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Cimmeria: Its People and Culture


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#241 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:09 AM

As I recall, Amra, there are a couple of camps regarding the Cimmerian landscape: the "rolling hills, as in West Texas" people and the "hills are shorthand for mountains" people.

I see that you and I are of the second camp, but there are plenty who belong to the first camp, and we may have to agree to disagree. (Although you and I know that we're right.) ;)



Indeed. B) Whoa! First a pastiche referral and now an emoticon. I think I am coming down with something.

Cimmeria was big, could it not have hills and mountains both with thick forests ? having a little bit of both across the landscape .


Yep, I think so and deuce from The Cimmerian agrees.

That's about how I see it. In no way am I saying that there weren't mountains in Cimmeria; just that hills predominated and most of the mountains were located in the n-w corner, where Conan was born.


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Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#242 grim cimmerian

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:00 AM

As I recall, Amra, there are a couple of camps regarding the Cimmerian landscape: the "rolling hills, as in West Texas" people and the "hills are shorthand for mountains" people.

I see that you and I are of the second camp, but there are plenty who belong to the first camp, and we may have to agree to disagree. (Although you and I know that we're right.) ;)


I work in the hill country of Texas every so often and I could scarcely see what they were talking about. There are no proper hills anywhere and certainly no mountains only a few bluffs and valleys kinda like a wrinkled blanket. I was glad of it though driving across Texas is monotonous to say the very least. I think Howard definitely had loftier hills or mountains in mind when he wrote about Cimmeria than Texas. Of course the second camp is right.

Edited by grim cimmerian, 16 September 2011 - 04:01 AM.

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#243 Ironhand

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:48 AM

"Roved over" - something I had overlooked, and of course, an example of how we squeeze the most minute drops of juice from these few words. :)

And how could they be "mountain beasts" if Cimmeria was all hills? ;)

I think Cimmeria had both hills and mountains. In one story REH referred to Conan as a "mountain man", in another he called him a "hillman".
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

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#244 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:23 AM


"Roved over" - something I had overlooked, and of course, an example of how we squeeze the most minute drops of juice from these few words. :)

And how could they be "mountain beasts" if Cimmeria was all hills? ;)

I think Cimmeria had both hills and mountains. In one story REH referred to Conan as a "mountain man", in another he called him a "hillman".


I have heard that said many a time, but am unable to find a reference. Can you provide one? And again I agree Cimmeria has both.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#245 Kortoso

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:45 PM


As I recall, Amra, there are a couple of camps regarding the Cimmerian landscape: the "rolling hills, as in West Texas" people and the "hills are shorthand for mountains" people.

I see that you and I are of the second camp, but there are plenty who belong to the first camp, and we may have to agree to disagree. (Although you and I know that we're right.) ;)


I work in the hill country of Texas every so often and I could scarcely see what they were talking about. There are no proper hills anywhere and certainly no mountains only a few bluffs and valleys kinda like a wrinkled blanket. I was glad of it though driving across Texas is monotonous to say the very least. I think Howard definitely had loftier hills or mountains in mind when he wrote about Cimmeria than Texas. Of course the second camp is right.


Any cliffs worth climbing? :)

"Did you ever see a Cimmerian scale a sheer cliff?" asked Demetrio impatiently.



#246 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:32 PM

in the jewels of Gwahlur at the beginning it calls conan some one from the race of hillman who is at home climbing the crags .

#247 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:57 PM

the quote i was looking for on the last page is from hour of the dragon, were conan is thrown into prison still in chains and he won't move because of the noise it makes and he not wanna give him self away in the vulnerable state he was in, he makes mention of laying in his hiding spot in his youth letting the wild beast wonder around him or some thing to that effect .
i only have the audio books so i can't pullout and exact word for word quote , sorry.

#248 Kortoso

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:31 PM

in the jewels of Gwahlur at the beginning it calls conan some one from the race of hillman who is at home climbing the crags .

