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The History Kid

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The History Kid last won the day on September 13

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About The History Kid

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    Resident Bear Wrestler

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    Tales of Zestiria the X
    Chrono Crusade
    DNAngel
    .hack (Anything but LOTB)
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    Fate/Stay
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    Army Historian
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    Audio Gear, Music, History (Reading/Writing), Aviation, and sometimes video games

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  1. Yo. Seems this Dr. Stone thing is really picking up. I'm a bit slow on that curve myself (pause, so everyone can "boo" me properly). Anyway, welcome aboard, I am sure you'll fit right in amongst the crew of Dr. Stone and anime fans. I'm only partially speaking in the second person here...haha.
  2. Introduction Most recently, the tale of Quetzalcoatl was brought to my attention in a setting where I was not expecting. Far detached from the legends, Quetzalcoatl has fallen into a legacy of mismatched history. This is an unsettling trend that seems to be rampant in the history of Mesoamerica. From the destruction of Tenochtitlan by the construction of Mexico City, to the incorporation of sacred lands of Teotihuacan, Mesoamerica faces a grim future in the realm of history. The destruction of history, sadly, is not limited to just the physical manifestations, but also to the legends and the tales that stem from a culture long lost. In this take on Mesoamerica, we will be focusing on the chief deity of Nahua: The Winged Feathered Serpent Himself, Quetzalcoatl. Geographic Origins Quetzalcoatl's origin traces to the ancient city of Teotihuacan (Tay-oh-tee-wa-kahn) around the first century BCE. It is situated north-northeast of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan (Ten-o-chu-teet-lahn) - the modern day Mexico City. The modern geographic association with the city of Teotihuacan is approximately near San Juan, about half way between Meixco Highway 132 and 132D in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area. Teotihuacan's ancient geography, however, was dominated by the presence of a dormant volcano situated at the rear of the town. There were a series of chief pyramids and temples that were constructed along a main-roadway that curved in multiple dimensions (X & Y). This road was called the Avenue of the Dead, and it was the central way of commerce through the main square of the city. Two chief pyramids were located on this highway, the Pyramid of the Sun, and the Pyramid of the Moon. The third temple, was the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, later to be known as Quetzalcoatl. Placement The Feathered Serpent has no fewer than twenty different annotations and depictions across all of the Mesoamerican region and culture. This includes murals, sculptures, and scripture (to include codex, almanacs, and pottery). The Feathered Serpent varies in rank within the pantheon of Mesoamerican deities, depending on the era and culture that is being examined. In some instances, he is interchangeable between two other gods within the polytheistic pantheon. In other's - as Quetzalcoatl - he is the sole divine entity, above all other spirits in a monotheistic structure. In every case of the Feathered Serpent, or Quetzalcoatl's depiction, he has divine status that he often holds on his own. The Feathered Serpent appears in several name definitions: Quetzalcoatl (as most associated with the Mexican (Meh-she-cah) Aztecs), Kukulkan, and Tohil. The Serpent The serpent was a legendary creature to the Nahua people. It was a manifestation of the ups and downs in life in all of it's forms: happiness and sadness; grief and triumph; nourishment and depravity; flourishing and depletion. As such, the serpent was seen as the life cycle of life, and the Feathered Serpent was the chief deity to guide souls along this path from birth to the grave and beyond. The Nature of Quetzalcoatl For the purposes of this topic, we will focus on Quetzalcoatl specifically. Depending on which legend is referenced, Quetzalcoatl was born between a union of the God of Hunting, and the Goddess of Fertility. He had at least one sibling, who was the God of Death - for this reason, Quetzalcoatl is often attributed as the God of Life. In the astrological study, Quetzalcoatl aligns with the Planet Venus. By nature, he is seen as an even tempered deity that commands the wind, and also provides knowledge. The implications of Quetzalcoatl's status as the distributor of knowledge, suggests that he is the deity to appear to shaman's during ceremonies. Most often in these ceremonies, shaman would communicate