Most Overrated Militaries

Odaenathus's inscription showed hypatikos, a Greek equivalent of consularis also meaning governor like Syria Phoenice. So while it is possible he was just given an honorary title. I didn't read Potter's writing, but from inference by Millar who mentioned that Potter hold a different opinion in 'that Odenathus was not a governor, but did occupy a formal position of dominance at Palmyra.'

The caravan trade person was another Septimius, perhaps Septimiu Vorodes who was perhaps a Aurelius Vorodes the Hippikos and Bouleutes, as he was said to have brought back the caravans at his own expense.

One of the significant things to note is the if we acknowledge Palmyra is a colonia, a proper Roman city under Roman administration then we should note that the carvings in Palmyra dedicated to Odaenathus was probably a mixture. He was addressed as exarch, but so was his son Septimius Airanes (Hairan) who by 251 was also a senator if not of senatorial rank, was also addressed as exarch. So this must then be view in terms of Palmyra as a Roman colonia, what does a exarch mean in a Roman city, and not a semi-independent vassal? Miller argues that it was likely an Imperial Greek to describe a priesthood.

Another to note was Odaenathus was addressed as a master once and patrons 3 times in the surviving inscription in Palmyra and we haven't heard much of him as exarch after the hypatikos. This could well be argued that it is a position of dominance in the city's trade rather than the city itself.

So I think if we view Palmyra as a Roman city, then perhaps it is easier to accept Odaenathus as a Roman military commander, but if we think Palmyra as a semi independent city then perhaps it is easier to view him as a vassal king.

I use chiefly Fergus Millar's The Roman Near East, 31 B.C - AD 337.
In the case of the caravan trade I was referring to a couple of inscriptions to Hairan and Worod/Vorodes respectively. I'd provide references to the inscriptions, but I'm not in the same place as the Andrade book right now (who discusses these inscriptions). I'm guessing you're referring to the same inscription as the second of those two, in which case Andrade argues that it was indeed Septimius Vorodes, whom he argues was a deputy of some kind to Odainath/Odaenathus. I wish I remembered the arguments. Andrade also suggests that exarch ceased to appear in inscriptions because it was less prestigious than consularis/hypatikos and his later titles. In any case these are certainly interesting points of discussion, and I wish we knew more about him. Millar's book is a fascinating read. Unfortunately he died this year.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
62
France
The British by far.

They had a very good navy but their military power on land is very overrated, especially since it fought almost exclusively against non-European powers after the Napoleonic wars, for example during the Crimean War (which was the only time Britain will really fight a European power after the Napoleonic Wars, until WW1) the British army had a poor performance.

Especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, for example in some documentaries on the American war of independence I have often heard people say "The Americans have faced the most powerful army in the world" ect.

In the Anglo-Saxon world no one speaks about the failure of the English armada, but everyone knows the Spanish armada, everyone knows the battle of azincourt but no one knows the battle of Patay

I often heard that Britain had the largest Empire in human history, certainly, but beating pygmies or aboriginals, any European power could have do it (the real advantage of the British was their naval power), but when faced with European powers on land, what was it like? during the so called "pax britannica" (absurd) when the British fought the Russians in crimea the Russians didn't believe their eyes, they believed that the British were drunk during their "Charge of the Light Brigade"

They tried with the help of the Ottomans to reach the Caucasus but the Russians defeated them during the siege of kars, and finally in Sebastopol they missed all their goal (during the Battle of the Great Redan) while it was the French who finally won the siege of sebastopol ( Battle of Malakoff)

That doesn't mean that they had a bad army (their army was good) , I'm just saying that their army is overrated in the Anglo-Saxon world
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,826
Sydney
On the same trend , while absurdly dominant , one could question the real bang for the buck of the US Army

