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(Amra's) The Chronicles Of Conan The Cimmerian


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#81 elegos7

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:13 AM

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.


Hi Amra,

Thanks for this approximate timeline, I really appreciate your effort.
I think all of us are a bit accustomed to the ages given by Miller/Clark. Not even Rippke or Sanahujas proposed that stories like "Red Nails" or "Servents" took place before Conan was about 30.
It is a drastic upheaval of the timeline, but I certainly like your approach. I hope REH experts like Taranaich or Rippke will also give their 'semi-official' stamp on it.

#82 deuce

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:24 AM


Not only that, but I don't really see how the sentence in question can be construed as being about black countries of any kind, let alone Keshan or Punt.


I am not sure how you can not see how the sentence in question is about the countries south of Kush when that is the exact language.

"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

Are you saying that there are other countries south of Kush that are not black kingdoms that Conan says he has visited, Antartica perhaps?

If Conan was referring to unknown black kingdoms, he could've said, "the unknown black countries south of Kush".


Yes he did not say "the unknown black countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush", however "the unknown countries south of Kush" part is exact. So what countries south of Kush do you surmise he visited, whether inhabited by blacks or not?

"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

Are you supposing that the kingdoms he is referring to are south of Kush and east of the Sea of Vilayet like Vendhya?

"I?ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. 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

Taken in context he is saying he has traveled widely in the Hyborian nations, in Shem, in Stygia, in Turan and possibly Hyrkania, in the black kingdoms, in Afghulistan, and in Vendhya. Like a laundry list of places he has visited, not compiling groups of them together in the comment but after the comma; which is used to separate items in lists, and used to separate parts of geographical references.

How often would one say, "I've been to Africa and parts south of it in India", even if some part of India that the person making the statement had visited was geographically further south than the part of Africa that he had traveled to?


I'm not trying to lump together the south/east references. "Kush" and "Kushites" are used as omnibus terms for "the black kingdoms" and "blacks" more than once in the REH Conan materials. Those kingdoms were by no means "unknown". Conan referred to the "kingdoms of Kush". A plural reference encompassing all of the black realms. The fact that there was a "brown race" inhabiting parts of the Kushite lands at one time is attested in several Conan stories. There is also the homeland of the hominid Servants of Bit-Yakin somewhere to the south (more than likely) of the Kushite lands.

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#83 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:42 AM

I'm not trying to lump together the south/east references. "Kush" and "Kushites" are used as omnibus terms for "the black kingdoms" and "blacks" more than once in the REH Conan materials. Those kingdoms were by no means "unknown". Conan referred to the "kingdoms of Kush". A plural reference encompassing all of the black realms. The fact that there was a "brown race" inhabiting parts of the Kushite lands at one time is attested in several Conan stories. There is also the homeland of the hominid Servants of Bit-Yakin somewhere to the south (more than likely) of the Kushite lands.


I agree that Kush is used as a general term for many black kingdoms. But by unknown I think he means to the Hyborian nations as a whole, hence the reference of Kush as the name for all.

"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. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact - Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them." - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

But as I pointed out in my reply to Taranaich most of those brown raced people if not all of those brown raced people are now mixed with black. I did not think of the hominid Servants of Bit-Yakin but doubt that Conan was referencing them as a people or countries of them when he made the comment. If he was referring to Alkmeenon he more likely would have been thinking of the human inhabitants the Keshani.

"I've seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. 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

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 03:39 PM.

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


#84 deuce

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:32 AM

People of the Black Circle

Conan speaks to the Afghuli hillmen.

"'I was riding for Ghor! he roared. 'I had not hoped to meet you dogs on the trail. Follow me as fast as your nags can push! I'm going to Yimsha, and -' 'Traitor!' The howl was like a dash of ice water in his face." ? People of the Black Circle

Conan speaks to the Turanian Kerim Shah in Hyrkanian.

"'Where is the Devi?' demanded Kerim Shah.?What's it to you, you Hyrkanian spy?' snarled Conan." ? People of the Black Circle

The Turanian then explains to his followers the Irakzai tribesmen showing they didn't understand the conversation in Hyrkanian.

"Kerim Shah turned to the silent Irakzai and spoke briefly: 'This chief and I are going to Yimsha to fight the wizards. Will you go with us, or stary here to be flayed by the Afghulis who are following this man?'"? People of the Black Circle

Afghuli, Zhaibari, Hyrkanian, and Irakzai are never mentioned by Howard as languages, they are named after the people, or the country or region they are spoken in.
?He ??He?s not even that,? said Conan. ?I know him of old. He?s an Hyrkanian, a spy of Yezdigerd?s. If I catch him I?ll hang his hide to a tamarisk.?? ? People of the Black Circle

?And I knew you, in the days when you were a hetman of the kozak steppes, so I know your ambition is wholesale plunder.? ? People of the Black Circle


Great stuff, Amra. B) Can't have too much quote-based REH scholarship.

Conan mentions his time as a thief among the spider-haunted Zamora possibly giving a name to the thief-city of Zamora.

?That fellow Yar Afzal beat and sent away ? he moved like a man walking in his sleep. I?ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and the victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.
And then I saw what the fellow had in his hand, which Yar Afzal picked up. It was like a big black jade bead, such as the temple girls of Yezud wear when they dance before the black stone spider which is their god. Yar Afzal held it in his hand, and he didn?t pick up anything else. Yet when he fell dead a spider, like the god at Yezud, only smaller, ran out of his fingers.?
? People of the Black Circle

Howard never specifies in Tower of the Elephant what the name of the city is. In his letter to Miller he states the thief-city of Zamora that can be read as a city in Zamora or the thief-city named Zamora. Only two names of Zamorian cities are found in tales by Howard: Shadizar, City of Wickedness as found in The Scarlet Citadel or as Shadizar the Wicked in The Pool of the Black One, and Yezud found in this story.

?He had roamed the cities of Zamora, and known the women of Shadizar the Wicked.? ?The Pool of the Black One

?It was exactly such laughter as he had heard bubble obscenely from the fat lips of salacious women of Shadizar, City of Wickedness, when captive girls were stripped naked on the public auction block.? ? The Scarlet Citadel

?Yet when he fell dead a spider, like the god at Yezud, only smaller, ran out of his fingers.?
? People of the Black Circle

L. Sprague de Camp made up the name Arenjun for the City of Thieves and invented that Shadizar is the capital city of Zamora.

?Conan came to Arenjun, the notorious "City of Thieves." -Conan the Indestructible

?Conan wandered westward to the capital of Zamora, Shadizar the Wicked.? - Conan the Indestructible


I brought up the fact that "Zamora" appears to be the name of the Zamorian city in TTotE a couple years back. Glad to see your independent scholarship led you to the same conclusion. B) IMO, Zamora was the capital of ZamoraConan faces diabolism of the East from the Rakhsha Khemsa.

?Khemsa?s sorcery was based on hypnotism, as is the case with most Eastern magic. The way has been prepared for the hypnotist for untold centuries of generations who have lived and died in the firm conviction of the reality and power of hypnotism, building up, by mass thought and practice, a colossal though intangible atmosphere against which the individual, steeped in the traditions of the land, finds himself helpless.
But Conan was not a son of the East. Its traditions were meaningless to him; he was the product of an utterly alien atmosphere. Hypnotism was not even a myth in Cimmeria. The heritage that prepared a native of the East for submission to the mesmerist was not his.
He was aware of what Khemsa was trying to do to him; but felt the impact of the man?s uncannypwer only as a vague impulsion, a tugging and pulling that he could shake off as a man shakes spider webs from his garments.
Aware of hostility and black magic, he ripped out his long knife and lunged, as quick on his feet as a mountain lion.?
? People of the Black Circle

Conan reacts much differently this time as compared to when he faced Baal-pteor.

