Jump to content


Photo

Cimmeria: Its People and Culture


  • Please log in to reply
293 replies to this topic

#1 Orkin

Orkin

    Exterminator At Large

  • Inactive
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,124 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 27 April 2003 - 11:54 PM

In response to the debate on "Growing Up Cimmerian", here are some clues to Cimmerian character (as opposed to Conan's personal character), gleaned from the REH originals. I don't have all the tales, so I might have missed something; if so please fill me in. There may be something extra in REH's letters, also Hyborian Age.

Conan: "In my country no starving man is denied food..." -The Slithering Shadow

Conan does not consider the bow a manly weapon; had to learn its use in Hyrkania. -Queen of the Black Coast

Conan of Cimmerian gods: "Their chief is Crom. He dwells on an great mountain. What use to call on him? Little he cares if men live or die. Better to be silent than to call his attention to you; he will send you dooms, not fortune! He is grim and loveless, but at birth he breathes power to strive and slay into a man's soul. What else shall men ask of the gods?" -Queen of the Black Coast

Conan on the afterlife: "There is no hope or hereafter in the cult of my people. In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray, misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity." -Queen of the Black Coast

Conan on the gods: "He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply." -Queen of the Black Coast

Conan remembering his childhood: "I saw myself in a pantherskin loin-clout, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts." -Hour of the Dragon

"Wizards and sorcerers abounded in his barbaric mythology..." -Hour of the Dragon

"It was his instinct, born of a thousand wilderness-bred ancestors, not to betray his position in his helplessness." -Hour of the Dragon

"In his youth he had felled hawks on the wing [by throwing stones]." -Hour of the Dragon

"Steeps that balked these black people, horsemen and dwellers of plain and level forest, were not impossible for a man born in the rugged hills of Cimmeria." -Jewels of Gwahlur

Conan: "...some day a man will rise up and unite thirty or forty clans, just as was done among the Cimmerians, when the Gundermen tried to push northward, years ago. They tried to colonize the southern marches of Cimmeria: destroyed a few small clans, built a fort-town, Venarium.." -Beyond the Black River

Balthus: "My uncle was at Venarium when the Cimmerians swarmed over the walls. He was one of the few who escaped the slaughter... The barbarians swept out of the hills in a ravening horde, without warning, and stormed Venarium with such fury none could stand before them. Men, women, and children were butchered..." -Beyond the Black River

Conan: "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the walls. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." -Beyond the Black River

Of Conan: "...he was no less a barbarian. He was concerned only with the naked fundamentals of life. The warm intimacies of small, kindly things, the sentiments and delicious trivialities that make up so much of civilized men's lives were meaningless to him... Bloodshed and savagery were the natural elements of the life Conan knew; he could not, and would never, understand the little things that are so dear to civilized men and women." -Beyond the Black River

"He was a man," said Conan. "I drink to his shade, and to the shade of his dog, who knew no fear." He quaffed part of the wine, then emptied the rest upon the floor, with a curious heathen gesture, and smashed the goblet. "The heads of ten Picts shall die for his, and seven heads for the dog, who was a better warrior than many a man." And the forester...knew that the barbaric oath would be kept. -Beyond the Black River

"Barbarism is the natural state of mankind," the forester said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. "Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph." -Beyond the Black River

Conan: "You had known otherwise, had you spent your youth on the northern frontiers of Cimmeria!" (ie, Is Conan from northern Cimmeria?) -The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan: "By Badb, Morrigan, Macha and Nemain!" - The Phoenix on the Sword
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
- Rogues in the House

-=The Free Companions=-
Hyborian re-enactment Yahoo group

#2 alex

alex

    Barbarian by birth

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 644 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Riding on the wind

Posted 28 April 2003 - 03:39 PM

Excellent quotes. Thanks Orkin. I had only just posted some direct quotes at the Growing up Cimmerian thread. And then I saw this topic.

B)
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#3 Ironhand

Ironhand

    The Mad Playwright

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,967 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Saint Louis, MO, USA

Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:45 AM

I've always thought of REH's Cimmerians as being Celts, in the larger sense, not necessarily the specific tribes that settled in the British Isles. Someone (might or might not have been REH himself) once made a remark connecting the Cimmerians to the "Black Irish".
"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

#4 Orkin

Orkin

    Exterminator At Large

  • Inactive
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,124 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 30 December 2003 - 11:42 PM

As a postscript to his poem Cimmeria REH wrote "Written in Mission, Texas, February 1932; suggested by the memory of hill-country above Fredericksburg seen in a mist of winter rain."

