Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Watching a movie for inspiration

Got a question/comment about the creative process of writing? Post it here!
User avatar
SarahWoodbury
Avid Reader
Posts: 496
Joined: March 2009
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Contact:

Post by SarahWoodbury » Tue December 13th, 2011, 11:04 pm

On the armor issue, I blogged about how swords and armor were not 'heavy'--at least not in the way it's sometimes been portrayed (like a knight needed help getting on his horse? Please) ... http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=3444

User avatar
sgn1
Scribbler
Posts: 11
Joined: August 2008
Contact:

Post by sgn1 » Thu December 15th, 2011, 8:50 am

It might be worth checking out this thread going on in the General Discussion :cool: :

http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... php?t=5248

User avatar
Shield-of-Dardania
Reader
Posts: 129
Joined: February 2010

Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Wed December 21st, 2011, 1:38 am

[quote=""sgn1""]
Shield - saw this and thought of you. Watch for the swordfight in the corridor - lovely pacing c 0.13:
[/quote]
Thanks, SGN1. You got me back on the Arthurian trail. Excalibur, the Round Table and all.

The name Gwen wasn't familiar to me at first, only after a while I realised that it must a variant of Guin.

Speaking of Excalibur, there's a movie called Last Legion starring Colin Firth and former Miss India, Aishwarya Rai. Ben Kingsley is in it too, playing old fox Ambrosinus a.k.a. Merlin. No magic here, sorry, it's all real warrior-adventure stuff.

This version has an innocent young Romulus as the lone surviving descendant of Julius Caesar, suddenly on the run from rival factions fighting for power, then smuggled out by loyalists led by General Aurelius (Firth) to good old Brittania, the last remaining bastion of a fast crumbling Western Roman empire. While Ambrosinus the Briton had initially travelled to Rome in search of the legendary sword of Caesar, which had been forged by a Chalybian smith during a campaign in Britain.

Excalibur thus became a royal heirloom from Caesar, its original Latin name being Ex Calibri (meaning 'From Chalybia?'), engraved on the blade.

In one of the last battles, young Romulus described Aurelius as having fought like a dragon, and Aurelius replied that Romulus fought like a 'son of a dragon', from whence came the name Pendragon. Sorry, I don't remember how Romulus became Uther. Many years later, Ambrosinus/Merlin takes a young Arthur to the battle site and recounts the story of his father Romulus/Uther.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Wed December 21st, 2011, 3:36 am, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
fljustice
Bibliophile
Posts: 1995
Joined: March 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fljustice » Wed December 21st, 2011, 4:35 pm

Saw this movie last year and thought it was lots of fun. Interesting to see Colin Firth in an action adventure.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
Image

User avatar
Shield-of-Dardania
Reader
Posts: 129
Joined: February 2010

Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu December 29th, 2011, 1:33 am

Yep, that was it, a light hearted type of period actioner.

[quote=""fljustice""]
Plod, grind, and slog, indeed! The lightly armored Mongols literally ran rings around the mailed knights sent against them. They shot the horses and waited for the knights to tire. They destroyed every mailed army sent against them, including the cream of the French knighthood.
[/quote]

I believe running rings around the enemy and annihilating them from a distance, by showering them with thousands upon thousands of arrows, was a standard battle tactic of the Khan's hordes.

That's how they brought the Chinese empire - whose army had yet to properly master the skills of horse borne warfare at that time - to its knees. That's according to Conn Iggulden in Lords of the Bow, if I recall correctly.

[quote=""fljustice""]
They had a clear shot at marching to the Atlantic. Luckily for Europe, their Khan died and the troops withdrew for a civil war of succession. :eek:
[/quote]
Luckily indeed. Or else, they could have been chief of NATO today! :D

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Thu December 29th, 2011, 5:04 pm

Posted by Shield-of-Dardania
The name Gwen wasn't familiar to me at first, only after a while I realised that it must a variant of Guin.
Other way round :) "Guin" was the closest the French could get to "Gwen". Geoffrey of Monmouth borrowed heavily from the Welsh mythic cycle for his 12th century pseudo-history, Historia Regum Britanniae, which was the genesis of the whole modern Arthurian cycle. Both the names Guinevere and Excalibur developed from the original Welsh; Guinevere was Gwenhwyfar, which can be translated as "The White Enchantress" and Excalibur comes from Caledfwlch which combines the elements caled ("battle, hard"), and bwlch ("breach, gap, notch"). After being first Latinised and then translated into French, they became as we know them today.
Last edited by annis on Fri December 30th, 2011, 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Shield-of-Dardania
Reader
Posts: 129
Joined: February 2010

Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Fri January 6th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Good Gosh! Stone me! Now it's become even more convoluted, for me that is.

