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June 2014

History In Your Hands

Facing Franks

Dysfunctional Dynasties

Myth in movies

The Battle of Tours: How much did it change history?

A guide to Imperial China’s violent history.

How many movies has mythology influenced?

History in Your Hands issue 1 volume 1

June 2014

Meet the Makers Connor Jacoby is a student athlete who enjoys the mental

and physical demands of LASA and athletics such as basketball swimming and the discipline of parkour. These sports allow him to relax and focus on living in the moment without thoughts of the future or the past clouding his judgement. He also enjoys nature and the feeling of freedom from backpacking. He strives to comprehend the thought processes of the tacticians, politicians and leaders who make history. Connor spent the first ten years of his life in College Station before moving to Austin. He grew up with dogs instead of siblings and currently owns three dogs.

Reed Hanson is, like Connor, a student athlete who currently

resides in Austin, Texas. He is a huge man of history, specifically World War 2. He has read many books on it. He enjoys video games, working out, and chilling with friends on the weekend. He was originally born in a small town in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington, and has lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. On top of his interests above, some other hobbies include football, basketball, soccer, reading, the Marvel cinematic universe, geography, music and movies. Reed is a dedicated, smart-working young man who is always ready for a challenge.

Jackson Roberts is a real person of human descent. He so

far has enjoyed the e-zine class and all the computer programs it teaches you to use. In his freetime he plays guitar, reads, watches YouTube, and sleeps. He has lived in Austin, Texas his whole life and loves the city, food and music. He also enjoys writing and has written as a hobby since he was 10 years old. He enjoys many aspects of history, but prefers the recent world history of the past several hundred years and specifically the two world wars. He is proud of himself and wants you to enjoy this magazine. 2 History in Your Hands

Painting by Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)

Letter From The Editor

Greetings Historians and all manner of curious readers! I would personally like to thank you for reading this magazine. The three of us worked very hard to make sure this article is as impressive and professional as possible. We are very lucky that our school, LASA, offers this class for freshmen that teaches us of the techniques and struggles of producing a magazine. If you have chosen to read this magazine, that likely means you are interested in history. Well, then you are in luck. This particular magazine and specifically this article features stories of deep insights into the histories and origins of some of the worlds greatest conquering empires and kingdoms. We were inspired to write about this from a shared love for history and the fascinating topics of the peoples that led the way to the world we live in today. In these specific articles we highlight the exploits and development of the ancient worlds of Scandinavia, Imperial China and the power of the Roman Army. Through extensive research and polite interviews with credible sources mainly consisting of historians from the University of Texas at Austin, we have each written a feature story on one of these societies and presented what we believe are very well thought out and intriguing articles that implore the history and purpose of these people. We had a great deal of fun making this magazine, and put a huge amount of effort into its production. This work has made us very proud of our abilities and the topics used. We enjoyed it and hope you will, too. Cheers,

History in Your Hands 3

Table of Contents Ultimate Chinese Inventions These paradigm Chinese inventions will make you realize that Ancient China did more than we often think.


By: Connor Jacoby


Bully back down!

Whoo hoo! Here come the Romans! They’re off to kill, plunder, and conquer everyone they faced. You can see why nobody loved them. By: Reed Hanson

Norsemen, Egyptians and Greeks oh my! This timeline will give insight to Hollywood’s view on ageless stories and myths. 4 History in Your Hands

By: Jackson Roberts


Prone to have civil wars. Stay tuned. An in-depth look at Imperial Chinese problems. They have 99 of them, but a ruler ain’t one. By: Connor Jacoby



Touring Europe: Frankish style The engagement that will have your head rolling, literally and figuratively. By: Reed Hanson

Why is Sweden so happy? Explore a country’s past and find out why their society has formed into its modern way of life. By: Jackson Roberts


History in Your Hands 5

China’s Most Influential Inventions By Connor Jacoby

China’s inventions had a larger influence on the world than many people realized. Many of these inventions were discovered during the Song Dynasty of Imperial China. From gunpowder to the seismometer, these inventions have had a profound effect on the world we live in today. Some of these simple technologies have been adapted to save lives, while others were made to end them. The Chinese developed many world-changing technologies that were used in China hundreds of years before being discovered by other nations. These discoveries and inventions were discussed by Chinese History expert Robin Yates in a 2000 interview with Nova.

The Four Great Inventions

Photo By: Wikipedia User BabelStone

6 History in Your Hands

Photo by: Wikipedia User Typo

1. The Compass The Compass was invented as early as 206 BC by magnetizing iron ore with a lodestone, causing the ore to face north when placed in water. The compass pictured above is a model of a ladel and bowl compass that may have been used to distingush directions. There were two versions of the compass: one had a needle floating in water while the other, developed later, did not. “With the help of [the compass], human beings finally made their first stride in conquering the sea,” This invention changed human history entirely.

2. Gunpowder Gunpowder was first discovered by Chinese scientists looking for the key to immortality. The formula for gunpowder was then refined over the years, and eventually developed into a weapon. It was even used in small handguns (pictured left). Gunpowder was not only used a weapon; it also led to the creation of fireworks for entertainment eventually allowing for the invention of rockets. “By the end of the Song Dynasty, the Chinese invented multiple-stage rockets,” Yates told Nova. Without this invention, world history would be forever changed, as it led to the creation of so many other technologies, such as the combustion engine.

