Beneath the Black Eagle was a Black Saint

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These fools in Charlottesville are psychotic! History has resurfaced and again no one wants to make the connection. White Supremacists are attempting to stage a Reconquista. At demonstrations in Charlottesville their waiving white shields with painted crosses identical to the ones carried by the Crusader knights during the Crusades, and the presence of banners with the black eagle of the Holy Roman Empire. The Nazis were obsessed with the Romanticism of medieval Germany. This idea to rediscover long-lost racial purity is a false hope. First, it’s not realistic. There was never a pure-white Europe, this is all fantasy. There were lots of minorities in medieval Europe, primarily Jews and Muslims.

Secondly, don’t these idiots know how downhill it went for the Christians. Short-term the Crusades were a slight success, but on the long-term a complete failure. If you are going to align your cause with any historical event then appeal to events where outstanding achievements were made and had legendary effects.

The beliefs and actions of white supremacists create distortion in history. My duty as a historian is to get the truth out, so I did some research and discovered the Egyptian saint who inspired the Holy Romans…yes white supremacists are in fact flying banners tied to a Christian man of color. The man I’m referring to is Saint Maurice. The story goes Maurice was born an Egyptian, which wouldn’t make him black. Instead his skin would be tan. It doesn’t make a difference he is still of color, which white supremacists find grotesque. Maurice was the leader of the legendary Theban Legion, one of the Roman Empire’s best fighting forces.

Maurice lived during the 3rd Century AD, early Christianity during its outlawed days. The Theban Legion are described as saints and martyrs by historians. Every one of its six-thousand troops were Christians. The legion’s name, Theban refers to the troops native homeland, Thebes, the capital of Ancient Egypt. During the time of the Romans, this imperial province was fiercely Christian. Diocletian and his co-ruler Maximian considered themselves sons of the gods

If you travel from Geneva to Rome you’ll come across a Swiss town named in honor of Saint Maurice. The Romans called it Aguanum. This is the location where Maurice and his entire legion were massacred on the orders of Empire Maximian. Maurice and Theban legion were called from Thebes to crush an uprising of the Bagaudae. When it was over the legion was ordered to take part in a pagan ritual requiring the sacrifice of Christians. Maurice and his troops refused the call to murder their Christian brothers and sisters.

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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. 

History’s Forgotten Battle: A Preview of the Aftermath to Come

Good morning fans, friends, and loyal Ravenmen, today I, Ravengaddafi release to you an excerpt from my new eBook titled Aftermath to be released August 22nd, 2017 in celebration of the 632nd anniversary of King Richard III’s murder on Bosworth Field.

(The title and written material were copyrighted on April 7th, 2017)

I do not own any images associated in this excerpt.

Here we go…

“April 30, 

We learned the usurper had docked at Port’s Wind with an army of mercenaries in his employ. The King had originally anticipated Richmond Jasper to be a novice with no support in our realm, but unfortunately his arrival drew inspiration from opportunists and lords we thought to be honorable men. However, those traitors were few in number.

The king dispatched envoys throughout the realm carrying orders for every lord, baron, and knight to assemble his men-at-arms. Several of the King’s closest councilors and powerful supporters answered his call for aid faithfully.

May 1st
I was selected to accompany the army as chief chronicler; witness, observe, and record the events of the impending battle. The King was confident in his ability to win, as were his men.

It was decided we would camp at Tannen Field, after scouts reported seeeing Jasper’s army received a warm welcome from the villagers in the county of Hummit. Soon as we settled in word had arrived that Jasper too had taken up a position across the small wooded area, which divided Tannen field. Our King’s ambassadors and Jasper’s met, discussed, and decided the battle would commence the following morning.
On the twenty-third hour of that day, as the camp was sleeping, I sat awake by the fire…I noticed a woman rush out the King’s tent, a whore no doubt. The king kept many mistresses, but I didn’t recognize this woman. Perhaps she was new. In any case as she exited the pavilion, she grabbed one of the guards, pulling him into the pavilion. The second guard stayed his post.

