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#41 deuce

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

I like the "look" of Aquilonia in Age of Conan. There is a taste of many things, but Tarantia, at least, is distinctly unique--built upon a lot of flavors. I love the stone look of Tarantia. The weapons and armor are very "Roman" looking. And, it's what I see in my minds eye, more than medieval France, when I read stories set in Aquilonia.


Have you read ANY of Robert E. Howard's Crusades/Medieval tales? If not, here are some threads to check out:

http://www.conan.com...an&fromsearch=1

http://www.conan.com...nd&fromsearch=1

http://www.conan.com...re&fromsearch=1

http://www.conan.com...er&fromsearch=1

Burn your pastiches and read some of REH's best stories. B)

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#42 Lunatic

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:11 PM


Amster

I hate my job...just saying..


Just sayin'...

Where are Robert E. Howard's tales set within the Roman Imperium? There's one scene in Worms of the Earth. Anything else? Your comic collection doesn't count.


Well I was implying that Aquilonia before Conan who made it into a much more sympathetic nation, much to the grievieances of many of his aristocratic subjects, was a cimmerian-invading kingdom of tyrants. So, perhaps REH even hated Aquilonia then? Or did he hate Rome for what exactly?

I am currently reading Scarlet Citadel, and yes there is a clear statement that the Aquilonians live in an empire, fearing the return of feudalistic rule, as they believe King Conan has fallen on the battlefield. The mob, running crazy in the streets of Tamar influencing political decisions sounds not so much like medieval europe. But there is a constant reference, legions fort-building and the names of Aquilonians that sound ancient more than feudal.

I realize though, that this is much more an "american" frontier than the roman limes. Obviously, it is not a Roman imperium. But I see no problem with Aquilonia being more ancient, than many debaters here on the forum. Also the dividing line between barbarism and civilisation is so clean cut. I see no reference to this in the medieval world.

The bossonian marches, border kingdom...such buffertstates existed also in the Carolingian empire as well in late stagnating christian Rome. But Charlemagnes frankish empire was a very feudalistic state. So, the time of empire should emerge with standing armies, and mercenary forces which would give the king or anybody with a lot of cash power. This cash coming with the rise of cities and transcontinental trade.

As for the tech-level, gunpowder did have a monumental effect on warfare, and it is a bit of a problem for me if the Hyborian age is supposed to be late "renaissance". And therefore I earlier presented my lunacy, that if gunpowder had not been invented...legions and rome...and so on...not feudal knights. Signal flares, doesn´t count...:)

Anyways...the way I see it, it is both medieval and ancient, this Hyboria. Stating that REH hated Rome and therefore there can be nothing roman ever in fairyland Aquilionia. Is a weird thing to say I thinks... Especially if we are talking about a "reinassance" like culture. For what is the "renaissance"?

#43 Lunatic

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:15 PM

Actually I will edit that out probably, it is one of my lunacies....

However, the social development is what I was "thinking" about. A medieval army may very well be superior in arms, and even fighting. But, the size of the roman army would be far superior, due to better organisation and logistics, communications...

Also, late medieval armour was developed in a time when gunpowder was used.



#44 constantine

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

This thread somewhat conflates with the ''ancient vs medieval'' one. Again, the basis for a ''Roman'' Aquilonia is a set precedent by illustrations and pastiche stories more than actual descriptions by Howard. If Frazetta, Kelly and Marvel and others had left a large roster of medieval-like illustrations of Aquilonians many would be singing a different song today. Even if Howard could accept Romanised Aquilonians as non-imperialistic slavers (i.e.the Romans, in his view), he simply wasn't interested in depicting a Classical Roman society. And he didn't. Apart from few elements there is no Roman Aquilonia in his writings.

Well I was implying that Aquilonia before Conan who made it into a much more sympathetic nation, much to the grievieances of many of his aristocratic subjects, was a cimmerian-invading kingdom of tyrants. So, perhaps REH even hated Aquilonia then? Or did he hate Rome for what exactly?

I am currently reading Scarlet Citadel, and yes there is a clear statement that the Aquilonians live in an empire, fearing the return of feudalistic rule, as they believe King Conan has fallen on the battlefield. The mob, running crazy in the streets of Tamar influencing political decisions sounds not so much like medieval europe. But there is a constant reference, legions fort-building and the names of Aquilonians that sound ancient more than feudal.

