OnthisDayNHistory: Charlemagne & Carloman

#onthisday December 4th 771 Charlemagne inherited the Kingdom of Middle Francia from his little brother, thus expanding his own kingdom of West Francia. Basically granting Charlemagne possession of almost half of western Europe, this inheritence gave way to what we know today as the Carolingian Empire, predecessor to the Holy Roman Empire

The brothers rivaled each in power, and came close to outright war, but Carloman’s unfortunate death prevented what might have been a bloody conflict between brothers. Carloman was buried in Reims. His wife fled with their sons to Italy for protection.

In 774 AD, four years after Carloman’s death, Charlemagne was designated by the pope as the worthy successor to the Roman Empire. The pope crowned him Emperor, thus restoring the Western Roman Empire 300 years after its collapse. 

Pictured in this essay are the brothers together, Carloman’s mint, Charlemagne, and his empire at its greatest extent.

#History #TodayinHistory #Medieval #Historian #French #France #Carl #Charles #Charlemagne #RomanEmpire #King #Wriking #Writing #TenKingdoms #Ravengaddafi #Goals #Ambition #Blessed #Motivation #MakeHistory #Empire #Conquest #Inspiration #Admiration #Aspiration #Diligence #Strength #Legacy #Legend #Gods 

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OnthisDayNHistory: Charlemagne & Carloman

#onthisday December 4th 771 Charlemagne inherited the Kingdom of Middle Francia from his little brother, thus expanding his own kingdom of West Francia. Basically granting Charlemagne possession of almost half of western Europe, this inheritence gave way to what we know today as the Carolingian Empire, predecessor to the Holy Roman Empire

The brothers rivaled each in power, and came close to outright war, but Carloman’s unfortunate death prevented what might have been a bloody conflict between brothers. Carloman was buried in Reims. His wife fled with their sons to Italy for protection.

In 774 AD, four years after Carloman’s death, Charlemagne was designated by the pope as the worthy successor to the Roman Empire. The pope crowned him Emperor, thus restoring the Western Roman Empire 300 years after its collapse. 

Pictured in this essay are the brothers together, Carloman’s mint, Charlemagne, and his empire at its greatest extent.

#History #TodayinHistory #Medieval #Historian #French #France #Carl #Charles #Charlemagne #RomanEmpire #King #Wriking #Writing #TenKingdoms #Ravengaddafi #Goals #Ambition #Blessed #Motivation #MakeHistory #Empire #Conquest #Inspiration #Admiration #Aspiration #Diligence #Strength #Legacy #Legend #Gods 

Voyages Ahead: A Summary of Vikings Season Five Predictions

​There is a visual shot between Ivar, Ubbe, and Hvitserk on a hill by a river. A fleet of ships are ready to depart, and Ubbe is aboard one vessel. Both Ivar and Ubbe have a bloody eye, and look at one another with distain. Could be the brothers were involved in a fist fight between them? I think not. I do gather it is a tragic farwell of sorts. The brothers have chosen a side; Ivar and Hvitserk against Ubbe. Now I’m unclear how the season will be divided, but here are some ideas taken from the trailers: the brothers put aside their internal differences thus retaining the unity of the Great Heathen Army pending battle against the Saxon forces led by Heathmund the Bishop. 

We see the Ragnarssons in battle in against Heathmund, every one of the characters soaked in blood. So, I think the farwell shot with Ivar and Ubbe comes after the battle with Heathmund, or quite possibly after the Bishop’s defeat. Keep in mind I am only discussion the first trailer for season five, none of the more recent ones. 

The question is does this uneasy alliance last the first ten episodes, and the civil war begin in the second half of season five? I could see that happening given how much history and plot was put into the Sons of Ragnar, the Great Heathen Army, Bishop Heathmund, Alfred, and the Viking invasions of England.

Hvitserk’s decision to remain with Ivar as opposed to Ubbe, who is he closer with is very intriguing. His decision was probably driven by the love he has for his little brother, a need to protect him from himself. It could also be a plot driven by Ubbe who instructs Hvitserk to choose Ivar. After all, Ubbe and Hvitserk have a closer bond with each other than Ivar. 

