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Duke_Leto
04-03-2016, 17:18
So I feel pretty safe saying that the Ultramarines are Graeco Roman. White Scars are the Mongols. Thousand Sons are Egyptians. But what are the other legions?

In particular what about the Dark Angels and the Imperial Fists?

Clearly the Black Templars (as successor chapter from the IF) are Teutonic Order Knights but then isn't that also what the Dark Angles kind of are too?

Are the Emperors Children the ancient Persians?

Thoughts?

Inquisitor Engel
04-03-2016, 17:41
Black Templars are Teutonic. Dark Angels are literally warrior monks, with the emphasis on monk, rather than the knightly emphasis the Templars usually get.

Blood Angels lean Renaissance Italian. But vampires.

Ultramarines are pop-Culture Greek in imagery, with Latin-inspired named.

Imperial Fists are a blend of heavy Prussian and a dose of historical Roman thrown in there (as opposed to the more pop-culture-y Greek Ultramarines).

The Emperor's Children have a bit of an Art Deco vibe, mixed with some Baroque influences, but taken to the extreme.

agurus1
04-03-2016, 20:59
Iron Warriors have always had a very 15th-16th Ottoman vibe to them. Siegemasters, focus on massed artillery, ferocious in the assault, and masters of logistics. Also perfectly willing to expend lives of lesser troops to secure victory.

Grubnar
04-03-2016, 22:17
The Raven Guard has many historical "real world basis". They are usually noticeable for their skill, speed, and stealth.

The Raven has been a symbol for wisdom since before the time of the vikings. In Norse Mythology, Odin was often refered to as "the Raven Lord" since he had two ravens that would spy on the world for him, and tell him of everything they sew and heard (much like how the Raven Guard was "the eyes and ears of the Emperor.
The Vikings would sometimes use a Raven banner (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_banner) as one of their war-banners. They were of course famous for their lighning raids!

And they were far from the only ones to do so. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korwin_coat_of_arms)

But the actual name, Raven Guard (and the name of their primarch, Corvus Corax) may come from the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthias_Corvinus) and his Black Army.

Nazguire
05-03-2016, 03:20
The Legions/Chapters may have used to have only one real predominant theme running through them, but thanks to HH it is fair to say that many of them now have mixture of many more than just one stereotype.

Case in point - Thousand Sons. Heavy doses of Mayan and Aztec culture in there, along with Egyptian references.

Iron Warriors - Many of the names are Ancient Greek or Roman sounding, Ottoman influence (as mentioned earlier), World War I siege and trench elements, etc.

The Black Shield
05-03-2016, 03:48
This one is pretty much a no-brainer, the Space Wolves are Norse/Werewolves.

Duke_Leto
05-03-2016, 08:16
Thanks everyone for replies so far. Interesting stuff. Agreed that the Legions have evolved with the advent of the HH novel series and given them more mixed heritage which is a good thing. As said above back in the early days of 40k games there was a more direct read through.

Be interested to hear more thought on rest of legions too.

Really like the Raven Guard link to Matthias Corvinus! Interesting though as I always pegged the Blood Angels as medieval Balkans due to the vampire theme and not as suggested above Renaissance Italian...though that too is an interesting parallel.

agurus1
05-03-2016, 10:33
I've heard from someone else that the Deathguard have origins in a British scifi book called Deathguard where artificial superhuman warriors were created to defeat an enemy but end up killing humans. Think it was supposed to be post WWI era.

Edit: found it

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_Guard

Azazyll
06-03-2016, 04:12
Blood angels are also Old Testament related, with a few Levantine names (Baal, Azkellon) and a definite "Lord of Hosts" vibe.

I'd say the Ultramarines were more Roman than Greek, personally. Depends on the source.

Dark Angels definitely mix monks and knights, but not in a historically accurate way. Probably the templars if I had to pick one.

Raven Guard background is based on a Heinlein novel, "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress." Unsurprising, since the whole concept of Space Marines comes from his "Starship Troopers." They've added Maori artistic elements more recently.