The first guard emerged from the pavilion a few moments later. He whispered something to his fellow guardsman and off he rushed. The girl was about to exit, but the first guard pushed her back in. I heard a squeal, got up from the log I sat upon, and slowly crept forward closer to see what was transpiring. I looked left to see the King’s brother and Lord Hamilton arrive on the scene with some few retainers. I stopped and hid.

I must have hid for over an hour. No one else came in or out of the tent, but the King’s brother and Lord Hamilton. I witnessed the guards carrying the girl off into the unknown. She was gagged and bound, and when the king’s guards returned Hamilton’s retainers slit their throats and took charge over the pavilion, and the King’s brother departed in the direction of his tent. Within the hour I saw him leaving camp altogether with all his retinue and knights, some 6,000 footsoldiers.

May 2nd

The sun was rising, the battle was about to begin. Two armies stretched out in the field, across from one another. No one except myself and Hamilton knew of last night’s events, and the latter’s knowledge of my witness evaded him. There was no sign of the King’s brother…But there sat the king on a white horse at the head of his 8,000-strong army, covered in crown regalia and gold plated armor. Oddly, though his head was covered. His helm shut closed. He said nothing, no speech, no words of motivation to his troops. Only his hand raised up for a brief second, then dropped down in a great strike like lightening to a tree. 

That was the signal, our cavalry raced across the field. We saw the enemy’s response, Jasper called for a shield wall and sent them into position, they slowly crept forward in a defensive stance. I could see the look of confusion on Hamilton’s eyes, I felt the same. “Who sends a shield wall against armored cavalry” I thought this would-be usurper to be a fool. But the joke was on us because as soon as our troops came into contact with the shield wall did a wall of wooden spikes spring from the ground like darts. Big huge darts.

The front line of the cavalry was hit, repelled, broken, and left confused. The horses in the second and third lines crashed into the front, breaking formation. The fourth line panicked due to the fear of the horses who were hysterical. Riders fell to the field as did many of their mounts too. Some riders were even crushed or trampled. Riders from the front line were thrown over and into Jasper’s shield wall, due to the horses falling either face flat from the projectiles or slamming head into shield. The thrown riders were surely hacked to pieces by Jasper’s pikemen.

Many events pertaining to the fighting transpired that day, but eventually we lost the battle, I was captured and imprisoned along with several highborn lords and knights, and it was revealed the man dressed in our King’s armor was not the king. His body had been discovered, after the battle, in the pavilion prepped and ready for burial. At the time no knew how he died. Hamilton was slain in battle, leaving the King’s only brother as witness to the events in the pavilion that night…”

History’s Unknown, Part III: Ancient Graffiti

Recall how I began this series with a discussion on ancient emojis, well my third entry in the Unknown series follows along the same lines. Communication is the heart, but the smiley faces and taco symbols have been replaced with graffiti!

Graffiti is spontaneous! Unlike inscriptions made by stone, which last centuries graffiti can fade easily. Graffiti has been around forever; from ancient caves to carved mountainsides, to city murals. 

Graffiti is a work of art thrown or carved onto any kind of surface. Beyond that graffiti is a tool of many human expressions ranging from political uprising to advertising.

Pompeii, this ruined city houses the oldest known graffiti. Pictured above, the message reads “Gaius Pumidius Diphilus was here.” Dated October 3, 78. B.C.

Looking at the graffiti running along the walls and old town markets of Pompeii you’ll find messages and drawings references jokes, undying romance, insults, and even memorials for fallen loved ones. 

Thankfully, these ancient inscriptions survived the destruction of Pompeii. A volcanic explosion left Pompeii in an eternal coat of ash, but the graffiti left behind by its residents tells a story that recreates the city entirely. As you walk along the streets of this ruin reading the various messages written on the walls you begin to hear voices of the past.

The city continues to be one huge notebook, call it a writer’s paradise. It makes you wonder did people go around leaving messages on walls for their friends saying “let’s meet up, come by the market.” Very intriguing, as it can be considered the first text messages. 

The origin of social media lay here. Pompeii was a nexus city filled with informative inscriptions detailing merchant transactions to the birth of donkeys. I mean hell you could discover information about anywhere, anybody, and anything!!!!

