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#321 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:13 PM

Well, it's all about the 18-49 demographics. Advertisers are convinced that younger people are more willing to change their products more often than the older crowd. Therefore, the network that can pull in the young set, gets paid more to do it. Viewers of the History Channel in America have witnessed a subtle but steady slide in the type of programing presented by that network. "Modern Marvels," which are mostly documentaries about contemporary topics like nuclear power sites, assembly lines, etc., quietly took over the bulk of the programing. Then came the reality shows like "Ice Road Truckers." It is only rarely that the History Channel now offers any "history," so to that extent, the new series will almost certainly contain more of it than the one about lumber jacks screwing up with chain-saws.

Yet, even in the History Channel's documentaries, the style has changed. In the old days you would have slow pans over old paintings of the period, then a dissolve to a talking head professor in front of some bookcases in his or her office. Informative, but boring as hades to the MTV generation. Now we get muscular young guys with a connection to the martial arts, sporting fashionably grungy jeans and hair cuts (their may be a job opportunity for Kortoso and Aesir, here). Made of more athletic stuff than the sedentary profs, they personally demmo the weapons while the director flash cuts between hand-held camera shots every three seconds sweetened with explosive audio effects. That's supposed to get the young demographic where it lives.

The important point is, that just like the older style of documentary, these shows are far cheaper than making actually history films. To my knowledge the ol' History Channel has never coughed up the dough to make an actual film. The closest they have come is their documentaries that feature extensive filming with re-enactor groups (Civil War Combat, War of 1812, etc.). The truth is, that A&E (which owns the History Channel) and the History Channel have turned into very different animals than their logos herald.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#322 Kortoso

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:30 PM

Of course, I also hope dirigibles make a come-back. :lol:

We've got one tooling around my neighborhood (Moffett Field) but the rides are $250 and really are for sight-seeing.

#323 Kortoso

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:37 PM

Now we get muscular young guys with a connection to the martial arts, sporting fashionably grungy jeans and hair cuts (their may be a job opportunity for Kortoso and Aesir, here). Made of more athletic stuff than the sedentary profs, they personally demmo the weapons while the director flash cuts between hand-held camera shots every three seconds sweetened with explosive audio effects. That's supposed to get the young demographic where it lives.


I can't speak for Aesir, but I've been in a couple of those for the History Channel. They're not usually interested in the reenactors' input. But if the Star says it's historically accurate, that's what you see (although his qualifications are only modern military). And they call in the professor later to support that.

Recently we got called by SpikeTV for a bit on the Vikings, but they really seemed to want to assume the tone of pro wrestling and create a "history smack-down". None of our guys was interested. I asked the producer if he would be interested in a knight-vs-samurai discussion, and I could certainly dig up experts on both sides. No response. :(



#324 Kortoso

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

http://www.iht.com/a...st-Language.php


Timeless, I am sorry this one's getting lost.

ALMODOVAR, Portugal: When archaeologists on a dig in southern Portugal last year flipped over a heavy chunk of slate and saw writing not used for more than 2,500 years, they were elated.

The enigmatic pattern of inscribed symbols curled symmetrically around the upper part of the rough-edged, yellowish stone tablet and coiled into the middle in a decorative style typical of an extinct Iberian language called Southwest Script.

"We didn't break into applause, but almost," says Amilcar Guerra, a University of Lisbon lecturer overseeing the excavation. "It's an extraordinary thing."

For more than two centuries, scientists have tried to decipher Southwest Script, believed to be the peninsula's oldest written tongue and, along with Etruscan from modern-day Italy, one of Europe's first. The stone tablet features 86 characters and provides the longest-running text of the Iron Age language ever found.



#325 Ironhand

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

Here's an interesting article about the evolution of ancient neolithic hunting techniques. One can almost picture a sort of nomadic civilization that didn't rely on cities or agriculture, but did perhaps rely on cooperation by large numbers of people.

http://www.israelnat...ews.aspx/130209
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

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#326 Kortoso

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:45 PM

They seem to be eager to make the leap between form and function without any intervening steps. Still an interesting theory.

