I had planned from the very outset to compose an article hailing the relatively unique moment in human history in which the Zaporozhian Cossacks thumbed their collective nose against the Ottoman Emperor, as immortalized in the painting of one Ilya Repin, a formative moment not only in western history but more specifically the development of Ukraine, but as I did my research, fearing to commit an error of fact in my elucidation, I found that the nature of things was in fact labyrinthine. I don’t know why I should have thought otherwise; the truth is rarely simple, especially collated from the varying perspectives of the criminals and victims involved. Nevertheless, I will make an essai, but it won’t be nearly as clear cut as I’d like—perhaps as you’d like.
The following is the first of five short stories from my recently published book, The Sagas of the Iron Hearts: Fragments, which can be found here and the Kindle Edition here. If you enjoyed it, you can peruse at your will the remaining four for the low low price of $5.99 paperback and $0.99 kindle edition. Every sale is a step towards paying my utilities and a step away from being evicted from my meager lodgings by my girlfriend, whose mother warned her about me. Anyways: The Fall 1. Lost amidst the infinite specks of starry sky there hurtled through the void an errant youth huddled within the still belly of a metal monolith. The dusky ovaloid capsule—engraved with the ancient production markings of an age beyond memory, scored and seared with centuries of use—was a thing monstrous, several stories in length. The wild-eyed youth of fluttering heart, the traveler comfortably enshrouded within the armored auspices of the soaring bulwark, could strangely think only of his own inconsequence—how small he was against the titanic backdrop of stars and galaxies that would dwarf him just as easily as the events at hand—and his own part in them. Dread ruminations of catastrophic failure, that there Read More …
Everyone’s heard it once, “Charlemagne,” in passing conversation or perhaps parsed from a page. Carolus Magnus. Charles the Great. Those of you that have heard of Tours are probably wondering why I’m prefacing with Charlemagne. Well, it’s important to develop a sense of scope, a sense of consequences. Charlemagne was the founder of the Frankish Empire and its many successors, which would lay the foundations for the sort of cowardly, limp-wristed Europe we see nowadays that its ancestors would be ashamed of. He conducted excellent campaigns, annexed territories throughout much of Northern Europe, and quite significantly he even campaigned in Muslim Spain. It is said that his dominion included the holdings of Lombardy to the various lands of countless Germanic and Slavic tribes. The icing on the cake, something to legitimize his unreal set of military achievements is that he was able to secure the title renewed of “King of the Romans,” from the pope in exchange for military protection. To that end he had the physical possession of much of Italy. Considering that the Muslims did indeed sack Rome in 848 AD, this was a legitimate concern. They built bigger walls afterwards.
I’ll be the first to admit that colonialism has left a swath of bodies in its wake, failed nations doomed to expensive and gory insurrections virtually ever after, but I admit I can’t pin even an iota of the culpability on Western Culture itself. You see, just as she uplifted Europe, she had a power to do so elsewhere as well. Many of your weebs, and perhaps even a few of you normal people, have probably heard of the amazing efficacy of the Japanese longsword sometimes referred to as a “katana,” folded over five billion times, for some reason, and not only durable but able to maintain a viciously sharp edge. I’m going to hurt some feelings here, but people that have never heard of the term “pattern welding” have no right to comment on sword manufacture.
Iran wasn’t always what we think of it nowadays, supposedly straight men walking around holding hands while heterosexual couples are jailed for displays of affection. The Asians of Greek perception always had what we would nowadays determine backwards customs, particularly in regards the obscenity of nudity and the nature of clothing, but that would be a complete oversimplification. Ancient Asia was a diverse place. Among its denizens, there had once been the Assyrians, even longer ago the Hittites, and then the Akkadians, and the Sumerians. Contemporaneously there were the Egyptians, the Lycians, the Lydians, the Greek Ionians, but also other Indo-Iranian groups like the Medes and the Mittani. These all just to name a few. This was within an area running from the Asian coast of the Aegean all the way to India and all the way South to the Nile filled with vibrant and innumerable civilizations whether great or small, too many perhaps to be reckoned in the pages of Herodotus.
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