Lunatic


First, Conan had numerous supporters among the aristocracy as well. He, as king, ceased the imperialistic expansion of the kingdom and that is an indicator of Howard's own preferences. Further,terms like ''empire'' and ''imperial'' are also stock-phrases for powerful monarchies, like the ''British empire'' or ''Alexander's empire'', where no emperor is involved. What the Cimmerian seems to have done is organize a centralized kingdom and crush old-style feudal tendencies. Compare France under Charles VI with the same kingdom in the late reign of Charles VII. A similar case could be made for the support of most French to the crown during La Fronde (although REH was probably unaware of the latter). And on certain occasions the ''mob''/townspeople DID take action in medieval Europe.

Apart from the Black Legion, I don't recall another unit named thus. And the name is not indicative of the formation and combat system of this force. If a Free Company (itself an inspiration from the Middle Ages) was named ''Iron Phalanx'', would this mean that they fought like ancient Greeks? And Hyborian names (personal, place, country), with few exceptions (Aquilonia is not one of these), are not descriptive of cultures.

I realize though, that this is much more an "american" frontier than the roman limes. Obviously, it is not a Roman imperium. But I see no problem with Aquilonia being more ancient, than many debaters here on the forum. Also the dividing line between barbarism and civilisation is so clean cut. I see no reference to this in the medieval world.

Lunatic


Except Westermarck, I don't see any ''american frontier''. The catch is the point about the delineation of barbarism and civilization, a strong theme/element of Classical Antiquity. Since Aquilonia is bordered by barbarian, it follows that the kingdom has an ancient connection of sorts. But this is a faulted line of reasoning, because it judges the Aquilonian civilization simply through opposition and comparison to the barbarians. The pattern ''classical ancient civilization vs barbarians'' was adopted by pastiche writers and illustrators who conflated the historical similarities between the Greco-Roman world and Aquilonia/Hyboria with the Hyborian culture as a counterpart of Classical antiquity. Aquilonia (and the Hyborian kingdoms by default) is not ancient/Romanised and medieval simultaneously; it has a predominantly medieval character with some elements from other periods, mostly ancient Classical.

Of course, anyone can imagine what he wants. But some images do NOT come from REH's writings, including a Roman Aquilonia.

#45 Ironhand

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

Some random musings.

Certain elements of REH's Hyborian Age are reminiscent of our Renaissance (mainly clothing styles, I think), although the origins of this may have been different than the origins of our Renaissance. This may be stuff that REH regarded as a natural outgrowth or development of Medieval culture. The late middle ages saw the development of heavy infantry that could withstand chivalric heavy cavalry: pikemen (Gundermen), longbows (Bossonians), and crossbows or arbalests. REH understood the efficacy of combined arms warfare.

Our Renaissance grew from the rediscovery of Classical culture. There is nothing so clear in the development of a (hypthetical?) Hyborian Renaissance. But there was a generalized yearning or envy of some supposed Golden Age of pre-Hyborian antiquity (a time when magic was much better understood and more powerful).
"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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#46 deuce

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

This thread somewhat conflates with the ''ancient vs medieval'' one. Again, the basis for a ''Roman'' Aquilonia is a set precedent by illustrations and pastiche stories more than actual descriptions by Howard. If Frazetta, Kelly and Marvel and others had left a large roster of medieval-like illustrations of Aquilonians many would be singing a different song today. Even if Howard could accept Romanised Aquilonians as non-imperialistic slavers (i.e.the Romans, in his view), he simply wasn't interested in depicting a Classical Roman society. And he didn't. Apart from few elements there is no Roman Aquilonia in his writings.



Not much I can add to the above, except....

I assume by "non-imperialistic slavers" you mean "a nation who did not seek new territory as general/ongoing policy AND did not practice slaving/enslavement as a pervasive/endemic element in its culture"? Your phrase encapsulates it pretty well, but it IS a complicated concept.

In conjunction with your "AquiRomian pastiches/art" comment above, I'd say that if REH had completely done away with any "Greco-Romanesque" names, the perception of various authors/artists would've been quite different. As it was, that ONE facet seems to have dominated all subsequent perceptions. However, there are far more NON-"Romanesque" Aquilonian names than some seem to realize. A (perhaps not) complete list:

Amalric
Jon
Galter
Gault
Hagar
Hakon
Dirk
Brant
Strom
Storm
Schhiro
Rinaldo

First, Conan had numerous supporters among the aristocracy as well. He, as king, ceased the imperialistic expansion of the kingdom and that is an indicator of Howard's own preferences.


In general, though there WERE instances (in his letters,especially) where REH wasn't totally averse to the concept of "empire".