with the souls of the dead or a liaison thereof that took the form of a feathered serpent. Quetzalcoatl appears both as a feathered serpent, but also has a humanoid form. He is often seen with a large headdress, fully decked out in jade - a highly sought after rock found in the region. His full regalia would have closely resembled what tribal leaders would wear. He carries a spear, similar to an atlatl throwing device. In all zoomorphic depictions, Quetzalcoatl and his similar cousins all are depicted as feathered serpents that share a rainbow coloration. Most of these depictions retain the headdress on the serpent to establish legitimacy of Quetzalcoatl's status as a deity. Worshiping Methods As with many Mesoamerican religions, the worship of Quetzalcoatl involved some physical attributes. This varied in ways from purpose to purpose and tribe to tribe. The most frequent form of worship was through the means of mutilation (sorry readers, but it was usually genital mutilation). Sacrifices were uncommon, but sometimes practice, largely varying on the ailment and tribe. Typical interactions utilized various herbs and beverages to push a shaman into a psychedelic state. The most common was smoke inhalation. Other methods included the ingestion of psychedelic mushrooms. Attributes In Aztec culture, Quetzalcoatl is the boundary between the Earth and the heavens. As such, he has direct control over anything that rides on the wind, including the position of the Sun, Moon, and stars; heat and cold; rain and drought. This coincides with the depiction of him serving as the God of Wind. However, in other depictions, Quetzalcoatl may direct rain, but it is up to another God or Goddess to provide whatever is on the wind. For example, in Mayan culture, the Moon Goddess (also referred to as Goddess O) was the one who brought rains. In none of the depictions of Quetzalcoatl is he depicted as particularly vengeful or wrathful, excluding the militant depictions of him. However, it is still not confirmed if these depictions are of Quetzalcoatl or another feathered serpent deity, such as Xolotl. Conclusions This essay was not designed to make claims to the validity of Quetzalcoatl, but rather to put emphasis on the associated legend attached to Quetzalcoatl and the ancient expectation or association with him. Likewise, no two sources seem to agree on the true interpretation of the Feathered Serpent, just as no two tribes agreed on the significance of this entity. Quetzalcoatl remains chiefly an Aztec deity, despite his appearances elsewhere up through 1450 CE. Research continues into the nature and legacy of Quetzalcoatl - however, due to the destruction of Tenochtitlan, this legend is all but lost. The legend of the Feathered Serpent from the era predating the Mexican Aztecs, on the other hand, remains to be seen as to whether it will ever be solved, as the cities of Teotihuacan, Tikal, and others continue modernization. Priority Bibliography Berdan, Frances. Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society. Second Edition. Cenegage Learning, New York. 2004. Coe, Michael D. Breaking the Maya Code. Third Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2012. Coe, Michael D. The Maya. Ninth Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2015. Miller, Mary Ellen. The Art of Mesoamerica. Fifth Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2012. Schele, Linda; Miller, Mary Ellen; et al. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. George Braziller, Inc. 1992. Tedlock, Dennis (ed.) Popol Vuh. Definitive Edition. Touchstone. 1996.
  3. I dabbled a bit on response to this. Like I had told you, I first glanced across this when I was at work - so now having a better chance to sit and look, I've muddied over this a bit. I'm going to echo a bit of what Terra said in that "most people having some kind of experience similar." That is true. Sometimes it's the happiest people you know, or the successful people you perceive that struggle with things the most. We (being us as human beings) tend to put a lot of emphasis on "stuff." We have a fascination with it. Whether that's a nice car, a good job, a degree, a boy/girlfriend, experiences, things of obsession, things of possession...stuff. What I don't ever consider stuff is family - you can't choose them, right? While it's true, often times I've found that I had to source out a lot of who I was depending on to others. Friends, and sometimes even co-workers. I'm very sorry to hear that your mother reacted in that way. Whether there's a backstory or not, that's a painful reaction. My bottom line here is this: you aren't alone with any of this. You have a pretty decent group of misfits friends in those of us here though. We're also tradable! But all joking aside - you might be surprised how much you aren't alone in your strife. I know it's hard to see when you're down, but we're all kind of in this together. I got your six, battle buddy.
