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Thread: Rather Large Historical Error

  1. #1

    Default Rather Large Historical Error

    Hi all,

    Have been out of commission for a long time (busy with work), and although I got a copy of
    M2TW when it first came out, it is only recently that I've had a chance to actually play the game. Once again, a splendid job by CA, what a fun and absorbing time it's been!

    I especially love the little historical asides as the campaign progresses, and it is because I love this game and series so much that I felt I should write something about a blatant error I caught in one of those asides. My first campaign was as Hungary and so I really didn't pay much attention to the event that triggers the discovery of the New World, but my second campaign was as Portugal and then I did notice the mistake.

    I apologize if this has been mentioned in the few years I've been missing but Europeans (read: Columbus) did not sail west to prove the Earth was a sphere: this was common knowledge since Eratosthenes and the Greeks! Columbus actually miscalculated the estimated circumference of the Earth and thought a hypothetical trip west to Asia from Europe would have been much shorter than it actually was.

    He got lucky and there was another continent in the way (something he never really swallowed) and so he lived and became famous, but if the Americas had not been there he would have perished in the ocean. This is, in any case, what his contemporaries though was to be his fate when he first set out.

    The whole "sailed west to prove the Earth was round" meme is an outright myth fabricated by the American author Washington Irving.

    Again love the game and the history, but this is basic CA.

    Boulis

  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    That's not the only historically unaccurate error present in the game, but still I didn't expect the game to be a documentry channel.

    The one error I always fume about is the fact that the Mongols are mistakenly made into Muslims, what the heck!!!

    The problem is that some of these errors are really elementry and basic, and what it seemed is that CA really could of made just a little bit of more effort to it. Such as the time in RTW: BI when the Visigoths were made into a steppe faction, they're barbarians!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    I think some of the mongols in the west such as the Golden Horde and the mongol state in Persia, eventually converted to Islam. I guess they didn't want to have the mongols undergo a religious change in the middle of the game.

  4. #4
    Vindicative son of a gun Member Jolt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Columbus believed in the calculations of Marinus of Tyre, a phoenician. The calculations of Erasthotenes were not unanimously accepted. The council of D. Joăo II had the best cartographers and seamen in the Western World, and his proposal to find the Indias through the West wasn't accepted because the council through its voyages through Africa already knew Erastothenes' calculations were correct.
    BLARGH!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Noncommunist View Post
    I think some of the mongols in the west such as the Golden Horde and the mongol state in Persia, eventually converted to Islam. I guess they didn't want to have the mongols undergo a religious change in the middle of the game.

    They would have to start states converting to protestants and undermining the pope if they started any conversions at all…

    I am sure they wanted to avoid it.


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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Quintus.JC View Post
    The one error I always fume about is the fact that the Mongols are mistakenly made into Muslims, what the heck!!!
    I seriously doubt that's a mistake. It's a time and resource management thing. Mongols need a religion, but they aren't one of the 3 made for the game (muslim and west/east Christian). They also aren't a playable faction so what's the point of coding an entirely new religion just for them. And one of their sub-groups does convert to Islam, eventually. So give them that faith, to save time and effort.
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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Question Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Why didn'y they just give the Mongols the Pagan faith? That would have been easier. But can Pagans recruit priests/imams for the benefit of their own religion?
    Last edited by Megas Methuselah; 01-21-2009 at 07:06.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Jolt you are correct about the reasons behind Columbus' massive miscalcualtion. However, he still assumed the Earth was round, as did Marinus before him. It is the "flat earth" myth that bothers me. I just see it as a massive historical error, especially since it is not that hard to look up stuff these days. (I could be mistaken that the trigger event for the New World implies a flat earth but I think not. If I am, however, I take it all back).

    Maybe I am in error though because what is most surprising to me is that with all that research they did on other historical events for the game, such an egregious mistake would sneak through.

    p.s. Why was this thread moved? Honestly, I thought about posting in this forum but rejected it because this is such a basic mistake that CA made I feel somebody should call/have called attention to it in the main forum. We're not talking armor types or spear points here, this is elementary history (not that that sort of stuff is not important in its own way but I don't expect that sort of thing to be common knowledge). In that vein, I am curious to know if anyone has found anything just as blatant?

