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  1. #1
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    There has been a lot of use of the term Renaissance lately. I`d like to
    define how I think of this term.
    When I think of the renaissance and what defines it versus the late medieval
    time, it is mostly a matter of organization and philosophy. The individual
    is ascendant over the group. This allows princes (I`m amiss for the right
    title here - a translation of the Swedish "Furste", meaning the first man of
    the state.) to reign with much greater freedom than before. This allows
    domain actions like those of Birthright, which I would argue would not be
    possible in medieval times.

    One change that this has led to is the ascendancy of money. Princes try to
    collect income in coin (not in feudal obligations), and this allows them to
    recruit professional armies (as is done in Birthright). I know that others
    see this differently - that these troops are feudal - but for me paying gold
    to raise troops is very much a renaissance thing.

    The renaissance did not bring firearms. It had early cannon (more on those
    later), but the main change was the revival of the infantry as a viable
    combat arm.

    As has been said, cannon are the first gunpowder weapons. I think Birthright
    has cannon. How else can you explain the ease of the siege rules? If you
    lack artillery units or a skilled siege engineer, it takes months or even
    years to reduce a castle - which is very much the way it was before cannon.
    And missile fire at sea did not see much use until the advent of cannon
    (with the possible exception of late ancient galley fighting). How could
    those cumbersome Brecht Round ships get so high missile values without
    cannon?

    Handguns, international mercenaries, profitable over-seas colonies,
    religious wars, nation-states - all these are not things of the renaissance
    but of the next era, the baroque. I say these things should be left alone in
    Birthright, except for some exceptional instances. Thus, I agree there
    should be no firearms (except possibly for the royal marines of Müden).





    From: "Kenneth Gauck" <kgauck@MCHSI.COM>

    > Which pretty much gives us a free hand to associate what ever we want with
    a
    > glorious past. In places like Khinasi, that can be a new interest in
    things
    > Masetian, in Brechtur it can be pre-imperial Brecht culture, in Anuire a
    new
    > interest in imperial institutions, literature, art, aesthetics,
    philosophy, and
    > whatever.

    We should not over-emphasize the "rebirth" theme of the renaissance. True,
    it begun as a search for roots, but emerging humanism and natural philosophy
    soon overshadowed that. What the ancient revival really did was allow people
    to think in non-religious terms, and that brought on the rest.

    So, it really does not matter what old culture you are reaching back to - or
    even if there really is such a culture. The "Gothicism" movement of Northern
    Europe reached back to the days of the Goths - a mythical age, and barbaric
    even by mythical accounts. Not really a good model for the society that was
    being build - but rather a myth to excuse the claims to power that northern
    princes made at the time.



    From: "Arsulon" <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>

    > The Renaissace was the first great age of exploration. Consider the
    economic and social ramifications

    > of the expeditions of Colombus, Cabot and Drake.

    These expeditions might have had a social impact, but their economic impact
    wasn`t really felt until much later - the influx of Spanish gold belongs to
    the Baroque, not the renaissance. The exception is Portugal - in many ways
    an exceptional nation at this time.



    /Carl





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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > This allows princes (I`m amiss for the right title here - a translation
    > of the Swedish "Furste", meaning the first man of
    > the state.) to reign with much greater freedom than before.

    Prince means first, principal, primary; so you`re right there with your choice
    of words. Octavian Caesar declared himself first in Rome, and so was called
    Principus. Hence the desire in immitation to be the first man of the state.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
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    Hello!

    Stephen Starfox wrote:

    >One change that this has led to is the ascendancy of money. Princes try to
    >collect income in coin (not in feudal obligations), and this allows them to
    >recruit professional armies (as is done in Birthright). I know that others
    >see this differently - that these troops are feudal - but for me paying gold
    >to raise troops is very much a renaissance thing.
    >
    You do not pay enough gold to train and equip for example a unit of
    knights from nothing into a fighting unit.
    There was a discussion about this before, and the prices for knights
    would raise significantly if you assume that they are not feudal, and
    bring their own horse and armour.

    To be totally correct - you do not even pay gold. It is called GOLD BAR,
    but as already Travis Doom´s 3E manual tells us the "Gold Bar" is not
    just a bar of gold, but such things as grain in silos, worth 2000 gold
    pieces or similar. To use gold - the currency, the coins - a birthright
    regent would have to convert these stuff in transportable wealth using
    the FINANCES action.