??Mesmerism!? muttered Conan, crouching and digging his toes hard against the marble. His eyes blazed. This brown dog was playing with him, making sport of him! But this mummery, this child?s play of mists and shadows of thought, it could not harm him. He had but to leap and strike the brown acolyte would be a mangled corpse under his heel. This time he would not be fooled by shadows of illusion but he was.? ? The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

In The Man-Eaters of Zamboula I think the sphere that the Kosalan threw at Conan contained some lotus dust (mists) and Conan was hallucinating not really being hypnotized like Khemsa was unable to do to him in People of the Black Circle. Even though hypnotism doesn?t work on the Cimmerian the Master of Yimsha has other magic that differs from it and does partially work.

?Conan halted in mid-stride, compelled against his will. He had encountered a force differing subtly from Khemsa?s mesmerism, and he could not advance, though he felt it in his power to retreat if he wished.? ? People of the Black Circle

Whether Conan succeeds with the tribes is not known but is doubtful, with only 350 Afghuli warriors backing him and the rest hating him as only a hillman can hate, and the Wazuli reared up against him and the Galzai thinking he raped one of their women. It is plain that he cannot go back to Vendhya as the Devi mentions she will protect her borders before hillmen come to Ayodhya. Possibly he returns to the steppes to ride with the Kozaki again for awhile like he planned if things didn?t work out.

Afghulistan to the Himelians, down to Vendhya and back to the Zhaibar pass, up to Yimsha mountain of the Black Seers


More cool stuff. While I might quibble about specific points, you're definitely doing some great work here, Amra. B)

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#85 johnnypt

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:54 PM

More cool stuff. While I might quibble about specific points, you're definitely doing some great work here, Amra. B)


Here here! While going back and looking at all these points to try to position the stories, it's struck me how Miller and Clark really weren't that far off considering strictly what they had to work with. The only one that "needs" to be moved is Slithering Shadow to before Devil In Iron. Otherwise you could make a case for Black Colossus before Queen but it isn't a necessity. It's when all those other pieces have to be fit in that the positioning of nearly every story has to be reconsidered. Dale made an excellent point about if Black Stranger had been available (say in Weird Tales August-October 1935), the latter part of the chronology may have looked different. But you also have to think about that to Howard BS may have already "become" Swords of the Red Brotherhood, therefore when he did Red Nails, that shipwreck Conan speaks about in each story was in essence the same ship. So when placing RN the first time around, it's obvious "Oh it goes after Pool of the Black One". You bring BS back into the picture, are we dealing with one shipwreck or two? Amra's made the case for one, Dale made the case for two. Similarly, Beyond the Black River makes perfect sense right before Conan becomes king from what was originally published-"He's in Aquilonia and part of the army, so..." But with BS being a definite sequel and the Wolves material making it clear it's quite some time between BTBR and the coup, are there stories in that period or not? I haven't had a chance to see Simon's timeline, I'd like to know what he had different from Dale's. I still think the MC one should be used as a framework as much as possible unless a placement becomes totally untenable with the added material, but it doesn't hurt to radically rethink things to see why something should be moved, or why it shouldn't.

#86 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:38 PM

More cool stuff. While I might quibble about specific points, you're definitely doing some great work here, Amra. B)


Thanks Deuce, Taranaich, johnnypt, grim cimmerian, Richard, Axerules, elegos7, Kortoso, and Ironhand for the input and praise. I want people to quibble about points because it forces me to defend my position and could potentially point out errors or alternate points of view that I have missed. I think it brings out the best type of thinking to help sort this out.

Here here! While going back and looking at all these points to try to position the stories, it's struck me how Miller and Clark really weren't that far off considering strictly what they had to work with.


My time-line agrees with the Miller-Clark outline from Beyond the Black River, through The Hour of the Dragon. As a whole my time line differs only in the placement of four stories.

But you also have to think about that to Howard BS may have already "become" Swords of the Red Brotherhood, therefore when he did Red Nails, that shipwreck Conan speaks about in each story was in essence the same ship. So when placing RN the first time around, it's obvious "Oh it goes after Pool of the Black One". You bring BS back into the picture, are we dealing with one shipwreck or two? Amra's made the case for one, Dale made the case for two.


Well Dale is saying two shipwrecks: The Wastrel on a reef, and The Red Hand by Zingarans with a bit of filler fiction pastiche.

"This tale also relates how Conan’s voyage on The Wastrel ended three years previously; shipwrecked on a reef." - Rippke in The Dark Storm Conan Chronology

"Conan resumes his piratical career with a vengeance, much to the dismay of the Zingarans. They commission several warships to hunt the Cimmerian down and put an end to his depredations. The Zingarans come across the burning port-town of Valadelad and discover that the Red Hand was responsible. Heading southward, they sight the Barachan carrack and give pursuit. Conan attempts to evade the Zingaran squadron and leads them on an exhausting chase. They finally catch him off the coast of Shem, and after a short, sharp battle, sink the Red Hand." - Rippke in The Dark Storm Conan Chronology

I am also saying two ships sunk, just different ships: The Wastrel sunk by Zingarans, and an unnamed ship from when Conan resumes piracy with Valeria at the end of Red Nails by an unknown cause but seen on a reefy coast (possibly the reef itself that sunk it as Dale thinks).

"The Zingarans sank my last ship off the Shemite shore – that’s why I joined Zarallo’s Free Companions.” – Red Nails

“’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 Stranger

There are actually many more than just the two shipwrecks we are talking about.

“’You know I’ve commanded bigger ships and more men than you ever did in your life. As for being penniless – what rover isn’t most of the time? I’ve squandered enough gold in the sea-ports of the world to fill a galleon. You know that, too.’
‘Where are the fine ships and the bold lads you commanded, now?’ she sneered.
At the bottom of the sea, mostly,’ he replied cheerfully. ‘The Zingarans sank my last ship off the Shemite shore – that’s why I joined Zarallo’s Free Companions.'”
– Red Nails

This then is how I postulate Conan’s career of piracy:

1. Chief of the Black Corsairs in Queen of the Black Coast aboard the Tigress on the western ocean. Ends with the Tigress burned.
2. Pirate Captain of The Red Brotherhood sailing the Vilayet Sea in a Hyrkanian galley, in Iron Shadows in the Moon and the period after. Ends with the joining of the pirates and the Kozaki to harass the Turanians.
3. Barachan Pirate prior to the events of The Servants of Bit-Yakin.
4. Barachan Pirate after his trip to Punt and at the beginning of The Pool of the Black One. Ends with Conan leaving Tortage by night in a leaky boat.
5. Zingaran Buccaneer Captain aboard the Wastrel in the western ocean, after the events of The Pool of the Black One. Ends with the Wastrel sunk by Zingarans.
6. Barachan Pirate Captain after the events of Red Nails. Ends with the sinking of his ship off a reefy coast.
7. Barachan Pirate Captain on the Red Hand sailing the western ocean, after the events of The Black Stranger. Ends with Conan becoming a mercenary general for the Aquilonians.
8. Brief return to the life of piracy as the Chief of the Black Corsairs on board the Argossean galley the Venturer on the western ocean, during The Hour of the Dragon. Ends to resume his mission to regain his kingdom.