  9. #9
    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah View Post
    Why didn'y they just give the Mongols the Pagan faith? That would have been easier. But can Pagans recruit priests/imams for the benefit of their own religion?
    Thing is M2TW didn't have a pagan faith (closest you came was Heresey) until the expansion added it to the Teutonic campagin.
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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah View Post
    Why didn'y they just give the Mongols the Pagan faith? That would have been easier. But can Pagans recruit priests/imams for the benefit of their own religion?
    Mongols later on were Muslims. Tamerlane's Timurids were all Muslims, and himself was a devout Muslim. I agree it's not historically correct in the beginning, but think of the gameplay issues.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Boulis View Post
    In that vein, I am curious to know if anyone has found anything just as blatant?
    Canon toting elephants? Its hard to see how horse artillery can be considered a tech advance in Empires when compared to the lethality and mobility of these babies :p
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  12. #12

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    The Mongols werent Muslim, or at least until very late in history! They were in fact friendlier to Christians than Muslims and the Crusaders used cheered the Mongols on against the Muslims of Egypt as a last resort of maintaining their hold on Levant against Egypt. During the Sack of Baghdad in 1258, the Mongols were allowed to kill rape assault all they want against Muslims, but Christians were spared, seen as local allies.

    In SS, the Mongol thing is completely off. When Martok (or Monk, i get confused between these two) played as the mongols in SS 6.1, he jihaded against the christians. He posted his screenies at pics and history of your empire thread. That is TOTALLY off. If i made that mod, i might have still let them be muslim, but they wont be able to build anything religious structures and units, join jihads, but their religious unrest would be eliminated or drastically cut, as they were tolerant to all religions. Chingis Khan himself approved all religions but didnt believed anyone of them is completely right.

  13. #13
    Member Member Mangudai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Eric the Red and Leif Ericson sailed west to look for new lands.

  14. #14
    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by lars573
    Thing is M2TW didn't have a pagan faith (closest you came was Heresey) until the expansion added it to the Teutonic campagin.
    I don't know what you're talking about, boy. M2TW does have the Pagan faith. It's quite popular in the eastern baltic and the Americas, where it's the "official" religion of the Aztecs.

  15. #15
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    The Golden Horde, I believe, was Christian and at one point offered to help Christendom rid themselves of the Muslims in a pincer attack from both east and west, it was rejected.
    Last edited by Incongruous; 01-22-2009 at 10:02.

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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah View Post
    I don't know what you're talking about, boy. M2TW does have the Pagan faith. It's quite popular in the eastern baltic and the Americas, where it's the "official" religion of the Aztecs.
    No there isn't, in the game. I investigated it a few times by conquering Lithuania. No paganism, just Heresey.
    If you havin' skyrim problems I feel bad for you son.. I dodged 99 arrows but my knee took one.

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Bopa the Magyar View Post
    The Golden Horde, I believe, was Christian and at one point offered to help Christendom rid themselves of the Muslims in a pincer attack from both east and west, it was rejected.
    Yes. Many mongols were nestorian christians See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance
    And yes, though they maintained good relations, they had trouble w/ cooperation. I find out also that the Mongols were originally shamanists, a religion common Central Asian nomads, so it won't be wrong to make them pagan. They were also buddhists, not surprisingly since of their closeness to China and Tibet.

  18. #18
    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Question Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by lars573
    No there isn't, in the game. I investigated it a few times by conquering Lithuania. No paganism, just Heresey.
    ...? That's odd. Maybe it's in a patch? In my games, the Aztecs and Lithuanians are pagans. It even says in the descr_sm_faction.txt file... Unless, FactionHeir made it in his VanillaMod, which I am using?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Mongols should of been Pagans.

    In vanila Medieval II the Aztech were pagans, so did many province in north east Europe.

    And yes, the Timurids are muslims, but the Mongols were most definitely not.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Perhaps they needed more Muslim factions in the game? Since the amount of Muslims and Catholics, the two main religions in the game, are unbalanced. Or maybe the Mongols were required to have the skill to call a jihad in order to uphold their strong momentum of capturing city after city, since other faiths lack the ability and unity to call their own religious campaigns.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bopa the Magyar
    The Golden Horde, I believe, was Christian and at one point offered to help Christendom rid themselves of the Muslims in a pincer attack from both east and west, it was rejected.
    Might I ask why it was rejected? Why would Christendom pass up such an opportunity to defeat those who have been impeding their expansions and their main opposition of the occupation of the holy land.
    Last edited by Paradox; 02-02-2009 at 17:58.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Fahad I View Post
    Perhaps they needed more Muslim factions in the game? Since the amount of Muslims and Catholics, the two main religions in the game, are unbalanced. Or maybe the Mongols required to have the skill to call a jihad in order to uphold their strong momentum of capturing city after city, since other faiths lack the ability and unity to call their own religious campaigns.