    >As has been said, cannon are the first gunpowder weapons. I think Birthright
    >has cannon. How else can you explain the ease of the siege rules? If you
    >lack artillery units or a skilled siege engineer, it takes months or even
    >years to reduce a castle - which is very much the way it was before cannon.
    >
    But in Birthright a siege can take "months or even years to reduce a
    castle" as it should which contradicts your argument that cannons must
    exist. A castle can be assaulted only if the attacker has artilleritsts
    (siege engines) or someone with a skilled engineer (2E- Siegecraft
    Nonweaponprofieciency, 3E Knowledge (Engineering) - if you lack you can
    only lay siege, and that takes not only troops equal to the level of the
    castle + the number of defending units to succeed at all, but also time:
    3 month to reduce 1 level. Some PBEMs don´t last for 3 month, and if the
    castles owner expects reinforcements, they certainly have time enough to
    come to his help.

    >And missile fire at sea did not see much use until the advent of cannon
    >(with the possible exception of late ancient galley fighting). How could
    >those cumbersome Brecht Round ships get so high missile values without
    >cannon?
    >
    With naval armament as described in the Seas of Cerilia book? Catapults,
    Ballistae, Flamethrowers?
    However a ship can only fire it´s weapons, if it has not moved according
    to that books rules, so grappling and
    boarding seems to be still the main way of naval combat.
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > Stephen Starfox wrote:
    >
    > >One change that this has led to is the ascendancy of money. Princes try
    to
    > >collect income in coin (not in feudal obligations), and this allows them
    to
    > >recruit professional armies (as is done in Birthright). I know that
    others
    > >see this differently - that these troops are feudal - but for me paying
    gold
    > >to raise troops is very much a renaissance thing.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Romes" <Archmage@T-ONLINE.DE>
    Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2002 2:44 PM


    > To be totally correct - you do not even pay gold. It is called GOLD BAR,
    > but as already Travis Doom´s 3E manual tells us the "Gold Bar" is not
    > just a bar of gold, but such things as grain in silos, worth 2000 gold
    > pieces or similar. To use gold - the currency, the coins - a birthright
    > regent would have to convert these stuff in transportable wealth using
    > the FINANCES action.

    One nice way around this is the rise of Banking, an occurance of the 15th
    and 16th centuries that allowes states to wage war without piles of physical
    gold. Thinking of silos of grain as a resource usable even when my troops
    are far from that silo means I have comodified my goods. In fact, I have
    purchased grain near my troops and sold grain at my silos. If the
    commercial system is this well developed, we`re talking renaissance levels
    of banking and large scale commerce supported by financial instruments like
    letters of credit.

    > You do not pay enough gold to train and equip for example a unit of
    > knights from nothing into a fighting unit.
    > There was a discussion about this before, and the prices for knights
    > would raise significantly if you assume that they are not feudal, and
    > bring their own horse and armour.

    That really only applies to knights. Other units work out much better
    without the need to assume feudal summons. If I assume padded armor and
    halfspear, shortspear, or light hammer, I can field 200 people for a cost of
    400 gp`s if I can assume that labor of fabrication is either free (wifes
    make padded armor for husbands) or has been paid for with realm maintenance.
    If I do need to buy such goods on the market I need 1200 gp`s to suddenly
    produce those items.

    One of the reasons many folks like the idea that a province can only support
    as many units as it has levels is that you can handily assume a supply of
    weapons and armor left over from some previous crisis remains. Some of that
    which might be considered lost, damaged, or otherwise unusable has been
    replaced by a constant, low level of production in armories. If knights and
    men-at-arms reflect a more feudal situation, then at worst we are speaking
    of bastard feudalism, in which money supplied many troops, while the elite
    units were still drawn from a warrior class who drew its wealth from
    agriculture. Knights and armored men-at-arms appear in battles through the
    end of the renaissance. The total elimination of feudal summons of elite
    warriors is actually a post-renaissance feature.

    Certainly the BR realm rules are abstract enough that Peter Lubke can
    envision Cerilia at a Carolingian (c. 800 CE) level, and Skyfox can envision
    Cerilia at a renaissance level of play. Depending on what assumptions you
    make and what interpretations you make about what actions do, you can run
    the gamut.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
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    From: "Michael Romes" <Archmage@T-ONLINE.DE>

    > But in Birthright a siege can take "months or even years to reduce a
    > castle" as it should which contradicts your argument that cannons must
    > exist. A castle can be assaulted only if the attacker has artilleritsts
    > (siege engines) or someone with a skilled engineer (2E- Siegecraft
    > Nonweaponprofieciency, 3E Knowledge (Engineering) - if you lack you can
    > only lay siege, and that takes not only troops equal to the level of the
    > castle + the number of defending units to succeed at all, but also time:
    > 3 month to reduce 1 level. Some PBEMs don´t last for 3 month, and if the
    > castles owner expects reinforcements, they certainly have time enough to
    > come to his help.
    >

    This was just what I pointed out - these times are realistic unless you have
    cannon. Since artilerry units do not contain cannon under yourassumption,
    these are the times it would take to reduce any castle, regardless of wheter
    you have artillery or not - pre-cannon artillery simly wasn`t that
    efficient.