  4. First job: [ Redacted ] Current job: U.S. Army Historian (Command) Dream job: USAF FWD Deployed Fighter Pilot / Field Grade Officer Fav food: Steak. Lots and lots of steak. Fav dog: Australian Kelpie Fav candy: None Fav ice cream: Cookie Dough! Fav vehicle color: Black Fav holiday: Christmas Day of the week: Saturday Tattoos: 0 Like to cook: Yes Drive stick: Yes Like vegetables: Some Wear glasses: Yes Fav season: Autumn
  5. Hmmmm…the traits they pulled were interesting at least. Just not entirely sure I agree with them using a trait rather than a sample of questions. I feel like you'd get better results with that.
  6. The Quick Fact ones are difficult to do the categorization simply because it's almost word vomit. lol I've had to do this lately simply because there has been a steady stream of "SHTF" at work lately. This particular one ended up being a bit longer than I was kind of hoping for. I'll take a look at some of the others though. Some of these are old enough that there's no real good photo use. I've considered using the mapping software I use at work for these writeups, but I'd have to reduce their frequency - and right now, I really just wanted to get the group back to life again. Noted though, and when I revisit these Quick Facts later for full posts, I'll look into all of these suggestions. Will make sure on the future main-line topics to include a few of these though.
  7. That's just life sometimes, my friend. It's a good weekend for whatever this mess is that's on my home office desk anyway. Walls of water outside, humid as all hell, and I'm in the middle of them tearing up my kitchen. Not like there's much I can do around here cept work anyway at this point.
  8. Buddy, that ain't even the half of it. haha
  9. One of the last Indian Wars to be fought east of the Mississippi River was located in the northern reaches of the river valley. It traces its roots to 1804, when American settlers began to cultivate lands that belonged to the Sauk tribe near the Cuivre River. Sauk warriors sacked the settlement and killed the settlers. However, the Sauk Chiefs denounced the murders, and two of them travelled to the settlement of St. Louis to denounce the murders to the American government and, as a sign of good will, bring gifts to make amends. Unfortunately for them, the American government had a different idea in store. Upon bringing one of the braves responsible, the Americans proceeded to imprison the brave and "misleadingly" draw the two chiefs into a signatory agreement ceding a large track of land that included western Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and east central Missouri. The treaty was for an immediate payment of roughly $2,000 with annual amounts of around $1,000 to the tribe. This might be in the form of currency, but more likely would have been in goods and supplies. However, this agreement was invalid by the law of both the Sauk and the neighboring and intermingled Fox tribes. By the codices of the tribe, all tribe chiefs must be present and agree to the terms of an agreement. At the time of the signing, only two of around thirty chiefs were present. This resulted in the agreement being null to the tribes. However, in the American law, the land was rightfully American territory at this juncture. Most of the tribes did not quarrel with this matter and relocated west of the Mississippi. A small faction of Sauk people led by Black Hawk, however, remained at their capitol at Saukenuk. By 1816, the government had decided to garrison a large island in the middle of the Mississippi River for the U.S. Army. They were aware of unrest in the region, and the tribes that were in the region had previously aligned themselves with the British in the War of 1812. The island was several miles up river from where the Rock River met the Mississippi. Just a few miles up the Rock River from this location was the village of Saukenuk. The native tribes changed residence in the winter months. Black Hawk and his group left Saukenuk in the Fall of 1831 to return in the Spring of 1832 to find American settlers there. The tribe ran off the settlers, and the Americans evicted Black Hawk from the settlement. Black Hawk, however, did not recognize the agreement as valid, and proceeded to cross down stream of the river to reoccupy Saukenuk. In his group were braves, women, and children. The U.S. government recognized Black Hawk's movement as an act of war, and proceeded to dispatch the garrison at Rock Island to intercept him. Black Hawk's trail took him well within the state of Illinois, looking to out maneuver and outrun the U.S. Army that was in pursuit. His intention, upon discovering that he was alone in his quest to reclaim the land, was to retreat back across the Mississippi. However, the U.S. Army's movement prohibited this. He proceeded north, crossing into Wisconsin (fun fact: it was originally Ouisconsing). The U.S. Army by this time had determined that he was attempting to make his way back across the river. They planned to intercept him and his band, doing so at the Battle of Bad Axe in Wisconsin. Black Hawk himself was captured, while many of the braves in the group fought to their demise. After the conclusion of the war, Black Hawk was displaced and sent to Washington where he lived out the rest of his life. The Black Hawk War effectively ended all Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River, and settlements had begun to push across into Iowa, Northeast Missouri, and Minnesota. With this, Fort Armstrong at Rock Island was abandoned at the conclusion of the conflict in 1833.
