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Thread: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

  1. #1

    Default Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    In 280BC, we have no evidence that a tribe called Casse existed. It is only in the mid-1st century that their existence can be confirmed.

    Now please note I don’t have any problem with their inclusion, as after all how else is playing a group based in the Isles in the early 3rd century BC going to be represented through the medium of a strategic computer game? There is a limit of the number of factions that can be represented and a choice had to be made on how 3rd century BC Britain was represented and what name the faction would be given.

    Rather my question is will there be a recognition that some elements of the game are based on conjecture due to the constraints of the evidence? For example through a short piece at the end of the faction description talking about the historical evidence behind the inclusion of Casse, its limitations and why it was chosen?

    After all there will be a lot of people playing this game talking about the existence of a tribe called the Casse in the early 3rd century BC as if this was a proven historical fact. This kind of information would be excellent in providing gamers with the evidence behind the faction, particularly if they wanted to find out more.

  2. #2
    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    We do have sources other than Greeks and Romans. We apparenlty know who the king of the Casse was in 272BC. Hopefully Ranika can explain exactly how he knows all this, it often seems to me like he must have been alive in 272.
    Last edited by QwertyMIDX; 01-16-2006 at 16:39.
    History is for the future not the past. The dead don't read.


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  3. #3
    Dungalloigh Brehonda Member Ranika's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Actually the king of the period is speculation. I didn't say we 'knew', but rather, there is reference to a king much later, who lived around the time, and attempted to expand his lands and engage in trade; it's an assumption, but it's as much as we have for 'specifics', and does fit with material evidence from the period (grave finds with plenty of apparently war dead, a lot of trade evidence, including foreign records, etc.). The name of the tribe locally would be rather unknown, though they are generally refered to as the Casse or Cassi today (the proto-Belgic tribe that inhabitted their region and began their conquest). They more or less morphed into the later Casse, and then the Catuvellauni. We do know their land was rich in trade, with copious finds of objects from foreign lands, and many foreign references to tin trading with the king of the region. It was likely this trade that funded their earliest ambitions, helping to form them into the body we'd later recognize as the Casse. This, being the first recognizable name of the tribe that become overlords of the region, was the best we could do for the name. The only alternative would be a far too generic name, such as Pretanne or something similar. Since it was the Casse who eventually exercised the most power of the pre-Roman tribes and kingdoms, they seem to be the most reasonable selection. Clearly though, yes, there is conjecture. There is conjecture with all factions, even those that wrote extensively. Without a time machine, conjecture is inevitable. However, we try to make the most reasonable assumptions as best we can.
    Last edited by Ranika; 01-16-2006 at 16:42.
    Ní dheachaigh fial ariamh go hIfreann.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    ''Without a time machine, conjecture is inevitable. However, we try to make the most reasonable assumptions as best we can.''

    Ranika, yeah that's fine and i think you've made the right choices. As an ex-archaeologist and someone who works on historical reconstructions alot for work, i completely agree with your above statement.

    My point is really that since EB is styled (either intentionally or not) as 'a historically accurate' mod, alot of people are going to take that to mean unconditionally that the EB setting is 100% how it was at the RL start date.

    I think it would be excellent from an educational point of view to have a section under each faction which gives a shortened version of the historical evidence for the faction, including eg - the life of the first faction leader where known and what he achieved in RL, the debatable evidence and where EB had to make tough decisions, etc. Of course i'm biased in this since my work is in heritage education and alot of what we do is historical reconstructions with artists or re-enactors. We find that the public are often as interested in the areas where there are no definitive answers as those where we can definitely say what happened.
    Last edited by zakalwe; 01-16-2006 at 17:24.