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  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I don`t know if anyone reads Military History Quarterly, but this winter`s
    issue (Winter 2003), has a big article on Caerphilly Castle, in Wales. It
    was a castle of the de Clare family, and built on an island in a lake. The
    castle never fell to siege, which is hardly surprising given what can be
    seen on the many color pictures. Its a $10 buy (US), so a look see in the
    library might be worth while. They have done other castles in the past, but
    this one isn`t one I`ve seen before.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by kgauck

    One nice way around this is the rise of Banking, an occurance of the 15th
    and 16th centuries that allowes states to wage war without piles of physical
    gold. Thinking of silos of grain as a resource usable even when my troops
    are far from that silo means I have comodified my goods. In fact, I have
    purchased grain near my troops and sold grain at my silos. If the
    commercial system is this well developed, we`re talking renaissance levels
    of banking and large scale commerce supported by financial instruments like
    letters of credit.

    Actually banking first emerged in europe with the Knights Templar, a society that existed 1118 - 1314. Allow me to quote their financical practices from http://www.ordotempli.org/history_of_the_k...hts_templar.htm

    ... The pilgrim would be wary of carrying large sums of money as he travelled, for fear of robbery, extortion or unforeseen accident. The answer was simple; seek out the master of the local Templar commanderie and deposit sufficient funds with him to cover the estimated cost of the return journey, including travel, accommodation and ancillary costs such as alms and gift-giving to the important ecclesiastical sites en route and at the final destination. In return for the financial deposit, the Templar treasurer would give the traveller a coded chit as a form of receipt and as a means of exchange. At each overnight stop, or where alms or offerings had to be given, the pilgrim would hand his chit to the local Templar representative who would pay any dues outstanding, re-code the chit accordingly and return it to its owner. When the pilgrimage was over and the weary traveller had returned home, he would present the chit to the Templar treasurer who had first issued it. Any balance of credit would be returned in cash, or if the pilgrim had overspent he would be presented with the appropriate bill. The entire pilgrimage trade policed by the Templars, who also acted as the bankers for this form of travel, bears a startling resemblance to the modern package tour industry. The modern equivalent of the Templar chit is, of course, the credit card.
    At least in some forms, high level of banking existed before renesance.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Salamander" <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 1:54 AM


    > Actually banking first emerged in europe with the Knights Templar

    That`s all well and good, but it didn`t produce the kinds of effects I was
    describing. Banking originates about 30 seconds after money does, and gets
    more complex ever after. The Templars, after all just copied the Syrian
    practices. It is during the rise of Genoa and Venice that banking begins to
    have an effect that transends those cities and stimulates a commercial
    revival throughout Europe. All the Templar banking did was make the
    Templars rich and produce suspicion in the monarchs of Europe, hence their
    destruction in 1307 in France. Had banking spread from the templars to the
    market places of Europe, that would be one thing, but Templar banking (nor
    Jewish money-lending) lead to the kind of convertability that a GB
    represents.

    Banking in Genoa and Venice (later Florence as well) was developed by
    merchants for the very purpose of speeding the wheels of commerce and making
    buying and selling easier. Of course the crusades and the Templars role
    therein created the opportunity for the Italian cities to get involved in
    this trade, but the crusades did not create this trade, the Italian cities
    took advantage of an opportunity. Banking experienced another rise (in
    importance and complexity) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as
    industrialization took off.

    Its banking of a specific type that makes the GB as convertable as it is,
    and that kind of banking appears c. 1300 in Italian trading cities.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  9. #9
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    To me it seems that you're speaking about change from exchange economy (product for product) to one of monetary economy (product for money for product) and in that regard you are correct altrough ratio between these two exchange system varies heavily depending on the stability of the currency. (When currency is weak people turn back to exchanging product for product.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    One of the things that I think is being misinterpreted about the
    Renaissance (or any period of renaissance) is that it represents a
    relearning of classical knowledge. While classical knowledge certainly is
    relearned, any period of renaissance represents not just a relearning of
    knowledge garnered by the ancients but an extension of that
    knowledge. During The Renaissance many people certainly had a respect for
    the knowledge and ideals of the peoples from the classical period, but if
    you were able to transport a 16th century man of learning from his time to,
    say, Corinth in the 5th century BC he`d have an extensive amount of
    knowledge beyond that of the people of the time, and he`d stick out like an
    alien visitor from Mars. Renaissance learning went far beyond that of the
    Greek/Roman period. The contention that one can somehow divorce the
    Renaissance from gunpowder, exploration and the printing press is like
    saying that nuclear power, the space race and electronics are incidental to
    the 20th century. You don`t get the shifts in social and political
    systems, the changes to the economics that fostered them, the rise of
    nationalism, etc. without those processes.

    Gary

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