Friday, June 30, 2017

Легенда о Коловрате

I just saw this preview on youtube - u la la...
I have seen a number of Russian films on the Kievan Rus and the Mongols, including the animated Knyaz Vladimir.
I enjoyed the Russian version of the Chinggis Khan story (after the Secret History of the Mongols) and  the movie The Horde, thus it appears that  this movie Легенда о Коловрате (The Legend of Kolovrat)  is looking like an awesome adventure for many an armchair warrior  and film aficionado - :) .

The story came down to us from the old Ruthenian epic titled Повесть о разорении Рязани Батыем (The Tale of the Destruction of Riazan).

The plot takes place during the Mongol invasion of the vast Kievan Rus (this was not Russia), when the Mongol armies under Batu Khan destroyed and subjugated all of the Kievan Rus principalities between 1237-40, making the surviving principalities their vassals.

The storyline is more or less about a desperate revenge raid led by the Riazan warlord Evpaty Kolovrat, a Rus bogatyr/vityaz, who went after Batu Khan, of the Golden Horde, and his army. The culminating point or the climax of this story was the duel between Kolovrat and a Mongol champion, Khostovrul, whom Kolovrat killed but the Rus champion was also killed later on. But his heroic death led to Batu recognizing his valor and bravery, and thus making his memory persist and spirit survive amongst the conquered Rus.

artful Russian animation on the same story.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

some articles from - from Majkop to Caracalla

today just quick one - several links to some great articles available libre to us all:

Majkop in larger Eurasian and African context, circa 3500 BC
The Bronze Age, indigenous, Majkop/Maykop culture [video presentation by prof. Hansen, anther video by dr Yuri Y. Rassamakin ] of the Northern Caucasus - Belinskij, Hansen Reinhold team wrote  this article  that gives us a succinct description of the most significant finds from the Great Kurgan of Nalcik (11meters high and 100 meters long), including the bronze and silver daggers. (interesting DNA studies of the ancient Proto- and Indoeuropean cultures). Good book on the ancient Eurasia in Proto-Indoeuropean (PRI) context is this one. Older research from the Soviet Union grouping the Majkop with the Koban, Urartu, Saka/Scythians (including the Syberian horizons), Sarmatian cultures etc- via MET. Excavated objects from the II millennium BC.

In French -  profusely illustrated article on the Armenian kingdom of Tigran/Tigranes the Great authored by prof. Giusto Traina.
For Polish readers -  wydawnictwo  Infort Editions właśnie wydało  - Kampanie Lucjusza Licyniusza Lukullusa na Wschodzie 74-66 p.n.e - author Łukasz Bazentkiewicz - via Wanax.

Prof. Ilkka Syvanne announced his forthcoming book on Caracalla(Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ), one of the emperors of the Severan Dynasty.
 The book is going to be profusely illustrated with diagrams and concept illustrations based on research.
Example -
with explanation - shows the depth of research and analysis of all material and various fields of study.
Entire book to take  thanks to the Ukrainian scholar dr Oleksander Symonenko - it is a large volume on the North Pontic Samaritan warriors and their military [in Russian and profusely illustrated - check out those iron cuirasses and helmets, also plenty about horse tack and saddles].


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just sketching

Salvete omnes,
  it happens that I am currently shopping around for a new tablet while building a new desktop machine (thanks master IT Marek Okninski from NYC for his guidance in setting up the hardware).

a couple days ago I visited a French artist David Revoy's website where there is a plethora or wealth of information, guidance if you are into Linux open source systems and programs, and obviously his own great artwork (including Pepper & Carrot ).

while my Wacom Intuos4 died on me not too long ago, and my old workhorse Intuos3 still works I will share with you a couple of sketches in progress, done in MyPaint and Krita 3.1.4 (great brushes by David Revoy).

First one is based on a deli Ottoman horseman print from the XVI century, and it is a continuation of my older sketches on the subject
Second is a reitar or pistoler horseman from the turn of XVI century, based in part of on a photo of a Polish reenactor and cavalry history researcher pan Jarek Dominski'


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Davenport's Arabians - CMK

Salvete omnes,
breeding Arabian horse in the American studs is an art and long tradition/
Homer Davenport was a writer, cartoonist and  ... breeder of the pure [asil] Arabian horses in the US. Interview from 1905 in Pacific Monthly vol 14.
In 1906 returning from Asia master Homer brought 10 mares and 17 stallions, purchased during his trip to the desert Bedouins of the Ottoman Syria.

