2,730 reputation
1527
bio website noldorin.com
location London, United Kingdom
age 24
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Aug 23 at 1:09

entrepreneur; graduate in mathematics / theoretical computer science / theoretical physics; polymath-in-training

based in London, United Kingdom


Aug
23
comment Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?
Yes, I'm sure it was, @Matthaeus. But I'm also quite confident the sort of common view of Germans on Jews, Slavs, and other "untermenschen" wasn't so prevalent in Italy at the time. Indeed, their are reliable quotes of Mussolini finding the Nazi/Hitler's racial policy very distasteful. I get the feeling fascist Italy collaborated with the Nazis and sponsored their racial policy insofar as they were allies, but didn't really have the same conviction of belief (let alone zeal) behind it.
Aug
22
comment Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?
@Matthaeus: Only in part. Spain didn't really subscribe to the racial policies of the Nazis though (nor did Italy really, although they were an "ally" for some time). And Spain didn't send any troops or military assistance as far as I know. Probably because they weren't very powerful, in fairness, but still. Switzerland is a complex case... they often have a guise of neutrality, but what they do underhandedly can be seen as very partisan in many cases.
Jul
26
comment Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization?
Cultural heritage? Again, extremely hard to discern, but they certainly left legacies of epic literature, book-keeping & accountancy, and many other things that influenced later civilisations, in particular via the Assyrians again. You'd have to ask an expert on Sumerian culture to get a real answer about this though.
Jul
26
comment Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization?
As for linguistic descent, there are no living descendent of Sumerian, although a number of loanwords entered Assyrian and other Semitic languages, and have been passed down into modern languages. See e.g. "cane" in England (etymonline.com/index.php?search=cane). I'm sure Syriac (which still exists as a liturgical language) has a number of Sumerian loanwords, though I can't list them off the top of my head.
Jul
26
comment Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization?
@Mr.Bultitude: In brief summary of a very complex issue: technological heritage was immediately the Assyrians (who later conquered the region), the entire Middle East, the Mediterranean and Indian civilisations, then the whole world in time. Ethnic? Very hard to tell, although there's nothing to suggest the Sumerians were wiped out. They lost their identity over time thanks to the Assyrians & Babylonians, but I'm sure many modern Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians, and people far wider afield have a little Sumerian ancestry if you go back far enough!
Jul
8
comment Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans
Sure, as Rome used barbarian troops through its history (especially in cavalry). I'm afraid I have to disagree though; it does seem like he actively scorned their culture... he considered them even more barbaric and threatening than the Celts, on account of what appeared to him like an unbridled warlike aggression. I believe there is a well-cited quote saying he wished to eradicate them completely (though perhaps I'm getting this muddled with Marcus Aurelius in his Marcomannic Wars).
Apr
29
comment Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans
And these excerpts do at least provide evidence that Caesar himself deplored and generally held in scorn the Germanic tribes, even while he respected the threat they posed militarily.
Apr
29
comment Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans
Indeed, it's worth noting that one of the larger causes of Rome's eventual fall was the 'softening' of the Roman population itself. First to a point where true Romans (of the city of Rome) eschewed war (around 2nd to 1st century BC), then where all native Italians eschewed war (2nd century AD) and finally when virtually all Roman citizens in the Empire shunned it (except some Illyrians/Thracians), and basically left all fighting to be done by Germanic and other foederati. So it's a good point, for sure.
Apr
29
comment Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans
Yeah, I've effectively covered most of the Gallic Wars anyway through other books, though you make a good suggestion. In any case thank you for your answer. Caesar, and the Romans in general, actually make a fair and veracious comment when they say the tribes further from the Mediterranean are the most warlike and least civilised. As Pieter's answer above suggests, the Celts used to match or exceed the Germans in war, but were notably inferior by Caesar's own day. Since they had far more of the Roman influence, it's perhaps no surprise they softened and gave less attention to war...
Apr
29
comment Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans
Interesting. Thanks for this Pieter. I believe there is another remark by Caesar (not sure whether it's in the Gallic Wars, though it was cited properly), that states he believed the Germans too large a threat to new Roman territories, and too warlike and barbaric to leave alone, hence he recommended effectively wiping them out.
Apr
29
comment What were the Nazi racial views on Hungarians and the Japanese?
@Anixx: This does not seem to be the general consensus of scholars. "Sclavus" is definitely Late Latin or Medieval Latin, so it would have originated about the time the older European cultures first encountered the Slavs. I'm not sure that linguistic argument works, since it could well have been Germanic people coining this Latin term...
Apr
29
comment What were the Nazi racial views on Hungarians and the Japanese?
@Anixx: Regarding "slave" however, I don't believe that's true. All the etymological sources I've read, including the OED, Merriam-Webster and other prominent ones, have the ultimate source of "sclavus" and thus "slave" as "Slav", do to the thraldom of some early Slavic peoples under Germanic ones, e.g. Eastern Slavs under Varangians. For reference, see etymonline.com/index.php?term=slave&allowed_in_frame=0, oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/slave merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slave
Apr
29
comment What were the Nazi racial views on Hungarians and the Japanese?
Good answer. Points out the extremely non-scientific and ultimately arbitrary view the Nazis had when it came to racial policy. Turkic, Japanese, etc. are all extremely far from "Aryan"/Indo-European in language, history, culture, genetics, and yet he preferred them over some of the languages and peoples most akin to the ancient Indo-Europeans in many ways, like Latvians.
Apr
29
comment What was the attitude of Mongols to conquered peoples?
I think the answer can be summarised in one sentence: if you fully submit and rescind all your human rights, then brutal; if you resist, then supremely brutal!
Apr
28
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
Yeah, I agree with you about Arabia by the way... it's geographical situation is perhaps the most advantageous thing. Also, perhaps just removing the threat of raiding Arab tribes.
Apr
28
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
That said, I get the feeling he could have very easily returned in a year or two with new soldiers (perhaps even a larger army), and conquered huge portions of the Indian subcontinent.
Apr
28
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
@Juicy: India's population even then was very sizeable, and moreover highly factional – there were many small warring kingdoms, since this was just before the period of the Mauryan Empire. If the Mauryans did it, I'm more than confident Alexander could have did it. That is, conquer basically all of northern and central India, though not the south immediately. Of course, the imminent problem to him was the mutiny of his army.
Apr
27
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
Interesting what you say about future plans to conquer Arabia by the way. Is this well documented/evidenced? It's believable, but then again Arabia didn't have much civilisation at that point: a lot of desert and nomadic Semitic tribes, with a few oases... no real reason for him to conquer it AFAIK.
Apr
27
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
@Juicy: Oh yes, by all means this is true. The details are slightly sketchy, but I believe low-level mutiny was already stirring up at that point, and Alexander couldn't risk it. Hence on advice of his generals and his own common sense, he wisely called it quits for then. (Though I believe he had intentions of returning later to finish the job.) I'm not sure I totally agree it wasn't his desire to turn Porus into a client state (it was certainly in his interest). For example, part of Bactria was a client state at one point, was it not?
Apr
27
comment Is there any documentation regarding the use of war elephants in battles?
Interesting. How reliable is this though? (The identity of the author would certainly suggest only partially) It's also well known, I might point out, that in the Battle of Zama (and possibly others late in the 2nd Punic War too), Scipio Africanus ordered the Roman cavalry to blow loud horns, which spooked many of the elephants, and they actually ended up running back and trampling the Carthaginian ranks.