The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Modern Domestic Horses Come from Russian Steppe in 2200 BC
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

From the NYT science section:

The Horse You Rode In On May Have Been Made in Southern Russia

A comprehensive new paper tested 273 ancient horse genomes to pinpoint when and where modern horses were domesticated.

By Sabrina Imbler
Oct. 20, 2021

For thousands of years, the grassy plains of Europe and Asia were home to a mosaic of genetically distinct horse lineages. But a single lineage galloped ahead to overtake and replace all the other wild horses.

… After collecting and sequencing 273 ancient horse genomes, a team of 162 authors concluded that modern horses were domesticated around 4,200 years ago in steppes around southern Russia, near where the Volga and Don rivers intersect.

They don’t actually intersect, but they are connected by a relatively short canal.

In recent years, scholars homed in on a Botai settlement in the Kazakh steppes that was brimming with horses’ bone fragments and clay pots that were lined with what appeared to be mare’s milk. This was the earliest archaeological evidence of horse domestication, and seemed promising as the birthplace of modern horses.

But in 2018, a team of researchers including Dr. Orlando sequenced the genomes of the horse bones at Botai. To the researchers’ surprise, the Botai horses did not give rise to modern horses, but were instead the direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses, a stocky lineage originally thought to be the last wild horses on the planet.

There is a herd of Przewalski’s horses at the San Diego Zoo, and they are pretty terrifying.

They revealed Przewalski’s were not wild after all, but instead the feral descendants of domestics. …

A little over a year ago, they were able to pinpoint the precise location: the Volga-Don region in what is now Russia.

With such a gargantuan data set, the researchers ended up answering additional horsy historical details. They found modern horses had two stark genetic differences from other ancient lineages — one gene linked to docility and another to a stronger backbone — which may have facilitated the animals’ spread.

My guess is the first horseback riders were 120 pound 16-year-old skateboarder types who feel no fear.

It took a long time to develop horses that could effectively carry a grown warrior. Thus early cavalry tended to be chariots.

The study also knocked down ideas about horses’ role in earlier human history. For instance, one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence; the researchers point out oxen, not horses, could have been the driving factor of their expansion.

Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery.

The new paper also reveals domestic horses spread across Eurasia along with the Bronze Age Sintashta culture, which possessed spoke-wheeled chariots, around 3,800 years ago. …

Like all other humans, he rides domestic horses — descendants of the ancient animals that galloped in southern Russia.

“I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

 
Hide 135 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Exactly the people who first settled Persia; then the leftovers plundered and harassed the Persians.

    The funniest section in Herodotus is where the Great King Darius decides to conquer the pesky Samatian horseclans once and for all. He tried to get them to stay on one place long enough for a battle, no dice. The fiddle faddled around and led them on a goose chase to the Gobi’s western defiles and finally Darius had enough. Get me away from these lunatics. His officers were happy to oblige.

    It’s fine history because there wasn’t much bloodshed. Sarmatians liked to hit and run and let the enemy go dry and hungry. Darius was smart enough not to press the issue.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said. I don’t know how he could have known that in the 1930s when he was bragging about it.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Franz


    ...goose chase to the Gobi’s western defiles and finally Darius had enough.
     
    Unless we define the defiles very generously, Darius was still a few thousand miles from Gobi. The Herodotus story takes place in the upper-east Balkans and north of Black See.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said.
     
    That is unlikely, Stalin was of Caucasus descent, G2 DNA - short, stocky and very hairy. The hirsute human gene came from there. He had some Ossetian blood, and this affinity triggered the current Georgia-Ossetia fight over territory. Ossetians are Iranian speakers descended from Sarmatians. It is interesting how Stalin liked to think of himself...aspirational identity shows how "soft power" works and how it changes over time.

    Replies: @Franz

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @Franz

    Judged linguistically- no. Sarmatians, Scythians etc. were assimilated into Slavic proto-peoples; they spoke Indo-European satem language(s), just like Iranian, Baltic and Slavic peoples, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum_and_satem_languages

    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.

    Replies: @Jon Halpenny, @Franz

    , @J.Ross
    @Franz

    Poles historically claim to be descendants of Sarmatians (with about as much scientific verifiability as you might expect from the eighteenth century) so that's probably something like what Stalin was doing.

    Replies: @Dube

  2. But I was taught that everything great came from the Middle East. Or China. And certainly had to come from civilized city-folk. And yet these barbarians outdid them.

  3. Do you mean the Russian steppe?

  4. Anon[298] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m reading a book that quotes various Roman era commentators on the horses that the mercenary Black Sea and Caspian Sea proto-Iranians rode, and they were fairly small. I guess a whole lot of these mounted fighters with really long spears and no fear could rout large forces.

    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Anon

    TwoNineEight, while visiting several Civil War museums I was taken back by how small the uniforms were. Apparently the fighting men on both sides were the size of today's teenagers. The popular mount in the Civil War was the Canada horse, which came from France IIRC. Good for both riding and pulling some loads.

    Replies: @Dan Hayes

    , @Muggles
    @Anon


    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.
     
    There were very few of these elephants actually used in warfare. Mostly for intimidation. Mainly in the Middle East, though Hannibal famously brought some into Italy.

    I have read that they were a sub species of much larger African elephants (native to far northern Africa) which went extinct around the middle of the Roman period.

    Large southern African elephants are barely able to be tamed and can't be ridden. SE Asian elephants are much smaller and can be domesticated. I don't think these were used in ancient Mediterranean warfare.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  5. You’ve got a time out of time revolution delivered up to you and yet you’ve got nothing to offer.

  6. Modern Domestic Horses Come from Russian Step in 2200 BC

    No mount of ever reinterpreting steppe, mountain and russian will ever satisfy all parties that everyone is gay, and russians are gaysest

  7. anonymous[235] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder how the War of Heavenly Horses fits into the 4,000-year-old genealogy. The event occurred during at the midpoint of this span of history. Over 2,000 years ago in modern-day Tajikistan was the remotest eastern outpost of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. The Han Dynasty fought a war with the eastern frontier of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom to get the “heavenly horses”. Getting the horses were needed to fight against the Xiongnu, steppe raiders who were predecessors of the Hun.

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

  8. You do know that’s Steppe, right? (not Step)

  9. She comes down from Caucus Mountain
    On a dark, flat land she rides
    On a pony she named лесной пожар
    With a whirlwind by her side
    On a cold Siberian night

    She ran calling лесной пожар
    She ran calling лесной пожар
    She ran calling лесной пожар

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Sick of Orcs

    Why didn't you translate/transliterate the horse's name?

    It is Lesnoy Pozhar - Forest Fire.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Sick of Orcs

  10. Yamnaya could have had imperfectly domesticated horses that have left no descendants. If entire human populations can be replaced, why not horses?

    • Replies: @Anonymous Jew
    @Anon

    I believe that’s what happened to separately domesticated American dog breeds that predated European settlement. They were, of course, replaced by modern dogs from Eurasia. Not sure about any Elizabeth Warren-type mixing.

  11. …modern horses were domesticated around 4,200 years ago in steppes around southern Russia, near where the Volga and Don rivers intersect.

    The original Cossacks! I expect Putin’s meme team to distribute pictures of Vlad in Cossack regalia on top of one of these horses with the caption “We Russians have been here a loooong time!” Maybe he and Ramzan Kadyrov can arm wrestle for title of 1st Ataman! (I’d fork out the cash for that pay-per-view event…)

  12. They don’t actually intersect, but they are connected by a relatively short canal.

    Look, she’s an American; the matter in hand is geography; her statement is close enough for the NYT science section.

  13. https://archive.md/ddatE for those without NYT subscription.

    My guess is the first horseback riders were 120 pound 16-year-old skateboarder types who feel no fear.

    I would guess that, like other domestic animals, the first domestic horses were infants raised by humans, perhaps after killing the mother in a hunt. The hunter’s proto-skateboarder adolescent son thinks, “Hey, maybe baby Equus can pull my toy!” Several years later: “Hey, maybe Equus can pull me!” Several generations later: “Hey, I could ride that!”

    one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence

    I’m not sure how this absence-of-evidence-is-evidence-of-absence thing is supposed to work in this case, and the full article didn’t shed any light on it either. Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point? I mean, isn’t the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep? Isn’t that evidence of early domestication?

    Separately, “smoking hoof”, “additional horsy historical details”, etc.: when the NYT stylebook annex Teen Vogue’s?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point?
     
    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    It turns out the Sintashta were the ones who invented the chariot and spread the horse everywhere. But rest assured - the Sintashta were “Europoids” still, albeit proto-Indo-Iranian* linguistically.

    *Iranian being literally the “real Aryans.” ;)

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Almost Missouri, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    , @Expletive Deleted
    @Almost Missouri

    The sheepy-horsey tale is a 19th century (AD!) attempt to reconstruct primitive indo-european using forms of words that appear to be fairly basal in the languages. Usually involves a lot of statto and grammary jiggery-pokery, so needs treating with due scepticism about its absolute accuracy, although the basic idea isn't that bad.

    The original was a confection got up merely for illustrative purposes by A. Schleicher in 1868.

    I have a vague idea that Hittite and other Anatolian languages have the oldest written forms. Which does not mean they are the oldest, of course. Despite Colin Renfrew still banging on about it.

    , @inertial
    @Almost Missouri


    I mean, isn’t the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep?
     
    Do you mean Schleicher's fable? How is it the the oldest known story when it was only composed in 1868?

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  14. More evidence of Trump Russian collusion.

  15. Is there a spreadsheet which compiles all the fascinating factoids about the Ur-Indo-European linguistic and archaeological and genetic evidence presented by the public relations departments at Ukraine, Kazakstan, Georgia, et al agencies? There is a large amount of data to keep track of.

  16. Wasn’t your “Russian Step” more of a jump?

  17. @Almost Missouri
    https://archive.md/ddatE for those without NYT subscription.

    My guess is the first horseback riders were 120 pound 16-year-old skateboarder types who feel no fear.
     
    I would guess that, like other domestic animals, the first domestic horses were infants raised by humans, perhaps after killing the mother in a hunt. The hunter's proto-skateboarder adolescent son thinks, "Hey, maybe baby Equus can pull my toy!" Several years later: "Hey, maybe Equus can pull me!" Several generations later: "Hey, I could ride that!"


    one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence
     

     
    I'm not sure how this absence-of-evidence-is-evidence-of-absence thing is supposed to work in this case, and the full article didn't shed any light on it either. Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point? I mean, isn't the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep? Isn't that evidence of early domestication?

    Separately, "smoking hoof", "additional horsy historical details", etc.: when the NYT stylebook annex Teen Vogue's?

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Expletive Deleted, @inertial

    Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point?

    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    It turns out the Sintashta were the ones who invented the chariot and spread the horse everywhere. But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids” still, albeit proto-Indo-Iranian* linguistically.

    *Iranian being literally the “real Aryans.” 😉

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Twinkie

    Makes perfect sense, since Yamnaya didn't contribute paternal DNA to Europeans, meaning they weren't the vector for Indo-European languages and Steppe ancestry in Europe, either.


    Yamnaya mostly belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-Z2103, while the successive Corded Ware population belonged mostly to R1a and R1b clades not found in Yamnaya. Virtually no European population north or west of Armenia has the Yamnayan R1b-Z2103, and R1a/Western R1b was never found in Yamnaya.


    So yeah, to hell with Yamnaya. Finally the hype surrounding them is being shut down by more intellectually aggressive scientists. They never domesticated anything, appear to have seldom rode horses, never spread in to the rest of Europe, and did not spread Indo European languages or Steppe ancestry to Europeans. But they have benefitted very much from sensationalist media reporting and lazy vernacular by amateur (and even professional) geneticists.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids”
     
    Lol. Hey, Sintashta are fine. I love all nomads equally! I'm just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Twinkie, @gwood

    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Twinkie


    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).
     
    To the contrary, Almost Missouri’s point still stands.

    The NYT relays no evidence in its "anti-Yamnaya" supposition:


    The study also knocked down ideas about horses’ role in earlier human history. For instance, one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence; the researchers point out oxen, not horses, could have been the driving factor of their expansion.
     
    … and the above is indeed contradicted by recent findings:

    h/t Anonymous[387]


    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4
     

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/when-did-european-adults-finally-start-drinking-milk/#comment-4909392 (#31)
  18. Anonymous[256] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point?
     
    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    It turns out the Sintashta were the ones who invented the chariot and spread the horse everywhere. But rest assured - the Sintashta were “Europoids” still, albeit proto-Indo-Iranian* linguistically.

    *Iranian being literally the “real Aryans.” ;)

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Almost Missouri, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Makes perfect sense, since Yamnaya didn’t contribute paternal DNA to Europeans, meaning they weren’t the vector for Indo-European languages and Steppe ancestry in Europe, either.

    Yamnaya mostly belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-Z2103, while the successive Corded Ware population belonged mostly to R1a and R1b clades not found in Yamnaya. Virtually no European population north or west of Armenia has the Yamnayan R1b-Z2103, and R1a/Western R1b was never found in Yamnaya.

    So yeah, to hell with Yamnaya. Finally the hype surrounding them is being shut down by more intellectually aggressive scientists. They never domesticated anything, appear to have seldom rode horses, never spread in to the rest of Europe, and did not spread Indo European languages or Steppe ancestry to Europeans. But they have benefitted very much from sensationalist media reporting and lazy vernacular by amateur (and even professional) geneticists.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Anonymous


    Makes perfect sense, since Yamnaya didn’t contribute paternal DNA to Europeans
     
    Really? Wots all this then:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture#Relation_with_Yamnaya_culture


    Recent genetics studies suggest that the people of the Corded Ware culture share significant levels of ancestry with Yamnaya as a consequence of a supposed "massive migration" from the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and the people of both cultures may be directly descended from a genetically similar pre-Yamnaya population.
     

    Kristiansen et al. (2017) theorise that the Corded Ware culture originated from male Yamnaya pastoralists, or a closely related population, migrating northwards, and marrying local farmer woman, who contributed specific farmer aspects to their culture, which transformed into the Corded ware culture. This culture was carried further into Europe by their offspring.
     
    You write:

    So yeah, to hell with Yamnaya. Finally the hype surrounding them is being shut down by more intellectually aggressive scientists.
     
    You sound angry and hurt. By “intellectually aggressive” do you mean ideological?

    If so, “ideological” and “scientist” might be mutually exclusive if uncovering evidence is the goal.


    They never domesticated anything, appear to have seldom rode horses
     
    LOL. Yamnaya domestication of horses:

    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4
     

    https://twitter.com/OakGwove/status/1274422678569525251


    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/002/076/210/68b.jpg


    https://i.redd.it/8qq33g0mknz11.jpg

  19. OFF TOPIC: Mohamed Noor re-sentencing …

    Damond’s fiancé, Don Damond, appeared via Zoom and said the state Supreme Court’s decision “does not diminish the truth which was uncovered during the trial. The truth is that Justine should be alive.”

    Don Damond said his comments should not be construed to mean he wasn’t still grieving. “I still cry so often,” he said. “I miss her so deeply. I will always love her and I am deeply guided by her in my following statement.”

    He said Damond “lived a life of love, she modeled a life of joy for all and she stood for forgiveness.”

    Mohamed Noor listened Thursday as Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s fiancé made a statement via Zoom during the former police officer’s resentencing.

    “Given her example, I want you to know that I forgive you, Mohamed,” he said. “All I ask is that you use this experience to do good for other people. Be the example of how to transform beyond adversity. Be an example of honesty and contrition. This is what Justine would want.”

    Kumbiyah!

    • Replies: @Sean
    @Jack Armstrong

    Means he will be free by late this year. Diamond's family, who forgave him, pocketed a $20 million settlement. Partially on the basis of the now quashed murder conviction I suspect.

  20. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point?
     
    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    It turns out the Sintashta were the ones who invented the chariot and spread the horse everywhere. But rest assured - the Sintashta were “Europoids” still, albeit proto-Indo-Iranian* linguistically.

    *Iranian being literally the “real Aryans.” ;)

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Almost Missouri, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids”

    Lol. Hey, Sintashta are fine. I love all nomads equally! I’m just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Almost Missouri

    Tenuous, inferred, "reconstructed" evidence. Not hard evidence.

    , @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    I’m just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.
     
    Though the Yamnaya may have domesticated the horse, they likely 1) didn't spread it to the others and 2) weren't able to utilize the horse for greater military potential as the Sintashta apparently were able to.

    I am more a (former) historian than a geneticist or an archeologist obviously, but I concur with Razib Khan: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/10/22/horses-were-domesticated-before-mammoth-went-extinct/

    I still think this is a plausible model:

    – Horses were used opportunistically on the Eurasian steppe between 3500 BC and 2000 BC

    – The horse was fully domesticated 2000 BC with the emergence of the light war-chariot

    – The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry

    I can be convinced that the horse wasn’t used opportunistically but it makes the militaristic expansion of Corded Ware so much more plausible to me.
     

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Dutch Boy

    , @gwood
    @Almost Missouri

    "oxen nomads"...
    I have a sudden mental image of Mongo in "Blazing Saddles".

  21. In the headline, should that be steppe, not step? Also, maybe came, not come (especially since a past date is given). Not slagging, just made me “huh?”

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Anonymous

    I applaud the removal of the French influence in the spelling of English versions of non-French words.

  22. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids”
     
    Lol. Hey, Sintashta are fine. I love all nomads equally! I'm just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Twinkie, @gwood

    Tenuous, inferred, “reconstructed” evidence. Not hard evidence.

  23. To the researchers’ surprise, the Botai horses did not give rise to modern horses, but were instead the direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses, a stocky lineage originally thought to be the last wild horses on the planet.

    As I recall, there was thing like that with dog genomes. The researchers assumed that there would have been multiple domestication events, perhaps with intermittent additional wild genes introgressing into the domestic lines. Instead the researchers found almost the opposite: there was only one domestication event, and it was the domestic genes that intermittently extro-gressed into the wild races, such that there are no really 100% pure wild wolves and haven’t been for a long time.

    • Replies: @The truthisma
    @Almost Missouri

    That is not what they found with dogs at all.

    The archaeological evidence point to multiple domestication events. But the genetics indicates one lineage later became dominant.

    But yes wolves are to some extent just feral dogs, although clearly there has been continuous leakage both ways.

