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Your Historical Heroes

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Topic: Your Historical Heroes
Posted By: Parnell
Subject: Your Historical Heroes
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 20:23
Everybody has certain personal 'heroes' from history, whether they realise it or not. Either they came across as dapper, thoughtful, abrasive, or courageous, some individuals shaped the course of history as a result of their personality.

Mine would have to be:

Edmund Burke: His attitude towards Ireland and the Catholics was spot on, he had genuine integrity, hated political violence and reasoned with a real passion not from abstract concepts but from hard, cold political realities. He rarely decried the persecution of Irish Catholics from a completely moral vantage point (Though he was certainly appalled by the Penal Laws) but emphasised the dangers of radicalising a majority of the population for such an absurd reason. Also warned about how their disabilities would act as a 'contagion for Jacobinism'. Also add in his sheer eloquence and his Irishness and his influence on the cause of liberty. (Though you may not agree if you're French)

Daniel O'Connell: Loud, arrogant, egotistical, and wonderfully self confident. Almost fictional in his audacity. Not to mention the fact that he's worth 10,000 Irish men of violence. He did the bravest thing any demagogue can do - renounce the use of violence. The greatest democrat of the 19th century, in my opinion.

Woodrow Wilson: If only the rest of the world were as farsighted as this thoughtful American President.

What about you? Remember, your encouraged to be impartial.


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http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw



Replies:
Posted By: fantasus
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 20:59

I am not sure if You ask for any kind of historical figure seen as admirable or restrict it to "political" ones? Could it be a figure who´s existense or life is debated (as for instance the founders of some widespread religions)?

For my own part I had to think a bit about it. Perhaps a russian officer who is said to have calmed down a threatening atomic war scenario in the 80´s (unfortunately I have forgot his name).  Perhaps sometimes positive developments may be the result of "teams" were it is difficult to point out only one individual.
 Perhaps I tend to suspect people I admire for some acts had another "darker" side, while it is easier to find entirely negative figures, not least from the political history of last century.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 22:19
Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 22:22
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".


There are 14 good reasons for non Americans to admire Woodrow Wilson.


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http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw


Posted By: Gharanai
Date Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 23:09
Well I have a widespread list of historical Heroes, from Hannibal the great Carthaginian military commander, to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Omer bin Khytab (RA) El Che, Mustafa Kamal Attaturk, Gandhi, Ghazi Amanullah Khan and speaking of current short history Vladmir Putin the man who brought back Russia to the world stage.
If I continue there would be many many more but to shorten the list I guess these are the people I appreciate the most through history.


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Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 00:05
Historical heroes you say? I can rattle them off the top of my head;
 
Omar bin al Khattab - for pretty much everything he said
Azdemir al Hajj - for single handed turning the tide against the Mongols
Al Aqib al Sanhaja - for completely refusing the political favour of the Askiya if he considered it immoral
Doudly Bradstreet - for defeating the Jacobite army and saving all England with a single lie.
Pawel Strzelecki - for being the kind of person who would've jumped off the edge of the world if he could. Arguably, he did many times.
 
An Arab, a Turk, a Sanhaja, an Englishman, and a Pole. Fair?
 


Posted By: fantasus
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 07:47
We should remember some of "our heroes" may be others villains, some are unknown to may of us, and some we may simply see as insignificant. Therefore an ultrashort description of the deeds of those "heroes" and what was heroic about them are wellcome.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 09:38
Constantine XI - For being the most tragically heroic figure in history ever
Edward I Longshanks of England - For excelling other medieval rulers and trying to make his country a force to be reckoned with
Cincinattus - For dutifully serving his country without demanding she degrade herself for his vanities
Anastasius I - For being an austere pennypincher like myself (as if Justinian would have had a chance at reconquest without Anastasius!)
Basil II - For being a simply awe inspiring man who did naught but devote himself to being the best sovereign of his nation he could be

Yes, I am Byzanto-centric, deal with it.


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 10:06
For me it is Plato all the way but I will choose Philip II of Macedon as well since I bear his name. Apparently, as you can see from my profile pic, I have some sympathy for King Midas.


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FΑΝΑΚΤΟΥ ΜΙΔΑ ΓΟΝΟΣ
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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 11:08
Burke was an interesting choice. Otherwise I come up a bit short, though I'd pick someone who comes from the chain that runs from Aristotle through the Bacons and Ockham via Kepler up to Hume. I'm inclined to disregard the bubble reputation even sought in the cannon's mouth.
 
And Plato gives me the shivers.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 14:36
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".


There are 14 good reasons for non Americans to admire Woodrow Wilson.
 
Dr G is a bit too negative on Wilson, but he was a pompous prig who thought he knew better than anyone else...not so good for politics.  In fact, the New Jersey Democratic organization was eager to promote him as a presidential candidate to get him out of the NJ governor's office!  He was impossible to work with.
 
In Washington, he antagonized Henry Cabot Lodge to the point of exasperation because he would not compromise on the League.  Had he done so, the changes proposed by the Republicans may well have led to US membership.  As it happened, it was mostly Wilson himself who scuttled American participation.  Personal dislike is one thing, but to antagonize the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over the matter was bad politics.
 
