Morning Ed: History {2018.08.02.Th}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    Hi3: Anyone with SCA experience knows that the supposed immobility of armor is BS. It has to fit you right, but well made and fitted armor has joints in all the right places and the weight is actually pretty well distributed.

    This is before we even get to the discussion of how seriously to take those pretty suits we see in museums. In the most extreme cases, they are Victorian copies/forgeries (which it is depends on intent). But even for the authentic pieces, many are parade armor–intended for show but not for combat. They get preserved more than real combat armor because they were pretty and because, well, they were never damaged in combat. Then there is jousting armor. The jousting we see in the movies is more or less accurate for a Renaissance tournament. (The earlier version of the tournament was more of a miniature mock battle, and not always all that mock or all that miniature.) Jousting armor was extremely specialized, as well as fabulously expensive in its most developed form. This again was not something you would wear to a real battle. For that, the armor was less impressive. Weight becomes more of an issue, as you might be exercising heavily in it all day, so it tended to concentrate on the critical bits rather than the impressive all-encompassing armor we see in the pretty suits.

    We can blame the Victorians for a lot here. They were gaga over the Middle Ages, but often didn’t understand what they saw.Report

    • The weight is relative also. 100lbs of armor sounds like a lot, but specialized and long patrol infantry and other forces are carrying north of the average 60lb packs regularly, specialty troops can easily be packing twice that all told. And that weight isn’t molded and contoured to your body.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Medieval armor was also bullet proofed once guns appeared. It was a change in infantry tactics that led to a disappearance of armor.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Hi8 was all propaganda on the part of the USSR. Their alleged anti racism did not stop them from persecuting their Jews. When non-White students from Africa and Asia met real actual Russians, the results were generally less than positive.Report

  3. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    A new technique allows analyzing strontium isotopes in cremated remains, revealing that not only were some of the stones at Stonehenge from western Wales, so were many of the people buried there. (I hadn’t even known Stonehenge was a burial site).Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      There are quite a lot of bronze-age barrows in the vicinity, which based upon grave goods appear to have been for elite burials. But I wasn’t aware there were bodies that could be traced to the period in which the stones were first brought to the site.

      Alternative explanation to the feel-good hypothesis of a special link with West Wales: slaves/prisoners brought the stones to the site, who were then sacrificed to consecrate the holy place.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        The bodies in this case were about 3,000 years old. The Welsh bluestones arrived more like 5,000 years ago I think. So it looks like Stonehenge was an active religious site for at least as long as e.g. Church of the Holy Sepulchre.Report

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

          So maybe the bodies aren’t so much slaves, as an expat religious community who followed their own burial practices?Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog says:

            They might have been expats, might have been saints or VIPs whose station in life merited transporting their bodies for burial at Stonehenge. Maybe they were like the officials from around the Catholic world who go to live and work in Rome…

            If they were expats, they likely moved as adults, if I understand right – the strontium isotope analysis matches the isotope ratio in the bones to the ratio in the soil where their food was grown.Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw says:

          I was confused by the reporting, so I looked at the paper last night.

          As I understand it, there were 25 remains in one of 56 holes inside the stone circle. Carbon-dating places the remains at various times between 3180 BC and 2380 BC, meaning that the earliest remains could have even preceded the bluestones, or at the least the remains reflect a long expanse during different stages of the development of the site.

          Fifteen of the remains are local, having lived within 15 miles of the site. Ten of the remains are not local and would have lived in areas of Western Britain with older rock formation, including Western Wales. The connection to the area where the bluestones originated makes Western Wales the most likely, but there is another connection I can see. The areas with the older rock formation coincide with the areas along the Irish Sea fringe with stone circle monuments. What if Stonehenge were the center of a large network of pagan worship in which local priests had the right to be buried in the Stonehenge? The non-local remains could be from Cornwall, Northern England, Scotland, and even Ireland.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog says:

            Interesting, thanks for the link!

            Interesting that they’re also able to infer some information about the fuel used for cremation, and conclude that the non-locals buried at Stonehenge were also not cremated locally, but that their ashes were transported for burial.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw says:

              Yeah, I don’t think my human sacrifice theory is terribly persuasive given the evidence that cremated bodies were moved to the site.Report

  4. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    In “roll hard left and die” news, the NYT has announced their commitment to continuing to lie in the bed they shat by hiring an editor with a history of truly vile racist hate speech.

    As far as I can tell, their editorial policy is that racist invective is okay as long as at least two members of the race you want to criticize were rude to you.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Well, put yourself in the NYT’s shoes. You’re trying to be the Paper of Record. You believe your mission is to be the Paper of Record. Our times are defined by myriad expressions of racism: identity-based prejudice, structural race dominance, ethnonationalism, White Christian revanchism, race-identity deconstruction, race-based kyriarchies… [deep inhale] … So how do you give voice to *all* the expressions of racism without pissing other racists off? Can’t be done. They’re doing their best, but The Official Record Of Our Time will necessarily be incomplete.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        Since when did anonymous tweets have such control over shaping the subject of journalism?Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          I have no idea when that happened.Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw says:

            Journalism is like a pigeon, which we can tell is injured by its downward trajectory captured in small, relatively insignificant moments like this. We don’t know when or how, or whether it still might stabilize and fly right, or crash onto the ground and shatter like clay.Report