Seismech t1_jcaws2i wrote

I've read The Hobbit 2-1/2 times. Half because I didn't finish it on my first attempt. I've read LOTR about 30+ times altogether - once a year for quite a while - virtually all of the hair on my body is now grey. I was persuaded to read LOTR the first time during as a HS sophomore - by a friend - when I commented that I'd never read it because The Hobbit sucked - talked down to you. The friend said the first chapter or two of LOTR was a little like that but quickly got better and better. "Just stick with it until you get to weather top about 1/2 way through the first book."

I don't know if you would like LOTR or not. But I think my friend gave pretty good advice.

If you do read and like LOTR, I'd also offer the advice to read "The Tale of Years" appendix in the last book when you've finished.


Seismech t1_jauxph0 wrote

According to the etymology at ttps:// Steven Pinker coined the term in 1994. With my emphasis

>1994 April 5, Steven Pinker, “The Game of the Name”, in The New York Times‎[1], ISSN 0362-4331, page A21:

The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge: give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name. (We will know we have achieved equality and mutual respect when names for minorities stay put.)


Seismech t1_j2dz0sm wrote

I wonder if this remark of Tolkien's about The Lord of the Rings is relevant?

>I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.


Seismech t1_j1dfc02 wrote

>those "standing" forces were citicen called to the eagles with their own kit

Exactly why I hi-lighted "could afford to have."

Did you read anything OP wrote beyond the title sentence?

>Ok, I'm not a historian, just a history enthusiast, and not a pretty knowledgeable one at that, so correct me if I say anything wrong. Anyway, I always heard that one of the reasons why swords are so iconic in pop culture is the fact that they were really expensive to produce and tended to be more useful as backup weapons, specially in the middle ages. That's probably one of the reasons the weapon became so associated with the archetype of the noble knight, which helped it become so iconic.

I understand that, in the time of the Roman Empire, swords would be much more useful as a main weapon, because armor wasn't so advanced, but that doesn't explain how did they manage to outfit most of their soldiers with gladii. I mean, they're still swords, they still require a lot of material and a lot more work to be made than, say, a spear, which is already an amazing weapon.


Seismech t1_j1bm23w wrote

Began during the mid-republic.

>After the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), the Romans acquired an overseas empire, which necessitated standing forces to fight lengthy wars of conquest and to garrison the newly gained provinces.

Prior to that

>The army consisted of 3,000 infantrymen and 300 cavalrymen, all of which were Equites. The Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans under the Roman state would each provide an extra 1,000 soldiers and 100 cavalrymen.

King Servius of Rome would institute the Servian reforms. These would divide the population into five classes. Each of which would have different roles in the military. The first class could afford to have a cuirass, greaves, a shield, a sword, and a spear. The second class had greaves, a shield, a sword, and a spear. The third class could only afford to have the shield, a sword, and a spear. The fourth class had a shield and a spear. The fifth class would only be a screening force. Any poorer citizen, called capite censi would have no weapons. They would not serve in the army unless it was an emergency

I interpret that as meaning that during the first few centuries the troops were required to provide their own equipment - that it was not supplied by the Roman state.


Seismech t1_j19y17a wrote

I'm not a historian.

Rome had standing armies. The very large number (the majority) of the participants in much of Medieval warfare were militia. It's much more economically feasible to buy expensive equipment for a recruit you expect to still be around 5, 10 or 20 years from now, versus a recruit you expect to go back to his farm in a few months.