Jump to content


Photo

The Nemedian Chronicles


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#21 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,061 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 22 August 2007 - 12:54 AM

Deuce, that's a great back-story.


Thanks, Kortoso.

Would the Conan "yarns" be themselves the body of the Nemedian Chronicles?


That's a puzzler. The Irish Nemedians were, ultimately, of the same blood as the Gaels according to the Lebor Gabala (the Irish "Book of Invasions"). In fact, just about every ethnic group that settled in Eriu, from the Partholonians on, were related to the late-coming Gaels (according to the "LG"). Not coincidentally, REH has the Nemedians be of partial Cimmerian descent. The Irish are renowned for their attachment to the tales of their heroes and for their obsession with preserving Irish history. Perhaps the Irish Nemedians had carried the tales of the mighty Cimmerian all the way from Scythia ("Cimmeria East")? However, there is the reference to Conan within the "Chronicles" excerpt.

Patrice Louinet has an interesting theory that "Phoenix" may have started as an "Allison/reincarnation"-type of yarn (while using the plot of "Axe"). Hard to say. We know from several accounts that there were books in Ireland before the Christian conversion. In the "LG", I believe that the Nemedians passed through Greece. Might they have picked up "Linear B" script? ;) So, we might have an instance where the Irish scholar (perhaps claiming Nemedian blood) tells the young prince that there was once a mighty kingdom where Deutschland now lay. It too fought enemies from the north, east and west. Perhaps the scholar's tales were more along the lines of The Hyborian Age. Perhaps REH "remembered" the Conan yarns (as in the first line of Cimmeria). Ol' von Junzst could have been living and reading the "Chronicles" where Nemedia itself once was. As I said, lots of possibilities.

Another thing, I think that the Cimmerians were already there when the Nemedians arrived, no?


The sequence of events in the "LG" goes something like this...
Shortly after the Flood, Partholon settles with his people in Ireland. They are followed by Nemed and his followers,who wage war against the diabolical Fomorians. The Fomorians are led by King Conand the Fomorian. The Nemedians triumph, but Fomorian sorcery calls up an inundation which scatters the surviving Nemedians to various points hither and yon. The Nemedians return as the Fir Bolg (and the Fir Domnann and the Fir Galeoin). They are displaced by the Tuatha de Danaan, whom Howard explicitly calls "Cymric" (Brythonic) in "KotN". Finally, the Sons of Mil ("Milesians"/Gaels/descendants of the Cimmerians) sail from Galicia in north-western Spain and wrest the isle of Erin from the Tuatha de Danaan in an epic battle. Howard seems to have felt pretty strongly about the issue of "Cymric/Brythonic" precedence in Ireland. The first letter he wrote to Lovecraft was about that very topic.

BTW, one of the sons of Nemed was named Artur.

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#22 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,061 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 01 December 2007 - 01:04 AM

That's what Machiavelli thought.



:lol: :lol: :lol:

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#23 James Palmer

James Palmer

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:54 PM

I've been reading some old Lancer Conan paperbacks, and the first one, Conan, has snippets from the so-called Nemedian Chronicles. Did Howard write more of these Chronicles than is published in this edition? Is this all there is, or are they part of a longer essay like The Hyborean Age?

Thanks,

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

James Palmer
Freelance Copywriter, Journalist
http://www.jamesmpalmer.com/sf

#24 Strom

Strom

    Fearing No Evil

  • Admin
  • 8,533 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Michigan, USA

Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:10 PM

Hello James - the Nemedian Chronicles only appear in Howard's Conan story The Phoenix on the Sword. DeCamp followed Bob's lead and created other pseudo Chronicles to start off each story in the Lancer set.

Join and Support The Robert E. Howard Foundation!  Membership has Benefits! 

 

 

 


#25 Mikey_C

Mikey_C

    Ancient Briton

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,338 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Waterlooville, UK

Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:50 PM

Phew! I thought for a moment you were asking whether they were, er, you know, real real. I didn't know how I was going to break it that Conan is a fictional character.... ;)
Visit my blog: Necronomania

#26 Spartan198

Spartan198

    Spartiatai

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 575 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Creeping up behind you with my dagger...

Posted 12 July 2008 - 04:51 PM

It be pretty sweet if they did turn out to be real... *runs around in excitement at the prospect*
"What is good in life?... To crush your enemy, see him driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -- Conan of Cimmeria

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ~ "Come and take them." -- Leonidas' reply when ordered by the Persian messenger to surrender his weapons before the Battle of the Thermopylae Pass.


Posted Image

#27 Axerules

Axerules

    In Memoriam: 2007-2014. Old stones aficionado

  • Moderators
  • 2,248 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The walled city of Vyones

Posted 12 July 2008 - 05:05 PM

Hey james, we've discussed the Nemedian Chronicles in this thread and in this one (post #62 and later).
Hope that helps.
Take arrows in your forehead, but never in your back

Samurai maxim

#28 Taranaich

Taranaich

    Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,932 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Bleak Moors of Scotland

Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:13 PM

Our own deuce has followed up his marvellous debut with the first part of a study of the Nemedian Chronicles over at the Cimmerian, exploring some of the issues previously raised in this topic. I'm very excited to see how he follows it up. B)

Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006

Sword & Sorcery! Posted Image Posted Image Historical Fiction!
Horror! Posted Image Posted Image Westerns!
Boxing! Posted Image Posted Image Conan!