Angron's story is based on Spartacus' revolt. Night Haunter is Batman, obv. ;)

But most of them aren't based on real world models but more generic concepts. There's no real-world allegory for Salamanders, for instance, or the Alpha Legion (despite their preference for Greek letters, and the Hydra).

Inquisitor Engel
06-03-2016, 05:38
There's no real-world allegory for Salamanders, for instance, or the Alpha Legion (despite their preference for Greek letters, and the Hydra).

Salamanders are one of the more 'mythological' inspired legions, as the fire imagery for Salamanders have a very long and international history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamanders_in_folklore_and_legend).

I think that's why the Alpha Legion have a big resurgence lately. They're super-human super-spies, with a lot of Cold War-era spy mythology and unconventional warfare methods baked into the "normal" Space Marine imagery, but given their non-centralized structure and still relative mystery, they're a blank slate for many players, and I think that appeals to people.

Azazyll
06-03-2016, 13:35
I meant from a cultural perspective; not many legions are like Space Wolves, Thousand Sons, Ultramarines or White Scars where you can say vikings/Egyptians/Romans/Mongols in space. I'd say less than half have a direct real-world cultural analogue of real significance like that.

Razios
08-03-2016, 20:54
Let see:

Dark angel: they use the monk warrior, also they example very well the whole "Angel of death" thing going around(Asmodial,Azazel,etc), but their influence are mostly arthurian(Lion as arthur and Luther as morderd, the whole order thing....yeah)

Emperor children: mostly Italian and french nobility with the steriotypical concept of babylon of decadence

Iron warrior: they look very spartan with a bit of Rome throw in it

White scar: pretty much mongolian, to the point it bite them in the ass a couple of times.

Space wolf: at first they where "werewolf" mairnes but now the viking aspect is emphized waaaaaay much

Imperial fist: mostly prussia with more roman influnce throw into the mix

Night lord: well aside of heart of darkness reference I will said just gotham...I cant see any historial basis for the night lord

Blood angels: old testament with latin? or spanish?....and of course the whole christianity and vampire themes

Iron hands: I have not idea since most of their stuff is about the cyborg angle, so....

World eaters: pretty much spartacus and....carthage? I dont know but it make sense Angron face guillman(the greco roman)

Ultramarines: greco-roman more than anything(after all you have place like ptolomeo library, the fortress of Hera and others)

Death guard: I cant said

Thousand sons: mosly egyptian with some cultist theme(as the ranks of TS are from lodge of the golden dawn) and a little of nordic mythologic(really)

Sons of horus: I cant said

World beares: As chaos their influence are clearly "satanic" but historical would be sumeria and many other biblican civilizations

Salamanders: aside from some vague african part....nothing

Raven guard: If I remenber well they use to have some native american thing going on but they seen absent now, what a shame

Alpha legion: pretty much terrorist in general, lest space james bond and more space al-qaeda and other organizations.

Night Bearer
08-03-2016, 22:20
Well, the Space Marine legions in and of themselves were simply based on the Roman legions, including the two 'mystery' legions representing the Roman practice of removing dishonored legions from public memory.

Many Roman legions were named after their geographical origins, like the Legio I Germanica or Legio III Italica, but some were named after qualities, such as the Legio I Adiutrix ("Rescuer"), Legio XXI Rapax ("Rapacious"), or Legio X Fretensis ("Of the Straits", from a famous battle it took part in), or after an Emperor (e.g. Legio IV Flavia Felix, "Flavian's Lucky 4th Legion"). Some even had multiple names, like the Legio XII Fulminata ("Thunderbolt"), which at different times was also known as Victrix ("Victorious") and "Antiqua" ("Ancient").

Regardless, each legion would have certain symbols associated with it, like capricorns, bulls, or certain gods, although a lot of these were shared amongst multiple Legions - all of the legions raised by Julius Caesar, for example, used bull emblems.