They look like the also mysterious Nazca lines.

#327 thundarr

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:24 AM

Well, I was setting up the TiVo to record the new Warriors series on the History Channel and I ran across another new series called "Battles BC". It's another new History Channel series that "...uses a stunning graphic style comparable to 300, the hit feature film, to show leaders from the ancient world in some of the greatest conflicts in history. The eight episode series premieres Monday, March 9th at 9pm ET/PT on HISTORY."

If you didn't like the film "300" you're probably not gonna like the series, but I thought it looked rather interesting. The first episode focuses on Hannibal.

Battles BC

#328 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:10 PM

Thanks for the tip, thundarr. I'll give it a look.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#329 thundarr

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:00 AM

So I checked out the 1st episode of the History Channel's new series Battles BC which focused on Hannibal and I have a question - was Hannibal 'black'? Now, I've seen some other documentaries on Hannibal where he wasn't depicted as 'black', but I have heard some people claim otherwise.

Now, if this were just a movie or tv series I wouldn't particularly care how he was depicted, but since it's a "documentary" (and I use this term loosely since Hannibal was also depicted wearing nothing but a piece of tinfoil over one shoulder as armour) I was curious if there was any empiral evidence of him being 'black' or if this was just some kind of revisionist history. Could Hannibal actually have looked something like this?

Posted Image

It also reminded me that I had heard Vin Diesel has long been trying to develop a Hannibal film and is currently producing an animated Hannibal series for BET.

Hannibal the Cartoon

#330 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:44 AM

I think the general consensus is that the Carthaginians were Phoenicians. Having said that, there is a huge debate over the origins and ethnology of the that ancient people. The latest I have read is that the Phoenicians were Canaanites, and were probably the ancestors of today's Lebanese. They are also linked to the ancient Minoans. The latest research shows the people of modern Tunisia and Malta share genetic similarities with the Phoenicians. The Carthaginians would have appeared similar to the olive skinned people who lined the Mediterranean in ancient times.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#331 Almuric

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:03 PM

Since they came from the Mideast, they likely would have had Semitic features.
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#332 Kortoso

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:39 PM

Have any of you read any biographies of Hannibal? It's possible he had some Nubian blood or something.

#333 deuce

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:30 PM

Have any of you read any biographies of Hannibal? It's possible he had some Nubian blood or something.


Hey Kortoso! It's possible that Martin Luther King, Jr. had some European blood or something, but would anyone stand for a bio-pic about MLK starring Ed Norton? :)

I've read three bios on Hannibal Barca (a personal hero): Cottrel's, Lancel's and Harold Lamb's. I own the Lamb biography. Every friend I've leant it to has loved it. Lamb could write history like no other. In none of the biographies I've read (nor in the books on general Punic history, either) is there any hint of "Nubian" or "Ethiopian" ancestry in the aristocratic Barca family, which could trace its roots straight back to Phoenicia.

Here's a link which provides a look at the sculptured bust of Hannibal, accepted since antiquity:

http://www.phoenicia...nibal_barca.htm

One can question whether that bust is an exact likeness, but it's hard to question all the Carthaginian coins which feature gods (like Melqart) or rulers (like Elissa) sporting unquestionably aquiline, "Mediterranean" features. None have unquestionably "Nubian" features. It's far more likely that Hannibal Barca looked like Victor Mature than Denzel Washington (another actor thinking about making a "Hannibal" flick). Hell, Anthony Hopkins ( ;) ) is probably as close (or closer) to how Hannibal Barca (and other Punics) looked than Denzel.

