November 02, 2011

Regarding marriage and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Here come the Magyars! A painting of Prince Arpad and his followers crossing the Carpathians by way of wikipedia.

For several years, I've been making my way, a little at a time, through the unabridged version of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it might have something to do with the ability of the author to turn a phrase. They knew a thing or two about that in the 18th century.

I've gotten through most of it and only have a scant 500-600 pages to go. Some parts are a slow slog, but my interest picks up here and there.

Recently, I've stumbled upon a section directly relevant to my marriage. Some years a go, I committed matrimony, as my late father used to say, with a female of Hungarian extraction. A Magyar if you will.

A few days back, I got to Gibbon's discussion of the migration of the Hungarians into Europe and took great delight in reading them aloud to the Spousal Unit. Here are a few sample passages that I rushed to share:

When the black swarm of Hungarians first hung over Europe, about nine hundred years after the Christian era, they were mistaken by fear and superstition for the Gog and Magog of the Scriptures, the signs and forerunners of the end of the world.


Except the merit and fame of military prowess, all that is valued by mankind appeared vile and contemptible to these barbarians, whose native fierceness was stimulated by the consciousness of numbers and freedom....Their simplicity has been praised; yet they abstained only from the luxury they had never known: whatever they saw they coveted; their desires were insatiate, and their sole industry was the hand of violence and rapine.


...mercy they rarely asked, and more rarely bestowed: both sexes were accused as equally inaccessible to pity; and their appetite for raw flesh might countenance the popular tale that they drank the blood and feasted on the hearts of the slain.

I thought she would be pleased by this affirmation of her heritage and my efforts of cultural competence, but it didn't seem to work.

I guess you just can't be nice to some people.

THE STATE OF THE YOUNG. Here's an interesting report on how young Americans are doing.

OBSERVATIONS TO OCCUPIERS. Here's a well known linguist talking to young activists.

A CERTAIN DISGRACEFUL CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE is meeting to see how much damage it can inflict on the American people...if we let it.



Hollowdweller said...

That's what love is all about.

El Cabrero said...

Marriage too I reckon