Upon his death, in 1912 the Arabian horse breeders Herbert & William Brown bought some of his Arabians, like the imported *Abu Zeyd and mares and added them to the newly established Maynesboro Stud located near Berlin, New Hampshire, while other Arabians from his stud eventually were acquired by W. K. Kellogg for his stud at Pomona, California.

Eventually those American bred Arabians were grouped under the acronym 'CMK' (Crabbet, Maynesboro, Kellogg) which signifies the 'Domestic Arabians' - article here.- and Davenport's Arabian horses constitute the integral part of this CMK breeding heritage. Davenport Arabians also figure high in the American Morgan horse bloodlines.

Finally, I would like to point your attention to some page-images from his  book My Quest of the Arab Horse (1909 - books is available via archive library), where is recounted his trip to the Syrian Desert, shared his knowledge of the Arabian horse and also mused about the history of the Arabian horse in the US.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

some sketches and DNA

salvete omnes
World is swirling around, with us or without us I am afraid ...

so past week I read, quite casually, some news articles related to the ancient Indoeuropeans, since their DNA still circulates in my bloodstream, making them my genetic relatives.

 so first, the recent DNA testing versus the Aryan myth/reality - [article  here and original study  here ]
Until recently, only data on mtDNA (or matrilineal DNA, transmitted only from mother to daughter) were available and that seemed to suggest there was little external infusion into the Indian gene pool over the last 12,500 years or so. New Y-DNA data has turned that conclusion upside down, with strong evidence of external infusion of genes into the Indian male lineage during the period in question.
  In that paper, titled “A Genetic Chronology for the Indian Subcontinent Points to Heavily Sex-biased Dispersals”, 16 scientists led by Prof. Martin P. Richards of the University of Huddersfield, U.K., concluded: “Genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages… across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5,000 and 3,500 years ago”.

Also, the  celebrated Amazon of Ukok Plateau Saka.. was in fact a male rather youthful warrior - original Russian study here. -
New DNA analysis indicates unequivocally that the remains were male and not female.  The pioneering research was conducted by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Novosibirsk State University. This obtained 'reliable molecular genetic data' indicating that the supposed female warrior 'was male', according to a report released by Science First Hand co-authored by Dr Alexander Pilipenko, of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, and Dr Natalia Polosmak, of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography,  at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Novosibirsk.
The research also found that the relationship between the two people buried in the tomb at the Ak-Alakha 1 Mound 1 was not father and son but perhaps uncle and nephew. The cause of death of the pig-tailed ancient youth was not established.

Nota bene there has been a very serious discovery of the Scythian/Skudra 'town' in southeastern Poland. The discovery was announced last month at the University of  Rzeszow.
But we have to wait for more data on the subject. However, the information coming from the archaeologists is pretty clear, the Scythian zone of influence in the VII century BC reached to the Vistula River valley.. thus the textbooks on that period of Central European history need some rewriting.

and some casual, unfinished sketches


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

14.06.1940 - nach KL Auschwitz

Niemcy ładują wiezniów w Tarnowie 14.06.1940
Salvete omnes,
[mostly Polish]
dzisiaj mamy  77 rocznicę pierwszego transportu wiezniów, Polaków, do nowo utworzonego obozu niemieckiego KL Auschwitz . Z wiezienia niemieckiego w Tarnowie wywieźli hitlerowcy 728 wiezniów do KL Auschwitz. - lista więzniow.

załączam zarejestrowane na wideo wspomnienia 'szczęśliwców' którzy przeźyli-  
 Jerzy Bielecki, nr 243 - mości pan Jerzy min dokonał brawurowej ucieczki wraz ze swoją dziewczyną Cylą z KL Auschwitz 21 lipca 1944 roku , autor ksiązki-  ''Kto ratuje jedno zycie.''
Zbigniew Domasiewicz, nr 260
 Jerzy Bogusz, nr 61
Kazimierz Zając, nr 261
Kazimierz  Albin,  nr 118 - uciekinierem z obozu w 1943 a nastepnie żołnierzem Armii Krajowej w Krawkowie.
Polecam też poznać blizej historię pana Albina  czytając jego ksiazkę 'List gończy', inny wywiad z mości panem Kazimierzem.