So, do gently rolling hills have any crags worth mentioning? ;)

#249 deuce

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:47 AM


in the jewels of Gwahlur at the beginning it calls conan some one from the race of hillman who is at home climbing the crags .

So, do gently rolling hills have any crags worth mentioning? ;)


So, does someone living in Houston have much (other than an overweening pride in being Texan) in common with someone who lives in the vicinity of the Caprock? ;)

I've always said that Conan's n-w corner of Cimmeria was analogous to the highest of Scottish Highlands, if not a bit higher. However, any claims that Conan was some sort of "proto-Sherpa" are just ludicrous and not backed up by REH. The one, single solitary REH character converted from Conan was Terence Vulmea and that bad-a$$ hailed from the hills of Galway/Connacht.

Texas has few "crags". Period. However, as I've pointed out before, REH visited s-w Missouri as a teenager. PLENTY of steep wooded hills/mountains there (full of Scots-Irish). FAR more than Fredericksburg, TX (full of sullen, xenophobic Germans). Howard claimed he was almost lynched there for being an IRS man.

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#250 Lunatic

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:06 PM

Hyborian legend...said:
IMO, the Persians (in all of their varied personifications) are one of the most dynamic ethnic groups in the history of mankind (the historical Cimmerians were their close cousins).

Interesting stuff. But I was wondering, if the Picts and Cimmerians trace ancestry from Atlantis, are they still Hyborian (proto-indoeuropeans) then? Also, what trace of ancient Cimmerian(the historical iranian people) can you find in the Conan character. Because I have played with the idea that Cimmerians to be some kind of celt/native american mix, related to their pict enemies. But your explanation about the frontier theme in REH´s writing explains it to me.

I found out on wiki that the cimmierians migrated, some to the west and occupied a small part of the austrian alps for some time. There they produced some of the first quality steel objects known in history. In the 1930´s there was a theory that this culture spawned the celtic la Tené people in the iron age. So that would be the connection between the Cimmerians and the Scots. And also a reference to the "riddle of steel" thing.

But still, what about the picts? Are they Irish or Iroquis? I get confused easily.

#251 RobP

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:15 AM

Here's a map of Cimmeria:
http://www.flickr.co...kawpa/54649553/

OK, I lied. It's really a map of Doggerland, and a very good one to boot. Shows the rivers and everything. If Cimmeria were real it would probably look very like this.



Interesting link and an evocative description. Interesting that the Rhine and Thames were tributaries of one river and that so much land disappeared under the sea. Dogger Bank is still mentioned on the shipping forecasts, I never knew it was an island at one time

Edited by RobP, 09 December 2011 - 11:16 AM.


#252 thatericn

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

The varied impressions of Howard's Cimmeria make me think of the hodgepodge of geography in Central California, just moved northward a bit.

A lot of not-so-gently rolling hills, some with (partially) exposed rock cliff sides. Lots of deep valleys, that if not covered in vegetation would likely be called canyons. Numerous small rivers - the jumbled landscape not allowing waterways to easily merge. Gnarled evergreens aplenty, with generous amounts of undergrowth and brush. BUT among the challenging obstacles, just enough excellent potential farmland for Hyborians and Nordheimers to covet.

No great ranges of hills, no vast valleys. Instead, a big jumble of "hill and dale," lending itself to decentralization and plenty of complete wilderness for big, scary, intimidating "Ice Age" mammals to lurk and at times threaten.

Regarding Cimmerian material culture, Howard (to my reading, and memory) seems to often place them as a midway point between the savage, still neolithic Picts, and medieval-ish Hyboria cultures. I would guess most of their domestic metalwork is bronze, with a few honored ironworkers carefully protected by their clans - again, as a mid-point. Otherwise, a pastural economy - cattle for meat, cheese, hides; a scattering of sheep for wool and mutton; farming in the small corners of flat land - all supplemented with hunting (mainly deer, I'd guess) and gathering (berries and wild vegetables).