-WW1 fought for the last three months
-WW2 , after displaying a rather poor performance in north Africa , mucked about in Italy for no obvious results
-landed in Europe when the heavy lifting had been done
-Managed a painful draw in Korea
-Fought the Vietnam war like if they had smoked the funny tobacco
-invaded Afghanistan then twenty years later discovered what many empire had discovered , that the place is easy to get in but not so easy to get out
-Crushed the Iraqi army in a very impressive display , then lost the plot

it certainly is the dominant force today , probably could take all the rest of the world in one go
but at a cost which remind one of the USSR going broke with its military spending

It would fit this vision of the US being in a state of "permanent war" ,
always on the lookout for adversaries to get more money for the military
and if not finding any , making them up

this way , like for the old Soviet , lie bankruptcy
 
Aug 2018
188
America
beating pygmies or aboriginals
I guess the Chinese, Indians and Arabs with gunpowder weaponry defeated by the British were "pygmies". Gotta love Historum with its racism as well.

I'm pretty sure that any European could have taken on China, India and Islamic states. I bet that the Austrian-Hungarian Empire would have rampaged throughout China like it was nobody's business and defeated the Sikh Empire with the same ease as defeating minorities like Croats. (sarcasm)
 
Likes: Druid

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,952
UK
I often heard that Britain had the largest Empire in human history, certainly, but beating pygmies or aboriginals, any European power could have do it (the real advantage of the British was their naval power), but when faced with European powers on land, what was it like? during the so called "pax britannica" (absurd) when the British fought the Russians in crimea the Russians didn't believe their eyes, they believed that the British were drunk during their "Charge of the Light Brigade"
:lol:

What is this obvious bait!!!

The British fought most of the major European powers. It would help if you weren't focused solely on the Victorian era xD
 
Likes: Druid
Aug 2018
188
America
:lol:

What is this obvious bait!!!

The British fought most of the major European powers. It would help if you weren't focused solely on the Victorian era xD
He also seemingly thinks the British only fought naked savages (of short stature to boot), ignoring the various peoples that used gunpowder and had extensive territories that it beat in Asia and Africa. Not to mention that the African kingdoms it conquered were already using gunpowder procured from European and Muslim sources anyway. Oceanians are about the only people without gunpowder that the British defeated.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,952
UK
He also seemingly thinks the British only fought naked savages (of short stature to boot), ignoring the various peoples that used gunpowder and had extensive territories that it beat in Asia and Africa. Not to mention that the African kingdoms it conquered were already using gunpowder procured from European and Muslim sources anyway. Oceanians are about the only people without gunpowder that the British defeated.
It never ceases to amaze me, when people call others "savages", but forgetting that these people are fighting in their home territories, often in inhospitable territory, where disease is rampant and with a big logistical tail. This contextual analysis hardly comes up in proper debates at times. Shame.
 
Likes: Druid
May 2017
176
Monterrey
It never ceases to amaze me, when people call others "savages", but forgetting that these people are fighting in their home territories, often in inhospitable territory, where disease is rampant and with a big logistical tail. This contextual analysis hardly comes up in proper debates at times. Shame.
On the other hand, what is also forgotten that it was usually local allies and soldiers that did most of the fighting, with the European forces usually only forming the officer corps.
 

Davidius

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
4,987
Pillium
I guess that you don't consider Crusaders that identified as Franks and included also a few Lombards, Normans and Germans as "Germanics".
No, and neither did they.
The terms Frank and Frankish, when applied to the crusades, are terms used to describe any Christian participant, regardless of where they originate. A Frankish knight could come from anywhere from Scotland to Sicily, Portugal to Prussia. That's why the lingua franca used during the crusades was primarily composed of Italian naval slang, not Frankish German.
It is like the classical Greeks referring to Persians as Medes, an inaccurate label which gained widespread acceptance.

Again, I was being sarcastic and parodying Masterson's argument.
That's the second time you have replied with a sarcastic parody and the second time it has fallen flat and caused confusion. Sarcasm doesn't translate well to text replies, is not considered respectful (as per forum rules) and no one is getting the joke.
 

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