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(then co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire with Manuel II Palaeologus),

Timur returned to home to Samarkand (1404) to change horses and to

prepare for an expedition to China. Hey, he was running out of folks to

bring into the Greater Mongol Coprosperity Sphere. He got sick on the

way and died in February 1405. Nothing mammalian could have touched

him; it had to be microbial.
His body was embalmed, laid in an ebony coffin, and sent to Samarkand,

where it was buried in the incredible tomb called Gur-e Amir. When the

Russians opened Timur’s coffin in the 1940s, they found the corpse of a

rather tall Mongol, well-built, but lame in both his right arm and leg.

Just in case you thought he was being slammed with that name. His sons

fought over the vast empire.


The Ottoman Turks took enough time to reorganize after Angora that

Europe finally realized the threat and stopped their advance. We might

all have been Moslem today if that hadn’t happened.
What have we learned from this? A Mongol on the roof is quite a

daunting sight; it may not mean a thing but then, again, it might?

Archery is a great persuader? Two go in, one comes out? Pay your taxes

and no one gets hurt? How about, if you ain’t got your health, you got

nothing?
As always, if you forward these, please leave my name and sig intact.

Got some Mongol friends, myself.


Taking care of my health,

J. Ellsworth Weaver


SCA—Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 21st -- Shrewsbury but not Hotspur

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:46:14 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

To: 2thpix@surfari.net
Dear Folk,
On this day, July 21, 1403 (a year and a day from the Battle of

Angora), a rebel alliance of Northumberland, Scotland, and Wales was

met by the king’s force near the border of Wales. It is still

remembered in one of Shakespeare’s great plays, Henry IV part 1. The

town and the battle is known as Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury is not the home of the Guosim Shrews (Guerrilla Union of

Shrews in Mossflower) no matter what any shrew tells you. It is a major

crossing point of the river Severn, a gateway into the often

obstreperous Wales, and a supply base for any expedition going in or

out of Wales. The royal army of Hank IV, Lancaster king, had to take

Shrewsbury before the Percy family and a feisty fighter, Owain Glyn Dwr

(Owen Glendower to the English), could.
The Percies of Northumberland had helped Hank IV just a few years

before take the English throne from Richard II. They were great

fighters, figured the king owed them a bunch, also figured the king had

gotten uppity and forgotten who had been there at the beginning. See

Hank IV had sort of promised Cumbria (up toward Scotland) to the

Percies but then forgot their promise and deeded it over to a rival

faction.
In June 1403 Sir Henry Percy took about 200 of his men on a ride-about

down to Cheshire from the north country. They were just surveying the

place and looking to see if anyone else wanted to ride with them.

Strangely enough, a band of Welsh archers joined them as well. Harmless

enough. I mean, a guy named Percy cannot be too careful when riding

around. If folks love him and want to protect him, is it his fault? I

say no.
Around July 12th Hank IV happened to be out keeping the peace,

attending Renfaires, kissing babies, judging pudding contests: the

usual kingly stuff. He was in Nottingham when he heard that Percy was

trucking around with a rather large gang of well-armed troops. He

turned his folks to go meet his old friend who seemed to have some

unexpressed aggression. It was only a matter of time before there was

either going to be a group hug or some serious slaying.
Percy was hoping his old buddy Owen Glendower could make the shindig.

Owen sent his regrets. Seems there was a Welsh Scrabble tourney planned

and Owen was entered. Welsh Scrabble is a full-contact contest. The

only vowels are y and w and one must be prepared to kill someone to get

them. Double letter score if the slain is English. So Owen was occupied

and Percies had to make do. Douglas from Scotland was also indisposed.

Sigh.
The armies met in the vicinity of Shrewsbury from opposite directions a

couple of days before. On the night of the 20th, the royal forces set

up on much better ground than the rebels. This was important because

the royals also had more troops. The estimate of the sides range from

60,000 to 14, 000 royals vs. 20,000 to 5,000 rebels. Most agree that

the rebels were outnumbered three to one.


The armies waited for each other, on July 21st, out of bow range while

negotiators tried to get that group hug going. Guess Hank IV finally

got tired of all the talking, saw he had numbers, experience, and

ground over the rebels. He gave the order to advance.


Both sides had archers. Lots of archers. The vanguard of each side

found itself skewered like St. Sebastian within minutes. Heck, a good

longbowman can get 12 arrows a minute up and into an enemy. Think about

that. The sky was dark with goose-quilled arrows. It got to hand to

hand very quickly and there the numbers paid off for the royals. Still

the rebels were giving it a game try until the word went up that

Hotspur (Harry Percy, heir to the Percy tribe) was dead. Things fell

horribly apart. It was a slaughter that chroniclers shuddered to tell.