Thanks for this approximate timeline, I really appreciate your effort.
I think all of us are a bit accustomed to the ages given by Miller/Clark. Not even Rippke or Sanahujas proposed that stories like "Red Nails" or "Servents" took place before Conan was about 30.
It is a drastic upheaval of the timeline, but I certainly like your approach.


Elegos7 if you use two calculators and record the years starting at 17 in The Tower of the Elephant; add two years every time I mention years. On the second calculator add months starting at 0; add two months ever time I say months, also add one month every time I say weeks or days then take the total months and divide by twelve and add the years to the first tally. If I say either months or years always take the longer period and add years. You will see there is time starting at 17 before reaching about 40 years old. There is lots of wiggle room if one tale were several months and one tale is just one night and a day etc, and even time to travel and do other things not mentioned in the tales like more trips home to Cimmeria. For fun add up and total each section (be sure to start at the total of each section at the beginning of the next section) and you will be surprised how close it is to the surmised ages for each section, I was.

Young Man Age 17 years old (assuming he is exactly 17 upon entering Zamora)

The Tower of the Elephant Months (17 years and 2 months daring thief)

Young Man unknown ages, surmised ages between 17 and 25 years old

The Nestor Synopsis months (17 years and 4 months notorious thief)
Rogues in the House months (17 years and 6 months notorious thief, assassin) trip home to Cimmeria (17 years and 8 months)
The Yaralet Fragment months to years (19 years and 8 months mercenary)
Black Colossus months (19 years and 10 months mercenary)
A Witch Shall be Born months (20 years mercenary), months to years (22 years Zuagir)
The Man-Eaters of Zamboula days (22 years and 1 month adventurer, assassin), time to travel to Ophir (22 years and 3 months)
Queen of the Black Coast months (22 years and 5 months unemployed mercenary), years (24 years and 5 months corsair)
The Shumballa Typescripts days to weeks (24 years and 6 months mercenary)

Adult unknown ages, surmised ages between 25 and 31 years old

Xuthal of the Dusk weeks (24 years and 7 months mercenary)
Iron Shadows in the Moon months (24 years and 9 months mercenary), months to years (26 years and 9 months pirate, kozak)
The Devil in Iron months to years (28 years and 9 months kozak)
People of the Black Circle months to years (30 years and 9 months hillman chief)
The Tombalku Typescripts weeks (30 years and 10 months mercenary against Stygia), months (31 years mercenary in Tombalku)
The Vale of Lost Women months (31 years and 2 months war-chief)
Barachan Pirate weeks (31 years and 3 months pirate)
The Servants of Bit-Yakin months (31 years and 5 months mercenary, adventurer)
Barachan Pirate months (31 years and 7 months pirate)
The Pool of the Black One months (31 years and 9 months pirate)
Red Nails weeks (31 years and 10 months mercenary), weeks (31 years and 11 months travel), days (32 years story), weeks (32 years and 2 months travel), Adult surmised ages between 29-31 years old when Conan's ship is sunk, months to years (34 years and 2 months pirate plus travel)

Adult surmised ages between 32-34 years old

Beyond the Black River weeks (34 years and 3 months travel), months to years (36 years and 3 months mercenary)

Adult unknown ages, surmised ages between 32-40 years old

The Black Stranger months (36 years and 5 months mercenary), weeks (36 years and 6 months travel)(making the three years prior when Conan's ship was seen on the reefy coast 33 years and 3 months much closer to the end of his pirate days with Valeria), months to years (38 years and 6 months pirate), months to years (40 years and 6 months mercenary general, then king)(making Gault's age at this time closer to 14 years 3 months if Conan's time as a mercenary in Beyond the Black River is years, 16 years and 3 months if Conan's time as a mercenary is only months, a bit young but maybe already considered a young man on the frontier, it never says Gault's age in Wolves, and Conan as a comparison was certainly formidable by 17 years old, plus there is plenty of wiggle room from other stories give or take a month or year here or there and Gault could be over 18 years old by the time of Wolves).

Keeping in mind we always added the higher number turning days into a month, weeks into a month, months into at least 2 months, and years into at least 2 years.

Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts months to years of civil war (previously calculated in above in his time as a mercenary general)

Adult about 40 years old

Conan becomes king

Some of the stories only took a day or two, others may have taken longer but it probably rounds out pretty closely.

Remember that these ages are all approximations, guesses, speculation, assumption, and based on little if any facts from the stories; used just as an exercise and in no way put forth by me as an official estimation of Conan's age during any of the stories, except as noted by Howard i.e 17 years old in The Tower of the Elephant, 40 becomes king, 44-45 in The Hour of the Dragon, or in the story itself i.e. age at Venarium given in Beyond the Black River.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 30 December 2010 - 05:04 PM.

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


#87 deuce

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:57 PM

Based on Howards map, west of Zamora is Corinthia but he has another adventure prior to leaving the country.

Non-Howardian titles are in parenthesis for comparison to the other timelines.

Untitled Synopsis a.k.a. The Nestor Synopsis
(The Hall of the Dead)

The Nestor Synopsis was an unfinished and abandoned story synopsis by Howard, it was not published in his lifetime.

Conan has infuriated the government of a Zamorian city as a thief and is being pursued into the mountains by Zamorian soldiers led by a Gunderman mercenary.

Conan escapes in an unknown direction but likely would not have stayed in the city much longer with so much heat being drawn from the authorities. He may have traveled to other Zamorian cities before leaving for Corinthia.

"That fellow Yar Afzal beat and sent away ? he moved like a man walking in his sleep. I?ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and the victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.
And then I saw what the fellow had in his hand, which Yar Afzal picked up. It was like a big black jade bead, such as the temple girls of Yezud wear when they dance before the black stone spider which is their god. Yar Afzal held it in his hand, and he didn?t pick up anything else. Yet when he fell dead a spider, like the god at Yezud, only smaller, ran out of his fingers.?
? People of the Black Circle

?He had roamed the cities of Zamora, and known the women of Shadizar the Wicked.? ?The Pool of the Black One

?It was exactly such laughter as he had heard bubble obscenely from the fat lips of salacious women of Shadizar, City of Wickedness, when captive girls were stripped naked on the public auction block.? ? The Scarlet Citadel


Those two references have always made me wonder just how long the Cimmerian was in the kingdom (as opposed to city of) Zamora. While one could argue that Conan spent a day in each, Zamora is a good-sized country (by pre-modern standards). I agree with Rippke's placement of the three major Zamorian cities, so travel betwixt them would involve some time. It definitely seems that Conan spent a fair amount of time in Yezud, IMO.

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#88 deuce

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 01:06 AM


I'm not trying to lump together the south/east references. "Kush" and "Kushites" are used as omnibus terms for "the black kingdoms" and "blacks" more than once in the REH Conan materials. Those kingdoms were by no means "unknown". Conan referred to the "kingdoms of Kush". A plural reference encompassing all of the black realms. The fact that there was a "brown race" inhabiting parts of the Kushite lands at one time is attested in several Conan stories. There is also the homeland of the hominid Servants of Bit-Yakin somewhere to the south (more than likely) of the Kushite lands.