In foreign affairs, Europe's virtual exhaustion after the war caused the European powers to defer more than they wanted to the US.  The "Fourteen Points" were mainly viewed by the Europeans as unrealistic; as "points" of departure for revanchism and renewed conflict, and as uninformed interference by America in affairs they knew little about.  In this general view, I must agree, as the US had been focused on Asia for decades (along with the Caribbean), and would remain so until WW II.  Check out the disposition of US naval forces after 1919.
 
I think it was Clemenceau who complained that he tired of hearing of Mr. Wilson's Fourteen Points as God Almighty had only ten.
 
Wilson was a man of conscience who had an understanding of American interests in its own backyard, but was out of his depth on the world's stage.
 
 
 
 


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 14:43
Just sitting here thinking about this, I have difficulty coming up with "heroes."  There are people in history who I think are admirable, but I don't know if I consider any of them heroes. 
 
I'll have to give it some thought away from the PC (that's personal computer).  Smile
 
 


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 15:54
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".


There are 14 good reasons for non Americans to admire Woodrow Wilson.
 
Those 14 reasons applied only for white christian peoples of the world. That excludes about 4/5ths of the world's population.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: fantasus
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 16:19
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".


There are 14 good reasons for non Americans to admire Woodrow Wilson.
 
Those 14 reasons applied only for white christian peoples of the world. That excludes about 4/5ths of the world's population.
 
Al-Jassas
Today they may be 4/5, but imediately after the Great War there where a very much larger proportion of Europeans. One may also ask if "national self determination" is only "good", but often "nationalism" is seen as negative! And should any sub group be seen as "nation"?


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2010 at 21:18
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Woodrow Wilson!!!! Parnell stay away from the Jameson! The man was a bigoted egotist who created most of the social problems that plagued the United States in the first half of the 20th century! You do not want me to quote from his five volume History of the American People (1901), which sits on one of my shelves as a steady reminder of pomposity gone "swarming".


There are 14 good reasons for non Americans to admire Woodrow Wilson.
 
For goodness sakes, Parnell, the Fourteen Points had nothing to do with Europe and were drafted entirely for domestic political consumption. People forget that in 1916, German Americans composed a significant element of the electorate and that Wilson "the prig" (thanks, Pike) had appealed to this group with the slogan "He kept us out of war!". If you really want to know the dark side of his character I will simply repeat his comment upon Griffith's film, Birth of a Nation, after a private screening at the White House: "That's the way it was!"


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2010 at 07:48
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Today they may be 4/5, but imediately after the Great War there where a very much larger proportion of Europeans. One may also ask if "national self determination" is only "good", but often "nationalism" is seen as negative! And should any sub group be seen as "nation"?
European proportion declined from 25% in 1900 to 10% in 2008 according to this site: http://www.answers.com/topic/world-population - http://www.answers.com/topic/world-population .
But alot of that decline is because of the wars I'd wager. Both in direct casulties and lack of breeding age people. So 1919 might be less than 25%


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2010 at 09:03
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Just sitting here thinking about this, I have difficulty coming up with "heroes."  There are people in history who I think are admirable, but I don't know if I consider any of them heroes. 
 
I'll have to give it some thought away from the PC (that's personal computer).  Smile
 
 


Well, someone you admire sometimes is your hero. Maybe not in an epic way but as a person.


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FΑΝΑΚΤΟΥ ΜΙΔΑ ΓΟΝΟΣ
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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 00:25

My historical hero is Isambard Brunel Smile



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 02:31
Are not heroes, as well as the esteem through admiration, a function of personal contact and impact? Everything else is really nothing more than vicarious projection or worse, delusion. There is something extremely off-setting over admiring a perfect stranger whose actual qualities as a human being are totally unknown to the adulator. Fame or notoriety are hardly qualities converible into the heroic or the admirable. Vanity, all is vanity...

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 02:53
How about favourite historical personailities then Dr G?


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 10:43
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Are not heroes, as well as the esteem through admiration, a function of personal contact and impact? Everything else is really nothing more than vicarious projection or worse, delusion. There is something extremely off-setting over admiring a perfect stranger whose actual qualities as a human being are totlly unknown to the adulator. Fame or notoriety are hardly qualities converible into the heroic or the admirable. Vanity, all is vanity...


Not even in the Carlylian sense?


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http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 19:44
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Are not heroes, as well as the esteem through admiration, a function of personal contact and impact? Everything else is really nothing more than vicarious projection or worse, delusion. There is something extremely off-setting over admiring a perfect stranger whose actual qualities as a human being are totlly unknown to the adulator. Fame or notoriety are hardly qualities converible into the heroic or the admirable. Vanity, all is vanity...


Not even in the Carlylian sense?
 
The hero as testosterone run amuck!?! Placing aside the Romantic babbling of "the great man" allowing himself to be great one really has to restrain heavy chortling when reading the following:
 
"a sort of savage sincerity--not cruel, far from that; but wild, wrestling naked with the truth of things...a most gentle heart withal, full of pity and love, as indeed the truly valiant heart ever is"
 
On Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History, p. 140-193, passim
 
If you haven't had enough yet, Parnell, how about the below:
 
"...all sorts of Heroes are intrinsically of the same material; that given a great soul, open to the Divine Significance of Life, then there is given a man fit to speak of this, to sing of this, to fight and work for this, in a great, victorious, enduring manner; there is given a Hero,--the outward shape of whom will depend on the time and the environment he finds himself in"
 
Ibid., p.115
 
The "divine significance of life", my word! If we are not in the realm of caricature, then all of those pretty phrasings are but garlands hung around egocentrism, greed, ambition, and all the other petty foibles of mankind. Better a world full of J. Alfred Proofrocks than these strutting narcissists.
 