History’s Unknown, Part II: Ancient Desserts

Hello friends, fans, and loyal supporters sorry my series is dragging, but I have been busy traveling and attending conferences on historical topics. 
This second essay in the History’s Unknown follows sweets and treats from Classical Antiquity, from Rome and Greece and such. More importantly this essay on Ancient Desserts is a special dedication to by very best friend, my little sister, Keely who we call Kiwi! Happy 21st birthday babygirl lol but I guess I can’t call you that anymore huh haha 

First we begin with Keely’s personal favorite, ice cream, the girl adores this treat most of all. Roman Emperor Nero once ordered that ice be chipped and carted from the mountains, and brought to his palace, where they were to be combined with fruit toppings.

Ice cream is not as recent as people may think, in fact, in the year 1780 B.C. the King of Mari commanded an icehouse be built to store snow. It was the first of its kind. These icehouses flourished in the eras of Persian and Greek empires; Alexander the Great is said to have preferred his snow flavored with honey and nectar, and used it as an instrument to reward his soldiers.

The icehouses belonging to the Persians called Yakhchals had the capacity to store snow for long periods of time. The Persians were quite fond of flavoring their snow with grape juice.

There is also the tale of King Tang of Shang who loved to freeze buffalo milk then mixed it with flour, and flavored it with camphor. In the tomb of his descendant, prince Zhanghuai depicts a picture of women carrying “Su Shan” another ancient dessert. 

The Arab formula for ice cream. mainly in Baghdad and Damascus was, of course milk and sugar. But they also used rosewater, nuts, and dried fruits. 

The Egyptians were famous for many things, but desserts is one of thier more underrated treasures by historians; found on a broken piece of Egyptian pottery was the recipe for Tiger Nuts.

Tiger Nuts come from the Cypherus esculentus plant. The nuts were chopped into small pieces, and topped with honey and spices. 

Honey cakes, date loaves, and dumplings. While the latter is a famous food, the formers are pretty rare for the most part; we have tomb paintings depicting Egyptians smashing down honey cakes. Cooked in the shape of a folded pie and filled with not just honey but fruit and nuts.

Date loaves were crocodile-shaped loaves of mashed dates, mixed with goat’s milk, honey, and coconut. The reason for the crocodile shape is due to its symbolism in Egypt, which meant good luck.

Furthermore, dumplings as I said are nothing new. The ancient Egyptians rolled their dumplings in cinnamon. drizzled them in honey, and shaped into balls.

As you can see honey was a major staple in Classical Antiquity. Ironically, it can be considered the first candy. Once sugar was introduced in the medieval period did consumership of sweets triple. 

The term “cake” is originate from the Norse word “kaka”. And as you have read you see how cakes of the ancients was different from ours, as they were made out of bread and honey.

The pie has surprising roots too. Known as galettes in 9,500 B.C. it was cooked over host coals inserted with various fruits and reserved only for the Egyptian Pharoah. King Ramses loved his pies so much his tomb is decorating with paintings of such. 

And so Happy Birthday babygirl!!! ❤❤❤

Watch “Nocturnal Raven: Episode II” on YouTube

Brief summary with show and tell of items purchased for the Mid Atlantic British Studies Conference and Medieval Academy Annual Meeting

Join me as I prepare for one of the most promising events of my life, or rather my career lol

I bought fliers, cards, legalpads etc to fully embrace this experience 
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Renegatus

The Beast is Unleashed! My new eBook, Renegatus! In the darkest of realms, in the blackest of times men are at war. Desperate decisions destroy their repertoire, armies rip through cities like carnivores. I present to you a story you can adore

Where Kings have been betrayed, where princes have been slayed, where hope cannot be prayed, where honor can offer no aid.

Leaders are surrounded by treacherous toads who sell them to the highest bidder for gold.

And in their demise no lords rise, but no newly acquired position is secured… Bands of rogues are looking to expose the situation.

Therefore my old friend, Ravengaddafi presents to you…

RENEGATUS

GO DOWNLOAD THAT INTELLIGENT RUTHLESS TALE