Senate 1001 Days That Shaped the World! Disc. Gauls Attack Rome & Lay Siege to the Capitol (July, 390 BCE)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Rogue1-and-a-half, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    The last ruler of the Shang was so mustache-twirlingly villainous that until recent decades, Western and modern Chinese scholars considered him (and his entire dynasty) to be mythological.

    EDIT: Here is a quick history of China from Xia to Han (early dynasties).

    The same site also hosts an online version of Three Kingdoms (San Guo Yanyi), the most widely read of the five great Chinese epics.
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The "Deep Tower"...now, there's a metaphor...
  3. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
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    Need ye update...and one in the Oscar thread as well, if you have the time...
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    David Becomes King of Israel
    Bible Stories Indicate that King David United the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
    1003 BCE

    According to the Scriptures of I Samuel, the people of Israel had existed under a loose governing system of judges since they had reached the Promised Land after the Exodus from Egypt. Samuel was the last of the judges; he anointed, based on the will of the people, Saul to be the first king of Israel. After a disastrous kingship, based on the fact that Saul was apparently what we would call today a manic depressive, David was elevated to the kingship and ushered in a period of national prosperity, artistic achievement and expansion. It is essentially the beginning of Israel as a legitimate world power (prior to this point, their national exploits tend to be, according to the book of Judges, simply fighting off the larger nations around them). At this point, all bets are off.

    The story of David is one of the best stories in the Bible and one can instantly see him as a fascinating character. He broke the lineage of Saul by taking the place of Jonathan on the throne, which was important in a political sense; he was a shepherd who was elevated to the highest place in the nation, important in a historical and emotional sense; he was a warrior-poet, responsible for personally leading in several great battles and also writing at least some of the Psalms credited to him, including the most famous Psalm, Psalm 23, so important in both a historical and artistic sense.

    There is little archaeological evidence for the existence of David, mainly just one stele that mentions a David that founded a Judean dynasty in the ninth century. Historical records are equally sparse, outside the Bible. But there is also little reason to particularly cast extreme doubt on the basic framework of the narrative in the Bible.

    David remains one of the most fascinating characters in the Scriptures for a variety of reasons. A tragic life (the death of an infant son, another son rapes his sister and is then murdered by another son, a son rises in insurrection against David and is slain in battle, provoking perhaps the most heartwrenching cry in early literature: ?Absalom, Absalom, my son, would God that I had died for thee, Abasalom, my son!?), a fascinating rise to power (from the sheepfold to Goliath killer to a courtier in Saul?s kingdom to fugitive from the insane King Saul to close friend and perhaps more to Saul?s own son, Jonathan), and the fact that he is less than entirely heroic (he spies on a woman bathing, eventually commits adultery with her and then has her husband murdered by one of his generals while he?s king). Add to that the consummate artistry of the Psalms and it is little wonder that David is one of the most loved and most fascinating characters in the Bible. He remains, in my opinion, one of the most psychologically complex and fascinating characters of any early literature.

    You can read what we the Bible has to say about David in I & II Samuel, I Kings, I & II Chronicles (mostly a retelling with some changed and added details) and in, of course, the Psalms, some of the most astounding poetry humanity has yet produced.
  5. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
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    David was a man who rose in the world, definitely. The KJV has a field day. Not the best of men, but the most human.
  6. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Exactly. He's deeply human in a way few kings in the early literature were. He's wrong repeatedly, makes a fool of himself several times, commits acts of heinous cruelty . . . but he never loses your sympathy.
  7. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 11, 2005
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    Very likely he never existed, there's no archaeological evidence for it, no contemporary literary evidence and the evidence from the 9th century BCE is dubious. But even when thinking it possible for him to have existed, that date, 1003 BCE, gives the wrong assumption that not only is he a historical character, he is solidly dated, when basically none of those archaeologists or historians who think that he existed can agree on an exact dates, just on the approximate time with differences of a few decades.
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The Biblical record notes several other historical texts in reference to the life of David; we have no record of any of these texts. But I fail to see why it is 'most likely' that he never existed at all. Most likely, the Biblical account has a basis in fact; that seems the basic assumption to take with any ancient text.