  5. #5
    Enforcer of Exonyms Member Barbarossa82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranika
    Clearly though, yes, there is conjecture. There is conjecture with all factions, even those that wrote extensively. Without a time machine, conjecture is inevitable. However, we try to make the most reasonable assumptions as best we can.
    I agree absolutely. Unfortunately with history there is always a tendency for people to try to portray particular interpretations of history as "the truth", a rather sexier proposition than "the most rational and best-supported interplay of conjectures". Now I for one regard EB as the most thoroughly-researched historical mod (or indeed game) I have ever encountered, and I would be very surprised if it didn't bear a good deal more resemblance to the reality of the ancient world than any comparable product. Nevertheless it should be borne in mind that even the best written historical evidence (primary sources) can sometimes obscure rather than illuminate historical fact, and archeological evidence is a prime candidate for over-confident interpretation. I'm very pleased to see that those who are involved in the making of the mod do not exhibit the manic, religious-style faith in one particular interpreation of historical evidence that has been observed in one or two of its fans.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    ''I'm very pleased to see that those who are involved in the making of the mod do not exhibit the manic, religious-style faith in one particular interpreation of historical evidence that has been observed in one or two of its fans.''

    Absolutely! I very much agree with this. The concept of historical accuracy and what can be achieved within a game is very grey. Potentially the EB team could be styling the mod as a completely historically accurate game. Fortunately the EB members i've discussed things with (primarily Ranika) are not, which is why it is always a pleasure drop in here. :)

  7. #7
    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    What kind of archeology did you were you involded in zakalwe? (Where? Looking for artifacts of what time period...etc).
    History is for the future not the past. The dead don't read.


    Operam et vitam do Europae Barbarorum.

    History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another. - Max Beerbohm

  8. #8

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Perhaps the website www.europabarbarorum.com could include a "The making of Europa Barbarorum" section, where you all put forwards your historical arguments and refer to historical and archeological sources.

    I personally would love to read it and I think it would give a lot more credibility to the mod.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    totally OT

    ''What kind of archeology did you were you involded in zakalwe? (Where? Looking for artifacts of what time period...etc).''

    2 years contract archaeology in Scotland and Ireland. During my degree I worked on excavations on 1st mill BC/AD settlement sites in the Western Isles and Argyll, and did my dissertation on Promontory Forts on the Isle of Lewis. Worked on a couple of fantastic sites - one of the best experiences of my life was finding a decorated home comb dating to around AD200/300.

    Afterwards i worked for archaeology companies in Scotland and Ireland (1 year in each). As always in the sector it's a mixed bunch - some fantastic sites, some where you find nothing. Usual kind of thing with archaeology - very hit and miss). Decided to get out of contract archaeology to move into the education/interpretation side things. I always liked telling the stories to members of public, letting them touch the artefacts and showing them what we were doing. I found too many archaeologists were just not interested in the public. So these days i work as an exhibition and interpretation planner for a heritage conservation charity producing visitor centre exhibitions, audio tours, cd-roms, panels and trail leaflets. Means that we research, write text, work with specialist panels, project manage designers, brief illustrators, etc. Fun job. :)

    thehandsomeviking - yeah that's the kind of thing i'd had in mind

  10. #10
    Dungalloigh Brehonda Member Ranika's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    A lot of folks want us to be flawlessly historically accurate. Of course we'd love to be. However, no one can be. We don't know everything people did, we don't know all the practices they engaged in, the finest points of daily life, and sometimes we have to make intellectual leaps where in we link together evidence as best we can. We've been lucky to have fans who understand that. A lot of people are so clamoring for absolute accuracy, that they don't seem to recognize that no such thing exists (though one can get a damn sight closer than CA managed, or most 'historical' games tend to be). We can get into the specifics of clothing, equipment, and other tangible things we find. We can't know the absolute intricacies of individual persons to the finest part of their being, especially those who are inferred more than absolute.

    And even every day folks seem to desire historical accuracy. Notice how quickly people seem to think movies set during historical events are more or less accurate. Even movies not pitched as such (like Braveheart; pitched as a 'Celtic fantasy', but I've had innumerable conversations where I had to explain how glaringly inaccurate it was and the way things really were, and how arduously some seemed to think it was accurate). Accuracy is a tough point. The goal, but it's always going to be a bit beyond us.
    Ní dheachaigh fial ariamh go hIfreann.


  11. #11
    "Aye, there's the rub" Member PSYCHO V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Yes, much of history is conjecture. Further to Ran's comments.