Photo by: Willi Heidelbach

Photo by: Wikipedia User Shizhao

3. Paper Paper can “be traced back to the Chinese during the 2nd BCE,” as noted on The process for creating it was developed by Cai Lun who made the first paper from an assortment of random wood scraps. Paper was not commonly used for writing until the much later in Imperial China. Pictured above is a form of the first paper currency, also first used in China issued by the Jin dynasty. This invention for allowed the progression of writing around the world.

Printing was first used with carved wooden blocks that allowed for the easy repetition of the same character. These blocks were then pressed into ink and then into paper. Moveable type pictured above was also quite important because it allowed for the arrangement of characters in any order that was required for a page of type. Printing is now central to the distribution and production of information.

Other Interesting Chinese Inventions

The Moveable Rudder

The movable rudder allowed the Chinese to raise and lower a ship’s rudder based on the depth of the water; preventing the ship’s rudder from breaking in shallow water. The picture below shows Chinese boasts moving along a shallow river. The movable rudder strengthened China’s boats and allowed them to grow their navy and seafaring traditions.

Original Art By: Unkmown Ming dynasty Artist

4. Printing

Art by: Su Sung

The Clock

The mechanical clock was first described by Yi Xing, who used an assortment of gears and dripping water to power the rotation of a water wheel. Su Sung invented a different clock tower shown here. Similar to Yi Xing’s, the clock used water to move a wheel which then rung a bell to tell the time.

The Abacus The invention of the abacus allowed for basic mathematical calculations to Photo by: Dave Fischer. be done at high speeds, by simply moving wooden beads up or down rods. This allowed the Chinese to do simple math more efficiently and even enabled more difficult functions such as powers. Pictured above is a chinese abacus.

History in Your Hands 7

Hostile Takeover;

Roman Edition By: Reed Hanson Although the Roman Empire doesn’t exist anymore, its military will forever be remembered and transcribed onto the pages of history. The famous generals, acclaimed battles, and prominent strategies will continue to astonish historians and students for generations to come. But there is a part of Rome that hasn’t been examined under a microscope that often: How Rome’s armies fared against other armies of civilizations that existed in the same time period as the Romans. This story will not only go in-depth to the Roman Army, investigating its strategies, equipment, and training, but also compare Rome’s military might to everyone else who existed during the same time period. This article, using all of the evidence and text given, will give an answer to why Roman armies were able, for so long, to defeat most of the civilizations it waged war with. It all started with training. The Romans were very rigorous and scrupulous about how they instructed their soldiers,

8 History in Your Hands

and often Map of the Roman Empire at the height of its’ prided extent. Notice the sheer amount of land that the Romans covered. This is why they were known as one themselves of the greatest empires ever. Photo by Tataryn77 on having the best, well-trained troops in the The eagle given to each Roman legion was thought world. to be handcrafted by the “They had very clear gods, and so the legion and very strict rules about where everyone would made sure it was safe at all times. be at all times and what “These eagles quickly their duties were. Their became the pride and joy commanders were tasked of each legion; it was with building the morale of the ranks by rewards as an honor to carry the well as punishments.” Said eagle into battle, and the greatest shame to Thomas Martin, whose Ph. let the eagle fall into D. is in Classics at the enemy hands.” Said Andrew College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Although Johnston, who earned his Ph. D. in Ancient History the training focused on conditioning and drilling, at Yale University in Connecticut. it also highlighted the In formation, importance of the eagle. throughout the Roman “ From ca. 106 BCE Empire, eagles were the onwards, each legion standard. They were always was given a silver held at the place of eagle... as a battle honor, never discarded, standard; this eagle was and constantly were considered sacred, almost adored and admired. In the embodimentrain with conclusion, Roman training your fellow soldiers, dealt with a variety of the better you’re able activities that improved to function as a unit.” a soldiers’ abilities: Said Randall McNeill, drilling, conditioning, who earned his Ph. D. and studying the art of in Classics at Lawrence fighting as a whole. They University in Wisconsin. were also disciplined in The eagle was a symbol of unity and hope in times a way that allowed them to fight as one, moving of trouble and conflict.

together like a machine. “By the 1st century BCE, the typical Roman soldier was a highly trained professional, often a veteran... Their tactics were often flexible and effective, building on the inherent strengths of the legion with its cohortbased structure (cohorts replaced maniples as the basic tactical unit also ca. 106 BCE onwards).” McNeill said. The Romans also excelled in inventing cutting-edge tactics that threw off the enemy armies they stumbled upon. They had a diverse amount of tactics, many ways to defeat the adversary. One of the more popular tactics was the maniple. The Roman Maniple was a tactic adopted from the Samnites during the Samnite Wars. A maniple was, in short, a massive rectangle of 120 men, consisting of three rows of forty men each. “The Roman maniple (the tactical unit on which the Roman legion was based) was far more flexible and adaptable than its Macedonian counterpart, the syntagma. It could maneuver on rough terrain, which the syntagma could no longer do.” McNeill said. The maniple was extremely effective for most of the Roman Republic, but as they evolved tactics and changed leadership, the Romans needed a new, effective strategy to keep them one step ahead. Enter the testudo formation. “The testudo, or

The Roman testudo, or tortoise advancing on an enemy. The shields overhead provide great protection for the men in the middle of the formation, but left the outside men extremely vulnerable to attack. Photo by Duncan (

