Conflict: then & now

This page that will offer an interesting evidence-base of details from numerous sources that will help create an overall understanding of the why, how and what of conflict in order for it to be more-fully understood.  The information will be related to war in general, war history, conflict, terrorism and other related issues–including current crises such as the burgeoning Asia-Pacific.  The information will cross centuries as well as encompass the present, and will provide insights into why conflict happens and the historical complexities therein.  All information is provided in no particular order…

 

Why and how was the Roman Empire so successful conquering all those in its path … 

[Roman soldiers] were trained to manoeuvre as units, receiving their orders by bugle call and maintaining their cohesion even in the chaos of battle.  As a result, any Roman commander worth his salt could deliver maximum force when opportunity presented itself, and retreat in good order if necessary.  Disciplined, coherent forces had advantage over even very large numbers of ferocious opponents acting as individuals … just 300 legionaries who had been cut off [at Gaul] were able to defend themselves for hours against 6,000 opponents at the cost of only a few wounded.

See:  Peter Heather.  The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, 7.

How and why did fighting for European/Europa (Christianitas), gain so much credence and credibility …

The rise in the knights’ [ a professional soldier  standing followed changes in military technique—the development of castles, for instance, and the growth of fighting on horseback—which enhanced the standing and prestige of those who fought … In the eleventh century, we also saw the blessing [by the clergy] of swords and weapons. There emerged a religious ceremony of knightly investiture … As kings were crowned so knights were invested.  Knighthood now was, or could be, a vocation.  The Church was in touch with the profession of arms, without the king as an intermediary.  The warfare of knights was securing a new sanction and prestige … .

See:   H.E. J. Cowdrey.  ‘The Genesis of the Crusades: The Springs of Western Ideas of Holy War.’  The Holy War.  Edited by Patrick Murphy.  Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1976, 14 – 17.

What ‘is’ war …

[War is a] contention over something and that while war differs from other contentions in that it employs a special means, namely force, we should not lose sight of the fact that war is a form of contention … From this perspective, war may be considered a violent way of getting objects of value.

See: John Vasquez.  The War Puzzle.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 30.  Emphasis in original.

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