We all should by now be very clear as to the consequences of hubris.
 
There are no "great" men other than in the realm of fantastic story tellers!Evil Smile
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2010 at 19:51
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

How about favourite historical personailities then Dr G?
 
Jonas Salk!
 
Would that more that came after him had emulated his actions rather than running straight to the patent office!
 
It is what you give to mankind rather than what you take that defines "greatness".


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 19 Apr 2010 at 14:35

Success is what makes a hero, traditionally success in war, but these days it seems commonly applied to success in any occupation besides rapist.

Even more subjectively people tend to elevate to hero(ine) those people whose qualities they find uniquely appealing, usually because they can identify with their agenda or nature. In this manner I consider men like Machiavelli, Chevalier D'Eon and Marquis de Sade to be my own, highly personal, heroes.

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Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 19 Apr 2010 at 14:42
So you are fascinated by sex and dominational power Reginmud. Why is that no surprise? Perhaps a link to your comments on Zagros's present problem will illuminate further...Wink

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 19 Apr 2010 at 15:12
Indeed I consider sex and power to be the pillars upon which the male nature is built; our ability to surpass and conquer other men, our access to women and the extent to which we can control them - this is what our minds revolve around more than anything. I admire those who are able to be honest and upfront about their nature without confusing themselves with ideology or convention.
 
However that's not exactly why I consider those men my heroes. It has more to do with how Machiavelli and de Sade argue in favour of pragmatism and in the latter's case libertinism. Moral is inevitably rooted in metaphysical dogma, hence it is irrational to let one's actions be dictacted by anything but self-interest except from religious POV. It could of course be argued that neither of them were able to further their own interests to any great extent, but that's just one more thing we have in common.
 
My admiration for D'Eon is solely based on his skills as a cross-dresser, though I suppose calling him a libertine as well isn't too unreasonable.


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Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 19 Apr 2010 at 17:01
Why do I get the feeling that the above is certainly much more than I wanted to know!?! I am surprised you left Sulla and Nero off of your list given that they did get to "further their own interests" to a surprising degree!
 
But take heart... 
http://crackle.com/c/Captain_Cross_Dresser/The_Adventures_of_Captain_Cross_Dresser/2452148/ - http://crackle.com/c/Captain_Cross_Dresser/The_Adventures_of_Captain_Cross_Dresser/2452148/


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 20 Apr 2010 at 00:23
Originally posted by Reg Reg wrote:

However that's not exactly why I consider those men my heroes. It has more to do with how Machiavelli and de Sade argue in favour of pragmatism and in the latter's case libertinism. Moral is inevitably rooted in metaphysical dogma, hence it is irrational to let one's actions be dictacted by anything but self-interest except from religious POV. It could of course be argued that neither of them were able to further their own interests to any great extent, but that's just one more thing we have in common.
A large (probably dominating) point of the religious POV is that your long term self-interest extends to practicing religious morals.
 
So it may be in a mans immediate self interest to do that drunk girl, but religion teaches that its in his long term self interest, in both this world and the next, not to take advantage of her.


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 20 Apr 2010 at 12:23
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

A large (probably dominating) point of the religious POV is that your long term self-interest extends to practicing religious morals.
 
So it may be in a mans immediate self interest to do that drunk girl, but religion teaches that its in his long term self interest, in both this world and the next, not to take advantage of her.
 
Certainly. Adopting a religious POV will in most cases involve a redefining of self-interest that extends beyond our physical lifespan.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Why do I get the feeling that the above is certainly much more than I wanted to know!?! I am surprised you left Sulla and Nero off of your list given that they did get to "further their own interests" to a surprising degree!
 
Nero was a powerful stooge who'd never have amounted to anything if not for his birth, even now his name lives on as a comical warning against inherited, absolute power. Sulla on the other hand was a great man of both ability and integrity. Machiavelli considered Sulla as possessing the ideal characteristics of a ruler and I largely agree; Sulla was about as good as they get.


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Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 21 Apr 2010 at 03:13
In re:  "Those 14 reasons applied only for white christian peoples of the world. That excludes about 4/5ths of the world's population."

The real point is that those 14 points inspired many non-white Christian peoples, to include Ho Chi Minh (not on my list of heroes) and a plethora of Korean nationalists.

As for mine, General Paris de la Bollardiere, the WWII French SAS leader, Indochina para commander, and General who decried the use of torture used to defeat the FLN in the Battle for Algiers. Going against many of one's wartime comrades based upon personal convictions is a rare act indeed.

General Jean de Lattre de Tassingy. Arrogant, vain, opinionated, and brilliant. When everyone else at his level was ducking to avoid being named Commander in Indochina, he turned down a plush position in NATO to step into the fray. It cost him his only son, and eventually his own life.

Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk. Without the two of them, South Africa would have been the bloodbath that everyone was predicting. It may yet be the only single successful post-colonial state in Africa south of the Sahara. 

Colonel Tran Dinh Vy. Former French sergeant and North Vietnamese commando leader, then ARVN combat commander, endured 10 years of prison after 1975, left for France where he was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the French Army. Retired as a Colonel in the French Foreign Legion, and died early this year. Had the ARVN had more Tran Dinh Vys, and less politicians, they would be the ones ruling Vietnam today.