Seriously though, thanks for enlightening me on that one. So, some Welsh names had to be Latinised first, before they could be Frenchised.

Kind of a bit funny that. Two languages with common Celtic roots needing a third language as an intermediate. I suppose that's because modern French has evolved so much into more of a Romanche language from its ancient Celtic roots, as compared to Welsh, right?

User avatar
bevgray
Reader
Posts: 113
Joined: February 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Contact:

Post by bevgray » Sat February 4th, 2012, 8:42 pm

John Ford's westerns about the U.S. Cavalry are usually pretty reliable with regard to the weapons, tactics, and behavior of the Army in that period. He had a fairly decent take on the Native Americans as well in that he didn't picture them as blood-thirsty savages but he didn't view them through the sentimental lens of Longfellow either.
Beverly C. Gray
Army Brat and Lover of Historical Fiction
Guests are always welcome at my Web Site

User avatar
Justin Swanton
Reader
Posts: 173
Joined: February 2012
Location: Durban, South Africa
Contact:

Post by Justin Swanton » Wed February 15th, 2012, 11:34 am

[quote=""Shield-of-Dardania""]Yep, that was it, a light hearted type of period actioner.



I believe running rings around the enemy and annihilating them from a distance, by showering them with thousands upon thousands of arrows, was a standard battle tactic of the Khan's hordes.

That's how they brought the Chinese empire - whose army had yet to properly master the skills of horse borne warfare at that time - to its knees. That's according to Conn Iggulden in Lords of the Bow, if I recall correctly.


Luckily indeed. Or else, they could have been chief of NATO today! :D [/quote]

A non-mobile force would take up a defensive posture and wait for the enemy to run out of arrows. That worked if the enemy had a limited supply of arrows and these were not armour-piercing. The Romans suffered their greatest military defeat at Carrhae when the Parthian general Surena had the foresight to bring up camel trains laiden with bundles of extra arrows - which could penetrate the Roman shields and chainmail. After three days the 50 000 man Roman army was all but annihilated.

The Roman general, Crassus, was captured and rewarded by the Parthians for his incompetence by having molten gold poured down his throat.
Last edited by Justin Swanton on Wed February 15th, 2012, 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.

Author of Centurion's Daughter

Come visit my blog

User avatar
parthianbow
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 856
Joined: April 2009
Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
Contact:

Post by parthianbow » Fri February 17th, 2012, 9:46 am

[quote=""Justin Swanton""]The Romans suffered their greatest military defeat at Carrhae when the Parthian general Surena had the foresight to bring up camel trains laiden with bundles of extra arrows - which could penetrate the Roman shields and chainmail. After three days the 50 000 man Roman army was all but annihilated.

The Roman general, Crassus, was captured and rewarded by the Parthians for his incompetence by having molten gold poured down his throat.[/quote]

Nice to see Carrhae mentioned!

Sorry to be pedantic, Justin, but it wasn't the Romans' greatest defeat - that surely had to be Cannae, when Hannibal's smaller army killed 50,000 legionaries in one day, and all but wiped out Rome's army. Carrhae did rank as one of the worst defeats they had, though, along with the Varus disaster, the Trebbia, Lake Trasimene etc.

Secondly, at Carrhae, Crassus' army was only about 35,000 men.

Lastly, and I hold up my hand with this one, because I wrote that that's what happened to Crassus (I did admit to it in my hist. note) - he did not die by having molten gold poured down his throat. That was the fate of an unpopular Roman governor in Asia Minor some years before. Crassus was killed in a scuffle at the end of the battle, beheaded, and his head was brought to the Parthian capital, to a play that the king was attending. The head was tossed up onto the stage, and caught by the leading actor, who performed an impromptu soliliquy to it and apparently brought the house down.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

Post Reply

Return to “The Craft of Writing”