One of the great questions concerning pre-Columbian contact between the Old and the New World is artifacts. One would expect that if extensive contact had happened between the Old and New World that we would have artifacts left behind by those visitors / explorers. Well pre-Columbian Old World artifacts are conspicuous by their absence in the New World.
Recently I saw the film The Eagle, which concerned the efforts of a young Roman military officer to get back the lost Roman Eagle of the Ninth Legion Hispana.
In the story Marcus, the Roman military officer is the son of the Commander of the 9th Hispana Legion that was lost in the northern Britain, (modern day Scotland) late in the reign of the Emperor Trajan or early in the reign of Emperor Hadrian, (c. 117-120 C.E.). Young Marcus is appointed a commander of one of the garrisons along Hadrian’s Wall in the north of Britain and in repelling an assault by local Britons he is seriously wounded.
Logistically Medieval armies of the 12th and 13th century tended to live off the land which made them veritable plagues of locusts to the locals who where unfortunate enough to be where the armies were. Crop surpluses were very low. Generally yields of crops were on the order of 1 to 3 to 1 to 6, in some cases it was a very bad 1 to 2. the above figures are the ratio of planted grain to yield. I.E. for every 1 grain planted you got 3 or more grains. This meant that a sizable portion of the harvest had to be saved as seed grain for the next planting. Of course the peasants also had taxes to pay and dues owing to their lords. Both of which were frequently quite substantial. This made living fairly precarious. Add an army marching through to the mix and life became vastly more difficult if not impossible. Peasants usually viewed armies as a curse and punishment from heaven, even if the army was their army. Areas through which armies went through were usually swiftly devastated. Added to this Peasants were frequently forcibly conscripted to provide labour services to armies, men forcibly billeted on them. Not surprisingly regions in which armies appeared were often depopulated as people fled, and often took decades to recover.
On February 9, 2011 a column appeared by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association in which Bryan Fischer stated his opinion that the dispossession of the American Indians from the great majority of the U.S.A. was moral and ethical;1 the piece is an excellent example of moral idiocy. Below I will give the article in italics with my comments plain characters.