ARVN Special Forces Major Ton That Thuan. From a well connected Hue Buddhist family (the Ton That's are an offshoot of the Imperial Nguyen Phuc line), he chose to fight for his country, commanding a company in the elite 81st Airborne Rangers, and then took command of the II Corps MIKE Force as it was being transferred to ARVN control. Proud, Nationalist, and not enamored of the Americans, he was killed in action at Bu Prang on 11 November 1969.


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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 20:30
I will choose two. Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons and later styled king of the Anglo-Saxons. If he had lost at the Battle of Eddington 878, we in England would all be talking in Danish.
 
His grandson, Æthelstan, also king of the Anglo-Saxons who is regarded as the first king of the English.


Posted By: fantasus
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 09:09
Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

I will choose two. Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons and later styled king of the Anglo-Saxons. If he had lost at the Battle of Eddington 878, we in England would all be talking in Danish.
 
His grandson, Æthelstan, also king of the Anglo-Saxons who is regarded as the first king of the English.
Perhaps the languages were not that different at the time (the two - three centuries before 1066)? Despite all the fightings the different saxon and scandinavian peoples were not that unrelated.
Are interpreters or translators mentioned anywhere in the sources? At least one icelandic (Snorri) mentions direct unhindered (though  hostile) conversation between local northenglish peasant and norwegian warrior.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 10:51
Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

I will choose two. Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons and later styled king of the Anglo-Saxons. If he had lost at the Battle of Eddington 878, we in England would all be talking in Danish.
 
His grandson, Æthelstan, also king of the Anglo-Saxons who is regarded as the first king of the English.
 
The Anglo-Saxons weren't English. English is a much broader concept and an English nationality doesn't really emerge until the thirteenth century. 
 
And after all, the Danes did take over the country later, and we still don't talk Danish, even in Newcastle.
 
 


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 14:56
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

I will choose two. Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons and later styled king of the Anglo-Saxons. If he had lost at the Battle of Eddington 878, we in England would all be talking in Danish.
 
His grandson, Æthelstan, also king of the Anglo-Saxons who is regarded as the first king of the English.
 
The Anglo-Saxons weren't English. English is a much broader concept and an English nationality doesn't really emerge until the thirteenth century. 
 
And after all, the Danes did take over the country later, and we still don't talk Danish, even in Newcastle.
 
 
 
Quie wrong. The concept, or idea of the English language or Englishness can be traced back to Bede writing in 731 when he wrote his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum. King Alfred himself regarded the language he spoke and wrote as English or Englisc. In one charter he styled himself Rex Anglorum, although his usual title in charters was Angol Saxonum rex.
 
His son and successor, Edward, also on occasion used the term in charters as Rex Anglorum, and by the time of Athelstan, 925 onwards, the term Rex Anglorum, meaning King of the English, was quite common. Indeed, Edgar in 975 was called Engla cyning in the old English language.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 18:49
If you're prepared to translate Rex Anglorum as King of the English, you can claim anything.
 
The point about the name used for the language is better taken, but neither the language nor the people emerged as a distinct group on the same basis as today's language and people until the assimilation of French in the one case and the Normans and Danes in the other, and both needed a healthy contribution from the Brythonic peoples.
 
The replacement of St Edward by St George as the country's patron saint is a not unreasonable way of marking the change (though it came a little late), especially since it took place in the reign of Edward III, the first King of England to address Parliament in English.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 19:34
The term Rex Anglorum was used by these early Anglo-Saxon kings to stress something more, for instance, than just king of the West Saxons or king of the Mercians. In fact King Offa of the Mercians used the term on a few occasions. He would have been stressing his overlordship of the English, and so likewise did the later kings such as Edward known as the "Elder" and his successors. That is what historians believe anyway.
 
Perhaps the defining moment when the kingdom of the English actually came into being was on the blood soaked battlefield of Brunanburh in the year 937. That great battle saw King Æthelstan assume direct control over all four of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex, Northumbria, East Anglia, and Mercia, as well as de facto control over all of Britain, hence his title in charters of Rex Anglorum (and) Rex totius Brittanniae.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 02:49
Just a little language detail here, Rex Anglorum does not translate as "king of England" but instead as "king of the Angles", and as gcle underscored, if you appeal to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles therein you would find reference to Alfred as king of all the Angelcyn not subject to the Danes. In terms of a territorial England despite the interlude of Edred and the apogee of his jurisdiction in AD 954, one would then have to recognize why Ethelred earned the sobriquet of "the Unready"! In a way, one must then recognize that as a political unit, the first England with a king calling for loyalty of all is Edward the Confessor, whose sobriquet rather than appealing to "first of the name" is powerful evidence that a political entity apart from outside loyalties comes with William the Conqueror, whose jurisdiction derived from this anomalous Edward. As for the rest, the sense of Englishness is a truly Plantagenet phenomenon.
 
Just one man's opinion but hey it does permit an understanding of just why England emerged under the shadow of a distended "France". Why one might argue that were it not for the French, an English identity might have never surfaced.Evil Smile


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 09:24
Aren't you just debating what the word "English" should mean? Everyone has a sense of identity that changes with time, we can use one word or several to encompass it. The Anglo-Saxon identity when they first crossed the North Sea was not the same as that of their descendants centuries or a millenium later, so you might easily argue the Anglo-Saxons were not "English" if by "English" is meant the exact sense of Englishness as construed at a later point, but you might just as well argue that since one form of Englishness sprang from another it's all part of the English identity. At the least you could never separate the Anglo-Saxons from the English identity, considering their fundamental impact on the linguistic, cultural and political heritage of the later English.
 