‘tortoise’, was a formation in which a tightly bunched square unit formed an impenetrable barrierunit formed an impenetrable barrier to missile weapons, the soldiers on the outside holding their shields interlocking in front of them, the soldiers in the middle holding their shields interlocking over their heads. Essentially a cube of shields,” said Johnston. This formation, a cube of shields, proved to be extremely effective in defending a cohort advancing on an enemy. From the moment it was adopted to the collapse of the Roman Empire, the testudo was a favorite among Roman military commanders and legionnaires on the front lines. The testudo was popular because of its potent abilities. Of all the varied tactics and strategies implemented by the Roman army, most of them were adored by commanders because they got the job done. Also,

the Romans were excellent at just scaring the living daylight out of their enemies. The weapons they used were extremely effective at slaying enemies at a massive scale. But they weren’t the only weapons. Those who fought the Romans extensively, especially the Carthaginians, knew that they replaced men, horses, and entire armies at an incredibly rapid rate. The Romans had ways of filling their lines, and fast. According to Martin, “Their formations allowed for flexibility under different conditions of terrain or changing enemy attacks, and for quick and effective filling of gaps in their battle line caused by injury or death.” On top of filling lines, the Romans also had strategies that were adaptable to changes in environment and/or manpower. As time went on, the Romans formulated tactics left and right, as well as the ability to make them adaptable to the terrain

History in Your Hands 9

A Roman Gladius. Its wicked blade and easy handling made it the favorite among Roman legionnaires and sheer terror for the enemy. Photo by Søren Niedziella from Denmark (Wikipedia Commons).

around them. And not only did they make them adaptable, but the Romans made their tactics easily changeable, and many of them evolved over time into tactics that can work in any enviornment. Next in the list of goods we’ll uncover about the Romans are what kind of equipment they used. Most of the time, when a person visualizes Roman equipment, they think of helmets, armor, shields, and spears. But people don’t think on what side weapon a typical Roman legionnaire used. But now, a light will be shined on the subject of what side arm Romans used in combat, among other things. Armor in Ancient Rome was never one thing. In the Roman Republic, Roman soldiers wore little-tono armor, in order to allow for swiftness and precision. The decision for this was influenced on the tribes in and around Rome, given the Romans had a lot of interaction with these tribes. As time progressed, Roman soldiers began to wear more armor,

10 History in Your Hands

allowing them to be better protected but restricting their mobility. But the Romans weren’t just known for their armor. Throughout the history of Rome, the average legionnaire carried a gladius, or short sword. This short was exceptionally effective at close quarters, allowing the Roman soldiers to advance up close and strike down their enemies at an arms’ length away. “A significant part of the Romans’ ferocity was their weapons, specifically the gladius (sword). The legionaries relied heavily on this weapon,” said Johnston. Also, the gladius was a formidable weapon that the Greek army feared a great deal. As Johnston quoted Livy, he said, “But now they saw bodies dismembered with the gladius Hispaniensis, arms cut off with the shoulder attached,....., and other horriblegladius Hispaniensis, arms cut off with the shoulder attached,....., and

other horrible wounds, and a general feeling of panic ensued when they discovered the kind of weapons and the kind of men they had to contend with.” The Roman gladius, as described in the quote above, had an effect on the Greek and Macedonian troops that had to go toeto-toe with the Romans. “Once Roman soldiers managed to get up close to their enemies, they could do tremendous damage.” Said McNeill. So we can clearly see that armor and swords were what a Roman soldier relied upon, especially in the days of the empire. But the Roman soldier didn’t just have a gladius to attack with. Enter, the pilum. The pilum was a javelin helping soldiers everywhere, throughout the empire. It was about 6’ 7” long, and had an iron tip about .28 inches in diameter and 24 in long. This, combined with the gladius, as explained by Martin, gave the Romans a “Tactical advantage because they had both throwing weapons (their javelins) and close-in fighting weapons (their swords) for effective attacks on their enemy at a distance and at arm’s length away.” So instead of having one main weapon to wage war with, the Romans had two, resulting often in a destruction of the enemy army. Roman equipment many times influenced the outcome of a battle or war. The final thing that

will be included is how the Romans compared to other armies of their time period. First, the Gauls. McNeill said the Gauls had a very primitive way of fighting. “The Gauls tended to fight in a large undifferentiated mass of warriors, who would move backwards and forwards independently. Their best warriors tended to seek out opponents to fight in single combat, like duelists. This lack of unit structure or discipline put them at a severe disadvantage.... Gallic warriors fought with long slashing swords, which also put them at a disadvantage....” Also, the Gauls were, in essence, major wussies. “The individual Gallic warrior was very brave, but if the battle went poorly (as it often did), he lost heart quickly and would often run away. The Romans tended to do what they always did; march fast, build things, fight in cohorts.” Said McNeill. Since the Gauls were an unorganized, underdeveloped tribe, the Romans had a remarkably easy time slaughtering thousands of Gallic warriors. But the Romans not only kicked Gallic butt. They also whooped up on the Greeks. During the entire time Roman legions fought Macedonian and Greek armies, they were able to defeat them in battle after battle, to the point of submission. And it was mainly tactics and equipment. When McNeill describes the

