point. The vast majority of writing in English on history, including cultural history and scientific history, has a very strong anti-Catholic bias. It's all the more pernicious because it's a bias that is almost never openly admitted.

    They could be quite open about it when needed, complaining about “popery” and “papish plots”. One reason the Jesuits became a byword for treachery was that the English used the corruption of the order as propaganda for years (see, for example, Shogun). The Jesuits didn’t acquit themselves so well, especially when they came up with rationalizations for lying in order to get into England and reconvert the populace instead of being martyrs openly.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    They could be quite open about it when needed, complaining about “popery” and “papish plots”.
     
    Yes, quite right. I should have been clearer. The anti-Catholic bias becomes especially pernicious in the 20th century when it becomes almost unconscious - it's just something that they have absorbed without realising it from previous generations of British historians.
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  187. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Hapalong Cassidy
    And for all its anti-Spaniard leanings, Britain has been very friendly with Spain's neighbor Portugal. In fact, the Anglo-Portuguese alliance agreement, signed in the 14th century, is still in effect today. The English sure like their Port wine too.

    The enemy of my enemy, and all that.

    Portugal was also in decline by the time England was building it’s world empire, so there was not a lot competition between them.

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  188. Sparkon says:
    @Sparkon
    The fall of the Bronze Age civilizations occured during a ~200-year plunge in temperatures beginning c1200 BC, or about 3200 years ago, right about the time of this battle, but it's a tad early to figure out what it all means, or why they were fighting, but the various speculations and interpretations are interesting.

    Even now, humans are figuring out new and breathtaking reasons for going to war and killing each other, as well as inventing new weapons to do it. Some of these fantastic new weapons may be very expensive, but due to the concern of the money-counters and arrow-smiths for your safety, they might just extend "easy terms" if you don't have the gold, cash, jewels, virgins right now. They will give you the weapons, and hold on to your gold, cash, jewels, virgins, non-virgins, house and what have you, until you get back.

    Right. Recall how long it took to tease out Otzi's secrets, and we still don't know for sure what was going on with him, except that, well, ol' Otzi was crossing the Alps around 1300 BC, when it was mild enough for him to make the trip, get himself killed, and then lie frozen in place until our current, or recent, mild warming, revealed his thawing remains.

    The Late Bronze Age civilizations had reached their zeniths at the very peak of the Minoan Warm Period, a several hundred year spell of warming climate, which was itself one of the three warmest periods since the ice sheets had receded, the warmest in the preceding ~3500 years, and remains the warmest period in the last 3000 years.

    Put another way, the Minoan Warm Period is one of the three warmest periods since the ice sheets receded, and the other two warmer periods preceded it. Since then, it has been getting cooler, gradually, in fits and starts, interspersed with Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, and our own, very feeble by comparison, recent or Modern Warm Period.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/clip_image0045.jpg

    And so, the Great Runaway Global Warming Hysteria relies on people's ignorance of geology and the long-term climatic record of our planet. We are a carbon-based lifeform, yet the mindbenders have managed to make silly humans feel guilty about their "carbon footprint."

    Even Swift would get a kick out of that one, I think, and you know the rest.

    So yes, climate change can play a significant if not decisive role in the affairs and fates of men. Long before humans could have played any significant role in it, climate change on Earth included severe fluctuations, with some of the most dizzying ups and downs taking place during the Younger Dryas:

    The change to glacial conditions at the onset of the younger Dryas in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere between 12,900–11,500 BP in calendar years has been argued to have been quite abrupt.
     
    Where this battle c1200 BC fits in to all of this remains inscrutable to me at first take for the simple reason that there are too many unknown variables, a common thorn in the side of many theories.

    But the idea that this new weapon or that new technology suddenly turned men into head-smashing ruthless brutes is hopelessly naive, in my view.

    The historical record of the native, aboriginal people of N. America at the time of the arrival of the Europeans is relatively sparse, but enough is available to get a picture of Stone Age life showing that some tribes were at peace, others were in intermittent warfare with neighboring tribes, making raids, and taking hostages to be tortured, in many cases, and eaten.

    I‘ve got Otzi dated incorrectly, just off by 2000 years:

    Ötzi also called the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from Hauslabjoch, the Tyrolean Iceman, Homo tyrolensis, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE,

    And not 1300 BC, so no Iceman connection to the Minoan Warm Period, but rather to a lesser, unnamed warm spell about 5500 years ago.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The BCE acronym is really confusing.

    What does it mean? Before Current Era? It's increasingly common to be off by 2000 years.

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  189. @Sparkon
    I've got Otzi dated incorrectly, just off by 2000 years:

    Ötzi also called the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from Hauslabjoch, the Tyrolean Iceman, Homo tyrolensis, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE,
     
    And not 1300 BC, so no Iceman connection to the Minoan Warm Period, but rather to a lesser, unnamed warm spell about 5500 years ago.

    The BCE acronym is really confusing.

    What does it mean? Before Current Era? It’s increasingly common to be off by 2000 years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    I thought it meant Before Christian Era, which seems redundant.

    But then I figured out that it meant Before Common Era, which is culturally insensitive (gasp!) to other calendars such as the Jewish, or Before Current Era, which is vague and imprecise.

    In time, of course, the question will be moot, because we would all have settled on the Hegira calendar.
    , @Sparkon
    Apparently, BC became politically incorrect, so somebody coined BCE, but they mean the same thing: BCE = BC.

    Indeed, having two terms for the same thing leads to confusion, which underlines the wisdom of the injunction against needless duplication, multiplication, or reinvention of anything.

    As for the actual abbreviation, CE (Common Era) has been claimed to have been used as early as 1831, though I couldn’t find specifically in what work it is supposed to have appeared in. Whatever the case, both it and BCE (Before the Common Era) definitely appeared in Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall’s Post-Biblical History of the Jews in 1856. The use of BCE and CE was particularly popular in the Jewish community where they were keen to avoid using any nomenclature explicitly referring to Christ as “the lord.” Today, BCE and CE instead of BC and AD has become fairly common among other groups for similar reasons.
     
    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/11/difference-bce-ce-bc-ad-come/

    The word "Jew" itself is a rather recent development that did not appear until the 18th century:

    Jesus is referred as a "Jew" for the first time in the New Testament in the 18th century; in the revised 18th century English language editions of the 14th century first English translations of the New Testament. The etymology of the word "Jew" is quit (sic) clear. Although "Jew" is a modern conception its roots lie in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. That is, the modern English word "Jew" is the 18th century contraction and corruption of the 4th century Latin "Iudaeus" found in St. Jerome's Vulgate Edition and derived from the Greek word "Ioudaios.
     
    http://www.overlordsofchaos.com/html/origin_of_the_word_jew.html

    Christianity itself dates from the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which wraps up this OT excursion into Serendip, OT meaning, of course, "off topic," and not "Old Testament."
    , @Simon in London
    It means they hate Christianity & Reality, it stands for Common Era. Common Era is the same as AD but was invented by anti-Christian anti-Reality American Jews & atheists.
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  190. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Desiderius
    On a per soldier basis, they weren't slouches. I doubt the Sun King would agree with your take, for instance.