    Might I ask why it was rejected? Why would Christendom pass up such an opportunity to defeat those who have been impeding their expansions and their main opposition of the occupation of the holy land.
    This is mostly guess work but I do recall something about it…

    First all those Catholic factions are headed by very jealous kings who wanted any acclaim and lands to be theirs…not someone else’s.

    Deciding who should lead such an enterprise would be next to impossible.

    The more important aspect may have been that they just didn’t trust the Golden Hoard.

    In the end religious wars were just like any other war. A good pretence for the Nobility to take someone else’s land for their own. The fact that someone brought religion into it only made it easier to get recruits.


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  22. #22

    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    I'm far from an expert on the Mongols but I am fairly certain the Golden Horde, at least, was not Christian, but Muslim. The Ilkhan Khanate led by Hulagu was heavily influenced by Nestorian Christianity (his mother and wife were both Christian and there are theories he too was Christian for a while until he chose Buddhism) but was not "officially" Christian.

    This article (and the links therein) might help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christi...ng_the_Mongols

    As for cooperation between Europeans and Mongols against Islam there are numerous factors that complicated matters I believe.

    1) As Fisherking stated which Europeans were the Mongols to ally with? Some Europeans were active rivals and despised each other almost as much as they despised Muslims (Frederick II Hohenstaufen HRE vs. the Pope and his French protectors comes to mind or Venice vs. Genoa, etc.)

    2) Which "Mongols" were the Europeans to ally with? The Mongol Empire as most of you know fractured rather quickly. Different parts had varying degrees of allegiance to different religions as the example of the Ilkhan Khanate vs. The Golden Horde shows.

    3) Nestorianism was a deviant (read: heretical) sect of Christianity from the perspective of the Pope and Western Christians. I'm sure they were preferable to Muslims but not by all that much I would imagine.

    4) Again, as Fisherking stated, many Europeans found Mongols untrustworthy (whether rightly or wrongly is irrelevant) and to be fair to medieval Islam, life under Muslim rule was not all that bad for most Christians in times of peace. In such times, Islamic princes also made good money off Christian tourists on pilgrimage to the Holy Land so it was sometimes in their interest to keep those avenues of communication and worship open.

    I'm sure there are other points as well but they escape me now. As for Mongols being Muslim in-game, I don't see it as such a huge issue. Clearly, many Mongols were Muslim even as early as Genghis' era and some Mongol kingdoms were too after the Empire fractured. Eventually, the inhabitants of those regions were mostly Islamicized (certainly by 1400-1500 or so most people of Central Asian descent were Muslim in West Asia) as someone noted above.

    Still, it would have been nice to have seen Pagan or Buddhist as a designation, though proselytizing (gaining converts) which is the game mechanism that makes religion attractive for the player, is not something most pagan faiths did and Buddhism does not proselytize in the same aggressive and exclusionary way that Christianity and Islam used to gain converts so those factions that would be either "Buddhist" or "Pagan" would be at a severe disadvantage in that regard.

  23. #23
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Rather Large Historical Error

    The whole 'Mongols are more friendly toward christians than toward muslims' is actually mostly a myth created by western (catholic) christians, who rarely had to fight against said Mongols.

    It has been enabled by several facts, including but not limited to:
    - Mongols were actually pretty tolerant toward Christianity, just like they were with pretty much any religion.
    - Mongols destroyed many of the most important Muslim Emirates/Kingdoms/States.
    - Mongols and Christians (Crusader States, France, etc.) planned to ally against Egypt at various time, but it never actually happened.
    - A part of the Mongol elite adopted nestorianism.
    - The whole Priest John mythos.

    What Catholics conveniently forgot was that:
    - Mongols were as tolerant of muslim as they were of christians, as long as they behaved correctly.
    - Mongols destroyed many Christian states (the Russian principalties), and would have tried to conquer Europe without some bad luck.
    - A part of the Mongol elite adopted Islam as well.

    In the end, they must have been somewhat disappointed since most of the Mongols states that emerged after the fall of the empire adopted Islam and not Christianism.
    I think the only one that did not were China and the siberian horde.

    France for example, tried to plan up some alliance at several point. Some king whose name I forgot sent a message to the Khan, asking him for an official alliance. The Khan apparently liked the idea, but died before the message arrived. His mother/daughter/wife/whatever then received it and promptly sent it back asking the french King to become a vassal.
    Later on, another french king formed an alliance with Tamerlan. Wasn't a big deal, since Tamerlan never threatened western Europe, but it probably must have been a slap in the face of other european monarchs.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 02-08-2009 at 20:17.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Senior Member Quintus.JC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Edward longshanks allied with the Mongols during the ninth Crusades, and made joint attacks on Aleppo and some middle eastern cities during that time.