    The Casse, may have had their roots in the proto-Belgae tribe that later became known as the Catalauni on the continent,... well before the game’s period. In Briton, some scholars believe these then settled and took control of a subtantial amount of territory north of the Thames (around early to mid 3rd C BC). Others believe they came first as traders, then mercenaries (during late 3rd - ealry 2nd C BC) until they ultimately dominated the idigenous tribes and took over as the ruling elite.

    In any case, the Casse appear to have soon expanded and become a sizable state of military and commercial power by absorbing or controlling dozens of smaller tribes in the area. Apparently they fought sucessfully against major incursions from continental Belgae (Ambiani - early 2nd C BC / Suessiones - early 1 C BC) after which both later came under Casse control in Briton.

    In around 61 BC, Cassivellaunus ('Vellaunus of the Cassi') officially algamated the various Belgic tribes under his direct control and formed the Catuvellauni, further expanding to a point where-by the state came to dominate most of Southern Briton just prior to the mid 1st C BC and the invasion of Caesar.

    The Casse represent a great 'what-if' faction. It would have been interesting for example to see what would have become of the 'Casse' kingdom / state if Rome hadn't have played a part. We know for eg that the Casse under Tasciovanus took the Trinovantian capital in around 15 BC before having to withraw in the face of Roman intervention.

    We aslo know the Casse had strongs ties to the mainland. It is believed they intermarried with continental tribes and enjoyed extensive trade with the Gallic Venellii, Lexovii, Veneti, and the Belgae (Menapi, both on the continent and later in Ireland by early 1st C BC and Morini, by early 2nd C BC). It appears they also crossed the channel to give support to the Belgic confederacy eg againt Rome (Caesar 1st C BC) and Veneti alliance eg against the Tarbelii and Lemovicii (late 3rd C BC) and against Rome (Caesar 1st C BC).

    ..but we may never really know exactly (with 100% cetainty) what, who and how these people were and what they achieved.

    Need to updated my Library catalogue but..

    References:

    Ann Ross, Druids - Preachers of Immortality
    Barry Cunliffe, The Ancient Celts
    Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Britain
    Dio Cassius, Roman History
    David Chandler, The Dictionary of Ancient Battles
    Iain Zaczek, The Art of the Celts
    James Harvey Robinson, History of Western Europe
    James Mitchell, Ancient History
    John Collis, The Celts - Origins, Myths and Inventions
    John Creighton, Coins and power in Late Iron Age Britain, Cambridge University Press
    John Haywood, The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World
    Julius Caesar, The Civil War
    Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico
    Livy, The Early History of Rome
    Livy, The War with Hannibal
    Peter Berresford Ellis, Celt and Greek : Celts in the Hellenic World
    Peter Berresford Ellis, Celt and Roman : The Celts of Italy
    Peter Berresford Ellis, The Celtic Empire
    Peter Berresford Ellis, The Druids
    Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire
    Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick, A History of Pagan Europe
    Ptolemy, Geography
    Sheppard Frere, Britannia
    Simon James, Exploring the World of the Celts
    Strabo, Geography
    Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
    T.G.E Powell, The Celts
    Tacitus, The Agricola and Germania
    Tim Newark & Angus McBride, Barbarians
    Venceslas Kruta, Celts - History and Civilization
    Last edited by PSYCHO V; 01-17-2006 at 05:23.
    PSYCHO V



    "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for THEE!" - (John Donne, Meditation 17)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    To add that great list you have there Psycho, I would heartily recommend the purchase of Cunliffe's 'Iron Age Communities in Britain'. This goes into alot more detail than his other works and is a very interesting read. Kind of like his life's work poured out onto paper. It has recently come out in an updated edition in 2004. The main problem is that unless you have a good academic library nearby it is pretty expensive. Perhaps you could purchase it 2nd hand, although you'd need to check you were getting the right edition.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...905115-3262004

    But anyway my real question with this thread is whether there will be any kind of explanation about the research behind EB or the faction? I guess it is low on the agenda seeing as you guys will be very busy atm, but it would be good to see areas over which there is some controversy being addressed.