  10. It depends. It used to be that single volumes provided more in the way of artistic collection. Anymore, it seems like the only thing you can get are series and seasons though. The advent of the BluRay changed all that. I've slowly been trimming down my DVD collection in favor of BluRay replacements. There are exceptions though, and some series will never get a BluRay update. I don't care either way, I just want the content to be quality.
  11. I just started going through a stack of papers, documents, and books...so that's progress.
  12. Prior to me signing on at work, there was a woman at our museum - a temp - whose name was Ellesta. Was certainly unique. But come on now, everyone knows the coolest names are Leonitus and Titus...
  13. The term "mound builder" collectively refers to an indigenous people who used earthen mounds for a various assortment of purposes. In some instances, mounds were used as mass graves, or single graves for important or divine individuals. In other instances, they were used for ceremonial purposes. The mounds, in many ways, are akin to the pyramid designs in Egypt and the stepped pyramids of Mesoamerica. The largest concertation of mound builders was centered on the Mississippi River Valley and the tributary rivers. The most famous example of these mounds is in Cahokia, where the mound structures there indicate an immense civilization once dwelled there. Mississippian culture is defined as a nation, or nations, that were centered exclusively on the Mississippi ranging from just north of Prairie Du Chien south to approximately Cape Girardeau. It may have extended as far west as the Red Hills, and as far east as the eastern end of Lake Erie. There are some discrepancies depending on the sources you reference. This nation would have existed from approximately 900 CE to around 1400 CE. For a comparison, the reign of the pharaoh in ancient Egypt ran from about 3100 BCE to around 100 BCE, and the Olmec's lived in Mesoamerica between 1200 and 400 BCE. There is an exception to this however, and it is this exception that is the most curious and has fascinated scholars for quite some time: Cahokia. The settlement of Cahokia peaked sometime between 1200 and 1300 CE. Some estimations put this relic city's population upwards of 50,000, making it the largest northern settlement up to that point in the Americas. The ancient city of Teotihuacan predated Cahokia as the largest settlement in 450 CE with a population of almost a quarter million. Cahokia had no fewer than ten mounds clustered around what was believed to be a city center. Outward from this center extended numbers of smaller huts and mud structures. Archeological surveys conducted at this site continue to expand the city outward, and population estimates continue to increase. The upper limit of the population suggested approaches 100,000 - which would make it the largest mound city to be built. There is still some mystery surrounding the abandonment of Cahokia. However, the most likely reason can be found further south in the westernized settlement of Kaskaskia. Here, Americans had settled what was once the state capitol of Illinois territory. When the capitol was moved in the 1820s, much of the population moved to the state center. However, Kaskaskia remained an incorporated town for a while after that. It was not until floods struck Kaskaskia that the population dwindled. It is theorized that the volatile nature of floods on the Mississippi is especially voracious in this part of the river. The river may have flooded the town or caused long-term damage to hunting or vegetation in the area. Repetitive floods may have also caused the issue, such as what happened in Kaskaskia. Elsewhere on the Mississippi, some mounds have been carbon dated to as early as 4500 BCE. These mounds, predating the Mississippian, were found in Louisiana - officially putting humans as far south and east into the Americas as Baton Rouge. Falling squarely in the Archaic period, these mounds represent the earliest known settlements in the United States, and some of the oldest settlements in North America - predated only by the Lithic era. Many different types of mounds served many different purposes, as previously stated. One of the most fascinating types of mound are the ones that take the form of spiraling serpents. The most famous of these is the Serpent Mound in Ohio, but many others - such as the one in Dubuque - exist in far smaller scale. The exact purpose of these mounds is unknown. Thousands of these structures can be found along and east of the Mississippi River and throughout the eastern seaboard. West of the river - especially beyond Missouri - soil composition was not conducive for such features. However, there are many examples of unique design, architecture, and art in ancient findings in the Rocky Mountains and points west as well. Cahokia remains the best kept and intact example of the mound builders. Today, a state sanctioned museum operates depicting the history of the mound builders and the old city of Cahokia proper. Monks Mound also remains relatively intact and is a UNESCO National Historic Site. Make plans if you ever plan to visit Illinois!