I agree that Kush is used as a general term for many black kingdoms. But by unknown I think he means to the Hyborian nations as a whole, hence the reference of Kush as the name for all.


As I've said (and your quote below demonstrates), the Kushite kingdoms were NOT unknown to the Hyborians.

"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. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact - Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them." - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller


Kush was simply the first black kingdom Hyborians were acquainted with, not the only one.There were black slaves in Koth and Nemedia. There are at least two instances where Hyborian armies penetrated within striking distance of the Kushite lands. Shemites had extensive knowledge of the black kingdoms and some of their knowledge (as opposed to data obtained directly by Hyborians) would also be passed along. "Kushite" was simply an omnibus term. Medieval Muslims called all Europeans "Franks/Ferengi", despite the fact that they knew quite well of Italy, Spain, Hungary, etc. In REH's own words, the black kingdoms of Kush (which term encompasses all of the black kingdoms; Howard never gave any indication otherwise) were known to Hyborians in general.

The passage in question doesn't make grammatical sense with the above facts taken into account; not the way you seem to interpret it.. If there were simply more black kingdoms south of Kush which were unknown to Hyborians, then it would make more sense to say "unknown black kingdoms south of Kush". The way that passage is constructed has "unknown countries" which lie "south of the black kingdoms of Kush". Conan isn't referring to the single kingdom of Kush, he's referring to all the lands of the "Kushites" who inhabit "Kush", "Kush" being every single realm ruled by blacks.

"Kush", in the sense used by Conan (and in the REH quote you supplied above) IS all of the black realms. If there were "unknown black kingdoms", they'd STILL be part of the "black kingdoms of Kush" because that is what "Kush" is, in the broad sense Howard outlined above. If a place is ruled by blacks, then it is "Kushite" in the mind of a Hyborian, so Conan would have no need to voice that passage in that fashion. Therefore, the "unknown countries" must be inhabited by peoples other than blacks.

BTW, I have no problem with your placement of "Servants" or with your theory about when Conan was in Keshan and Punt. However, I simply can't see how the passage in question backs up that particular bit of speculation.



But as I pointed out in my reply to Taranaich most of those brown raced people if not all of those brown raced people are now mixed with black. I did not think of the hominid Servants of Bit-Yakin but doubt that Conan was referencing them as a people or countries of them when he made the comment. If he was referring to Alkmeenon he more likely would have been thinking of the human inhabitants the Keshani.

"I've seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. 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


Honestly, I regret derailing your thread with this. While there is a thread on Stygia, there isn't one for the lands south of Lake Zuad. This would be better discussed in such a venue, so I'll try to be brief...

The "brown race" referred to in TVoLW and RN doesn't seem to have been extirpated all that long ago. There is also the dragon-cave referred in "Servants" which seems to predate the rest of Alkmeenon (I believe the latter part of Alkmeenon was built by early Hyborians). Nakari in "Moon of Skulls" sat upon a dragon throne. There are also the lighter-skinned, straighter-featured Corsairs in THotD. Their homeland lay to the south.

According to "MoS" the empire of Negari seems to have stayed largely intact for a very long time. The final contraction doesn't appear to have come about until post-Hyborian times. Rule didn't pass from the brown Negarians to their black subjects until the Christian era. Interestingly, Dale Rippke places Atlaia (which I see as a black breakaway nation from Negari) just east of where REH seems to have situated the city of Negari. Rippke and I independently located Atlaia in the same place.

There's no compelling reason to argue against a brown race surviving somewhere south of Xuchotl. "MoS" argues for it. Howard and HPL both believed there was such a race which predated the black peoples (and the KhoiSan) in southern Africa. They discussed it in their correspondence. It is generally believed now that blacks/Negroids didn't penetrate into the southern third of Africa until the Christian era. So, having a non-black population in that region during the Hyborian era violates neither REH's beliefs or current scientific knowledge.

How cool would it be to read about a Conanic run-in with the tyrannical Negarians? :D

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#89 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 03:14 AM

“’I knew you hadn’t spent your life on this frontier. You’ve mentioned several far places. You’ve traveled widely?’
‘I’ve roamed far; farther than any other man of my race ever wandered. I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet. I’ve been a mercenary captain, a corsair, a kozak, a penniless vagabond, a general – hell, I’ve been everything except a king, and I may be that, before I die.’ The fancy pleased him, and he grinned hardly. Then he shrugged his shoulders and stretched his mighty figure on the rocks. ‘This is as good life as any. I don’t know how long I’ll stay on the frontier; a week, a month, a year. I have a roving foot. But it’s as well on the border as anywhere.’”
– Beyond the Black River

Conan is stating that he has been in all the great cities of the Hyborians. It would be interesting to know what is considered a great city and if some Hyborian nations like The Border Kingdom have any. By this time in his life he has been to Hyperborea, Brythunia, Nemedia, Zamora, Corinthia, Ophir, Aquilonia, Zingara, Argos, Koth, Khoraja, and Khauran of the Hyborian kingdoms. He has been in the land of Shem, and also among the Stygians in the ancient realm of Stygia. By this statement it seems he has also been in Hyrkania possibly as a Kozak, but had definitely seen some of the Hyrkanian’s great cities in the empire of Turan in addition to those he might have seen east of the Sea of Vilayet. Conan states he has been in the unknown countries south of Kush, possibly meaning unknown to Hyborians, having traveled to Keshan and Punt. He has been in the Himelias and Vendhya.


To me it seems like Howard is plugging previous Conan yarns in this passage, referencing previously published Conan stories for fans of the series in Weird Tales.


Published in Weird Tales

The first two are King Conan stories and would be chronologically after Conan makes the statement, but still a wink and sly reference for the fans, as Conan grins hardly and so do the fans knowing it will be so.

1. The Phoenix on the Sword (Dec 1932) – hell, I’ve been everything except a king, and I may be that, before I die.
2. The Scarlet Citadel (Jan 1933) – hell, I’ve been everything except a king, and I may be that, before I die.

Conan proceeds to list professions he has been, and and places been to:

3. The Tower of the Elephant (Mar 1933) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians. I’ve been a penniless vagabond.
4. Black Colossus (Jun 1933) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians. I’ve been a mercenary captain, (and) a general.
5. The Slithering Shadow (Sep 1933) Xuthal of the Dusk I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, (and) the Stygians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush.
6. The Pool of the Black One (Oct 1933) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians.
7. Rogues in the House (Jan 1934) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians. I’ve been a penniless vagabond.
8. Shadows in the Moonlight (Apr 1934) Iron Shadows in the Moon I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, and the Hyrkanians. I've been a kozak.
9. Queen of the Black Coast (May 1934) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, (and) the Stygians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush. I've been a corsair.
10. The Devil in Iron (Aug 1934) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyrkanians. I've been a kozak.
11. The People of the Black Circle (Sep/Oct/Nov 1934) I’ve roamed in the unknown countries east of the Sea of Vilayet.
12. A Witch Shall be Born (Dec 1934) I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, and the Hyrkanians. I’ve been a mercenary captain.
13. Jewels of Gwahlur (Mar 1935) The Servants of Bit-Yakin I’ve seen all the great cities of the Shemites, (and) the Stygians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush. I've been a general.
14. Beyond the Black River (May/Jun 1935) It’s as well on the border as anywhere. I’ve been a mercenary captain.