Here's a treat; some landscape pics of the Texas Hill country:
Texas Hill Country

Anyone live near Gillespie county (78624)? I'll bet it the hills would look good in a winter rain... :rolleyes:
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
- Rogues in the House

-=The Free Companions=-
Hyborian re-enactment Yahoo group

#5 Orkin

Orkin

    Exterminator At Large

  • Inactive
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,124 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 30 December 2003 - 11:43 PM

Posted Image
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
- Rogues in the House

-=The Free Companions=-
Hyborian re-enactment Yahoo group

#6 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:03 PM

well we all know about the cimmerians,what of the other peoples,whos your favriote. and since most of the people in the world are based of some real race,who are the scottish in conans world,and if there are none, I say I like the asier,since they are the vikings in that world.
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#7 Kane

Kane

    The Dark Prometheus

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,329 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Columbus, OH. USA

Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:08 PM

The latter half of Howard's essay, The Hyborian Age, gives a breakdown of which modern races are descended from those races that he created.
You can find the information at;

http://hyboria.xoth....yborian_age.htm
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#8 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 02 June 2004 - 01:41 AM

now thats cool,the cimmerains became the highland scots.
thanks kane
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#9 TroceroQuijas

TroceroQuijas

    Infamous Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Corpus ChristI

Posted 02 June 2004 - 03:40 AM

the cimmerains became the highland scots

I dont see anywhere in the Hyborian Age pt2 anything about scots. One thing I do know is that wile the famed Braveheart movie made the English look like devils, hanging the Scottish nobles in betrayal in the beginning when Wallace was a boy, the Scots did the same to the last Pictish nobles not much earlier in history thus absorbing them.When I learned this I had a different look at the English and their king. Hey you do what u must to maintain superiority, cause only srtong survive, right? Anyways as far as my fav race in the Hyborian Age, Poitainian of course! Hey I gotta stay true to my peeps, right?
"Maddened with the sight of victory, these wild peoples were like wounded tigers, feeling no wounds, and dying on their feet with their last gasp a snarl of fury"

#10 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 02 June 2004 - 04:56 AM

this is from that hyborian prt 2,(the gaels,ancestors of irish and highland scotch came of pure blooded cimmerian clans)
and you cant compare what the english did and what the scottish did,look at there pasts and see who has done worse,the english tried to take over scotland,the picts and the scots were fighting over their homeland,so there are people who say kenneth murdered the pict leaders by drugs then slit their throats,then there is where he called out his crossbow men and shot them to death.theres a couple ideas on how the picts were defeated,but after the scots won,they created the kingdom of alba where the picts and scots lived peacefully .
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#11 Freebooter

Freebooter

    Freebooter

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,026 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sovereign State of Alabama, Occupied Confederacy

Posted 02 June 2004 - 06:05 AM

Hello,
Well we all know that REH had a love for the Gaels, and some of his charactors in other stories were of that extraction. And since in one story he had Conan swearing, calling on Lir and Manannan, Gaelic Celtic gods, then I would think that Howard meant for Conan and the Cimmerians to be of that extraction too. Whether Irish or Scottish, they had a common ancestor it seems.
Freebooter; "An Cat", "am boghadair".
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die dogs--I was a man before I was a king!
---From The Road of Kings

#12 TroceroQuijas

TroceroQuijas

    Infamous Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Corpus ChristI

Posted 02 June 2004 - 02:11 PM

this is from that hyborian prt 2,(the gaels,ancestors of irish and highland scotch came of pure blooded cimmerian clans)
and you cant compare what the english did and what the scottish did,look at there pasts and see who has done worse,the english tried to take over scotland,the picts and the scots were fighting over their homeland,so there are people who say kenneth murdered the pict leaders by drugs then slit their throats,then there is where he called out his crossbow men and shot them to death.theres a couple ideas on how the picts were defeated,but after the scots won,they created the kingdom of alba where the picts and scots lived peacefully .

I read it and its there. As far as the English and the Scots just like I said, whatever to maintain superiority. Personally I dont think the Scots could ever become a world power as comparable to England. The one thing I notice about REH is that he creates a vehicle for white pride, something I dont agree with. Now my true last name is Quijas, which is a town on northern coast of Spain. My mothers name was Coyne which originates in the Connacht region of Ireland. But I dont think Im Cimmerian/Zingaran and thats cause I live in Texas. When I read the stories I dont relate anythiung of them to today. Then that would ruin the escape of reading them, for today cannot hang with the Hyborian Age. Besides that there no such thing as a surviviing true Cimmerian.When u read the Hyborian Age essay, you can notice its a project of reaserch from the 30's.
"Maddened with the sight of victory, these wild peoples were like wounded tigers, feeling no wounds, and dying on their feet with their last gasp a snarl of fury"

#13 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 02 June 2004 - 10:43 PM

the scottish never wanted to be a world power,they just wanted to be left alone. and to the relation I just think its cool how the cimmerians turned into highland scots,Im not saying the scots are the cimmerians.and I really dont think the scots were really around during the romans, the picts the ones who held off the romans,the scottish held off vikings and english.
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#14 budgie

budgie

    craven idol maker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,187 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scottish Borders, Scotland

Posted 02 June 2004 - 11:18 PM

Correct about the Romans. Scotland didnt exist as a nation before the 6th century AD..

Funny thing though, just started reading Conan of Veranium by Harry Turtledove.. Early on in the book it mentions the Aqualonians have invaded Cimmeria.. Conans father sends runners to other Cimmerian clans to turn the enemy back.