  24. In Xenophon’s Anabasis, the Greeks constantly complain about the unfairness of fighting with Persians. The Greeks, who were all infantry, faced the best Persian troops, which was cavalry. So the Greek worried that if they are defeated they will be slaughtered to a man, but if they win the enemy will be able to simply ride off beyond reach. And this is what more or less keeps happening. Greeks keep winning in the field but they are never able to wipe out the Persians because they can never catch them.

    So it would seem that the main advantage of early cavalry was not so much battle efficiency but safety – an option of easy escape if things go wrong.

    Another advantage was psychological. Many Greeks were terrified of a cavalry charge. No wonder; imagine hundreds of these huge heavy things rushing at you at enormous speed. Xenophon gives a speech where he tries to reassure them saying the the only important part of a man-horse pair is the man on the horseback and the horse doesn’t matter at all. He asks his compatriots a rhetorical question: Have you ever seen a horse kill a warrior with its kick of bite? Apparently, this never happened.

    • Replies: @Dmon
    @inertial

    You are quite correct about the safety factor - the Persian cavalry used the classic harassment tactics which are basically the only resort of cavalry against heavy infantry. However, far from being terrified of Persian cavalry, it was more like the Persian cavalry that was terrified of the Greek infantry. It was an indisputable fact of war right up to the end of horse soldiers that heavy (i.e., non-missile) cavalry was helpless against disciplined heavy infantry that maintained its' formation. No matter how good a horseman you are, you cannot get a horse to charge headlong into a wall of spears or bayonets. A non-panicked horse won't even run on purpose directly into a single human who stands his ground. As long as your infantry maintained formation (and Xenophon's men were professional mercenaries), a cavalry charge against them might begin at a gallop, slow down to a trot, and end with a bunch of embarrassed enemy lapping aimlessly back and forth around the infantry formation on spent horses before retreating in disgust. If you wanted to take on heavy infantry, you needed missile armed light cavalry using hit and run tactics. In Xenophon's case, he retaliated by arming his Rhodian slingers with long-range lead bullets, which made the Persians a little more prudent. A pretty good book on tactical systems is "Elements of Military Strategy", by Archer Jones. Of course, this applies only to organized militaries. If a bunch of guys riding horses showed up in your farming village 4000 yrs. ago, no doubt you would have had the living sh!t scared and beaten out of you, just prior to having all of your female relatives appropriated.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Almost Missouri
    @inertial

    Cavalry can't overcome disciplined infantry in a shock (contact) attack, but they can harass them with arrows, slingstones, javelins, etc. whether they are charioteers or mounted. As you say, I think the big advantage that horse warriors have is simply that their superior mobility means they get to choose whether or not there is a battle. And if they are winning the battle, they can make sure no one escapes. And if they are losing, they can just leave and cancel the battle. So while they can't always win, they can never lose. Over time, that means implacable strategic victories.

    The only exception would be on rough terrain: mountains or dense forests. The rocky slopes of Greece neutralized part of the Persian cavalry advantage. Thermopylae funneled the Persians into a close quarters contact battle where the Greeks were at an advantage.

    But of course terrain that is bad for cavalry is also usually bad for agriculture. So rich, open, flat agricultural land was also most at risk to raiding and conquest by horsemen. The sheepherding and olive growing hills and islands of Greece, however, were partially sheltered from this threat.

  25. @Almost Missouri
    https://archive.md/ddatE for those without NYT subscription.

    My guess is the first horseback riders were 120 pound 16-year-old skateboarder types who feel no fear.
     
    I would guess that, like other domestic animals, the first domestic horses were infants raised by humans, perhaps after killing the mother in a hunt. The hunter's proto-skateboarder adolescent son thinks, "Hey, maybe baby Equus can pull my toy!" Several years later: "Hey, maybe Equus can pull me!" Several generations later: "Hey, I could ride that!"


    one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence
     

     
    I'm not sure how this absence-of-evidence-is-evidence-of-absence thing is supposed to work in this case, and the full article didn't shed any light on it either. Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point? I mean, isn't the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep? Isn't that evidence of early domestication?

    Separately, "smoking hoof", "additional horsy historical details", etc.: when the NYT stylebook annex Teen Vogue's?

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Expletive Deleted, @inertial

    The sheepy-horsey tale is a 19th century (AD!) attempt to reconstruct primitive indo-european using forms of words that appear to be fairly basal in the languages. Usually involves a lot of statto and grammary jiggery-pokery, so needs treating with due scepticism about its absolute accuracy, although the basic idea isn’t that bad.

    The original was a confection got up merely for illustrative purposes by A. Schleicher in 1868.

    I have a vague idea that Hittite and other Anatolian languages have the oldest written forms. Which does not mean they are the oldest, of course. Despite Colin Renfrew still banging on about it.

  26. @Almost Missouri
    https://archive.md/ddatE for those without NYT subscription.

    My guess is the first horseback riders were 120 pound 16-year-old skateboarder types who feel no fear.
     
    I would guess that, like other domestic animals, the first domestic horses were infants raised by humans, perhaps after killing the mother in a hunt. The hunter's proto-skateboarder adolescent son thinks, "Hey, maybe baby Equus can pull my toy!" Several years later: "Hey, maybe Equus can pull me!" Several generations later: "Hey, I could ride that!"


    one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence
     

     
    I'm not sure how this absence-of-evidence-is-evidence-of-absence thing is supposed to work in this case, and the full article didn't shed any light on it either. Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point? I mean, isn't the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep? Isn't that evidence of early domestication?

    Separately, "smoking hoof", "additional horsy historical details", etc.: when the NYT stylebook annex Teen Vogue's?

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Expletive Deleted, @inertial

    I mean, isn’t the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep?

    Do you mean Schleicher’s fable? How is it the the oldest known story when it was only composed in 1868?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @inertial

    Irrespective of the story, the point is the words for domestic horse and so forth go back to the beginning of the Indo-European languages spoken by the Yamnaya.

  27. It took a long time to develop horses that could effectively carry a grown warrior. Thus early cavalry tended to be chariots.

    THANK YOU FOR THAT

    I kept reading about the fact that chariots came before horse riding and I just couldn’t grok it. Surely, just sitting on top of a horse came first, not creating a whole car to be towed behind one? Keeping in mind that history is bunk, this makes it at least easier to accept.

    Now explain why the English longbow was invented after the crossbow.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    @kihowi

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society/article/abs/neolithic-bows-from-somerset-england-and-the-prehistory-of-archery-in-northwestern-europe/7A2883B4781A2D0F22A1869495DFDFE3

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/past/past46.html#Bowstave

    tl;dr
    They've been using bows since forever in the Isles. Until they were introduced to metal weapons.
    Bronze, which handily doesn't rust away in the disgusting climate.
    BellBeaker conquerors of the islands were all about their bows, since their initially silly and tiny bronze daggers were no use against some sturdy peasant with a quarterstaff. The neolithic peoples they subjugated used long "self" bows in what can be interpreted as massed artillery assaults on the large and very well-fortified hilltop enclosures of their various local rivals.

    What with the constant wind, rain and winter darkness, bows (and the training to use them) seem to have fallen out of favour.
    The strings get wet and useless, the best-greased/waxed self bow absorbs atmotpheric moisture, the fletchings come unglued from the arrows, and composite bows just drop to bits. Even if you got a shot off, the wind would likely deflect it hopelessly.
    What you need when your dun or fort is raided at 2 a.m. is something to hand that just works, even in the dark. Those bad bois from over the hill aren't going to be clambering over the palisades encumbered with all sorts of clumsy and fragile shooty bits, so you lurk among the huts until you can practically smell them.

    So halberds (dagger on a pole), spears and javelins (again, dagger on a pole) evolved into socketed axes and socketed spearheads, and as tech. grew, daggers gradually got amazingly long (considering they were cast tin-bronze), real swords.

    Later Celts fought from chariots, so spears and javelins were the order of the day, unless dismounting to use sword and shield. Still later they fought as cavalry, spear and shield.
    They used the crossbow for hunting (Pictish bas-reliefs, odd bits of carved bone latches here and there).
    Bows only really came back with the various Scandinavian pests raiding in the mediaeval era, and later when something a bit better than a slingstone shower, despite the bow's poor wet-weather performance, was needed to - (what else are Englishmen for?) - fuck up the French.
    Fair payback for King Harold, I say.

    Replies: @JMcG

  28. Come from Russian Step in 2200 BC

    Step ≠ steppe.

  29. “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    https://www.facebook.com/KaiaPHorse/videos/478394358880055

    Still, this video is from 8 years ago. I suspect they did not get much further with the training.

    If Przewalski’s horses are domestic horses that have gone feral then there is no reason to think that they could not be redomesticated eventually (maybe with a little selective breeding). But there is no reason to undertake this difficult (even dangerous) task so when we already have perfectly good domesticated horses.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    My impression is they are significantly more difficult to break, but not unknown. E.g. the Wikipedia page shows one being ridden in an old photo. Note, even some regular horses are unbreakable (small amount, but still happens).

    P.s. It's probably wrong to think of them as feral or recently feral (like razorbacks) as they've been separated for many thousands of years. Also, they have a different number of chromosomes than regular horses (although interbreeding still possible).

    , @james wilson
    @Jack D

    To my uneducated eye they appear to be Zebras without stripes, and Zebras are wicked.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    , @Dutch Boy
    @Jack D

    The San Diego Safari Park is careful to segregate foals of different sires from any non-sire stallion (they can detect foals they have not sired and will kill them).

  30. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    https://www.facebook.com/KaiaPHorse/videos/478394358880055

    Still, this video is from 8 years ago. I suspect they did not get much further with the training.

    If Przewalski’s horses are domestic horses that have gone feral then there is no reason to think that they could not be redomesticated eventually (maybe with a little selective breeding). But there is no reason to undertake this difficult (even dangerous) task so when we already have perfectly good domesticated horses.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @james wilson, @Dutch Boy

    My impression is they are significantly more difficult to break, but not unknown. E.g. the Wikipedia page shows one being ridden in an old photo. Note, even some regular horses are unbreakable (small amount, but still happens).

    P.s. It’s probably wrong to think of them as feral or recently feral (like razorbacks) as they’ve been separated for many thousands of years. Also, they have a different number of chromosomes than regular horses (although interbreeding still possible).

  31. @Sick of Orcs
    She comes down from Caucus Mountain
    On a dark, flat land she rides
    On a pony she named лесной пожар
    With a whirlwind by her side
    On a cold Siberian night

    She ran calling лесной пожар
    She ran calling лесной пожар
    She ran calling лесной пожар

    Replies: @Jack D

    Why didn’t you translate/transliterate the horse’s name?

    It is Lesnoy Pozhar – Forest Fire.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    Why didn’t you translate/transliterate the horse’s name?

     

    Because any non-autistic person knows that no translation is necessary. Are you unfamiliar with the song?

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-fawn-fire/#comment-4925866

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    , @Sick of Orcs
    @Jack D

    I considered it, Sir, but we all have access to google translate?

    I entered 'Wildfire' (the song title} and it indeed made it "Lesnoy Pozhar" (Forest fire)

  32. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids”
     
    Lol. Hey, Sintashta are fine. I love all nomads equally! I'm just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Twinkie, @gwood

    I’m just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    Though the Yamnaya may have domesticated the horse, they likely 1) didn’t spread it to the others and 2) weren’t able to utilize the horse for greater military potential as the Sintashta apparently were able to.

    I am more a (former) historian than a geneticist or an archeologist obviously, but I concur with Razib Khan: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/10/22/horses-were-domesticated-before-mammoth-went-extinct/

    I still think this is a plausible model:

    – Horses were used opportunistically on the Eurasian steppe between 3500 BC and 2000 BC

    – The horse was fully domesticated 2000 BC with the emergence of the light war-chariot

    – The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry

    I can be convinced that the horse wasn’t used opportunistically but it makes the militaristic expansion of Corded Ware so much more plausible to me.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    '– The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry'

    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @Dutch Boy
    @Twinkie

    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages). How does this new theory contradict that scenario? Is it only a difference between the sort of horses used (a theoretical non-modern horse used by the Yamnaya vs. the modern type horse found in Southern Russia)? I would assume that, if the Yamnaya used a non-modern breed of horse, they would have replaced this animal with a modern horse eventually (one that could be used by an individual rider rather than as a chariot puller only).

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Twinkie

  33. from Russian Step

    • LOL: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Twinkie

    This explains why Irish step dancers look so serious.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Twinkie

    Do they know the Aztec Two-Steppe?

  34. No the first horse back rider was a largish toddler mama put on the back of the tamest mare she had carrying a pack. The first rider was a passenger who held on to the brushy mane and grinned like a monkey

  35. O/T

    Right up Steve’s alley.

  36. OFF TOPIC: Abolishing …

    A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a fatal crash in July that occurred while the officer was pursuing a stolen vehicle, a prosecutor announced Friday.

    Officer Brian Cummings was driving nearly 80 mph (129 kph) in Minneapolis with his siren and lights activated when his squad car slammed into a vehicle, killing 40-year-old Leneal Frazier.

    The chase continued for more than 20 blocks, including residential neighborhoods where the posted speed limit is 25 mph.

    “Police are supposed to protect and serve citizens, and to act in a manner consistent with their sworn oath to do so. Officer Cummings’ actions deviated from his oath and his negligence caused the death of Leneal Frazier,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement.

    Leaders of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Frazier was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, whose cellphone video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was viewed worldwide and helped launch a global protest movement against racial injustice.

    During Cummings’ chase, Frazier’s Jeep entered an intersection on a green light. According to investigators, the driver of the stolen vehicle narrowly missed Frazier’s Jeep before the squad car struck the vehicle on the driver’s side.

    Specifically, Cummings faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide. An accident reconstruction report stated that “this collision can be attributed to the Defendant for failure to operate his vehicle with due regard for the safety of other motorists.”

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    @Jack Armstrong

    "During Cummings’ chase, Frazier’s Jeep entered an intersection on a green light. According to investigators, the driver of the stolen vehicle narrowly missed Frazier’s Jeep before the squad car struck the vehicle on the driver’s side."

    What part of "Don't enter an intersection when you hear or see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and siren blaring" did Mr. Frazier not understand?

  37. ‘…the researchers point out oxen, not horses, could have been the driving factor of their expansion.’

    ‘Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery….’

    War oxen. Duh…

  38. @Almost Missouri


    To the researchers’ surprise, the Botai horses did not give rise to modern horses, but were instead the direct ancestors of Przewalski’s horses, a stocky lineage originally thought to be the last wild horses on the planet.
     

     
    As I recall, there was thing like that with dog genomes. The researchers assumed that there would have been multiple domestication events, perhaps with intermittent additional wild genes introgressing into the domestic lines. Instead the researchers found almost the opposite: there was only one domestication event, and it was the domestic genes that intermittently extro-gressed into the wild races, such that there are no really 100% pure wild wolves and haven't been for a long time.

    Replies: @The truthisma

    That is not what they found with dogs at all.

    The archaeological evidence point to multiple domestication events. But the genetics indicates one lineage later became dominant.

    But yes wolves are to some extent just feral dogs, although clearly there has been continuous leakage both ways.

  39. Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery

    I was going to say the small, probable matters of the axle and composite bow, but you’re being tongue-in-cheek here aren’t you Mr. Sailer?

    Also – the sudden flurry of attention on whether the entry to Europe was made via horse, seems to be being conveyed to us in mediums like the NYT by people who haven’t thought about these subjects until they were writing an article about them for the NYT.

    IMHO, and I guess it is just MHO, but IMHO it doesn’t matter so much whether Europe was entered by horseback or not – for my part I’d thought the migration mostly took place up the Danube but who am I? Anyway – where the horse is concerned what matters most for expansion questions is who domesticated it first. The answer to that question would go a long way to account for why a people who were kind of slow on the going with things like literacy, ocean-going sailing and body armor suddenly were found everywhere, upending things.

    On that question there don’t seem to be many surprises here or elsewhere.

  40. @Twinkie

    from Russian Step
     
    https://youtu.be/K21yj2lEgrA

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

    This explains why Irish step dancers look so serious.

  41. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    I’m just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.
     
    Though the Yamnaya may have domesticated the horse, they likely 1) didn't spread it to the others and 2) weren't able to utilize the horse for greater military potential as the Sintashta apparently were able to.

    I am more a (former) historian than a geneticist or an archeologist obviously, but I concur with Razib Khan: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/10/22/horses-were-domesticated-before-mammoth-went-extinct/

    I still think this is a plausible model:

    – Horses were used opportunistically on the Eurasian steppe between 3500 BC and 2000 BC

    – The horse was fully domesticated 2000 BC with the emergence of the light war-chariot

    – The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry

    I can be convinced that the horse wasn’t used opportunistically but it makes the militaristic expansion of Corded Ware so much more plausible to me.
     

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Dutch Boy

    ‘– The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry’

    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.
     
    Stirrups were not necessary for fielding an effective cavalry force. As I commented on Razib Khan's blog: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/09/17/the-echoes-of-greater-scythia/#comments

    Ancient armies utilized cavalry long before there was a stirrup. The famed Numidians, for example, who were widely considered to be some of the finest cavalrymen in the Mediterranean world rode small horses without a stirrup or even a saddle and controlled their horses with a rope and a stick. Their main weapon was the javelin as was the case with most other effective ancient cavalrymen.

    Contrary to popular imagery of knights, cavalry in general has been the most useful since time immemorial in such tasks that maximized their mobility advantages – scouting, reconnaissance, raiding, screening other forces, harassing attacks (“hit-and-run”), pursuit and, of course, to oppose the cavalry on the other side. Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).

    And the deficiency of the chariot for war was long known. Chariots operated very poorly on anything but a flat terrain, which severely constrained their use and effectiveness outside certain geographical limits. They were also expensive and fragile.

    When they were used in any significant numbers (in very ancient times), they were often employed as “battle taxis” to ferry leaders and captains into battle and then to safely extract them when the battle went awry, rather than as some sort of armored vehicles or main battle tanks. At best, they made good “mobile command posts.”

    I should also note that the “scythed wheel” thing is more modern fancy (“Ben-Hur”) than anything else – try to imagine how such things could be used without endangering the safety of the occupants or the structural integrity of a chariot and the horses tied to it. What do you think would happen to all the delicate mechanisms of a chariot if a scythed wheel were to get stuck or damaged (which would happen easily)?
     