#29 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,061 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:10 AM

It's troubling that even the best of us credit this to "The Nemedian Chronicles" and not the actual tale in which it appears.

The formula "Know, O prince..." was used in many ancient works, including the Mahabharata:

Know, O prince, that those things which thou regardest as existing are in reality non-existent.




Right on, Kortoso! The Vedic Aryans were heirs to the "sons of Aryas" as well. ;)

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#30 crossplain pilgrim

crossplain pilgrim

    Hyborian Legend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,134 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:11 AM

I remember that Mako narrates form the Nemdian Chronicles in the Milius film. What do you think the odds are that they will be included in the new film? They could provide a lot of early exposition on the Hyborian Age.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#31 Taranaich

Taranaich

    Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,932 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Bleak Moors of Scotland

Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:55 AM

It's one of the most famous Conan quotations that don't involve the words "Crom" or "lamentation", and would certainly be appropriate given their original intention to "set the scene" for the Conan stories. I can imagine it working as an opening sequence accompanying or preceding the credits (hint, hint!), providing atmosphere and introduction for newbies while reacquainting the old guard.

As an aside, it always kind of bothered me that Mako did the "Between Atlantis and Sons of Aryas" dialogue bit, because it seems a bit of a weird anachronism for him to speak of his "future" in such a way. Like Julius Caesar's biographer saying "Between the years when Alexander forged an empire, and the rise of the sons of Charlemagne". Being a wizard I suppose it could be inferred he had some knowledge of the future, or perhaps even lived to modern times. It's never properly addressed in the film, though. :(

Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006

Sword & Sorcery! Posted Image Posted Image Historical Fiction!
Horror! Posted Image Posted Image Westerns!
Boxing! Posted Image Posted Image Conan!


#32 crossplain pilgrim

crossplain pilgrim

    Hyborian Legend

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,134 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:24 PM

Interesting point, Taranaich. Always thought they should have gone with a more cultured voice for the narration. Someone like Anthony Hopkins. My all-time favorite is Richard Burton's opening narration for "Zulu." Now that was classy.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#33 Kortoso

Kortoso

    -=Reiver of the Western Marches=-

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,400 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern California

Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:16 PM

It's possible that they were named the Nemedian Chronicles not because they were written entirely by Nemedians. Now we're going through the looking glass. ;) It could be that the introductory text was added at a later date by other authors. If the yarns themselves comprise the body of the Chronicles, it's obvious that they are written in a different tone.

Doing some comparisons of historical examples such as the Eddas, translated by Snorri Strulason. He added some commentary of his own, although he post-dated the Vikings who wrote the tales. Other scrolls have similar forms.

#34 Taranaich

Taranaich

    Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,932 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Bleak Moors of Scotland

Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:27 PM

A good point, Kortoso - one that deuce addresses in the second part of his look at the Nemedian Chronicles, tying in elements of the "Black Eons" fragment to "The Hyborian Age". Very cool! B)

Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006

Sword & Sorcery! Posted Image Posted Image Historical Fiction!
Horror! Posted Image Posted Image Westerns!
Boxing! Posted Image Posted Image Conan!


#35 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,061 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:19 AM

... 'cause I can't seem to find it anywhere in either of my Conan collections, yet it's such a cool passage that it's pretty much been canonically inducted into the Conan mythology. If Howard didn't write it, who did?



Howard did in "Phoenix". The first Conan yarn ever written.

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#36 deuce

deuce

    The OG of "Psychotic Maladjustment"

  • Moderators
  • 13,061 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Serpent-haunted SEK, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:24 AM

it always kind of bothered me that Mako did the "Between Atlantis and Sons of Aryas" dialogue bit, because it seems a bit of a weird anachronism for him to speak of his "future" in such a way. Like Julius Caesar's biographer saying "Between the years when Alexander forged an empire, and the rise of the sons of Charlemagne".


Exactly. That is the same position any "Hyborian Age Nemedian Chronicler" would be in. "The Nemedian Chronicles" were NOT written during the Hyborian Age. It's that simple. Sorry, Kurt Busiek. :)

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.


#37 Albannach

Albannach

    Warrior

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 125 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brig O'Gore, Scotland

Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:43 PM

Have there been any attempts to re-create more of the Nemedian chronicles in the same way Lovecrafts Necronomicon has inspired so many. And seeing as Lovecraft and Howard shared many things throughout their stories creating possibly one universe maybe they are closley related.