...bardzo ciekawy miał zyciorys pan Wojciech Drewniak, nr 415, który po wojnie był Zołnierzem Wyklętym, skazanym przez komunistów na karę śmierci zamieniona na 10 lat więzienia - artykuł tutaj.

et wspomnienia znanego aktora Augusta Kowalczyka, ktory z numerem  6804, Niemcy wsadzili do KL Auschwitz 2.12.1940 roku za próbe przejścia granicy przez Slowację na Węgry. Mości pan Kowalczyk został skazany na karną kompanię za fraternizację z ludnoscią cywilną  i 10.06.1942 wiezniowie tej kompanii podjeli próbę ucieczki, która powiodła sie 8 wiezniom, w tym panu Augustowi, W następstwie Niemcy rozstrzelali 20 wiezniów z kompanii karnej, a nastepne 300 wiezniów tej kompanii zostalo przez Niemców zagazowanych - summa summarum Niemcy zamordowali 350 wieznów kompanii z powodu próby ucieczki. Pan August napisał swoje wspomnienia opublikowana pt ''Refren kolczastego drutu''.
Ze słynnych 'szczęściarzy' z pierwszego transportu można by jeszcze wymienic polskiego  pięściarza a i ucznia samego Feliksa Stamma, imć pana Tadeusza Pietrzykowskiego nr 77 , który stoczył wiele walk  pięściarskich w KL Auschwitz, świetny artykuł tutaj. Naukowy bartykul o latach obozowych tutaj. Przypomnę może, że wycieńczony pracą i głodem pan Tadeusz pokonał min Schally'ego Hottenbach'a, niemieckiego mistrza wagi pólciężkiej.

Zauważcie drodzy netowicze, że w tym pierwszym transporcie był takze kuzyn Rtm Witolda Pileckiego a nieco pozniej uwieziony zostal drugi kuzyn mosci rotmistrza; byli  to młodzi ziemianie związani z hodowlą koni oraz jezdziectwem.
ergo, z numerem 310 więzili hitlerowcy mości panaZbigniewa Patockiego, herbu Prus, oraz z numerem 11310 mości Marka Poklewskiego-Koziełła, herbu własnego, syn Zdzisława, przedwojennego dyrektora stada ogierów w Janowie Podlaskim i ostatniego polskiego własciciela Łopusznej (dzisiaj na Białorusi). Obydwaj zginęli w obozie. Artykuł o tych dwóch nieszczęsnych koniarzach tutaj.

zdjecie mosci Patockiego sprzed wojny z artykulu dr Adama Cyra
wiecej na temat poczatkow KL Auschwitz w tej książcePoczątki Auschwitz w pamięci pierwszego transportu polskich więźniów politycznych.
cześć i chwała
today is the 77th anniversary of the first mass transport to KL Auschwitz - of 728 Polish prisoners, mostly teenagers and young men.  Here a short article commemorating the 75th anniversary at the Kl Auschwitz Muzeum.  
List of the prisoners' numbers and names of prisoners when known. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Books on etc - Blackburn's Art of Illustration

Salvete omnes,
the world Internet library aka Archive org is a treasury for all humankind.
I peruse it very often, if not daily, since there  is no end to reading or audio material there (also video, but I do not use it much, perhaps except for the vintage cartoons ). Also, the old books often represent the best of the written language, in addition they were carefully edited and designed.
From time to time I would like to link some book or other from the Archive.

Today, I would like to point your attention to a book from the XIX century.

Namely, 'The Art of Illustration' by  Henry Blackburn, a very prolific author. It was published in 1896 in UK during the Golden Age of Illustration.
This beautiful book is really a manual of illustration techniques used at the end of the XIX century, and also contains fine illustrations that serve as explained examples of different techniques and approaches - as author writes: [..] 'to show the possibilities of process in educated capable hands.'
 True, it is a historical rather than a how-to-manual for our modern purposes and uses, but still a delightful visual guide to to olden days.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Roman curb-bits - HS in Classical Philology

Salvete omnes,
continuing with the ancient bits or rather curb-bits I would like to bring to your attention the following article - 'Ancient Roman Curb Bits' from the Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol 11 (1900) - available on Archive library or JSTOR- authored by Robert Emmons Lee.

ancient texts resources compiled by Harvard Department of the Classics
horse bit selection and nomenclature from Oklahoma State University - a pdf file.
W. Robert Cook - on horse mouth anatomy....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ancient curb bit from MET

Salvete omnes,
let us canter to the ancient, classical  Balkans for the fabulous MET has a very interesting early curb-bit. They claim is it  from the I c BC / I c AD . It is not on display in the exhibition halls but the museum displays it on their website.