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    In the early days of the Mongol era, they didn't define themselves as Muslims and Christians as the western world was wont to, but many of them, including many of the ruling class, did follow Christian and Muslim faiths. Instead, as directed by Chinggis, they identified themselves as Mongols over any other identity. When the influence of Chinggis was wearing off, this was also discarded, most significantly when Berke, the (Muslim) Khan of the Golden Horde got peed off with Hulegu's treatment of Baghdad, and allied with the Mamelukes against the Ilkhanate.

    Nonetheless, both the Muslim ruler of the Golden Horde and the Christian ruler of the Ilkhanate acknowledged the nominal overlordship of Khubilai, who was neither.

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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Quote Originally Posted by Megas Methuselah View Post
    ...? That's odd. Maybe it's in a patch? In my games, the Aztecs and Lithuanians are pagans. It even says in the descr_sm_faction.txt file... Unless, FactionHeir made it in his VanillaMod, which I am using?
    Maybe you are confusing the religions with BI. They had paganism there.

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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    The whole "sailed west to prove the Earth was round" meme is an outright myth fabricated by the American author Washington Irving.
    That is right, Colombus sailed West to arrive to India, but found America instead.




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    ibn fuzzayd Member The Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    Ever since some of the Turkic groups that lived on the other side of Persia converted to Nestorian Christianity, Christians had always hoped for for some rear attack on whatever empire was threatening them from the Middle East. The Mongols were the next in this line. Though the Mongols were clever - they just pitted their enemies against each other. Nothing like saying 'we're here to help you' and then sack a few cities. ;)

    But it still holds true, IIRC some Armenian contingents were put under the control of Mongol armies voluntarily during some campaigns against the Mumluks (or another group..I forget, gah!) at one point. I forget what city that was near...if someone wants to know more I can bother to look up for the source. :P

    Anyway, long story short, M2 is ridiculously inaccurate, yes.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Rather Large Historical Error

    A lightheated look at Hollywoods take on WWII.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The escape from Stalag Luft III is one of the greatest stories of the Second World War, an enduring example of raw courage and ingenuity. The story of the making of The Great Escape, by contrast, is an enduring example of the way that Hollywood can twist history to meet the requirements of American patriotism and the demands of pampered actors.

    The problem with the true story of the escape, from Hollywood’s point of view, was that it involved no Americans. True, the camp had contained American prisoners, but all of these were moved out before the escape took place. The director, John Sturges (who also made The Magnificent Seven), was told by his Hollywood bosses to write American heroes into the script or abandon the project. The resulting film not only included fictional American characters, but was also dominated by them: Steve McQueen, James Garner, James Coburn and Charles Bronson.

    McQueen, who played The Cooler King, insisted that his role be even bigger, with a scene in which he could show off his motorcycling skills. The fictional motorbike escape scene was created, with a growling Triumph 650 — which was not built until 1963. Bud Elkins, McQueen’s stunt double, performed the more dangerous jumps.

    This, then, was the Hollywood take on history: an event that never took place, involving an American who was not there, played by a double, on a motorbike that had not yet been invented. No wonder the veterans booed the Steve McQueen character at the 65th anniversary gathering in the 65th anniversary gathering in Zagán.

    American film-makers have been invading and occupying feats of British heroism ever since the war, although Churchill himself did his best to repel the invasion. Britain’s wartime Prime Minister strongly objected to Objective Burma! (1945), starring Errol Flynn, because it installed American heroes in a conflict waged by British, Indian and Commonwealth troops.

    The film even prompted an editorial in The Times: “It is essential both for the enemy and the allies to understand how it came about that the war was won . . . nations should know and appreciate the efforts other countries than their own made to the common cause.” The film was withdrawn from release here and only reached cinemas in 1952, accompanied by an apology.

    Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan has been criticised for depicting Tom Hanks and his American soldiers battling the crack 2nd SS “Das Reich” Panzer tank division, when that conflict was actually fought by British and Canadian troops 100 miles to the east.

    Undoubtedly the most egregious example of America’s cultural colonisation of the best war stories is U-571 (2000), which depicts American submariners stealing the Enigma code machine from a German U-boat. The capture and breaking of the Enigma code was carried out by the British, before America had even entered the war.

    While Hollywood misrepresents history, it also confers immortality. The Great Escape may not be great history but it is a great film. It may Americanise and edit the facts but without it one of the most remarkable episodes in wartime history might languish virtually unknown.


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