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Hyperboreans -- REH References


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#161 Guest_Bront_*

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:31 PM

Quote by Constantine

"With my limited English I fail again to understand what you are saying. Should I not promote my opinion and try to convince someone with arguments in a debate? Should I not debate at all, but only present my opinion?"

Your English is fine Constantine.

Quote by Deuce

" REH:(p.388)"the Aesir...assailed Hyperborea and pushed back the frontier, destroying city after city." (Straight from the "Hyborian Age" essay)

p.359-360:"east of Asgard is the country of the Hyperboreans, who are civilized and dwell in cities."

Will check that out.

Stands to reason that the administrator would be called Crom. Wonder if there is any Set.

Edited by Bront, 10 February 2012 - 04:09 AM.


#162 deuce

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:15 PM

Stands to reason that the administrator would be called Crom. Wonder if there is any Set.


Might be. Check it out here:


http://www.conan.com...ers&module=list

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#163 Guest_Bront_*

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

Had a look. Just a draft so Hyperborea stays officially barbarian as REH intended it to be.

Edited by Bront, 10 February 2012 - 04:11 AM.


#164 theagenes

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

Had a look. Just a draft so Hyperborea stays officially barbarian as REH intended it to be.



Not sure why I'm bothering, but here goes. That was't really a draft of "Phoenix" in the sense you're thinking of, but the first submitted version. Farnsworth Wright returned it asking him to revise that section because it was too long. He cut out a lot from the section and created the Nemedian chronicles prologue to replace it. It doesn't mean he changed his mind about the content---i.e. that the Hyperboreans were civilized and lived in cities.

You are absolutely correct that REH intended for Hyperborea to be "rude and barbaric" - 2000-2500 years before Conan's time. At the same time that other Hybori tribes were still living in horse-hide tents and the ancesters of the Nordheimers were "savages, not much more advanced than ape-men." But this has been pointed out to you over and over again and you fail to acknowledge it.

Edited by theagenes, 10 February 2012 - 09:55 PM.

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#165 theagenes

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:54 PM

Getting back to Russian-Hyperborean analog idea, here is an interesting passage from a REH letter to HPL in 1930:

"That great reservoir of strong, fresh races is exhausted; it seems to me that the last Aryan tribe to come into its own — the Russians — must eventually repeat the pages of history and conquer the civilized world, as all rising Aryan powers have done in the past. But it is a possibility which I contemplate with scant relish. There is too much Mongol blood in the veins of Russia for me to regard that nation as anything but alien." (Collected Letters ii:122-123)

Compare that with passage from "The Hyborian Age" That has already been refernced several times in this thread:

“The ancient kingdom of Hyperborea is more aloof than the others, yet there is alien blood in plenty in its veins, from the capture of foreign women---Hyrkanian, Aesir and Zamorians."

Not conclusive by any means, but it does show that REH considered both the Russians and the Hyperborean peoples to be Aryans whose blood has become mixed and "alien."
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#166 Guest_Bront_*

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:56 AM

I think my quote may have read too strong. No offence Deuce. Your info is good. Very good. Thing is, if the medieval Russians had been viewed by Westerners as barbaric and somewhat backward looking, might not have the Hyperboreans had some...I dont know, ambiguity between the civilised and barbarian worlds, like Russia.

Now as for Hyperborea and the Russian connection. In my early posts I did compromise a connection to it by way of Nordic Tomar. It is just that I see the Russian history ( little like English ), different peoples and influences that created the nation, and tried to disintangle the threads having to do with one very popular hetman.

theageness, you have many noteworthy points.

Edited by Bront, 11 February 2012 - 10:57 AM.


#167 theagenes

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

Here is an interesting passage from the first draft of "The Hyborian Age."

"Ten thousand years after the sinking of Atlantis,this northern race is found to have spread in successive waves all over the known world. They are a hardy race, of mixed complection [sic], though the original type was blond. Living for centuries in other climates has changed the complection of some, resulting in mixed colors. The people are in many different tribes, but are designated by the general name of Hyperboreans.