These stories were published after so naturally are not included in the reference:

15. Shadows in Zamboula (Nov 1935) The Man-Eaters of Zamboula
16. The Hour of the Dragon (Dec 35/Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 1936)
17. Red Nails (Jul/Aug/Sep 1936)

As I've said (and your quote below demonstrates), the Kushite kingdoms were NOT unknown to the Hyborians.


In REH's own words, the black kingdoms of Kush (which term encompasses all of the black kingdoms; Howard never gave any indication otherwise) were known to Hyborians in general.

The passage in question doesn't make grammatical sense with the above facts taken into account; not the way you seem to interpret it. If there were simply more black kingdoms south of Kush which were unknown to Hyborians, then it would make more sense to say "unknown black kingdoms south of Kush". The way that passage is constructed has "unknown countries" which lie "south of the black kingdoms of Kush". Conan isn't referring to the single kingdom of Kush, he's referring to all the lands of the "Kushites" who inhabit "Kush", "Kush" being every single realm ruled by blacks.

"Kush", in the sense used by Conan (and in the REH quote you supplied above) IS all of the black realms. If there were "unknown black kingdoms", they'd STILL be part of the "black kingdoms of Kush" because that is what "Kush" is, in the broad sense Howard outlined above. If a place is ruled by blacks, then it is "Kushite" in the mind of a Hyborian, so Conan would have no need to voice that passage in that fashion. Therefore, the "unknown countries" must be inhabited by peoples other than blacks.


"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

I view this sentence this way, with two geographic place names separated by a comma but sharing the action verb "roamed" and the descriptive adjective "unknown", with the conjunction "and" serving as a connector between the common clause "I've roamed in these countries:

I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush.(and) I've roamed in the unknown countries east of the Sea of Vilayet.

The argument as to whether the countries south of Kush are known or unknown is the same argument as the countries east of the Vilayet, some know them, some only know of them, having never traveled there the lands themselves are unknown to them.

I agree the black kingdoms are known by some Hyborians, but not all, and to many the countries themselves would have been unknown (meaning they had never known them by traveling there) even if they had had contact trading with blacks in Stygia, Shem, or any of the Hyborian coastal cities, or seen black slaves (mentioned in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula) or mercenaries (they are mentioned in Black Colossus) anywhere in the mapped Hyborian world. On most maps mentioned the northern, eastern, and far southern regions are sparsely represented if at all.

The countries east of the Sea of Vilayet would likewise be unknown to many Hyborians in the sense that they probably never had traveled in that region, however there is ample evidence that they had traded with and seen persons from countries east of the Vilayet Sea. I think just as some Hyborians know of Kush they know of these eastern lands, but the geography itself may be unknown (hence poorly mapped) because very few had visited there. We know that Conan has been to Vendhya, the Zhaibar region of the Himelians, Afghulistan, and possibly Kosala.

"'I’ve looted enough from the Khitan caravans to know what I’m talking about,’ he asserted. ‘That’s jade!’” – Red Nails

We know Conan did not travel to Khitai until after The Hour of The Dragon as king, so he encountered these easterners somewhere else as did others in the Hyborian world i.e. the trading destinations of the caravans.

The reference to the unknown countries south of Kush could mean, the uncharted regions south of Kush which is usually described as deserts as in Xuthal of the Dusk, or thick jungle as in the region of the Zarkheba River in Queen of the Black Coast that Conan had traveled to using the word countries as synonymous with countrysides instead of established countries with borders and cities, with governments. I believe that since he is speaking to Balthus an Aquilonian from Tauran, he is probably guessing that the countries south of Kush (a Hyborian may be familiar with with Kush itself), and east of the Vilayet Sea would be unknown (not visited) to Balthus and describes them as such.

Merriam-Webster defines Country with the plural Countries as:

1 : an indefinite usually extended expanse of land: region <miles of open country>
2 :
a : the land of a person's birth, residence, or citizenship
b : a political state or nation or its territory
3 :
a : the people of a state or district : populace
b : jury
c : electorate
4 : rural as distinguished from urban areas <prefers the country to the city>
5 : country music

They also list Countryside as a synonym of Country.

I know of Europe and Asia and even what the Europeans and Asians are called and can correctly name and place several of the countries in those areas on a map. However I may in my ignorance lump several citizens of various former USSR countries together or Asian countrymen together not being able to distinguish those peoples by appearance into whatever Slavic, Baltic, Russian country etc, or not be able to distinguish a Philippino from a Malay, Thai from a Burmese person, a Laotian from a Cambodian or Vietnamese, a Nepalese from a Tibetan, or a Taiwanese from a Chinese citizen. To me Asia and Europe are unknown having no experience being there, however I have met people from there and know of them and their countries. I do know North America, Central America, and South America having been to countries in each (but still probably having some difficulty identifying a Uruguayan from a Paraguayan by appearance alone) and the regions where I have lived in the Americas both North and South I know more intimately and the places I have visited are not unknown to me but may be to someone who has never been there maybe only having met a traveling native of those lands. I think that is what is meant by unknown and Conan is speaking to someone he believes has not traveled to the same countries even if he has met a native from there, those lands being unknown to Balthus. I don't think unknown in this case means never heard of. I do think that knowing of someplace and actually knowing someplace are far different things the former being unknown in a practical sense.

I stick by my idea that he is referring to Keshia and Punt being nods to The Servants of Bit-Yakin that had been previously published. I do not discount the possibility of a brown non ne groid race south of Kush, but do not think he is referring to them and there is no mention of his traveling to a country of them, not to say it couldn't have happened just that it is not chronicled. It would be cool indeed if it was as more Conan stories by Howard would be awesome regardless of locality.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 31 December 2010 - 08:12 PM.

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


#90 grim cimmerian

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 06:06 AM

Hello Amra,

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.

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".
Conan's statement in "Beyond" that "I?ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush" does not necessarily mean he was in Keshan or Punt before that story. He obviously sailed south to Kush during his time with Belit.


In my own opinion I think that is exactly the case and most of the tales we have are before he was around 30. Amra has already gleaned all available facts in the stories themselves to support this claim and I will add historical context; nearly all of Conan's fighting would have occurred while he was at his physical prime between the ages of 20 and 30 because real world precedent supports that conclusion in spades. Nearly all of the fighting men in any historical or modern army are younger than 30 from the ancient Greeks and Romans to modern tactical units. Simply put they have greater stamina, strength, speed and foolhardiness to engage in combat while the older more seasoned men (that survive their perilous youth, the attrition rate of young soldiers is very great)become respected veterans,leaders and strategists. It is true some exceptional soldiers or professional athletes of great physical prowess continue to dominate well into their 40's, but in general any athletics comparable to combat or combat itself is a young man's "sport." Some men actually achieve their greatest physical strength after age 35 but by then are usually much more cautious; aware of their own mortality makes one wary of personal injury and consequences of one's own actions too much risk without great reward. It is the impetuousness and rashness of youth that allows older and wiser men to lead great armies of young men to war. From a logical stand point most of Conan's stories make the most sense at a young age when adventure, plunder and women are on the thoughts of young men and it is easy to see the internal change to maturity in Conan in the stories he becomes a better tactician and his adventure stories slow down as he seeks to "settle down" preferably with a crown upon his well experienced brow. Even so Howard gave us very few definite ages throughout Conan's career so even the most logical arguments can only be speculative opinions.
Strange how reckless youth are the most willing to risk death when they have the most "life" to lose where older men with less time to miss out on are so careful with the time they have left.
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#91 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:31 PM

The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan has seized the crown of Aquilonia, and in this first tale as King, Conan must face an assassination plot and a fiendish goblin, an eldritch horror summoned by a vengeful sorcerer.