Given how little the original legion backgrounds were thematically developed to fit their names - early Space Wolves weren't decked in pelts and hammers, riding cyber-wolves, and named RagnarJarl WolfsonLokiFenrisMoonHowlBlood, for example - my personal guess is that the Legion names were really just meant to be randomly evocative descriptions of the equally random icons designed for them. The fact that the Dark Angels got a Native American themed Marine element (the original incarnation of the Deathwing) I think supports an argument that the Marine legions/chapters were not initially intended to fit army-specific themes.

As such, a lot of mixing has gone on, to the point that even as GW has solidified some of the themes, I'm not sure it's a simple task of assigning a single specific historical source to any particular legion.

MTSulla
09-03-2016, 10:48
I agree with a lot of the above, but I think the cultures associated with the Legions are quite separate from their aesthetics. My beloved Emperors Children, for example, their culture (home world story, the suffix of -eon used in some names) seems to have been inspired heavily by Phoenician (another name given to Fulgrim) culture, whilst there is an obvious Roman influence in some names (Lucius, Julius, Vespasian etc) ranks (Praefector) and units (Palatine referring to one of the seven hills of Rome). Aesthetically, however, they are very European baroque as people have already said, and not Punic in any way at all.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hellebore
09-03-2016, 11:11
You'll find quite a lot of origin crossovers for the legions - there just aren't that many archetypes.

the Dark angels and the Templars are both very similar, but they focus on slightly different aspects of the same theme.

kilkrazy
09-03-2016, 11:16
I guess the Sons of Horus could be based on the Americans.
Swing in at the end, say they saved day and claim all the glory :evilgrin: Where have the Ork smilies gone.
Though theyre probably Carthagians.

Although he Didnt invade the capitol Dorn and his fists have a bit of King of the Vandals in him.

Razios
09-03-2016, 22:14
as night bearer said: is pretty much all legions where just a nice gimmick: raven being stelthy, iron hand being techy, etc so their inspiration comes latter.

In fact sometimes it became clear that, like the iron hands and their tech obsession outweight their clan based nature, you could said Salamander are african but is barely there while their pasion for fire is all over the place(to the point of being fetish it) with the space wolf happen the oposite: GW wants more viking and less wolf, maybe they would take it seriously

Azazyll
10-03-2016, 03:08
I'm just going to take a slight issue with Alpha Legion as al-Qaeda style terrorists: they're not. Terrorism has worn a lot of faces over the past century and more, with religious terrorism (that is religion rather than nationalism or some other ideology as the primary motivator) being a relatively recent innovation of the past thirty years. Nor do the AL resemble in ideology any real-world terrorists.

Instead they look more like the sinister masterminds of conspiracy theory and pop-culture, organizations like Spectre or Hydra, whose goals are more about power for its own sake and a pathological desire to rule from the shadows, as opposed to terrorists in the real world who use such tactics because that's the only violent option available to a non-state actor in the military situation of the modern world. On the rare occasions that terrorists have actually seized power in the real world they have happily transitioned to more conventional military operations whenever able, whereas the AL always obsessively prefers terroristic strategies where ever possible.

My two cents. Not defending terrorism, just pointing out that it's a far more complex phenomenon than our media presents most of the time. Nor do I mean to justify such violence, I merely point out that a small group cannot reasonably hope to defeat a state with a modern military using conventional engagements tactics.

Gdolkin
10-03-2016, 13:53
What do we make of the Iron Hands and Medusa? The landscape and nomadic mining culture of Medusa give me a Russia/Soviet/Siberia vibe, likewise the mention and description of Albia as a major source of original Terran recruits.. Whereas the nature and names of the Clans seem Scottish to me, I can't seem to say Kaargul, Raukaan, Morragul or Ungavarr etc in my head without it sounding well Scottish.

Azazyll
10-03-2016, 14:59
What do we make of the Iron Hands and Medusa? The landscape and nomadic mining culture of Medusa give me a Russia/Soviet/Siberia vibe, likewise the mention and description of Albia as a major source of original Terran recruits.. Whereas the nature and names of the Clans seem Scottish to me, I can't seem to say Kaargul, Raukaan, Morragul or Ungavarr etc in my head without it sounding well Scottish.

