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Romans vs. Han

 
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Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Romans vs. Han

The idea that some far-flung elements of the Roman army reached and interacted with the Chinese is one of those "urban legends" of military history that seems to come up again and again. It seems there may be some truth to the legend:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/dna-tests-for-chinas-legionary-lore/2007/02/02/1169919531024.html
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scott holder
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject:

I think Phil actually included some remnant romans in a DBM list.

I looked long and hard at this and eventually decided, nope, too small, too isolated, one academic 50+ years ago putting forth a provacative, and still totally unfounded, assertion. It makes for an interesting story tho!

The people "holding" these Romans were the Xiongnu.

scott

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Macbeth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject:

Interesting that the villagers are jumping on the DNA test bandwagon again. A few years ago I saw a program on either the History, Discovery or NatGeo channel when I still had Foxtel.

The villages in that area were very keen to suggest that they were descended from Romans, and held celebrations and even developed their own style of martial dance with mock Roman uniforms. It looked spectacular.

As with most of these style of documentaries - the positve arguments were aired for the first half, then as the show progressed the negatives were given time. The DNA tests that were held then either showed no European DNA or were inconclusive.

Some Wargames provenance of the theory. It was aired in the WRG book 'Armies and Enemies of Ancient China' by Greer. The WRG6th Ed lists included the Remnant Legions in the 'Chinese Border Nomad' List. However the Hutchby and Clark lists for WRG7th did not include the possibility and in fact gave a counter explanation for 'Fish Scale' formation.

For a bit of a laugh about Romans and Han you can read Valerio Massimo Manfredi's 'Empire of Dragons' a novel about a Roman Officer and his men captured by the Sassanids who escape and escort a Han prince home to China. It has everything, Kung Fu, Ninjas, betrayl, Roman Gravitas and the point where these Late Romans come across the village where the descendants of Crassus' men live - complete with full sets of Roman armour Laughing

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