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"Did Chinese Fight Romans 36BC?" Topic


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Comments or corrections?

williamb09 Oct 2021 8:00 a.m. PST

What year did this happen in? In order for them to have been the Greeks it would have to have been prior to 130B.C. when the last Greek king was overthrown by the Yuezhei nomads.

In order for them to have been Romans it would have to have been after the Battle of Carrhae in 53B.C.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 8:19 a.m. PST

I dunno— but it's a good enough excuse to game either! thumbs up

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 10:32 a.m. PST

One plausible scenario occurred after the battle of Carrhae. The Parthians simply added defeated PoW Romans to their army. That was fairly common practice.
Just to be safe, the Parthians then sent the "Romans" to the furthest frontier of their empire, to the Bactrian frontier. There they encountered some famous Chinese adventurer general. Again, captives were taken, and shipped to even further Chinese frontiers.
I can't be bothered to research this further. grin
But it has all the earmarks of a ripping yarn by L Sprague deCamp.
Why not? It's a cool story.
The Americans encountered Koreans in the German army as POWs. They were drafted by the Japanese, captured by the Russians, drafted into the Russian army, captured by the Germans… Rinse and repeat.
I question their ideological dedication.

Another source of the story could be the sheer volume of captured Roman armor. Armor isn't cheap. Strip the dead. Use it again on the frontier.

There's a lot more that went on in the ancient past than what survived to be written about in Western history.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 7:04 p.m. PST

I'd agree with John the OFM--all except for the bit about "a ripping yarn by L Sprague de Camp." De Camp just didn't have a ripping yarn in him--I keep my Best of strictly for "A Gun for Dinosaur"--and I've never forgiven him for his serial butchery of Conan.

But what Howard could have done with the idea is something else altogether!

Certainly there's a very close approach between the empires in early imperial Roman time. There's a Chinese source from the period referring to the city of "Li Jhen" with it's fountains and baths, and every time I run into it I can almost hear some Roman grunt on border duty telling his visitors about the cushy lives lived by those headquarters pukes back at Legion.

As Parzival says, a good enough excuse to game.

farnox11 Oct 2021 12:04 p.m. PST

I believe they were fighting over who invented the noodle.

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