    Replies: @Colin Wright

  42. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    But rest assured – the Sintashta were “Europoids”
     
    Lol. Hey, Sintashta are fine. I love all nomads equally! I'm just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.

    Replies: @Anon, @Twinkie, @gwood

    “oxen nomads”…
    I have a sudden mental image of Mongo in “Blazing Saddles”.

  43. Shouldn’t it be steppe?

  44. supporting the kurgan hypothesis of the aryans’, aka indo-europeans’, urheimat.

    PIE root *ekwo-

  45. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    I’m just puzzled by the implication that the Yamnaya are suddenly not horse nomads, but oxen nomads or something, when the linguistic evidence for horse domestication predates that.
     
    Though the Yamnaya may have domesticated the horse, they likely 1) didn't spread it to the others and 2) weren't able to utilize the horse for greater military potential as the Sintashta apparently were able to.

    I am more a (former) historian than a geneticist or an archeologist obviously, but I concur with Razib Khan: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/10/22/horses-were-domesticated-before-mammoth-went-extinct/

    I still think this is a plausible model:

    – Horses were used opportunistically on the Eurasian steppe between 3500 BC and 2000 BC

    – The horse was fully domesticated 2000 BC with the emergence of the light war-chariot

    – The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry

    I can be convinced that the horse wasn’t used opportunistically but it makes the militaristic expansion of Corded Ware so much more plausible to me.
     

    Replies: @Colin Wright, @Dutch Boy

    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages). How does this new theory contradict that scenario? Is it only a difference between the sort of horses used (a theoretical non-modern horse used by the Yamnaya vs. the modern type horse found in Southern Russia)? I would assume that, if the Yamnaya used a non-modern breed of horse, they would have replaced this animal with a modern horse eventually (one that could be used by an individual rider rather than as a chariot puller only).

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Dutch Boy


    How does this new theory contradict that scenario?
     
    It doesn’t.

    Context on Twinkie, who is a high-strung Korean immigrant to America:

    He hates the fact of “blond beast” steppe barbarians kicking ass and taking names and giving rise to the greatest terrestrial-origin civilization the planet will ever know.

    It’s racial anxiety on his part, and it ties into his own wounded pride as a visible minority immigrant to a White-founded country, a country where talk of secession and civil war are (again) becoming mainstream. This freaks him out. He has been to war on behalf of the Global America Empire, and suffers from PTSD from that, and from circumstances going back to childhood: As Scott Greer might say, “There is a LOT going on here”

    Nonetheless, he can be informative (in limited ways) and entertaining (if inadvertently).

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/billionaires-of-color-are-not-white-adjacent/#comment-4190315 (#49, etc.)

    Me Twinks, he doth protest too much:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/dna-barbarians-at-the-gates/#comment-2246566


    This is why the use of the word “Aryan” is troublesome with the general public. It is now, forever, identified with the Nordicism of the Nazis.

     


    One might argue that they were pre-Aryan or proto-Aryan (or proto-Indo European), but they (or the related Yamnaya) were not “Aryan.” Not in the sense of the popular usage or in the more scientific linguistic sense.
     
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-review-in-takis-magazine-of-geneticist-david-reichs-who-we-are-and-how-we-got-here/#comment-2264427


    These farmers in turn were inundated, especially in northern Europe, by the blond beast pastoralists from the steppes.
     
    That’s a complete nonsense that Mr. Sailer is pushing to make his “Conan the Barbarian” comparison stick while perhaps also winking to the Nordicist crowd. Yamnaya/Corded Ceramic Ware/Proto-Aryans were not blond. They likely looked more like northern Iranians of today.
     
    gcochran replied to Twinkie:

    They weren’t all blond, but they’re the ones that brought the blonde alleles in. KITLG mutations has been traced back to ancient siberians.
     
    More Twinkie:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/dubious-domination/#comment-3323074


    [Sailer] has a tendency to attribute black or white success to natural talent while ascribing East Asian success to “grinding” (along with another odd and persistent tendency of describing the Yamnaya as milk-drinking blonde Nordic “Aryans” contrary all the known information). In other words, he has his pet memes and don’t deviate from them.
     
    etc. etc.
    , @Twinkie
    @Dutch Boy


    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages).
     
    All the scholars are basically operating with relatively small bits of genetic evidence, so things can change as more data are made available. But for now, it appears that the people who spread both chariots and horses (and Indo-European languages) were the Corded Ware and their descendants (including the Sintashta), not the Yamnaya: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/09/16/the-heavenly-horses-of-the-sintashta/

    Now, the issue of how the peoples of the Yamnaya and the Corded Ware cultures were related is rather disputed and murky. There is a view that the Corded Ware were predominantly derived from Yamnaya male invaders and local (EEF or Early European Farmer) females in Europe. That view is rejected by those who point out that the patrilineal lineages of the two groups are different, as another commenter pointed out in this thread. Those who subscribe to that latter view seems to think that the Corded Ware are likely those who migrated from Central Europe to the steppes to the east and re-migrated back as pastoralists to Central Europe. As we see more data in the future, the picture will become clearer.

    What can be gleaned from the current data is that the while the Yamnaya probably carried the light hair alleles that they inherited from ANE (or Ancient North Eurasians) ancestors, but were predominantly (perhaps entirely) darker-haired and darker pigmented people in phenotype (we are talking southern European-dark here, not African), but the later Corded Ware people seemed to have been, in general, lighter-haired and -skinned closer to modern Northern Europeans. There is also a dispute over whether the EEF were dark- or light-pigmented - it appears that both the EEFs and Corded Ware were mixed populations with varying pigmentations. Whatever the case may be, during the mid- to late-Bronze era, there was a burst of selective sweep that went through Central and Northern Europe that greatly increased blondism. So the current thinking is that blondism is something that developed in Northern Europe relatively recently rather than something carried phenotypically from steppe pastoralists (though the alleles were).

  46. >Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery

    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.

    If you’re a sedentary farmer, moving around is a tricky proposition, the distance you can go is sharply limited by how much food you can carry. You also can’t easily just pull up stumps and start a new farm in a foreign land. Most subsistence farmers have many generations worth of heuristic knowledge of their lands, what to plant in them and when, what the local climate is like what kind of social conditions there are. It’s not at all impossible but it tends to require a lot of blood and treasure and, ideally, technology. Hence sedentary farmers tend to be relatively sedentary unless forced to migrate. It doesn’t help that a grain based diet dies not make for strong soldiers

    For hunter gatherers, the situation is even more dire. You can’t just wander into the jungle with a spear and hope to eat. Not consistently at least. You need to have a fairly detailed knowledge of all the flora and fauna in your area, otherwise you’ll end up getting poisoned or waste too many calories hunting animals you don’t really know how to hunt. This knowledge is stuff that tends to be acquired over long millenia of coevolution with that specific eco-system You can’t just walk into a new eco-system and thrive. So hunter-gatherers tend to have similar geographic limitations.

    Nomadic pastoralists, by contrast, have no such issues. A cow is basically a mobile machine that converts grass into energy you can metabolize. You can go anywhere where grass is. You can even survive in a desert, as the Arabs show. You also don’t have to worry about bad weather and other such things. The main concerns are: Protecting your flock from wild animals and hostile people, which induces a strong degree of selection pressure for warrior traits whose utility is obvious. Protecting your flocks from disease, which induces a strong cultural preference for good hygeine* which can be a pretty big deal when you’re travelling widely. It helps to have such a protein rich diet too.

    This, I suspect, is why there seems to be this periodic phenomena of relatively small numbers of nomadic pastoralists conquering a sizable fraction of the earth’s surface area while everyone else is more or less helpless

    *Obviously it’s not gonna be perfect. Consider the old Bedouin rule about wiping your ass with your left hand and eating with your right. Not perfect, but at least they were aware of the problem and probably couldn’t do much better in such a water scarce environment. Sedentary peasants would probably just wipe with their right hand and not think twice about it.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    @valis


    Hence sedentary farmers tend to be relatively sedentary unless forced to migrate. It doesn’t help that a grain based diet dies not make for strong soldiers
     
    but pigs are (a) very yummy and (b) disinclined to be pushed around, particularly outside of forests. They were a big deal in neolithic Europe.
    Bacon and sausage are top-grade war and trail chow, along with beans (which do tend to give you away in e.g. an ambush). And make you strong and enduring, fattier the better. Also they had wilder, smellier cheese than the nomads, and oceans of strong beer and mountains of hot-dog buns.
    , @Twinkie
    @valis



    Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery
     
    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.
     
    First of all, there is the likelihood that the Yamnaya availed themselves to both horse milk and cow milk and related products, with all the implied nutritional advantages. But even without that, pastoralists were generally healthier and physically more robust than agriculturalists throughout history. Also, among pastoralists the rate of military mobilization seems to have been much higher than that among agriculturalists. On the other side, the one advantage agriculturalists generally had was population density.

    I've often maintained that - until the rise of gunpowder weapons - the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, "civilized" peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies - only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists. This is a pattern that persists on both eastern and western ends of the great Eurasian steppes that runs from Mongolia to Hungary.

    Replies: @valis, @Almost Missouri

  47. @Jack D
    @Sick of Orcs

    Why didn't you translate/transliterate the horse's name?

    It is Lesnoy Pozhar - Forest Fire.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Sick of Orcs

    Why didn’t you translate/transliterate the horse’s name?

    Because any non-autistic person knows that no translation is necessary. Are you unfamiliar with the song?

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-fawn-fire/#comment-4925866

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I wouldn't have known.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

  48. Sorry to be a pedant, Steve, but it’s spelt ‘Steppe’.

    • Agree: Paperback Writer
    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @Anonymous

    One small steppe for a man, one giant leappe for mankind.

  49. One reason to visit iSteve’s work here on Unz is to read short essays and excerpts like the above.

    Fairly high level discussion of human and animal migrations into Europe and new DNA findings.

    I am starting to think that modern Europeans should accept the notion that We Are All Huns.

    Not literally, since the Hunnish invasion happened in the latter Roman period, The original “huns” if you call them that, were perhaps 2,000 years earlier. (Actual Huns remain very popular in Hungary.)

    Yet we read (from contemporary historians then) of periodic “invasions” of the eastern Roman empire by various tribes/peoples from the same general vicinity as the earliest dominant replacers of the extant European population groups. These “huns” pretty well dominated the regions they invaded. Controlled things, changed culture (often innovative) and of course interbred.

    There were also invasions/replacements of closer areas such as modern Iran/old Persia and the many khanates/kingdoms of central Asia, and possibly even further east (Pakistan, India, China).

    More will undoubtedly be discovered about these peoples. I suspect the eastern Asia migrations were much harder due to geographic barriers and lack of resources to sustain migrating herders. But still much evidence that western China (now) had “Caucasian” populations long ago, though the Han Chinese ideology of the CCP has shut down research into that. Siberians (now Amerinds, some) too.

    So if “White people” are devils, as Malcom X and his group claimed, we are merely the modern ghosts of those extremely hardy and fearless steppe migrants. Early users of marijuana, so it is said.

    “Groovy man, let’s see what’s over that direction? Don’t get in our way. ”

  50. Oh, crap! These Russian horses are trying to hack our elections!

    Someone needs to rein them in.

  51. @Franz
    Exactly the people who first settled Persia; then the leftovers plundered and harassed the Persians.

    The funniest section in Herodotus is where the Great King Darius decides to conquer the pesky Samatian horseclans once and for all. He tried to get them to stay on one place long enough for a battle, no dice. The fiddle faddled around and led them on a goose chase to the Gobi's western defiles and finally Darius had enough. Get me away from these lunatics. His officers were happy to oblige.

    It's fine history because there wasn't much bloodshed. Sarmatians liked to hit and run and let the enemy go dry and hungry. Darius was smart enough not to press the issue.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said. I don't know how he could have known that in the 1930s when he was bragging about it.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Bardon Kaldian, @J.Ross

    …goose chase to the Gobi’s western defiles and finally Darius had enough.

    Unless we define the defiles very generously, Darius was still a few thousand miles from Gobi. The Herodotus story takes place in the upper-east Balkans and north of Black See.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said.

    That is unlikely, Stalin was of Caucasus descent, G2 DNA – short, stocky and very hairy. The hirsute human gene came from there. He had some Ossetian blood, and this affinity triggered the current Georgia-Ossetia fight over territory. Ossetians are Iranian speakers descended from Sarmatians. It is interesting how Stalin liked to think of himself…aspirational identity shows how “soft power” works and how it changes over time.

    • Replies: @Franz
    @Beckow


    Unless we define the defiles very generously, Darius was still a few thousand miles from Gobi.
     
    I think that's the part played by mythology. Where it fits in there I do not know.

    The Sarmatians (and Scyths before them) made up a great story (also Herodotus) that their gold was guarded far to the east on barren earth by griffins.

    What griffins? They may have just told the tale but the COULD have escorted a few chosen Persian scholars to ride a long way east and see a few dead griffins to scare them off. Bones on desert floor because of climactic conditions turned out to be a dinosaur called Protoceratops. Seeing the bones and using imagination, they created the griffin and added a lot to heraldry.

    The Eurasian steppes must have been grand, adventurous, sometimes deadly, in the age men conquered iron and made horses cooperative. I am thousands of years beyond that age, and miss it so.
  52. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    Am I wrong to suspect it is merely a mandatory anti-Yamnaya talking point?
     
    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    It turns out the Sintashta were the ones who invented the chariot and spread the horse everywhere. But rest assured - the Sintashta were “Europoids” still, albeit proto-Indo-Iranian* linguistically.

    *Iranian being literally the “real Aryans.” ;)

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Almost Missouri, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    No, researchers and their relayers are simply expressing more of a surprise that the previously-held idea of the domesticated horse spreading via the Yamnaya turned out to be false (or highly unlikely).

    To the contrary, Almost Missouri’s point still stands.

    The NYT relays no evidence in its “anti-Yamnaya” supposition:

    The study also knocked down ideas about horses’ role in earlier human history. For instance, one pre-existing theory suggested a pastoralist people called the Yamnaya were able to migrate on horseback in massive numbers into Europe around 5,000 years ago. But the new genetic map found no evidence; the researchers point out oxen, not horses, could have been the driving factor of their expansion.

    … and the above is indeed contradicted by recent findings:

    h/t Anonymous[387]

    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/when-did-european-adults-finally-start-drinking-milk/#comment-4909392 (#31)

  53. “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    Beta cuck soyboys like Orlando need drink raw egg and read book named Bronze Age Mindset immediately.

  54. @kihowi

    It took a long time to develop horses that could effectively carry a grown warrior. Thus early cavalry tended to be chariots.
     
    THANK YOU FOR THAT

    I kept reading about the fact that chariots came before horse riding and I just couldn't grok it. Surely, just sitting on top of a horse came first, not creating a whole car to be towed behind one? Keeping in mind that history is bunk, this makes it at least easier to accept.

    Now explain why the English longbow was invented after the crossbow.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society/article/abs/neolithic-bows-from-somerset-england-and-the-prehistory-of-archery-in-northwestern-europe/7A2883B4781A2D0F22A1869495DFDFE3

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/past/past46.html#Bowstave

    tl;dr
    They’ve been using bows since forever in the Isles. Until they were introduced to metal weapons.
    Bronze, which handily doesn’t rust away in the disgusting climate.
    BellBeaker conquerors of the islands were all about their bows, since their initially silly and tiny bronze daggers were no use against some sturdy peasant with a quarterstaff. The neolithic peoples they subjugated used long “self” bows in what can be interpreted as massed artillery assaults on the large and very well-fortified hilltop enclosures of their various local rivals.

    What with the constant wind, rain and winter darkness, bows (and the training to use them) seem to have fallen out of favour.
    The strings get wet and useless, the best-greased/waxed self bow absorbs atmotpheric moisture, the fletchings come unglued from the arrows, and composite bows just drop to bits. Even if you got a shot off, the wind would likely deflect it hopelessly.
    What you need when your dun or fort is raided at 2 a.m. is something to hand that just works, even in the dark. Those bad bois from over the hill aren’t going to be clambering over the palisades encumbered with all sorts of clumsy and fragile shooty bits, so you lurk among the huts until you can practically smell them.

    So halberds (dagger on a pole), spears and javelins (again, dagger on a pole) evolved into socketed axes and socketed spearheads, and as tech. grew, daggers gradually got amazingly long (considering they were cast tin-bronze), real swords.

    Later Celts fought from chariots, so spears and javelins were the order of the day, unless dismounting to use sword and shield. Still later they fought as cavalry, spear and shield.
    They used the crossbow for hunting (Pictish bas-reliefs, odd bits of carved bone latches here and there).
    Bows only really came back with the various Scandinavian pests raiding in the mediaeval era, and later when something a bit better than a slingstone shower, despite the bow’s poor wet-weather performance, was needed to – (what else are Englishmen for?) – fuck up the French.
    Fair payback for King Harold, I say.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Expletive Deleted

    A gem of a comment.

  55. What is Biden doing exactly?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Maybe Biden's thinking about inflation in terms of pushing a shopping cart thru a supermarket?

    Replies: @TWS

    , @Almost Missouri
    @JohnnyWalker123

    It looks like something bowel-related.

    , @Mr Mox
    @JohnnyWalker123


    What is Biden doing exactly?
     
    Getting the hell out of Dodge...

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1451629223026642944
  56. @valis
    >Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery

    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.

    If you're a sedentary farmer, moving around is a tricky proposition, the distance you can go is sharply limited by how much food you can carry. You also can't easily just pull up stumps and start a new farm in a foreign land. Most subsistence farmers have many generations worth of heuristic knowledge of their lands, what to plant in them and when, what the local climate is like what kind of social conditions there are. It's not at all impossible but it tends to require a lot of blood and treasure and, ideally, technology. Hence sedentary farmers tend to be relatively sedentary unless forced to migrate. It doesn't help that a grain based diet dies not make for strong soldiers

    For hunter gatherers, the situation is even more dire. You can't just wander into the jungle with a spear and hope to eat. Not consistently at least. You need to have a fairly detailed knowledge of all the flora and fauna in your area, otherwise you'll end up getting poisoned or waste too many calories hunting animals you don't really know how to hunt. This knowledge is stuff that tends to be acquired over long millenia of coevolution with that specific eco-system You can't just walk into a new eco-system and thrive. So hunter-gatherers tend to have similar geographic limitations.

