(ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by k1234567890y » Tue 10 Apr 2018, 21:34

sangi39 wrote:
Tue 10 Apr 2018, 21:31
k1234567890y wrote:
Tue 10 Apr 2018, 19:06
Is it possible for a society to reject writing for a long time after they became more established, e.g. after they had their own kingdom?
It's happened at least once, with Linear B. Used primarily, as far as we can tell, for the recording of what effectively amounts to admin data (where certain goods came from, where they went, and why), it fell out of use pretty much as soon as the Mycenaean states collapsed around 1200BC, with the Greek language in those areas not written down again for another 400 years.
maybe they just stopped having a society to support writing? what if they had a society that theoretically could support writing but they did not have one and they knew one?
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 » Tue 10 Apr 2018, 22:18

k1234567890y wrote:
Tue 10 Apr 2018, 21:34
sangi39 wrote:
Tue 10 Apr 2018, 21:31
k1234567890y wrote:
Tue 10 Apr 2018, 19:06
Is it possible for a society to reject writing for a long time after they became more established, e.g. after they had their own kingdom?
It's happened at least once, with Linear B. Used primarily, as far as we can tell, for the recording of what effectively amounts to admin data (where certain goods came from, where they went, and why), it fell out of use pretty much as soon as the Mycenaean states collapsed around 1200BC, with the Greek language in those areas not written down again for another 400 years.
maybe they just stopped having a society to support writing? what if they had a society that theoretically could support writing but they did not have one and they knew one?
Ohhh, I misunderstood your question [:P] I read it as "could they go from having writing, and a complex state-like structure, then lose that writing system and the state?" (in the case of Linear B it definitely seems like the writing system was an integral part of the state, i.e. without the state they just couldn't teach anyone else to read and write properly because only a (possibly literal) handful of people actually knew how), rather than "could they go from having writing, and a complex state-like structure, then lose that writing system but not lose the state?".

It's certainly possible for a state-like structure to exist without what we'd consider writing. Quipu, for example, might not have recorded much more than numerical information, but they're still being worked out properly anyway, I think. Some people, if I remember rightly, have suggested the possibility that the Inca did once have a writing system that they, at some point, just abandoned, but since "no evidence for writing" doesn't automatically equal "the evidence could have disappeared", finding out will be pretty difficult.

I'd assume that it would be possible, albeit difficult, for writing to be abandoned, especially if the use of writing was firmly in the hands of the state (as it was in Mycenaean Greece), but it seems like some form of record keeping would probably survive, again in the hands of the state.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by k1234567890y » Tue 10 Apr 2018, 22:20

ok thanks (:
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 02:04

It seems extremely implausible that the state would simply give up power (which is what writing is) in that way.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 14:36

Bit of a weird ask, but I'm curious if anyone has resources or information on banditry/slavers/etc. posing a problem to overland travelers throughout the world and throughout history.

I've found quite a lot of information on the risks of travel in medieval Europe, and I have a decent familiarity with American history (e.g. raids on wagon trains, stagecoach holdups, that sort of thing), but I'm having a harder time finding information on other time periods and locations. I found some information on raiding caravans on the Silk Road, but not many specific details.

I'm kicking around some new conworld ideas, and a scene that's very strong in my mind is of a group of slavers attacking a caravan of travelers, and I'm trying to sort out what this implies about the slavers' culture and the world in general. I have a few thoughts, but I'd like to look more into similar real-world situations and see what inspires me.

So, yeah. What do you know about bandits and raids against travelers that aren't in medieval Europe or the American West?
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 15:08

alynnidalar wrote:
Thu 23 Aug 2018, 14:36
So, yeah. What do you know about bandits and raids against travelers that aren't in medieval Europe or the American West?
One good source to consider is the Muslim travelogues. There are quite a few and are often very descriptive. There are mentions & descriptions of bandit attacks in Leo Africanus (Maalouf) that might be of interest. There are some previews available at Google Books, but I'd recommend the book itself. A good read!

You might also look into the slave trade along the Barbary Coast.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 19:56

alynnidalar wrote:
Thu 23 Aug 2018, 14:36
Bit of a weird ask, but I'm curious if anyone has resources or information on banditry/slavers/etc. posing a problem to overland travelers throughout the world and throughout history.

I've found quite a lot of information on the risks of travel in medieval Europe, and I have a decent familiarity with American history (e.g. raids on wagon trains, stagecoach holdups, that sort of thing), but I'm having a harder time finding information on other time periods and locations. I found some information on raiding caravans on the Silk Road, but not many specific details.

I'm kicking around some new conworld ideas, and a scene that's very strong in my mind is of a group of slavers attacking a caravan of travelers, and I'm trying to sort out what this implies about the slavers' culture and the world in general. I have a few thoughts, but I'd like to look more into similar real-world situations and see what inspires me.

So, yeah. What do you know about bandits and raids against travelers that aren't in medieval Europe or the American West?
I know it was a problem in Rome, though I don't have any references. And of course the culture of banditry in India is legendary (and in some areas still continues) - most famously the Thugs with their murder-religion, who murdered at least tens of thousands and possibly millions of people, but there have been other bandit cultures in India too (where they're known as 'dacoits'). The most famous contemporary example is Phoolan Devi, 'the Bandit Queen', who used her sexy career as a mass murderer to get herself elected as an MP. Phoolan's gang apparently mostly just raided villages, but they did also resort to highway robbery when the opportunity arose.

One concern I'd have: slavers? Robbing travellers is easy. Indeed, before modern surveillance it's almost impossible to stop. Most things you steal can be easily fenced. But operating a slaving operation is much harder. Bringing a caravan of slaves to a fence is kind of conspicuous - and what will the fence do with them? There needs to be an entire infrastructure built to support and facilitated slave-trafficking, which requires that there be no sort of central authority in the area.So as I understand it, the context of 'caravan raided by slavers' is usually that either the slavers (a raiding party from another country) or the caravan (eg merchants passing through a desert en route to somewhere else) don't actually live in the area.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » Thu 23 Aug 2018, 20:44

That's exactly my dilemma when thinking about this--attacking travelers to get slaves just seems so impractical, especially if you're enslaving the neighbors twenty miles up the road. Taking people's stuff is significantly easier (and then you can either kill or release the travelers, without needing to guard, feed, etc. them).

I'm toying with the possibility that the main motivation is actually kidnapping travelers for ransom, but then the travelers must have enough wealth (or wealthy family members) back home to make it worth it--and it'd lead to a different sort of infrastructure than if we're talking about foreign raiders rolling up and capturing people.

So I'm keeping my options open. Looking at Indian history is a good idea--I hadn't thought about it at all.
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by lsd » Fri 24 Aug 2018, 09:27

just search for news in Lybia...
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Re: (ACH) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » Fri 24 Aug 2018, 18:26

lsd wrote:
Fri 24 Aug 2018, 09:27
just search for news in Lybia...
Huh.

Lybia...Barbary Coast...shores of Tripoli.

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