    As to whether an event belongs in this thread even if it has little historical evidence, take it up with the authors of the book. Or as was said about the Exodus from Egypt upthread by . . . someone: "this event is more important than whether or not it actually happened."

    I'm of the Durant school. Quite likely the vast majority of the ancient texts are lacking when it comes down to their actual historical accuracy. But since they are all we have, the only real option is to except them as largely based in fact, while holding a very large grain of salt in each hand. To my mind, to say that there is no evidence to support the text is not a valid reason to say that a person "most likely" never existed. Most likely we have no way of knowing for sure; but the text rings true in its portrayal of David's character. I'm not entirely sure that fiction was sophisticated enough to create David at that point in history.
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    There's no arguing the cultural significance of the story which in any case relieves David of the burden of needing to exist at all.
  10. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 11, 1998
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  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Sacred Temple Built
    Solomon completes the temple in Jerusalem begun by his father David
    959 BCE

    Solomon?s Temple was originally planned by his father, David, who we talked about previously. According to the Bible, the only text we have on the Temple, David was directed not to build the Temple because he was a man of war and not of peace. The task would fall instead to his son, Solomon.

    When Solomon ascended to the throne, work began and there are chapters and chapters of the Bible given over to incredibly detailed descriptions of the Temple?s geography. It probably existed in its finished form for a little over four hundred years before it was destroyed during the sacking of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the carrying away of the Israelites in captivity.

    The site of the Temple is still one of the most significant sites in geopolitics; different sites and different theories continue to be proposed, but the most popular theory still places the site of Solomon?s Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, now the site of the Dome of the Rock. In a fractious city, site of holy places for three significant world religions, all with a history of extreme violence, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, it?s hard not to see the Temple Mount as one of the most loaded locations in the world, especially given prophecies that state that the Jews will one day have a temple again on the site of Solomon?s Temple.

    Culturally and historically, the Temple is certainly significant. At the time, it was the first established, permanent center of worship in Judaism. Prior to the building of the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant and the worship of and sacrifice to God was centered around the Tabernacle as first constructed during the wilderness wanderings. If the wanderings are significant as an evocative image of humanity and spirituality in transition, then the building of the Temple is equally significant: religion becomes permanent and rooted.
  12. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    In my Sunday School, we had text books, with extremely detailed illustrations of how the temple looked, which I still remember. Wish I still had the books.
  13. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
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    Most annoying location in the world. Nuking it wouldn't be thorough enough; the whole thing needs to be dug out and sent into space.
  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    I've been arguing nuking for years now.
  15. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
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    Wouldn't work; the land would still be there, and there'd still be people calling it holy.

    Maybe we should invent that spindizzy drive from Cities In Flight.
  16. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Yeah, but my logic is an area that is radioactive would be somewhat self-controlling. I mean, properly radio-active.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
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    You'd evacuate all of Jerusalem first, right? Probably Jericho, as well. Ramallah, Betlehem...
    Hebron?

    ... Jordan? Egypt?

    I think we need a spindizzy drive, just for the mountain.
  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Oh, absolutely. All effort made to evacuate people that wanted out first. It's getting rid of a problem location, not a problem people.
  19. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Wouldn't you be creating a martyr, as it were? It strikes me it would be a sort of Remember the Alamo type situation for the fundamentalists of all religions concerned and might inspire even more violence.
  20. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I don't have an issue with people holding the place in high regard, but the trouble is people fighting over the area. So making it something one can't fight over does have a certain appeal.
  21. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Dido Founds Carthage
    The city of Carthage is ideally suited for control of the Mediterranean
    814 BCE

    Legend has it that Dido?s husband was murdered by her brother, the King of Tyre. She fled from Tyre and founded Carthage, a city that would grow to become incredibly prosperous, wealthy and powerful. Virgil gives space and praise to Dido and her achievement in the Aeneid.