Thousands fell.
Over three hundred knights were killed outright or died of wounds,

about 20,000 men fell immediately. Several more thousand died later of

wounds. It is reported that 1500 were buried in an unmarked mass grave.

Harry "Hotspur" Percy was decently buried at Whitchurch in Shropshire

but Hank IV was still mad about the whole Percy thing. He had Hotspur

dug back up and put on display to prove he was dead. The kindly king

also then had Hotspur’s remains divided into quarters and ridden around

the country to prove he was dead. By November (whew!) the king allowed

Hotspur’s wife to have what remained for burial.
Three years later, Sir Roger Hussey who lived nearby, had a church of

St. Mary Magdalen erected near the site of the battle where folks could

pray for all the dead. It is still there.
What have we learned? Numbers, location, experience, and archery sure

can make a difference? I keep harping on archery as being important.

Ballistics like arrows and bullets allow men to kill other men at a

distance. Somehow it depersonalizes warfare. So do closed visors, I

guess. Kings sometimes forget promises and get really mad when you

remind them? How about, Scrabble tourneys can make fools of us all?

That goes out to the best Scrabble player I know, Susan Howe.
As always, forward these to whomever but leave my name and sig.

attached.


Thinking Mary Magdalen is a cool saint,

J. Ellsworth Weaver


SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian (not a saint) Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 22 -- French Hairdresser Wanted

Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 09:51:30 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

To: 2thpix@surfari.net
Dear Folk,
July 22nd was St. Mary Magdalen Day. I did my best to celebrate it but

as the old expression goes, I had a headache.


I do not want to step on anyone’s Golden Calf-skin Slippers here. We

all have our own convictions. Just some small note about the sainted

lady. Have you wondered about the name Magdalen? There are at least two

thoughts about it. There was a town, Magdala, right near Tiberias

(remember that short walk the Templars made on July 3-4th?) on the west

shore of the sea of Galilee. There is also a Talmudic expression

meaning “curling women’s hair,” or hairdresser. The Talmud explains

that hairdresser also means adulteress. Meditate upon that for a

second. Is that a kind thing to say about hairdressers? Like Dolly

Parton in "Steel Magnolias" could not have gotten her own boyfriend?

And what about Warren Beatty? Yeah!
So we have a Mary (not the J. guy’s mom) who was either a hairdresser,

adulteress, or a gal from Magdala. Maybe all three. St. Mark also says

she had seven devils cast out of her. Wonder what that looked like? I

mean before the age of special effects, what did a person possessed

look or act like? Probably you would not want to be around them. Surely

you would not want them to curl your hair. Some folks also think this

Mary was the sister to Martha and Lazarus. St. Luke says that Mary

Magdalen followed Jesus and ministered to him. Some also claim it was

this Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them dry

with her hair. All four of the gospels say she was at the foot of the

cross, saw Jesus laid in the tomb and was the first witness to the

Resurrection. Pretty darned important lady in my opinion.


There is much dispute as to what happened to her next. The Greek

Orthodox church says she went off with the Blessed Virgin Mary to

Ephesus. When she died, her remains were transferred to Constantinople

in 886. There is a French tradition that Mary M., brother Lazarus, and

some other folk went to Marselles and converted the whole of Provence.

Fact is, there is a grotto in La Sainte-Baume which is said to hold the

head of St. Mary Magdalen. Cool place for a pilgrimage, the south of

France. Beats going to Turkey.


I would be remiss if I did not include one other speculation. Michael

Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln in their books (_The Holy

Blood and Holy Grail_ and _The Messianic Legacy_) say that Mary

Magdalen was pregnant when she came to France. Her offspring became the

Merovingian kings of France and are now known as the Priory of Sion

(French spelling of Zion). Yes, they believe that Mary the hairdresser

was pregnant by Jesus, shocking as that may seem. I am not going to

debate these points; just bringing them to your attention.


Now parts of my family are really proud to be descendants of a guy who

fought in the American Revolution. I doubt if there would be any living

with them if they thought they were descendants of Jesus.
So what can we learn from any of this? History is written about folks

long dead by folks with their own axes to grind? The French think that

they are part of the Holy Family? Convictions make convicts? How about

even a hairdresser with seven devils in her can be forgiven and loved?

I think I agree.
As always, if you want to forward these, leave my name and sig.

attached.


Looking for a hairdresser with a few less devils,

J. Ellsworth Weaver


SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 23rd -- The Prize of Peace

Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 21:02:23 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

To: 2thpix@surfari.net
Dear Folk,
On this day July 23, 1343, Casimir the Great in the town of Kalisz

signed a peace treaty with a band of tough dude knights which gave away

Pomerania and ensured that his country could have a chance at

tranquility, unity, and access to the sea.