Of course the English identity (or one of them Wink) arose in opposition to an alternative, the French. The whole point of identity seems to be enforcing a sense of belonging in uniformity and opposition to an undesirable rival identity. This is why it's been said that Muhammed created Europe.


-------------
Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 11:10
The poiint is that the peoples inhabiting the territory now known as England did not share or recognise a common identity, distinct from others, until it developed during the later 13th/14th centuries. Nor for that matter did they share a common language until more or less the same point in time.
 
Granted that the Germanic word 'Englisc' or something similar existed before the Conquest, it referred only to the language(s) spoken by the Germanic settlers, not the hybrid language that eventually merged the three basic influences: Germanic (including Danish), Brython, and French, and that foreshadows modern English.
 
Using 'English' to refer to the inhabitants before that is rather like using 'Spanish' to refer to the inhabitants of Iberia in the same period.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 12:50
Indeed, I was merely trying to say that since all these terms are plastic - just look at how "Englisc" was used as opposed to "English" today - there is no reason why an "English" identity shouldn't also encompass its origins even if it these weren't unitary or identical to a later conception. It's not necessary for the contemporaries to understand their place in the construct for the construct to be useful.
 
Also it cannot be said the Anglo-Saxon kingdom(s) did not have a sense of itself as different from its Celtic, Scandinavian and Frankish neighbours. It emerges quite clearly from the primary sources all these peoples were considered Others with differing languages, religion and customs. Northumbria may have been different from Wessex, but they considered each other closer than with the aforementioned Others, and you need a name for that kind of shared identity, whether you want to call it English or Anglo-Saxon doesn't matter to a historian.


-------------
Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 16:19
My point was that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms DID have a sense of themselves as different from their neighbours. But those neighours were the people it shared the country with. When you talk about 'England' or the 'English' in the early middle ages you are implicitly suggesting that one nation/people occupied the whole country. It didn't. and, as you rightly point out, the Anglo-Saxons saw themselves as different from the rest.
 
There is a similar situation as I suggested in Spain, and another in France. The Franks are not the French. You also get into a similar muddle in trying to call the inhabitants of the medieval Netherlands 'Dutch', though it isn't quite the same since that country split up later. 
 
Calling it English should matter to a historian, because it muddles an already complicated situation.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 16:56
Off the top of my head and without digging into books in order to sound somewhat knowledgeable

In no particular order are:

WAR/PEACE
- Crazy Horse
- Lincoln
- Washington
- Hannibal
- Genghis
- Alp Aslan
- First ten Ottoman Sultans kicked ass
- Ataturk (every indoctrinated card carrying Turk would and should list him)

Literature, arts and sport
- Twain
- Robert E. Howard
- William Glasser MD
- Ali  'Float like a butterfly...'
- Howe
- Magic
- Montana

 ...more to come later


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 19:52
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

My point was that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms DID have a sense of themselves as different from their neighbours. But those neighours were the people it shared the country with. When you talk about 'England' or the 'English' in the early middle ages you are implicitly suggesting that one nation/people occupied the whole country. It didn't. and, as you rightly point out, the Anglo-Saxons saw themselves as different from the rest.
 
There is a similar situation as I suggested in Spain, and another in France. The Franks are not the French. You also get into a similar muddle in trying to call the inhabitants of the medieval Netherlands 'Dutch', though it isn't quite the same since that country split up later. 
 
Calling it English should matter to a historian, because it muddles an already complicated situation.
 
The actual point I was making was that the concept or idea of Englishness was there at the time of Bede. As he wrote: " There are in Britain today five languages and four nations: English, British, Scots, and Picts; each of these have their own language but are all united in their study of God`s scriptures by that fifth language, Latin."
 
To Bede and his contemporary readers this was a self evident truth. He was in no doubt that he spoke Englisc: English. Are we then to argue with Bede?
 
The term "Rex Anglorum" used by later Anglo-Saxon kings would have meant "King of the English". If the term, however, had been used by earlier Northumbrian monarchs, it would, perhaps, have meant "King of the Angles", purely because the Northumbrians were actually Angles.
However, even in earlier times when the kings of the Northumbrians claimed the title" Bretwalda" ( Overlord of Britain, or wide ruler) they could well have regarded the title "Rex Anglorum" to be seen in a wider context: ruler of all the English speaking peoples of Britain. 
 
PS edited in error, subsequently restored. My apologies. (I did an 'edit post' instead of a 'quote'.)


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 20:27
Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

My point was that the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms DID have a sense of themselves as different from their neighbours. But those neighours were the people it shared the country with. When you talk about 'England' or the 'English' in the early middle ages you are implicitly suggesting that one nation/people occupied the whole country. It didn't. and, as you rightly point out, the Anglo-Saxons saw themselves as different from the rest.
 
There is a similar situation as I suggested in Spain, and another in France. The Franks are not the French. You also get into a similar muddle in trying to call the inhabitants of the medieval Netherlands 'Dutch', though it isn't quite the same since that country split up later. 
 
Calling it English should matter to a historian, because it muddles an already complicated situation.
 