    Also since i've not downloaded the beta version yet, what settlement are you using for Caledonia (not sure what name you're using for the province). Are you still using Attuaca for the moment or have you changed it?

  13. #13
    "Aye, there's the rub" Member PSYCHO V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Quote Originally Posted by zakalwe
    To add that great list you have there Psycho, I would heartily recommend the purchase of Cunliffe's 'Iron Age Communities in Britain'. This goes into alot more detail than his other works and is a very interesting read. Kind of like his life's work poured out onto paper. It has recently come out in an updated edition in 2004. The main problem is that unless you have a good academic library nearby it is pretty expensive. Perhaps you could purchase it 2nd hand, although you'd need to check you were getting the right edition.
    Wahoo!..Thanks a heap zakalwe! Guess what I've just ordered ?

    To be honest, I wasn't even aware of it so I’m indebted. Not sure where you’re from, but Australia (here) is to Halstatt / La Tene Culture (associated history, archaeology, etc) as Siberia was to Soviet Russians. It’s a veritable wasteland. There is next to nothing here. We have only one Professor of any repute in the whole country and they have recently retired. Egyptology, Classics, Near East, etc yer.. we have a relative wealth...the one area I'm interested in ...zip. I've been trying to convince contacts at several Unis to 'invest' (for the good of the nation of course ) in a sojourn up north to talk / study under some people that actually know what they're on about.

    Very much looking forward to this newish work by Cunliffe. I have to admit I did feel like I was only getting part of the picture in his other works and wish he went further.. so this is very good news. And I like his style. Not unnecessarily complex like Powell (though he had the excuse of being somewhat of a pioneer), not as obscure as Collis, nor quite as sensational as Ellis (though I admit I don’t mind that on occasion).

    Speaking of Ellis. Based on his research and that of Ross, we have a very unique looking Druid unit being modelled that you may find interesting.

    Always..dont know if you’ve managed to get a hold of any work by Kruta? He’s director of Celtic Studies in Paris and though not a great writer (in all fairness it could be the translation), he has some interesting insights. ..and my all time favourite is still Daithi O Hogan from Dublin, the Goldsworthy of Gaels and Gauls.

    ..sorry, get carried away with a fellow ‘barb’ lover


    Quote Originally Posted by zakalwe
    But anyway my real question with this thread is whether there will be any kind of explanation about the research behind EB or the faction? I guess it is low on the agenda seeing as you guys will be very busy atm, but it would be good to see areas over which there is some controversy being addressed.
    Well… as you’d probably be able to appreciate, it’d be an epic in itself. The short answer is hell yes, we’d love too…and it’d save many recurring questions or misunderstandings..but the time needed is a killer. We’ll see what we can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by zakalwe
    Also since i've not downloaded the beta version yet, what settlement are you using for Caledonia (not sure what name you're using for the province). Are you still using Attuaca for the moment or have you changed it?
    You’ll have to check with Ranika, it’s his area. I tend to focus / specialise more on the continentals.


    Thanks again
    PSYCHO V



    "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for THEE!" - (John Donne, Meditation 17)

  14. #14
    Dungalloigh Brehonda Member Ranika's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Attuaca is still there, but probably going to change it to Traprain Law; map changes are rather slow for us usually, as they aren't an overt priority at the time. However, it is noted somewhere, and will be done.
    Ní dheachaigh fial ariamh go hIfreann.


  15. #15
    "Aye, there's the rub" Member PSYCHO V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Speaking of fellow 'barb' lovers
    PSYCHO V



    "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for THEE!" - (John Donne, Meditation 17)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    We have only one Professor of any repute in the whole country and they have recently retired.

    The Megaws perchance?

    Glad you're getting the Cunliffe book Psycho. It's a good read.

    Not heard of Kruta, but then i was always slightly weak on the continental Celts. Shame as i had two lecturers who had worked on them. Personally prefered the LBA East Med and Iron Age Britain and Ireland though. I'll keep an eye out.