Bjorn is never shown with his brothers in England again, after the initial invasion. Historically, the real Bjorn Ironside did not participate in the Great Heathen Army. It seems the show is honoring that bit of historical fact, but in the show, does Bjorn go back to Kattegat or head off to the Mediterranean? I would think Bjorn would return home to see Lagertha, Torvi, and Astrid. In the second trailer, it seems Ironside does the latter, returning to the Mediterranean. Although, not Spain this time, but the Sahara! The Seer prophesied Bjorn would marry a princess, now years ago I had this strange feeling Torvi was the princess. I thought maybe she was a princess in hiding or something, but she is not. We know now the princess spoken of is going to be a Saracen woman Bjorn encounters in the Sahara. The question is how does Torvi react to the arrival of Bjorn’s bride. It is the classic case of history repeating itself; remember how Aslaug arrived in Kattegat surprising Ragnar, and destroying his relationship with Lagertha. This had a profound effect on the young Bjorn, who eventually grew up to be a kind gentleman to his companions. First, Thorunn then Torvi. 

 Another question is does Halfdan inform Bjorn about Harald sponsored attack on Kattegat? And when that truth is revealed how does Bjorn continue to accept Halfdan support?

As for the other brothers, Ubbe will most likely return home before Bjorn, where he accepts Lagertha queenship in exchange for her support of him against Ivar. I do think a love affair will flourish between Ubbe and Lagertha.

Muslim Vikings

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There has been a discovery…have you heard? No. Maybe. Well allow me to share it with you. A few weeks ago, archaeologists unearthed Viking burial site in Sweden. Scandinavia is rich with Viking graveyards, so the discovery of another one was nothing new, but its contains were. Norse customs dictated kings and warriors be buried with treasures, weapons, slaves, and other exotic items to be used or enjoyed in the afterlife. The boat grave in this case storied a very particular item; a trove of clothing embroidered with the terms “Ali” or “Allah.” Initially, researchers believed the ancient fabrics were pure Viking material, but a closer inspection administered by Annika Larrson of Uppsala University discovered the Kufic script.

The clothes belonged to a woman in Gamla, where the burial site was excavated. Gamla is located within Uppsala, which is north of Stockholm. Two coins from Baghdad and a necklace were also found in her possession.

This shocking discovered has created some minor conflict in the field of history, nothing too serious though. Why was this material with the Vikings? The answer is simple. We have three options; the fabric was either gifted to the Viking, stolen by the Viking, or bartered to Viking in manner of trade. The question arises “hey, were Vikings Muslims?” personally I don’t think so, but professionally I am open to the possibility. Vikings often converted to Christianity, who can rightfully say a few didn’t convert to Islam.

The world has this strange perception, or rather reaction we believe the first thing we see or hear that is shocking. Debate of the fabric’s legitimacy came immediately after its discovery. Scholars like Stephennie Mulder, associate professor of Islamic art and architecture at the University of Texas at Austin thinks there’s a dating error. That is due to the creation of Kufic script 500 years after the Viking Age. Mulder contests Larsson’s work saying the latter’s work is “conjecture and supposition.” Mulder thinks Larsson has no concrete proof.

Given what we know about the prosperity of the Viking trade centers at Birka and Kiev, the Vikings developed healthy relationships with Arab traders. Furthermore, there is evidence supporting Arab caravans conducting trade within Scandinavia at the centers mentioned, and others as well. Several years ago, there was the discovery of 100,000 Islamic dirhams (coins) in Birka. This isn’t the first religious artifact with Arabic origin found in Scandinavia from the Viking Age; we have glass ring worn by a Viking woman engraved with the words “Allah.”

The debate by both women is a clash of both worlds: Viking and Muslim. Norse and Arab. Thor and Allah. Mulder is an academic of Islamic art, whereas Larsson specializes in the archaeology of textiles at Uppsala University. I’m not saying there’s going to be a battle with Larsson in the shieldwall, and Mulder on the opposing side astride a horse lance in hand. We historians fight in the classroom with speeches and academic journals supporting our ranks.

My thing is all languages come from somewhere, have some definite origin such as a common ancestor. So, even though the Kufic script may have entered the fray 500 years after the Viking age the print on the clothing found in Sweden might be one of those origins.