The first real kingdom was Hyperborea, whence comes the name for all the tribe. This kingdom was dominant for several centuries, then it was overthrown by a younger tribe, who, however, took the name of the older kingdom."


So originally, REH intended for the whole race and its civilization to be called "Hyperborean." Only in the later drafts did it become "Hyborian."


Following up on this earlier post quoting from Draft 1 of THA, here is the comparable passage from Draft 2:

"Here and there in the world small groups of savages are showing signs of upward trend in intelligence; these are scattered and of unclassified bloods. But in the north the tribes are growing. These people are called Hyboreans or Hybori; their god was Bori---or the great chief who led them into the north."

Five hundred years later:

"Tribes of light-haired, grey-eyed Hyboreans have moved southward and westward, conquering and destroying many of the small unclassifed clans....
Next to the Picts, in a broad valley, protected by great mountains, a nameless band of primitives have evolved a well-developed agricultural existence. The dominent tribe of the Hybori, has discovered the use of stone in building, and the first kingdom of the Hybori has come into being, on the site of the ancient settlements of the Hybori---the rude and barbaric kingdom of Hyperborea."

The similar section in Draft 3 is essentially the same as the final version including the adjectival form of the race being spelled "Hyborian."

So in these earlier drafts we get an even stronger sense of the importance of Hyperborea as the first true kingdom of the Hybori on their climb from savagery to barbarism to civilization. You can also see the emphasis on Hyperborea as an ancestral homeland of the Hybori---something Deuce discussed earlier in this thread. We also see that originally Howard conceived of the whole race as Hyperboreans, changing the spelling in subsequent drafts to Hyborean then Hyborian, presumably to distinguish the larger race from the inhabitants of the later nation of Hyperborea. But it seems clear that REH considered Hyperborea to be the symbolic and actual motherland of the Hybori in both name and geographic location.
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#168 deuce

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

Had a look. Just a draft so Hyperborea stays officially barbarian as REH intended it to be.


I see you're ignoring the quote from "The Hyborian Age". Absolutely and utterly predictable. When faced with irrefutable evidence, you just look away and tippy-toe around it.

Is THAT how self-styled "barbarians" handle such things?

Those quotes were from the second page of this thread. In five years, nobody has questioned their validity. You haven't been reading this thread, Bront. You're just spouting crap inspired by De Camp and Crom-knows whoelse.

As for the "draft", the quote in question comes from the typescript sent to Farnsworth Wright at Weird Tales for publication. Yeah, Robert E. Howard thought that version was just fine. He shortened it up for Pharnabazus, never suspecting some obtuse "barbarian" would use it as "evidence" for the Hyperboreans being "barbaric" during Conan's era. :rolleyes:

Are you saying that Farnsworth Wright is the final authority on the Hyborian Age?

Robert E. Howard stated that the Hyperboreans built/lived in "cities" (ie, more than one/a bunch). The original definition of a civilized person was someone who lived in a city. In addition, as noted before, REH stated that all of the Hyborian kingdoms were civilized. Hyperborea was civilized. Accept it and get over it..

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#169 constantine

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:50 AM

Pharnabazus is obviously Farnsworth Wright. I wonder who invented this nickname (probably one of the pulp boys of the 30s).

Moving forward from the recent confrontation with phoney ''barbarians'', one detail we may recall or repeat that can enhance a Russian connection for Hyperborea is the Cherkees knife of Olgerd Vladislav. I take it that it comes from the historical Cherkess/Circassians in a mode for the Hyborian Age.

If the name Cherkees corresponds to a nationality as well, one may speculate about a group of people living in the steppes. Thus, a Cherkees knife in the hands of a kozak makes the Russian analogy even stronger, since the real Circassians lived (and many still do) in the northern Caucasus region, historically between the Ottoman empire and the early modern Russia and were involved in the history of the region. Turan is the closest equivalent of the Ottoman empire, so we need to locate Russia's counterpart. In all probability that is Hyperborea.

