Denim&Venom

Is Equestria in an Iron or Bronze age?

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We look at most of the tools, many of the buildings and materials used in the show and hey seem to reflect ours: being made of iron and steel. 

So it's not too much of a leap that Equestrian progression of metallurgy mirrored ours as well. Which means ponies also followed our downgrade from bronze to iron. 

Contrary to popular belief, bronze is actually a superior metal to pure iron, being harder, far more corrosion resistant and easier to craft. It could even be on par with mild steel. This was the go to metal of the ancient world. 

But then the bronze age collapse happened when the rare materials needed to craft bronze began to dry up, among other things. So people switched to iron. An inferior metal that was prone to rusting, prone to bending and harder to work with. But it was far, far more common, and thus easier to craft locally with out the need of transcontinental trade networks. 

In Equestria, along with the inconsistencies in technology, we see inconsistencies in the metals used. For the sky scrapers of Manehatten, railroads crossing the continent to many of the tools the characters use, we see iron and steel. Yet in much of Canterlot, we see gold like spires, roofs and accents. Doubtful it's all actual gold, cause gold sucks as a building material, so it's most likely bronze.  Same with the armor of the royal guard. Doubtful they'd go through the effort of painting all that gold either. Seems very un-regal. Yet those same guards appear to have steel spears. 

So what is with this odd mix of metals? If iron is so accessible, why go through the effort to use so much bronze? And if bronze is still available, why make the switch to inferior iron? 

Is Equestria in an iron age or a bronze age? 

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For some reason I can't fully explain, I've always thought of it in some sort of Renaissance, late middle ages. Maybe because of the way certain characters dressed, the general aesthetics in the earlier seasons and I'm not entirely sure, but I think they never equipped horses with any sort of barding until later, at least in the western cultures. Also, steam engines (I supposed) in the trains.Things like The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 make me think of later periods. But I could be wrong, obviously.

There is the name, Canterlot, that is play on Camelot, that is a 12th Century-ish thing. Ponyville looks like a very clean and nice medieval village, though similar could be found way past that time.

Then again, anything that is said here can be waved away with 'inconsistencies'. Honestly, I don't know if we can even identify any metals used in the cartoon. What is the Crystal Empire made of, for example? If we say it's a magic thing, then why couldn't we say that Canterlot wasn't built with enchanted gold? There are arcade machines in a song.

I think there could be something that could be said about warfare and government practices, particularly in relation to things that are widely known in general media, and also medical procedures, civil practices... but... Children's cartoon... I'm pretty sure people didn't make cupcakes until very recently... Wikipedia says 1828.

In the end, I'm not sure what time Equestria is supposed to be fitted into, but I would put it past the Classical History.

Nice thread. I'm interested in seeing what other people have to say about it.

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Equestria is far beyond both bronze and iron stages. Their technology may be intentionally limited, but they have early to mid twentieth century electronics. Motion pictures WITH amplified sound. Phonograph records. Electric lights. X-ray machines. Telephones. Steam locomotives. Hydroelectric dams. Everything I mentioned has been seen in various episodes.  Everything mentioned would take metallurgy far in advance of just bronze or iron.

Edited by cuteycindyhoney
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The answer is really simple. Canterlot is an older settlement than Manehattan, or it's significance as Equestria's capital has resulted in most of it's original design being preserved, where as Manehattan was periodically updated over the coming centuries.

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Middle Ages with a few 21st century anomalies, or Celestia just playing a very strange game of Civilization.

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We have airships and skyscrapers. It's around WWI. Canterlot is old and built as the seat of namby-pamby princesses (read toy set for little girls), which explains its tacky style. Those golden parts are likely gilded like many domes of Russian Churches.

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10 hours ago, Goat-kun said:

We have airships and skyscrapers. It's around WWI

That fits quite well with the level of technology we have seen over the seasons.

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It's modern... or at the very least 90' era with some things missing here and there. It's kinda like Naruto... they have t.v. and phones but not bullets and cars. It's near modern with a different focus on specific technology than our own world.

Edited by Kadeda

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Second thing I'd like to add, I personally think time wise that they're about where we are, but that they were more faithful to the idea of the first world war being the war to end all wars, and a century of peace and stagnation in Equestria has lead to it largely being forgotten and vulnerable to threats. More advanced technology exists or existed but has had severe limitations implemented.

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If it were Iron Age or Bronze Age, they would be wearing togas.

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4 hours ago, SharpWit said:

Second thing I'd like to add, I personally think time wise that they're about where we are, but that they were more faithful to the idea of the first world war being the war to end all wars, and a century of peace and stagnation in Equestria has lead to it largely being forgotten and vulnerable to threats. More advanced technology exists or existed but has had severe limitations implemented.

