Conan's statment in "Beyond" that "I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush" dos not necessarily mean he was in Keshan or Punt before that story. He obviously sailed south to Kush during his time with Belit.
I disagree I think it does. Conan obviously was in Kush and sailed the Black Coasts in Queen of the Black Coast
.Concerning Kush, however, it is one of the black kingdoms south of Stygia, the northern-most, in fact, and has given its name to the whole southern coast.
- Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet. ”
– Beyond the Black River
Conan specifically says he has been in unknown countries south of
meaning other than the black kingdoms of Kush
. He could not be referring to Kush in this quote if the countries he is referring to are south of Kush. What countries do we know are south of Kush?
Keshan, Punt, Zimbabwe, Amazons, Atlaia, and other unnamed Black Kingdoms
We know he has been to Keshan, and I surmise he has been to Punt based on circumstantial evidence during the border skirmishes in the story and knowledge of Punt and that he had intended on traveling there after the events in The Servants of Bit-Yakin
. There is also the intimation that he had spoken to the people of Punt with further knowledge gained at the beginning of Red Nails
.Skirmishes along the borders were incessant, affording the Cimmerian plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his ability at hand-to-hand fighting.
- The Servants of Bit-Yakin
Who were the Keshans fighting with in these border skirmishes? We know that they border Kush to the west and Punt to the east we do not know about their northern or southern borders. Keshan is in the hinterlands of Kush meaning claimed by that coastal kingdom and supplying goods to them. Seeing as how the Keshans already have an enmity towards the Puntans and that Conan is offering his service to invade them, and the Zimbabwans also are up in arms against them it seems Punt is likely where these border skirmishes took place.For a price he would train the armies of Keshan and lead them against Punt, their hereditary enemy, whose recent successes in the field had roused the fury of Keshan’s irascible king.
- The Servants of Bit-Yakin"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.”
– Beyond the Black River
If Conan is not talking about Keshan or Punt when he says he was in countries south of Kush, which countries do you surmise he is talking about?
I think you should take this into account before drastically changing the Miller-Clark outline.
My time-line agrees with the Miller-Clark outline from Beyond the Black River, through the Hour of the Dragon.
So you acknowledge based on Gault's age that approximately 6 or 8 years has passed between "Beyond the Black River" and "Wolves beyond the Border", with "Black Stranger" being the only story taking place between them.
Yes and in that 6-8 year approximated gap Conan continued to be a forest-runner for an unknown period of time, crossed hundreds of miles of Pictish Wilderness, became a pirate again for an unknown period of time, became a mercenary for Aquilonia again and rose to the rank of General before the Aquilonian civil war and fought for an unknown period of time during that civil war before finally seizing the crown at about forty years old.
As Conan was about 40 when he seized the crown of Aquilonia (based on REH's letter), it means all the previous stories must have taken place before he was around 30. Do you think it is possible to squeeze in so many stories in so few years?
I think it was because of this that Rippke and Sanahujas placed at least "Red Nails" or even "Servents" after "Beyond".
Yes, I am only 33 years old and have had many adventures with stories to relate to them. Conan albeit having a life more exciting than mine could have had plenty of time to have 19 recorded adventures since age about 17 in Tower of the Elephant
to age about 40 (23 years) when he becomes King during the period directly after Wolves Beyond the Border
. Even if each story lasted the entire year (which most don't) that would still leave 4 years. If you discounted the 6-8 years between Beyond the Black River
and Wolves Beyond the Border
and taking account for the one story during that time The Black Stranger
you still have at least 15 years to have the 18 adventures recorded in the stories.
Some of the stories take place over a matter of days, some over a few weeks, some over the period of several months, and some approximating a year or more. We have to take into account time for travel overland on foot or by horse, as well as sea travel by ship and boat or even swimming. We have to take into account rough terrain like jungles, deserts, mountains, rivers, etc to be crossed. We have to take into account time to make friends, learn customs, pick up some of the local languages passably or fluently. We have to take into account time to train with, fight with, and rise in position in any army that Conan has served for or led before being a king. Even with all of that it seems likely to me that all 19 of the tales could easily be compiled into the 23 years between age about 17 inThe Tower of the Elephant
and about 40 when Conan becomes king shortly after Wolves Beyond the Border
Do you plan to specify the age of Conan as well in each story? It would be the 4th attempt after the incomplete Miller/Clark outline, and the recent and complete Rippke and Sanahujas chronologies (the latter was published in a French book in 2008, it also has several insightful arguments).
