Forums » Elder Scrolls

Real World Inspirations for Elder Scrolls historical events

    • 167 posts
    March 10, 2014 9:17 PM EDT

    I hope I'm not the only person noticing this, but yesterday I finally read the Legend of Red Eagle in-game book. Does anyone else see a bit of the inspiration for this from Caesar's Gallic Wars?

    Another thing is the Thrassian Plague, I find it to be similar to the Black Death because it wiped out half of Tamriel's population, where the real life Black Death Plague wiped out a third of human population.

    Am I just being stupid with this stuff? Are there other events that may be based in Real World history?

  • March 10, 2014 10:59 PM EDT

    Well, the third dominion is the third Reich. 

    • 194 posts
    March 11, 2014 12:59 AM EDT


    • 5 posts
    March 11, 2014 2:38 AM EDT

    I think that High Rock before the Warp in the West is also inspired from real world history. I believe at some point in 1700-1850 that Japan (like High Rock) was split up into several different states and was not wholly unified. The same goes to Britain in the Middle ages and most likely many areas in Europe where there was no true ruler.

    My info is probably a little inaccurate.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    March 11, 2014 3:07 AM EDT

    That timeframe very roughly lines up with the Edo period, which saw the very opposite.

    Numidium seems to speak for itself.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    March 11, 2014 3:08 AM EDT

    Mein Khajiit?


    • 30 posts
    March 11, 2014 11:47 AM EDT

    Yes, Bethesda did a bit of homework and clearly had inspiration from the real world, it's history and mythology.

    For example, the draugr are based entirely on the Scandinavian/Norse viking mythology. The dragon wall language is also based mostly on Sumerian.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    March 11, 2014 12:05 PM EDT

    I liked the Egyptian level of body preservation we see in Nord tombs. A clever way of combining two very different cultures together.


    • 1913 posts
    March 11, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
    Actually the altmer are heavily based on French, German, and British cultures
    • 1913 posts
    March 11, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
    Red mountain = Pompeii?
  • March 11, 2014 1:00 PM EDT

    Oh really? I also heard they are based on Asian cultures. 

    I said third dominion, not the altmer.

  • March 11, 2014 1:02 PM EDT

    Tiber is the emperor Augustus.

    • 167 posts
    March 11, 2014 1:13 PM EDT

    Ayleids are clearly Greek.

    • 167 posts
    March 11, 2014 1:16 PM EDT

    Nah, I don't think that Red Mountain is based on anything. Nor are the other towers.

    • 167 posts
    March 11, 2014 1:20 PM EDT

    I'm gonna call the Alessian Empire the Roman Kingdom, The Reman Empire the Roman Republic, The Septim the Roman Empire, and the Mede the Byzantine Empire.

    • 167 posts
    March 11, 2014 7:09 PM EDT

    I'd say it leans more towards the Germanic-Roman wars.

    • 661 posts
    March 11, 2014 7:13 PM EDT
    Your certainly being stupid... Nah Im kidding, look at the Atmorans. Sailed to Tamriel because their homeland was too brutal to live in. Vikings sailed here to find greener lands. So yeah you are on to something.
    • 661 posts
    March 11, 2014 7:16 PM EDT
    gah, Dragon speak is witch talk?
    • 74 posts
    March 11, 2014 10:17 PM EDT

    I don't think it's stupid, per se, but well... it's easy to draw connections that are inherent in the biases of the observer.

    What I mean is, for example, a devastating plague is a devastating plague. There are many in the history of the real world to draw connections to: the plague that caused Athens to lose the Peloponnesian War, the Justinian Plague that crippled the Byzantine Empire and killed at least 100 million, or the smallpox plague that was outright apocalyptic to the Aztecs and other Native Americans (killing as much as 90% of North and Central America's native population). Or what about the Spanish Flu from 1917-18 which current estimates say also may have killed 100 million worldwide.

    My point is that the Black Death wasn't singular, and we - Westerners - only tend to think of it because it is, for us, the proto-typical 'plague'. There's no reason to presume that the Thrassian Plague was 'based on' the Black Death instead of just being a 'generic' plague.

    Wars and empires tend to fit a limited number of archetypes, too. The political situation of the Empire as presented in Skyrim is a pretty typical example of a core-periphery empire collapsing due to shedding the periphery. I could compare it just as easily to the collapse of Byzantine unity after Manzikert as I could the breakup of the USSR or the way the subject peoples turned on the Aztecs once Cortez showed up.

    Likewise, the Stormcloak Uprising is a great example of an ethnic secessionist war, and could be compared as easily to the Scots Wars of Independence as to Kosovo. What example you think the developers were drawing on says more about you than about them.

    And all my examples above are drawn from general history as presented by a Western education and have a Western bias. You can find similar parallels from Chinese, or Japanese, or African, or any history, because the same patterns and archetypes of political organization repeat themselves all over the place. Tamriel is no different, and likely couldn't be.

    • 27 posts
    March 12, 2014 6:19 AM EDT

    Vampires, Vlad the Impaler

    • 167 posts
    March 12, 2014 6:26 AM EDT

    I'm not thinking about it that deeply man. I enjoy history, and I like to see things in games that I find similar to real world history...

    I'd also like to point out Bethesda is a company that produces games for a Western audience..

    I don't state the plague as being "based" on the black death, I just simply find it similar in numbers compared to the Thrassian one.

    There is a clear undeniable basis on the Romans when we look at the Imperials. Comparing them to the real world Roman empire is just what people are likely to do...

    I just think you're over thinking this.. 

    • 167 posts
    March 12, 2014 6:27 AM EDT

    Vampires are obviously based on gingers silly...

    • 74 posts
    March 12, 2014 4:04 PM EDT

    Barely thinking about it at all, actually. International Relations and Political Philosophy education, this stuff is like breathing air to me.

    Ah... Imperial = Roman. If you said Legion = Roman, I would whole-heartedly agree, but remember the structure of the Legion was adopted from the Tsaesci, it's not native. The Imperials themselves - the Colovians and the Nibenese - don't seem very Roman. The Nibenese seem more like Hellenistic Greeks and the Colovians more like Germans or Gauls. Both major parts, culturally, of a "Roman" Empire, but still lacking actual Romans.

    The organization and administration of the Empire isn't very Roman, either. The amount of autonomy left to the provinces makes it operate much more like a confederation than a centralized empire. In that sense, it's much more like the Holy Roman Empire than the Roman Empire.

    That's what I've decided I like most about the Elder Scrolls, the world has depth and what you first think you see is rarely what's beneath the surface.

    Except for the Khajiit. Someone just took a cat-burglar joke too far with them. Still love them, though.

    • 74 posts
    March 12, 2014 4:06 PM EDT

    I wouldn't give Ulfric Stormcloack the honor of being compared to Vercingetorix, personally.

    • 167 posts
    March 12, 2014 4:09 PM EDT

    Colovians are Spartans it's obvious.