Really? They don't sound Scottish to me in the slightest, they sound like the stuff people make up at random to sound like a cool made up language. Iron Hands clans are nomadic for one thing, so bedouins or turkomen would make more sense. I can see the Soviet vibe a little, especially the brutality, but overall Iron Hands more than most owe a lot to classic scifi tropes rather than the real world.

Gdolkin
10-03-2016, 15:50
Really? They don't sound Scottish to me in the slightest, they sound like the stuff people make up at random to sound like a cool made up language. Iron Hands clans are nomadic for one thing, so bedouins or turkomen would make more sense. I can see the Soviet vibe a little, especially the brutality, but overall Iron Hands more than most owe a lot to classic scifi tropes rather than the real world.
Fair enough, it's just my auditory imagination :) I'm Midlands English, and have known a fair few Glasgow area Scots, so my idea of what sounds scottish may be different from yours, but doesn't e.g "Clan Morlaag" or "Clan Sorrgol" sound at all Scottish to anyone else?:chrome:

Fangschrecken
10-03-2016, 18:37
They do sound really Scottish when you say them aloud. Could they be Travelers?

Razios
10-03-2016, 20:21
Oh went I said Al Qaeda was just and example, also Alpha legion dosent have a historical counterpart, instead being just terrorist or cell fighter, they are pretty much their gimmnick

And the iron hands....yeah etheir scotish with a bit of old testament clanhood throwing around

unwanted
10-03-2016, 21:21
If the Alpha Legion have any real-world counterpart, it's most likely consoiracy-theories about state-agencies like the CIA and KGB/FSB fighting proxy-wars for unfathomable ends and engineering coups, terror and general mayhem for rather intangible goals and gains.

Inquisitor Engel
11-03-2016, 06:41
If the Alpha Legion have any real-world counterpart, it's most likely consoiracy-theories about state-agencies like the CIA and KGB/FSB fighting proxy-wars for unfathomable ends and engineering coups, terror and general mayhem for rather intangible goals and gains.

That's exactly what it is. The current Alpha Legion (who had approximately zero background until their IA came out, and even that was crazy minimal until Legion showed up) are based on Tom Clancy novels more than anything else.

Freak Ona Leash
14-03-2016, 06:57
Really? They don't sound Scottish to me in the slightest, they sound like the stuff people make up at random to sound like a cool made up language. Iron Hands clans are nomadic for one thing, so bedouins or turkomen would make more sense. I can see the Soviet vibe a little, especially the brutality, but overall Iron Hands more than most owe a lot to classic scifi tropes rather than the real world.

Well, if we're thinking in terms of medieval, Gaelic-speaking Scots, whom were fairly similar in most ways to the Irish-speaking medieval Irish, then they were actually semi-nomadic ;)

agurus1
14-03-2016, 08:37
Ferrus manus is Latin for iron hand/fist

Azazyll
14-03-2016, 19:39
Lion el'Johnson - named for the poet Lionel Johnson
Fulgrim - unsure
Perturabo - pretty clearly a riff on perturbed
Jaghatai Khan - Mongolian
Leman Russ - Not sure on first name, the latter was an alternate name for Swedish vikings in what became Russia (named for them)
Rogal Dorn - unsure
Konrad Curze - For the author Joseph Conrad and his most famous antagonist Kurtz from Heart of Darkness
Sanguinius - from Latin for blood, but according to medieval humoral theory it also means cheerful and optimistic
Ferrus Manus - literally Iron Hand. Not terribly clever there, but there's more of this to come
Angron - legend says a bar (pub?) in Nottingham had a petulant bouncer nicknamed Angry Ron. Seriously, seen that in numerous accounts.
Roboute Guilliman - Why does the leader of the space Romans have a French name?
Mortarion - from Latin for death or corpse
Magnus the Red - Magnus means "great" or "great one" in Latin
Horus Lupercal - Horus is the Egyptian hawk-headed protector deity of the sky and later lord of the pantheon; Lupercal refers to the cave where the infants Romulus and Remus were suckled by the she-wolf, and later a Roman fertility festival associated with it that was replaced by Valentine's Day
Lorgar Aurelian - not sure on Lorgar, but Aurelian means "golden" and was the name of a Roman emperor famous for his philosophical writings
Vulkan - Roman forge and fire god syncretically linked to the Greek Hephaestus.
Corvus Corax - literally just the Linnaean taxonomic name for the common raven
Alpharius/Omegon - from the first and last letter of the Greek Alphabet, Alpha and Omega. Together they are used to signify Christ as he appears in the Book of Revelation, i.e. "I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last" Revelation 22:13