    Nomadic pastoralists, by contrast, have no such issues. A cow is basically a mobile machine that converts grass into energy you can metabolize. You can go anywhere where grass is. You can even survive in a desert, as the Arabs show. You also don't have to worry about bad weather and other such things. The main concerns are: Protecting your flock from wild animals and hostile people, which induces a strong degree of selection pressure for warrior traits whose utility is obvious. Protecting your flocks from disease, which induces a strong cultural preference for good hygeine* which can be a pretty big deal when you're travelling widely. It helps to have such a protein rich diet too.

    This, I suspect, is why there seems to be this periodic phenomena of relatively small numbers of nomadic pastoralists conquering a sizable fraction of the earth's surface area while everyone else is more or less helpless


    *Obviously it's not gonna be perfect. Consider the old Bedouin rule about wiping your ass with your left hand and eating with your right. Not perfect, but at least they were aware of the problem and probably couldn't do much better in such a water scarce environment. Sedentary peasants would probably just wipe with their right hand and not think twice about it.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Twinkie

    Hence sedentary farmers tend to be relatively sedentary unless forced to migrate. It doesn’t help that a grain based diet dies not make for strong soldiers

    but pigs are (a) very yummy and (b) disinclined to be pushed around, particularly outside of forests. They were a big deal in neolithic Europe.
    Bacon and sausage are top-grade war and trail chow, along with beans (which do tend to give you away in e.g. an ambush). And make you strong and enduring, fattier the better. Also they had wilder, smellier cheese than the nomads, and oceans of strong beer and mountains of hot-dog buns.

  57. @Jack Armstrong
    OFF TOPIC: Mohamed Noor re-sentencing …

    Damond's fiancé, Don Damond, appeared via Zoom and said the state Supreme Court's decision "does not diminish the truth which was uncovered during the trial. The truth is that Justine should be alive."

    Don Damond said his comments should not be construed to mean he wasn't still grieving. "I still cry so often," he said. "I miss her so deeply. I will always love her and I am deeply guided by her in my following statement."

    He said Damond "lived a life of love, she modeled a life of joy for all and she stood for forgiveness."

    Mohamed Noor listened Thursday as Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s fiancé made a statement via Zoom during the former police officer’s resentencing.

    "Given her example, I want you to know that I forgive you, Mohamed," he said. "All I ask is that you use this experience to do good for other people. Be the example of how to transform beyond adversity. Be an example of honesty and contrition. This is what Justine would want."
     
    Kumbiyah!

    Replies: @Sean

    Means he will be free by late this year. Diamond’s family, who forgave him, pocketed a \$20 million settlement. Partially on the basis of the now quashed murder conviction I suspect.

  58. @Anonymous
    @Twinkie

    Makes perfect sense, since Yamnaya didn't contribute paternal DNA to Europeans, meaning they weren't the vector for Indo-European languages and Steppe ancestry in Europe, either.


    Yamnaya mostly belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-Z2103, while the successive Corded Ware population belonged mostly to R1a and R1b clades not found in Yamnaya. Virtually no European population north or west of Armenia has the Yamnayan R1b-Z2103, and R1a/Western R1b was never found in Yamnaya.


    So yeah, to hell with Yamnaya. Finally the hype surrounding them is being shut down by more intellectually aggressive scientists. They never domesticated anything, appear to have seldom rode horses, never spread in to the rest of Europe, and did not spread Indo European languages or Steppe ancestry to Europeans. But they have benefitted very much from sensationalist media reporting and lazy vernacular by amateur (and even professional) geneticists.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Makes perfect sense, since Yamnaya didn’t contribute paternal DNA to Europeans

    Really? Wots all this then:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture#Relation_with_Yamnaya_culture

    Recent genetics studies suggest that the people of the Corded Ware culture share significant levels of ancestry with Yamnaya as a consequence of a supposed “massive migration” from the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and the people of both cultures may be directly descended from a genetically similar pre-Yamnaya population.

    Kristiansen et al. (2017) theorise that the Corded Ware culture originated from male Yamnaya pastoralists, or a closely related population, migrating northwards, and marrying local farmer woman, who contributed specific farmer aspects to their culture, which transformed into the Corded ware culture. This culture was carried further into Europe by their offspring.

    You write:

    So yeah, to hell with Yamnaya. Finally the hype surrounding them is being shut down by more intellectually aggressive scientists.

    You sound angry and hurt. By “intellectually aggressive” do you mean ideological?

    If so, “ideological” and “scientist” might be mutually exclusive if uncovering evidence is the goal.

    They never domesticated anything, appear to have seldom rode horses

    LOL. Yamnaya domestication of horses:

    Dairying enabled Early Bronze Age Yamnaya steppe expansions

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03798-4


    • LOL: Sick of Orcs
  59. Daniel Boone and his people going through the Cumberland Gap and the guy in the back of the painting has an ax like the Yamnaya people.

    Mature Hope or Grimly Determined, it don’t matter, this American Empire boat is sinking and the pioneer spirit will be needed to gain control of the political power when the treasonous and evil JEW/WASP Ruling Class is politically decapitated.

    Civil War II will be about sovereign debt secessionism, control of the central bank and ruling class removal; it won’t be bloody like the first one.

  60. OT here is something you might want to review–an article by another woke Indian/American who calls herself a science writer: https://www.growbyginkgo.com/2021/10/21/the-black-box-breakers/?fbclid=IwAR3NTC7K4Yh6HrTHqtXoeapZU1be5hozM3p6_P9i-fyvm5f34w6pGwRt2Q8

    • Replies: @res
    @SF

    Thanks. Here is a version of the link without the Facebook Click ID (fbclid).
    https://www.growbyginkgo.com/2021/10/21/the-black-box-breakers

    Here is some top tier argumentation from that article.


    It’s not that genetic studies are necessarily worthless. They just won’t answer questions about racial health disparities, because racial health disparities aren’t due to genetics.
     
    A great example of a true Begging the question fallacy where the premises assume the truth of the conclusion.

    P.S. If you care about your anonymity you don't want to share URLs with tracking links. Search for the Medium article: You are sharing URLs with Tracking Links. Please stop.
    (link not included because of alphanumeric code at the end, which could be a tracking id for all I know, which would be ironic)
  61. @Jack D
    “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    https://www.facebook.com/KaiaPHorse/videos/478394358880055

    Still, this video is from 8 years ago. I suspect they did not get much further with the training.

    If Przewalski’s horses are domestic horses that have gone feral then there is no reason to think that they could not be redomesticated eventually (maybe with a little selective breeding). But there is no reason to undertake this difficult (even dangerous) task so when we already have perfectly good domesticated horses.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @james wilson, @Dutch Boy

    To my uneducated eye they appear to be Zebras without stripes, and Zebras are wicked.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    @james wilson

    Aha! (Partridge moment).
    Not quite as wicked as an upper-middle-clarrss English girl who's generationally accustomed to Imperial domination.
    (Honest to God, they're literal demons; but a good sight more cruel, and less handsome than even their mounts).
    Here ya go
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/sport/legendary-zebra-whisperer/
    https://horseyhooves.com/horse-vs-zebra/

  62. Here’s a what-if for you fellows to ponder:

    How would human civilization have developed without the horse or domestication of said animal?

    Peter Nimitz once suggested on his Twitter that the horse was a net negative for humanity, allowing horseback raiders to wreak havoc and violence on societies and retard the progress of civilization. Someone responded that without a class of horseback knights emerging to demand their own privileges or act as a check on the king, the seeds of democracy would never have been planted. Earth would be dominated by absolute monarchies.

    Interesting how our long association with the horse has influenced us.

  63. @Jack D
    “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    https://www.facebook.com/KaiaPHorse/videos/478394358880055

    Still, this video is from 8 years ago. I suspect they did not get much further with the training.

    If Przewalski’s horses are domestic horses that have gone feral then there is no reason to think that they could not be redomesticated eventually (maybe with a little selective breeding). But there is no reason to undertake this difficult (even dangerous) task so when we already have perfectly good domesticated horses.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @james wilson, @Dutch Boy

    The San Diego Safari Park is careful to segregate foals of different sires from any non-sire stallion (they can detect foals they have not sired and will kill them).

  64. @inertial
    In Xenophon's Anabasis, the Greeks constantly complain about the unfairness of fighting with Persians. The Greeks, who were all infantry, faced the best Persian troops, which was cavalry. So the Greek worried that if they are defeated they will be slaughtered to a man, but if they win the enemy will be able to simply ride off beyond reach. And this is what more or less keeps happening. Greeks keep winning in the field but they are never able to wipe out the Persians because they can never catch them.

    So it would seem that the main advantage of early cavalry was not so much battle efficiency but safety - an option of easy escape if things go wrong.

    Another advantage was psychological. Many Greeks were terrified of a cavalry charge. No wonder; imagine hundreds of these huge heavy things rushing at you at enormous speed. Xenophon gives a speech where he tries to reassure them saying the the only important part of a man-horse pair is the man on the horseback and the horse doesn't matter at all. He asks his compatriots a rhetorical question: Have you ever seen a horse kill a warrior with its kick of bite? Apparently, this never happened.

    Replies: @Dmon, @Almost Missouri

    You are quite correct about the safety factor – the Persian cavalry used the classic harassment tactics which are basically the only resort of cavalry against heavy infantry. However, far from being terrified of Persian cavalry, it was more like the Persian cavalry that was terrified of the Greek infantry. It was an indisputable fact of war right up to the end of horse soldiers that heavy (i.e., non-missile) cavalry was helpless against disciplined heavy infantry that maintained its’ formation. No matter how good a horseman you are, you cannot get a horse to charge headlong into a wall of spears or bayonets. A non-panicked horse won’t even run on purpose directly into a single human who stands his ground. As long as your infantry maintained formation (and Xenophon’s men were professional mercenaries), a cavalry charge against them might begin at a gallop, slow down to a trot, and end with a bunch of embarrassed enemy lapping aimlessly back and forth around the infantry formation on spent horses before retreating in disgust. If you wanted to take on heavy infantry, you needed missile armed light cavalry using hit and run tactics. In Xenophon’s case, he retaliated by arming his Rhodian slingers with long-range lead bullets, which made the Persians a little more prudent. A pretty good book on tactical systems is “Elements of Military Strategy”, by Archer Jones. Of course, this applies only to organized militaries. If a bunch of guys riding horses showed up in your farming village 4000 yrs. ago, no doubt you would have had the living sh!t scared and beaten out of you, just prior to having all of your female relatives appropriated.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Dmon

    Napoleon's cavalry couldn't break the British infantry square at Waterloo.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Dmon, @ThreeCranes

  65. SO . . . are Afghans poorly bred Salukis, or are Salukis poorly bred Afghans?

  66. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    Why didn’t you translate/transliterate the horse’s name?

     

    Because any non-autistic person knows that no translation is necessary. Are you unfamiliar with the song?

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-fawn-fire/#comment-4925866

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    I wouldn’t have known.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Paperback Writer


    I wouldn’t have known.
     
    I sympathize. However, since Jack D himself didn’t mention the song, you still wouldn’t have gotten the joke, which would have been ruined if done Jack’s way. For the resulting edification of you, PW, I give Jack 25% credit for his comment which led to me indirectly linking to the song which is the basis for the joke. You’re 75% welcome.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

  67. @Franz
    Exactly the people who first settled Persia; then the leftovers plundered and harassed the Persians.

    The funniest section in Herodotus is where the Great King Darius decides to conquer the pesky Samatian horseclans once and for all. He tried to get them to stay on one place long enough for a battle, no dice. The fiddle faddled around and led them on a goose chase to the Gobi's western defiles and finally Darius had enough. Get me away from these lunatics. His officers were happy to oblige.

    It's fine history because there wasn't much bloodshed. Sarmatians liked to hit and run and let the enemy go dry and hungry. Darius was smart enough not to press the issue.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said. I don't know how he could have known that in the 1930s when he was bragging about it.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Bardon Kaldian, @J.Ross

    Judged linguistically- no. Sarmatians, Scythians etc. were assimilated into Slavic proto-peoples; they spoke Indo-European satem language(s), just like Iranian, Baltic and Slavic peoples, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum_and_satem_languages

    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.

    • Replies: @Jon Halpenny
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I think there is some obscurity about Stalin's ancestry. I think there have been some claims he was at least partly descended from Ossetians. They are descended from the Scythians and Sarmatians.

    , @Franz
    @Bardon Kaldian


    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.
     
    Agree. But for years the only edition of the (Sarmatian) Nart Sagas in print was a 500 page Hungarian edition, their language is not Indo-European either. For reasons of proximity and as one horse clan from long ago, Hungarians have told me it is part of their heritage. Also Bulgarians and others known to have rode the range back in olden times.

    Probably no "pure" Sarmatians exist. But affiliated members such as Magyars, already mentioned, plus Crimean Tatars and South Ossetians are close. Cousins, maybe. Why otherwise would Hungarians care about the Nart Sagas?

  68. Anon[901] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Ted Cruz’s Joke Bill Finds Rare Cross-Aisle Buy-in

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/ted-cruz-watch/

    This week, Cruz filed the “Stop the SURGE Act,” which is what’s known as a “messaging” bill, intended to garner headlines rather than become law….

    The bill would require that undocumented immigrants at the Mexican border be transferred to new ports of entry … : wealthy coastal vacation destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket; liberal enclaves including Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Palo Alto, California; and … North Hero, Vermont (population 939), the location of Bernie Sanders’s lake house).

    Local officials, who know there is no chance of the bill’s passing, praise it to demonstrate their wokeness.

  69. OT,yes,sorry,but any thoughts on Alex Baldwin?
    Methinks it could be another gift from People of Color. The regular techs were apparently on strike and not working.

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    @Father O'Hara

    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Joe Stalin

  70. @Anonymous
    Sorry to be a pedant, Steve, but it's spelt 'Steppe'.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

    One small steppe for a man, one giant leappe for mankind.

    • LOL: Lurker
  71. @Anon
    I'm reading a book that quotes various Roman era commentators on the horses that the mercenary Black Sea and Caspian Sea proto-Iranians rode, and they were fairly small. I guess a whole lot of these mounted fighters with really long spears and no fear could rout large forces.

    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @Muggles

    TwoNineEight, while visiting several Civil War museums I was taken back by how small the uniforms were. Apparently the fighting men on both sides were the size of today’s teenagers. The popular mount in the Civil War was the Canada horse, which came from France IIRC. Good for both riding and pulling some loads.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    @Buffalo Joe

    And neither were the Empire State Building workmen shown eating their lunch on a steel beam in that famous depression era photo!

  72. @Paperback Writer
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I wouldn't have known.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I wouldn’t have known.

    I sympathize. However, since Jack D himself didn’t mention the song, you still wouldn’t have gotten the joke, which would have been ruined if done Jack’s way. For the resulting edification of you, PW, I give Jack 25% credit for his comment which led to me indirectly linking to the song which is the basis for the joke. You’re 75% welcome.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I don't understand a damn thing you said.

    But

    You're 100% welcome!

  73. @Anon
    Yamnaya could have had imperfectly domesticated horses that have left no descendants. If entire human populations can be replaced, why not horses?

    Replies: @Anonymous Jew

    I believe that’s what happened to separately domesticated American dog breeds that predated European settlement. They were, of course, replaced by modern dogs from Eurasia. Not sure about any Elizabeth Warren-type mixing.

  74. @Franz
    Exactly the people who first settled Persia; then the leftovers plundered and harassed the Persians.

    The funniest section in Herodotus is where the Great King Darius decides to conquer the pesky Samatian horseclans once and for all. He tried to get them to stay on one place long enough for a battle, no dice. The fiddle faddled around and led them on a goose chase to the Gobi's western defiles and finally Darius had enough. Get me away from these lunatics. His officers were happy to oblige.

    It's fine history because there wasn't much bloodshed. Sarmatians liked to hit and run and let the enemy go dry and hungry. Darius was smart enough not to press the issue.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said. I don't know how he could have known that in the 1930s when he was bragging about it.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Bardon Kaldian, @J.Ross

    Poles historically claim to be descendants of Sarmatians (with about as much scientific verifiability as you might expect from the eighteenth century) so that’s probably something like what Stalin was doing.

    • Replies: @Dube
    @J.Ross

    Stalin was grousing about the Poles handling or mishandling something, and began with, "Can't the Sarmatians...?" That's all I remember; it seems to imply that he did not consider himself Sarmatian, in response to a point somewhere above.

    Here's an image of the Chmielnicki rebellion (expand graphic for details, the painter had to work fast). If you're always mounted, you might as well get good at it. Especially if that's the way it's always been and presumably always will be.

    https://d3525k1ryd2155.cloudfront.net/h/573/195/1431195573.0.x.jpg

  75. @Anonymous
    In the headline, should that be steppe, not step? Also, maybe came, not come (especially since a past date is given). Not slagging, just made me "huh?"

    Replies: @J.Ross

    I applaud the removal of the French influence in the spelling of English versions of non-French words.

  76. @Dutch Boy
    @Twinkie

    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages). How does this new theory contradict that scenario? Is it only a difference between the sort of horses used (a theoretical non-modern horse used by the Yamnaya vs. the modern type horse found in Southern Russia)? I would assume that, if the Yamnaya used a non-modern breed of horse, they would have replaced this animal with a modern horse eventually (one that could be used by an individual rider rather than as a chariot puller only).

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Twinkie

    How does this new theory contradict that scenario?

    It doesn’t.

    Context on Twinkie, who is a high-strung Korean immigrant to America:

    He hates the fact of “blond beast” steppe barbarians kicking ass and taking names and giving rise to the greatest terrestrial-origin civilization the planet will ever know.

    It’s racial anxiety on his part, and it ties into his own wounded pride as a visible minority immigrant to a White-founded country, a country where talk of secession and civil war are (again) becoming mainstream. This freaks him out. He has been to war on behalf of the Global America Empire, and suffers from PTSD from that, and from circumstances going back to childhood: As Scott Greer might say, “There is a LOT going on here”

    Nonetheless, he can be informative (in limited ways) and entertaining (if inadvertently).