Neither the Greeks nor the Romans ever noted anything "Ethiopian" or "Nubian" in the features of the Carthaginians or the Berber North Africans the Punics colonized. That's the hilarious aspect of this whole attempt at revisionism. The Carthaginians were "whites" from the eastern Mediterranean who colonized "Africans" (albeit, mostly "Caucasoid" Berbers). It would be far easier to draw parallels (albeit, weak ones) with Cecil Rhodes or Mussolini than with say, Shaka Zulu (though the Zulus were ALSO colonizers/exterminators of the KhoiSan peoples).

If someone in Hollywood wants to make a movie about a "black conqueror", then they should look to one of the black pharaohs of the New Kingdom period or to the (Berberized) black Murabitun dynasty which controlled Andalusia for 50+yrs.

A Shaka Zulu biopic starring Vladimir Kulich, anyone? A George Washington film starring Denzel Washington (George could have had "Nubian" blood)? :)

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#334 John Maddox Roberts

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:51 PM

Now we're back to that afrocentric thing. Back in the '60s activists started equating anything "African" with Black. There was even a Black Pride T-shirt depicting a black Hannibal. Roman writers referred to Hannibal as African, but they were referring to the Roman province of Africa, which was just a stretch of North Africa around Carthage. It was only centuries later that Africa became the name for a whole continent. Incidentally, Hannibal lived almost his whole life in Spain. His army was mostly Spanish and Gallic, with only the senior officers Carthaginian.

#335 deuce

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 06:35 PM

Now we're back to that afrocentric thing. Back in the '60s activists started equating anything "African" with Black. There was even a Black Pride T-shirt depicting a black Hannibal.


Hey JMR! It just keeps coming up, doesn't it? Afrocentrists speak of reclaiming a "stolen" heritage and then turn around and "steal" the history of peoples like the Phoenicians/Carthaginians and the Berbers (and the KhoiSan). Strangely, you never see afrocentrists trying to claim deKlerk or Botha for their own. BOTH were born in Africa. In fact, they were "Afrikaners". Sub-Saharan Africans have plenty of things to be proud about, but Hannibal (and Carthage) or Cleopatra (and Ptolemaic Alexandria) aren't amongst those things. Stealing is wrong, doesn't matter who does it or why. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Roman writers referred to Hannibal as African, but they were referring to the Roman province of Africa, which was just a stretch of North Africa around Carthage. It was only centuries later that Africa became the name for a whole continent.


Exactly. There's nothing particularly mysterious about it. I can't figure out if afrocentrists are willfully distorting history, or if they're just sloppy historians. Sometimes it looks like both.

Incidentally, Hannibal lived almost his whole life in Spain. His army was mostly Spanish and Gallic, with only the senior officers Carthaginian.


Damn straight (though his Numidian/Morroccan cavalry were also a crucial element). That's the amazing thing about Hannibal and the other "military" Barcas. Without any real Punic military tradition, the Carthaginians managed to crank out excellent officers like the Barcas. Also, their ability to successfully deploy large numbers of foreigners/mercs is astonishing (NOT that the practice ALWAYS worked out; see Salammbo). The fact that Hannibal was able to keep his Gauls and Iberians loyal through years and years of war, far from home, continues to astound me. A natural-born leader of men.
IF they're going to make a "Hannibal" film (which I'd figure that the "Lector" movies would've muddied the water too much anyway), I nominate Jean Reno for the role. A Morroccan Spaniard who always projects quiet intensity and strength.
REH was a Hannibal fan, BTW. Check out Delenda Est. :)

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#336 rabbits

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

IF they're going to make a "Hannibal" film (which I'd figure that the "Lector" movies would've muddied the water too much anyway), I nominate Jean Reno for the role. A Morroccan Spaniard who always projects quiet intensity and strength.



Yes.

#337 deuce

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:27 PM

I think the general consensus is that the Carthaginians were Phoenicians. Having said that, there is a huge debate over the origins and ethnology of the that ancient people. The latest I have read is that the Phoenicians were Canaanites, and were probably the ancestors of today's Lebanese.