Razios
15-03-2016, 02:35
Magnus the Red - Magnus means "great" or "great one" in Latin



Also it come from Magus, which is pretty much mage

Also we dont forget other chapter, like crimson fist(spanish marines) the templar(teutonic knights) the blood ravens(Gypsy) and Storm lords(scottish)

agurus1
16-03-2016, 17:30
Rorgal Dorn is Gaelic I believe for Royal fist/hand as well lol, not very imaginative GW ;)

Night Bearer
17-03-2016, 20:35
Regarding Fulgrim, it's a bit of a stretch, but "fulgur" is the latin for "lightning".

Freak Ona Leash
17-03-2016, 20:40
Rorgal Dorn is Gaelic I believe for Royal fist/hand as well lol, not very imaginative GW ;)

Dorn is Irish for fist. Rogal recalls the English "regal" so it does kinda seem like the name is "Royal Fist." That one's at least slightly clever because not very many people speak Irish :p Could even simply be a happy coincidence, though I doubt it.

Night Bearer
17-03-2016, 22:08
As I said above, "Fulger" is latin for "lightning", which makes me think that's the basis for Fulgrim, given the use of lightning bolts as a common motif of the Emperor and pre-heresy Imperial forces (e.g. Thunder armour) - seems like a fitting name for the primarch of the legion named after the Emperor.

Iron Warriors: Likely named after the Conan-esque 1987 movie, "Ator 3: Iron Warrior". Additionally, one of the Roman Legions was known as the Legio VI Ferrata, or "Ironclad". Seems like a good classic 40k mix of history and pop culture.

Magnus the Red: I've always assumed it's a reference to Albert Magnus, a theologian and philosopher who is alleged to have also been an alchemist and magician.

Roboute Guilliman: Compleletely personal lunatic fringe theory: it's a "Frenchy" parody of the name of Robert Guillaume, an American actor who played a popular 70s/80s TV character, Benson, on two different series ("Soap" and its spin-off, "Benson").

Leman Russ: Equally lunatic fringe theory: it's a quasi-phonetic parody of "Le Man's Race", as in the endurance car race.

Fangschrecken
18-03-2016, 19:38
Leman Russ: Equally lunatic fringe theory: it's a quasi-phonetic parody of "Le Man's Race", as in the endurance car race.

Or perhaps it's "Le Man Rus"? Fake French for "The Russian Man." Given that some Vikings carved up Russia between their princely states it's no too crazy.

agurus1
18-03-2016, 21:01
The Vikings that conquered Russia were know as "the Russ"

Night Bearer
18-03-2016, 21:55
I'm aware of the Russ, but I think that's simply the convenient phonetic word they used for the parody, rather than the direct reference itself, if that makes sense.

The name comes from long before when they decided to really push the individual themes of these legions. Given some of the primarch names, a terrible pun seems the much more likely basis for Leman's name than an attempt to reference Vikings through their Russian adventures. ;-)

Azazyll
18-03-2016, 22:45
I often forget it, but the Imperial fists also have Inuit (Eskimo) elements. The frozen homeworld of Inwit is the dead giveaway, but so is the obsession with scrimshawing and perhaps even their fleet-based nature in general.

Meanwhile the Raven Guard use designs similar to the Maori of New Zealand. Hopefully the vaguely Native American tendency of the Dark Angels will get played up as well.

The Black Shield
19-03-2016, 03:13
It is my opinion that both the Dark Angels and the Black Templar are based on the Templar Order. The Black Templar are more based on the martial aspect of the Templar while the dark Angels are based are the more secretive practices of the Templar. Things that are very similar to the secretive practices of men's organizations like the Masons, Knights of Columbus, Elks and many others.