Greek army, he highlighted their army formation, which was flawed in many ways. One of them was illdefense at close quarters. “The Macedonian soldiers fought in massed squares with long 18 ft. pikes, and at close quarters had no effective way fought in massed squares with long 18 ft. pikes, and at close quarters had no effective to defend themselves.” These squares, although preferred by Greek and Macedonian

A Spartan Warrior in action. These men made up the majority of a Greek Styngama, and were excellent at one-on-one combat, but were less effective when joined together. Photo by Johnny Schumate

commanders, had this main problem. And once they did have to resort to close quarters, they ran into another dilemma. Johnston notes the weapons used at close quarters by Greek soldiers were virtually unsuitable compared to the gladius. “Whereas the Greek phalanx tended to turn to the sword only as a last resort, after the long pike (sarissa) became ineffective in close combat,” Johnston said. This refusal of using the sword resulted in catastrophe for the Greeks and Macedonians, and were easily conquerable by the Romans.

And finally, the Visigoths! The final army we will ponder under a microscope. The Visigoths were the main tribe north of the Rhine, and were more vicious and aggressive than their Roman counterparts. The main thing with them: they were major copycats. “The Goths adopted as much Roman military technology and tactics as possible once they came into contact with the Roman Empire; many of them gained the necessary knowledge by serving as paid auxiliaries in the Roman army,” Martin said. The Visigoths then took this information gathered by their peers to crush the Roman legions in the north, and then march on and sack Rome in 476 A.D. So there you have it. The Roman military at a glance. The main tactics, equipment, and training, as well as how they stacked up to against other armies they fought. Of the three civilizations covered, one of them, the Goths, were able to break past the Roman defenses in Germany and topple the Roman Empire.

History in Your Hands 11


MYTHS AND MOVIEs By: Jackson Roberts

Over the years myths from Norse, Egyptian and Greek mythology have weaved their way into our own present day entertainment through the media. As it is said on, “People around the world have been fascinated and inspired by Norse Mythology for centuries.” Unfortunately from this mixed messages are conveyed and too many people believe a false myth taken from a movie. When this happens, the importance of myth is not delivered. As Edith Hamilton wrote in her book Mythology, “The real interest of the myths is that they lead us back to a time when the world was young and people had a connection with the earth.” It is because of this understanding that myths were written. The timeline below details recent media that may or may not be true to the myths they were derived from.

Hercules (1997) is a Disney film adapted from the myth of a famous Greek hero who goes on quests and defeats monsters In this he fights Hades and Titans and falls in love.

photo by imdb

The Mask (1994) is a film of a man who obtains great power from a magical mask that gives him the powers of the Norse god Loki. photo by alienationmentale.

1999 1998 1997 1996


The Mummy (1999) is a film of a group of people who uncover a mummified Egyptian prince who seeks to kill them in his ressurection.



photo by ayif.


Immortals (2011) details the story of the greek hero Theseus as he fights the immortal Hyperion, a false myth created for this storyline.

2014 The Legend of Hercules (2014) tells the story of the son of the greek god of lightning Zeus. This version has Hercules in love and able to use whips of lightning, unlike the myths.


photo by stalepopcornau.



photo by

Thor (2011) is a Marvel comics series adapted to film that tells a new story of the norse God of Thunder living on Earth. He is a superhero and probably the most popular movie adaption of a myth. photo by user guang touren

14 History in Your Hands

Oh Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) is a film based on the Greek epic The Odyssey. It is a modern adaption of the myth of Odysseus after the Trojan War and his adventures.

Troy (2004) is a film starring Brad Pitt about the Trojan war. It depicts a mythical war fought between Greece and the city of Troy in order to reclaim a captive. photo by

photo by


2001 2002 photo by

2003 2004 photo by user johnxfire

2005 photo by

Clash of the Titans (2010) is a film that details the story of the greek hero Perseus as he fights the god Hades and the sea monster the Kraken.


2010 The Kane Chronicles (2010) is a book series about two siblings who are Egyptian god vessels and fight Egyptian monsters.

photo by

300 (2007) is a film based on the conflict between the Greeks and Persians. It tells of 300 warriors from Greece who battle the Persians as a precurser to a great war.


Percy Jackson and the Olypians (2005) is a book about a boy who discovers he is the son of a greek god. He goes on many adventures and fights monsters.

Beowulf (2007) is a film adapted from a Scandinavian legend about a hero who defeats a monster named Grendel, Grendel’s mother and a dragon.



Wonder Woman (2009) is a comic series adapted to television about the mythological greek civilization of the Amazons and a new warrior of theirs with the powers of the gods who fights monsters as a superhero. photo by photo by History in Your Hands 15

Philosphy, Invention, and Bloodshed The balance between Imperial Chinese creativity and thier pention for violence. By: Connor Jacoby