Toward the end of the 13th century, Poland was divided into

increasingly small duchies. This division (what we now call

Balkanization) was a hassle for everyone except the dukes who

controlled the parcels. The Catholic church found it to be a bother

because their diocese borders were not the same as the provinces. Every

petty tyrant wanted to be important and make businesses pay extra for

trade. Warsaw did not even belong to Poland. Foreign invaders could

just walk in and take a small duchy and no one would come to their aid.

Who would want to build a town in a place like that? It was a mess.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a real perception of the need to unify.

Problem was, who was going to do it and take credit? Like rival street

gangs, everyone knew outside boys were going to bust their chops but

who should rule the place: Crips? Bloods? Warriors? Baseball Furies?

The Church? Knights? Nobility? Burghers?
While all of this thinking was going on, Gdansk Pomerania was seized by

the Teutonic Knights in the years 1308-1309. The loss of Pomerania and

of Poland's access to the Baltic Sea were ominous events, as they

ushered in a long period of wars between Poland and the Teutonic Order

for the recovery of those territories. As we saw with the former Soviet

Union, access to the sea is a very important thing for any country who

hopes to trade with others at a distance.
During the first few decades of the 14th century, Poland was the

weakest of those sovereign kingdoms facing a constant threat from the

alliance between the Czechs and Teutonic Knights. Ladislaus the Short,

King of Poland, in his struggle to recover Pomerania, took advantage of

the Pope's support and of the alliance with Hungary, but neither a

court trial before the papal envoys, which he won, nor an armed

struggle, brought the desired effect. Sometimes one must think in

different directions.


His son and successor, Casimir [Kazimierz] the Great (1333-1370), one

of the most outstanding Polish rulers, made peace with the Teutonic

Knights on this day in 1343, giving away Pomerania as "an eternal alms"

to them. By giving that, he then could bargain for the recovery of

other lands held by the Order. He also made John of Luxembourg give up

his claim to the Polish crown. Okay, he had to give Silesia on Poland’s

western border over to Bohemia. Nothing comes for free.
Once Poland was at peace, Casimir got to work encouraging new villages

and towns. He promoted trade and helped get some rules for extracting

salt, lead, silver and iron. He established a unified state currency

which just had to help trade. As far as governing, he included lots of

folks on his advisory counsel and actually listened to them! He

actually separated the concept of the crown and the king – something

folks in some medieval recreation groups have yet to understand

completely. He set up border-guarding castles and reformed the army.

Heck, he even sponsored the first Polish university, the Krakow Academy

in 1364.
Toward the end of Casimir’s reign, the population of Poland was about 2

million. The population density increased by at least a factor of 2

from a century or two before. Polish culture diffused to over one

million folks outside its borders. Within the kingdom Jews, Germans,

Ruthenians all lived with native Poles.


Casimir had no lawful son. He concluded a treaty with Louis Angevin,

the King of Hungary, so that when Casimir died the crown went to Louis.

Louis eventually bartered away many privileges to Polish knights (not

the Teutonic ones) in order to secure the recognition of one of his

daughters as an heir. Well, knights need stuff, too. Rather sweet,

actually, that he wanted his daughter to reign.


What have we learned from this? Access to the sea is everything?

Everybody wants to rule Gdansk? Sometimes it pays to think outside the

Czechs? Caring means sharing? How about a country generally does lots

better when it is at peace? King, Rodney said it best, “Can’t we all

just get along?”
As always, if you can find someone not reading these and want those

unfortunates to be enlightened, informed, entertained or just plain

annoyed at spamming their mailbox, go ahead and forward them. Please,

leave my name and sig. attached.


A little over an eighthton knight,

J. Ellsworth Weaver


SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musting on July24th -- Shaft in Antioch

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 21:38:12 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

To: 2thpx@surfari.net
Dear Folk,
Today, July 24, marks the deaths of two saints: one who stood up on a

pillar, the other who stood up to the Scourge of God.


Let’s go with the pole sitter or stander first, shall we? Simeon the

Stylite spent thirty-seven years of his life standing on a pillar in

the desert around Antioch. Now some radio DJs think that being up on a

cherry picker an entire weekend is a tough gig! Simeon was not what

anyone would call a very worldly man; you probably know someone a lot

like him in your life. He got religion really hard at a young age. He

was listening to his first sermon, “Blessed are the pure of heart,” and

some Divine force got hold of him. He asked the preacher, and this was

around 400 CE, how to become pure of heart. The preacher answered that

becoming a monk might be the best thing. Simeon signed up but a voice

told him to “dig ever deeper.”
After ten years of monkish life, he got permission to become a hermit.

