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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Did You Know


By Bruno Just & Thoran Braune

1) That medieval stone-throwing engines were similar to Greco-Roman engines because they were copied from the Byzantines and from ancient Roman military texts such as that by Vegetius.[1]

2) That General Giulio Douhet of Italy advocated strategic bombing and predicted that “…the involvement of all people in the war of the future due to extensive aerial bombardment.”[2]

3) That Big Hole, Wisdom, Montana is the site of a clash between US Colonel John Gibbon’s force and the Nez Perce of Chief Joseph in August 1877.[3]

4) In 1598 Juan de Onate, founded a colony in the Rio Grande valley. A year later his soldiers began attacking the local Indians. In one such raid in 1599 the Spanish attacked the Acoma Pueblo of the Keres, killing about 800 and capturing another 600 to be used as slaves. Juan de Onate ordered all captured males, from this raid, over the age of 25 to have one foot cut off and to serve 20 years in slavery.[4]

5) The Apaches, who were allies of the Keres and help to defend Acoma against the 1599 attack, raided San Gabriel so much (also as did the Navajo) that Juan de Onate had to move his capital to Santa Fe in 1610.[5]

6) That the Boer commandos were organized on the basis of peacetime administrative districts and according to the size of the Afrikaner population. The Commandant was elected by the burghers within the commando. At the start of the Anglo-Boer War these commandos averaged 1,000 men each, with some as small as 200 and others as large as 3,000.[6]

George Orwell
7) War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory
     George Orwell (1903 - 1950), Polemic, May 1946, "Second Thoughts on James Burnham"

8) You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
     Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad

Albert Einstein
9) You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
     Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Douglas Adams
10) He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

Douglas Adams  English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

11) Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Lord Acton
12) The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority.

Lord Acton

13) Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
      Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887

Scott Adams
14) If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

Scott Adams US cartoonist (1957 - )

15) In war, truth is the first casualty.
      Aeschylus Greek tragic dramatist (525BC - 456BC)

16) It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
      Aesop Greek slave & fable author (620BC - 560 BC)

Add caption
17) I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
      Woody Allen US movie actor, comedian, & director

Abraham Lincoln
18) Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.
      Abraham Lincoln 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

19) There are always survivors at a massacre. Among the victors, if nowhere else.
       Lois McMaster Bujold, US science fiction author (1986)

20) When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'
       Don Marquis (aka Donald Robert Perry) US humorist (1878 - 1937)

21) Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the  strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

Sir Winston Churchill British politician (1874 - 1965)

22) Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.
      Edna St. Vincent Millay, Letters US poet (1892 - 1950)

23) Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
      Laurence J. Peter US educator & writer (1919 - 1988)

24) In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular.
      Laurence J. Peter US educator & writer (1919 - 1988)

[1] Canby, Courtland. A History of Weaponry, Hawthorne Books, New York, 1965, p.19.

[2] Ibid. p.87.

[3] Hook, Jason, To Live and Die in The West, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 1999. P.53.

[4] Ibid. p.132.

[5] Opcit. p.132.

[6] Knight, Ian, Colenso 1899, Osprey, Reed Consumer Books, Melbourne, 1995. p.14. QUOTES

Early Italian Warrior on a Campanian Bell-Krater


by Thoran Braune

The Nicholson Museum (University of Sydney) Italian Campanian Bell-Krater is a very fine example of its type and well worth a look if you are in the area on a weekday. It is this type of imagery on vases and tomb wall paintings, that artists for books such as Osprey ‘Early Roman Armies’ use to give wargamers and figure painters an idea of what to do, in terms of painting our little men.

The Campanian Bell-Krater (46.01, Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney) is in red figure on black style. Interior and exterior painted black over red wash.


Height - 42.2cm.

Height of Base - 4cm.

Base Stem width - 8cm.

Diameter with Rim - 41.5cm.

Diameter of Rim - 15.5cm

Diameter of Bowl - 26cm, tapering to 8cm.

Diameter of Base - 16.9cm.

Left Handle across - 12cm.

Left Handle Height - 8cm.

Left Handle out from krater wall - 4.7cm.

Right Handle across - 11.5cm.

Right Handle Height - 8cm.

Right Handle out from krater Wall - 5cm

Obverse Panel - Viewed from left to right.

Two women and a warrior, the middle woman has only face towards the warrior, this may mean she did not expect him.