    On a per soldier basis, they weren’t slouches.

    Unfortunately battles aren’t won on a per soldier basis. Britain did not field a land army comparable to continental land armies until the First World War. And even then they relied heavily on Dominion troops – Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, etc.

    The British army played a minor role in the Second World War. The great British battles of WW2 were minor battles in irrelevant side-shows (like Alamein). The First World War remains the only war in which Britain has been a serious military power in its own right.

    What’s extraordinary is the ability of the Brits to persuade others to fight their wars for them. It’s smart even if not very admirable.

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    • Agree: Whoever
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  191. dfordoom says: • Website
    @whorefinder
    I'd say taking down and conquering England, Scotland, Wales, and then much of Ireland stands for something, and then taking most of France during the Hundred Years War, where literally only an Act of God in the form of Joan of Arc could reverse it. Henry the V, anyone?

    Take a google of the term "Angevin Empire" to see some proof.

    And don't forget that Richard the Lionheart was a great English general, though he did most of his fighting in the Crusades.

    Then later they got to celebrate beating Napoleon at Waterloo and twice defeating the Germans on the Continent (and also in Africa) merits some distinction, even if they did have a lot of allied help.

    And don’t forget that Richard the Lionheart was a great English general, though he did most of his fighting in the Crusades.

    Agreed. Probably the only Crusader general who could win battles through tactical skill rather than through the courage and ferocity of his troops.

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  192. dfordoom says: • Website
    @whorefinder
    They could be quite open about it when needed, complaining about "popery" and "papish plots". One reason the Jesuits became a byword for treachery was that the English used the corruption of the order as propaganda for years (see, for example, Shogun). The Jesuits didn't acquit themselves so well, especially when they came up with rationalizations for lying in order to get into England and reconvert the populace instead of being martyrs openly.

    They could be quite open about it when needed, complaining about “popery” and “papish plots”.

    Yes, quite right. I should have been clearer. The anti-Catholic bias becomes especially pernicious in the 20th century when it becomes almost unconscious – it’s just something that they have absorbed without realising it from previous generations of British historians.

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  193. @Steve Sailer
    The BCE acronym is really confusing.

    What does it mean? Before Current Era? It's increasingly common to be off by 2000 years.

    I thought it meant Before Christian Era, which seems redundant.

    But then I figured out that it meant Before Common Era, which is culturally insensitive (gasp!) to other calendars such as the Jewish, or Before Current Era, which is vague and imprecise.

    In time, of course, the question will be moot, because we would all have settled on the Hegira calendar.

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  194. @Autochthon
    ...Which was a reponse to the British impressment of nearly ten thousand American sailors.

    Who am I, Paul Harvey?!

    Yeah, that’s the rest of the official story. What was the excuse for “54 40 or fight” or that little adventure in Mexico?

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Right, so none of the thousands of impressed sailors were; it was all a figment of their imaginations? A kind of mass hallucination? Is that your position?

    You also wish to discuss President Polk's administration as though he orchestrated the (much earlier) War of 1812? That's a head-scratcher, and no mistake.

    Okay, Captain Non Sequiter, travel with me three decades forward in time, and we can discuss President Polk.

    In the event, "54'40" Or Fight!" was a slogan by those enthusiastic for war, not a governmental policy. You might as well contend President Carter's failed attempt to rescue Americans kidnapped by Iranians was motivated by, and articulated in, Vince Vance & The Valiants' "Bomb Iran." President Polk, like his opposite numbers in Britain, did not wish to go to war over the disputed boundaries in Oregon, and thus they negotiated a diplomatic settlement to the dispute. Nasty stuff, huh?

    The Mexican War was fought to preserve the self-determination of the inhabitants of Texas and California.

    Sincerely, P.H.

    "What do they teach them at these schools?" —C.S. Lewis
     
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  195. @Anonymous

    The survivors of this Darwinian death match were the most hardy and warlike, and their reforged society quickly expanded onto their overmatched neighbors to the south.
     
    From what I've read, the Vikings, although effective small-scale raiders and explorers, actually fared rather poorly when they went up against organized military forces with similar armament to themselves, such as the armies of the Anglo-Saxons and Franks.

    Against the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings took and colonized most of northern England (“Angle-land”) and made it the Danelaw. By contrast, the Anglo-Saxons took none of Scandinavia.

    The Franks were a little further south than the Vikings’ typical opponents: the Irish, Anglo-Saxons, Balts, Russians, etc. Nevertheless, the Franks were Europe’s premier military force between the Romans and Napoleon. They fought all across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Near East, racking up spectacular victories against powerful opponents, including the formerly unstoppable Saracens. Indeed, they not only stopped the Saracen invasion of Europe cold at Tours, they vanguarded one of the few successful rollbacks of Islam in history, in the Holy Land. I can’t think of any direct Frank-on-Viking conflicts, but if the Vikings did lose a bout to the Franks, there is no great shame in that.

    In any case, the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Franks are all close close cousins ethnographically, so they tend to shade into one another.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids? You didn't have time to call for the emperor to come defend you from the Vikings sneaking up your river, so you needed local fighting men, stationary bandits.
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  196. @Almost Missouri
    Against the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings took and colonized most of northern England ("Angle-land") and made it the Danelaw. By contrast, the Anglo-Saxons took none of Scandinavia.

    The Franks were a little further south than the Vikings' typical opponents: the Irish, Anglo-Saxons, Balts, Russians, etc. Nevertheless, the Franks were Europe's premier military force between the Romans and Napoleon. They fought all across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Near East, racking up spectacular victories against powerful opponents, including the formerly unstoppable Saracens. Indeed, they not only stopped the Saracen invasion of Europe cold at Tours, they vanguarded one of the few successful rollbacks of Islam in history, in the Holy Land. I can't think of any direct Frank-on-Viking conflicts, but if the Vikings did lose a bout to the Franks, there is no great shame in that.

    In any case, the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Franks are all close close cousins ethnographically, so they tend to shade into one another.

    Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids? You didn’t have time to call for the emperor to come defend you from the Vikings sneaking up your river, so you needed local fighting men, stationary bandits.

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    • Replies: @backup
    Hence the word "marchio" for marquee, coming from the word March/Mark, meaning "border". The feudal Lords of these Frankish border fiefs had the right to respond militarily without the consent of the king or emperor. Austria and Brandenburg were margraviates.
    , @Almost Missouri

    "Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids?"
     