The actual point I was making was that the concept or idea of Englishness was there at the time of Bede. As he wrote: " There are in Britain today five languages and four nations: English, British, Scots, and Picts; each of these have their own language but are all united in their study of God`s scriptures by that fifth language, Latin."
He left out Danish. I've been accepting that Bede and others referred to the more-or-less-common language of the Germanic peoples as 'English' or something similar. But as he points out it wasn't a unifying language in Britain, the several peoples of which had their own languages, And all of them shared the territory now known as England. That remained true even after the consolidation of the kingdom by later Anglo-Saxons and Danes, and was of course worsened by the Conquest.
 
They only began to see themselves as a unified people with a common language at the time I suggested. And it is that unified people and that common language that should be called English, because before then no such people existed.
Quote
 
To Bede and his contemporary readers this was a self evident truth. He was in no doubt that he spoke Englisc: English. Are we then to argue with Bede?
Yes. Why not? Bede had an interest in the Anglo-Saxon supremacy.
Quote  
The term "Rex Anglorum" used by later Anglo-Saxon kings would have meant "King of the English". If the term, however, had been used by earlier Northumbrian monarchs, it would, perhaps, have meant "King of the Angles", purely because the Northumbrians were actually Angles.
It still meant King of the Angles.
Quote
However, even in earlier times when the kings of the Northumbrians claimed the title" Bretwalda" ( Overlord of Britain, or wide ruler) they could well have regarded the title "Rex Anglorum" to be seen in a wider context: ruler of all the English speaking peoples of Britain. 
Reading 'Bretwalda' as 'overlord of Britain' means assuming the Anglo-Saxon kings that the title was used to refer to were seen as ruling over all Britain, a claim that even the Romans never made, and would happen until 1603.
 
All it can logically mean is 'broad ruler' - 'overlord' (cf Luxembourg's 'bredeweg'  'broadway'). It's worth a note that Bede doesn't use the term but mentions the same kkings as having some degree of 'imperium' - overlordship.
 
And the way it's attributed in the Chronicle makes it look like a piece of anti-Mercian propaganda. (Which Bede, anti-Mercian as he was, could well also have been guilty of.) 
 
 
 


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Darius of Parsa
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2010 at 01:39
Darius the Great
Cyrus the Great
Xerxes I
Vladimir Lenin
 


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2010 at 14:20
To caarry responsibility for the slaughter, maiming, and enslavement of others can hardly be described as "heroic"...but then there has always been a fine line between fame and infamy but such should not be confused for the heroic.
 
The hero must always display altruism anything else is but a manifestation of selfishness.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2010 at 19:32
I will recapitulate my views on Englishness, when it began, and when the kingdom of the English came into being.
 
Bede was aware of the old English language and the idea of Englishness in 731, and the idea would have pre-dated him by a generation or so. Indeed, as I poited out in an earlier post, he wrote about it.
 
Now the idea of an English kingdom began to germinate during the Reign of King Alfred. He styled himself a few times in charters as Rex Anglorum, and his loose confederation of Angelcynn was beginning to take on a geographical dimension. This idea of a  kingdom of the English continued to grow during the reigns of his succcessors. Edward, his son, and the following kings, Æthelstan, Edmund, and Edgar all used the term Rex anglorum. It meant explicitly, and with no ambiguity, "King of the English". The context in which the term was used proves that.
 
In fact EdmundÆthelstan`s successor, was described as Cyning. Engla þeoden in 942, and Edgar was described as Eadgar, Engla cyning in the year 975. Actual proof that they regared themselves as rulers of the kingdom of the English. Here is a quote from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles regarding Edgar`s death:
 
"Here departed Edgar, ruler of the English, friend of the West Saxons, and protector of the Mercians." More proof that others were aware of an English kingdom in existence.
 
If you, gcle2003, wish to argue with Bede, with the scribes of Anglo-Saxon charters, with the writers of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and also with a host of modern historians, then you, seemingly, must be blessed with more perception and knowledge than all of them put together.
 
I rest my case.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 03:45
Nice try, but the quote hardly constitutes evidence for a Kingdom of England in the pages of the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum given that the preface to this composition is dedicated to Ceolwulf, King of Northumbria, and if one is honest it is a history of the Church and not any ruler or kingdom, all of whom enter in passing with reference to pastoral work. Now, as to your appeal to authority, Wulfstan, kindly cite any you might wish who assert that a Kingdom of England was a uniform political entity in the 9th century much less the first half of the 8th century when Bede scribbled away in his Northumbrian retreat!

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 04:52
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Nice try, but the quote hardly constitutes evidence for a Kingdom of England in the pages of the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum given that the preface to this composition is dedicated to Ceolwulf, King of Northumbria, and if one is honest it is a history of the Church and not any ruler or kingdom, all of whom enter in passing with reference to pastoral work. Now, as to your appeal to authority, Wulfstan, kindly cite any you might wish who assert that a Kingdom of England was a uniform political entity in the 9th century much less the first half of the 8th century when Bede scribbled away in his Northumbrian retreat!
 
If you read what I actually wrote, you will see that I was not claiming that there existed an English kingdom during the time of Bede. I stated that Bede was aware of the idea of Englishness. As to authority, here is a short list  of books consulted which state the kingdom of the English existed in the 9th and 10th centuies:
 
The Age of Athelstan: Paul Hill
 
Mercia: Sarah Zaluckyj
 
An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England: David Hill
 
The Earliest English Kings: D. P. Kirby
 
Edward The Elder: Nick Higham
 
All written by eminent historians. There are other books I consulted if you wish to know about them. 
 