Further,terms like ''empire'' and ''imperial'' are also stock-phrases for powerful monarchies, like the ''British empire'' or ''Alexander's empire'', where no emperor is involved.


Most pertinently, IMO, the term "empire" was applied (during Robert E. Howard's lifetime) to the Angevin/Plantagenet "Empire". I'm not pulling this reference out of thin air.

We KNOW that Robert E. Howard read and admired Shakespeare's Henry V. Beyond his reference to Falstaff, there is also the Battle of Valkia and its aftermath.

In addition, you have REH's admiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Doyle's novel, The White Company. There is NO doubt that Robert E. Howard read this novel about the Hundred Years' War (all thanks to Patrice Louinet for bringing this to my attention). REH specifically mentions Samkin Aylward (a fairly "Conanic" protagonist) here: http://www.rehupa.co...elf_d.htm#Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859-1930).

Doyle's novel involves Edward the Black Prince. Robert E. Howard once wrote to HP Lovecraft that the Black Prince (and the Plantagenet armies) could've defeated the Mongols.

Of course, anyone can imagine what he wants. But some images do NOT come from REH's writings, including a Roman Aquilonia.


Agreed. :)

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#47 witchfire

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

@Deuce :

i don't know why but you seem totaly pissed off because i sayd that when
"I" read about the Aquilonians "I" envisioned them as roman like.
unless there is a law against it "I" am still entiteld to my own imagination

& i also sayd that it was the beauty of book that it allow people to picture
in theyr own mind what they read the way the like it

& when i talked about loricas & plat armor "I" sayd that is what "I" was
seeing in my mind

i personaly dont do extensive research on an author before reading his books
& that doesn't mean i have the mind of a 14 year old

Edited by witchfire, 25 February 2012 - 01:01 AM.

"today the blood of battle upon my weapons will never dry
many i'll send into the ground, laughing as they die"

#48 deuce

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

@Deuce :

i don't know why but you seem totaly pissed off


Hey Witchfire! Apparently, you've never seen/read me in "totally pissed off" mode:

http://www.thecimmer...n-for-this-one/

:)

i sayd that when
"I" read about the Aquilonians "I" envisioned them as roman like.
unless there is a law against it "I" am still entiteld to my own imagination


As is anyone who pays a sum to read an author's works. :) Who said you're not entitled to your "own imagination"?

& i also sayd that it was the beauty of book that it allow people to picture
in theyr own mind what they read the way the like it

& when i talked about loricas & plat armor "I" sayd that is what "I" was
seeing in my mind


Of course you did. However, you didn't just post, "When I read 'Venarium', I saw Romans". You asked a question. I replied.

I asked the question, "What brought this image to your mind?" Why not Rorke's Drift? Why not any fortress overrun/attacked by "barbarians"? I love how none of the "AquiRomian" supporters ever name an actual legionary fortress when they talk about how "Roman" the sack of Venarium was. Balthus' uncle was at Venarium. Balthus was blonde and buckskin-clad. So, Balthus' uncle was a "(pseudo-)Roman legionairre? The pattern/style of settlement shown in BtBR (and WBtB) is quite unlike what we know of standard Roman practice.

i

i personaly dont do extensive research on an author before reading his books
& that doesn't mean i have the mind of a 14 year old


My "extensive research" before reading the ACE edition of Conan the Warrior was reading both "Books of Robert E. Howard" and the Gnome Press edition of Conan the Conqueror.


My intent was to simply point out that further reading of Howard's works has modified my views. My view of "girls" (I'm not ashamed to say) has changed/improved since I was a teenager. So has my take on what REH was getting at in BtBR.

By all means, quote where I said these horrible things and we'll hash 'em out.

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#49 witchfire

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:20 PM

" Why not Rorke's Drift?


all i know about Rorke's drift is that it's about britishs vs zulus & it's from an
historical era that does'nt interest me in the least

i know i must be flawed in this but if i read a character description
in a book & if it doe'nst specificaly describe his attire & just say (for example)
"on his head a shining helm , in his hand a weapon he weilded with deadly purpose
& at his side a sturdy shield" i would automaticly think HELM = corinthyan helm ,
WEAPON = Sword & SHIELD = Hoplon

& i'm sure for some people helme would mean barbuta ,weapon would mean
a flail , morning star, axe or mace & shield would mean a kite shield

the very first page on the very first Howard book i ever read had "Atlantis" & "sandals"
writen on it & it made me think that the Hyborian age was Ancient not Medieval
& you never have a second chance to make a first impression

going back to Verranium, Howard might have also based it on the Alamo since
he was into western stuff

Edited by witchfire, 25 February 2012 - 05:23 PM.

