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10

I found at least one source that advances the notion that Crichton is referencing a source who had an agenda, and may have exaggerated for effect. Ahmad ibn Fadlan wrote about his visit to the Rus: § 84. Every day they must wash their faces and heads and this they do in the dirtiest and filthiest fashion possible: to wit, every morning a girl ...


10

There were two main issues. The first was that the SWEDISH age of majority was 16. Queen Christina, daughter of Gustav Adolfus, was offered the crown at age 16, but by her own request, her coronation was delayed until she was nearly 18 (so she could finish her education). This was, of course, in opposition to the Norwegian statutes, which had the king's age ...


8

According to this source by the Treaty of Bärwald: Richelieu, however, turned against the Habsburgs young Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, paying him a subsidy of a million livres a year by the treaty of Bärwald of the 23rd of January 1631. Wikipedia states: The treaty obliged Sweden to maintain an army of 36,000 troops, and France to fund the Swedish ...


8

Norway shares the so-called "Scandinavian" peninsula with Sweden, and the two are contiguous. Therefore, the latter country was eager to make sure that it was in "friendly" hands. Apart from that, Sweden had an "eastern" (e.g. Baltic), facing strategy, unlike Denmark, which was more west-facing. As such, Iceland (and Greenland) to the west were not of ...


6

I believe that the scene is 13 Warriors is taken from the account of Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād (Arabic: أحمد بن فضلان بن العباس بن راشد بن حماد‎) detailing his dealing with Northmen. This was a inspiration for Michael Crichton's Eaters Of The Dead which was a source for 13 Warriors.


5

Here is the map: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grosser_Nordischer_Krieg_Phase1.png Most important Swedish allies became the Ukrainians under Mazepa. Initially, Charles XII was going south to conquer them, but until he got there they decided to join forces against Russia. Mazepa had been promised an independent Ukraine. ...


4

Peter greatly underestimated the size and speed of the Ottoman army, overestimated his chances to peel away Ottoman vassals as allies, allowed his supply lines to be disrupted, and misread the terrain and Ottoman maneuvers, bogging his forces down in a marsh. This should have been the end of Peter the Great, but his reputation and the timidity of the ...


3

A further look at the map that kubanczyk posted indicates another part of the story: the original campaign objective was indeed Moscow. However, Charles had to halt at about Smolensk (the last major stop on the eastbound route to Moscow) and to give up the idea of marching on to Moscow because his supply train (led by General Levenhaupt) couldn't make the ...


3

During the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries the Deys of Algiers made a series of treaties with European seafaring nations. Each of the European states would deliver yearly “gifts” in order to secure free passage of their ships. Otherwise, the corsairs of the North African states would capture whatever they could of ships: seize the cargoes and ships, and ...


3

I have attempted to do research on the history of Kubb, and although there are claims of people having played games called Kubb before 1990, sometimes as far back as the early 20th century, none of these can be verified, and certainly no description of such a game and it's rules survive. The first commercial Kubb games appeared on Gotland in the late 1980's ...


3

Supposedly he is based on Ragnar Logbrock, a ruler mentioned in several works of Old Norse poetry and Sagas. You can think of him as sort of a Viking King Aurthur figure. I won't go into any of his supposed exploits, so as to not potentially "spoil" the future show for you. However, if you want you can read up on it on the wiki page I linked. The original ...


2

The ritual bowl is not uncommon in Germanic tribal culture. Even in modern settings communal washing bowl would not be considered disgusting (participated myself in Iraq) Most of us are more unnerved by the nose blowing etc. I have seen it suggested that Ahmad ibn Fadlan, might not of seen them emptying the bowl. Regardless, Arabs of the time only ...


1

Based on some digging through the limited primary source material that is available online, I have some doubts that this is verifiable. I also can't find a reference in any of the secondary materials that I have access to other than the un-cited Wikipedia entries. Note that the dates below shouldn't be used to build a timeline, given the fact that different ...



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