Also as for the Nemedian chronicles name take into account how names change over time. Take for example A Scot now meaning someone from Scotland, (Picto-Gaelic) but originaly it meant purley Gaels the last name Scott meant someone who spoke Gaelic. Ireland was originally refered to is Scotti Major and Brian Boru King of Scots. Kenneth MacAlpine was also a King of Scots in Pictland? Pictland later known as Scotland. Even before that Scotti was specificly applied by the Romans too the 'invading' Gaels in the same way we'd use Vikings. Then ironicly Scots is the name of the Germanic language spoken in Scotland which originated in lowland Scotland between Brythons and Angles as aposed to the actual 'Scots'-Gaelic language.

So Nemedian could refer to the mythical ancestors of the Irish or even a term once used to describe many people of the Hyborean age.

#38 Pictish Scout

Pictish Scout

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 506 posts

Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

The narration of Mako and the Dark Horse version doesn’t make much sense to me for reasons others already noted. I also remember a comic where Conan meets a young Nemedian scribe who is recording his deeds… well, nevermind.

I tried to analyze the actual text.

Obviously the chronicler is narrating events of the past and it wasn’t a product of the Hyborian Age.

This excerpt seems to be the introductory text of the Chronicles and starts not with the coming of the Hyborians but with a short analysis on the political situation on the zenith of the Hyborian civilization, the Age of Conan.

When? – “between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas…”

What? –“ …there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars…”

Shining Kingdoms like – “Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold.”

But one shone brighter than the others – “But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west.”

And – “Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.”

I’m not sure what to do with this last sentence. It seems to me like “ To Aquilonia came Conan, the Cimmerian…” I mean, this is still information on Aquilonia, the proudest kingdom in the west, and Conan was, possibly, its greatest King. So if Conan is the greatest king of the greatest kingdom of the greatest civilization it makes him the greatest king of the Hyborian Age, relevant to every account of that age.

Yet these aren’t the Aquilonian Chronicles; there was no Aquilonian left to write it and it is called the Nemedian Chronicles. And I also think this isn´t a chronicle about either Aquilonia or Conan. And I risk saying this chronicle isn’t even about the “Hyborian Age”.

This is called the Nemedian Chronicles and I think it is about the history of Nemedia and its people, which is the first kingdom named in the chronicle and the only kingdom who could produce the basis of such a work. Everyone else who could have done that was obliterated. The mention of Conan and Aquilonia is, I think, due to its relevance in the history of Nemedia the same way Cartage and Hannibal are relevant to the history of Rome, the Normans are relevant to the history of Ireland, etc.


Nemedia is special as it survived the fall of the Hyborian civilization. It is possible the Nemedians were the only people in the west to preserve written records of the Hyborian Age from the beginning to the end as they witnessed it all and survived it for some time.

Other Hyborians living in a post apocalyptic Pict infested west could only remember legends about the Hyborian civilization. Nemedians on the other hand were still living in (semi) civilization although ruled by Aesir. I think they could have kept written historical records longer at least until they abandoned Nemedia. After that phase I think they slowly started to count more on legends and oral tradition than written record…

According to Howard after the fall of Nemedia and the “migration period”:

There were no cities anywhere, except in Stygia and the lands of Shem; the invading tides of Picts, Hyrkanians, Cimmerians and Nordics had levelled them in ruins, and the once dominant Hyborians had vanished from the earth, leaving scarcely a trace of their blood in the veins of their conquerors. Only a few names of lands, tribes and cities remained in the languages of the barbarians, to come down through the centuries connected with distorted legend and fable, until the whole history of the Hyborian age was lost sight of in a cloud of myths and fantasies. Thus in the speech of the gypsies lingered the terms Zingara and Zamora; the Æsir who dominated Nemedia were called Nemedians, and later figured in Irish history, and the Nordics who settled in Brythunia were known as Brythunians, Brythons or Britons.



All written records were forgotten and only legends and distant echoes of the Hyborian Age remained. And this is before the arrival of the Aryans so there is no “Nemedian Chronicles” yet.

Then the Aryans came from the east in the beginning of the “modern history” and, I believe, the memories of the Hyborian Age were even more shadowy (if existent) and the written records completely nonexistent. As the Nemedians were the last to fall maybe their traditions were stronger and their legends truer to the actual past; pictish shamans during the Roman Empire could “remember” the Hyborian Age and the Thurian Age without written history.

For the writing of the Nemedian Chronicles during “modern history” I think the Irish are the best candidates without ruling out Friedrich Wilhelm von Junzt finding something in Germany (where Nemedia stood) and, of course, secret societies, dreams of past lives, an unbroken line of sages, etc .(not uncommon in Robert Howard and Lovecraft’s literature) who preserved written or oral tradition, or could read and translate ancient Hyborian to modern languages. Maybe all of these candidates together…

#39 Boot

Boot

    Mauler of Shadizar

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 934 posts

Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:54 AM

Besides the Nemedian Chronicles, let's not forget that other best-seller of the time, The Scrolls of Skelos (also referred to as the Book of Skelos).

#40 Ironhand

Ironhand

    The Mad Playwright

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,896 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Saint Louis, MO, USA

Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:42 AM

Besides the Nemedian Chronicles, let's not forget that other best-seller of the time, The Scrolls of Skelos (also referred to as the Book of Skelos).

Are there any quotes extant from Skelos?
"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