That's my take.
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#253 Konorg

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:53 AM

Wrong Mr.Howard equated the Cimmerians with the Celts due the to fact that Mr.Howard was of Celtic ancestory(he was of Irish decent)

Cimmerians aren't Celts...The Picts are Celts, also known as Picts in our world. I dont know what Cimmerians would be though... But with black hair and blue or grey eyes, I would say they were corresponding to Germanic tribes.


Edited by Konorg, 13 April 2012 - 12:56 AM.



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#254 Kortoso

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:38 AM

I see Cimmeria as heavily wooded as well. Dunno whether the slopes are covered with conifers (pines and ancient redwood) or with huge old oak trees.

#255 Ironhand

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:37 AM

That's sure looks like my idea of Cimmeria. :)
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
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#256 deuce

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:54 AM

I work in the hill country of Texas every so often and I could scarcely see what they were talking about. There are no proper hills anywhere and certainly no mountains only a few bluffs and valleys kinda like a wrinkled blanket. I was glad of it though driving across Texas is monotonous to say the very least. I think Howard definitely had loftier hills or mountains in mind when he wrote about Cimmeria than Texas. Of course the second camp is right.


Right on, GC. B) Robert E. Howard did visit ("northern") mist-cloaked, forested hills/mountains inhabited by the descendants of the "Cimmerians"/Gaels. That would be when he spent a summer in Exeter, Missouri. He wrote about it. In fact, it was the one time he spent north of the Mason-Dixon line.

The Ozark Mountains. Inhabited by the descendants of the Scots and Irish (and Welsh).

The hills of Fredericksburg, TX are low, ugly and bald (the Germans there almost lynched REH, BTW).

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#257 deuce

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:17 AM


in the jewels of Gwahlur at the beginning it calls conan some one from the race of hillman who is at home climbing the crags .

So, do gently rolling hills have any crags worth mentioning? ;)


You're working from a reductio ad absurdum argument. I'll be the first to admit that Conan grew up amongst "crags". A proto-Black Irish "Sherpa"? Hell no.

What I love is that the Nordheimr keep getting placed in a "Scandinavia Redux" environment when REH indicates quite the opposite (we need a "Nordheim" thread, obviously). Apparently, Scotland and Ireland CANNOT be "Cimmeria", but Scandinavia can CERTAINLY be "Nordheim", despite the numerous and obvious discrepancies.

The geography of Cimmeria was NOT like that of "Doggerland" or "Fredericksburg, TX". By all means, quote REH to prove me wrong.

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#258 Lunatic

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

...So when a man climbed up A rugged peak and gazed, his shaded eye. Saw but the endless vista - hill on hill, Slope beyond slope, each hooded like its brothers. (Cimmeria-poem).

It was so long ago and far away, I have forgot the very name men called me. The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream, (same..)

I kind of always thought it was Scotland sort of...The Poem also indicates that it is very far away (from civilization) perhaps even a stone age culture. Who is it that does the "remembering" in the poem? Conan?

#259 Ironhand

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

The poem might not be very closely related to Conan. It talks about a flint-tipped spear, but Conan's father was a blacksmith.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#260 deuce

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

...So when a man climbed up A rugged peak and gazed, his shaded eye. Saw but the endless vista - hill on hill, Slope beyond slope, each hooded like its brothers. (Cimmeria-poem).

It was so long ago and far away, I have forgot the very name men called me. The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream, (same..)

I kind of always thought it was Scotland sort of...The Poem also indicates that it is very far away (from civilization) perhaps even a stone age culture. Who is it that does the "remembering" in the poem? Conan?


People keep trying to equate "Cimmeria" directly with Conan, but I just don't see it. Howard wrote that poem (apparently) before he ever created Conan. As IH pointed out, the technology doesn't seem to square up. The Cimmerian narrator may have been from a thousand years before Conan. Perhaps much more.

Hope that helps. :)

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