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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndromedaPatFan View Post
    I'm not sure Richard III reigned long enough for any opinion about his leadership to be well-founded.
    True... though there is a bit more info for the period before he became king. And there is still some 'objective' information (laws/charters/legal rulings and what those in his entourage got (away with)). Bigger problem is that most (near) contemporary sources seem to be extremely partisan or prejudiced (i.e. he was physically deformed therefore must be bad somehow) and many writings thereafter were affected by the Tudor and Shakespearian propaganda/imagery.

    My guess is that the info to base our opinion on concerning him is as good if not better than that for many Medieval (and earlier) lords/kings/emperors.
    Al Michaels: "That's the loudest manure chant I have ever heared!"

    Sleeping barely above the sea... and walking under water

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchBird View Post
    True... though there is a bit more info for the period before he became king. And there is still some 'objective' information (laws/charters/legal rulings and what those in his entourage got (away with)). Bigger problem is that most (near) contemporary sources seem to be extremely partisan or prejudiced (i.e. he was physically deformed therefore must be bad somehow) and many writings thereafter were affected by the Tudor and Shakespearian propaganda/imagery.

    My guess is that the info to base our opinion on concerning him is as good if not better than that for many Medieval (and earlier) lords/kings/emperors.
    Usurpers -- other than rebels who win in battle -- seem to get a mixed report in history. King David is of course more of a mythical than historical figure, but he comes out well. I think Basil the Magnificent does pretty well in Byzantium, but I defer to you on that. Richard III's reputation is not so fortunate. The later Roman emperors generally come out badly.

    What's the trend overall, or isn't there one?
    APF doesn't come in screaming at others about how stupid they are. APF doesn't spam NST with the same tired topic 30 times a month. APF doesn't link to some kook in his mom's basement telling you how to, "Be afraid. Be very afraid" of the world falling down around you. And, when APF is proven wrong, he acknowledges he made a mistake and moves on, rather than harping about "sheeple."

    -- Cory Bonini

    Welchie summarized

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndromedaPatFan View Post
    People say that about threads I start a lot. Doesn't help in the POTM voting, however. ;)
    This comment is an insight into why you don't get votes.... You're like the Bert Blyleven of NST... Keep whoring yourself and whining and one day you'll win...
    "Yeah, everything that guy just said is Bullsh!t..... Thank you.." -Vincent LaGuardia Gambini-

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndromedaPatFan View Post
    Usurpers -- other than rebels who win in battle -- seem to get a mixed report in history. King David is of course more of a mythical than historical figure, but he comes out well. I think Basil the Magnificent does pretty well in Byzantium, but I defer to you on that. Richard III's reputation is not so fortunate. The later Roman emperors generally come out badly.

    What's the trend overall, or isn't there one?
    I cannot say there is an overall trend though there seem to be a number of factors at play time and again; if there is any trend, then it seems that a usurper's legacy is largely determined by the surviving sources. Of course, whether he succeeded also plaid a large role in his legitimization; O yeah, not every usurpation was accompanied by violence (sometimes political pressure was enough to have someone married into a royal family). Factors that seem to have played a role in general in the outlook of the sources:


    - Legitimacy of the claim (e.g. family member or not, descendant through the male line or how closely related to the deceased). Note that, at least for the Roman period, many usurpers try to legitimize themselves by marrying into the imperial family (preferrably daughters/sisters of the deposed emperor, sometimes the widows; 'foreign' powerbrokes tend to go for nieces/cousins). See also 'The Anarchy' in England, and the trigger for the Hundred Year War.

    - How well they alligned with the powerbrokers among the nobility/noble factions; in particular the one faction which eventually won.

    - How well they alligned with (the interests) of those writing history (or made sure their history survived). Prime example of this are Constantine I, Diocletian, and Valens. Apart from the few pagan fragments that have survived, Constantine is responsible for everything good, innocent of any crime, his reputation whitewashed, and everyone not him is blackened (from Diocletian to Maxentius or Licinius) - for the simple reason that he was the champion of Christianity, especially orthodox, and from what seems let Christians get away with just about everything. For most pagans he is to blame for just about everything that went wrong in the Late Empire. Valens is generally depicted as bad by orthodox (Catholic) Christians, simply because of his Arian leanings, good by the few Arian writings that survive, and indifferent to bad by pagans. Overall, if anything I would say Constantine was the greatest bastard of all of them; few emperors were as murderous as he was (he had his wife and son, and Licinius and his whole family murdered, and that is just for starters).

    Generally it seems that the generation after the usurper determines the outcome. If his son successfully succeeds, usually the usurper is looked at fairly positively. Of course the contrast with the previous ruler, and to a lesser extent his successor, also plays a role.

    A nice medieval example of how a 'somewhat' usurper is looked at, is John I Lackland vs Richard I; Lackland is generally seen as bad and weak, while Richard is seen as good. A notion largely determined by how they got along with the greater nobility and Church (Richard to some extent did, John did not), and how well they fit certain ideals about what a ruler should be (Richard did, John did not). While in fact John was in many ways probably the better king of the two.
    Al Michaels: "That's the loudest manure chant I have ever heared!"

    Sleeping barely above the sea... and walking under water

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