A small part of the massive terocotta army from one pit of the area where they are kept. Photo by: Hans A. Rosbach


t is the fall of a dynasty. The emperor is watching all that was his collapse: his kingdom, his family and his life. All of this has happened incredibly quickly; the people who had once adored him now are breaking down his gate and rioting for his head. This cycle of regimes and riots is a constant occurrence that can be seen throughout history. In fact, it is taking place before our eyes. We see it nearly every day; the pattern of regimes is exactly the same in the dynasties in Imperial China, only with a different titles. Learning to recognize and understand this cycle can allow people to better understand group behavior on a world scale. During the transition between Ancient and Imperial China, one of the most extreme changes was the outlook on the ruler and their purpose. “In ancient China, the king doled out land to all the nobles and let them rule as they saw fit,” said David Sena, Professor of Asian studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In this way, the king was only a figurehead instead of an actual ruler. As the imperial period dawned, a new way to seize power was utilized by ambitious warlords. This new power grab was known as the mandate of heaven; it made it so that “the first title for emperor was really a semi divine title almost like a god rather than just another human being,” Sena said. When the new leader claimed the mandate, their victory over the current ruler in war was seen as a justification of the claim. After the last battle was won, the new leader sat in his throne as a semi-god. The transition between ruling factions was usually bloody. “When you didn’t have such a violent transition, it was usually because the incoming dynasty had done a good job of seeding its rise, often through political marriage into the dying dynasty.” Mrs. Aguyo Tabor,

history teacher at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, said. The mandate of heaven helped the new leader control his kingdom long after his original triumph “With the mandate, they had the moral high ground and did not just rule by the sword.” Sena said. Because of the mandate of heaven dynasties often lasted longer and had smaller militaries. If a warlord attacked the current dynasty, it could be seen as an attack on the decree of heaven. “When a dynasty begins, it usually begins under a very strong leader who develops a kind of highly centralized system who’s able to hold sort of a coalition of allies together.” Sena Said. The cycle of power and the view of the emperor were not the only things that changed as the dynasties progressed into imperial times. With other large changes, the dynasties also saw a slew of new inventions. “[The] Song Dynasty saw a great amount of growth in the arts and sciences, and many technological advances were made, such as the development of gunpowder and the compass.” Rachel Chase, BA in History and Government from the University of Texas at Austin said. These inventions often aided in the overthrowing of regimes and the cycle of dynasties. Often when a new mandate of heaven was A silver jar from the claimed, there Qiung dynasty of Imperial China showing the more was a reason artistic side of the era behind it. Photo by “If there was Wikipedia User: Mountian famine, if there

History in Your Hands 17

was banditry one would claim that northern part of China, which lead to these are all signs that the mandate the extortion of the peasant class by of heaven has been revoked but those landowners. “The other thing that often underlying happens at the end of dynasties is problems were there for real reasons. that in trying to suppress rebellion They were not there because heaven decided to take away its support,” a lot of the military power that was Sena said. assigned to leaders to suppress that Often when a new dynasty rebellion was never yielded back to begins, its rule, the new system, is the emperor.” Sena said. successful and the nation becomes During the reign of the Han prosperous; this prosperity often dynasty, Confucianism was adopted by decayed after a single disaster or bad the government as a standard religion policy because, if people enjoy only because it taught a very strict system good times, they aren’t prepared for of bonds and loyalties. this system that prosperity to end; which could be was often used to create a stronger caused by the diffusion of power. military through the strength of “There is also a tendency for power religion. “Confucian books became the to devolve from the center and the core of education in China and indeed, central court out to the periphery.” Confusion ideas do become deeply Sena said. ingrained,” Sena said. While natural disasters were out After Confucianism was of the emperors control, many actual established as the primary religion, problems could have been related back Buddhism was assimilated into Chinese to him. A major example of these cultural through the Silk Road. problems was flooding. “You have infusions of missionary “If the government could not of texts and ideas flowing in and that perform those duties you had a big caught hold in China to the extent flood, a kind of natural disaster, you that it became an extremely important had problems in religion,” Sena the countryside, said. you had bandits These religions and insecurity,” were all often Sena said. practiced together This as a group, as insecurity they all taught often led to similar things larger problems; which lead to insecurities that less religious went deeper than persecution in small groups of Imperial China. bandits roaming They were known the countryside. as the three Often these major religions problems grew and of China: led to full scale Confucianism, rebellions. One Buddhism of the largest of and Taoism. these rebellions Confucianism was A photo depicting Chinese Emperor riding was the Yellow probably the most into battle on a carrage pulled by elephants Turban Rebellion, important religion titled “The Emperor’s Aproach.” caused by a large in terms of Original art by: Unknown Artist famine in the government as it

18 History in Your Hands

taught the five bonds: Ruler to Ruled, Father to Son, Husband to Wife, Elder Brother to Younger Brother, Friend to Friend. “Chinese people were very aware that strong and well-ordered family relationships would lead to wellordered government as well.” Chase said. These bonds created a strong social structure ingrained from birth. These bonds are not as applicable in today’s culture, because we have not had our religious teachings influence our social structure as much as the Imperial Chinese. The ideas don’t directly apply to our culture, because “Confucianism is kind of a way of thinking, in terms of not so much that rights of individuals, but thinking what is right given the mix of everyone involved,” Sena explained. Economically, Confucianism worked well for the Imperial Chinese working class. “Confucianism praised pastoral life over merchant life, which benefited China initially and while much of the world was agricultural, but when trade and later industrialization become more important, this puts China in an awkward position.” Tabor said. As new religions and cultures integrated and intermingled, new minority groups were formed such as the Taoists, which were the driving force behind the Yellow Turban Rebellion. “These Taoists A painting on silk were partly that depicts a natural religion, but habitiat of cranes. partly they were Photo by Shen Quan banding together