#170 thatericn

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:10 PM

Equating Hyperborea as REH's Hyborian "Russia" makes a lot of sense.

Besides all the evidence set out so far, I'd offer a less exact thought. Look at Howard's map(s) of the era. Both pseudo-Africa and psuedo-Asia are a bit "shrunken." With his focus on the West, other regions did not receive the detail the Hyborians got. With that in mind, the absence ot a sprawling "Hybor-Russia" makes its contraction into the not-much-bigger-than-Finland Hyperborea a sensible conclusion.

His description of individual Hyperboreans does appear to look west of Russia a bit, though... The tall, gaunt blonds sound reminiscent of Finns, Balts and even Germanic Prussians. If REH had ever gotten to writing about Hyperborean armies, homages to the Teutonic Knights and even gun-less versions of Frederick the Great's army might have faced off with Conan's Aquilonians... Saber-armed light cavalry (hussars), lancers (uhlans), disciplined bowmen, and stalwart, professional infantry...

Edited by thatericn, 11 April 2012 - 11:14 PM.

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#171 constantine

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

His description of individual Hyperboreans does appear to look west of Russia a bit, though... The tall, gaunt blonds sound reminiscent of Finns, Balts and even Germanic Prussians. If REH had ever gotten to writing about Hyperborean armies, homages to the Teutonic Knights and even gun-less versions of Frederick the Great's army might have faced off with Conan's Aquilonians... Saber-armed light cavalry (hussars), lancers (uhlans), disciplined bowmen, and stalwart, professional infantry...

thatericn


You lost me here. Why couldn't a tall, gaunt individual blond individual be reminiscent of a Russian (though no blond Hyperborean exists in the Conan yarns)? And if Hyperborea was the counterpart of medieval Russia or so, where do the versions of Teutonic knights/gunless Frederickian Prussians (all historical enemies of Russia) fit in? A medievalesque Hyperborean army, maybe influenced by -not necessarily an exact copy of- medieval Russians would seem more probable to me, had REH decided to write about it.

Edited by constantine, 19 April 2012 - 07:18 PM.


#172 thatericn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:29 PM

Looking at the post, I need to "file out a burr".. It might be an either/or question.

REH places them on his map basically over the Baltic and Finland, and gives their people a rather homogenous physical description, that feels to me to not be how he - REH - would likely describe the more varied and diverse peoples of Russia. Also, the size of Hyperborea on the map is very small for a Russia-like nation.

The use of Slavic names, though, goes toward Hyperborea being rather Russian. This also makes sense since he spells out no other "Russia" - unless you consider Turan's conquests as an Asiatic ruling class over possibly pseudo-Slavic peoples.

My "what if" idea took root in the Hyperborea/Prussia mold. You are right in pointing out it's flaw if Hyperborea is seen as an analog for Russia. Given REH's method of making many of this Hyboria people reminiscent of recent populations of the same area.

Unfortunately, REH never got more specific. If he had not died in '36 and kept writing the current events of the times would have been a great spur for either a scary Prussian-like foe, or in a Cold War environment, a big, bad eastern bear... A well flseshed-out Hybor-Russia would have been an excellent addition to the Hyborian world!

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#173 Kortoso

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:04 PM

Another factor has added to the impetus of Hyborian drift. A tribe of that race has discovered the use of stone in building, and the first Hyborian kingdom has come into being--the rude and barbaric kingdom of Hyperborea, which had its beginning in a crude fortress of boulders heaped to repel tribal attack. The people of this tribe soon abandoned their horse-hide tents for stone houses, crudely but mightily built, and thus protected, they grew strong. There are few more dramatic events in history than the rise of the rude, fierce kingdom of Hyperborea, whose people turned abruptly from their nomadic life to rear dwellings of naked stone, surrounded by cyclopean walls--a race scarcely emerged from the polished stone age, who had by a freak of chance, learned the first rude principles of architecture.