Woman standing (18cm) facing seated woman and warrior, holding plate/bowel in left hand, grapes in right hand. Bracelets (painted white) on both arms. Hair tied back and up and covered with white cloth. Necklace (painted white dots). The feet are white (could be to represent shoes as the flesh is not white).

Next in the middle is the seated woman (16cm). She sits on four stacked rocks (painted yellow and white). Bracelets (painted white) on her arms. Left hand palm down on rocks. Right hand held up holding a leaf object. Feet painted white. Head turned towards the warrior behind her. Hair tied and covered similar to first woman.

The warrior (18.5cm) standing. Right hand holding spear (painted white). Left arm hidden by circular hoplite type shield. Wearing Attic style helmet with crest (all painted white), the crest of the helmet penetrates the top border. Wearing a bronze belt (painted white) Bronze greaves (painted white) on legs. He is facing both women.

Reverse Panel - Left to right.

Two draped youths facing each other.

First youth is draped with a diadem (painted white) and has arms hidden in drapery.

There is a square in the centre with white painted border and a dark painted long teardrop in the centre (the square could represent a window).

Below the ‘window’ is a circle, which is framed, in white paint except where the circle is broken by a dark painted cross dividing the circle into quarters. Each quarter of the circle has a dark dot, the upper right hand quarters’ dot is partly within the horizontal arm of the cross; the lower right quarters’ dot is larger than the rest.

The second youth is facing the first youth and is dressed the same with his arms hidden in drapery.

Borders - Lower border is a wave pattern.

The upper border runs under the rim and is some form of leaf pattern broken on the sides by the handles.

Sides - The sides have palmettes under the handles.

Damage - Small areas of ware around the outer part of the rim. One chip on the rim over the left handle.

Evidence of red wash on the bottom of the interior of the bowl. At the handles and under the base is the clay colour.

On Campanian vases[1] Samnite men are usually depicted as warriors in their distinctive clothing and equipment[2]. Our main source for Samnite warrior equipment is Campanian vase painting[3]. Samnite warrior activities are divided into two groups in vase painting.

The first group is the combat-related activities[4] and combat scenes[5]. The second group is the ritual activities. It is more common to show in ritual scenes a male and a female than just the male warrior[6]. The Nicholson bell-krater falls within the ritual group with a group scene.

By the 4th century BCE, there seems to be three main Campanian pottery workshops. One in Cumae and two in Capua [7]. The CA Painter[8] was in Cumae while the Libation Group worked in Capua[9].

A large source of tomb-paintings is at Paestum in Lucania and a small number in Campania near Capua. Fourteen tomb-paintings from Capua show warriors[10].

On Campanian vases the Samnite warrior is shown wearing their particular tunic, belt, and other military equipment[11]. Belts can be plain or decorated. Sometimes clasps are shown on belts[12]. The other non-bronze belts could be of leather; we see such a belt on Amazons[13].


[1] Like the Nicholson Museum bell krater.

[2] This is not the case on Apulian vases were the men are shown in a greater varity of clothing and situations.

[3] The Capuan tomb-paintings were almost completely destroyed during World War Two. Schneider-Hermann, G., The Samnites of the Fourth Century BC as depicted on Campainian Vases and in other sources, Institute of Classical Studies, London, 1996, Chapter 1, p.3.

[4] Training, maintenance etc

[5] A calyx krater from Chicago, a Skyphos in Naples and an Amphora in Melbourne all show single combat-related images. Schneider-Hermann, G., Part One, Chapter 3, pp.78-79.

[6] Schneider-Hermann, G., Part One, Chapter 3, p.113.

[7] Hannah, Patricia and Robert, Athens-Sicily-Campania: Warriors and Painters, Greek Colonists and Native Populations, edit by Jean-Paul Desceudres, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990, p.278.

[8] Which the Nicholson Bell-krater is from.

[9] The Libation Group is notable for its warrior scenes of mixed Greek and Samnite dress.

[10] Hannah, Patricia and Robert, Athens-Sicily-Campania: Warriors and Painters, Greek Colonists and Native Populations, edit by Jean-Paul Desceudres, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990, p.279.

[11] Schneider-Hermann, G., The Samnites of the Fourth Century BC as depicted on Campainian Vases and in other sources, Institute of Classical Studies, London, 1996, p.XXXI.

[12] This could be to help indicate it is a bronze belt.

[13] Belts are shown in a variety of scenes on Apulian vases, not just martial scenes. There is little difference in how belts are shown on men, women or children except that the bronze belt with clasps are only on males.