    Well, sort of, only more so. By which I mean that feudalism emerged to stop any raids. Indeed anything that emerges at all does so because it has some innate viability against its local counterforces. So, yes, only not just against Vikings, who didn't really appear until nearly the ninth century. The Franks already had a solid feudal system at least a century before that and in fact the outlines of the feudal system are already apparent in the Germanic invaders of the Roman empire.

    To be more specific, as Gibbon and others have noted, the late Roman empire was hemorrhaging gold as the formerly stoic Roman elite acquired a taste for Eastern luxuries and a habit of paying barbarian mercenaries rather than doing their own fighting. What precious metal was left was typically horded (i.e., removed from the economy) to save it against the increasingly debased currency being issued at the imperial center. So while the early empire could depend on salaried soldiers defending real frontier walls and forts, by the late empire the capital economy had evaporated and the frontier infrastructure was crumbling. What was left was oaths of allegiance between henchman and their (war)lords to bind the (notionally) Roman defenders of (notional) borders. By the time emperor Valens waved a million-odd Gothic refugees into the empire only to have to fight them at Adrianople, the battle was an oddly desultory affair of weakly aligned "Roman" units wavering between pursuing their own agenda versus obeying orders. The better aligned and oathed Gothic units prevailed decisively, setting the pattern for most European military victories from then on.

    Arguably, this was the beginning of medieval feudalism, which lives on in its modern stepchild, nationalism: blood oaths and honor prevailing over administrative expedience bid by debt currency. If the Progs want to get all who-whom, things will get medieval as well. Blinded by their mental blinkers, the Progs don't see how they are provoking exactly what they most fear.

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  197. backup says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    Some DNA analysis of the remains seems in order and should be possible. This might provide evidence of whether this was a clash between two racially distinct groups, i.e., the autocthones versus invaders or a battle between different groups of locals. This is all very exciting stuff.

    A DNA analysis is being carried out, earliest results suggest a lot of different people:

    Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color. Genetic analysis is just beginning, but so far it supports the notion of far-flung origins. DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia. “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says University of Mainz geneticist Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.”

    http://eurogenes.blogspot.de/2016/03/epic-bronze-age-battle-near-baltic.html

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  198. As others have pointed out, Spanish greatness was a historical fluke that was bound eventually to expire, simply due to the comparative inferiority of the country’s soil and climate compared to other countries, especially France. France indeed was Spain’s great nemesis. It was the French who in a succession of wars in the 17th century ground down and finally broke Spanish power. By the beginning of the 18th century the French had it in their power to destroy the Spanish empire entirely but chose instead to preserve it as a subordinate ally. (Sort of like what Hitler had in mind for Britain.) This arrangement lasted nearly a century, until the Bonapartes ousted the Bourbons as rulers of France.

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  199. @whorefinder
    Depends on what you mean by "invasion."

    The Glorious Revolution was, in effect, an sea invasion by a Dutch King that was supported by many of the English leaders. What's more, previous English Kings and Queens came to power or suppressed revolutions by importing troops from their cousins in France. England, I would argue, suffered numerous invasions, except that those "invaders" were retconned into legitimate British heirs.(I believe in Shakespeare's Richard II, Richard realizes he's doomed when he hears that the future Henry IV has come back to England from France with an army).

    And then the little thing called the Spanish Armada---which was defeated mostly by bad weather and poor coordination by the Spanish. And then Spain, the greatest navy of its time and England's big rival then, kept it's attention on securing the Mediterranean and then guiding it's voyages to South America. If the New World hadn't been discovered, I would venture that Spain might have re-tried to invade England.

    And that's before we get to Scotland attacking Northern England and taking more than a few towns for centuries. It was only by the late 18th Century that England could safely say that Scotland was no longer a threat.

    And let's not forget that our own American Revolutionary war naval hero, John Paul Jones, made his bones running his boat to seaside towns in England, raiding and burning them.

    And the British also had the historical good luck that it's great 19th-Century rival, Napoleon's France, had a cripplingly mediocre naval tradition and leader who was heck bent on making himself into the greatest land general of all time, making him neglect ever putting more than minimal effort into his navy. Had Napoleon been pushed into naval service (as his Military Academy professors recommended) we might be talking about how the sun never set on the French Empire.

    I think that a strong argument can be made that the idea that England's island status kept it safe from invasion for a thousand years really isn't true.

    By that metric, Hungary has had perhaps a hundred invasions or more since 1066. Being the majority of an island did make things easier for the English.

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  200. backup says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids? You didn't have time to call for the emperor to come defend you from the Vikings sneaking up your river, so you needed local fighting men, stationary bandits.

    Hence the word “marchio” for marquee, coming from the word March/Mark, meaning “border”. The feudal Lords of these Frankish border fiefs had the right to respond militarily without the consent of the king or emperor. Austria and Brandenburg were margraviates.

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  201. Sparkon says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The BCE acronym is really confusing.

    What does it mean? Before Current Era? It's increasingly common to be off by 2000 years.

    Apparently, BC became politically incorrect, so somebody coined BCE, but they mean the same thing: BCE = BC.

    Indeed, having two terms for the same thing leads to confusion, which underlines the wisdom of the injunction against needless duplication, multiplication, or reinvention of anything.

    As for the actual abbreviation, CE (Common Era) has been claimed to have been used as early as 1831, though I couldn’t find specifically in what work it is supposed to have appeared in. Whatever the case, both it and BCE (Before the Common Era) definitely appeared in Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall’s Post-Biblical History of the Jews in 1856. The use of BCE and CE was particularly popular in the Jewish community where they were keen to avoid using any nomenclature explicitly referring to Christ as “the lord.” Today, BCE and CE instead of BC and AD has become fairly common among other groups for similar reasons.

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/11/difference-bce-ce-bc-ad-come/

    The word “Jew” itself is a rather recent development that did not appear until the 18th century:

    Jesus is referred as a “Jew” for the first time in the New Testament in the 18th century; in the revised 18th century English language editions of the 14th century first English translations of the New Testament. The etymology of the word “Jew” is quit (sic) clear. Although “Jew” is a modern conception its roots lie in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. That is, the modern English word “Jew” is the 18th century contraction and corruption of the 4th century Latin “Iudaeus” found in St. Jerome’s Vulgate Edition and derived from the Greek word “Ioudaios.

    http://www.overlordsofchaos.com/html/origin_of_the_word_jew.html

    Christianity itself dates from the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which wraps up this OT excursion into Serendip, OT meaning, of course, “off topic,” and not “Old Testament.”

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    If they can change calendars as they did when they went from the Julian to the Gregorian, why can't we just add 10,000 to chronology and sort out this entire BC/BCE nonsense.

    Thus, 2017 would now be 12017, while 1492 would be 11492, etc. IOW, nobody would lose anything; even dates like, say, 33 AD would become 10033, again, not hurting anything.