He built himself a round enclosure and shackled his leg to a pole in

the center so he could not leave. This strange behavior worried the

established church at the time. The bishop of Antioch came out and told

Simeon to quit the chained-for-God bit. Simeon did obey. I think the

bishop and other prelates were worried because Simeon was getting some

good press out of all of this. Folks came by to gawk and then to ask

Simeon advice. God only knows that pretty soon the folks would expect

to see the bishop out there in rags, chained to a post. That would

never do.


It was those crowds who first made Simeon think of living higher up,

out of their reach. Just like at a rock concert, folks that came by

wanted to take a bit of clothing for a souvenir. Simeon did not have a

lot to give them. He built a platform nine feet high on a shaft

(stylos in Greek), to prevent people from grabbing him while he was at

prayer. And he did pray! One biographer, Theoderet, stopped counting

Simeon’s prayerful bows at over 1244 in one session. The nine feet one

was not enough, folks could still interrupt him to ask silly questions

like how did he sleep and where was the nearest clean rest room. So

Simeon kept building up. He built an 18 foot one, a 33 foot one, and

eventually one over 60 feet tall.
As to the visitors’ questions, he slept tied to a pole on the top of

the pillar. Sometimes he slept leaning over a small railing around the

top. He did not sleep or eat much. Clean restrooms were in the gas

station down the street, just like the always are. And no, he did not

get off the pillar to do that. Don’t ask.
So Simeon stood there, talked with God, got as close to Heaven as he

could on Earth. He was sort of a wick on the candle of God. How is that

for a pretty conceit? He was snuffed on this date 459 CE. (Hey, I could

not taper off.)


Now about the other guy who stood up to the Scourge of God. You do know

the title, do you not? That was Attila the Hun. The saint’s name was

Lupus (how’s that, Wolfie?) Lupus, called in French "Loup", was born at

Toul, Gaul. He married the sister of St. Hilary of Arles, but after six

years of marriage they parted by mutual agreement. That was before

California divorce courts. He gave his wealth to the poor instead of

the ex-wife and her lawyers, entered Lerins Abbey under St. Honoratus,

and about 426 CE was named Bishop of Troyes. In 429 CE, he accompanied

St. Germanus of Auxerre to Britain to combat Pelagianism there, and on

his return, devoted himself to his episcopal duties.


I know there are some folks out there who just have to know what

Pelagianism is. Well, it is bad! Stop doing it! Now, are you any better

off? Okay, Pelagianism, in Christian theology, is a rationalistic and

naturalistic heretical doctrine concerning grace and morals, which

emphasizes human free will as the decisive element in human

perfectibility and minimizes or denies the need for divine grace and

redemption. Or, so you think your works will get you into Heaven? Think

again! Can we move along now?


In about 450 CE Attila, King of the Huns, moved his folks into Gaul.

They were cruising, hanging out, demonstrating trick riding and some

archery to the locals. They were a long way from home and wanted

company. This was before USOs which were built just to avoid this kind

of behavior. It is told that when Attila was approaching the town of

Troyes in 453 CE, Lupus got all dolled up in his bishop robes,

vestments and hat and met Attila at the gates. When Lupus asked Mr. A

who he was, Attila told him “Man, they call me ‘The Scourge of God!’”


Lupus looked up at him, blinked his baby-blues at this shaggy, smelly,

rugged, bloody conqueror and said, “Well, if you are the instrument of

God, you can only do what God gives you to do.” This confused Attila.

He spared the town, took Lupus over his saddle and headed out. When

Attila was defeated at Chalons, Lupus was accused of helping him escape

and was forced to leave Troyes. He lived as a hermit for two years and

then was allowed to return to Troyes. Lupus supposedly died on this

date in 478 CE. I don’t know. Maybe Lupus and Attila had more in

common than you might think. Scourges were pretty heavily used by the

more extreme Christians of the day. It said so in one of my books.


So what have we learned here? Some folks get high in rather unusual

ways? A wolf and a Hun can get along pretty well if both set good

boundaries? Pelagianism will get you whacked and then thrown into the

lake of eternal fire? No matter how holy you are trying to be, some

folks just got to ask dumb questions? In a divorce, some folks get the

Hun and some just get the stylos? How about the established church just

will never understand those who talk directly with the Divine Presence?
As always and ever, you want to show these heretical musings to others

(and are relatively unafraid to the lake of fire), go right ahead. Do

keep my name and sig. attached lest you be taken for a Pelagianist.
Looking for a clean restroom in life,

J. Ellsworth Weaver


SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 25th -- Big Jim and the Creed

Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 14:14:17 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

To: 2thpix@surfari.net
Dear Folk,
Happy St. James the Greater Day! On July 25, 44 CE, James son of

Zebedee was executed by sword due to the decree of King Herod Agrippa

I, they killed him with a sword in an early persecution of the

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