The Phoenix on the Sword was written in March 1932 - The Surviving Conan Typescripts - Patrice Louinet, Glenn Lord and Ed Waterman

The Phoenix on the Sword was first published in Weird Tales in December 1932. This is the first Conan story ever published and the character’s debut to the public.

“Around May of 1929, Howard wrote two drafts of a Kull story entitled By This Axe I Rule! The story was submitted to – and rejected by - Argosy and Adventure. Nearly three years later, in March 1932, Howard salvaged this story from the unpublished files and rewrote it as The Phoenix on the Sword. It is impossible to ascertain exactly what was modified between the last draft of the Kull story and the first draft of the Conan one, since the final draft of By This Axe I Rule! Has not come to us (the published text is that of the first – and only extant – draft). At any rate the physical description of Kull was carried over to Conan, with the notable exception of the color of his eyes: grey for the Atlantean, blue for the Cimmerian. The Conan version of the story was aimed at a fantasy market while the Kull version had been intended for general fiction magazines.” – Patrice Louinet in Hyborian Genesis

Language:

Aquilonian, Bossonian

In The Phoenix on the Sword Conan is the king of Aquilonia and it is implied by the text he is speaking Aquilonian throughout the story. Conan mentions correspondence with the Bossonians seeking aid to protect the borders.

“I tell you, it’s not by chance that the Picts have of late so fiercely assailed the frontiers, so that the Bossonians have called for aid to beat them back. I should have ridden with the troops.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

Incidentally Phoenix also mentions that Conan is literate and has some ability in cartography.

"Behind an ivory, gold-inlaid writing-table sat a man whose broad shoulders and sun-browned skin seemed out of place among those luxuriant surroundings." –The Phoenix on the Sword

"Now he laid down the golden stylus with which he had been laboriously scrawling on waxed papyrus...." –The Phoenix on the Sword

"'What are you working at there?' 'A map,' Conan answered with pride. “The maps of the court show well the countries of the south, east and west, but in the north they are vague and faulty. I am adding the northern lands myself. Here is Cimmeria, where I was born.'" –The Phoenix on the Sword

Profession:

King of Aquilonia

Conan described in the story:

"Behind an ivory, gold-inlaid writing-table sat a man whose broad shoulders and sun-browned skin seemed out of place among those luxuriant surroundings. He seemed more a part of the sun and winds and high places of the outlands. His slightest movement spoke of steel-spring muscles knit to a keen brain with the co-ordination of a born fighting man. There was nothing deliberate or measured about his actions. Either he was perfectly at rest – still as a bronze statue – or else he was in motion, not with the jerky quickness of over-tense nerves, but with a cat-like speed that blurred the sight which tried to follow him.
His garments were of rich fabric, but simply made. He wore no ring or ornaments, and his square-cut black mane was confined merely by a cloth-of-silver band about his head.
Now he laid down the golden stylus with which he had been laboriously scrawling on waxed papyrus, rested his chin on his fist, and fixed his smoldering blue eyes enviously on the man who stood before him."
–The Phoenix on the Sword

Contrary to nearly all depictions of him including the best (in my opinion) from Frank Frazetta and Gary Gianni, Conan does not wear earrings, necklaces, or rings.

“He wore no ring or ornaments” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“Conan grinned savagely, involuntarily touching the scars on his dark face.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“They stopped short, Conan faced them, not a naked man roused mazed and unarmed out of deep sleep to be butchered like a sheep, but a barbarian wide-awake and at bay, partly armored, and with his long sword in his hand.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“- all held momentarily frozen by the sight of the blazing-eyed giant standing sword in hand in the middle of the candle-lighted chamber. In that instant Ascalante beheld, on a small table near the royal couch, the silver scepter and the slender gold circlet which was the crown of Aquilonia, and the sight maddened him with desire.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“’He is one to twenty and he has no helmet!’ True; there had been lack of time to don the heavy plumed casque, or to lace in place the side-plates of the cuirass, nor was there now time to sna tch the great shield from the wall. Still, Conan was better protected than any of his foes except Volmana and Gromel, who were in full armor.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“Conan leaped to the wall and tore therefrom an ancient battle-ax which, untouched by time, had hung there for half a century.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

Clues to placement:

“Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars – 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 the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. 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.” – The Nemedian Chronicles –The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan is a thief in The God in the Bowl, The Tower of the Elephant, and Rogues in the House.

Conan is a reaver in The Frost-Giant's Daughter as a member of an Æsir war band, Wulfhere’s Reavers.

A slayer could be a reference to Conan as an assassin in Rogues in the House and The Man-Eaters of Zamboula, or possibly as a mercenary in The Yarlet Fragment, Black Colossus, A Witch Shall Be Born, Queen of the Black Coast, Xuthal of the Dusk, Iron Shadows in the Moon, The Tombalku Typescripts, The Servants of Bit-Yakin, Red Nails, Beyond the Black River, The Black Stranger, and Wolves Beyond the Border.

“To finally trample on the thrones of the earth” Conan fighting against kings in various tales, restoring kingdoms to toppled rulers, and finally usurping the rule of the king and becoming a king himself.

“’The Nemedian Chronicles’ were only introduced into the story because Farnsworth Wright (the editor of Weird Tales) had asked Howard to rewrite and condense his first two chapters. The short extract’s function was to replace lengthy passages on, respectively, some countries of the Hyborian Age, and some character traits of the Cimmerian.” – Patrice Louinet in Hyborian Genesis

“In short I, working in the shadows, have paved the downfall of the king who sits throned in the sun.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

One of the coolest epithets for King Conan - The king who sits throned in the sun.

Shortly after Wolves Beyond the Border Conan leads armies in a civil war and usurps the rule of the Aquilonian King Numedides by strangling him and seizing the crown.

“Conan makes a bad mistake in letting men live who still boast descent from the old dynasty, from which he tore the crown of Aquilonia.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“He sees in Conan a red-handed, rough-footed barbarian who came out of the north to plunder a civilized land. He idealizes the king whom Conan killed to get the crown, remembering only that he occasionally patronized the arts, and forgetting the evils of this reign, and he is making the people forget. Already they openly sing The Lament for the King in which Rinaldo lauds the sainted villain and denounces Conan as ‘that black-hearted savages from the abyss.’ Conan laughs, but the people snarl.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“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.” – The Hour of the Dragon

“’When I overthrew the old dynasty,’ he continued, speaking with the easy familiarity which existed only between the Poitainian and himself, ‘it was easy enough, though it seemed bitter hard at the time. Looking back now over the wild path I followed, all those days of toil, intrigue, slaughter and tribulation seem like a dream.
I did not dram far enough, Prospero. When King Numedides lay dead at my feet and I tore the crown from his gory head and set it on my own, I had reached the ultimate border of my dreams. I had prepared myself to take the crown, not to hold it. In the old free days all I wanted was a sharp sword and a straight path to my enemies. Now no paths are straight and my sword is useless.
When I overthrew Numedides, then I was the Liberator – now they spit at my shadow. They have put a statue of that swine in the temple of Mitra, and people go and wail before it, hailing it as the holy effigy of a saintly monarch who was done to death by a red-handed barbarian. When I led her armies to victory as a mercenary, Aquilonia overlooked the fact that I was a foreigner, but now she can not forgive me."
–The Phoenix on the Sword

“What are you but an adventurer, seizing a crown to which you had no more claim than any other wandering barbarian?” – The Scarlet Citadel

“’I strangled him on his throne the night I took the royal city,’ answered Conan.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Conan is referring to his service as a general of the mercenary army for the Aquilonians prior to the civil war.