    Ranika, it's a hard one i know. Traprain Law is one of the best choices, but it's a difficult settlement to name in game. Perhaps creating a P Celtic name for it is the best thing - i think i've seen a translation of it as 'wood town hill' or something? You'd know better with this - linguistics aren't my forte. But i realise of course that there are a million more important things to get sorted first before moving onto this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Quote Originally Posted by zakalwe
    totally OT

    ''What kind of archeology did you were you involded in zakalwe? (Where? Looking for artifacts of what time period...etc).''

    2 years contract archaeology in Scotland and Ireland. During my degree I worked on excavations on 1st mill BC/AD settlement sites in the Western Isles and Argyll, and did my dissertation on Promontory Forts on the Isle of Lewis. Worked on a couple of fantastic sites - one of the best experiences of my life was finding a decorated home comb dating to around AD200/300.

    Afterwards i worked for archaeology companies in Scotland and Ireland (1 year in each). As always in the sector it's a mixed bunch - some fantastic sites, some where you find nothing. Usual kind of thing with archaeology - very hit and miss). Decided to get out of contract archaeology to move into the education/interpretation side things. I always liked telling the stories to members of public, letting them touch the artefacts and showing them what we were doing. I found too many archaeologists were just not interested in the public. So these days i work as an exhibition and interpretation planner for a heritage conservation charity producing visitor centre exhibitions, audio tours, cd-roms, panels and trail leaflets. Means that we research, write text, work with specialist panels, project manage designers, brief illustrators, etc. Fun job. :)

    thehandsomeviking - yeah that's the kind of thing i'd had in mind
    Do you by any chance have a picture of that Decorated home comb?

  18. #18
    Dungalloigh Brehonda Member Ranika's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    Quote Originally Posted by zakalwe
    We have only one Professor of any repute in the whole country and they have recently retired.

    The Megaws perchance?

    Glad you're getting the Cunliffe book Psycho. It's a good read.

    Not heard of Kruta, but then i was always slightly weak on the continental Celts. Shame as i had two lecturers who had worked on them. Personally prefered the LBA East Med and Iron Age Britain and Ireland though. I'll keep an eye out.

    Ranika, it's a hard one i know. Traprain Law is one of the best choices, but it's a difficult settlement to name in game. Perhaps creating a P Celtic name for it is the best thing - i think i've seen a translation of it as 'wood town hill' or something? You'd know better with this - linguistics aren't my forte. But i realise of course that there are a million more important things to get sorted first before moving onto this.
    It's something like 'Wood Town Hill' or more loosely 'Wood Fort' or 'Wood Home'. Can probably come up with something decent for it though.
    Ní dheachaigh fial ariamh go hIfreann.


  19. #19

    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    ''Do you by any chance have a picture of that Decorated home comb?''

    oops i meant to write 'bone comb'.


    it's not the same artefact, but the comb on the right here is the closed i can find on the net - http://www.scran.ac.uk/database/reco...searchdb=scran . The ones at the bottom of this page are always fairly similar - http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...UTF-8%26sa%3DN
    Last edited by zakalwe; 01-18-2006 at 11:43.

  20. #20
    VOXIFEX MAXIMVS Member Shigawire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    home comb! lol


    "To know a thing well, know its limits. Only when pushed beyond its tolerances will its true nature be seen." -The Amtal Rule, DUNE

  21. #21
    Egomaniac sexpert Member Dux Corvanus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evidence for a 3rd century BC Casse

    In fact, there is much debate -and polls- to decide what is the most reasonable and plausible choice, when we find unavoidable source gaps, lack of evidence or simple controversial matters.

    Ancient History is still full of mist and blind points, and since we cannot simply overlook them, we are forced to support with solid arguments what we think are the best assumptions to fill the gap.

    That's the case with some of the less documented factions, or with some simplifications that the gameplay forced us to adopt -such as having Iberia -a cultural mosaique- as an unified faction, etc.

    We won't pretend EB to be a summa of historical accuracy, but, believe us, we try really our best to approach as a historically informed representation of Late Iron Age Western world as the game limits -and the limits of our knowledge- allow.

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