Hey Pilgrim! Other than the afrocentrist camp, there is an overwhelming concensus that the Carthaginians were Phoenician, AFAIK. Every scrap of evidence from every source contemporary with the Carthaginians says so. The Romans called the Carthaginians "Punics" (ie, "from Phoenicia") for just that reason. The Phoenicians were Canaanites who spoke a West Semitic language (King Hiram in the Bible was a Phoenician). After they were conquered by the Macedonians, they weren't exterminated, nor did they go anywhere. They went on to become part of the Roman Empire, then the Byzantine Empire, then the Islamic Caliphate. There is zero reason to believe that the Lebanese are NOT descended from the Phoenicians, at least in a large part.

Carthaginian/Punic culture, archaeologically, is nearly indistinguishable from the Phoenician. The Punics spoke the Phoenician language, wrote in the Phoenician script, worshipped Phoenician gods, lived in Phoenician-style homes and sailed Phoenician-style ships. By all accounts, they claimed direct descent from Phoenicians. Saying that the Punics weren't Phoenician is like trying to claim that the original New England colonists weren't English.

They are also linked to the ancient Minoans.


In what way do you mean "linked"?

The latest research shows the people of modern Tunisia and Malta share genetic similarities with the Phoenicians. The Carthaginians would have appeared similar to the olive skinned people who lined the Mediterranean in ancient times.


Exactly. :D The "Mediterranean" phenotype is anciently attested in artwork and skeletal remains from Lisbon to Ankara to Cairo to Tangiers. Why that should be swept under the carpet by afrocentrists is beyond me. AFAIK, no one is trying to take sub-Saharan Africa from the central Africans. Why then, do the afrocentrists try and wrest the Mediterranean from the "Mediterraneans"? :blink:

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#338 deuce

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:05 PM

Slightly tangential to the above conversation, here's two quotes from Ronald Segal, author of the highly-praised The Black Diaspora.

"Most Berbers were light-skinned and blue-eyed, though there were also some dark-skinned ones, the progeny, near or distant, of miscegenation. Blacks were not Berbers." (p.83)

"Muslim settlements (around Cape Horn), established and settled by merchants from Arabia and countries around the Persian Gulf, were strengthened by intermarriage between the newcomers and the indigenous peoples of the Horn, who were called Berbers or sometimes, to distinguish them from the Berbers of North Africa, "black Berbers" by Arab geographers." (p.95)

from Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora

Here's Segal's obituary: http://www.guardian....ture.obituaries

Segal's books have been praised by none other than Basil Davidson (author of Lost Cities of Africa, et al), one of the most respected authorities on African history alive (he's also mentioned in Segal's obituary).

Davidson: http://en.wikipedia..../Basil_Davidson

Obviously, neither Davidson nor Segal were/are intent upon "keeping down" anyone or anything, especially sub-Saharan Africans.

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#339 Ironhand

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:03 AM

The reason for studying history is to learn more about it or to spread information about what really happened. If we start revising history, we very rapidly risk losing history. And then 20 or 30 years later, nobody knows what the heck Hannibal looks like. "I know he must have been black because he was black in this movie I saw." :angry:

The idea that it's ok to revise history is related to the idea that it's ok to revise a story when transcribing it for the screen. It's ok to revise truth for whatever reason floats your boat. "I know Conan spent his youth in slavery because I saw it in a movie." :angry:

Edited by Ironhand, 11 March 2009 - 02:12 AM.

"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#340 thundarr

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:12 AM

Wow, thanks for all of the info and clarification guys. I was pretty sure Hannibal was of a Mediterranean/Semetic background but I had heard otherwise over the years and was curious if there was any evidence to back it up. I gotta say I'm a little disappointed with the History Channel for their depiction of Hannibal on that Battles BC show. For a lot of people, this is what they will take at face value and as fact. I totally agree with Ironhand's statement that, "The reason for studying history is to learn more about it or to spread information about what really happened." I watch these shows because I want to be informed, not propagandized. It makes me question the entire validity and accuracy of the show.