“When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.”

- The Road of Kings –The Phoenix on the Sword

“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 king.”

- The Road of Kings –The Phoenix on the Sword

“’Prospero,’ said the man at the table, ‘these matters of statecraft weary me as all the fighting I have done never did.’” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“’I wish I might ride with you to Nemedia,’ said Conan enviously. ‘It seems ages since I had a horse between my knees – but Publius says that affairs in the city require my presence. Curse him!’” –The Phoenix on the Sword

“The mercenaries are ours, and the Black Dragons, and every rogue in Poitain swears by you.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

A reference to loyalties gained as a general for the mercenary army and during the civil war.

"'What are you working at there?' 'A map,' Conan answered with pride. “The maps of the court show well the countries of the south, east and west, but in the north they are vague and faulty. I am adding the northern lands myself. Here is Cimmeria, where I was born. And -'
‘Asgard and Vanaheim,’ Prospero scanned the map. ‘By Mitra, I had almost believed those countries to have been fabulous.’
Conan grinned savagely, involuntarily toughing the scars on his dark face. ‘You had known otherwise, had you spent your youth on the northern frontiers of Cimmeria! Asgard lies to the north, and Vanaheim to the northwest of Cimmeria, and there is continual war along the borders.’"
–The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan is remembering the time he spent warring as a youth in Cimmeria against raiders and in Nordheim with the Æsir fighting the Vanir; gaining the scars on his face as a young warrior that he carried throughout his life.

“With an oath the Cimmerian heaved himself up on his feet, his blue eyes blazing, his dark scarred face contorted.” – The Frost-Giant’s Daughter

Conan is familiar with Nordheim and its frontiers because of his time with the Æsir as a youth.

“The western part of Vanaheim lies along the shores of the western sea, and east of Asgard is the country of the Hyperboreans, who are civilized and dwell in cities. East beyond their country are the deserts of the Hyrkanians.” – The Phoenix on the Sword Draft

“he spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

“’What manner of men are these northern folk?’ Asked Prospero. ‘Tall and fair and blue-eyed. Their god is Ymir, the frost-giant, and each tribe has its own king. They are wayward and fierce. They fight all day and drink ale and roar their wild songs all night.’
‘Then I think you are like them,’ laughed Prospero. ‘ You laugh greatly, drink deep and bellow good songs; though I never saw another Cimmerian who drank aught but water, or who ever laughed, or ever sang save to chant dismal dirges.’
‘Perhaps it’s the land they live in,’ answered the king. ‘A gloomier land never was – all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys.’”
“The ways of the Æsir were more to my liking.”
–The Phoenix on the Sword

“He was no defensive fighter; even in the teeth of overwhelming odds he always carried the war to the enemy.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

An example is his defeat and capture in A Witch Shall Be Born and The Scarlet Citadel:

“I never saw a man fight like Conan fought. He put his back to the courtyard wall and before they overpowered him the dead men were strewn in heaps thigh-deep around him. But at last they dragged him down, a hundred against one.” – A Witch Shall Be Born

“All that a man might do he had done with his five thousand cavalrymen against the thirty thousand knights, archers and spearmen of the conspirators.
Without bowmen or infantry, he had hurled his armored horsemen against the oncoming host, had seen the knights of his foes in their shining mail go down before his lances, had torn the opposing centre to bits, driving the riven ranks headlong before him, only to find himself caught in a vise as the untouched wings closed in. Stabonus’ Shemitish bowmen had wrought havoc among his knights, feathering them with shafts that found every crevice in their armor, shooting down the horses, the Kothian pikemen rushing in to spear the fallen riders. The mailed lancers of the routed center had re-formed, reinforced by the riders from the wings, and had charged again and again, sweeping the field by sheer weight of numbers.
The Aquilonians had not fled; they had died on the field, and of the five thousand knights who had followed Conan southward, not one left the field alive. And now the king himself stood at bay among the slashed bodies of his house-troops, his back against a heap of dead horses and men.”
– The Scarlet Citadel

“’By Badb, Morrigan, Macha and Nemain!’ he concluded wrathfully.” –The Phoenix on the Sword

Conan is swearing by his Cimmerian gods. Howard lists Cimmerian gods in Hyborian Names and Countries "Crom, Badb, Morrigan, Macha, Nemain, war-goddeses, Diancecht, Dagda" and another northern barbarian god the Nordheimr god "Ymir".

Conan triumphs and retains his kingdom.

Aquilonia

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 10 January 2011 - 05:22 PM.

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


#92 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:55 PM

The Scarlet Citadel

Betrayed by those he sought to aid, trapped and outnumbered the Aquilonian knights fought to the last. King Conan is captured and thrown in a pit of fiendish monstrosities and amorphic horrors. The sorcerer Pelias uses frightful magic to aid the King on a quest to regain his kingdom.

The Scarlet Citadel was written in April, May, and June of 1932 - The Surviving Conan Typescripts - Patrice Louinet, Glenn Lord and Ed Waterman

The Scarlet Citadel was first published in Weird Tales in January 1933.

Language:

Aquilonian, Ophirean, Kothic, Kushite

In The Scarlet Citadel the King speaks the Aquilonian learned in his youth as well as Ophirean. He rushes to aid his Ophirean ally who sent word that he needs aid against the Kothian armies.

"That day Conan, king of Aquilonia, had seen the pick of his chivalry cut to pieces, smashed and hammered to bits, and swept into eternity. With five thousand knights he had crossed the south-eastern border of Aquilonia and ridden into the grassy meadowlands of Ophir, to find his former ally, King Amalrus of Ophir, drawn up against him with the hosts of Strabonus, king of Koth. Too late he had seen the trap." -The Scarlet Citadel

"'I offer you life, Conan,' said Tsotha, a cruel mirth bubbling at the back of his voice. 'I give you death, wizard,' snarled the king..." - The Scarlet Citadel

"The black spoke in a sea-coast dialect, and Conan replied; he had learned the jargon while a corsair on the coasts of Kush." - The Scarlet Citadel

"'What year is this?' he asked, speaking Kothic. 'Today is the tenth day of the month Yuluk, of the year of the Gazelle,' answered Conan." The Scarlet Citadel

“’Long have I wished to meet you, Amra,’ the black gave Conan the name – Amra, the Lion – by which the Cimmerian had been known to the Kushites in his piratical days.” –The Scarlet Citadel

Profession:

Aquilonian King

Conan described in the story:


“The clangor of steel rose deafeningly; the black-mailed figure of the western king loomed among his swarming foes, dealing blows like a butcher wielding a great cleaver. Riderless horses raced down the field; about his iron-clad feet grew a ring of mangled corpses. His attackers drew back from his desperate savagery, panting and livid.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“Now he grinned bleakly as the kings reined back a safe distance from the grim iron-clad figure looming among the dead. Before the savage blue eyes blazing murderously from beneath the crested, dented helmet, the boldest shrank. Conan’s dark scarred face was darker yet with passion; his black armor was hacked to tatters and splashed with blood; his great sword red to the cross-piece. In this stress all veneer of civilization had faded; it was a barbarian who faced his conquerors.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“So now the kings kept their distance, and Strabonus called on his Shemitish archers to loose their arrows at his foe from a distance; his captains had fallen like ripe grain before the Cimmerian’s broadsword, and Strabonus, penurious of his knights as of his coins, was frothing with fury.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“He could not mistake the giant figure in black, gilt-worked armor on the great black stallion, riding beneath the billowing silken folds of the great banner.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Clues to placement:

“They trapped the Lion on Shamu’s plain;
They weighted his limbs with an iron chain;
They cried aloud in the trumpet-blast,
They cried, ‘The Lion is caged at last!’
Woe to the cities of river and plain
If ever the Lion stalks again!"