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 05:13
Does not Professor Kirby himself admit the "Problem of Nomenclature" on page 20 of The Earliest English Kings (1991)? The heptarchy does not an England make.

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 12:13
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

To caarry responsibility for the slaughter, maiming, and enslavement of others can hardly be described as "heroic"...but then there has always been a fine line between fame and infamy but such should not be confused for the heroic.
 
The hero must always display altruism anything else is but a manifestation of selfishness.
 
Altruism is for the blind and the fanatic. Self-interest is real, it is rational and it needs no confirmation from metaphysical dogma. A hero is he who is able to employ his wisdom and power to his own best interest while disregarding everything else. Altruism is not without value, but only as a tool to be employed when it is purposeful.
 
From my POV it's not important whether a hero carries responsibility for slaughter, maiming and enslavement, but whether these activities served his agenda. If he assessed it to be so, carried them out and was proven right, well then he deserves fame, but if he went through all that trouble and it turned out to damage his position, then he earned infamy.


-------------
Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 19:16
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Does not Professor Kirby himself admit the "Problem of Nomenclature" on page 20 of The Earliest English Kings (1991)? The heptarchy does not an England make.
 
And your point is.....? Could you elaborate, explain a little more in depth what your point is?
 
In the chapter of the book you mention, Kirby is disscussing whether or not the names of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, or some of them, was ecclesiastical in origin.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2010 at 01:47
Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Does not Professor Kirby himself admit the "Problem of Nomenclature" on page 20 of The Earliest English Kings (1991)? The heptarchy does not an England make.
 
And your point is.....? Could you elaborate, explain a little more in depth what your point is?
 
In the chapter of the book you mention, Kirby is disscussing whether or not the names of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, or some of them, was ecclesiastical in origin.
 
My point is quite clear, Angleland is not synomymous for England and most certainly not at any time in the 10th century. How Church Latin handled matters in terms of hierarchical identities vis a vis the varying groups simply can not be employed as a foil for the "English" people or an "English" state. Even in your quote pertinent to Athelstan no possibility exists for sensing "England" when the juxtaposition of West Saxons and Mercians is clearly asserted. So far, each and every assertion must carry a heavy dose of Arthurian romance for its swallowing. Both gcle and myself find that sense and not sensibility rules here.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2010 at 01:49
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Altruism is for the blind and the fanatic. Self-interest is real, it is rational and it needs no confirmation from metaphysical dogma. A hero is he who is able to employ his wisdom and power to his own best interest while disregarding everything else. Altruism is not without value, but only as a tool to be employed when it is purposeful.
 
From my POV it's not important whether a hero carries responsibility for slaughter, maiming and enslavement, but whether these activities served his agenda. If he assessed it to be so, carried them out and was proven right, well then he deserves fame, but if he went through all that trouble and it turned out to damage his position, then he earned infamy.
 
Niccolo is that you?


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2010 at 19:48
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Does not Professor Kirby himself admit the "Problem of Nomenclature" on page 20 of The Earliest English Kings (1991)? The heptarchy does not an England make.
 
And your point is.....? Could you elaborate, explain a little more in depth what your point is?
 
In the chapter of the book you mention, Kirby is disscussing whether or not the names of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, or some of them, was ecclesiastical in origin.
 
My point is quite clear, Angleland is not synomymous for England and most certainly not at any time in the 10th century. How Church Latin handled matters in terms of hierarchical identities vis a vis the varying groups simply can not be employed as a foil for the "English" people or an "English" state. Even in your quote pertinent to Athelstan no possibility exists for sensing "England" when the juxtaposition of West Saxons and Mercians is clearly asserted. So far, each and every assertion must carry a heavy dose of Arthurian romance for its swallowing. Both gcle and myself find that sense and not sensibility rules here.
 
So you too ignore what Bede and the old chroniclers wrote and, indeed, what eminent historians teach. Remarkable! Seeminglyyou breath the rarified atmosphere of Mount Olympus and have more knowledge than all of them. Either that or you like to argue just for the sake of it.    


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2010 at 09:34
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Niccolo is that you?
 
It's not for nothing he's one of my "heroes". Men like Machiavelli represent the utmost height to which the human intellect can aspire; the least muddled and most dispassionate perception of reality possible, far beyond that of his contemporaries certainly and even most people today. 


-------------
Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 06 May 2010 at 16:23
Originally posted by Wulfstan Wulfstan wrote:

I will recapitulate my views on Englishness, when it began, and when the kingdom of the English came into being.
 
Bede was aware of the old English language and the idea of Englishness in 731, and the idea would have pre-dated him by a generation or so. Indeed, as I poited out in an earlier post, he wrote about it.
 