It has always puzzled me how the Hyperboreans were supposed to have Cyclopean monuments, even before the character of the people is described.
I'm thinking there was some ancient stone building that inspired REH to create this.

#174 thatericn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:47 PM

Add another data point or two to the Hyperborea=Russia thesis - I forgot about this REH comment...

Getting back to Russian-Hyperborean analog idea, here is an interesting passage from a REH letter to HPL in 1930:

"That great reservoir of strong, fresh races is exhausted; it seems to me that the last Aryan tribe to come into its own — the Russians — must eventually repeat the pages of history and conquer the civilized world, as all rising Aryan powers have done in the past. But it is a possibility which I contemplate with scant relish. There is too much Mongol blood in the veins of Russia for me to regard that nation as anything but alien." (Collected Letters ii:122-123)

Compare that with passage from "The Hyborian Age" That has already been refernced several times in this thread:

“The ancient kingdom of Hyperborea is more aloof than the others, yet there is alien blood in plenty in its veins, from the capture of foreign women---Hyrkanian, Aesir and Zamorians."

Not conclusive by any means, but it does show that REH considered both the Russians and the Hyperborean peoples to be Aryans whose blood has become mixed and "alien."


... and the towering blond Hyperboreans likely still seen as the arctype
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#175 constantine

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:51 PM

... and the towering blond Hyperboreans likely still seen as the arctype

thatericn


I really don't recall blond Hyperboreans in Howard's own descriptions (only tall and gaunt). Even if there were any, I don't see why this should turn us away from a Russian connection. Not that I consider a rarity a blond Hyperborean.

A very interesting point I recently discovered. In TGitB, the Nemedian watchman Arus speculates on Conan's origins:

''He is a northern barbarian of some sort - a Hyperborean or a Bossonian perhaps.''

This is clearly the personal opinion of Arus and it certainly does not represent Howard's perception of Hyperborea. Since the mentioned Bossonians are neither northerners nor barbarians, this is evidence of the Nemedian's ignorance. However, this quote shows that a western Hyborian might perceive the Hyperboreans as northern barbarians. This is a very close analogy to the image of Russia held in western Europe from the Late Middle Ages onwards.

#176 Kortoso

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:41 PM

Are all Russians blond? Is this a defining national trait? Then maybe Brythunians are Russians, too?

#177 docpod

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:27 AM

Are all Russians blond? Is this a defining national trait? Then maybe Brythunians are Russians, too?


I would say about 25% of Russians I saw were blond in Moscow and Kemerovo in Siberia. I adopted two children from Russia and both are blond.

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#178 thatericn

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

Question for the veteran roamers of the Hyborian continent...

From my memory and research, I see no mention by REH of any "Eiglophian Mountains"... Am I correct?

They seem to show up in the north in pastiches, probably as a homage to C.A. Smith. They also for some weird reason, then get used to border Vanahiem+Aesir from Cimmeria, and so have very little to do with Hyperborea, which one would think would be the location for an homage...

Also, REH's own map gives no hint of a east-west mountain range dividing the far north from Cimmeria.

Let me know what you think.
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#179 Kortoso

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

I think those mountains are an invention of LSdC.

#180 deuce

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

Question for the veteran roamers of the Hyborian continent...

From my memory and research, I see no mention by REH of any "Eiglophian Mountains"... Am I correct?

They seem to show up in the north in pastiches, probably as a homage to C.A. Smith. They also for some weird reason, then get used to border Vanahiem+Aesir from Cimmeria, and so have very little to do with Hyperborea, which one would think would be the location for an homage...

Also, REH's own map gives no hint of a east-west mountain range dividing the far north from Cimmeria.

Let me know what you think.


You're right. Actually, I'm astounded that LSdC/Carter never put a "Riphaean" range between Asgard and Hyperborea.

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