I think most readers are aware of my interest in prehistoric, Classical and Medieval military history. Body armour and helmets hold a special fascination for me, which I suspect might be down to seeing a television broadcast of the film Excalibur, the 1981 pseudo-Arthurian spectacular by the British director John Boorman, at a very early age. While its portrayal of post-Roman Britain bore little relation to archaeological reality, its fabulous costumes and plate-armoured knights made a lasting impression on me. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as the special effects artisan Adam Savage realises a lifelong ambition by visiting the workshop of the legendary movie armourer Terry English, gaining a custom-made suit of fantasy High Middle Ages armour in the process (albeit in modern, lightweight aluminium. If it had been a historically accurate period construct I probably would have been sick with envy altogether!). Though dating to 2017, the clips are only being published on the Tested YouTube channel now and are well worth a watch if you are a history or movie buff. The interior of Terry English’s home alone was enough to make me want to cry.
You would love Metatron’s channel on YouTube. He does a lot of re-enactment. I believe he’s at his best when his subject involves the Romans (speciality). He’s quite the linguist and goes by original Latin sources (he’s Sicilian). One time he was talking abot hte evidence that while Roman legions used a variety of colors, that red was one of the most common because it was cheap due to the herb Rose Madder (Crimson from beetles was extremely expensive). He goes through a lot of Latin sources and talked about their reliability-very, very smart guy. At the end he point out somewhere-“Centuries later another major world Empire would dress its army in red, for the same reason.” (Redcoats!!!)
Hey! You wouldn’t be the first kid who took a real fascination based on something that wasn’t terribly accurate. I wanted to learn Russian because………boy this is embarrassing…because Chekhov was my favorite character in The Original Stark Trek series. I probably had a crush on the younger version, even though by that time movies like Star Trek made it obviously not the current reality…OK. This is even more embarrassing. I thought the Cyrillic Alphabet looked like one of those alien alphabets in a science fiction show. (Seriously embarrassing confession!!)
Once I actually got my wish….and an excellent teacher who was educated in Moscow, my interest did stick, however. But the character of Pavel Chekhov was permanently ruined for me in a matter of months!!! Of course, she managed to also turn me into a proper literature snob and put any tendency I might have had towards “geek” interests into remission for years-only to be broken with “The Left Hand of Darkness” when I was in college.
Speaking of Russians. There’s now a Russian born linguist (proper Russian intellectual) who has been tasked with helping to preserve The Irish Language in the Kerry Gaeltacht. From my experience with Russian linguists and intellectuals this could be the best thing that has happened to the language in quite a long time.
Ah yes, I follow his channel. I quite like it and he is very well-informed about his Classical interests. Every now and again he’ll throw up some challenging or contentious point that encourages me to go off and do my own research. Even though, I sometimes get the impression that he may spend a long staring at himself in the mirror each day! 😉
I haven’t read The Left Hand of Darkness in years. I must pick up a copy and see if it has the same effect. Pretty sure one of my exes made off with my copy back in the day! 😀
Durn!! Should have known you probably knew all about him, a year before I had a clue. Silly me. I admit my tendency would be to focus more on the specific Roman stuff, and less on these things about “How would a Chinese army fair against a Roman Legion” or whatever-which is too speculative for me.
As for LeGuin, I met her and spoke with her a number of times having lived in Seattle and various parts of Oregon. She and I, had some fine debates. She was pro Sapir-Whorf, saw the world ecology as just a symptom of disconnect from nature, and did believe higher mathematics are inherently male-centered. I took the opposing POV. Jealous yet?
BTW, what do you think of having this new Russian linguist involved with preserving and promoting The Irish Language in Kerry in particular…..I know that’s a cause you favor quite a bit.
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a true laoch fights in the nude lol wimpy romans scared of a wee bit o death lol my grandad was the real deal kings shilling bought an sold. tbh im not that into the ins an outs the analysis of them that have never seen combat youtubers but il check out that plate. i liked mythbusters . u know how many misconceptions exist about historical combat that could be tested but it is all just a naritive of murder lol slainte for the suggestion foxy