Chronica Majora


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Monday, September 01, 2003

Anno Domini 2003. My most humble apologies to all who have come upon this blog and found it all but defunct. I have glorious visions of writing more entries, and of perhaps, adding the images which grace the pages of my original journal. Have patience, and check back from time to time. I will, with God's grace, begin blogging again soon.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Anno Domini 1237. King Henry the Third, trusting to evil advice, contrary to what was his duty or expedient for him, estranged himself from his counsels of his natural subjects, and became stiff-necked against his well-wishers and those who looked to the advantage of the kingdom, and managed its affairs but little or not at all according to their advice. In order to have some cunning pretexts for extorting money from them, he declared on his oath, at a conference to which he had called the nobles from a distance, that he was entirely destitute of money and in a state of greatest need; he therefore most urgently begged of them to grant him the thirtieth part of property throughout the kingdom, that the diginity of him, the king, and that of the kingdom, might be supported in a more honourable manner, and be established on a firmer foundation. The nobles were greatly troubled at hearing this, and replied that they were so often oppressed in this way, and saw so many foreigners fattening on their property, that the king was weakened by poverty, and that manifold dangers were impending over it. However, after much discussion, inasmuch as the king humbled himself and promised that he would thenceforth abide by their counsels without hesitation, the thirtieth part of all moveable property was granted him, though not without great difficulty.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

My most humble apologies for the lack of blogging. Blame it on writer's cramp, if you wish.

Anno Domini 1237. In that year, about Michaelmas, the emperor, having quelled the disturbances which had broken out in Germany, and pacified all parties there, entered Italy in great force, with a determination by all means to punish the manifold injuries so often inflicted on him by the citizens of Milan. For when a short time before he returned to Germany, at the time the internal disturbances took place, which the duke of Austria had excited to his own ruin, the Milanese, on hearing of it, as it were pursuing the emperor with inexorable hatred, cruelly murdered his his followers, whom he had placed in the castles which he had gained possession of in Italy; thus daily they provoked the emperor's anger. He, therefore... entreated the pope himself, as head of the Church, to assist him in obtaining his inheritance, to punish the manifold injuries inflicted on him by the Milanese citizens, and to root out the sin of heresy from every infamous city in Italy.... The pope, however, on hearing this, dissembled and proceeded to Rome, being unwilling or unable to assist him.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Anno Domini 1237. The Templars and Hospitallers dwelling in the western countries courageously prepared to avenge the blood of their brethren which had been shed for Christ. The Hospitallers sent their prior, Theodoric, German by birth, and a most clever knight, with a body of other knights and stipendiary attendants, and a large sum of money, to the assistance of the Holy Land. They, having made all their arrangements, set out from their house at Clerkenwell, in London, and proceeded in good order, with about thirty shields uncovered, with spears raised, and preceded by their banner, though the midst of the city towards the bridge, that they might obtain the blessings of the spectators, and, bowing their heads, and with cowls lowered, commended themselves to the prayers of all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

In our modern day, a reporter from the old country gives the unfortunate impression that the British do not pray.
I am talking about Mr and Mrs Average in Normaltown, USA.

Mr and Mrs Average share an uncomplicated faith with its roots in the puritanism of their forebears.

...Americans will talk of praying as if it were the most normal, rational thing to do.

It is not unusual to see people walking the White House corridors with a Bible in hand

The jolly plump woman who delivers our mail in the Washington suburbs has a son who is ill - the doctors are doing their best, she says, but she's praying hard and that's what'll do the trick.

But that is not the worst of his wickedness. He states firmly and in a clear voice that, "My wife and I do not believe in God." No, it is not his atheism which I find sinful here, it is the accompanying disbelief in evil.

According to that faith there is such a thing as heaven - 86% of Americans, we are told by the pollsters, believe in heaven.

But much more striking to me, and much more pertinent to current world events, is the fact that 76% or three out of four people you meet on any American street believe in hell and the existence of Satan.

They believe that the devil is out to get you. That evil is a force in the world - a force to be engaged in battle.

Even if you are so misguided as to believe there is no God, you should be able to recognize that there is evil in the world. How very sad, and somewhat frightening, that there are people who do not believe in the battle between good and evil. It is those souls who wil certainly lose it for all of us. Let us pray for him and all like him.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Anno Domini 1237. Amongst others who came to the council, was one Master Walter Pruz, a clerk, who publicly declared that almost all the planets were then coming together under one sign of the zodiac, namely Capricorn, and would cause great commotion in the elements, and stir up heavy storms of wind; and foretold that a great destruction of animals, especially horned ones, would ensue, and added, as if in jest, "May it not be of horned men," that is, "of bishops." This prediction of his was not altogether void of truth, for on a sudden, St.Paul's church, where they were all assembled, was suddenly shaken by such a storm of wind, that great fear seized on all, especially on the legate. On the night of St. Cecilia's day, too, the moon being in it first quarter, extraordinary black clouds, of tower-like form, appeared in the western part of the heavens; thunder began to roar, lightning to dart forth, and the wind to rise, and throughout the whole night and following day such a heavy storm of wind raged as was never remembered to have occurred before, and this storm continued for fifteen days more without interruption. Oaks were torn up from their roots and fell; houses, towers, and other buildings were thrown down or shaken, so that the elements seemed to join in the perturbation of man.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Anno Domini 1237. The Milanese, on hearing of the approach of the emperor, whom they had provoked to just anger, made all the preparations in their power for war, supplying their towers with provisions, their quivers with arrows, and furnishing arms to those who were without them. When therefore the emperor drew near with his large army, which was said to have exceeded a hundred thousand men, besides his Saracen mercenaries, and had proceeded to within a day's march of the place, the citizens, together with their allies, went forth without alarm, in great strength and battle-array to meet him, pitching a camp till the day of battle should be determined, with a host of troops amounting to about sixty thousand men, and fixed their carrochium where the army seemed strongest. At sight of this, the emperor summoned his counsellors, and encouraged them by the following war-like speech: "See how these insolent Milanese, our enemies, dare to appear against us, and presume to provoke me, their lord, to battle, enemies as they are to the truth and to the holy Church, and borne down by the weight of their sins. Cross the river, unfurl my banner, standard-bearer, and raise aloft my victorious eagle, and you, my knights, draw your formidable swords, which you have so often steeped in the blood of your enemies, and inflict your vengeance on these rats, who have dared this day to come forth from their holes to cope with the glittering spears of the Roman emperor."
In our modern day, Iraq's mighty army has their own version of military excercises:
TERRIFIED Iraqi soldiers have crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces - because they thought the war had already started.

The motley band of a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested their weapons during a routine exercise.

The stunned Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade were forced to tell the Iraqis they were not firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country telling them it was too early to surrender.

Such dedication to their craft. Its sounds as though they are, indeed, ready for the war.