    The real benefit is that we would have to stop counting backwards when we deal with dates in Ancient history, which is very confusing, to put it mildly.
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  202. Harold says:

    “Most people thought ancient society was peaceful, and that Bronze Age males were concerned with trading and so on,” says Helle Vandkilde

    If video games were around in those days, only the trading games would sell; combat and warfare games would be market failures.

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  203. Sparkon says:
    @Achilles

    I wonder who was promoting that fear and jealousy?
     
    To the contrary, the French were trying to keep their Indians together and antagonistic to the British and the British-allied Indians. By 1720 the fur trade was already a rivalry between French and British traders in the Ohio valley.

    And the number of Indians you cite are minuscule compared to the population of colonists in America. By 1720 there were already almost half a million colonists in America.

    the French were trying to keep their Indians together

    Then you’ve got to explain why the French were selling arms to the Iroquois, but not to the Illini, and what led to fear and jealousy between closely related Miami and Illinois, or who encouraged the Miami to make peace with the Iroquois, thus isolating the Illini.

    When France was selling decisive weapons to its claimed enemy, but not to its claimed ally, then clearly, France was engaging in double-dealing, and treachery.

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  204. Numinous says:
    @Jack Highlands
    It's got to be a reflex in popular historiography on par with the knee-jerk in medicine: the attempt to expropriate the Yamna for Asia.

    "Asiatic Steppe"

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but the Pontic Steppe is just that part of the Great Steppe that is not in Asia, but Europe. And there is every reason to think many critical elements in the story could only be European. The first is that European HG genes survived mainly in the Steppe and environs by 4000 BC. The second is that the European part of the Steppe is the wettest and most fertile and so inevitably, the Pump began there, with its greater density. Third and related is that by fishing the great rivers of the Pontic Steppe, it provided a density transition between pure foraging and mixed farming/herding/warmaking. The Asiatic part of the Steppe is much drier. Fourth is that the European part is where steppe meets bronze: the two great centers of the early Bronze age were the Balkans and Anatolia, but the Pontic Sea got in the way as far as contact with the latter is concerned.

    About the only critical element of the story that is generally accepted as Asiatic is that the horse was first domesticated well to the east of the Yamna heartland in the true Asian steppe, and they probably imported the knowhow from there.

    Another example of kneejerk Asianism: Razib and his 'out-of-India' stuff. Suppose it's true and the Yamna genome was some 25% West Asian. So what? Under 'explosionism' it is crystal clear that the Yamna and their closest relatives became a new race over their two thousand year transition on the European Steppe, just as Neolithic farmers were a new race with mental adaptations never possible among foragers, just as we Westerners are a new, outbred, anti-clannish, pacified race mentally different from our pagan forebears.

    The worst reflex of all of course is the most ineradicable: the historical accident of the clumsy term 'Indo-European.' Their ancestors came mostly from Europe and perhaps not from India at all. They evolved to become the immense historical force they were purely in Europe. Their legacy was eventually very diluted in India but survives most strongly on the European Plain from Bordeaux to Russia.

    Just call them Aryans.

    And if you wish to show parallels with later Asiatic Steppe peoples, call it the Eurasian Steppe Pump Hypothesis.

    Hate to disturb your fantasies, but I’d like to interject with a few facts.

    There are no “Aryans” in Europe. There have never been any “Aryans” in Europe. The only people who have ever used the term “Aryan” or words close to it hail from India and Persia (including parts of what is now Central Asia.) Historians posit that Hittites and Tocharians may have used the term too, but the evidence is very sketchy and unconvincing. The one thing common to all of these people: they were all Asians.

    There is no archaeological evidence to support the migration of steppe people to India or Persia. None. Zip, zilch, nada. And all linguistic evidence can do is link different languages to each other; it cannot say anything about time and place to even a high probability.

    Up to the time when the Russians ventured east and conquered their way to the Pacific in the east and the Pamirs in the south, there had never been a recorded instance of Europe-to-Asia invasion in known history, while there were plenty of recorded invasions in the other direction.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    The Ionian Greeks and, more spectacularly, Alexander of Macedon, never were, eh?
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  205. SPMoore8 says:
    @Sparkon
    Apparently, BC became politically incorrect, so somebody coined BCE, but they mean the same thing: BCE = BC.

    Indeed, having two terms for the same thing leads to confusion, which underlines the wisdom of the injunction against needless duplication, multiplication, or reinvention of anything.

    As for the actual abbreviation, CE (Common Era) has been claimed to have been used as early as 1831, though I couldn’t find specifically in what work it is supposed to have appeared in. Whatever the case, both it and BCE (Before the Common Era) definitely appeared in Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall’s Post-Biblical History of the Jews in 1856. The use of BCE and CE was particularly popular in the Jewish community where they were keen to avoid using any nomenclature explicitly referring to Christ as “the lord.” Today, BCE and CE instead of BC and AD has become fairly common among other groups for similar reasons.
     
    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/11/difference-bce-ce-bc-ad-come/

    The word "Jew" itself is a rather recent development that did not appear until the 18th century:

    Jesus is referred as a "Jew" for the first time in the New Testament in the 18th century; in the revised 18th century English language editions of the 14th century first English translations of the New Testament. The etymology of the word "Jew" is quit (sic) clear. Although "Jew" is a modern conception its roots lie in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. That is, the modern English word "Jew" is the 18th century contraction and corruption of the 4th century Latin "Iudaeus" found in St. Jerome's Vulgate Edition and derived from the Greek word "Ioudaios.
     
    http://www.overlordsofchaos.com/html/origin_of_the_word_jew.html

    Christianity itself dates from the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which wraps up this OT excursion into Serendip, OT meaning, of course, "off topic," and not "Old Testament."

    If they can change calendars as they did when they went from the Julian to the Gregorian, why can’t we just add 10,000 to chronology and sort out this entire BC/BCE nonsense.

    Thus, 2017 would now be 12017, while 1492 would be 11492, etc. IOW, nobody would lose anything; even dates like, say, 33 AD would become 10033, again, not hurting anything.

    The real benefit is that we would have to stop counting backwards when we deal with dates in Ancient history, which is very confusing, to put it mildly.

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    • Replies: @Moshe
    Some Jewish groups still use "minyan shtaroth", the Seleucidin Calendar where the Common Era begins is 313 BC.

    This would allow a lot more of recorded history to move forward in number.
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  206. Moshe says:
    @SPMoore8
    If they can change calendars as they did when they went from the Julian to the Gregorian, why can't we just add 10,000 to chronology and sort out this entire BC/BCE nonsense.

    Thus, 2017 would now be 12017, while 1492 would be 11492, etc. IOW, nobody would lose anything; even dates like, say, 33 AD would become 10033, again, not hurting anything.

    The real benefit is that we would have to stop counting backwards when we deal with dates in Ancient history, which is very confusing, to put it mildly.

