Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Article: The Failed Rebellion of The Illyrian King Cleitus Against Alexander The Great


(Alexander at the Granicus, painted by Charles Le Brun (1619–1690), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

In 335 BCE, Alexander the great campaigned against the hostile tribes along the Danube River in order to ensure the security of his European territory before invading the Persian Empire. Soon after enforcing peace on the Danube tribes, Alexander received troubling news—King Cleitus of Illyria, who submitted to Alexander’s father in 349 BCE, had launched a rebellion against Macedonia. Making maters worse, Cleitus was not alone; the Autariatae tribe gave its support to the Illyrian king, and Prince Glaucias of the Taulantians also raised an army to support Cleitus’ rebellion.
Around the time that Alexander received the news, he was staying with his ally, King Langaros, the ruler of the Agriania. Upon hearing of the rebellion, Langaros offered to personally invade the land of the Autariates, so that Alexander could march against Illyria without any distractions. While King Langaros ravaged the Autariatae, Alexander the Great quickly marched toward Cleitus’ headquarters at the city of Pelium. He made good time (as he usually did) and arrived at the city before Prince Glaucias was able to reinforce the town with his Taulantian troops. Even so, upon the arrival of the Macedonians, the Illyrian forces at Pelium pulled back to the safety of their city and both sides prepared for a siege.
 
Continue reading to see how Alexander the Great crushed this early rebellion against his rule, HERE.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

New Article: The Story Of Grettir And The Undead Glam—One Of The Greatest Medieval Horror Stories

("The Sea Troll" by Theodor Kittelsen  (1857–1914), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

According to the medieval Icelandic text, Grettir’s Saga, an unlucky 11th-century farmer named Thorhall had an extensive farmstead in the Vatnsdal region of northwestern Iceland. His land was called Shady Valley (Forsaeludal) and he had a very grim family—literally, his father and his son were both named Grim. As befitting a grim family living in a place called Shady Valley, Thorhall’s lands were notoriously haunted. His farmstead had such a bad reputation that Thorhall was constantly short on farmhands and herdsmen. Each year he traveled to the Althing, the governing body of Iceland, to beg for farmhands and to seek advice on how to keep his employees around for longer spans of time. Thorhall became so desperate that he sought out the wisest man on Iceland, Skapti Thoroddsson, hoping that the wiseman could find a solution to his problems.
Skapti did not know how to stop the hauntings, but he did know of a Swedish immigrant to Iceland who was hardy enough in strength and skeptical enough of spirits to thrive at Thorhall’s farm. The man Skapti had in mind was Glam, a blue-eyed, grey-haired giant of great size and strength. Glam happened to be at the Althing, so Thorhall interviewed him and determined that he would be a fine herdsman. With the interview over, they arranged for Glam to arrive at Shady Valley in October.
 
Continue reading about the spooky descent of Glam and the story of how Grettir the Strong saved the farm, HERE.