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Author Topic: Honor & Duty can just suck.  (Read 5833 times)

Thorsteinn

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Honor & Duty can just suck.
« on: 2012-05-31, 01:25:32 »
Honor & Duty can just suck. The following is from "The 7 Most Badass Last Stands in the History of Battle" by Ben Thompson:

Sempronius Densus, 69 AD.

"No man resisted or offered to stand up in his defense, save one only, a centurion, Sempronius Densus, the single man among so many thousands that the sun beheld that day act worthily of the Roman empire, who, though he never received any favor from Galba, yet out of bravery and allegiance endeavored to defend the throne."
- Plutarch, Lives

Sempronius Densus was a grizzled old war veteran who took his job as a Roman Imperial Guard very seriously. So he wasn't about to run when he saw a few thousand mutinous Roman soldiers marching on the palace preparing to execute the Emperor. It's important to keep in mind that Densus had no particular loyalties to the Emperor Galba. He just knew that his job description called for him to put his life on the line to save the son of a bitch, and he didn't f**k around when he was on the job. So Densus walked towards the mob, brandishing his Centurion Whacking Stick--a short cudgel that Roman officers used to administer back-breaking corporal punishment to out-of-line soldiers--and ordered the advancing men to stop.

Seeing that the blood thirsty, sword carrying mob of 1,000 wasn't listening to the one dude with a stick, Densus pulled his pugio--a short dagger roughly half the size of the standard Roman sword. Thinking that should convey just how much business he meant, Densus once again screamed at them to stop. Again, they kept on marching. Certain that they'd been able to hear him that last time, Densus shrugged, probably said, "You asked for it," and lunged on the posse.

Completely surrounded, Densus fought the entire army by himself to defend a man he hardly knew. Hardened by years of combat, he slashed his way through the army, as Plutarch puts it, "for some time." His courageous stand ended when he was brought down by a blow to the back of the knee and enthusiastically murdered by the mob. Unfortunately for the guy he was guarding, the men operating his carriage were so awestruck by Densus' giant balls that they dropped their gear and ran for it, face-planting the Emperor in the turf. Galba was killed, decapitated and his head was paraded around town on a spear. Plutarch fails to mention what the mob did with Sempronius Densus' body, though we have to imagine it involved very little parading, and a whole lot of staying the hell away. As slasher films would go on to teach us, you should never assume you've actually killed anyone who can kill that many people with just a knife.

« Last Edit: 2012-05-31, 01:26:27 by RauttSkegg »
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Sir William

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Re: Honor & Duty can just suck.
« Reply #1 on: 2012-05-31, 14:23:32 »
And yet, despite his misgivings, he faced down a 1000 armed soldiers to protect a man he didn't particularly like.  Was that true loyalty, or deeply-ingrained training with a strong sense of duty?  I think you called it right...duty and honor...he is remembered because of it, and what man doesn't want to be remembered?

Empirically speaking, I would like to espouse those ideals and live them- but the cynic in me doesn't believe there's anyone worth that much that I'd throw my life away just like that...unless it was my wife and/or kids at stake...to give them enough time to get away, not watch me die like that idiot Emperor was doing- what the hell was he thinking?  He should've gotten out when he first heard they were coming for him!  He let that man die for nothing when they took him.
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Joshua Santana

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Re: Honor & Duty can just suck.
« Reply #2 on: 2012-05-31, 16:01:39 »
Quote
Honor & Duty can just suck. The following is from "The 7 Most Badass Last Stands in the History of Battle" by Ben Thompson:

Sempronius Densus, 69 AD.

"No man resisted or offered to stand up in his defense, save one only, a centurion, Sempronius Densus, the single man among so many thousands that the sun beheld that day act worthily of the Roman empire, who, though he never received any favor from Galba, yet out of bravery and allegiance endeavored to defend the throne."
- Plutarch, Lives

Sempronius Densus was a grizzled old war veteran who took his job as a Roman Imperial Guard very seriously. So he wasn't about to run when he saw a few thousand mutinous Roman soldiers marching on the palace preparing to execute the Emperor. It's important to keep in mind that Densus had no particular loyalties to the Emperor Galba. He just knew that his job description called for him to put his life on the line to save the son of a bitch, and he didn't f**k around when he was on the job. So Densus walked towards the mob, brandishing his Centurion Whacking Stick--a short cudgel that Roman officers used to administer back-breaking corporal punishment to out-of-line soldiers--and ordered the advancing men to stop.

Seeing that the blood thirsty, sword carrying mob of 1,000 wasn't listening to the one dude with a stick, Densus pulled his pugio--a short dagger roughly half the size of the standard Roman sword. Thinking that should convey just how much business he meant, Densus once again screamed at them to stop. Again, they kept on marching. Certain that they'd been able to hear him that last time, Densus shrugged, probably said, "You asked for it," and lunged on the posse.

Completely surrounded, Densus fought the entire army by himself to defend a man he hardly knew. Hardened by years of combat, he slashed his way through the army, as Plutarch puts it, "for some time." His courageous stand ended when he was brought down by a blow to the back of the knee and enthusiastically murdered by the mob. Unfortunately for the guy he was guarding, the men operating his carriage were so awestruck by Densus' giant balls that they dropped their gear and ran for it, face-planting the Emperor in the turf. Galba was killed, decapitated and his head was paraded around town on a spear. Plutarch fails to mention what the mob did with Sempronius Densus' body, though we have to imagine it involved very little parading, and a whole lot of staying the hell away. As slasher films would go on to teach us, you should never assume you've actually killed anyone who can kill that many people with just a knife.

Very nice account, I enjoyed reading it and I will tell that at times Honor and Duty can suck a bit.  However, it is more of what you do despite the suck situation, Character stands out more than what an Emperor orders, for those of experience will tell the truth. 
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Sir Justin

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Re: Honor & Duty can just suck.
« Reply #3 on: 2012-06-03, 06:17:14 »
Wow, truly inspiring, im surprised such bravery wasnt shared among his peers. We may not know entirely why he stood up for the Emperor, but his loyalty shined brightly through till the end.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Honor & Duty can just suck.
« Reply #4 on: 2012-06-03, 07:33:42 »
It was but perhaps they saw that rebellion was more true to the post than to the man ala Varangian Guard or perhaps he was the only one on Guard.

Perhaps no Catonians were left like say Lucius Vorenus:

Fall down seven, get up eight.

Joshua Santana

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Re: Honor & Duty can just suck.
« Reply #5 on: 2012-06-03, 12:27:21 »
Quote
Wow, truly inspiring, im surprised such bravery wasnt shared among his peers. We may not know entirely why he stood up for the Emperor, but his loyalty shined brightly through till the end.

That I agree. 
Knight of The Lion Blade

Honora gladium meum, veritas mea, et SpirĂ­tui Sancto.  כדי לכבד המגן שלי, האמת שלי חרבי

Honor My Sword, Truth My Shield.