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/billionaires-of-color-are-not-white-adjacent/#comment-4190315 (#49, etc.)

    Me Twinks, he doth protest too much:

    [MORE]

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/dna-barbarians-at-the-gates/#comment-2246566

    This is why the use of the word “Aryan” is troublesome with the general public. It is now, forever, identified with the Nordicism of the Nazis.

    One might argue that they were pre-Aryan or proto-Aryan (or proto-Indo European), but they (or the related Yamnaya) were not “Aryan.” Not in the sense of the popular usage or in the more scientific linguistic sense.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/my-review-in-takis-magazine-of-geneticist-david-reichs-who-we-are-and-how-we-got-here/#comment-2264427

    These farmers in turn were inundated, especially in northern Europe, by the blond beast pastoralists from the steppes.

    That’s a complete nonsense that Mr. Sailer is pushing to make his “Conan the Barbarian” comparison stick while perhaps also winking to the Nordicist crowd. Yamnaya/Corded Ceramic Ware/Proto-Aryans were not blond. They likely looked more like northern Iranians of today.

    gcochran replied to Twinkie:

    They weren’t all blond, but they’re the ones that brought the blonde alleles in. KITLG mutations has been traced back to ancient siberians.

    More Twinkie:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/dubious-domination/#comment-3323074

    [Sailer] has a tendency to attribute black or white success to natural talent while ascribing East Asian success to “grinding” (along with another odd and persistent tendency of describing the Yamnaya as milk-drinking blonde Nordic “Aryans” contrary all the known information). In other words, he has his pet memes and don’t deviate from them.

    etc. etc.

  77. Anon[314] • Disclaimer says:

    Hey Steve, we have some updates on the Bonhomme Richard fire. The official report points fingers at leadership, which may be justified. But reading through the lines of the story, you get the sense that it was the lower ranks who really screwed things up.

    https://news.usni.org/2021/10/19/long-chain-of-failures-left-sailors-unprepared-to-fight-uss-bonhomme-richard-investigation-finds

    “Although the fire was started by an act of arson, the ship was lost due to an inability to extinguish the fire,” Conn wrote in his investigation, which was completed in April and reviewed by USNI News this week. “In the 19 months executing the ship’s maintenance availability, repeated failures allowed for the accumulation of significant risk and an inadequately prepared crew, which led to an ineffective fire response.”

    The first hint of trouble on July 12, 2020, came just after morning colors. Just after 8:00 a.m., a junior sailor walked through the upper vehicle deck as she headed out to a vending machine after her watch. She noticed a “hazy, white fog” in the lower vehicle deck around 8:10 a.m. But she didn’t report it, the investigation found, noting that “because she did not smell smoke, (the sailor) continued to her berthing.”

    Despite thick, choking smoke spreading through the ship – and amid dangers from searing heat and possible fire flashes – some sailors, including several chief petty officers, didn’t don the required firefighting equipment. They mistakenly believed they couldn’t do so while wearing the Type III Navy working uniform, rather than their coveralls.

    The ship’s fire teams were haphazardly outfitted and equipped, some with self-contained breathing apparatuses and firefighting ensembles, but others without one or the other, the investigation found.

    The fire had spread unabated for nearly two hours before the first firefighters – crews from the San Diego Fire Department – poured water onto the flames.

    That happened at 9:51 a.m. on the upper vehicle deck, where the city firefighters on their own initiative attacked a fire along the space’s starboard side. While unfamiliar with the ship’s layout, they told investigators, they nevertheless reached one area of the fire and fought the blaze for at least another 30 minutes before conditions deteriorated with the fire’s continuing multi-fingered spread.

  78. @Jack D
    @Sick of Orcs

    Why didn't you translate/transliterate the horse's name?

    It is Lesnoy Pozhar - Forest Fire.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Sick of Orcs

    I considered it, Sir, but we all have access to google translate?

    I entered ‘Wildfire’ (the song title} and it indeed made it “Lesnoy Pozhar” (Forest fire)

  79. In recent years, scholars homed in on a Botai settlement in the Kazakh steppes…

    There goes the thread! Oh, wait… it’s Kazakh, not those other steppe people.

  80. @Twinkie

    from Russian Step
     
    https://youtu.be/K21yj2lEgrA

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

    Do they know the Aztec Two-Steppe?

  81. @Dmon
    @inertial

    You are quite correct about the safety factor - the Persian cavalry used the classic harassment tactics which are basically the only resort of cavalry against heavy infantry. However, far from being terrified of Persian cavalry, it was more like the Persian cavalry that was terrified of the Greek infantry. It was an indisputable fact of war right up to the end of horse soldiers that heavy (i.e., non-missile) cavalry was helpless against disciplined heavy infantry that maintained its' formation. No matter how good a horseman you are, you cannot get a horse to charge headlong into a wall of spears or bayonets. A non-panicked horse won't even run on purpose directly into a single human who stands his ground. As long as your infantry maintained formation (and Xenophon's men were professional mercenaries), a cavalry charge against them might begin at a gallop, slow down to a trot, and end with a bunch of embarrassed enemy lapping aimlessly back and forth around the infantry formation on spent horses before retreating in disgust. If you wanted to take on heavy infantry, you needed missile armed light cavalry using hit and run tactics. In Xenophon's case, he retaliated by arming his Rhodian slingers with long-range lead bullets, which made the Persians a little more prudent. A pretty good book on tactical systems is "Elements of Military Strategy", by Archer Jones. Of course, this applies only to organized militaries. If a bunch of guys riding horses showed up in your farming village 4000 yrs. ago, no doubt you would have had the living sh!t scared and beaten out of you, just prior to having all of your female relatives appropriated.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Napoleon’s cavalry couldn’t break the British infantry square at Waterloo.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    @Steve Sailer

    Square was a reinvention of the utterly terrifying Swiss (running) pike block, but for the age of the rifle and cannon.
    Horses ain't got decent brakes.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    , @Dmon
    @Steve Sailer

    Nope, not by themselves. A combined arms tactic of the day was to have the infantry ready behind the cavalry, use the cavalry to force the enemy into squares, then bring up the infantry line to pour fire into an enemy formation that only had 1/4 of its' men in position to fire back. By Waterloo, the French were probably running pretty low on troops and officers who had the training and control to pull that off. Plus, Marshall Ney's sobriquet was "Bravest of the Brave", not "Smartest of the Smart".

    , @ThreeCranes
    @Steve Sailer

    http://www.stuartbriggs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Wellingtons-squares-2.jpg

  82. @JohnnyWalker123
    What is Biden doing exactly?

    https://twitter.com/cwt_news/status/1451391639407276053

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Almost Missouri, @Mr Mox

    Maybe Biden’s thinking about inflation in terms of pushing a shopping cart thru a supermarket?

    • Replies: @TWS
    @Steve Sailer

    Last time totally legit, not fraudulent at all Joe (most popular president ever) was pushing a shopping cart was when he was buying ice cream for all the kiddies at the pool with cornpop.

  83. @inertial
    @Almost Missouri


    I mean, isn’t the oldest known Indo-European story about talking domesticated horses and sheep?
     
    Do you mean Schleicher's fable? How is it the the oldest known story when it was only composed in 1868?

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    Irrespective of the story, the point is the words for domestic horse and so forth go back to the beginning of the Indo-European languages spoken by the Yamnaya.

  84. @JohnnyWalker123
    What is Biden doing exactly?

    https://twitter.com/cwt_news/status/1451391639407276053

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Almost Missouri, @Mr Mox

    It looks like something bowel-related.

  85. @james wilson
    @Jack D

    To my uneducated eye they appear to be Zebras without stripes, and Zebras are wicked.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    Aha! (Partridge moment).
    Not quite as wicked as an upper-middle-clarrss English girl who’s generationally accustomed to Imperial domination.
    (Honest to God, they’re literal demons; but a good sight more cruel, and less handsome than even their mounts).
    Here ya go
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/sport/legendary-zebra-whisperer/
    https://horseyhooves.com/horse-vs-zebra/

  86. @Steve Sailer
    @Dmon

    Napoleon's cavalry couldn't break the British infantry square at Waterloo.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Dmon, @ThreeCranes

    Square was a reinvention of the utterly terrifying Swiss (running) pike block, but for the age of the rifle and cannon.
    Horses ain’t got decent brakes.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @Expletive Deleted


    Kipling's poem "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" praises the Hadendoa for their martial prowess, because "for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square". This could refer to either or both historical battles between the British and Mahdist forces where British infantry squares were "broken". The first was at the Battle of Tamai, on 13 March 1884, and the second was on 17 January 1885[4] during the Battle of Abu Klea (when the square was accidentally opened and not broken, and thereafter promptly reformed). Kipling's narrator, an infantry soldier, speaks in admiring terms of the "Fuzzy-wuzzys", praising their bravery which, although insufficient to defeat the British, did at least enable them to boast of having "broken the square"—an achievement which few other British foes could claim.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy-Wuzzy
     
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/NSRW_Africa_Hadendoa.png

    Fuzzy-Wuzzy
    We've fought with many men acrost the seas,
    An' some of 'em was brave an' some was not:
    The Paythan an' the Zulu an' Burmese;
    But the Fuzzy was the finest o' the lot.
    We never got a ha'porth's change of 'im:
    'E squatted in the scrub an' 'ocked our 'orses,
    'E cut our sentries up at Sua~kim~,
    An' 'e played the cat an' banjo with our forces.
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
    We gives you your certificate, an' if you want it signed
    We'll come an' 'ave a romp with you whenever you're inclined.

    We took our chanst among the Khyber 'ills,
    The Boers knocked us silly at a mile,
    The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
    An' a Zulu ~impi~ dished us up in style:
    But all we ever got from such as they
    Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
    We 'eld our bloomin' own, the papers say,
    But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us 'oller.
    Then 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' the missis and the kid;
    Our orders was to break you, an' of course we went an' did.
    We sloshed you with Martinis, an' it wasn't 'ardly fair;
    But for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square.

    'E 'asn't got no papers of 'is own,
    'E 'asn't got no medals nor rewards,
    So we must certify the skill 'e's shown
    In usin' of 'is long two-'anded swords:
    When 'e's 'oppin' in an' out among the bush
    With 'is coffin-'eaded shield an' shovel-spear,
    An 'appy day with Fuzzy on the rush
    Will last an 'ealthy Tommy for a year.
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' your friends which are no more,
    If we 'adn't lost some messmates we would 'elp you to deplore;
    But give an' take's the gospel, an' we'll call the bargain fair,
    For if you 'ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!

    'E rushes at the smoke when we let drive,
    An', before we know, 'e's 'ackin' at our 'ead;
    'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive,
    An' 'e's generally shammin' when 'e's dead.
    'E's a daisy, 'e's a ducky, 'e's a lamb!
    'E's a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
    'E's the on'y thing that doesn't give a damn
    For a Regiment o' British Infantree!
    So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
    An' 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air —
    You big black boundin' beggar — for you broke a British square!
    (Soudan Expeditionary Force)

    A tribute to the Hadendowah, who where the first to breach and break-through to the centre of a square. (A defencive formation used by the infantry, each side of the square would contain two lines of troops. The first would kneel with bayonets raised, the second would stand and fire.) This formation had never been broken until the fuzzy-Wuzzies (black Dervish warriors) in the battle of Abu Klea. © by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

    https://allpoetry.com/Fuzzy-Wuzzy
     
  87. @Steve Sailer
    @Dmon

    Napoleon's cavalry couldn't break the British infantry square at Waterloo.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Dmon, @ThreeCranes

    Nope, not by themselves. A combined arms tactic of the day was to have the infantry ready behind the cavalry, use the cavalry to force the enemy into squares, then bring up the infantry line to pour fire into an enemy formation that only had 1/4 of its’ men in position to fire back. By Waterloo, the French were probably running pretty low on troops and officers who had the training and control to pull that off. Plus, Marshall Ney’s sobriquet was “Bravest of the Brave”, not “Smartest of the Smart”.

  88. @inertial
    In Xenophon's Anabasis, the Greeks constantly complain about the unfairness of fighting with Persians. The Greeks, who were all infantry, faced the best Persian troops, which was cavalry. So the Greek worried that if they are defeated they will be slaughtered to a man, but if they win the enemy will be able to simply ride off beyond reach. And this is what more or less keeps happening. Greeks keep winning in the field but they are never able to wipe out the Persians because they can never catch them.

    So it would seem that the main advantage of early cavalry was not so much battle efficiency but safety - an option of easy escape if things go wrong.

    Another advantage was psychological. Many Greeks were terrified of a cavalry charge. No wonder; imagine hundreds of these huge heavy things rushing at you at enormous speed. Xenophon gives a speech where he tries to reassure them saying the the only important part of a man-horse pair is the man on the horseback and the horse doesn't matter at all. He asks his compatriots a rhetorical question: Have you ever seen a horse kill a warrior with its kick of bite? Apparently, this never happened.

    Replies: @Dmon, @Almost Missouri

    Cavalry can’t overcome disciplined infantry in a shock (contact) attack, but they can harass them with arrows, slingstones, javelins, etc. whether they are charioteers or mounted. As you say, I think the big advantage that horse warriors have is simply that their superior mobility means they get to choose whether or not there is a battle. And if they are winning the battle, they can make sure no one escapes. And if they are losing, they can just leave and cancel the battle. So while they can’t always win, they can never lose. Over time, that means implacable strategic victories.

    The only exception would be on rough terrain: mountains or dense forests. The rocky slopes of Greece neutralized part of the Persian cavalry advantage. Thermopylae funneled the Persians into a close quarters contact battle where the Greeks were at an advantage.

    But of course terrain that is bad for cavalry is also usually bad for agriculture. So rich, open, flat agricultural land was also most at risk to raiding and conquest by horsemen. The sheepherding and olive growing hills and islands of Greece, however, were partially sheltered from this threat.

  89. @Father O'Hara
    OT,yes,sorry,but any thoughts on Alex Baldwin?
    Methinks it could be another gift from People of Color. The regular techs were apparently on strike and not working.

    Replies: @EdwardM

    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @EdwardM


    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.
     
    All this CGI crap is making movie gun fire look like what it is: FAKE!

    Realistic gun fire is what we used to see in the 1980s like in "Commando." The muzzle flashes as caught in daylight is What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get. Nowadays, it looks almost looks like a muzzle flash taken in a darkened room. I remember seeing one of "The Raid" foreign martial arts movies and they showed some electrically powered assault rifles that expelled realistic looking spent cartridge shell.

    In the original 1953 George Pal's "War of the Worlds, there's a scene that you will never see in the age of CGI. A Browning 1919 is shown being fired in darkness, and you can see the blue flames of incandescent muzzle gasses in the cooling holes of the barrel jacket.

    That's movie film reality.

    , @Joe Stalin
    @EdwardM


    How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.
     
    Well, the cosmopolitans NEVER sleep when working to destroy US Gun Culture.

    Let Computers Do It: Film Set Tragedy Spurs Call to Ban Guns

    A petition was launched over the weekend on change.org for real guns to be banned from production sets.

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/let-computers-do-it-film-set-tragedy-spurs-call-to-ban-guns/2848919/
     

  90. @J.Ross
    @Franz

    Poles historically claim to be descendants of Sarmatians (with about as much scientific verifiability as you might expect from the eighteenth century) so that's probably something like what Stalin was doing.

    Replies: @Dube

    Stalin was grousing about the Poles handling or mishandling something, and began with, “Can’t the Sarmatians…?” That’s all I remember; it seems to imply that he did not consider himself Sarmatian, in response to a point somewhere above.

    Here’s an image of the Chmielnicki rebellion (expand graphic for details, the painter had to work fast). If you’re always mounted, you might as well get good at it. Especially if that’s the way it’s always been and presumably always will be.

  91. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Franz

    Judged linguistically- no. Sarmatians, Scythians etc. were assimilated into Slavic proto-peoples; they spoke Indo-European satem language(s), just like Iranian, Baltic and Slavic peoples, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum_and_satem_languages

    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.

    Replies: @Jon Halpenny, @Franz

    I think there is some obscurity about Stalin’s ancestry. I think there have been some claims he was at least partly descended from Ossetians. They are descended from the Scythians and Sarmatians.

  92. • Replies: @Flip
    @Jon Halpenny

    She looks like a Midwestern girl next door.

  93. It is a gun. They call it a ‘prop’ gun to deceive.

    Baldwin aimed it at the woman and pulled the trigger. He needs at least a year and a day in prison.

    And lawsuits should make him broke.

  94. @Steve Sailer
    @Dmon

    Napoleon's cavalry couldn't break the British infantry square at Waterloo.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Dmon, @ThreeCranes

  95. @JohnnyWalker123
    What is Biden doing exactly?

    https://twitter.com/cwt_news/status/1451391639407276053

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Almost Missouri, @Mr Mox

    What is Biden doing exactly?

    Getting the hell out of Dodge…

  96. @Expletive Deleted
    @Steve Sailer

    Square was a reinvention of the utterly terrifying Swiss (running) pike block, but for the age of the rifle and cannon.
    Horses ain't got decent brakes.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    Kipling’s poem “Fuzzy-Wuzzy” praises the Hadendoa for their martial prowess, because “for all the odds agin’ you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square”. This could refer to either or both historical battles between the British and Mahdist forces where British infantry squares were “broken”. The first was at the Battle of Tamai, on 13 March 1884, and the second was on 17 January 1885[4] during the Battle of Abu Klea (when the square was accidentally opened and not broken, and thereafter promptly reformed). Kipling’s narrator, an infantry soldier, speaks in admiring terms of the “Fuzzy-wuzzys”, praising their bravery which, although insufficient to defeat the British, did at least enable them to boast of having “broken the square”—an achievement which few other British foes could claim.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy-Wuzzy

    Fuzzy-Wuzzy
    We’ve fought with many men acrost the seas,
    An’ some of ’em was brave an’ some was not:
    The Paythan an’ the Zulu an’ Burmese;
    But the Fuzzy was the finest o’ the lot.
    We never got a ha’porth’s change of ‘im:
    ‘E squatted in the scrub an’ ‘ocked our ‘orses,
    ‘E cut our sentries up at Sua~kim~,
    An’ ‘e played the cat an’ banjo with our forces.
    So ‘ere’s ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your ‘ome in the Soudan;
    You’re a pore benighted ‘eathen but a first-class fightin’ man;
    We gives you your certificate, an’ if you want it signed
    We’ll come an’ ‘ave a romp with you whenever you’re inclined.