    Some Jewish groups still use “minyan shtaroth”, the Seleucidin Calendar where the Common Era begins is 313 BC.

    This would allow a lot more of recorded history to move forward in number.

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    • Agree: Spmoore8
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  207. Gero says:
    @dearieme
    "China have a temperate climate too." That's not what my Chinese acquaintances have told me. Nor my schoolteachers. This sounds a bit harsh to me:

    "Beijing weather features four distinct seasons - short windy spring, long hot summer, cool pleasant autumn, and long chilly winter. July and August are the hottest months with the highest temperature around 37 C (99 F), while January is the coldest time with the lowest temperature around -15 C (5 F).

    .... Considering the frequent sandstorms in spring and the extreme temperatures in summer and winter, the best time to visit should be September and October.

    LOL

    When I am writing about temperate climate, I am writing about the basic types of climate of the world- tropical, temperate and artic.
    The name of this type of climate is temperate because it´s not so hot as tropical, but not so cold as artic, being intermediate between the two.The 4 distinct seasons in this climate, and the marked diferences between summer and winter, as you wrote, is the most distinct diference between temperaste climate and the others.
    The climate in the region of the orgins of chinese civilization is temperate as in Europe.

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  208. @Steve Sailer
    The BCE acronym is really confusing.

    What does it mean? Before Current Era? It's increasingly common to be off by 2000 years.

    It means they hate Christianity & Reality, it stands for Common Era. Common Era is the same as AD but was invented by anti-Christian anti-Reality American Jews & atheists.

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  209. @The Alarmist
    Yeah, that's the rest of the official story. What was the excuse for "54 40 or fight" or that little adventure in Mexico?

    Right, so none of the thousands of impressed sailors were; it was all a figment of their imaginations? A kind of mass hallucination? Is that your position?

    You also wish to discuss President Polk’s administration as though he orchestrated the (much earlier) War of 1812? That’s a head-scratcher, and no mistake.

    Okay, Captain Non Sequiter, travel with me three decades forward in time, and we can discuss President Polk.

    In the event, “54’40″ Or Fight!” was a slogan by those enthusiastic for war, not a governmental policy. You might as well contend President Carter’s failed attempt to rescue Americans kidnapped by Iranians was motivated by, and articulated in, Vince Vance & The Valiants’ “Bomb Iran.” President Polk, like his opposite numbers in Britain, did not wish to go to war over the disputed boundaries in Oregon, and thus they negotiated a diplomatic settlement to the dispute. Nasty stuff, huh?

    The Mexican War was fought to preserve the self-determination of the inhabitants of Texas and California.

    Sincerely, P.H.

    “What do they teach them at these schools?” —C.S. Lewis

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  210. @Numinous
    Hate to disturb your fantasies, but I'd like to interject with a few facts.

    There are no "Aryans" in Europe. There have never been any "Aryans" in Europe. The only people who have ever used the term "Aryan" or words close to it hail from India and Persia (including parts of what is now Central Asia.) Historians posit that Hittites and Tocharians may have used the term too, but the evidence is very sketchy and unconvincing. The one thing common to all of these people: they were all Asians.

    There is no archaeological evidence to support the migration of steppe people to India or Persia. None. Zip, zilch, nada. And all linguistic evidence can do is link different languages to each other; it cannot say anything about time and place to even a high probability.

    Up to the time when the Russians ventured east and conquered their way to the Pacific in the east and the Pamirs in the south, there had never been a recorded instance of Europe-to-Asia invasion in known history, while there were plenty of recorded invasions in the other direction.

    The Ionian Greeks and, more spectacularly, Alexander of Macedon, never were, eh?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Numinous
    OK, sure that's one. Though the Greeks arguably were as much an "Asian" power as a "European" one. As far as I know, Greeks in Alexander's time were mainly distributed across the Peloponnese and western Anatolia. By today's standards, Herodotus would be an Asian.
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  211. @Steve Sailer
    Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids? You didn't have time to call for the emperor to come defend you from the Vikings sneaking up your river, so you needed local fighting men, stationary bandits.

    “Did feudalism emerge as a decentralized Frankish way to stop Viking raids?”

    Well, sort of, only more so. By which I mean that feudalism emerged to stop any raids. Indeed anything that emerges at all does so because it has some innate viability against its local counterforces. So, yes, only not just against Vikings, who didn’t really appear until nearly the ninth century. The Franks already had a solid feudal system at least a century before that and in fact the outlines of the feudal system are already apparent in the Germanic invaders of the Roman empire.

    To be more specific, as Gibbon and others have noted, the late Roman empire was hemorrhaging gold as the formerly stoic Roman elite acquired a taste for Eastern luxuries and a habit of paying barbarian mercenaries rather than doing their own fighting. What precious metal was left was typically horded (i.e., removed from the economy) to save it against the increasingly debased currency being issued at the imperial center. So while the early empire could depend on salaried soldiers defending real frontier walls and forts, by the late empire the capital economy had evaporated and the frontier infrastructure was crumbling. What was left was oaths of allegiance between henchman and their (war)lords to bind the (notionally) Roman defenders of (notional) borders. By the time emperor Valens waved a million-odd Gothic refugees into the empire only to have to fight them at Adrianople, the battle was an oddly desultory affair of weakly aligned “Roman” units wavering between pursuing their own agenda versus obeying orders. The better aligned and oathed Gothic units prevailed decisively, setting the pattern for most European military victories from then on.

    Arguably, this was the beginning of medieval feudalism, which lives on in its modern stepchild, nationalism: blood oaths and honor prevailing over administrative expedience bid by debt currency. If the Progs want to get all who-whom, things will get medieval as well. Blinded by their mental blinkers, the Progs don’t see how they are provoking exactly what they most fear.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  212. BB753 says:
    @whorefinder

    Not very impressive when compared to the work of Hume, Kant, etc
     
    lol. Your secular humanism bias is showing. You may disagree with the premises, but to claim that the School of Salamanca's genius was not up to Hume/Kant standards is just silly.

    After all, who are the Iberian equivalents to Newton, Galileo, Leibniz , Gauss, Maxwell, etc
     

    Just explained it, don't be dense. They were funneled into art for the Counter-reformation and theology, while Spain had little use for the kind of scientific advancement the Northern Europeans did during the 1500-1700s, as Spain was getting wealthy enough through gold imports. The Northern Europeans needed the advancements to get trade to be profitable from their colonies and also (for the Germans) to improve their military to face the encroaching Ottomans. Necessity was the mother of invention.

    Spain and England are best compared to two hungry people where Spain got served a magical lifetime supply of sugary treats while England got handed a farm. Spain got fat and didn't bother to learn how to grow its own food, while England worked the farm into a hugely profitable business with multiple sources for protein, grain, and produce.