Now the idea of an English kingdom began to germinate during the Reign of King Alfred. He styled himself a few times in charters as Rex Anglorum, and his loose confederation of Angelcynn was beginning to take on a geographical dimension. This idea of a  kingdom of the English continued to grow during the reigns of his succcessors. Edward, his son, and the following kings, Æthelstan, Edmund, and Edgar all used the term Rex anglorum. It meant explicitly, and with no ambiguity, "King of the English". The context in which the term was used proves that.
You continue to simply assert that 'Rex Anglorum' meant 'King of England' when that is exactly the point in debate, and it is obvious prima facie that it mean 'King of the Angles'. All it proves is that the idea of a kingdom of the Angles existed, which nobody is quarrelling with.
Quote
 
In fact EdmundÆthelstan`s successor, was described as Cyning. Engla þeoden in 942, and Edgar was described as Eadgar, Engla cyning in the year 975.
Engla þeoden  and Engla cyning are titles also given to Christ, where 'Engla' obviously means 'of the angels'. However this is anyway only a slight variation of the tactic above.
http://tinyurl.com/36qqt9d - http://tinyurl.com/36qqt9d
Quote
Actual proof that they regared themselves as rulers of the kingdom of the English. Here is a quote from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles regarding Edgar`s death:
 
"Here departed Edgar, ruler of the English, friend of the West Saxons, and protector of the Mercians." More proof that others were aware of an English kingdom in existence.
What are you translating as 'English' there?
 
Moreover, surely that indicates immediately that the 'English' (whom he rules) were seen as different from the West Saxons (whose friend he was) and the Mercians (whom he protected)?
Quote  
If you, gcle2003, wish to argue with Bede, with the scribes of Anglo-Saxon charters, with the writers of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and also with a host of modern historians, then you, seemingly, must be blessed with more perception and knowledge than all of them put together.
 
I rest my case.
 
I'm not conscious of arguing with Bede, merely with your interpretation of him. Same goes for the Chronicles. All I'm arguing is that when they say 'Anglorum' 'Anglorum' is what they mean.
 
The English and the Angles (even the English and the Anglo-Saxons) are not the same people.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Wulfstan
Date Posted: 06 May 2010 at 20:27
I have quoted from many historians, experts in early English history, people such as Barbara Yorke, D. P. Kirby, Sarah Zaluckyj, David Hill, Sally Crawford, Steven Bassett........ the list could continue. But what is the point? I believe you are being provocative just for the sake of it, and it is consequently pointless for me to argue with you.
 
However, if you wish to continue, argue with the expert historians I`ve mentioned. 


Posted By: LouisFerdinand
Date Posted: 11 Aug 2015 at 00:55
I like Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. He was the husband of Queen Victoria of Great Britain.    
He encouraged science, technology and the arts.     
It was Prince Albert who was the moving force behind the complex of museums in South Kensington and the Great Exhibition of 1851.


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 11 Aug 2015 at 15:52
Mine include General Philippe de Hautecloque, otherwise known as "Leclerc", and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, both generals in Indochina. Leclerc had the vision to see that France was getting into a war it would not be able to win, recommended against it, and negotiated with Ho Chi Minh. His efforts earned him the undying emnity of his superior, Admiral Thierry d'Argenlieu. De Lattre turned down a prestigious and comfortable post in NATO to take over in Indochina after the Colonial Route 4 debacle, where he suffered the further pain of seeing his only son die there.   

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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2015 at 06:11
General Washington, he only won 3 battles (out of 7), but he ran away when he lost, to fight another day.  The British thought that that was very unfair and that he should have done the gentlemanly thing of surrendering when he lost.  Oh yah, I think he did other things too;)

War Dogs, recently saw the movie "Max" about a war dog (Belgian Malinois) whose master is killed, and comes home and is adopted by his master's family.  Of course, this is a fictional account, but at the end of the movie they had pictures of war dogs since WWI.  Some of the war dogs from WWI are in gas masks and suits.  I find it fascinating that man creates a hell, and "man's best friend" does the crazy thing of joining man in it.  The fact that they are bred and trained for it, doesn't diminish my amazement.

I wouldn't call him a hero, but I have a grudging respect for Ho Chi Minh.  Lirelou, I don't know if it is true, but I kind of feel that the US would not have gotten into Vietnam without a push from DeGaule.
Also, the McCarthy trials kind of wiped out the state department workers who had worked with Uncle Ho in WWII.  I get the impression that Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist first, and a communist second.


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2015 at 15:27
Franciscosan, While Ho is not one of my heroes, I do respect his accomplishments and understand why he became a communist when he did. In many ways, he was like Lenin. There was no one in the 1940s State Department who ever worked with Ho Chi Minh, and De Gaulle resigned the French leadership in January 1946. He expected massive street demonstrations would force his recall, but they never happened, so he remained out of government until May 1958.

There are many who view HCM as a nationalist first and a communist second. But in the 1920s and 30s, "nationalist" had a more narrow meaning in political science. The Chinese Kuo Ming Tang and Vietnamese VNQDD were nationalist parties within that meaning. HCM adhered to Lenin's 1920 theses on Colonialism, which saw nationalism as a stage former colonies must go through to lay the ground for communism. He was first and foremost a communist, as evidenced by the introduction of collectivisation under the euphemism "land reform' in 1955-56, and the drastic measures they took against those who opposed it. (land reform was again tried post-1975, but HCM had died in 1969). But yes, he was first and foremost always a Vietnamese. So were his opponents in and out of the Party.

Two books that might interest you: Dixee Bartholomew-Feis's "Ho Chi Minh and the OSS", and Sophie Quinn-Judge's "Ho Chi Minh: The hidden years." Quinn-Judge also believes him a nationalist first. Despite her eminent qualifications, I disagree.


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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Skipio
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2015 at 18:52
Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. He was very talented in so many ways. He had success where Julius Caesar failed. Augustus was an extremely competent ruler.

Clap



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