A french political cartoon made in the 1890’s showing how Eropean nations where dividing up China against its will. Art by: Henri Meyer

for survival strategies, so they were infused with this kind of ideology, but again these were local people responding to threats to their own livelihood with movements,”Sena said. As the imperial period of China progressed it saw the rise and fall of many dynasties the rise and fall of many dynasties but once it was discovered by the west it was seen as a trade opportunity and it was by the “1800s that China began to feel the influence of Western culture, and this was largely against their will,” Sena said. The British began by selling the Chinese opium and getting the majority of the population addicted. “Opium was a severe problem in late Imperial China. There was a great deal of addiction. The opium trade

History in Your Hands 19

was causing a trade of silver from the China economy, causing weakening of the economy,” Sena said. This conflict was called the opium war. The lack of contact with the Chinese people angered British officials and that led to heightened tensions between the Chinese and British. The tensions were only raised when The Treaty of Nanking was signed it was supposed to be a peace treaty, but it strongly favored the British so much so that it wasn’t really a treaty; it forbade the Chinese to buy non-British products. “The Treaty of Nanking was, in effect, the recognition that China was no longer a major player in the world and, what’s more, they had no idea how to become a major player.” Tabor said. During the time of the opium war the British adopted small customs and ideas from the Chinese. “Tea was basically an unknown beverage in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, but Tea became the national drink of Britain by the time of the opium war. That is a kind of cultural influence, they drink it differently than the Chinese with different etiquette and different rituals but it was a Chinese product that influenced kind of heavily,” Sena said. This example shows that people are constantly assimilating with new cultures and ideas and altering them to suit their views and ideals. Imperial China was a culturally rich section of history and is often only recognized for its seemingly constant fighting. The truth is that it was a period where new culture, philosophy, inventions and creativity blossomed. In our world today these regimes are not only present but are clearly visible when looked upon from an outside perspective. The key is not to look at the transition between rulers, but to look at what was done during their rule and ask: What was done during this time that impacted human development?

20 History in Your Hands

Aberdeen Tolbooth Museum Visit the most Haunted jail in Scotland. This museum is a former jail alleged to be haunted. It is located in Aberdeen Scotland, only 403 miles north of London. Visit today to find out for yourself if ghosts are real! call 01224 - 621167 for more details. Open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.

The Battle That Saved the West Story and Art by: Reed Hanson Swords clashed against shields. Cavalry cries echoed for miles, as hordes of Muslim horsemen launched wave after wave of attacks against the Frankish shield wall at the top of the hill. Iron banged on iron, arrows whined through the air, some of them finding their marks through the chinks of the enemy armor. The Battle of Tours was a major turning point in the struggle for Europe, as Muslim armies had conquered every oppositional force that stood in their way, taking over the Iberian Peninsula and much of present-day France. But at Tours, the Frankish army prevailed, sending the Muslim armies rearing back into Spain. They were never to venture that far into Europe again. Had the battle gone the other way, the Muslim armies would have stampeded all over Europe, making it an Islamic territory, and world history would have been forever altered. This is an in-depth look at the battle that is argued to be the most decisive event in recent history, a turning point in the campaign to save Europe.

OPENING MOVES: Charles Martel maneuvered his men into a shieldwall on top of a nearby hill, knowing the Moors had to attack soon. Once there, he waited for the inevitable incursion. WHO, WHAT, WHEN, AND WHERE. Charles Martel and a force of Franks vs. Moorish cavalry under Emir abd-ar-Rahman. The Moorish cavalry attacked a Frankish shieldwall at the top of a hill outside of Tours, in eastern France on October 10, 732 A.D. After nearly cracking the shieldwall, the Moorish cavalry retreated, and were ultimately slaughtered.

BACKGROUND INFO: The Battle of Tours was set up by the invasion of France by the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic force from Arabia. The Umayyad conquered all of Spain and half of France. They were virtually unbeatable.

DISCOVERY OF THE ENEMY: When Commander Rahman and his army were advancing through France, they came upon a large army outside of Tours. The scouts had not reported a large army in their path, and seemed to appear out of nowhere. He spent six days scouting this new force, which gave Martel time to rest before the battle. He knew they would have to either attack or turn home.

SURPRISE! Throughout the entire campaign in Southern Europe, the Moors had acheived victory after victory. They refused to scout ahead, expecting triumph every time. This led to Martel choosing the battleground and appearing out of nowhere right in the middle of their path.

TRICKERY AND DEATH ENSUED: As told in Great Battles: “Decisive Conflicts That Have Shaped History”, P. 62, during the main assault on the square, Frankish scouts managed to sneak into the enemy camp, and madness followed. They looted treasuries, freed prisoners, and killed reserves. This mayhem caused warriors on the frontline to retire to their camp, which weakened the force still fighting the Franks at the top of the hill.

MOORS LEADERLESS: During the retreat, Rahman made an attempt to rally his men. In doing so, he made himself vulnerable to attack. He was ambushed and slain by Frankish warriors.

CASUALTIES: The Franks lost about 1,100 men. The Moors lost upwards of 12,000 soldiers and leaders.

THE MUSLIM CHARGE: On October 10, according to WebChron’s page on The Battle of Tours 732 A.D., Rahman sent his cavalry uphill against the Franks, who were arranged in a square defensive formation. Although their heavy armor wore them down, combined with the slope of the hill and uneven ground, they made numerous charges against the Frankish defense. DISASTER AVERTED: More than once, Moorish cavalry fought their way into the center of the Frankish square, as stated in Encyclopaedia Britannia’s page, “Battle of Tours.” If they could get enough men into the middle, then the battle would be over. But, luckily for the Franks, reserve infantry rushed in and forced them out of the defensive square. Later, Moorish warriors retreated to their camp, ending the onslaught.

