were there any detonations in the middle ages?

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ebrahim

Senior Member
Persian
Hi everybody,

Would you please tell me the meaning of 'detonation' in this piece of text.

"A pallid sepia sky covers the battlefield of Thermopylae. The warriors are caught in poses of utter stillness, blood sprays over them, and detonations
hurtle past their shields." Sean Cubit, Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies, chapter two: The Supernatural in Neo-baroque Hallywood.

I wonder if there was any kind of explosions at that time. Does this word mean something else?

 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Detonations" looks odd and misused to me in this language about the battle at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Gunpowder and explosives as we know them today were not used then.

    By the way, ebrahim, this period of time is referred to in the west as "antiquity". 480 B.C. is not part of the middle ages.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It may help to remember that Cubit is probably writing about the depiction of a battle in a Hollywood film. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see "detonations" in some silly movie about that battle between the Greeks and the Persians. :rolleyes:

    Many "historical" movies are notorious for their inaccuracies. There are no limits to the fantastic ideas that living people can project onto the past.
     
    Last edited:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It wouldn't surprise me, ebrahim, because I'm accustomed to seeing unbelievable portrayals of the past in movies. Movies are designed to entertain people. Frequently, filmmakers are not very concerned about historical accuracy when they make some wild movie about life in the past.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Checking online, this is about the movie 300 which is based on the comic book, I mean, graphic novel of the same name.
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    It wouldn't surprise me, ebrahim, because I'm accustomed to seeing unbelievable portrayals of the past in movies. Movies are designed to entertain people. Frequently, filmmakers are not very concerned about historical accuracy when they make some wild movie about life in the past.
    Oh, I see. You're right. They try to decorate their movies with fantasies. But beside that, don't you think by 'detonations' he meant the fireballs being shot by the arrows?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    But beside that, don't you think by 'detonations' he meant the fireballs being shot by the arrows?
    I wouldn't use "detonation" for anything that did not explode. I have no idea what "detonation" might mean to Sean Cubit.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Have you seen the movie? Because I haven't, but detonations ordinarily means "explosions." It should not refer to fireballs. If there are no actual explosions in the movie, I'd have to say that the writer used the wrong word.
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Have you seen the movie? Because I haven't, but detonations ordinarily means "explosions." It should not refer to fireballs. If there are no actual explosions in the movie, I'd have to say that the writer used the wrong word.
    Fortunately no. It's not worth watching.
    1- How an explosion could move past something? even if it was an actual explosion, isn't it in form of a fireball now?
    2- given that at that time there wasn't any explosives, are these explosions imaginary?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Detonations/explosions create clouds of smoke, particles, dirt, blood, ... which move through the air while still being part of the event.
    I haven't seen it recently enough to remember to many specifics but the way that blood sprayed could be described as explosive. I do remember that there was a lot of flaming arrows setting off burning liquids in the second movie.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Fortunately no. It's not worth watching.
    1- How an explosion could move past something? even if it was an actual explosion, isn't it in form of a fireball now?
    2- given that at that time there wasn't any explosives, are these explosions imaginary?
    1. Excellent question, and my answer is that I don't know. I would guess - but this is definitely a guess - that he means the force of the explosions (the shock wave and perhaps some debris) is what's moving past their shields. Maybe that's what you mean by "fireballs"?
    2. This depends entirely on the movie. As Owlman has explained (and as you've probably seen for yourself) filmmakers often include historical inaccuracies in movies, so it wouldn't be unprecedented or even that odd if someone had decided to include explosions in a movie that's supposed to be about a battle fought nearly 2,500 years ago. If the movie included explosions, then the writer could be accurately describing what can be seen in the movie, in which case, they wouldn't be imaginary (there they are on the screen for anybody to see) even if they are historically inaccurate. If it didn't include explosions, then I have no idea what he's talking about here.

    (Cross-posted with Myridon.)
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    1. Excellent question, and my answer is that I don't know. I would guess - but this is definitely a guess - that he means the force of the explosions (the shock wave and perhaps some debris) is what's moving past their shields. Maybe that's what you mean by "fireballs"?
    2. This depends entirely on the movie. As Owlman has explained (and as you've probably seen for yourself) filmmakers often include historical inaccuracies in movies, so it wouldn't be unprecedented or even that odd if someone had decided to include explosions in a movie that's supposed to be about a battle fought nearly 2,500 years ago. If the movie included explosions, then the writer could be accurately describing what can be seen in the movie, in which case, they wouldn't be imaginary (there they are on the screen for anybody to see) even if they are historically inaccurate. If it didn't include explosions, then I have no idea what he's talking about here.

    (Cross-posted with Myridon.)
    Many thanks for your explanations JustKate
     
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