Wyrmwood
19-03-2016, 03:50
Given that the Imperium is somewhat analogous to one of the great hellenistic empires of antiquity, culminating with the Roman and Medieval Roman/"Byzantine" Empires, it's interesting to consider the varying degrees of Graeco-Roman influence present in the Legions.

For example: the Ultramarines are very reminiscent of not simply the "Romans" as a generic term, but we can say that they are closest to the Roman Republic of the Marian Reforms - owing to their massive size in both materials and manpower, organisation and military doctrine (even relative to other Legions, owing to reformed recruitment procedures - a problem faced and overcame using similar solutions by the Roman general Marius); not to mention the Graeco-Roman iconography and Hellenistic terminology (Tetrarch is a "Byzantine" organisational term denoting the command of four). Guilliman does not really strike me as a figure akin to those we might see in the Imperial period, where the Roman state was heavily influenced by conventions from Persia (absolute monarchy, monarch as God etc), but more along the lines of the old heroes and reformers: Scipio, Marius, Pompey in contrast to Horus as Caesar, Augustus or Justinian. Quite clearly there are more influences in there, but it's quite interesting that they fit quite neatly into that one theme of the Roman military; that one theme is Marian, not the Augustine segmentata wearers of the Imperium Romanum.

Contrary to this, the Iron Warriors display more Hellenic influence (Olympia being a mountainous world divided into constantly warring city-states = Planet Iron-Age Greece), though their penchant for advanced technology points more to the Macedonian/Seleucid or Medieval Roman/"Byzantine" (or even early Ottoman) influence for flavour as opposed to the classic polities of Athens, Thebes, Sparta etc. That said, they also draw from the reformed Prussian army (Clausewitzian thinking, reforms of Scharnost and wargames) in addition to geometry, logic, mathematics and science.

Azazyll
19-03-2016, 04:20
It is my opinion that both the Dark Angels and the Black Templar are based on the Templar Order. The Black Templar are more based on the martial aspect of the Templar while the dark Angels are based are the more secretive practices of the Templar. Things that are very similar to the secretive practices of men's organizations like the Masons, Knights of Columbus, Elks and many others.

Say rather that they represent the popular misconceptions of these things, not the medieval reality. The Masons have about as strong a connection to the Templars as I do.

Firidan
19-03-2016, 04:38
Iron warriors were definetly inspired by sixth ironclad legion of Rome. The legion was one of Caesar's favorites to whom he personally attributed several of his victories. It was known for brutal hand-to-hand combat and heavy infantry assaults (iron warriors theme). Ironclads attacked with relentless ferocity and pulled through despite heavy casualties. For instance in Caesar's Egypt campaign the legion was reduced to under a thousand men (down from 5 thousand) and still continued to be an effective force.

Wyrmwood
19-03-2016, 04:51
To be fair, I think that can be a generalisation of the Roman legions since the Pyrrhic War; more descriptive of the Space Marines as a whole rather than simply the Iron Warriors, despite the name Ferrata. It's probably fair to compare the Iron Warriors with the Roman legions in respect of sheer dogged determination to win despite, if not because of, high casualties owing to superior manpower; at least according to some things attributed to Perturabo.

The Black Shield
19-03-2016, 05:39
I was speaking of their rituals that only their members know and the secretiveness. I was not saying the Templar are connected to the Masons.

Lupe
19-03-2016, 13:45
Iron warriors were definetly inspired by sixth ironclad legion of Rome. The legion was one of Caesar's favorites to whom he personally attributed several of his victories. It was known for brutal hand-to-hand combat and heavy infantry assaults (iron warriors theme). Ironclads attacked with relentless ferocity and pulled through despite heavy casualties. For instance in Caesar's Egypt campaign the legion was reduced to under a thousand men (down from 5 thousand) and still continued to be an effective force.

Sounds good, although that's only half of their theme, though.