    We took our chanst among the Khyber ‘ills,
    The Boers knocked us silly at a mile,
    The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
    An’ a Zulu ~impi~ dished us up in style:
    But all we ever got from such as they
    Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
    We ‘eld our bloomin’ own, the papers say,
    But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us ‘oller.
    Then ‘ere’s ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an’ the missis and the kid;
    Our orders was to break you, an’ of course we went an’ did.
    We sloshed you with Martinis, an’ it wasn’t ‘ardly fair;
    But for all the odds agin’ you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square.

    ‘E ‘asn’t got no papers of ‘is own,
    ‘E ‘asn’t got no medals nor rewards,
    So we must certify the skill ‘e’s shown
    In usin’ of ‘is long two-‘anded swords:
    When ‘e’s ‘oppin’ in an’ out among the bush
    With ‘is coffin-‘eaded shield an’ shovel-spear,
    An ‘appy day with Fuzzy on the rush
    Will last an ‘ealthy Tommy for a year.
    So ‘ere’s ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an’ your friends which are no more,
    If we ‘adn’t lost some messmates we would ‘elp you to deplore;
    But give an’ take’s the gospel, an’ we’ll call the bargain fair,
    For if you ‘ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!

    ‘E rushes at the smoke when we let drive,
    An’, before we know, ‘e’s ‘ackin’ at our ‘ead;
    ‘E’s all ‘ot sand an’ ginger when alive,
    An’ ‘e’s generally shammin’ when ‘e’s dead.
    ‘E’s a daisy, ‘e’s a ducky, ‘e’s a lamb!
    ‘E’s a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
    ‘E’s the on’y thing that doesn’t give a damn
    For a Regiment o’ British Infantree!
    So ‘ere’s ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your ‘ome in the Soudan;
    You’re a pore benighted ‘eathen but a first-class fightin’ man;
    An’ ‘ere’s ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your ‘ayrick ‘ead of ‘air —
    You big black boundin’ beggar — for you broke a British square!
    (Soudan Expeditionary Force)

    A tribute to the Hadendowah, who where the first to breach and break-through to the centre of a square. (A defencive formation used by the infantry, each side of the square would contain two lines of troops. The first would kneel with bayonets raised, the second would stand and fire.) This formation had never been broken until the fuzzy-Wuzzies (black Dervish warriors) in the battle of Abu Klea. © by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

    https://allpoetry.com/Fuzzy-Wuzzy

  97. @Jon Halpenny
    An Ossetian woman. An Indo-European beauty.

    https://www.livingly.com/Beautiful+Women+Around+the+World/articles/09Ovmr5w0h2/Photographed+Vladikavkaz+Russia

    Replies: @Flip

    She looks like a Midwestern girl next door.

  98. @EdwardM
    @Father O'Hara

    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Joe Stalin

    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    All this CGI crap is making movie gun fire look like what it is: FAKE!

    Realistic gun fire is what we used to see in the 1980s like in “Commando.” The muzzle flashes as caught in daylight is What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get. Nowadays, it looks almost looks like a muzzle flash taken in a darkened room. I remember seeing one of “The Raid” foreign martial arts movies and they showed some electrically powered assault rifles that expelled realistic looking spent cartridge shell.

    In the original 1953 George Pal’s “War of the Worlds, there’s a scene that you will never see in the age of CGI. A Browning 1919 is shown being fired in darkness, and you can see the blue flames of incandescent muzzle gasses in the cooling holes of the barrel jacket.

    That’s movie film reality.

  99. @Steve Sailer
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Maybe Biden's thinking about inflation in terms of pushing a shopping cart thru a supermarket?

    Replies: @TWS

    Last time totally legit, not fraudulent at all Joe (most popular president ever) was pushing a shopping cart was when he was buying ice cream for all the kiddies at the pool with cornpop.

  100. “I would not dare approach a Przewalski’s horse,” Dr. Orlando said.

    Say what? It’s a pitbull dog. Do horses have such ferocity?

  101. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Paperback Writer


    I wouldn’t have known.
     
    I sympathize. However, since Jack D himself didn’t mention the song, you still wouldn’t have gotten the joke, which would have been ruined if done Jack’s way. For the resulting edification of you, PW, I give Jack 25% credit for his comment which led to me indirectly linking to the song which is the basis for the joke. You’re 75% welcome.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    I don’t understand a damn thing you said.

    But

    You’re 100% welcome!

    • Thanks: Jenner Ickham Errican
  102. @Anon
    I'm reading a book that quotes various Roman era commentators on the horses that the mercenary Black Sea and Caspian Sea proto-Iranians rode, and they were fairly small. I guess a whole lot of these mounted fighters with really long spears and no fear could rout large forces.

    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe, @Muggles

    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.

    There were very few of these elephants actually used in warfare. Mostly for intimidation. Mainly in the Middle East, though Hannibal famously brought some into Italy.

    I have read that they were a sub species of much larger African elephants (native to far northern Africa) which went extinct around the middle of the Roman period.

    Large southern African elephants are barely able to be tamed and can’t be ridden. SE Asian elephants are much smaller and can be domesticated. I don’t think these were used in ancient Mediterranean warfare.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Muggles


    There were very few of these elephants actually used in warfare. Mostly for intimidation. Mainly in the Middle East, though Hannibal famously brought some into Italy.
     
    Not quite. Military elephants were used extensively by the Carthaginians and later the the Diadochi (the successors to Alexander the Great) and obviously by Indians. I recently pointed out a case where Antiochus of the Seleucids barely saved his empire from the rampaging Galatians in Asia Minor, thanks to a few elephants: https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-solution-to-the-bow-and-arrow-attack-riddle/#comment-4954436

    I have read that they were a sub species of much larger African elephants (native to far northern Africa) which went extinct around the middle of the Roman period.
     
    These were North African elephants that were extensively utilized by the Carthaginians. They were smaller than Indian elephants, however.

    Large southern African elephants are barely able to be tamed and can’t be ridden. SE Asian elephants are much smaller and can be domesticated. I don’t think these were used in ancient Mediterranean warfare.
     
    Indian elephants were imported and at times used in large numbers by the Diadochi, the prime example being the Battle of Raphia where Indian and African elephants clashed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Raphia

    This is the only known battle in which African and Asian elephants were used against each other.[4] Due to Polybius' descriptions of Antiochus' Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), brought from India, as being larger and stronger than Ptolemy's African elephants, it had once been theorized[5] that Ptolemy's elephants were in fact the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), a close relative to the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) – a typical African bush elephant would tower over an Asian one, meaning that the smaller forest elephant would be a better fit with Polybius' descriptions. However recent DNA research[6] has revealed that most likely, Ptolemy's elephants were in fact Loxodonta africana, albeit culled from a population of more diminutive African bush elephants still found in Eritrea today. Another possibility is that Ptolemy utilized the now extinct North African elephants (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis).[7] Much smaller than their Indian or Bush cousins, members of this subspecies were typically around 8-foot high at the shoulder.[8] Regardless of origin, according to Polybius, Ptolemy's African elephants could not bear the smell, sound, and sight of their Indian counterparts. The Indian's greater size and strength easily routed the Africans.
     
  103. @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    '– The true power of the horse as a military instrument emerged after 1000 BC due to the emergence of mounted cavalry'

    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.

    Stirrups were not necessary for fielding an effective cavalry force. As I commented on Razib Khan’s blog: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/09/17/the-echoes-of-greater-scythia/#comments

    Ancient armies utilized cavalry long before there was a stirrup. The famed Numidians, for example, who were widely considered to be some of the finest cavalrymen in the Mediterranean world rode small horses without a stirrup or even a saddle and controlled their horses with a rope and a stick. Their main weapon was the javelin as was the case with most other effective ancient cavalrymen.

    Contrary to popular imagery of knights, cavalry in general has been the most useful since time immemorial in such tasks that maximized their mobility advantages – scouting, reconnaissance, raiding, screening other forces, harassing attacks (“hit-and-run”), pursuit and, of course, to oppose the cavalry on the other side. Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).

    And the deficiency of the chariot for war was long known. Chariots operated very poorly on anything but a flat terrain, which severely constrained their use and effectiveness outside certain geographical limits. They were also expensive and fragile.

    When they were used in any significant numbers (in very ancient times), they were often employed as “battle taxis” to ferry leaders and captains into battle and then to safely extract them when the battle went awry, rather than as some sort of armored vehicles or main battle tanks. At best, they made good “mobile command posts.”

    I should also note that the “scythed wheel” thing is more modern fancy (“Ben-Hur”) than anything else – try to imagine how such things could be used without endangering the safety of the occupants or the structural integrity of a chariot and the horses tied to it. What do you think would happen to all the delicate mechanisms of a chariot if a scythed wheel were to get stuck or damaged (which would happen easily)?

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    'Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).'

    I think you're mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.

    Even thereafter, mounted (stirrupped) cavalry was successfully and often used in a shock role; see several of Napoleon's victories. It wasn't until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe. Look up, say, the ratio of cavalry to infantry in the armies of Frederick the Great, and in particular, the quantity of heavy cavalry; that cavalry was there to fight battles, and fight them with charges.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  104. @Dutch Boy
    @Twinkie

    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages). How does this new theory contradict that scenario? Is it only a difference between the sort of horses used (a theoretical non-modern horse used by the Yamnaya vs. the modern type horse found in Southern Russia)? I would assume that, if the Yamnaya used a non-modern breed of horse, they would have replaced this animal with a modern horse eventually (one that could be used by an individual rider rather than as a chariot puller only).

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Twinkie

    I was under the impression that the Yamnaya emerged from the area of Southern Russia about 2000 BC using chariots to conquer to the west and the southeast (basically, the areas now using Indo-European languages).

    All the scholars are basically operating with relatively small bits of genetic evidence, so things can change as more data are made available. But for now, it appears that the people who spread both chariots and horses (and Indo-European languages) were the Corded Ware and their descendants (including the Sintashta), not the Yamnaya: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/09/16/the-heavenly-horses-of-the-sintashta/

    Now, the issue of how the peoples of the Yamnaya and the Corded Ware cultures were related is rather disputed and murky. There is a view that the Corded Ware were predominantly derived from Yamnaya male invaders and local (EEF or Early European Farmer) females in Europe. That view is rejected by those who point out that the patrilineal lineages of the two groups are different, as another commenter pointed out in this thread. Those who subscribe to that latter view seems to think that the Corded Ware are likely those who migrated from Central Europe to the steppes to the east and re-migrated back as pastoralists to Central Europe. As we see more data in the future, the picture will become clearer.

    What can be gleaned from the current data is that the while the Yamnaya probably carried the light hair alleles that they inherited from ANE (or Ancient North Eurasians) ancestors, but were predominantly (perhaps entirely) darker-haired and darker pigmented people in phenotype (we are talking southern European-dark here, not African), but the later Corded Ware people seemed to have been, in general, lighter-haired and -skinned closer to modern Northern Europeans. There is also a dispute over whether the EEF were dark- or light-pigmented – it appears that both the EEFs and Corded Ware were mixed populations with varying pigmentations. Whatever the case may be, during the mid- to late-Bronze era, there was a burst of selective sweep that went through Central and Northern Europe that greatly increased blondism. So the current thinking is that blondism is something that developed in Northern Europe relatively recently rather than something carried phenotypically from steppe pastoralists (though the alleles were).

  105. @valis
    >Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery

    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.

    If you're a sedentary farmer, moving around is a tricky proposition, the distance you can go is sharply limited by how much food you can carry. You also can't easily just pull up stumps and start a new farm in a foreign land. Most subsistence farmers have many generations worth of heuristic knowledge of their lands, what to plant in them and when, what the local climate is like what kind of social conditions there are. It's not at all impossible but it tends to require a lot of blood and treasure and, ideally, technology. Hence sedentary farmers tend to be relatively sedentary unless forced to migrate. It doesn't help that a grain based diet dies not make for strong soldiers

    For hunter gatherers, the situation is even more dire. You can't just wander into the jungle with a spear and hope to eat. Not consistently at least. You need to have a fairly detailed knowledge of all the flora and fauna in your area, otherwise you'll end up getting poisoned or waste too many calories hunting animals you don't really know how to hunt. This knowledge is stuff that tends to be acquired over long millenia of coevolution with that specific eco-system You can't just walk into a new eco-system and thrive. So hunter-gatherers tend to have similar geographic limitations.

    Nomadic pastoralists, by contrast, have no such issues. A cow is basically a mobile machine that converts grass into energy you can metabolize. You can go anywhere where grass is. You can even survive in a desert, as the Arabs show. You also don't have to worry about bad weather and other such things. The main concerns are: Protecting your flock from wild animals and hostile people, which induces a strong degree of selection pressure for warrior traits whose utility is obvious. Protecting your flocks from disease, which induces a strong cultural preference for good hygeine* which can be a pretty big deal when you're travelling widely. It helps to have such a protein rich diet too.

    This, I suspect, is why there seems to be this periodic phenomena of relatively small numbers of nomadic pastoralists conquering a sizable fraction of the earth's surface area while everyone else is more or less helpless


    *Obviously it's not gonna be perfect. Consider the old Bedouin rule about wiping your ass with your left hand and eating with your right. Not perfect, but at least they were aware of the problem and probably couldn't do much better in such a water scarce environment. Sedentary peasants would probably just wipe with their right hand and not think twice about it.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted, @Twinkie

    Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery

    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.

    First of all, there is the likelihood that the Yamnaya availed themselves to both horse milk and cow milk and related products, with all the implied nutritional advantages. But even without that, pastoralists were generally healthier and physically more robust than agriculturalists throughout history. Also, among pastoralists the rate of military mobilization seems to have been much higher than that among agriculturalists. On the other side, the one advantage agriculturalists generally had was population density.

    I’ve often maintained that – until the rise of gunpowder weapons – the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, “civilized” peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies – only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists. This is a pattern that persists on both eastern and western ends of the great Eurasian steppes that runs from Mongolia to Hungary.

    • Replies: @valis
    @Twinkie

    "I’ve often maintained that – until the rise of gunpowder weapons – the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, “civilized” peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies – only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists"

    I tend to agree, and to some extent it's still relevant in a lot of places. I suspect that the Rwandan genocide is a great example. The Hutus were more sedentary farmers (in the Bantu mode, of course) and the Tutsis were nomadic pastoralists, possibly characterised by a certain degree of Arabic admixture. Obviously there's all sorts of political nonsense offered for why it happened, but I suspect the answer is simple and mundane. Rwanda, like pretty much every country in Africa was seeing massive population growth. As a consequence, Tutsis would end up grazing their sheep on Hutu farming plots way more often. Similarly, Hutus keep turning grazing lands into farms. Both sides get more and more pissed off with each other, and because it never used to be much of a problem, there are no procedures for dispute resolution so the killing starts.

    , @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biNrKEgg8jg&t=16s

    Replies: @Twinkie

  106. @Muggles
    @Anon


    I also seem to remember reading that military elephants were smaller than modern elephants.
     
    There were very few of these elephants actually used in warfare. Mostly for intimidation. Mainly in the Middle East, though Hannibal famously brought some into Italy.

    I have read that they were a sub species of much larger African elephants (native to far northern Africa) which went extinct around the middle of the Roman period.

    Large southern African elephants are barely able to be tamed and can't be ridden. SE Asian elephants are much smaller and can be domesticated. I don't think these were used in ancient Mediterranean warfare.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    There were very few of these elephants actually used in warfare. Mostly for intimidation. Mainly in the Middle East, though Hannibal famously brought some into Italy.

    Not quite. Military elephants were used extensively by the Carthaginians and later the the Diadochi (the successors to Alexander the Great) and obviously by Indians. I recently pointed out a case where Antiochus of the Seleucids barely saved his empire from the rampaging Galatians in Asia Minor, thanks to a few elephants: https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-solution-to-the-bow-and-arrow-attack-riddle/#comment-4954436

    I have read that they were a sub species of much larger African elephants (native to far northern Africa) which went extinct around the middle of the Roman period.

    These were North African elephants that were extensively utilized by the Carthaginians. They were smaller than Indian elephants, however.

    Large southern African elephants are barely able to be tamed and can’t be ridden. SE Asian elephants are much smaller and can be domesticated. I don’t think these were used in ancient Mediterranean warfare.

    Indian elephants were imported and at times used in large numbers by the Diadochi, the prime example being the Battle of Raphia where Indian and African elephants clashed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Raphia

    This is the only known battle in which African and Asian elephants were used against each other.[4] Due to Polybius’ descriptions of Antiochus’ Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), brought from India, as being larger and stronger than Ptolemy’s African elephants, it had once been theorized[5] that Ptolemy’s elephants were in fact the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), a close relative to the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) – a typical African bush elephant would tower over an Asian one, meaning that the smaller forest elephant would be a better fit with Polybius’ descriptions. However recent DNA research[6] has revealed that most likely, Ptolemy’s elephants were in fact Loxodonta africana, albeit culled from a population of more diminutive African bush elephants still found in Eritrea today. Another possibility is that Ptolemy utilized the now extinct North African elephants (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis).[7] Much smaller than their Indian or Bush cousins, members of this subspecies were typically around 8-foot high at the shoulder.[8] Regardless of origin, according to Polybius, Ptolemy’s African elephants could not bear the smell, sound, and sight of their Indian counterparts. The Indian’s greater size and strength easily routed the Africans.

    • Thanks: Muggles
  107. @Twinkie
    @valis



    Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery
     
    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.
     
    First of all, there is the likelihood that the Yamnaya availed themselves to both horse milk and cow milk and related products, with all the implied nutritional advantages. But even without that, pastoralists were generally healthier and physically more robust than agriculturalists throughout history. Also, among pastoralists the rate of military mobilization seems to have been much higher than that among agriculturalists. On the other side, the one advantage agriculturalists generally had was population density.

    I've often maintained that - until the rise of gunpowder weapons - the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, "civilized" peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies - only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists. This is a pattern that persists on both eastern and western ends of the great Eurasian steppes that runs from Mongolia to Hungary.