Now in this novel Conans village is called Duthil. The runners are sent to muster the clans of Uist and Nairn.. All three of those places exist.. Duthil is a small village in the Cairngorm mountains range.. Uist is the southern island of the Outer Hebrides Chain and Nairn is a medium sized town near Inverness..I almost choked!! :o

Just to further nitpick he also mentions Cimmeria being covered in Pines - a tree not native to scotland but introduced later on.. the gods only know what else Ill learn of Cimmeria <_<

Budgie
Posted Image Posted Image

Electric Scotland.com - For everything about Scotland online
Scifi Scotland - For everything about me and what Im into!!

#15 TroceroQuijas

TroceroQuijas

    Infamous Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Corpus ChristI

Posted 02 June 2004 - 11:48 PM

When its said 'ancesters of irish & scots came of pureblood cimmerian clans' it makes me laugh cause i know peeps who say their one or the other, and to think that THEYRE Cimmerian decendants, its gotta be a joke. Thats like saying Mr. latenight Conan O'brian is Conan's decendant, get my drift? And Im gonna stick to the fact that the Picts were betrayed by the Scots which wouldve been easy considering they faced a common enemy, and it makes them no more different than the English. And as for the Scots wanting to be left alone ..... your talkng about the British Iles, everybody wanted them, and if your not the conquering then your the conquered. As for Venarium, Tutledove BLEW IT! Cimmeria was a bit too far ago to be naming current names after. Conan is not Irish!
"Maddened with the sight of victory, these wild peoples were like wounded tigers, feeling no wounds, and dying on their feet with their last gasp a snarl of fury"

#16 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 03 June 2004 - 12:09 AM

ok... well all im saying is that it was cool that the highland scots were cimmerians back in the day,you dont have to have a fit about what I said. but the picts and scots were at war more than they were allies,so kenneth took the chance and he won,dont compare the bad things that scots did to english,did the scots take over any peoples,look at the welsh for gods sake,you know what they did to william wallce,they called him a tratior,when he wasent even english then they cut off his balls,drawn and quarted him and put his bodie parts in the four corners of scotland.then theres all the other things the english did,look at the 100 years war.

but budgie,all the things howard put into his books are based off of something,theres asgard,the home of the norse gods,pictland,hoe of the picts,alantis,etc etc

oh and after the war with the picts,both peoples became each other,both customs became the celtic scots.... and what nation isnt made without its losses?
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#17 matsellah

matsellah

    Viceroy of Kambuja

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,118 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southeast Asia

Posted 03 June 2004 - 02:59 AM

Cimmerians were the ancestors of whomever REH wanted them to be the ancestors of.

If he wrote it, it cannot be argued.

And he did write it.
"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'

#18 TroceroQuijas

TroceroQuijas

    Infamous Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Corpus ChristI

Posted 03 June 2004 - 03:48 AM

"In the last year of his life, he (REH) submitted this essay (Hyborian Age) for publication in a fan magazine, The Phantagraph, with an apologetic note explaining that this was puely fictional device to enable him to make the Conan stories internally consistent. It was not to be taken seriosly as setting forth his true beliefs about the prehistory of mankind."- L Sprauge De Camp , intro to Conan the Avenger .........sorry to rain on youlls parade
"Maddened with the sight of victory, these wild peoples were like wounded tigers, feeling no wounds, and dying on their feet with their last gasp a snarl of fury"

#19 MacBeth

MacBeth

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 82 posts
  • Location:washington state

Posted 03 June 2004 - 03:55 AM

I wasent trying to say that Roberts storys were true,I was just saying in a fiction story that relates later to the real world is cool.
The only way to take the steel away from a cimmerian is to pry it from his own dead fingers.

you take a highlanders claymore be ready to have a broken arm,try to take a highlanders home be ready for a fight,take a highlanders scotch,be ready to meet your maker.

#20 TroceroQuijas

TroceroQuijas

    Infamous Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Corpus ChristI

Posted 03 June 2004 - 05:16 AM

Na MacBeth your right. I respect Howards efforts & views as theyre very entertaining and I respect your take on it. The Huns are my favorite race of peeps in history. I know theres the norse berserk, the celtic fury, the zeal of teutonic knights and the discipline of the samurai and so on and so forth, but the Hun's level of ferocity was ever unmatched. Coming from the frozen hell of the steppes, probably heavy in poverty with nothing but thier horses, armed at first with no steel for they had no blacksmiths for being nomads, just bows and lassoes, att acking in a way where chivalry diddnt exist, only running literal circles around their foes and driving all before them etc, etc, etc.I figure theyd be some form of Hyrkanian ( ofcourse ) but there was nothing of that caliber other than Turan but they were more settled. Its funny though, you had Conan, the only Cimmerian in Conan's history to have been heard of but himself other than where they came from
"Maddened with the sight of victory, these wild peoples were like wounded tigers, feeling no wounds, and dying on their feet with their last gasp a snarl of fury"