The other half would probably be World War II Germany, in many respects. Mechanized infantry, heavily armoured tanks, long, protracted sieges (with parallels drawn to Leningrad, Stalingrad, Sevastopol), obsession for big guns (Germany's famous Leopold / Schwerer Gustav railway guns just scream "Iron Within!!!!"). Hell, even their doctrine strikes me as remarkably similar to Walter Model's defensive doctrine (as described quite accurately on his Wikipedia page), although the Iron Warriors apply those principles to offense, as well.

Azazyll
19-03-2016, 21:04
I was speaking of their rituals that only their members know and the secretiveness. I was not saying the Templar are connected to the Masons.

Fair enough, but that image still has far more to do with the slanderous accusations made at the trial of the Templars when the king of France bullied the pope into disbanding them. We should (as always) be wary of accepting the statements of individuals made under what was by all accounts pretty brutal torture, and which many later recanted before their executions on the pyre, as truth. The supposed secrecy of the Templars was part of a highly politicized agenda that ended up lining the pockets of their accusers. I highly doubt they had orgies or worshipped Baphomet either. 90% of the crap written on the Templars today is pure nonsense, whether positive or negative.

Does make for fun fantasy inspiration though ;)

As to the question of Roman inspiration, to a degree all the Legiones Astartes are inspired by the Roman legions. Less so by Ishtar, but the first part of the name definitely. Nomen est omen.

Freak Ona Leash
20-03-2016, 19:15
Fun fact, Ultramarines are also inspired, name-wise at least, by the Crusader States established in the Levant during the Middle Ages. Known in French as Outremer, they were states established through violent conquest beyond the European continent, in the East. At the edge of the known world...it's eastern fringe, if you will ;) In Portuguese, which for some reason pops up in old 40k fluff (Pedro Cantor=Portuguese for Peter Singer, playtester for Rogue Trader), Ultramar is synonymous with Outremer (and the general word for "overseas" I think, which is what Outremer translates to in French as well if I'm not mistaken, outre-mer, over-seas).

So the Ultramarines literally hail from "overseas" or less literally, from very far away, which is a fairly good description of Ultramar's location on the Eastern Fringe, and it also recalls the same sort of "enclave of knights in hostile territory" feeling that popular culture ascribes to the Crusader States of historical Outremer.

40k codex authors used to be smart :p

Azazyll
20-03-2016, 19:31
Fun fact, Ultramarines are also inspired, name-wise at least, by the Crusader States established in the Levant during the Middle Ages. Known in French as Outremer, they were states established through violent conquest beyond the European continent, in the East. At the edge of the known world...it's eastern fringe, if you will ;) In Portuguese, which for some reason pops up in old 40k fluff (Pedro Cantor=Portuguese for Peter Singer, playtester for Rogue Trader), Ultramar is synonymous with Outremer (and the general word for "overseas" I think, which is what Outremer translates to in French as well if I'm not mistaken, outre-mer, over-seas).

So the Ultramarines literally hail from "overseas" or less literally, from very far away, which is a fairly good description of Ultramar's location on the Eastern Fringe, and it also recalls the same sort of "enclave of knights in hostile territory" feeling that popular culture ascribes to the Crusader States of historical Outremer.

40k codex authors used to be smart :p

Yes indeed, it was actually at least five years before I realized that ultramar (over-the-sea) had also resulted in the double meaning ultramarine (the color, which of course they are). Of course the color gets its name from the fact that it came from over the sea (originally the lapis lazuli mines of Afghanistan).

So not only smart, but kind of into bad puns...

Freak Ona Leash
20-03-2016, 21:21
Oh, Ultramarines are the king of bad puns, when it comes to their name. On the surface, it makes sense: "Ultramarine" is a descriptor for someone from Ultramar, similar to saying "American" or "British." But, of course, they are also blue (though I do not think they are actually the hue designated "ultramarine"), and moreover, they are one of the most renowned and influential Chapters, so in that sense they are also "ultra" (as in really mega awesome) marines. :D And they live at the edge of the galaxy, so on and so forth, as explained above.

I love puns, so I find it all quite humorous.