No I don't as I previously mentioned but you seem adamant that some reckoning of years take place before you will consider any time-line. So I will give you an estimation of Conan's ages based entirely on conjecture and supposition and not on facts from the stories themselves because there are none except a very few previously mentioned.Birth Age 0Born on a BattlefieldYouth Age 14Venarium
Conan says he had not yet seen fifteen snows making him 14 years old."'But you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?’
‘I was,’ grunted the other. ‘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
Howard contradicts this by saying he was fifteen in his letter."At Vanarium he was already a formidable antagonist, though only fifteen.”
- Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler MillerYoung Man Ages 15-16 years oldThe Frost-Giant's Daughter
Months with the ÆsirCaptivity among the Hyperboreans
unknown time in captivity learning some of the Hyperborean language, and time enough crossing Brythunia to learn some of the Brythunian languageThe God in the Bowl
Months in Nemedia learning some of the Nemedian language“There was the space of about a year between Vanarium and his entrance into the thief-city of Zamora. During this time he returned to the northern territories of his tribe, and made his first journey beyond the boundaries of Cimmeria. This, strange to say, was north instead of south. Why or how, I am not certain, but he spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans, and developing a hate for the latter which lasted all his life and later affected his policies as king of Aquilonia. Captured by them, he escaped southward and came into Zamora in time to make his debut in print.”
- Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler MillerYoung Man Age about 17 years oldThe Tower of the Elephant
Months prior to the story learning some of the Zamorian language and listening to scholars, also learning part of the Shemitish language“As you deduct, Conan was about seventeen when he was introduced to the public in "The Tower of the Elephant." While not fully matured, he was riper than the average civilized youth at that age.”
-Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler MillerYoung Man unknown ages, surmised ages between 17 and 25 years oldThe Nestor Synopsis
months to become a notorious thiefRogues in the House
months to travel to Corinthia and learn some of the Corinthian language as well as time for a return trip home to CimmeriaThe Yaralet Fragment
months to years as a mercenary, time to learn some of the Kothic and Hyrkanian languagesBlack Colossus
months to become captain of the mercenary spearmen, promoted to General in the story instantlyA Witch Shall be Born
months to become captain of the guard, months to years among the Zuagirs becoming a chief and further learning Shemitish while raiding TuranThe Man-Eaters of Zamboula
days for the story, time to travel to Ophir afterwards and learn part of the Ophirean languageQueen of the Black Coast
months spent in Argos learning some of the Argossean language, years spent with the corsairs raiding Stygia and the Black Coasts learning part of the Stygian and Kushite languagesThe Shumballa Typescripts
days to weeks as a generalAdult unknown ages, surmised ages between 25 and 31 years oldXuthal of the Dusk
weeks spent in Koth, Shem, Stygia, Kush, and the deserts south of KushIron Shadows in the Moon
months spent as a mercenary in Koth, Zamora, and Turan and months to years as a Kozak and pirate on the Vilayet Sea, time to learn part of the Yuetshi languageThe Devil in Iron
months to years as a kozak chieftainPeople of the Black Circle
months to years to become an Afghuli chieftain, with time learning part of the Vendhyan, Zhaibari, Afghulistani languages
These next stories possibly take place within a years time as Conan was in Shem in prior to The Tombalku Typescripts
and says it was a year later in The Servants of Bit-Yakin
:The Tombalku Typescripts
weeks as a mercenary defeating the Stygian fleet, invading Stygia by land through Kush, pursued through Kush to the deserts south of Kush, months with the Tombalkans he becomes a generalThe Vale of Lost Women
months to become a Bamula war-chief, travels back to Stygia then to the coastsBarachan Pirate
weeks among the Barachan pirates, possibility of visiting Shem as a pirateThe Servants of Bit-Yakin
one year since Shem prior to The Tombalku Typescripts
months among the Keshans learning their Keshani language and participating in border skirmishes becoming a general, also time learning the language of Punt"A year ago I saw you in Akbitana with that swine, Zargheba, and I don't forget faces - or women's figures."
