Ping Tracker

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Lost Roman Legion

This is old news to some, but I think it's pretty interesting.

Pretty much every time you see the words "The Lost......." before something historical or legendary, it always ends up being really interesting. The Lost Roman Legion, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw, the list goes on.

"The Lost Roman Legion," as legend has dubbed them, were those few Romans left standing after their defeat (or massacre) at Carrhae under Marcus Crassus (Carrhae is in present day Turkey).

After their defeat, it is said the Parthians captured about 10,000 troops and sent them to Marginia (Afghanistan/Turkmenistan today) to guard the eastern end of the empire. The Chinese eventually captured this area and it is thought to be the first contact between the Romans and Chinese. Somehow, some of these Romans were captured and made to fight for the Xiongnu (also known as Huns, but this is controversial among some).

They fought with the Xiongnu (Huns) against the Chinese, were captured by the Chinese, and are thought to have been moved to Liqian Village, in what is now China's Gansu province.

"They supposedly fought as mercenaries in a war between the Huns and the Chinese in 36BC – Chinese chroniclers refer to the capture of a "fish-scale formation" of troops, a possible reference to the "tortoise" phalanx formation perfected by legionnaries."

There is some evidence to this claim. This link - The Telegraph - shows a Chinese man from the village with green eyes. That's not something you seen in ordinary Chinese people. Tests show that some villagers have as much as 56% Caucasian in origin....that's not something that can be faked. 

The village is in a remote part of Gansu province, and until recently, was not frequented by foreigners. Skeptics would have proved long ago through provincial records or something of the like that foreigners came into the area in more recent times. Many in the village believe themselves to be descendants of the Romans.

It's not totally implausible. There are still descendants of blue-eyed and fair-skinned Alexander the Great's army in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I even heard something (just heard) that there is a village somewhere in rural Pakistan that still speaks an ancient dialect of Greek. Cool! I can't think of any other military campaign besides Alexander's and this story's which reached so far. Maybe there's something to it, who knows?

I don't know exactly what's going on here, but it's definitely something I'm interested in looking into further. Here's some of the stuff I looked at for this blog post - feel free to continue to search!

Arch News
Liqian Village Wiki

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...