    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That’s the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain’s mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That’s the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain’s mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.
     
    I think you're missing the obvious fact that because of the easy gold influx Spain never had to develop the kind of industry Northern Europe did, and so could funnel their intellectuals into art and theology. The brilliance of the Spanish painters and the School of Salamanca testify to a number of right-half-of-the-bell-curve folks.

    Had Newton, for example, lived in the middle ages, his brains would have been turned towards theology (as was his bent, given that 90% of his writings were about his occultish/eschatological Biblical calculations), but because he lived in an England of the 1600s where industry/ science were a hot thing that could make you rich/famous, his mind got turned and his scientific genius flourished. (Newton was not immune to the desire for wealth, having rather famously lost a ton of money trying to get rich quick in the South Sea Bubble: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sea_Company).

    I'd say a people who successfully led a complete reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, discovered the New World, took the lead in conquering and setting up governments in the Americas, and shattered the Muslim power in the Mediterranean aren't slouches on the intellectual side. Not to mention harried England for dominance for several hundred years.

    And lets not forget that many intellectuals coming out of the British Isles were, in fact, Scottish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Enlightenment. Heck, Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, is rumoroed to have been descended from the Scots: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant. So we might want to say that England itself was underrepresented on the right half of the bell curve.

    I don't really think the right half of the bell curve was underrepresented in Spain. That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries.

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  213. @dearieme
    “Dark Age” is such a BS term: on the contrary it's a perfectly sensible term. The age was first called "dark" because so little was known about it because there was little written at the time.

    It has additionally since been found to be "dark" because archaeological traces are pretty sparse too.

    Wrong. But understandably wrong.
    A lot was written, a lot was built, a lot was created; but the Enlightenment Whig view of how Classical Civilization got to the Renaissance without mentioning the Benedictines and the Holy Roman Catholic Church needed a vocabulary.
    “The Renaissance” as a term was coined by Jules Michelet, a Huguenot and a post-Catholic Frenchman of letters. I believe he termed the Middle Ages as “500 years without a bath.” Hardly a fair assessment lol. Even Libertarian Tom Woods wrote a book on the essential role of the Church in creating “Europe”, which is not a distinct geography from the Asian landmass, but which, for some reason has proven incredibly important…
    Indeed, the integration of ethnos with the Logos is the only thing that will save us, because that is what created us in the first place…
    “Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe” H. Belloc (O.G. Alt-Right)
    And so, I am sure once again the more fertile and devout Poles and their winged Hussars with the statue of our Lady of Częstochowa in their midst, will, in a few decades, need to descend upon the Mediterranean and wreck the Ottoman hordes while the last decadent yet devout Italians pray the Rosary for deliverance…
    The full content of Benedict’s Regensburg Address continues to inform us…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    A good book for reference is Huizinga's The Autumn of The Middle Ages.
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  214. Numinous says:
    @Autochthon
    The Ionian Greeks and, more spectacularly, Alexander of Macedon, never were, eh?

    OK, sure that’s one. Though the Greeks arguably were as much an “Asian” power as a “European” one. As far as I know, Greeks in Alexander’s time were mainly distributed across the Peloponnese and western Anatolia. By today’s standards, Herodotus would be an Asian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    The Romans also successfully invaded Asia before the Rus did.

    I concede, however, that Asians more commonly invaded Europe than vice versa, but it was then, as it is now, because motive was unilateral: Europe has always been a more prosperous and habitable place than Asia's steppes, and its people consequently more successful and wealthy than those of the Asian steppes. Hence the excursions were mostly one-sided.

    I fear much of this business is confused because of the unfortuante homonyms: both European and Asian each denote both a continental race and a continent. The former race extends into the latter continent, and mah indeed have origins there, or at least in that region where the two continents meet and geographers quibble about their boundaries: the European steppes of which Mr. Highlands writes and the Caucasus (hence the demonym Caucasian for the European race writ large).

    The Aryans (or Proto-Indo-Europeans, if you like) we posit originated in steppes between and near the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea; if you would call it Asia whilst Mr. Highlands and I call it Europe that's unimportant, so long as we all know what area we mean.

    I do reckon these people of the Pontic and Caspian steppes were racially European. Genetic research on their remains suggests affinities with the Yamnaya and with descendants in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe by the Bronze Age. Phenotypically, they were tall, with dark eyes, dark hair, but relatively light skin;
    not unlike many modern Slavs or Mediterranean peoples. (Many Russians, for instance, will claim the Scythians as their forbears as much as they do the Nordic Rus and the Slavs.)

    I genuinely don't have a dog in this fight, by the by; I'm not emotionally or ideologically invested in it ("We wuz nomadz of the Pontic steppez!"). These are just my own conclusions based upon the empirical research with which I am familiar.

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  215. whorefinder says: • Website
    @BB753
    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That's the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain's mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.

    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That’s the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain’s mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.

    I think you’re missing the obvious fact that because of the easy gold influx Spain never had to develop the kind of industry Northern Europe did, and so could funnel their intellectuals into art and theology. The brilliance of the Spanish painters and the School of Salamanca testify to a number of right-half-of-the-bell-curve folks.

    Had Newton, for example, lived in the middle ages, his brains would have been turned towards theology (as was his bent, given that 90% of his writings were about his occultish/eschatological Biblical calculations), but because he lived in an England of the 1600s where industry/ science were a hot thing that could make you rich/famous, his mind got turned and his scientific genius flourished. (Newton was not immune to the desire for wealth, having rather famously lost a ton of money trying to get rich quick in the South Sea Bubble: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sea_Company).

    I’d say a people who successfully led a complete reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, discovered the New World, took the lead in conquering and setting up governments in the Americas, and shattered the Muslim power in the Mediterranean aren’t slouches on the intellectual side. Not to mention harried England for dominance for several hundred years.

    And lets not forget that many intellectuals coming out of the British Isles were, in fact, Scottish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Enlightenment. Heck, Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, is rumoroed to have been descended from the Scots: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant. So we might want to say that England itself was underrepresented on the right half of the bell curve.

    I don’t really think the right half of the bell curve was underrepresented in Spain. That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    "That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries."

    Perhaps Spaniards just got dumber. Or lazier. In any case, if you compared modern Spanish and French elites, or even Italian elites, you'd understand what I mean. In general, Spanish businessmen, scientists and intellectuals are pretty mediocre although decently competent. As for modern Englishmen, their top 20% in terms of brain power is very impressive and perhaps second to none in the world.

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  216. BB753 says:
    @whorefinder

    I also suspect a serious lack of brainpower handicapped Spain from the start. Not that the average Spaniard was much dumber than the average Frenchman, for instance, but that they lacked substantial numbers in the extreme right side of the bell curve, in the smart fraction. That’s the part of the population that makes all the difference.
    Hence Spain’s mediocre contributions to commerce and science, where they were outsmarted by the Dutch, the British and the French, and the German-speaking world. Pioneer neurologist Santiago Ramon y Cajal might be the sole exception.
     