-The Servants of Bit-Yakin
One year prior to this adventure he had been in the Shemitish city of Akbitana. This could have been if he traveled across Shem visiting Pelishtim and Akbitana on his way to Argos (months) prior to The Tombalku Typescripts because of rumors of wars to join up as a mercenary after leaving the Kozaki if he rejoined them after being a Afghuli Chief. In the course of that year he would have left Shem for Argos, with the mercenary army he traveled south by ship to Kush after defeating the Stygian fleet off of Stygia, attacked Stygia by land along its southern border (several weeks at least), fled south to Tombalku for his adventures there during the month that Amalric was with the Ghanatas, and for however long they remained in Tombalku. Conan then became a War-Chief among the Bamulas (several months) during The Vale of Lost Women when things went sour in Tombalku and Amalric took Lissa away after not wanting to go to Tombalku in the first place. Taking Livia to the Stygian Coast and being tired of black women he travels to the coast then northward possibly on a trading ship. He spends some time as a Barachan Pirate (months). Traveling back to the Black Coasts of Kush after hearing the legends he heads for Keshia where he becomes a general while seeking the hiding place of the jewels (months) prior to finding Muriela in Alkmeenon and making the comment. Barachan Pirate
months as a Barachan pirate, also time learning the Zingaran languageThe Pool of the Black One
months as a Zingaran Buccaneer Red Nails
weeks as a mercenary in Shem and Stygia, time to pick up some Darfari language, weeks traveling to Xuchotl, days for the story, weeks traveling to the coasts, months to years as a pirate with ValeriaAdult surmised ages between 29-31 years old
Conan's ship is sunk off a reefy shore three years prior to the events of The Black Stranger
.“’I thought you were dead,’ said Zarono slowly. ‘Three years ago the shattered hull of your ship was sighted off a reefy coast, and you were heard of on the Main no more.’ ‘I didn’t drown with my crew,’ answered Conan. ‘It’ll take a bigger ocean than that one to drown me.’”
- The Black StrangerAdult surmised ages between 32-34 years oldBeyond the Black River
weeks traveling from Zingara to Aquilonia, months to years as a mercenary there, Gault is ten years oldAdult unknown ages, surmised ages between 32-40 years oldThe Black Stranger
months spent as a mercenary on the borders in Aquilonia, weeks spent crossing the Pictish Wilderness of several hundred miles, months to years as a pirate, months to years as a mercenary for Aquilonia becoming a general, months to years as a general during the civil war before becoming kingWolves Beyond the Border Typescripts
months to years of civil war, Gault is presumably a young manAdult about 40 years oldConan becomes king"Conan was about forty when he seized the crown of Aquilonia..."
-Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler MillerMiddle Aged Adult surmised ages between 40 and 44 years oldKing
Years as kingThe Phoenix on the Sword
days for the storyThe Scarlet Citadel
weeks for the storyMiddle Aged Adult about 44-45 years old "Conan was about forty when he seized the crown of Aquilonia, and was about forty-four or forty-five at the time of 'The Hour of the Dragon."
-Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler MillerThe Hour of the Dragon
months to a year or more for the storyFights wars of defense and later aggression and travels
many years"He was, I think, king of Aquilonia for many years, in a turbulent and unquiet reign, when the Hyborian civilization had reached its most magnificent high-tide, and every king had imperial ambitions. At first he fought on the defensive, but I am of the opinion that at last he was forced into wars of aggression as a matter of self-preservation. Whether he succeeded in conquering a world-wide empire, or perished in the attempt, I do not know.
He travelled widely, not only before his kingship, but after he was king. He travelled to Khitai and Hyrkania, and to the even less known regions north of the latter and south of the former. He even visited a nameless continent in the western hemisphere, and roamed among the islands adjacent to it."
-Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller
Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 03 January 2011 - 04:59 AM.
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