"today the blood of battle upon my weapons will never dry
many i'll send into the ground, laughing as they die"

#50 deuce

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

the very first page on the very first Howard book i ever read had "Atlantis" & "sandals"
writen on it & it made me think that the Hyborian age was Ancient not Medieval
& you never have a second chance to make a first impression


Atlantis was thousands of years before Conan's era (according to REH). There was less than a thousand years between your beloved legionnaires and the Templars. Robert E. Howard had Turlogh O'Brien wearing "sandals" in 1014AD. Still, "first impressions", as you say.

Actually, Weird Tales editor, Farnsworth Wright, forced Robert E. Howard to put in that "Chronicles" reference.

My "first impression" of girls was that they were "icky" and "mushy".

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#51 witchfire

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:37 PM

My "first impression" of girls was that they were "icky" and "mushy".


having been raised with 3 (much) older sister my first impression
of girls was that they were "bossy" & "demanding"

most of my exes did confirmed it :lol:
"today the blood of battle upon my weapons will never dry
many i'll send into the ground, laughing as they die"

#52 nephron

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:19 AM

Aquilonia is not Rome. It's the High Medieval Country with castles and armored knights.

Where do people get the idea that it's Rome?

Acheron is Rome - the huge, decadent Empire upon whose ruins the present kingdoms are built.

#53 Lunatic

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:48 PM

Aquilonia is not Rome. It's the High Medieval Country with castles and armored knights.

Where do people get the idea that it's Rome?

Acheron is Rome - the huge, decadent Empire upon whose ruins the present kingdoms are built.


Probably from artwork and comicbook pastische like me. But also the latin sounding names and barbary vs civilized theme. And the togas.

#54 amster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:25 PM

Aquilonia is not Rome. It's the High Medieval Country with castles and armored knights.


No, Aquilonia is a fictional country created by Robert E. Howard, and it's inspired by several different sources.

Where do people get the idea that it's Rome?


Anyone whop would mistake Aquilonia for either ancient Rome or the Middle Ages has a real problem differentiating fantasy from reality, and is absolutely clueless when it comes to understanding Howard.

Acheron is Rome - the huge, decadent Empire upon whose ruins the present kingdoms are built.


No, Acheron is a fictional Empire created by author Robert E. Howard, and it's inspired by several different sources.
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#55 constantine

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:17 AM

No, Aquilonia is a fictional country created by Robert E. Howard, and it's inspired by several different sources.


Quite right. But it should be clarified that most of the sources that inspired Howard's Aquilonia (and most Hyborian kingdoms for that matter) came from the Middle Ages and not ancient Rome.

#56 constantine

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:22 AM


Aquilonia is not Rome. It's the High Medieval Country with castles and armored knights.

Where do people get the idea that it's Rome?

Acheron is Rome - the huge, decadent Empire upon whose ruins the present kingdoms are built.


Probably from artwork and comicbook pastische like me. But also the latin sounding names and barbary vs civilized theme. And the togas.


Pastiche, artwork, Latin names and certain themes are a possible cause, but where did the togas come from? Not that I am totally against this idea in a depiction (it is used in the ''medievalesque'' Westeros in GoT series after all), but I honestly don't recall any such mention in the Conan Saga.

#57 Almuric

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

Stay cool everybody, it's just a discussion of the depiction of a fictional kingdom. B)
"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

#58 Lunatic

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:59 PM

Toga or not to toga...I don´t know comics probably.

#59 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:48 PM

these may be fictional kingdoms in a earlier time on earth but REH made it very clear that the hyborean kingdoms were based off medieval times, witch i believe he saw as going from the fall of rome to even encompass the renaissance. the weapons , the armor, battle formations and the kind of troops used , even the clothing all medieval.
latin sounding names have been being used long after the fall of rome so saying the names sound roman so it makes it roman is just plain wrong.
i cant recall REH even mentioning a toga in any conan yarn.

#60 amster

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:21 AM

these may be fictional kingdoms in a earlier time on earth but REH made it very clear that the hyborean kingdoms were based off medieval times, witch i believe he saw as going from the fall of rome to even encompass the renaissance.


I which letter or essay did REH make these things clear? I've read literally hundreds of pages and I've yet to find the proverbial smoking gun.

the weapons , the armor, battle formations and the kind of troops used , even the clothing all medieval.


You think Zenobia was dressed like a woman out of Medieval Europe?

Edited by amster, 27 November 2012 - 12:27 AM.

Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--