Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 21, 2019, 09:34:12 pm

ballp.it is the community forum for The F Plus.

You're only seeing part of the forum conversation. To see more, register for an account. This will give you read-only access to nearly all the forums.

Topic: Catch All History Thread  (Read 8251 times)

Acierocolotl

  • Romance Supremacist
  • Ridiculist
  • You will be romanticized
  • 987
  • 154
Catch All History Thread #15
Iiiiiif you haven't figured out (my user name might be a bit of a clue) I have more than a passing interest in the Aztec empire.  It's a hobby, no more; I can't speak the language anywhere near as well as I'd like and it's not exactly an employable skill unless I wanted to go into history anyway.  So I'll leave you a bit of history instead:

The Aztec empire had a very well-developed military, with a peasant levy and three orders of knighthood, with the Arrow Knights being a lesser order, and the Jaguar and Eagle Knights being the upper orders.  Eagle Knights were very prestigious and served as heavy infantry, and the Jaguar Knights were more "spec ops", primarily concerned with solo combat, stealth, and the live capture of enemy targets of value.

While Jaguar Knight captures were probably used as sacrifices (one of them being a year-long cosplay as the god Tezcatlipoca), most of the wartime sacrifices were from war exercises called Xochiyaoyaotl ("Flower War"), where the goal was capture, not death.  The Triple Alliance (the core of the Aztec Empire, based on the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan) used these to deplete the manpower of rival city states over the course of some years, to be able to conquer them better.

Oh, and a trivial tidbit:  The language of the Mexica, Nahuatl, is syncretic, a trait it shares with German.  You can make up new words by jamming together smaller words that, together, describe the concept you wish to express.  Also the pronunciation key is phonetic Spanish, since written classical Nahautl is pictographic.

Bobalay

  • FORUMS MEMBER
  • Paid
  • is made of 50 unbreakable g-strings
    • 504
    • 74
Catch All History Thread #16
Are you interested in other pre-Columbian empires, Acier? Because the Inca were pretty great. Taking advantage of the massive mountains around them and the temperature differences at higher elevations, they discovered a preindustrial form of freeze-drying that let them keep dehydrated potatoes for a full year. They also set up food stations around their empire to make sure people would stay fed in case of a famine. Their infrastructure had more miles of roads than the Roman empire at its height, made without beasts of burden, going through the freaking Andes mountains. The Inca were pretty great.

They also had human sacrifices, but were generally a lot more low-key about it, reserving it for major events like famines or the death of an emperor.

Yossarian

  • Sophisticated Sophistry
  • Paid
  • No one tell Hitler!
  • 834
  • 89
Catch All History Thread #17
My historiography class taught me that objectivity is a lie and that every reading of history is an exercise in judgement.  We're also pretty postmodern so I don't know.
Smoking Crow, March 07, 2014, 12:24:24 pm

Wow, what. As historians we are supposed to try to be objective. Granted that I, nor any other historian, can never be truly objective, but we must try. Taking that idea and chucking it out the window is how you get bullshit judgments and monster cockyses. You cannot judge the past based on today's values and knowledge. They simply did not have the same perspective and knowledge that we have today and for that they cannot be faulted. For the most part I find its best to keep a firm grasp of their perspective and my perspective on each event and consider both carefully.

In addition, I also find that most answers to historiography questions come with a huge footnote because its never a straight answer.

Final edit -  That all being said Fuck you David Irving
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 06:06:56 pm by Yossarian »

Runic

  • Is Putting A Donk On It
  • Paid
  • John Brown did nothing wrong
  • 2,886
  • 72
Catch All History Thread #18
Can you recommend any good books about the Aztecs or any of the other great Mesoamerican civilizations? I'd love to know more about them.

Acierocolotl

  • Romance Supremacist
  • Ridiculist
  • You will be romanticized
  • 987
  • 154
Catch All History Thread #19
I am very interested in the rival empires, but didn't find much that piqued my interest at the time.  I have some knowledge of the Maya (who also liked their sacrifices) and some of their mythology and culture (esp. the Ball Game) bled into Mexica culture as well, but I wouldn't ever pretend to be a subject expert.  It's reputed that the Mexica had medicine that was more advanced than the Spaniards at the time but I take that with a grain of salt the size of a large car.  That said, they were pretty advanced in agriculture, having tamed the swamps around Tenochtitlan into enormously fertile land and figured out how to make corn edible--through a process we call nixtamalization.  (There's an interesting tangent here for a different post maybe, maybe.)

What got me interested in it was blundering across a nice translation of the Codex Chimalpopoca, which is one of the very few public codices.  I'd found a version that tried to keep the flow of the language, though this was quite some years ago and I haven't retained the name of the author in the budget of my memory.  Finding more is really hard, though you could try to find translations of Sahagun's writings--otherwise you're restricted to scholarly texts and the occasional tidbit online.  Quite a lot of the Aztec history was intentionally obliterated by the Spanish.

SATAN MILKSHAKE

  • some people's reactions such as the fuck,the hell,wtf, or what the hell
  • Paid
  • I have a problem and then I have another problem
    • 2,111
    • 149
Catch All History Thread #20
It's not quite history as much as it is folklore, but I recently read a Nigerian folk tale.  It goes a little bit like this.

"Every year on New Yam Day, we sacrifice fifty slaves.  No one eats yams before we do this, or else the yams would be poison.  We kill the slaves, then dump them in a pot and boil them up and eat them."

"Unrelated to New Yam Day, we found out that bodies were getting dug out of their graves.  We followed the trail and found out that a couple of people liked eating the New Yam slaves so much that they started digging up bodies to eat them."

"So we killed them all, and now we leave our relatives' bodies out to rot before we bury them, so that they're gross so no one eats them."

"Happy New Yam Day!  Try the stew."

crow

  • Paid
  • get smoked
  • 1,724
  • 153
Catch All History Thread #21
Can you recommend any good books about the Aztecs or any of the other great Mesoamerican civilizations? I'd love to know more about them.
Runic, March 07, 2014, 06:08:16 pm

Broken Spears by Miguel Leon-Portilla for the Aztecs and Ambivalent Conquest by Inga Clendinnen for the Maya.  Those are the books I was assigned for my Mesoamerican Civ class this year (where I heard about the flaying which was reported as true.)

My historiography class taught me that objectivity is a lie and that every reading of history is an exercise in judgement.  We're also pretty postmodern so I don't know.
Smoking Crow, March 07, 2014, 12:24:24 pm

Wow, what. As historians we are supposed to try to be objective. Granted that I, nor any other historian, can never be truly objective, but we must try. Taking that idea and chucking it out the window is how you get bullshit judgments and monster cockyses. You cannot judge the past based on today's values and knowledge. They simply did not have the same perspective and knowledge that we have today and for that they cannot be faulted. For the most part I find its best to keep a firm grasp of their perspective and my perspective on each event and consider both carefully.

In addition, I also find that most answers to historiography questions come with a huge footnote because its never a straight answer.

Final edit -  That all being said Fuck you David Irving
Yossarian, March 07, 2014, 06:01:10 pm

I was taught that you are allowed to critique the institutions but not the people within them.  On the one hand, this allows you to take slave owners as ok, but it also doesn't allow you to say that Hitler was bad.  I'm not sure.

I come from a background in anthropology and the ethos there is not to judge anything.  You are supposed to be a true moral relativist with no judgement anywhere.  That's one of the reasons why I left, and I think I might be correcting too much in history.

Tiny Prancer

  • Tiny and angry
  • Paid
  • please be more respectable to physics
    • 1,276
    • 130
Catch All History Thread #22
Unrelated to the current discussion, but something interesting I learned a while back: Apparently American settlers, when they first discovered Indian mounds, refused to believe that Native Americans were capable of building anything complex, and a running theory was that they were made by a lost civilization of highly advanced (and obviously white) people. When a formal excavation was finally done and it was proved without a doubt that they were made by native Americans (because of the artifacts that were dug up) everyone lost interest in them.

Similarly, when Victorian archeologists discovered evidence of ancient civilizations having existed in Africa when Europeans were still fucking around in caves, one of the running theories about where they came from, since they obviously refused to believe Africans were capable of anything, was that it was proof of the existence of Atlantis or some other lost (white) civilization, and the African tribes only had "civilized" elements because they were learned from the "original" civilizations.

crow

  • Paid
  • get smoked
  • 1,724
  • 153
Catch All History Thread #23
That's still a thing.  You can see shows on the history channel about how a race of giants built the mounds.  The idea that there is no civilization in Africa is still around.  Most people when they hear Africa, they think of tribal societies controlled by witch doctors.

Tiny Prancer

  • Tiny and angry
  • Paid
  • please be more respectable to physics
    • 1,276
    • 130
Catch All History Thread #24
well yeah, but most of the time now it's regarded as bullcrap psuedoscience, unless you're someone who insists ancient aliens did everything or you actually believe the shit that history channel churns our for ratings. Except for the "africans are all savages living in grass huts who believe in witch doctors" bullshit, which sadly has stuck around as part of the casual racism of our modern age.

Something else interesting: you can actually trace the modern ancient aliens "movement" back to french writer Robert Charroux blatantly ripping off large parts of H. P. Lovecraft's work for his ideas about aliens in his new age spiritualist book The Morning of the Magicians. Erich von Däniken then blatantly ripped off large parts of that book for Chariots of the Gods? and the rest is history. The only REAL history involved with that mess.

crow

  • Paid
  • get smoked
  • 1,724
  • 153
Catch All History Thread #25
Here's some cool footage of a Soviet parade circa 1939.  It's a great look into the post-17th Party Congress USSR, with its focus on Soviet patriotism and cult of personality.  Also, it's the only color footage of Stalinist Russia (it was shot in color, not colorized).  Have a look!

Footage starts at 55 seconds.

About the 17th Party Congress.  Before the Congress, there were a great series of purges throughout the Soviet Union.  Stalin had gotten rid of his three biggest rivals in the party, Leon Trotsky (escaped Russia but was eventually assassinated in Mexico by a Soviet agent), Mikhail Kalinin (Stalin had his wife tortured and sent to a GULAG as a threat.  He relinquished all power and became a puppet.) and Nikolai Ezhov. (last head of the NKVD, the organization that would become the KGB.  He was shot in Siberia and "erased."  This meant he officially never existed and all references to him including mentions in newspapers, official Soviet documents and photos of him were either edited or destroyed.)  This along with the forced collectivization of Russian agriculture meant that Stalin had succeeded in his plans.  Thus, at the 17th Party Congress, Stalin finally declared that at long last, the Soviets had created a perfect, classless society where everyone was equal and bourgeois influences did not exist.  He then rounded up every one of the delegates that disagreed with him (around a third) and had them shot.

Horza

  • Emissary of Commandante Aligheri
  • Paid
  • DEFY THE SPACETHORITIES!
    • 83
    • 15
Catch All History Thread #26
The 17th Party Congress took place in 1934 and the Great Purges began shortly afterwards. This footage is from the 18th Party Congress of March 1939.

Trotsky didn't escape, he was exiled.

Yezhov wasn't the last head of the NKVD, he was succeeded in that role by Beria in December 1938 and eliminated in late 1939, after the 18th Party Congress.

Kalinin wasn't a major rival of Stalin's, he was a loyalist who depended on him for his nominal authority. Unlike Trotsky and the Old Bolsheviks purged in the 1936-38 show trials, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin he hadn't served on the Politburo under Lenin and lacked a power base inside the party organisation. Ditto Yezhov, the "poison dwarf", who was brought in to do a job and discarded when Stalin realised that killing a huge swathe of elite party, state and army leadership wasn't leading to improved administrative competence.

At this point inter-party debate had been totally stifled and no one in the party publicly disagreed with with Stalin about anything, much less the position of the Soviet Union on the road to socialism. Executions and exiles at the final stages were being carried out out of factional infighting, hysteria and Stalin's wild paranoia so a cite for another third of the delegates being 1) active dissenters and 2) executed after the 18th Congress would be nice.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 09:54:56 pm by Horza »

crow

  • Paid
  • get smoked
  • 1,724
  • 153
Catch All History Thread #27
Ah, sorry, guess I wasn't clear enough with what I meant.  I meant that the parade demonstrated the Soviet patriotism that came about after the Victor's Congress, which was a reaction to the Cultural Revolution of the 20s. 

I fucked up with Trotsky, I genuinely hope you forgive me for messing that up. 

Ezhov was the last head of the NKVD that had complete free reign over purging, since Beria was Stalin's friend and crony.

Once again, I fucked up and I'm sorry.  I confused Kalinin with Nikolai Bukharin and I can't believe I fucked it up.

I'm not kidding about the a shit ton of people died from the 17th Party Congress, even if I did lowball the amount.

Whatever the case, the Congress of Victors turned out to be a congress of victims. Over the next four years, 1108 of the 1966 delegates were arrested and either disappeared into the gulag or were executed. The Seventeenth Congress, then, was the last at which those with pre-revolutionary and civil war experience in the party predominated.
Quote from
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 10:28:19 pm by Smoking Crow »

Horza

  • Emissary of Commandante Aligheri
  • Paid
  • DEFY THE SPACETHORITIES!
    • 83
    • 15
Catch All History Thread #28
Ah, sorry, guess I wasn't clear enough with what I meant.  I meant that the parade demonstrated the Soviet patriotism that came about after the Victor's Congress, which was a reaction to the Cultural Revolution of the 20s. Smoking Crow, March 28, 2014, 10:23:59 pm

Yeah, I went in studs up on the details but this stuff is all good and cool and I should have thanked you for sharing it.

I fucked up with Trotsky, I genuinely hope you forgive me for messing that up.


No worries, we all screw up with history like that.

In a sense you're right: lying around in Frida Kahlo's bed reading your old foes in Izvestiya pitifully admitting to Vyshinsky that yes, all along they had been plotting with you, Hitler and Lord Beaverbrook to sabotage the worker's state and begging for Stalin's mercy must have made getting kicked out in 1929 look pretty good.

Ezhov was the last head of the NKVD that had complete free reign over purging, since Beria was Stalin's friend and crony.

Both guys depended on Stalin for their power, they did what he wanted. The purges weren't strictly controlled by Stalin but he was the guy who hired and fired. When he wanted a massive purge to wipe out the Old Bolsheviks he got rid of Yagoda and brought in Ezhov. When he wanted to scale it back he got rid of Ezhov for Beria. When he finally pegged it, Beria was a dead man walking because Stalin was the source of his power.

Once again, I fucked up and I'm sorry.  I confused Kalinin with Nikolai Bukharin and I can't believe I fucked it up.

Yeah, I figured wires were crossed there, that's the kind of mistake you make from knowledge, not ignorance.


I'm not kidding about the a shit ton of people died from the 17th Party Congress, even if I did lowball the amount.

Whatever the case, the Congress of Victors turned out to be a congress of victims. Over the next four years, 1108 of the 1966 delegates were arrested and either disappeared into the gulag or were executed. The Seventeenth Congress, then, was the last at which those with pre-revolutionary and civil war experience in the party predominated.
Quote from

Ah, here's the confusion: your initial post fuses the 17th and 18th Congresses. You say the Great Purges happen in the lead up to the 17th and more afterwards, when the purges begin shortly after the 17th in December 1934 before winding down ahead of the 18th Congress in March 1939.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 11:13:38 pm by Horza »

Runic

  • Is Putting A Donk On It
  • Paid
  • John Brown did nothing wrong
  • 2,886
  • 72
Catch All History Thread #29
Yes, it's amazing how splendid a utopian workers state you can create when everyone who might be inclined to complain is chipping away at Siberian tundra. Splendid and utopian to you, of course. After all, who is going to argue that it isn't?