    I think you're missing the obvious fact that because of the easy gold influx Spain never had to develop the kind of industry Northern Europe did, and so could funnel their intellectuals into art and theology. The brilliance of the Spanish painters and the School of Salamanca testify to a number of right-half-of-the-bell-curve folks.

    Had Newton, for example, lived in the middle ages, his brains would have been turned towards theology (as was his bent, given that 90% of his writings were about his occultish/eschatological Biblical calculations), but because he lived in an England of the 1600s where industry/ science were a hot thing that could make you rich/famous, his mind got turned and his scientific genius flourished. (Newton was not immune to the desire for wealth, having rather famously lost a ton of money trying to get rich quick in the South Sea Bubble: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sea_Company).

    I'd say a people who successfully led a complete reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, discovered the New World, took the lead in conquering and setting up governments in the Americas, and shattered the Muslim power in the Mediterranean aren't slouches on the intellectual side. Not to mention harried England for dominance for several hundred years.

    And lets not forget that many intellectuals coming out of the British Isles were, in fact, Scottish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Enlightenment. Heck, Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, is rumoroed to have been descended from the Scots: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant. So we might want to say that England itself was underrepresented on the right half of the bell curve.

    I don't really think the right half of the bell curve was underrepresented in Spain. That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries.

    “That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries.”

    Perhaps Spaniards just got dumber. Or lazier. In any case, if you compared modern Spanish and French elites, or even Italian elites, you’d understand what I mean. In general, Spanish businessmen, scientists and intellectuals are pretty mediocre although decently competent. As for modern Englishmen, their top 20% in terms of brain power is very impressive and perhaps second to none in the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Well, Spanish did live under a fascist dictator for a large portion of the 20th Century, which likely retarded some development. I'm not putting down the British, who (with the Germans) were likely per capita producing the most intellectual accomplishments in the 19th Century, so maybe it's unfair to compare most nations, including Spain, to them.( In the 20th Century America and Japan joined the Brits and the Germans at the top of the heap, intellectually speaking.)

    I think Spain has isolationist tendencies, perhaps due to their geographic locale. They are profoundly Catholic and proud of their whiteness, which distances them from linking up with North Africa nationalities more often. Their serious religiosity contrasts them with France (which always has at least half the population loathing the Catholic Church and screaming for an atheistic state) and England and Germany (Protestant), so it makes crossover more difficult.

    It could just be that Spain in their post colonial era followed Portugal and the Netherlands in seeing their impact on the world dwindle and, in conjunction, their intellectual output decline. Without an expansive empire around to work for, their brain power (like many in history) withered on the vine.

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  217. Ivy says:
    @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    Wrong. But understandably wrong.
    A lot was written, a lot was built, a lot was created; but the Enlightenment Whig view of how Classical Civilization got to the Renaissance without mentioning the Benedictines and the Holy Roman Catholic Church needed a vocabulary.
    "The Renaissance" as a term was coined by Jules Michelet, a Huguenot and a post-Catholic Frenchman of letters. I believe he termed the Middle Ages as "500 years without a bath." Hardly a fair assessment lol. Even Libertarian Tom Woods wrote a book on the essential role of the Church in creating "Europe", which is not a distinct geography from the Asian landmass, but which, for some reason has proven incredibly important...
    Indeed, the integration of ethnos with the Logos is the only thing that will save us, because that is what created us in the first place...
    "Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe" H. Belloc (O.G. Alt-Right)
    And so, I am sure once again the more fertile and devout Poles and their winged Hussars with the statue of our Lady of Częstochowa in their midst, will, in a few decades, need to descend upon the Mediterranean and wreck the Ottoman hordes while the last decadent yet devout Italians pray the Rosary for deliverance...
    The full content of Benedict's Regensburg Address continues to inform us...

    A good book for reference is Huizinga’s The Autumn of The Middle Ages.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Je Suis Charlie Martel
    Cool, looks interesting thanks!
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  218. @Numinous
    OK, sure that's one. Though the Greeks arguably were as much an "Asian" power as a "European" one. As far as I know, Greeks in Alexander's time were mainly distributed across the Peloponnese and western Anatolia. By today's standards, Herodotus would be an Asian.

    The Romans also successfully invaded Asia before the Rus did.

    I concede, however, that Asians more commonly invaded Europe than vice versa, but it was then, as it is now, because motive was unilateral: Europe has always been a more prosperous and habitable place than Asia’s steppes, and its people consequently more successful and wealthy than those of the Asian steppes. Hence the excursions were mostly one-sided.

    I fear much of this business is confused because of the unfortuante homonyms: both European and Asian each denote both a continental race and a continent. The former race extends into the latter continent, and mah indeed have origins there, or at least in that region where the two continents meet and geographers quibble about their boundaries: the European steppes of which Mr. Highlands writes and the Caucasus (hence the demonym Caucasian for the European race writ large).

    The Aryans (or Proto-Indo-Europeans, if you like) we posit originated in steppes between and near the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea; if you would call it Asia whilst Mr. Highlands and I call it Europe that’s unimportant, so long as we all know what area we mean.

    I do reckon these people of the Pontic and Caspian steppes were racially European. Genetic research on their remains suggests affinities with the Yamnaya and with descendants in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe by the Bronze Age. Phenotypically, they were tall, with dark eyes, dark hair, but relatively light skin;
    not unlike many modern Slavs or Mediterranean peoples. (Many Russians, for instance, will claim the Scythians as their forbears as much as they do the Nordic Rus and the Slavs.)

    I genuinely don’t have a dog in this fight, by the by; I’m not emotionally or ideologically invested in it (“We wuz nomadz of the Pontic steppez!”). These are just my own conclusions based upon the empirical research with which I am familiar.

    Read More
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  219. whorefinder says: • Website
    @BB753
    "That said, it would have been interesting to do IQ tests of the average English men in the 16th-17th C. and Spain of those centuries."

    Perhaps Spaniards just got dumber. Or lazier. In any case, if you compared modern Spanish and French elites, or even Italian elites, you'd understand what I mean. In general, Spanish businessmen, scientists and intellectuals are pretty mediocre although decently competent. As for modern Englishmen, their top 20% in terms of brain power is very impressive and perhaps second to none in the world.

    Well, Spanish did live under a fascist dictator for a large portion of the 20th Century, which likely retarded some development. I’m not putting down the British, who (with the Germans) were likely per capita producing the most intellectual accomplishments in the 19th Century, so maybe it’s unfair to compare most nations, including Spain, to them.( In the 20th Century America and Japan joined the Brits and the Germans at the top of the heap, intellectually speaking.)

