Normans vs spiders - who would win?

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
#1
Spiders, obviously. Hence why it's not in speculative history. From Geoffrey Malaterra, The Deeds of Count Roger 2.36 (trans. Wolf, p. 114)

"Setting out from there, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1064 with five hundred knights, the brothers crossed the sea at Faro and passed through all of Sicily untouched, no one daring to try anything against them, until they came to Palermo. On the duke's orders - a decision for which they would suffer later - they set up their camp on a hill, which would come to be known as Tarantino due to the abundance of tarantulas, which bothered the army a great deal. For the entire hill was covered with these creatures, abhorrent to men as well as to women - although they did provide a silly sort of entertainment for those who managed to stay far enough away from them. The tarantula is a kind of insect with the shape of a spider but having a stinger with a tip filled with strong venom. Anyone who was stung by them found himself filled with gas and suffered so much that he was unable to keep the same gas from coming out of his anus with a disgusting rattle. Unless a poultice or some form of hot pad was applied quickly, the victim was said to be in danger of dying. When some of our men were afflicted in this disgusting way, the brothers were forced to change sites. They looked for a safer place near the city to pitch their tents and stayed there for three months, but, with the people of Palermo resisting bravely, the army of the duke and count achieved little against the city. They did, however, harass a great number of sites all around Palermo and plundered them. When Robert and Roger realized that they would not be able to accomplish much against Palermo at that time, they struck their camp and went to attack Bugamo."
 
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#5


Tarantulas are spiders. They don't look like scorpions.
Yes, but the description within the account appears to be describing a scorpion. It could be that tarantula once had a looser or different meaning. It could be that the term came to be applied to any large, gangly-legged arachnid, and eventually came to be strictly applied to the particular group of spiders that we know today, when the scientific categorization of animals became a matter of greater interest.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,644
Portugal
#7
Spiders, obviously. Hence why it's not in speculative history. From Geoffrey Malaterra, The Deeds of Count Roger 2.36 (trans. Wolf, p. 114)

"Setting out from there, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1064 with five hundred knights, the brothers crossed the sea at Faro and passed through all of Sicily untouched, no one daring to try anything against them, until they came to Palermo. On the duke's orders - a decision for which they would suffer later - they set up their camp on a hill, which would come to be known as Tarantino due to the abundance of tarantulas, which bothered the army a great deal. For the entire hill was covered with these creatures, abhorrent to men as well as to women - although they did provide a silly sort of entertainment for those who managed to stay far enough away from them. The tarantula is a kind of insect with the shape of a spider but having a stinger with a tip filled with strong venom. Anyone who was stung by them found himself filled with gas and suffered so much that he was unable to keep the same gas from coming out of his anus with a disgusting rattle. Unless a poultice or some form of hot pad was applied quickly, the victim was said to be in danger of dying. When some of our men were afflicted in this disgusting way, the brothers were forced to change sites. They looked for a safer place near the city to pitch their tents and stayed there for three months, but, with the people of Palermo resisting bravely, the army of the duke and count achieved little against the city. They did, however, harass a great number of sites all around Palermo and plundered them. When Robert and Roger realized that they would not be able to accomplish much against Palermo at that time, they struck their camp and went to attack Bugamo."
Heheh! Quite curious! And one of the best thread titles that I saw here in the last months!!!
 
Nov 2010
7,666
Cornwall
#9
I'd assumed that these were alien space spiders.
Me too, I was all prepared to spout about another ludicrous thread :lol:.

I was wondering what the original language was. Norman French? Latin? Might help with the interpretation of these beasties. I was also wondering what they meant by 'crossed the sea at Faro'? Do they mean Faro in the Algarve (Al Andalus) or, Faro being a general word for lighthouse, where do they mean?
 

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