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A Requiem For King Richard III

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In only a few weeks’ time we will reach the untimely demise of one of history’s greatest kings, Richard III of England. Slain in the “act of fight not flight” on Bosworth Field. England’s last Yorkist king, none since him have died in battle. He was killed whilst charging for his opponent Henry Tudor. Those three reasons are why I find Richard…King Richard III to be England’s most valiant king. He fought with his troops, stood strong until the end, and refused to yield, even though it cost him his life. The man was the last of his line, the last direct descendant of Henry Plantagenet, he was a widower and childless. Bloodlines and family casualties certainly took their toll on our poor king, but did not slow his soul. He remained focused, strong, and diligent in his duty as king. An honorable man in a field of treachery surrounded by many foes and few friends. Historians disgusted by Richard III will have you believe he murdered his nephews, but I call bullshit. As I said he was surrounded by treachery, and this king was known to be honorable and just. So, I ask you what Just man murders children in their beds? I’ll wait.

Richard was hated for how he wanted to teach the common people literacy.

Hated for his honesty.

Hated for being incorruptible.

Hate and treachery brought him down from grace.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was a fine administrator. I understand the misgivings people have regarding the usurpation of his nephews, but I think Richard had no choice but to seize the crown. The Woodevilles had deep influence over young Edward V, and when the family failed to notify Richard of his brother’s death then stole the treasury and fleet, and tried to thwart the wishes of the late Edward IV. The Woodevilles were guilty of treason and dishonor. This preemptive strike forced Richard to defend. The scars of the Wars of the Roses haunted all factions even Richard, which is why I believe he put his nephews Edward V and Richard of York in the Tower of London. It really was for their protection. Richard didn’t want the boys to slip into their mother’s hands, for if they did Elizabeth could raise support from noble lords in England, muster troops, and overthrow Richard. And Richard was no fool, he wasn’t going to lose his head. This was pure survival. To be honest I don’t think Richard wanted to be king, certainly not in that way. I confess my belief in the truth that he was pushed to put on the crown not of his own volition, but by the persuasion of those around him.

This is only a brief analysis of our true King my aim in the coming weeks is to present my readers with an in-depth discussion and analysis chronicling Richard’s life, duties, epic deeds, and failures, and how he could have won the Wars of the Roses. I plan to deliver this presentation not as a single writing but as a series set to begin on the day of his death August 22, 1485.

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Loyaulté Me Lie (Loyalty Binds Me)

History’s Unknown: Special Edition, The Untold Story of 2,000: Caribbean POWs on British Soil

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The siege of Fort Charlotte, St. Lucia in 1796 ended with two-thousand African-Caribbean soldiers and their families surrendering to British forces. They threw down their arms and ammo, and marched onto British ships clapped in irons. Terms of the surrender promised they would be treated as prisoners of war rather than cattle (slaves). The soldiers were ex-slaves, freed by France after the Revolution, but a minority of its garrison was white.

ships-at-spithead-1797

The journey across the Atlantic to Portchester Castle was rough with soldiers and prisoners both suffering from sickness. A total of 268 prisoners and 100 soldiers died. Approximately 2,080 African-Caribbean and 333 white soldiers, and 99 women and children arrived at Portchester in October of 1796.

portchester-castle

African-Caribbean soldiers were subject to abuse and bullying by European prisoners. A physician argued that the prisoners be feed potatoes for dietary staple reasons seeing that was the closest thing to yams.

A year later, in 1797 it seems a large portion of the imprisoned Afro-Caribbean soldiers defected to the British joining their captive’s navy and forming battalions under British command. The soldiers saw action in France, Russia, and Italy.

Britain’s own black population during this time was relatively small, at least 10-15,000. This is a forgotten chapter in black history, and the identities of the POWs have been lost too. A curator at the English Heritage by the name of Abigail Coppins is responsible for finding this lost fabric of history. This past Wednesday, Portchester Castle opened an exhibit honoring the black fighters, a few of whom were the first to fight against slavery.

The most famous prisoner at Portchester, the one whose identity we do know of is Captain Louis Delgres. He was born in Martinique, a man of mixed ethnicity. His parents were most likely a white man, probably French, and his mother an African slave. However, the practice and customs of slavery in the Caribbean differed from slavery in States. Delgres was captured by the British troops in St. Vincent in 1796.