    I think Spain has isolationist tendencies, perhaps due to their geographic locale. They are profoundly Catholic and proud of their whiteness, which distances them from linking up with North Africa nationalities more often. Their serious religiosity contrasts them with France (which always has at least half the population loathing the Catholic Church and screaming for an atheistic state) and England and Germany (Protestant), so it makes crossover more difficult.

    It could just be that Spain in their post colonial era followed Portugal and the Netherlands in seeing their impact on the world dwindle and, in conjunction, their intellectual output decline. Without an expansive empire around to work for, their brain power (like many in history) withered on the vine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    Franco wasn't a fascist, but rather a monarchist. He first saw his dictatorship as temporary but didn't trust the Bourbons (who had messed up the country in the first place and handed foolishly power to the Left by fleeing after rigged municipal elections) to secure a stable regime until he had groomed his successor, Prince Juan Carlos (John Charles), to run Spain. Of course, upon Franco's death, the future king betrayed the constitution and pushed for a regime change while remaining head of state.
    As for Spain's rapid decline, there are many factors to blame, not only brainpower. After all, Holland and Sweden also had their moment of glory and could have been as successful as England, but it didn't happen for some reason or other.
    300 years from now, Chinese historians will wonder when did America go wrong? There are many answers to that question.
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  220. BB753 says:
    @whorefinder
    Well, Spanish did live under a fascist dictator for a large portion of the 20th Century, which likely retarded some development. I'm not putting down the British, who (with the Germans) were likely per capita producing the most intellectual accomplishments in the 19th Century, so maybe it's unfair to compare most nations, including Spain, to them.( In the 20th Century America and Japan joined the Brits and the Germans at the top of the heap, intellectually speaking.)

    I think Spain has isolationist tendencies, perhaps due to their geographic locale. They are profoundly Catholic and proud of their whiteness, which distances them from linking up with North Africa nationalities more often. Their serious religiosity contrasts them with France (which always has at least half the population loathing the Catholic Church and screaming for an atheistic state) and England and Germany (Protestant), so it makes crossover more difficult.

    It could just be that Spain in their post colonial era followed Portugal and the Netherlands in seeing their impact on the world dwindle and, in conjunction, their intellectual output decline. Without an expansive empire around to work for, their brain power (like many in history) withered on the vine.

    Franco wasn’t a fascist, but rather a monarchist. He first saw his dictatorship as temporary but didn’t trust the Bourbons (who had messed up the country in the first place and handed foolishly power to the Left by fleeing after rigged municipal elections) to secure a stable regime until he had groomed his successor, Prince Juan Carlos (John Charles), to run Spain. Of course, upon Franco’s death, the future king betrayed the constitution and pushed for a regime change while remaining head of state.
    As for Spain’s rapid decline, there are many factors to blame, not only brainpower. After all, Holland and Sweden also had their moment of glory and could have been as successful as England, but it didn’t happen for some reason or other.
    300 years from now, Chinese historians will wonder when did America go wrong? There are many answers to that question.

    Read More
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  221. jay says:
    @whorefinder

    Why hadn’t France developed a navy? How many ways can you answer that, and far back do you have to go?
     
    France has a coastline that is both on the Atlantic and on the Mediterranean. And on the mediterranean side, Marseilles was a big shipping port going back to the Greek colonist times (300-400 BC). The Mediterrean coast of France also saw Muslim naval incursions. France had motive and means to create a great naval tradition, but the opportunity was likely lacking, due to the disunified nature of internal France for so long as well as land-war issues. But then again, many nations managed to establish a great land-army tradition AND a great naval tradition (England, U.S., Rome, Ottomon Empire). If a French leader ever truly wanted to make France the world's super power again, they might start by spending billions developing their navy, perhaps by constructing some artificial ports on both of its coast lines.

    The Spanish armada’s worst piece of luck was being Spanish.
     
    That's just silly. Spain had the greatest navy of its time. It broke the Muslim stronghold on the Mediterrean at the Battle of Lepanto, has the oldest Marine force in the world, dominated world trade for a century, and used it's navy to take over a plurality of the New World and parts of East Asia. Had Spain not relied so heavily on gold and slaves and instead promoted industry and trade, and if it had made it's #1 goal to stomp the British when it had the chance during England's weakest period (From the death of Henry VIII to the beginning of the Glorious Revolution), the English Empire would have never been

    Slavery is the undoing of many civilizations.

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  222. Ivy says:

    A corollary to the Bronze Age story is the pending blondes age collapse. So many undocumented hair-dyers and other cultural appropriators want to adopt a lifestyle that promises more fun, but without either the genetic endowment or the basic awareness of quintessential blondness. Of course, one may swap in any other group, whether redheads, brunettes or even Americans.

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  223. @Ivy
    A good book for reference is Huizinga's The Autumn of The Middle Ages.

    Cool, looks interesting thanks!

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  224. […] community, competition, and kinship. These reflect the spirit of the Bronze Age with its countless forgotten wars between peoples. From an evolutionary point of view, these men embraced a high-risk, high-reward […]

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  225. Sam J. says:
    @Sunbeam
    "They carbon-dated the bridge in the location of the battle to around 1750 BC, 500 years before the battle, and said it was 120 meters, or 393 feet long. That’s an impressive bit of engineering for 1750 BC. "

    Things were a bit different than our CW assumes today concerning history prior to writing.

    Here is a link to a wiki page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    "The surviving structures, then, not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel, they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BCE. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organization of an advanced order not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies. Archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the heavy pillars from local quarries and move them 100–500 meters (330–1,640 ft) to the site.[29] The pillars weigh 10–20 metric tons (10–20 long tons; 11–22 short tons), with one still in the quarry weighing 50 tons.[30] It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place. If so, this would be the oldest known evidence for a priestly caste—much earlier than such social distinctions developed elsewhere in the Near East.[8]"

    Assuming there dating is right (and no one seems to be quibbling with it), man was working stone and building structures before agriculture - for some reason. No idea what this thing was for.

    Also someone brought up the Iroquois raiding far south. The Zulus big thing was how many swinging... clubs they could bring to a fight. So it isn't unknown for low tech societies to pull off logistics (think they managed to bring 30 or 35 thousand to that fight in the Zulu movie).

    And I believe Steve Sailer has noted several times about how deep into Mexico the Commanche would raid. Brought back parrots I believe (though heck since seashells were trade items around the Great Lakes, I wouldn't be surprised if the American Indian trade network brought them further north).

    “…It has been suggested that an elite class of religious leaders supervised the work and later controlled whatever ceremonies took place…”

    They always say “religious leaders” get these things done. I protest. I have a much better theory. It was beer drinking Yahoo’s that did this. The whole idea was to make a cool place where they could hang out without their Wives bothering them and drink beer. They decorated it up with some animal totems just like we do today.

    Beer drinking Yahoo’s, that’s who did this.

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