EFFECT ON THE MOORS: For the Moors, the Battle of Tours was disastrous. The loss of so many men forced them to retreat to Spain licking their wounds. EFFECT ON THE FRANKS: For the Franks, the Battle of Tours was a glorious victory. They finally beat the Moors, and saved their kingdom from defeat. FINAL NOTE: The Battle of Tours was the peak in the Muslim conquest of Europe. Although they would continue to launch armies into France, they would never again reached that far into the continent as they did at Tours.

This is a modern day map rendering the current Scandinavian countries. Photo from

24 History in Your Hands

The Scandinavian Dream By: Jackson Roberts




oday the Scandinavian countries are portrayed through news articles and statistics to be the most peaceful, successful and literate countries on the planet. However only 1,000 years ago these countries were disorganized, separate land masses run by tribes of unorganized aborigines. Through professional opinions and personal experience this article will dissect the Scandinavian system and reveal what is the inspiration for such a lifestyle. As it turns out that there may have been moments in the past of both these countries and our own that would result in such differences. But what was the turning point? There is one such infamous clan of Scandinavians that permanently left their mark on the world and integrated the Norden countries forever. The Vikings were fierce conquerors, and Karsten Weber, a native of Denmark who has since moved to Austin, thinks they may have been the deciding factor in Norden’s fate. “Viking kings came to law, and they started to [take] the trips and actually they at some point, conquer Sweden and Norway and England, so that Sweden and Denmark and Norway are all under the same king.” He said, “ It definitely goes from being individual fishing villages to really being part of a kingdom at that point.” The Vikings, who draw their roots initially from Denmark, formed in the eighth century and began a campaign of conquering and exploring much of northern Europe until the end of the 11th century. During this time, they claimed modern day Scandinavia and several other territories including England and Newfoundland. This brought all of these territories together under the same regime. “I very much think the Viking Age

changed it from independent villages to being wealthier kingdoms.” Weber said. Another contributing factor of development is geography. If you imagine the Scandinavian peninsula, it might appear as if this part of the world would remain to its own area, without advanced technology and trips by boat or land taking extensive and exhaustive amounts of time. This did not ultimately affect the Scandinavian people as much as one might expect, since they dared to risk the travel and plowed their way onto the land of others, conquering and integrating their culture with that of those closest and most accessible by boat. “The Scandinavian countries have really never been isolated from the rest of Europe...they share a common religion, similar forms of government, western world lifestyle, and so on.” John Weinstock, a Ph. D. and a professor in Scandinavian Linguistics and Studies at the University of Texas in Austin said. Why would these people reach out to each other? The answer is simple: development. Through interaction and trade with others, Scandinavian people could discover new technologies, tools and entertainment to further develop themselves and their kingdom. “They are so far north that you can fish and you can farm, but there are a lot of attractive things that you would want from other countries, and so there are a lot more excuses to start trading with other countries,” Weber said. While trade provided a flowing economy as well continuing involvement with the advancing world, there was one crucial reason that this network existed all the way from England to Germany to Finland. “Resources have been important, too. Timber especially in Sweden and

History in Your Hands 25

Finland – Norway used much of theirs in the 19th and early 20th centuries.” Weinstock said. “Agriculture [is] essential for Denmark which does not have much territory. [Also they use] products of the sea, and especially oil in Norway.” There were many instances of the Scandinavian countries coming together with the jointed communities of Europe at different points in history, however, as Weinstock said, they would always have contributing unique factors that distanced this patch of land from the others, and caused those specifically under that kingdom to develop their own way. “I think the biggest factors in the different developments between the two regions have very little to do with ‘what people could have done.’” Sandra Straubhaar, Ph. D. and Lecturer on Medieval Scandinavia at the University of Texas in Austin, said. “I’m talking about factors like size, population, and population diversity, which can’t be controlled. They are what they are.” These such factors may have kept the Norden countries different from their other neighbors and have given them different advantages and disadvantages economically. The collective land mass of the Scandinavian countries outweighs those of the other European countries, giving them more land to govern, populate and cultivate. Large population sizes also, according to Weinstock, impact the governments ability to monitor and keep track of their people, and a steady, consistent population size has shown to permit the most stable economy. In addition, a steadfast yet relatively smaller population is easier to keep in a controlled society with very specific regularities, considerably similar to the current governmental setup of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. One major difference that Weber thinks proved to be a turning point in the trade and colonialism ability of these countries is the amount of land that meets the sea and ocean. “It’s different in that the rest of Europe just generally doesn’t have

26 History in Your Hands

as much coastline. England does, for sure, and you can see although, I think it’s known, that is why England became a colonial power because again, they had the ships and they had the navy and they were able to dominate the world that way,” Weber said. Originally, before branching out and exploring with the Vikings, the natives of modern day Norway, Sweden and Finland would be drawn further south toward the coast because of the warmer climate, away from the arctic circle, and they would fish in the Baltic and North sea. By living in this area and having an exponential amount of water borders, the indigenous people have used their current resources and need for others to allow them to build ships and ship out with extremely large ports forming an attack position and a blockade against those in the main European continent below them. Once completing these feats of exploration, the travelers set up government. While traditionally they were ruled all by one Viking king, the system evolved over time, resulting in a consistent change of kings and queens following the introduction of Christianization in the 11th century. Power struggle throughout Europe and multiple wars would ensure none of the countries would end out predominant to others. Then roughly 250 years ago the colonies of America became independent of Great Britain, and Scandinavia was among the first to realize the intelligence behind the new society overseas. “Democracy, which developed gradually over the past few centuries, is also important,” Weinstock said.“For example, the Norwegians have the second oldest constitution after that of the U.S.” The development of this government, first in Norway and eventually Sweden and Finland, led to parliaments to make judgement and more justified rights for the people. While still keeping a central monarch in a few of the countries, these societies were able to prosper and revise their ways so that the economy became prosperous.