In 1793, colonies in the West Indies belonging to Britain and France were dragged into war by their colonial masters, Britain and Revolutionary France. Victor Hugues captured the island of Guadeloupe from Britain in 1794 with the intention to end slavery.

caribbean-map-1818

History’s Unknown, Part V: Ancient Colors

Raven has been missing!! Sorry guys been busy enjoying my post-Associate’s Degree life. For the past few weeks I been strategizing how best to build up my platform, and the answer that always arrives to me is…WRITE. Just write anything, and post it. So that is my plan, and I begin by continuing my History’s Unknown series.

Yesterday I was speaking with my American history professor (I have now begun my journey for a Bachelor’s degree) about Hernan Cortez’s arrival and eventual conquest of the Aztec Empire, he brought to my attention an Unknown History, the Cochineal Red. It is not mentioned in many history books, and you guys know how much I venerate about the unknown history topics. Usually the discovery of new knowledge leads me. So here we go, with the history of Colors lol 

Beginning with Cochineal insect found near the Colorado River resting on cactus pads. This beetle produces a rare form of red known to us. For thousands of year the old cultures of the New World harvested the Cochineal red. The Aztec warriors painted it on their, their kings accepted large bags of the red dye as tribute from lesser kings. When Cortes visited Tenochtitlan (Mexico) he observed the rich quality of the Cochineal red dye, which was brighter than the European red. 

The red dye used by Europeans prior to their arrival to the New World was dull and faded. Cortes brought the red dye to Spain, and soon the product was in high demand beating. It was worth more than gold and silver. Cochineal red was expensive, and like ancient silk it was reserved for the elite classes. Money and power. The red robes worn by Catholic cardinals and red coats worn by British troops in the American Revolution were made from Cochineal. It also became a common food dye for cakes, pies, ice cream, and cosmetic materials. 

Another rare and rich colorful dye was Tyrian Purple, not to be confused with Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones. Produced by the Phoenicians who extracted the dye from the mucus of Murexes, a type of snail found in Tyre. Commonly associated with royalty purple became standard fashion for Rome’s great families and its emperors, and adopted by its successor state the Byzantine Empire. 

Tales from Phoenician mythology state the God Melqart discovered the value of this substance when his dog Tyros returned home with a purple stained tongue from biting Murexes. 

Blonde, still on the topic of colors but on this one I’m including a little information about hair too. Two Norse goddesses, Sif and Freyja were blonde. Freyja is associated with love, beauty, and fertility hence the common association of blonde and beauty. Other European myths speak of fairies with blonde hair. Fairies would steal any human blonde babies from their cribs and switched them with changelings. 

Natural blonde hair is caused by eumelanin, a pigment deficiency. Low levels of sunlight in parts of the world account for the creation of blonde hair. We know loss of sunlight results in loss of Vitamin D, which can not only turn the skin lighter but hair too. Northern Europe is one example of this, where blonde hair is common. 80% of the Scandinavian population is blonde haired. 

Pink, this is my baby sister’s favorite color! So Keely this is for you. We you here pink you think sweetness and romance. Innocence and tenderness. But eroticism and seduction make up the common inception of this color. The term, pink was not used until the 17th century. Pink was not as fashionable as purple was in the Middle Ages. But there was a rise of this color in 13th and 14th century art. And pink was not always a girly color, it was originally referred to boys and blue went to girls. Considered as a masculine color. They say it was stronger, and passionate, and given that pink is a very light red it was a perfect fit for boys.

Black, this my other sister’s favorite color. So this one for Julia. And as a professor of mines said once “girls who wear black are cooler” a true statement. But both my sister’s cool as ice though. The darkest color, its use goes back to the Neolithic cave paintings. Perhaps the oldest color in human history. By the late Middle Ages royals, nobles, clergy, and other officials adopted the use of black in their wardrobes. Two famous historical figures to do this was Edward the Black Prince and my ancestor, Cesare Borgia, but some historians argue it was due to syphilis. Benedictine monks wore black as a meaning of humility and penitence. The reason for black ink was due to the fact it provided the greatest contrast with white paper, hence the reason why black is so formidable to our literature. 

The reason aristocrats and lawmakers adopted black in the 14th century was to show how serious they took their jobs. Furthermore, a series of laws were passed around Europe reserving only the nobility the right to wear exotic colors. The merchant bankers of Italy retaliated by changing to black robes. It was then picked up by the nobility beginning with the Dukes of Milan and Savoy. Seen as a color of power, dignity, humility, and temperance.