Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's a Legion!

Sometimes I am amazed at how soft headed people are. But this review of The Eagle reminds me some people have brains of tapioca.

What is The Eagle about? In the second century AD sometime around or after 120AD, the Legios IX Hispana possibly left York and marched north on a punitative raid. And then vanished into the mists of time, no definitive answer has ever emerged as to their fate as the whole legion fell off Roman rolls by 160AD. We now know more of the probable fate of Crassus' lost legions than we know what happened to the IXth. Though some have tried to piece together the probable fate of the IXth in Scotland, its very much speculative and leaves wiggle room for the roofing tiles marked with the Legios IX Hispana sigil found in Holland. The movie itself and the story it is based on tells the fictional tale of a Roman centurion setting out on a quest to retreive the IXth's eagle standard, hence restoring his father's and Rome's honor.

First gripe about this alleged movie review is calling the IXth a battalion. Literally speaking it is valid since a Roman legion and a battalion have similar manpower levels. Historically, its incorrect to use battalion when referring to a Roman legion. And its in the common modern vernacular to refer to Roman military formations as legions.

Second gripe is the authors worldview and their attempt to force The Eagle to fit it. The Romans were violent, well yes they were. So were the Celtic tribes that they faced. Expansionism charge? It can be argued that way, though Dr. Madden in his book Empires of Trust argued Rome expanded its borders to protect itself and its allies from foreign invasion. Or perhaps we should we say the reviewers are exhibiting signs of ethnocentrism in their writing? Well here are their own words from their review - "Though the characters are well developed and well acted, we can only give this film a partial endorsement based on its lack of value of life."

I was thinking of skipping going to see The Eagle in the cinema. But with such fluff passing for critical review, I think I shall go see it.


LEGION said...

Saw this movie on my cable systems previews of movies yet to come out back in October! Paid $10 and the whole family got to see it and I taped it also. Very nice war picture- highly recommend. Humans are and always will be violent- get used to it. I - am Legion.

Anna said...

I think I will escape reality of NZ, all the Democrats fleeing their responsibilities, and what happened off Somalia to go see this.