    Replies: @valis, @Almost Missouri

    “I’ve often maintained that – until the rise of gunpowder weapons – the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, “civilized” peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies – only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists”

    I tend to agree, and to some extent it’s still relevant in a lot of places. I suspect that the Rwandan genocide is a great example. The Hutus were more sedentary farmers (in the Bantu mode, of course) and the Tutsis were nomadic pastoralists, possibly characterised by a certain degree of Arabic admixture. Obviously there’s all sorts of political nonsense offered for why it happened, but I suspect the answer is simple and mundane. Rwanda, like pretty much every country in Africa was seeing massive population growth. As a consequence, Tutsis would end up grazing their sheep on Hutu farming plots way more often. Similarly, Hutus keep turning grazing lands into farms. Both sides get more and more pissed off with each other, and because it never used to be much of a problem, there are no procedures for dispute resolution so the killing starts.

  108. @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    Stirrups. You also need stirrups. The story seems to keep changing about when those showed up, but you want to be able to wield a sword or a lance without getting knocked off your own horse when you make contact.
     
    Stirrups were not necessary for fielding an effective cavalry force. As I commented on Razib Khan's blog: https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2021/09/17/the-echoes-of-greater-scythia/#comments

    Ancient armies utilized cavalry long before there was a stirrup. The famed Numidians, for example, who were widely considered to be some of the finest cavalrymen in the Mediterranean world rode small horses without a stirrup or even a saddle and controlled their horses with a rope and a stick. Their main weapon was the javelin as was the case with most other effective ancient cavalrymen.

    Contrary to popular imagery of knights, cavalry in general has been the most useful since time immemorial in such tasks that maximized their mobility advantages – scouting, reconnaissance, raiding, screening other forces, harassing attacks (“hit-and-run”), pursuit and, of course, to oppose the cavalry on the other side. Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).

    And the deficiency of the chariot for war was long known. Chariots operated very poorly on anything but a flat terrain, which severely constrained their use and effectiveness outside certain geographical limits. They were also expensive and fragile.

    When they were used in any significant numbers (in very ancient times), they were often employed as “battle taxis” to ferry leaders and captains into battle and then to safely extract them when the battle went awry, rather than as some sort of armored vehicles or main battle tanks. At best, they made good “mobile command posts.”

    I should also note that the “scythed wheel” thing is more modern fancy (“Ben-Hur”) than anything else – try to imagine how such things could be used without endangering the safety of the occupants or the structural integrity of a chariot and the horses tied to it. What do you think would happen to all the delicate mechanisms of a chariot if a scythed wheel were to get stuck or damaged (which would happen easily)?
     

    Replies: @Colin Wright

    ‘Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).’

    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.

    Even thereafter, mounted (stirrupped) cavalry was successfully and often used in a shock role; see several of Napoleon’s victories. It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe. Look up, say, the ratio of cavalry to infantry in the armies of Frederick the Great, and in particular, the quantity of heavy cavalry; that cavalry was there to fight battles, and fight them with charges.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.
     
    That’s clearly untrue - especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.
     
    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright

  109. They found modern horses had two stark genetic differences from other ancient lineages — one gene linked to docility and another to a stronger backbone

    I never thought the NYT would stoop to such blatant antiblack racism. Disgusting!

    Half of an article from Scientific American 1991-12:

    [MORE]

  110. @Beckow
    @Franz


    ...goose chase to the Gobi’s western defiles and finally Darius had enough.
     
    Unless we define the defiles very generously, Darius was still a few thousand miles from Gobi. The Herodotus story takes place in the upper-east Balkans and north of Black See.

    One descendant of these clans is alleged to be Joe Stalin, or so he said.
     
    That is unlikely, Stalin was of Caucasus descent, G2 DNA - short, stocky and very hairy. The hirsute human gene came from there. He had some Ossetian blood, and this affinity triggered the current Georgia-Ossetia fight over territory. Ossetians are Iranian speakers descended from Sarmatians. It is interesting how Stalin liked to think of himself...aspirational identity shows how "soft power" works and how it changes over time.

    Replies: @Franz

    Unless we define the defiles very generously, Darius was still a few thousand miles from Gobi.

    I think that’s the part played by mythology. Where it fits in there I do not know.

    The Sarmatians (and Scyths before them) made up a great story (also Herodotus) that their gold was guarded far to the east on barren earth by griffins.

    What griffins? They may have just told the tale but the COULD have escorted a few chosen Persian scholars to ride a long way east and see a few dead griffins to scare them off. Bones on desert floor because of climactic conditions turned out to be a dinosaur called Protoceratops. Seeing the bones and using imagination, they created the griffin and added a lot to heraldry.

    The Eurasian steppes must have been grand, adventurous, sometimes deadly, in the age men conquered iron and made horses cooperative. I am thousands of years beyond that age, and miss it so.

  111. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Franz

    Judged linguistically- no. Sarmatians, Scythians etc. were assimilated into Slavic proto-peoples; they spoke Indo-European satem language(s), just like Iranian, Baltic and Slavic peoples, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum_and_satem_languages

    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.

    Replies: @Jon Halpenny, @Franz

    Georgians, on the other hand, are not an Indo-European language speaking people.

    Agree. But for years the only edition of the (Sarmatian) Nart Sagas in print was a 500 page Hungarian edition, their language is not Indo-European either. For reasons of proximity and as one horse clan from long ago, Hungarians have told me it is part of their heritage. Also Bulgarians and others known to have rode the range back in olden times.

    Probably no “pure” Sarmatians exist. But affiliated members such as Magyars, already mentioned, plus Crimean Tatars and South Ossetians are close. Cousins, maybe. Why otherwise would Hungarians care about the Nart Sagas?

  112. @EdwardM
    @Father O'Hara

    Tragic accident, certainly fueled by negligence, but I expect it to be used by the usual suspects as another cudgel for gun control. How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Joe Stalin

    How long before woke directors and studios vow, “no prop guns on my set!” The societal impact of this would probably be negligible, but I don’t welcome any more chipping away at America’s healthy gun culture.

    Well, the cosmopolitans NEVER sleep when working to destroy US Gun Culture.

    Let Computers Do It: Film Set Tragedy Spurs Call to Ban Guns

    A petition was launched over the weekend on change.org for real guns to be banned from production sets.

    https://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/let-computers-do-it-film-set-tragedy-spurs-call-to-ban-guns/2848919/

  113. @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    'Even in the heydays of armored cavalry, headlong charges of mounted men into densely packed mass of men were exceedingly rare (because they were liable to be exceedingly costly – trained horses, equipment, and men being rare and valuable resources that would be killed/damaged easily in melees).'

    I think you're mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.

    Even thereafter, mounted (stirrupped) cavalry was successfully and often used in a shock role; see several of Napoleon's victories. It wasn't until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe. Look up, say, the ratio of cavalry to infantry in the armies of Frederick the Great, and in particular, the quantity of heavy cavalry; that cavalry was there to fight battles, and fight them with charges.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.

    That’s clearly untrue – especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.

    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Twinkie


    History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History
     
    That should be “within,” not “with.”
    , @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    '...The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations...'

    Are we talking about knights or heavy -- i.e., shock -- cavalry?

    To cite one spectacular example of the sometime superiority of both, consider the battles of the First Crusade.

    The 'People's Crusade' -- largely on foot -- crossed over into Anatolia first, and after making a nuisance of themselves by attacking various towns and committing various atrocities, were summarily slaughtered by the (mounted) warriors fielded by the Turks. These used your beloved bows as well as swords or lances, and relied on a mix of skirmishing and shock tactics.

    Then the mounted gentry of the Crusade showed up -- and were able to rout the Turks, albeit that could change, and did.

    You probably have a point -- but are taking it way too far. Shock cavalry -- which relies on the stirrup, among other things -- was useful on the battlefield for well over a thousand years, and reigned supreme for several centuries within that interval.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    Look: pre-modern warfare isn't really my interest, and I can't reel off from memory twenty great battles decided by the charge of shock cavalry in one form or another, but you do it.

    Go through the battles of late antiquity, those of medieval Europe, those of the Crusades, those of the Thirty Years War, the victories of Frederick the Great and Napoleon.

    No, shock cavalry isn't always victorious. Its role is not invariably even decisive. But it is usually important, is frequently used, and figures in many of the great victories of that sweep of history.

    ...you might as well claim that the tank didn't matter in World War Two. That would be about as reasonable.

    , @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    Okay...battles I can name and the accounts of which can recall enough of to be certain of the importance of mounted shock cavalry -- for better or for worse.

    Antioch (1099), Ascalon (1100[?]), Arsuf (1187 [?]), Nicopolis (1396).

    In all of these the battle was decided by the charge of shock cavalry -- and the success or failure of that charge. Conversely, I cannot think of a single battle other than sieges in that stretch of centuries in which shock cavalry did not play a decisive role.

    So shock cavalry's importance has been exaggerated? Come up with a dozen medieval battles in the open field in which it didn't play a major role. I seriously doubt that you can.

  114. @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.
     
    That’s clearly untrue - especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.
     
    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright

    History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History

    That should be “within,” not “with.”

  115. @SF
    OT here is something you might want to review--an article by another woke Indian/American who calls herself a science writer: https://www.growbyginkgo.com/2021/10/21/the-black-box-breakers/?fbclid=IwAR3NTC7K4Yh6HrTHqtXoeapZU1be5hozM3p6_P9i-fyvm5f34w6pGwRt2Q8

    Replies: @res

    Thanks. Here is a version of the link without the Facebook Click ID (fbclid).
    https://www.growbyginkgo.com/2021/10/21/the-black-box-breakers

    Here is some top tier argumentation from that article.

    It’s not that genetic studies are necessarily worthless. They just won’t answer questions about racial health disparities, because racial health disparities aren’t due to genetics.

    A great example of a true Begging the question fallacy where the premises assume the truth of the conclusion.

    P.S. If you care about your anonymity you don’t want to share URLs with tracking links. Search for the Medium article: You are sharing URLs with Tracking Links. Please stop.
    (link not included because of alphanumeric code at the end, which could be a tracking id for all I know, which would be ironic)

  116. @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.
     
    That’s clearly untrue - especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.
     
    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright

    ‘…The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations…’

    Are we talking about knights or heavy — i.e., shock — cavalry?

    To cite one spectacular example of the sometime superiority of both, consider the battles of the First Crusade.

    The ‘People’s Crusade’ — largely on foot — crossed over into Anatolia first, and after making a nuisance of themselves by attacking various towns and committing various atrocities, were summarily slaughtered by the (mounted) warriors fielded by the Turks. These used your beloved bows as well as swords or lances, and relied on a mix of skirmishing and shock tactics.

    Then the mounted gentry of the Crusade showed up — and were able to rout the Turks, albeit that could change, and did.

    You probably have a point — but are taking it way too far. Shock cavalry — which relies on the stirrup, among other things — was useful on the battlefield for well over a thousand years, and reigned supreme for several centuries within that interval.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    the First Crusade
     
    I don't want to get into a long conversation about this - you can educate yourself by reading at least the one book I recommended, but let me disabuse you of some of the faulty notions you have about heavy cavalry et al.

    First you have to understand one of the main reasons why the prominence of heavy cavalry (or cavalry in general) rose in the late Roman/Byzantine era and on - the dramatic decline in the ability of the Roman and Byzantine state to field highly-trained and - disciplined heavy infantry that were at the heart of warfare in the ancient Mediterranean world and in which the Romans especially excelled. The reasons for this decline are manifold and too complex to write here.

    And not only did the late Romans lack the manpower or the state capacity to raise well-disciplined heavy infantry forces (which, in most circumstances and historically in general, could resist melee cavalry very effectively), they also faced the situation of very vast border areas lacking effective local forces for resisting the widespread incursions by Germanic, Sarmatian, and Hunnic peoples (and later Arab and Turkic forces), which in turn required mobile forces - that is, those mounted - that could cover long distances to meet these threats in short order.

    This trend accelerated greatly as the Roman Empire collapsed in the West and brought about a drastic decline in long distance trade and money economy in general. Feudalism was therefore, at lest in part, in response to the dramatic fall in the material prosperity of Western Europe that necessitated agrarian autarky. Given the likewise sharp reductions in military manpower as well as the near collapse of the state ability to train, equip, and field large heavy infantry formations, reliance on relatively small numbers of mounted warriors grew and became prominent.

    This trend reversed as Western European polities became wealthier and more organized and were again able to field larger armies - the infantry component of their militaries became much larger again, and well-equipped European medieval forces began to practice combined warfare (again), with the growing prominence of both melee infantry (largely formations of spearmen) and skirmishers/archers/crossbowmen.

    Even during the timeframe (late antiquity/early medieval era) when cavalry was prominently mentioned in historical records, one has to remember that these records were created to valorize the elites of the era who were mounted men. So your impression "that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded" in this period reflects the bias of the men who thusly celebrated their peers and sponsors than actuality. You mention, for example, the Battle of Ascalon (1099) in which Godfrey of Bouillon defeated the Fatimids. Godfrey's army was said to have consisted of about 1,200 knights and 9,000 infantry, the latter of which was heavily engaged in both the skirmishing phase and the melee phase of the combat, with the latter being described as being particularly fierce. In the end, Godfrey's cavalry was able to arrive on the scene faster than the Fatimid cavalry and tipped the battle in his favor.

    Likewise, in the Battle of Arsuf (1191), Richard the Lionheart was said to have fielded about 1,200 knights and 10,000 infantry. Many of Richard's knights were unhorsed by the arrows of the Ayubbid horse archers (many of who apparently dismounted to bring their archery to bear more effectively) and joined the infantry to fight on. Even Richard himself dismounted and fought amongst his spearmen.

    One thing to keep in mind about the First Crusade (and even the Third, for that matter) is that the Muslim armies that the Crusaders encountered were often entirely composed of light cavalry that relied on skirmishing. Rarely did the latter field large formations of spearmen that could resist European cavalry. When such light cavalry engaged in melee combat with the heavily armored and armed Western cavalrymen (not just knights but also "men-at-arms"), it predictably fared poorly. In contrast, Western warlords such as Richard often fielded what moderns would call a "combined arms army" of cavalrymen, infantry, and crossbowmen. Once the Muslims armies figured out the weaknesses and strengths of the Crusaders, however, and began to engage in a more fluid skirmishing style of mobile cavalry combat while avoiding melee, the Crusaders began to experience significant problems and had to start recruiting their own light cavalry in the form of "Turcopoles" (as the Byzantines did). This contrast became even more dramatic later on with the arrival of the Mongols on the scene.

    As I wrote above, in Europe itself, the prominence of melee cavalry began to wane once states were wealthy and organized enough to field well-trained heavy infantry (especially pikemen, backed by archers or crossbowmen and later by arquebusiers), culminating in one of the most dramatic examples in the Battle of Courtrai (1302), in which well-armed and -disciplined Flemish militia infantry slaughtered French knights and men-at-arms in great numbers.

    From that point on and through late medieval and early modern periods, infantry came to dominate the battlefield and cavalry became an afterthought as the likes of Swiss pikemen and the German Landsknecht mercenaries began to utilize the "pike and shot" formations to great effect. Particularly dominant in this timeframe were the famed Spanish Tercios, considered something of a rebirth of the ancient Greek phalanxes or Roman legions, on whose backs the Habsburgs rose to become the first early modern international power.

    Yet, paradoxically, the further growth of gunpowder weapons briefly restored the utility of cavalry in the later centuries. As artillery became ever more mobile and effective, it was able to inflict dramatic carnage on massed infantry formations, which meant that infantry had to disperse to withstand cannonade barrages, making them more vulnerable to well-timed cavalry charges. Moreover, cavalry became a useful tool to threaten and at times overrun this very new "God of War," artillery itself. However, rather than an entirely new method of war, this was simply a technologically more advanced version of what, for example, the Byzantines practiced - sometimes referred to as "shooting in the cavalry," i.e. using archers to create disruptions in the formations of the enemy and then charging in with cavalry to take advantage of the disarray amongst the enemy (which meant that, in absence of such a disruption, mounted men charging into well-ordered enemy formations was usually suicide).

  117. @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.
     
    That’s clearly untrue - especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.
     
    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright

    Look: pre-modern warfare isn’t really my interest, and I can’t reel off from memory twenty great battles decided by the charge of shock cavalry in one form or another, but you do it.

    Go through the battles of late antiquity, those of medieval Europe, those of the Crusades, those of the Thirty Years War, the victories of Frederick the Great and Napoleon.

    No, shock cavalry isn’t always victorious. Its role is not invariably even decisive. But it is usually important, is frequently used, and figures in many of the great victories of that sweep of history.

    …you might as well claim that the tank didn’t matter in World War Two. That would be about as reasonable.

  118. @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    I think you’re mistaken. From about 900 ad to about 1200 ad in particular, the mounted, stirrupped knight used as shock cavalry was king, so much so that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded.
     
    That’s clearly untrue - especially the very last part. The rise of cavalry into prominence in parts of Europe was something that began in the late Roman and Byzantine era as a result of complex intermix of military, economic, social, and demographic reasons, but the romance of the mounted knight was overdone, to say the least. I could write a whole book on this topic, but many others already have. Probably the best summary on this topic is Hans Delbrück’s “History of the Art of War with the Framework of Political History,” especially the third volume dealing with medieval European warfare.

    It wasn’t until the advent of the rifled musket that cavalry came to be more usefully confined to the role you describe.
     
    The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia

    Replies: @Twinkie, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright, @Colin Wright

    Okay…battles I can name and the accounts of which can recall enough of to be certain of the importance of mounted shock cavalry — for better or for worse.

    Antioch (1099), Ascalon (1100[?]), Arsuf (1187 [?]), Nicopolis (1396).

    In all of these the battle was decided by the charge of shock cavalry — and the success or failure of that charge. Conversely, I cannot think of a single battle other than sieges in that stretch of centuries in which shock cavalry did not play a decisive role.

    So shock cavalry’s importance has been exaggerated? Come up with a dozen medieval battles in the open field in which it didn’t play a major role. I seriously doubt that you can.

  119. @Buffalo Joe
    @Anon

    TwoNineEight, while visiting several Civil War museums I was taken back by how small the uniforms were. Apparently the fighting men on both sides were the size of today's teenagers. The popular mount in the Civil War was the Canada horse, which came from France IIRC. Good for both riding and pulling some loads.

    Replies: @Dan Hayes

    And neither were the Empire State Building workmen shown eating their lunch on a steel beam in that famous depression era photo!