  14. Back to school is always a noble ambition. Are you looking at a particular field within Media? (Have I asked this already? - Apologies if I have.)
  15. World War I saw many new technological advances on the battlefield. Widespread use of the submarine made open waters unsafe for civilians and navies, steel coffin tanks littered fields where crops used to grow, and eyes in the sky could see your every move. War was fought in the trenches, and once the lines were dug in, there was little movement and few gains. To break this stalemate, Russia’s high command (Stavka) was tasked with relieving stress on the Entente powers in France by increasing stress on Germany’s eastern front. The hope was to draw Central forces away from Verdun to allow for reinforcements and fortification. Two generals established plans for the Russian army: the first was GEN Alexei Evert, who proposed a defensive plan; the second was GEN Aleksei Brusilov, who proposed a full out offensive strike against the Austrian-Hungarian army. The Stavka opted to go with Brusilov’s plan, which included four separate armies comprised of smaller and more specialized units that would focus on weak points within the enemy lines. He faced a narrowly smaller Austrian force that was reinforced later by German forces. Brusilov, however, would not have any reinforcements, putting all of his reserves on the front lines with the main attacking force. With the massive entrenchments dug out and making their way towards the Austrian front, Brusilov and his armies were prepared to launch the largest Russian show of force in the entirety of World War I. His goal was effectively to launch a surprise attack across the entirety of his southwestern front towards the town of Lutsk, and to knock the Austrian-Hungarian Army out of the war entirely while siphoning off German forces from the French front. The offensive launched on 4 June 1916 with an artillery barrage against the Austrians, breaking through the lines swiftly, the Russians continued onward. This was attributed to Brusilov’s accurate assessment of weak points in the Austrian line. Keeping momentum, the Russians continued onward to recapture Lutsk by 8 June. The tremendous speed at which the Russians were making headway had staggered the Austrians, but Evert — still unsure of the success of the operation — did not advance. This caused flaws to open in the Russian advance, and allowed the Germans a chance to fill in the Austrian lines. By 20 September 1916, Brusilov’s forces had pushed to the doorstep of the Carpathians. Noting the success of Brusilov’s front, the Stavka continued to feed more men into Brusilov’s ranks and siphoning them off from Evert. This came long after Evert’s attacks had stalled earlier in the year and progress had slowed on his front. The sector of combat that was commanded by Brusilov was largely successful, but on all other fronts it faltered significantly. The offensive took its toll of roughly two million casualties over the course of four months. The losses on the side of the Russians amounted upwards of half a million. It is contended today that this offensive contributed to the collapse of the Russian Army due to the short amount of time that the losses were built. The majority of Central casualties were suffered by the Austro-Hungarian forces, which was the goal of the Russian Army. They also succeeded in forcing the Germans to cease the attack on Verdun on the western front. By these points, the Brusilov Offensive was successful. Germany, however, remained a viable enemy, and the fighting that was still to come between the last half of 1916 thru 1918 would still prove to be fierce. Historian John Keegan described the offensive in his 2000 book The First World War as: “the greatest victory seen on any front since the trench lines had been dug.” Indeed, Keegan’s description seems to accurately peg the brilliance of Brusilov’s plan, as the methods of combat used would set the stage for German tactics in their blitzkrieg battles during World War II. The same tactics that were devised by Brusilov would be used to stop the Axis Powers less than thirty years later as World War II came to a close. * This article is a reprint of a publication date 15 May 2018. It was published by the U.S. Army. I composed and edited this article prior to its forward to the printing presses on 10 May. I opted to do this reprint because I just don't have the time this evening to write up a scratch article like usual. Normal posts will return tomorrow!

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