Well, if one wanted to be cute one could compare Equestria's way of doing things to the ways of a defeated nation, particularly Germany. The socialist mentality that puts collective before the individual and an overt sense of superiority are all there along the potential rules set upon a defeated nation. The questions then are: who beat the crap out of them and why are all their old pony tales so inconsistent? ;)

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3 hours ago, Goat-kun said:

Well, if one wanted to be cute one could compare Equestria's way of doing things to the ways of a defeated nation, particularly Germany. The socialist mentality that puts collective before the individual and an overt sense of superiority are all there along the potential rules set upon a defeated nation. The questions then are: who beat the crap out of them and why are all their old pony tales so inconsistent? ;)

 

I'd actually say that Equestria would have been the chief victor. A socialist mentality and sense of superiority can just be the result of programs that redirect resources and labor going towards the war effort, alongside propaganda that encourages you to do your part and fight, and discourages just how much of a threat the enemy is. We saw this in the United States during both world wars although the second in particular thanks to the great depression, and Disney making racial slapstick cartoons. As for the potential rules upon a defeated nation, the main one which comes to mind is the required reduction/partial dismantling of militaries, but this is something that the victors often do as well since they don't need as many soldiers in the field when the fighting is over, and they wouldn't want to risk creating an arms race that could lead to another conflict. Worked out differently with the cold war sure, but Mutually assured destruction is a relatively new concept in the history of warfare.

No, I think Equestria won by sending their opponents practically back to the stone age, forcing them to live off of what little remained, and we can see this by the terrible state of most places. Equestria wasn't in the best of shape either by the end, having exhausted itself in every way. Some aspects still remain, but perhaps the likes of Celestia felt guilt in the sheer destruction caused, so a more pacifist approach would be taken for the future.

And why not beef things up at least a little bit when you've almost been completely taken over several times now? Maybe because that guilt is so strong that they're not willing to risk plunging themselves back into a modernized conflict? Maybe they've adopted something along the lines of Rome's strategy when Hannibal was terrorizing the peninsula? It's hard to say.

More consistency would be nice though.

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2 hours ago, SharpWit said:

I'd actually say that Equestria would have been the chief victor. A socialist mentality and sense of superiority can just be the result of programs that redirect resources and labor going towards the war effort, alongside propaganda that encourages you to do your part and fight, and discourages just how much of a threat the enemy is. We saw this in the United States during both world wars although the second in particular thanks to the great depression, and Disney making racial slapstick cartoons. As for the potential rules upon a defeated nation, the main one which comes to mind is the required reduction/partial dismantling of militaries, but this is something that the victors often do as well since they don't need as many soldiers in the field when the fighting is over, and they wouldn't want to risk creating an arms race that could lead to another conflict. Worked out differently with the cold war sure, but Mutually assured destruction is a relatively new concept in the history of warfare.

No, I think Equestria won by sending their opponents practically back to the stone age, forcing them to live off of what little remained, and we can see this by the terrible state of most places. Equestria wasn't in the best of shape either by the end, having exhausted itself in every way. Some aspects still remain, but perhaps the likes of Celestia felt guilt in the sheer destruction caused, so a more pacifist approach would be taken for the future.

And why not beef things up at least a little bit when you've almost been completely taken over several times now? Maybe because that guilt is so strong that they're not willing to risk plunging themselves back into a modernized conflict? Maybe they've adopted something along the lines of Rome's strategy when Hannibal was terrorizing the peninsula? It's hard to say.

More consistency would be nice though.

Dunno about that. To say they would dismantle literally everything to the point where only bad guys and mad lads use poorly made (magi)tech (Flim & Flam & Pinkie) all due to shame, that's a bit farfetched. And then there's the issue of their stories. They were the ones who ran before "winter" and fear its return if they'd ever stop their thousands of years old lovey-dovey social experiment. That's not how victors tell their stories. That's how sore losers do it to stop the population from going crazy due to looming danger. Also, where are all the alicorns? They were left with nothing but two young refugees. The rest got slaughtered, but let's be honest: they probably started the fight by trying to subjugate everyone in the name of Friendship and Harmony. The Pillars don't want to talk about it either cause there were no Windigos. Not really. They summoned Harmony as the last resort before everything went to shit. Those other places around Equestria were always war-torn shitholes. This whole map is comprised of borderlands, Equestria included. Home of bandits, cutthroats, and various other social deviants exiled from their respective homelands. That's why your so-called country gets robbed every other day. Those poor bastards have nowhere else to go and nothing better to do. The big old empires are hiding in the unknown beyond the mist of fear and ignorance.

 

But hey, that's my fanon. When there's an inconsistency I just say "Harmony is an eldritch deity" and everything falls back into place. It works so well it's almost like magic :P

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The age system in Equestria seems very different from the age system here, cause while alota stuff is in a Medieval state, alota other stuff seems modern. Places like Ponyville and Canterlot seem like places from the past, but then you got Manehattan and Las Pegasus that looks modern. Same with technologies! There's phones and DJ systems, but I haven't seen a TV or an airplane yet.

It's best not to compare the world of Equestria with our world! ;)

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8 hours ago, FlareGun45 said:

The age system in Equestria seems very different from the age system here, cause while alota stuff is in a Medieval state, alota other stuff seems modern. Places like Ponyville and Canterlot seem like places from the past, but then you got Manehattan and Las Pegasus that looks modern. Same with technologies! There's phones and DJ systems, but I haven't seen a TV or an airplane yet.

It's best not to compare the world of Equestria with our world! ;)

They might have T.V. They do have movies.

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You might laugh at their level of technology but spears are actually really useful for a pony, just attach it to their sides and they can engage each other up close. Guns are a bit trickier but you don't actually need trigger to fire it, they can be button operated. Canterlot is just very old very traditional city so don't expect much technology there. Ponyvile is a very rural village. Manehattan is preindustrial post industrial  20th century city 

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I'd say more likely the Iron Age, since the Bronze Age ended over 3,000 years ago.

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Probably around the 1920's seeing from the maximum technology in Manehattan.

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