  120. @Colin Wright
    @Twinkie

    '...The prominence of knights coming to an end is traditionally dated to the Battle of Pavia (1525) at the hands of the “pike and shot” formations...'

    Are we talking about knights or heavy -- i.e., shock -- cavalry?

    To cite one spectacular example of the sometime superiority of both, consider the battles of the First Crusade.

    The 'People's Crusade' -- largely on foot -- crossed over into Anatolia first, and after making a nuisance of themselves by attacking various towns and committing various atrocities, were summarily slaughtered by the (mounted) warriors fielded by the Turks. These used your beloved bows as well as swords or lances, and relied on a mix of skirmishing and shock tactics.

    Then the mounted gentry of the Crusade showed up -- and were able to rout the Turks, albeit that could change, and did.

    You probably have a point -- but are taking it way too far. Shock cavalry -- which relies on the stirrup, among other things -- was useful on the battlefield for well over a thousand years, and reigned supreme for several centuries within that interval.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    the First Crusade

    I don’t want to get into a long conversation about this – you can educate yourself by reading at least the one book I recommended, but let me disabuse you of some of the faulty notions you have about heavy cavalry et al.

    First you have to understand one of the main reasons why the prominence of heavy cavalry (or cavalry in general) rose in the late Roman/Byzantine era and on – the dramatic decline in the ability of the Roman and Byzantine state to field highly-trained and – disciplined heavy infantry that were at the heart of warfare in the ancient Mediterranean world and in which the Romans especially excelled. The reasons for this decline are manifold and too complex to write here.

    And not only did the late Romans lack the manpower or the state capacity to raise well-disciplined heavy infantry forces (which, in most circumstances and historically in general, could resist melee cavalry very effectively), they also faced the situation of very vast border areas lacking effective local forces for resisting the widespread incursions by Germanic, Sarmatian, and Hunnic peoples (and later Arab and Turkic forces), which in turn required mobile forces – that is, those mounted – that could cover long distances to meet these threats in short order.

    This trend accelerated greatly as the Roman Empire collapsed in the West and brought about a drastic decline in long distance trade and money economy in general. Feudalism was therefore, at lest in part, in response to the dramatic fall in the material prosperity of Western Europe that necessitated agrarian autarky. Given the likewise sharp reductions in military manpower as well as the near collapse of the state ability to train, equip, and field large heavy infantry formations, reliance on relatively small numbers of mounted warriors grew and became prominent.

    This trend reversed as Western European polities became wealthier and more organized and were again able to field larger armies – the infantry component of their militaries became much larger again, and well-equipped European medieval forces began to practice combined warfare (again), with the growing prominence of both melee infantry (largely formations of spearmen) and skirmishers/archers/crossbowmen.

    Even during the timeframe (late antiquity/early medieval era) when cavalry was prominently mentioned in historical records, one has to remember that these records were created to valorize the elites of the era who were mounted men. So your impression “that foot soldiers were often simply disregarded” in this period reflects the bias of the men who thusly celebrated their peers and sponsors than actuality. You mention, for example, the Battle of Ascalon (1099) in which Godfrey of Bouillon defeated the Fatimids. Godfrey’s army was said to have consisted of about 1,200 knights and 9,000 infantry, the latter of which was heavily engaged in both the skirmishing phase and the melee phase of the combat, with the latter being described as being particularly fierce. In the end, Godfrey’s cavalry was able to arrive on the scene faster than the Fatimid cavalry and tipped the battle in his favor.

    Likewise, in the Battle of Arsuf (1191), Richard the Lionheart was said to have fielded about 1,200 knights and 10,000 infantry. Many of Richard’s knights were unhorsed by the arrows of the Ayubbid horse archers (many of who apparently dismounted to bring their archery to bear more effectively) and joined the infantry to fight on. Even Richard himself dismounted and fought amongst his spearmen.

    One thing to keep in mind about the First Crusade (and even the Third, for that matter) is that the Muslim armies that the Crusaders encountered were often entirely composed of light cavalry that relied on skirmishing. Rarely did the latter field large formations of spearmen that could resist European cavalry. When such light cavalry engaged in melee combat with the heavily armored and armed Western cavalrymen (not just knights but also “men-at-arms”), it predictably fared poorly. In contrast, Western warlords such as Richard often fielded what moderns would call a “combined arms army” of cavalrymen, infantry, and crossbowmen. Once the Muslims armies figured out the weaknesses and strengths of the Crusaders, however, and began to engage in a more fluid skirmishing style of mobile cavalry combat while avoiding melee, the Crusaders began to experience significant problems and had to start recruiting their own light cavalry in the form of “Turcopoles” (as the Byzantines did). This contrast became even more dramatic later on with the arrival of the Mongols on the scene.

    As I wrote above, in Europe itself, the prominence of melee cavalry began to wane once states were wealthy and organized enough to field well-trained heavy infantry (especially pikemen, backed by archers or crossbowmen and later by arquebusiers), culminating in one of the most dramatic examples in the Battle of Courtrai (1302), in which well-armed and -disciplined Flemish militia infantry slaughtered French knights and men-at-arms in great numbers.

    From that point on and through late medieval and early modern periods, infantry came to dominate the battlefield and cavalry became an afterthought as the likes of Swiss pikemen and the German Landsknecht mercenaries began to utilize the “pike and shot” formations to great effect. Particularly dominant in this timeframe were the famed Spanish Tercios, considered something of a rebirth of the ancient Greek phalanxes or Roman legions, on whose backs the Habsburgs rose to become the first early modern international power.

    Yet, paradoxically, the further growth of gunpowder weapons briefly restored the utility of cavalry in the later centuries. As artillery became ever more mobile and effective, it was able to inflict dramatic carnage on massed infantry formations, which meant that infantry had to disperse to withstand cannonade barrages, making them more vulnerable to well-timed cavalry charges. Moreover, cavalry became a useful tool to threaten and at times overrun this very new “God of War,” artillery itself. However, rather than an entirely new method of war, this was simply a technologically more advanced version of what, for example, the Byzantines practiced – sometimes referred to as “shooting in the cavalry,” i.e. using archers to create disruptions in the formations of the enemy and then charging in with cavalry to take advantage of the disarray amongst the enemy (which meant that, in absence of such a disruption, mounted men charging into well-ordered enemy formations was usually suicide).

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  121. @Expletive Deleted
    @kihowi

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society/article/abs/neolithic-bows-from-somerset-england-and-the-prehistory-of-archery-in-northwestern-europe/7A2883B4781A2D0F22A1869495DFDFE3

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/past/past46.html#Bowstave

    tl;dr
    They've been using bows since forever in the Isles. Until they were introduced to metal weapons.
    Bronze, which handily doesn't rust away in the disgusting climate.
    BellBeaker conquerors of the islands were all about their bows, since their initially silly and tiny bronze daggers were no use against some sturdy peasant with a quarterstaff. The neolithic peoples they subjugated used long "self" bows in what can be interpreted as massed artillery assaults on the large and very well-fortified hilltop enclosures of their various local rivals.

    What with the constant wind, rain and winter darkness, bows (and the training to use them) seem to have fallen out of favour.
    The strings get wet and useless, the best-greased/waxed self bow absorbs atmotpheric moisture, the fletchings come unglued from the arrows, and composite bows just drop to bits. Even if you got a shot off, the wind would likely deflect it hopelessly.
    What you need when your dun or fort is raided at 2 a.m. is something to hand that just works, even in the dark. Those bad bois from over the hill aren't going to be clambering over the palisades encumbered with all sorts of clumsy and fragile shooty bits, so you lurk among the huts until you can practically smell them.

    So halberds (dagger on a pole), spears and javelins (again, dagger on a pole) evolved into socketed axes and socketed spearheads, and as tech. grew, daggers gradually got amazingly long (considering they were cast tin-bronze), real swords.

    Later Celts fought from chariots, so spears and javelins were the order of the day, unless dismounting to use sword and shield. Still later they fought as cavalry, spear and shield.
    They used the crossbow for hunting (Pictish bas-reliefs, odd bits of carved bone latches here and there).
    Bows only really came back with the various Scandinavian pests raiding in the mediaeval era, and later when something a bit better than a slingstone shower, despite the bow's poor wet-weather performance, was needed to - (what else are Englishmen for?) - fuck up the French.
    Fair payback for King Harold, I say.

    Replies: @JMcG

    A gem of a comment.

  122. @Twinkie
    @valis



    Exactly what the Yamnaya had going for them remains a mystery
     
    My suspicion is that the ability to metabolize dairy products is what gave them the edge.
     
    First of all, there is the likelihood that the Yamnaya availed themselves to both horse milk and cow milk and related products, with all the implied nutritional advantages. But even without that, pastoralists were generally healthier and physically more robust than agriculturalists throughout history. Also, among pastoralists the rate of military mobilization seems to have been much higher than that among agriculturalists. On the other side, the one advantage agriculturalists generally had was population density.

    I've often maintained that - until the rise of gunpowder weapons - the history of mankind was a story of conflict between the settled, "civilized" peoples (largely agriculturalists) and pastoralists (often semi-nomadic), with the latter more often than not getting the better of the former and implanting themselves as elites amongst their erstwhile enemies - only to be toppled and replaced by yet another group of pastoralists. This is a pattern that persists on both eastern and western ends of the great Eurasian steppes that runs from Mongolia to Hungary.

    Replies: @valis, @Almost Missouri

    • LOL: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    https://uploads5.wikiart.org/images/nicolas-poussin/the-rape-of-the-sabines-1638.jpg

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  123. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biNrKEgg8jg&t=16s

    Replies: @Twinkie

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie

    Were the Romans the Cowmen and the Sabines the Farmers, or the other way around?

    P.S. I should have put a literal trigger warning on that Oklahoma! video. The way Charlotte Greenwood waves around that Colt is pretty triggering in this post-Alec-Baldwin non-stereotype-armorer world.

    But seriously, it makes you wonder how Oklahoma! could go through thousands and thousands (millions?) of performances and rehearsals in the pre-Diversity era without racking up a corresponding body count.

    It's almost like ... Diversity is not ... something something.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  124. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    https://uploads5.wikiart.org/images/nicolas-poussin/the-rape-of-the-sabines-1638.jpg

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    Were the Romans the Cowmen and the Sabines the Farmers, or the other way around?

    P.S. I should have put a literal trigger warning on that Oklahoma! video. The way Charlotte Greenwood waves around that Colt is pretty triggering in this post-Alec-Baldwin non-stereotype-armorer world.

    But seriously, it makes you wonder how Oklahoma! could go through thousands and thousands (millions?) of performances and rehearsals in the pre-Diversity era without racking up a corresponding body count.

    It’s almost like … Diversity is not … something something.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.” ;)

    And, yes, all that gun-waving made me uncomfortable.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  125. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie

    Were the Romans the Cowmen and the Sabines the Farmers, or the other way around?

    P.S. I should have put a literal trigger warning on that Oklahoma! video. The way Charlotte Greenwood waves around that Colt is pretty triggering in this post-Alec-Baldwin non-stereotype-armorer world.

    But seriously, it makes you wonder how Oklahoma! could go through thousands and thousands (millions?) of performances and rehearsals in the pre-Diversity era without racking up a corresponding body count.

    It's almost like ... Diversity is not ... something something.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.” 😉

    And, yes, all that gun-waving made me uncomfortable.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.”
     
    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations, the becoming family part already happened (probably most often in the way portrayed in the Rape of the Sabine Women).

    So now what?

    The Sabinae raptae will continue until morale improves?

    Replies: @Twinkie

  126. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.” ;)

    And, yes, all that gun-waving made me uncomfortable.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.”

    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations, the becoming family part already happened (probably most often in the way portrayed in the Rape of the Sabine Women).

    So now what?

    The Sabinae raptae will continue until morale improves?

    • LOL: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    The Sabine women weren’t raped. They eloped (which back then was a violation of the fathers’ rights over the disposition of their daughters, granted). Then they intervened to make peace between their husbands and fathers/brothers.


    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations
     
    Yet those hybrids still took up one or the other and the pattern persisted until the cannon made Jared Diamond’s “farmer power” supreme.

    Btw, Almost Missouri, I appreciate your sense of humor!

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  127. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    Either way, the solution to the conflict was to become “family.”
     
    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations, the becoming family part already happened (probably most often in the way portrayed in the Rape of the Sabine Women).

    So now what?

    The Sabinae raptae will continue until morale improves?

    Replies: @Twinkie

    The Sabine women weren’t raped. They eloped (which back then was a violation of the fathers’ rights over the disposition of their daughters, granted). Then they intervened to make peace between their husbands and fathers/brothers.

    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations

    Yet those hybrids still took up one or the other and the pattern persisted until the cannon made Jared Diamond’s “farmer power” supreme.

    Btw, Almost Missouri, I appreciate your sense of humor!

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    The Sabine women weren’t raped.
     
    A literal translation of the original Latin would be more like the "Abduction of the Sabine Women". Even until the last century, "rape" still had its underlying etymological implication of "abduction" stemming from Latin rapt (which incidentally shares this Latin root with "rapture" and "rapt").

    As recently as 1960, the popular musical The Fantasticks featured a subplot about abduction-rape where the abduction nature of the "rape" is clearly spelled out. Shortly thereafter, however, as the Civil Rights-driven crime wave took off, "rape" stopped being a theme of light musical comedy and became more or less exclusively a grave crime of forcible penetrative intercourse.

    In this century, however, the definition of rape has expanded and diluted to mean more or less anything a woman dislikes or regrets in retrospect, which of course only obscures what was recently a serious crime amidst a lot of BPD attention-seeking.

    Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic Latinist after the complement about having a sense of humor!

    Replies: @Twinkie

  128. @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri

    The Sabine women weren’t raped. They eloped (which back then was a violation of the fathers’ rights over the disposition of their daughters, granted). Then they intervened to make peace between their husbands and fathers/brothers.


    Given that AFAIK, all modern Eurasian populations are amalgams of at least two of primordial herdsman, farmer, and/or hunter ur-populations
     
    Yet those hybrids still took up one or the other and the pattern persisted until the cannon made Jared Diamond’s “farmer power” supreme.

    Btw, Almost Missouri, I appreciate your sense of humor!

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    The Sabine women weren’t raped.

    A literal translation of the original Latin would be more like the “Abduction of the Sabine Women”. Even until the last century, “rape” still had its underlying etymological implication of “abduction” stemming from Latin rapt (which incidentally shares this Latin root with “rapture” and “rapt”).

    As recently as 1960, the popular musical The Fantasticks featured a subplot about abduction-rape where the abduction nature of the “rape” is clearly spelled out. Shortly thereafter, however, as the Civil Rights-driven crime wave took off, “rape” stopped being a theme of light musical comedy and became more or less exclusively a grave crime of forcible penetrative intercourse.

    In this century, however, the definition of rape has expanded and diluted to mean more or less anything a woman dislikes or regrets in retrospect, which of course only obscures what was recently a serious crime amidst a lot of BPD attention-seeking.

    Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic Latinist after the complement about having a sense of humor!

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Almost Missouri


    A literal translation of the original Latin would be more like the “Abduction of the Sabine Women”. Even until the last century, “rape” still had its underlying etymological implication of “abduction” stemming from Latin rapt (which incidentally shares this Latin root with “rapture” and “rapt”).
     
    Yup.

    Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic Latinist after the complement about having a sense of humor!
     
    ;)
  129. @Almost Missouri
    @Twinkie


    The Sabine women weren’t raped.
     
    A literal translation of the original Latin would be more like the "Abduction of the Sabine Women". Even until the last century, "rape" still had its underlying etymological implication of "abduction" stemming from Latin rapt (which incidentally shares this Latin root with "rapture" and "rapt").

    As recently as 1960, the popular musical The Fantasticks featured a subplot about abduction-rape where the abduction nature of the "rape" is clearly spelled out. Shortly thereafter, however, as the Civil Rights-driven crime wave took off, "rape" stopped being a theme of light musical comedy and became more or less exclusively a grave crime of forcible penetrative intercourse.

    In this century, however, the definition of rape has expanded and diluted to mean more or less anything a woman dislikes or regrets in retrospect, which of course only obscures what was recently a serious crime amidst a lot of BPD attention-seeking.

    Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic Latinist after the complement about having a sense of humor!

    Replies: @Twinkie

    A literal translation of the original Latin would be more like the “Abduction of the Sabine Women”. Even until the last century, “rape” still had its underlying etymological implication of “abduction” stemming from Latin rapt (which incidentally shares this Latin root with “rapture” and “rapt”).

    Yup.

    Anyway, sorry to get all pedantic Latinist after the complement about having a sense of humor!

    😉

  130. @Jack Armstrong
    OFF TOPIC: Abolishing …

    A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a fatal crash in July that occurred while the officer was pursuing a stolen vehicle, a prosecutor announced Friday.

    Officer Brian Cummings was driving nearly 80 mph (129 kph) in Minneapolis with his siren and lights activated when his squad car slammed into a vehicle, killing 40-year-old Leneal Frazier.

    The chase continued for more than 20 blocks, including residential neighborhoods where the posted speed limit is 25 mph.

    "Police are supposed to protect and serve citizens, and to act in a manner consistent with their sworn oath to do so. Officer Cummings' actions deviated from his oath and his negligence caused the death of Leneal Frazier," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement.

    Leaders of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Frazier was the uncle of Darnella Frazier, whose cellphone video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck was viewed worldwide and helped launch a global protest movement against racial injustice.

    During Cummings' chase, Frazier's Jeep entered an intersection on a green light. According to investigators, the driver of the stolen vehicle narrowly missed Frazier's Jeep before the squad car struck the vehicle on the driver's side.

    Specifically, Cummings faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide. An accident reconstruction report stated that "this collision can be attributed to the Defendant for failure to operate his vehicle with due regard for the safety of other motorists."
     

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind

    “During Cummings’ chase, Frazier’s Jeep entered an intersection on a green light. According to investigators, the driver of the stolen vehicle narrowly missed Frazier’s Jeep before the squad car struck the vehicle on the driver’s side.”

    What part of “Don’t enter an intersection when you hear or see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and siren blaring” did Mr. Frazier not understand?

  131. Yes “rape” is a euphemism. It literally just means “to take”.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The JFK Assassination and the 9/11 Attacks?
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement