31 July 2008
...Punic War No.2
...Proud and eager for new territories the Carthaginians conquered Spain. Rome lay just on the other side of the Alps, a temptation too much for Carthage's newest general Hannibal. (Legend says that Hannibal's father made him swear as a boy to always be Rome's enemy)
...Carthage was just getting over paying her fines for the last war, and feeling that sigh of relief and "what shall we do with the money now" syndrome, when Hannibal marched over the Alps with 60,000 men. (Oops, I guess we know were the money went) Carthage's brilliant and daring general invaded the country side around Rome, gathering some 20,000 Gauls into his army. He was such a great general that none could defeat him, during the whole time he stayed in Italy he lost not a single battle. Eventually the Romans fled to their well fortified city and waited for the next generation to grow up and become a new army. (Yes, that's how bad things had gotten)
...Then one day Rome got smart. "Why don't we sail around the peninsula and attack Spain which lies nearly defenseless in Hannibal's absence?" (I say give that guy a medal or something for coming up with such an obvious alternative to doing nothing) So they sailed around to Spain and did to Carthage what Carthage was doing to Rome, terrorized the countryside and forced the citizens to flee for safety in the cities. Soon Carthage itself was under threat.
...On a chessboard the situation would look something like this. Each opponent has outmaneuvered the other and crawled right up next to the king, they are both in check. (Impossible I know, but indulge me) Now one of them has the first move, it is his turn next. If that one is intelligent and lucky he has a piece which can put his opponents king in checkmate and free his king from check at the same time. (Difficult I know) Of course following the rules of chess strictly, your options are probably few or non existent. In fact this situation could only occur if one or both were grossly ignorant, misinformed or unobservant.
...But Rome and Carthage were fighting in real life, they did not need to bow to the rules of chess. If Carthage had been smart she would have ordered Hannibal to attack Rome, which was much weaker than she because of being under siege longer, and perhaps the war would have ended differently. Instead Carthage's fat politicians overreacted in fear and sent for Hannibal to return. So Hannibal lost a golden opportunity to invade Rome; and returned to Carthage where the Roman army was beaten off.
...Not to be outdone, Rome sailed to Spain and captured all of Carthage's territories there. Soon they became the major power of the Mediterranean. A big threat to Carthage, formerly mistress of the seas.
...Thus the double implications of loyalty to ones government officials were publicly displayed. A glaring example which simply screams "help me" from the pages of history. (Alas, we cannot see the future and tell when treason will be loyalty, or loyalty treason) By obeying the summons Hannibal saved himself from a traitors execution, but his choice sealed the death of Carthage along with his own. One day he would die an ignoble untimely death at his own hands. The same could be said of Carthage in a way.
"Every Civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented."
25 July 2008
...The first Punic War lasted from 264-241 B.C. There are many ways to explain or excuse its beginning; but here I intend to rather expose the folly of two nations. Man is greedy for gain, and man is eager for conquest. Why? I wonder why you ask, the answer is obvious. We are a fallen lot and without the transforming power of the Gospel cannot cease to live for ourselves and look out for our own personal interest. I have sympathies with both sides of the war, Carthage and Rome. So the fact that they both had to fight it out to the death like two spoiled children has always been a canker in my side. Although looking at history I can see God's hand at work.
...Carthage and Rome were the two major powers of the time, and they each envied the others land and position. Carthage was in her decline but still had enough spirit left in her to birth several famous generals. Up and coming Rome felt that Carthage had been eminent past its time and should step down to admit a new mistress of the Mediterranean world. (Namely herself)
...One city in particular seemed to draw more quarrels than the rest. It was called Messana and was located in southern Sicily. The reason it was such a bone of contention between them was because near to Messana were Greek colonies, which as everyone knows were allies with Rome. (you knew that right?) The Greek colonies were supposedly fearful that Carthage who owned Messana might attack them sometime. And I guess it was a possability. So they sent to Rome a cry for help.
...At length war broke out; hostile intentions were declared and the first Punic war begun. Although the Romans had little or no experience with ship building or sailing, they put their best foot forward and built a fleet. With this fleet they won a naval battle, and then promptly lost the whole thing to a storm. No matter, they quickly built another one. This one too emerged victorious from battle, and then was lost in another storm. You would think that at this point the Romans might have got the hint, I mean I would be asking, "Is this a sign or something?". But unfortunately for the Carthaginians the Romans were no overly superstitious and built yet another fleet. (The citizens were obviously planning way above the average replacement plan)
...By this time the Romans were experts at ship building I should think, so it is no wonder they won the war. Carthage angrily admitted defeat, at least for the time being, and surrendured Messana. The Romans demanded and indeminity for the war's expenses, which means that Carthage would pay the Roman's royal sums of money to cover the costs of the war. (I bet the Carthaginians were feeling the costs of "three fleets" then, and wishing the war had not lasted quite so long.) An uneasy peace reigned until the next Punic War errupted.
14 July 2008
By James East
...It was early morning and the sun was just mounting over the Spanish hills. Hannibal Barca walked amid the camp of soldiers, who were preparing themselves for the day ahead. Looking for his father among the Carthaginians, Hannibal soon found whom he sought readying himself for a long march. Hamilcar Barca was the general of the Carthaginians in Spain, but you couldn’t tell it from observing him. He eat, slept, and marched just like a common soldier. “We have a long mach before us son, we must reach our destination before nightfall” Said Hamilcar.
...Through the next seven years,
... But another tragedy occurred in the Barca family. Hasdrubal, general of the Spanish army, was assassinated. And the army, though grieved at this intelligence, voted a better man into the position. At the mere age of twenty six,
... A year after
...For a time
...Thus the Second Punic war began.
... Now when
... In spring of 218, having prepared everything,
...Hasdrubal however, was unfortunate in that most of the veteran officers and troops went with
...In late spring of 218,
...After crossing the
...During all of this time
...The Carthaginian force approached the
...Finally, after 15 days what was left of
...In November the first battle against in
...Another battle was in the making,
...Of course Sempronius fell for the cavalry bait and hastily mustered his force and gave chase to the Numidian cavalry, with not only his cavalry but infantry also, with out even allowing his men to eat. Unknown to the Romans, a little distance beyond the river was a screen of 8,000 light infantry behind which was a battle line of 20,000 African, Gallic and Spanish troops. Also there were around. 10,000 cavalry and elephants divided between the two flanks. Sempronius had roughly 16,000 Romans, 20,000 Italian allies, and was supported on his flanks by 4,000 cavalry and upwards of 3,000 Gauls.
...The velites (Roman skirmish infantry) first came into contact with the unexpected Carthaginian light infantry, but the velites performed badly and were withdrawn. Next the Roman legions advanced, while the Carthaginian elephants, cavalry and light infantry fell on the Roman cavalry, which, since outnumbered, broke ranks and fled pursued by Carthaginian cavalry, while the light infantry and elephants attacked the main Roman body. Though the velites drove of the elephants, the Romans could not pierce the main Carthaginian centre. And now to finish of any Roman morale, already lessened by cold, fatigue, hunger and lack of success, Mago and his body of men burst out of hiding and attacked the Roman rear. Now the Roman wings broke ranks and fled across the river, in which many drowned. But Sempronius with 10,000 managed to cut their way out of the death trap and make their way to Placenta. That night Scipio took the remainder of his army to
...Altogether Roman losses totaled approximately 15,000-20,000, whereas
...After a freezing winter,
... Now Flaminus was very rash and headstrong, and
... Soon this plan was carried into action when in late spring in early morning the Consul Flaminus ordered his men to pursue the Carthaginians into the region of
...The Romans marched in thick fog (which just aided the Carthaginians), heading right into the trap made for them. Abruptly out of the mist a trumpet was heard, it was answered by many more and the sound of countless rushing feet was added to the already deafening din of trumpets. Charging through the haze
... Of the 25,000 that broke camp that morning, at least 15,000 were killed, even Flaminus, the general, was among the slain. Also the army of 4,000 sent to reinforce Flaminus was utterly decimated en route. All in all about 10,000 Romans managed to escape by breaking through the opposing lines.
...Such was the panic of the Roman people that they appointed a dictator in the 217, Quintus Fabius Maximus, who was not rash like most of the other Roman leaders, but used guerilla tactics, and took great pains to preserve the Italian confederacy. This method was the best of all the ones used so far, but it was not successful in
... Now that the path over the
... In 216 the dictatorship of Fabius ended, and the new Consuls were Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucias Aemilius Paullus. These Consuls were in favor of real fighting, and were given an army twice the size of
...By the time of this battle, which occurred in early August of 216, one of
...Both armies advanced on each other, and
...After a short time the Romans began to slowly, ever slowly force their foes back, but they forgotten or did not notice that
...Finally the slaughter ceased and what was left of the Roman army was captured. By the end of the day 50,000 Romans were dead, and but 15,000 managed to escape, and the rest were captured. Only 6,000 of
...When the news was brought to
...During this time, the Romans had decided that they would never give up, but would fight to the last man, and the word “peace” was forbidden to be spoken. The Romans even went so far as to release slaves, criminals, and debtors to recruit into their army (a very un-Roman thing to do), which was starting to grow strong again. But though the good news was heard that
...About this time
...But since he could not use his cavalry effectively here
...Some success smiled on
...But a few battles were in store for
... It was now spring of 209, and finally a large battle was to be fought, before which
...That night when
...In 207 Hasdrubal,
...Now that this last hope of reinforcement was dashed,
... Then in 203
... In the region of
...Now after the two armies were drawn up in battle formation Hannibal and Scipio met in a parley, in which Hannibal offered surrender of all the places which Rome and Carthage had before been in debate over (Sardinia, Sicily, and Spain), and all of the islands between Carthage and Rome, and a promise that Carthage would never make war on Rome. Scipio however did not except these terms and so purchased another day, and the next morning Masinissa arrived with 6,000 cavalry and 4,000 infantry. Now Scipio entire force numbered approximately 34,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry, while
...Though it may be a legend, It is told, too, that they ( Hannibal and Scipio) had another meeting afterwards, at Ephesus, and that when Hannibal, as they were walking together, took the upper hand, Africanus let it pass, and walked on without the least notice of it; and that then they began to talk of generals, and Hannibal affirmed that Alexander was the greatest commander the world had seen, next to him Pyrrhus, and the third was himself; Africanus, with a smile, asked, "What would you have said, if I had not defeated you?" "I would not then, Scipio," he replied, "have made myself the third, but the first commander." ‘(Plutarch - Life of Flamininus).
...It was a featureless plain that Scipio chose as the location for the battle, but this plain had but one major water source, which forced the Carthaginians to forage farther to gain water. Another fallback for
...In this battle as in others
... Once the infantry of these opposing armies came into contact the first Roman line drove the first Carthaginian line into the second Carthaginian line, which would not allow the first line to pass into their ranks so that what was left of the first Carthaginian line went to the flanks of the second Carthaginian line. The same thing happened to second Carthaginian line which after the Old Guard would not let them into their ranks they passed to the flanks. But the Romans were unable to pierce or force back the Old Guard. So Scipio withdrew a short distance and rearranged his troops so that it was now one long line, and though
...But now disaster struck
...The terms of Surrender were not as good as those offered before
...On the whole
... Though he had not been in
... And so for a short time
...Though opinions vary,
Somehow the Romans came into position to demand that Prusias give
03 July 2008
...It is a general rule that governments effect society, but society shapes government. This is not always the case, nor indeed should it be. God's people have the requirement of obeying and keeping God's laws-not changing them according to the way society happens to perceive things at that time. An example from our own country is abortion, if God says we shall not murder then why do many Christians believe that taking a child's life can be right? But this brings up a whole different topic which is not under scrutiny here. The point merely serves to show us that in most societies the law can be amended and is subject to change based on the people it serves. Rome's Republic was no exception.
...Rome's slow evolving from a Monarchy to a Republic and then at last an Empire can be traced back to the people. The government of Rome reflected its peoples morals and beliefs. Early Rome was a Monarchy, the Monarch had a Senate of advisers but he was the ultimate authority. Then around 509 B.C the nobles rose against their king, overthrew the monarchy and established a Republic. This Republic reflected the strength of the Romans mind, his sanction of liberty. As the people dissolute and effeminate a shift took place in the government. In an instant the Roman Empire was conceived and and under Julius Caesar born. (29 B.C.) Its birth pangs were fairly peaceful in Rome itself, but the rest of the world soon felt the change. And one day, not to far away, Rome would collapse out of its own pleasure seeking and greed.
...But in the Republics day men were not yet so influenced by hedonism. Its citizens were farmers in peace and soldiers in war. Each man held his own land, and so, was self sufficient. Over time the nobles grew dissatisfied and heavy taxes were imposed. When the common man went to fight in Romes wars, away sometimes for years, he found upon his return that that his lands were confiscated. Why? Because while he was away taxes had not been paid. Now he was a tenant on his own land, lucky if he still had a family since the nobles often sold a mans wife to raise money for taxes. Can it be wandered that the Plebians demanded their own Concillium Plebis with Tribunes to protect them?
...A man was the head of his family, called "Paterfamilias" in Latin. Women were subject to their husbands in every way; although they retained their dowry and used it for support in the eventuality of widowhood or divorce. Children were raised with the highest respect for the Paterfamilias, who held the power of life and death over them. When a Patrician girl was between the ages of twelve and fourteen her father arranged a marriage; for the poor marriages generally took place later, around eighteen to twenty. Boys remained under their fathers rule even after marriage, he, his wife and children. when the Paterfamilias died the men started their own-being still connected to their brothers by clan ties called "gens".
...Slaves were less common in early Roman times, but increased rapidly as the Republic neared its end. They received no rights, they were not allowed to vote or own property. The Roman "jus civil" and "jus gentium" laws did not apply to slaves. In fact until the "natural laws" were put in effect, the recieved very little consideration in civil matters at all. Under the "natural laws" however, slave owners were required to treat their slaves well, and slaves were given some basic human rights.
...By the time the Republic became an Empire the people themselves had changed. They were less concerned with justice and equality, their natural vigorof mind dissapated to a mere shadow of its former glory. Rome as a nation was hungry for power, wealth and lands beckoned them alluringly, convincing the citizens that an Empire was desirable for conquest. Certain rich men corrupted the government, and worked on the minds of the common people until they gave up their hardy ways of life in favor of luxory.
...Romes rise and fall was a process, one that her imitators would do well to study. The government reflects the people, and the people need Christs transforming renewing power in their lives. If a people like Romes could create such a strong government; imagine what a people devoted to Christ might do! Men and women, devote yourselves to a high and noble calling-spreading the truth of the gospel in every sphere you touch.
01 July 2008
...Scrapbooking has become very popular of late. It is a huge pastime with whole ranges of products that cater to every creative need. From stickers to stylized paper, empty books to embellishing plaques; the scrabook community has it all. Because of the great variety one has the ability to be flexible, there really is no set rule. When designing a scrapbook you get to decide, its up to you! I guess that's one of the things that makes it so exciting.
...Here I am chiefly going to show what I have done with my historical scrapbook. Below are excellent links for some of the resources I use. (time line figures, scrap booking paper, history lap books, TOG) Right now my family is using Marcia Somerville"s Tapestry Of Grace curriculum for history.
...I started out by finding a large binder with lots and lots of thick pages. The front was blank so I got the fun of decorating it, I drew a scene and started painting with acrylics. As you can see I have not finished this part! The title is "Lauren's Scrapbook of Ancient Civilizations".
...Inside the cover is a blank place for the "Contents" to be added once I am finished. The first page is a decorative one, showing some examples of what will be displayed inside.
The first section is on Creation, it features drawings, charts, time lines and verses from Genesis. Old National Geographic magazines are a wealth of clippings on nearly every subject. Here I have cut out some scenes of the universe.
A neat trick to make your book go father is to add flap out pages. My book is about the size of a 12' by 12' piece of scrapbooking paper, so I just pick ones I like and glue the far edge on top of the existing page. This works best with heavier paper, like cardstock. Underneath more things can be displayed, which adds extra depth and hands on to your project!
Below is a fold out book featuring the seven days of creation. It is tied shut with a piece of yarn when not in use. The edges were trimmed with decorative scissors. These are great details to incorporate on your page if you have room! (sorry the picture is blurry)
Noah is featured on the page across from creation, including a sketch of the Tower of Babel. Sometimes I like to draw directly onto the books page rather than paste in a drawing. This page also has a flap, one side of it has a map and the other a genealogy .
...Turning to the next page is Mesopotamia. Here I put in the first overlay map I had done for this book. "Knowledge Quest" has some wonderful maps, which can be ordered on a cd to be printed whenever needed. Many of the maps I have made use theirs as a base. Then I add a clear overlay sheet for further details. At the bottom inside corner of the first page on Mesopotamia I mounted a small envelope for storing extra papers etc.. that would not fit on the page. Sometimes a regular sized mailing envelope works well, but elsewher I also use large ones for even more room.
Next is the "Patriarchs". It is fitting they should come after Sumer, which is where Ur most likely was. This page has Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On the far page is a family tree my brother and I made while studying this time era. It seemed a shame to put it away somewhere never to be seen again, after all our hard work! So in it went, since it is on the far page I punched a hole through the actual book and it to be able to tie it with a small scrap of leather. (The family tree is a flap up) This way it does not flap open when turning the page.
Much of my clip art came from old illustrated book covers! Most of the time covers get ripped up and ragged anyways, so while making my scrapbook I went through the whole house confiscating book covers. Then I cut out the sample illustrations I wanted and glued them into my scrapbook!
Be on the lookout for Historical Scrapbooking Part 2, which will feature Egypt, Moses, India and China!
...Why is it that while so many pagan religions have died out, Hinduism has retained such a firm hold in today's society? If we remember that all mankind have souls as well as bodies, it becomes easier to understand. Although man is fallen we were still created in the image of God. Mankind is searching for truth although ironically it rejects "the Truth", that all are fallen and need a Savior, Jesus Christ. The main Hindu gods are three beings who represent the spirit of the universe, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Although each is is its own entity in a sense, they are also the same thing, or one. This sounds familiar to the Christian mind, since we worship one God who is Three in One. One of many differences between Christianity and Hinduism is that Hindu's believe they can gain salvation on their own, without a savior.Of course this appeals to mans desire to be wise, powerful and like God!Here is a religion which incorporates some convoluted forms of truth, while appealing to mans sinful nature of wanting to be God. Perhaps this is why Hinduism has lasted so long in our society and with such firm roots while other ancient religions have slowly disappeared.