    The Carthiginians were a force to reckoned with in the Punic Wars; they had one of the largest navies in the world by that time and it was from Carthage that Hannibal left to carry out his iconic crossing of the alps. The Punic Wars finally ended, after plenty of great story material, with the destruction of Carthage. Rome would eventually refound Carthage, and it would become again a significant city in the Roman Empire, so the legend that holds that that the city was sown with salt by the conquering Romans is probably a late historical addition.

    Regardless, in the ancient world, Carthage was certainly one of the most important cities and the stories surrounding it remain fascinating even to this day. Doubtless Carthage will be recurring as we move down this list; it?s a city that any student of history is very aware of.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
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    Cartago delenda est.

    But for the Romans, the Carthaginians could have controlled the Mediterranean the way the Romans would control it by 27 BCE. The Carthaginians had the Romans nearly surrounded with Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily under their control.
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Faster, Higher, Stronger
    The first recorded Olympic Games are held and the tradition of holding them every four years, with an accompanying truce lasts for more than 1,000 years
    July 776 BCE

    The original Olympic Games began in Olympia with a series of foot races and, over the next thousand years evolved to involve a vast number of sporting events. Contestants were not quite so diverse as today; there are records to indicate that only free men who spoke Greek could compete. However, there are also records to indicate that women competed, probably in their own events.

    The games were originally founded in honor of the Goddess Hera and a statue of her spouse, Zeus, was erected at Olympia to oversee the games. This statue would become one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

    An official truce was declared throughout the Greek world in order to allow athletes and spectators from any city states within the realm to travel freely and safely to compete. The Games were, however, still political, even more so than the games today. Switching of citizenships in exchange for money were common as was the cementing of political alliances. Judging from texts of the time, the Olympics were extremely important in the culture of the time.

    The Games ran on a tight schedule for a long time, even during times of great warfare. They were ended, eventually, when an earthquake devastated Olympia, destroying the Olympic complex.

    I wonder . . . an interesting topic for discussion would be about the ideals of the Olympics? Are the ideals still in place in today?s Olympics? Were they ever really?
  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The same things happened in ancient times: nationalism, and 'potions' (according to the Asterix book on the subject)

    Carthage was so close to Rome, why the hell go over the Alps? Build a navy, nimrods!
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
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    Wolf-Boys Found Rome
    Twin brothers quarrel and Romulus becomes first king of Rome
    April 21, 753 BCE

    The legend of the founding of Rome is the story of twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, set afloat in a basket on a river, much like Moses, to escape a decree that called for their death. Found and nurtured by a female wolf before being discovered by a shepherd that took them in, the two brothers decided to found a city when they were around eighteen.

    The two, like all siblings since Cain and Abel, struggled against each other for absolute power over this new city; in the end, Remus was killed and Romulus plowed a furrow to mark the boundaries of his city. From his name, the city came to be called Rome.

    The truth of this legend has been hotly debated, with some seeing it as entirely fictional, others seeing it as having, at least, the bare outlines of truth, and others believing it to be nearly entirely historical.

    As to the historical import of the founding of Rome . . . what remains to be said? In Rome, we have one of the most fascinating stories in the history of humankind, a story of hubris and tragedy, of effort and achievement. It is simultaneously a cautionary tale and a hymn to the human capability. From the humble breaking of the ground with a plow, Rome would grow to become the greatest city in the world; the Roman republic would eventually crumble, as would the Roman empire, but both stand as profound achievements, both in their positives and their negatives. And has Rome really fallen from its status as a world power? Ask the Catholic Church; in its rituals, pomp and majesty, the Roman myth continues to this day.

    Doubtless we will speak much more of Rome as we proceed through this list. And if ever a subject deserved the speaking much of, that subject is Rome.