The bit is of mixed metal, copper alloy and iron alloy, we could infer that this was a sweet [to the horse] bit? It weights 680.4 g
The shanks are 16.2cm(6 3/8inch)  long, while the mouthpiece is 11.1 cm (4 3/8 in.) wide, however as we can see the bit has a port, quite substantial.
The shanks are  curved forward and had a heavy bar. There is no shank above the mouthpiece. There appears to have been rollers? on the cannons on both sides of the port, but only one remains.

The bit looks similar to the bits found in ancient Iran (eg Susa), but they are dated much later, to the Sassanid era (III c AD-VII c AD)

The image is in public domain, comes from MET website.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eugène Delacroix - horses and warriors of Greek War

Salvete omnes,
[pretty good Latin-English translator on line]
another Sunni Islamic jihadists terrorist attack in the United Kingdom - pacem aeternam to all victims!

I chose to share (from Wiki Commons) some paintings by the famous Delacroix, they are both violent and beautiful and reflect somewhat on our turbulent times.

 In these paintings artist tried to depict  the Greek War of Independence fought by the radical Greeks against the Ottoman Empire.

This conflict begun the unraveling of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans - Serbs, Bulgars etc fought their own wars for independence.

The Greek came out in some rather strange way from this struggle, their country was very small, with the majority of the ethnic Greeks and traditional Greek territories outside of this new state. The state - a kingdom-    in fact was  a very unfunny mix of then-superpowers' agenda (mostly British), for it was in fact a strong check on ethnic and nationalistic designs, with the type of government established and their Bavarian ruling dynast imposed on them [sort of like at the present, where the state is bankrupt and the Greek people are run the German banks and Communist 'traitors' - I guess they gave up their liberty with leaving drachma by taking the euro currency] .
Eventually the Greek kingdom failed to liberate their proper Greek lands in Asia Minor and eastern Thrace during the subsequent wars with the Ottomans and in consequence suffered expulsion of the entire Greek population from Anatolia (Western Asia) and Constantinople thus ending 3000 years of Greek Anatolian culture.
Great Britain was the champion of the Ottoman status quo through out the XIX and early XX century (up to World War I) then supported some Greek aspirations if they enter the war on behalf of the allies. However, the British were not willing to allow the Greeks to take all the Greek-populated lands in Western Asia - the Megali Idea - but limiting the Greek take on the Ottoman territories only to Smyrna [present Izmir] and really as a counterbalance to the Italian (and French) designs on the Ottoman lands - which lead to the Greco-Turkish War in 1919. Eventually the new leader of the Turkish state Mustafa Kemal Pasha outwitted the British in this game, mostly by using the Bolshevik scare, and the British did not materially side with their Greek proxy in the persecution of the war against the Nationalistic Turks. - this thesis  describes the Greco-British relations up to the end of the Greco-Turkish war in 1922 and subsequent peace settlement in 1923.

Nota bene, it was Great Britain that gave us Poles the infamous Curzon Line, that in 1939 and again in 143-45 provided the excuse and allowed Stalin to take away from us our beloved Kresy with cities like Lwów (Lviv) etc). And it was Great Britain that did not allow for the return of city of Gdansk (creation go the strange Free City) and most of former land taken by Prussia in 1772 etc to the newly reestablished Poland in 1919 - it was only the show of arms: via the Greater Poland and Silesian uprisings that brought these parts of Poland back to the Motherland.

ad rem,
Delacroix  was self-interested in his creations on the subject of the Ottoman-Greek struggles, for he was trying to make a name for himself in the Parisian art circles, especially with the painting tittled The Massacre at Chios. He did succeed and is considered as one of the masters nowadays.

The native costumes of the combatants are very similar, turbans are the sign of the Ottomans, while the horsetack is wholly Ottoman. 

Greek horsemen
Greek horseman and an Ottoman Turk

combat between a giaour [infidel, probably Greek] and Ottoman pasha

Greek (Souliote) soldiers dancing

and this image is powerful and very violent
Arabian horses fighting inside the stable
a young Turkish horseman

While I lived in Brooklyn, I used to frequent the Kesso Greek yogurt manufacture and store in Queens,  the wonderful owners were of rather very advanced age  and themselves had been refugees from the Turkish pogroms in Istambul in 1950s. I used to listen to their quite wonderful stories about life  in the ancient city in the 1940s while eating various yogurts (more fat and different 'baking' times) and delicious home made Greek dishes.