Photo by: Svein Harkestad

And they also had an advantage in this because of the near accessibility of trade with neighboring countries only separated by the Baltic Sea now. “Denmark has always had closer cultural ties with its Continental neighbors, because of geography.” Straubhaar said. This geographic closeness allowed them to have good trade regulations with other countries and therefore profit. Another unexpected benefit of this location is that when World War II broke out, geography saved the Scandinavian countries from being caught in the thick of it. The population of the whole world was, however, changed forever. “World War II was huge in that it contributed to a general loss of traditional (Lutheran) faith, although Scandinavians continue to be proud of Lutheranism as a cultural artifact,” Straubhaar said. The second world war shook the globe, and consequently everyone questioned their own purpose and values. Through a reevaluation of belief, the people of Scandinavia transitioned into a society less centered on religion. Over the years these countries stayed fairly close, but developed seperate governments, with the majority of Europe voting for a more peaceful continent. All of the Norden countries except Norway would join the European Union. Eventually through these reforms and part in effect of the war they became the republics they are today. Because of the way these countries turned out, the system they have has resulted in such as the extemporaneous claims of wealth and education and happiness of the citizens of Norway and Sweden and Denmark specifically. In many ways America’s economy and lifestyle is highly different from theirs, and the two societies vary, despite having a similar form of a democratic government.

Photo by:

Above is the Swedish Parliment. Below is the port city of Oslo in 1800 in Norway. To the left is a traditional Norway House. Painting below by John Willian Edy (1760-1820)

“We are too big and too diverse to have gone down their path...In a population of our size, it ain’t going to happen.” Straubhaar said. Physically, the United States has a large land mass, but its population is the third largest of any nation in the world. With this many people, in addition to the constitutional freedom Americans have that exceeds that of any other country, it becomes very hard for a government to create the homogenous system like that of Sweden or Norway. Something else people may often think of when they hear about Norway and Finland these days is ‘excellent education,’ a slogan that has become known to American students mainly because of the abscence of homework in Finland as well as their high credit of being second in science, third in reading and sixth in math test scores around the world, but there may also be another reason to think learning there might be superior. “Education is superior in the Scandinavian countries partly because teachers are well paid and satisfied with their jobs.” Weinstock said. Because of reforms to ensure good education for everyone, the government of Finland and to a less extent, the rest of the Scandinavian

History in Your Hands 27

countries has put a lot of effort into the school system. Nowadays in Finland teachers there get paid near the equivalent of doctors in Finland. Also the high value of a worry free education in addition to the fact that students only take one standardized test ever results in a much less stressful environment which according to Weinstock would cause the teachers and most likely the students to be very happy overall compared to those in America. “Norway is according to some the wealthiest country in the world per capita, yet the highest paid worker makes no more than ten times what the lowest makes. Hence a much more egalitarian society.” Weinstock said. An egalitarian society is a civilization that beholds the belief of the equality of all people, a theme definitely present in modern day Sweden. Because of this setup however, everyone gets paid well and fairly, so that no one is in poverty and no one is unimaginably wealthy like in the United States. This style of life may seem pleasing to some, but to others it is a repelling thought. “I would rather live here, in Texas, than in Denmark,” said Weber, who moved to America from Denmark when he was a 26 year-old because he had always wanted to live abroad. He may have been born there, but like many Europeans, he saw a new way of life in America that really isn’t anywhere else in the world. To him, there were some facts about Denmark that made him believe America was a much better option. “While it’s the happiest country in the world it’s also the one taking the most anti-depressants,” Weber said. While that stastic is not accurate currently in Denmark, another Scandinavian country does top that list: Iceland. With the highly egalitarian life these people face, some may exhibit large amounts of stress, despite intense reforms by the governments to ensure that everyone is happy. This stress could spur, however, from many places, anywhere from home troubles to difficulty with

28 History in Your Hands

such high takes that some objects like cars are taxed to 180 percent to trouble coping with the monogomous lifestyle so many people face. It seems that anywhere in the world have both advantages and disadvantages, and despite popular claims, Scandinavian countries are no exception. To fully explain this situation, Karsten Weber thought of an extended metaphor that he liked to use: “Life in Denmark is like a Merry-go-round, where everything is predictable and you know exactly what’s going to happen: You are born, you go to school, you get a job, an employment - they pay for your birth, they pay for your school, they pay for your employment, they pay for your funeral expenses, it’s very the United States, it’s like a roller coaster. You don’t know where you’re going to be five years from now.”

Above is a work of art of a dramatic Viking Funneral. Painting by Henryk Siemiradzki (18431902)

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History in your hands  

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