- Old Ballad – The Scarlet Citadel

“Conan was a Cimmerian by birth, one of those fierce moody hillmen who dwelt in their gloomy, cloudy land in the north. His saga, which led him to the throne of Aquilonia, was the basis of a whole cycle of hero-tales.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Even having been prisoner before by the Hyperboreans and having been crucified in A Witch Shall Be Born, King Conan has never had so much to lose as he is imprisoned in chains and his kingdom is tottering on the edge of dissolution.

“In all his life he had never known greater and more helpless wrath. In swift-moving scenes the pageant of his life passed fleetingly before his mental eye – a panorama wherein moved shadowy figures which were himself, in many guises and conditions – a skin-clad barbarian; a mercenary swordsman in horned helmet and scale-mail corselet; a corsair in a dragon-prowed galley that trailed a crimson wake of blood and pillage along southern coasts; a captain of hosts in burnished steel, on a rearing black charger; a king on a golden throne with the lion banner flowing above, and throngs of gay-hued couriers and ladies on their knees.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Conan mentions his youth “a skin-clad barbarian”.

"I saw myself in a pantherskin loin-clout, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts." - The Hour of the Dragon

Conan mentions his time as a mercenary shortly before Queen of the Black Coast, and as a corsair in the same tale.

“a mercenary swordsman in horned helmet and scale-mail corselet; a corsair in a dragon-prowed galley that trailed a crimson wake of blood and pillage along southern coasts” – The Scarlet Citadel

“He saw a tall powerfully built figure in a black scale-mail hauberk, burnished greaves and a blue-steel helmet from which jutted bull’s horns highly polished. From the mailed shoulders fell the scarlet cloak, blowing in the sea-wind. A broad shagreen belt with a golden buckle held the scabbard of the broadsword he bore. Under the horned helmet a square cut black mane contrasted with smoldering blue eyes.” -Queen of the Black Coast

"The Tigress ranged the sea, and the black villages shuddered. Tom-toms beat in the night, with a tale that she she-devil of the sea had found a mate, an iron man whose wrath was as that of a wounded lion. And the survivors of butchered Stygian ships named Bêlit with curse, and a white warrior with fierce blue eyes; so the Stygian princes remembered this man long and long, and their memory was a bitter tree which bore crimson fruit in the years to come."- Queen of the Black Coast

His time as a captain of hosts on a black charger is a bit more of an enigma.

A charger is a horse that has been trained for battle; a cavalry horse.

He was a captain and made commander of the armies in Black Colossus and is wearing burnished steel plate-armor. In that story it is implied he is riding a horse.

“Behind all came a camel in rich housings, led by a knight on a great war-horse, and surrounded by a clump of picked fighters from the royal house-troops." – Black Colossus

The knight however is probably Amalric, though Conan is said to be riding beside him.

“Conan was dragging him along to where Amalric sat his great war-horse.” – Black Colossus

"Conan the Cimmerian, restless in his plate-armor, stared at the bedecked camel with no great approval, and spoke to Amalric, who rode beside him, resplendent in chain-mail threaded with gold, golden breastplate and helmet with a flowing horsehair crest.” – Black Colossus

“a captain of hosts in burnished steel, on a rearing black charger” – The Scarlet Citadel

“At her command they brought harness to replace Conan’s chain-mail – gorget, sollerets, cuirass, pauldrons, jambes, cuisses, and sallet. When Yasmela again drew the curtains, a Conan in burnished steel stood before his audience. Clad in plate-armor, vizor lifted and dark face shadowed by the black plumes that nodded above his helmet, there was a grim impressiveness about him that even Thespides grudgingly noted.” – Black Colossus

However in the battle he is first on foot then on a hill steed, a half-wild Shemite horse.

“Conan, who had been watching the rolling mist with growing nervousness, bent suddenly and laid his ear to the earth.” – Black Colossus

“Down in the valley the knights had mounted, and now Count Thespides galloped up the slope to where Conan stood. He did not deign to dismount but spoke abruptly from the saddle.” –Black Colossus

“Conan stood among the spearmen.” – Black Colossus

When he finally mounts in the battle it is not on a black charger.

“’This day you become knights!’ he laughed fiercely, pointing with his dripping sword toward the hillmen horses, herded near by. ‘Mount and follow me to hell!’” – Black Colossus

“The hill steeds reared wildly under the unfamiliar clash of the Kothic armor, and Conan’s gust laugh rose above the din as he led them to where the eastern ridge branched away from the plateau. Five hundred footmen – pauper patricians, younger sons, black sheep – on half-wild Shemite horses, charging an army, down a slope where no cavalry had ever dared charge before!” – Black Colossus

At the beginning of Queen of the Black Coast he is no longer in a full suit of burnished steel plate-armor but is riding a black horse. He does have a blue-steel helmet and burnished greaves but is no longer a mercenary captain but unemployed.

“The folk that yelled and scattered had only a fleeting glimpse of a mailed figure on a black stallion, a wide scarlet cloak flowing out on the wind.” -Queen of the Black Coast

“He saw a tall powerfully built figure in a black scale-mail hauberk, burnished greaves and a blue-steel helmet from which jutted bull’s horns highly polished. From the mailed shoulders fell the scarlet cloak, blowing in the sea-wind. A broad shagreen belt with a golden buckle held the scabbard of the broadsword he bore. Under the horned helmet a square cut black mane contrasted with smoldering blue eyes.” -Queen of the Black Coast

In The Shumballa Typescripts Conan is wearing some of the same accoutrements and is riding a powerful steed of an unknown color (we know not of where it came either); later in the tale he becomes a captain of the royal guard.

“Blows aimed at her in the press were blocked or diverted by the mass; and then there came a shock under which the whole throng staggered as a horsemen on a powerful steed crashed full into the press.” –The Shumballa Draft

“Men went down screaming to be crushed under the flailing hoofs; Tananda got a dizzy glimpse of a figure towering above the press, of a dark scarred face under a steel helmet, of a scarlet cloak unfurled from mighty mailed shoulders, and a great sword lashing up and down, spattering crimson splashes.” –The Shumballa Draft

In A Witch Shall Be Born he is a captain of the guard and comes in riding with the Zuagir wearing black mail not burnished steel.

"With them rode fifty black-bearded desert-riders, and at their head a giant figure in black mail." - A Witch Shall be Born

"He was clad in black mesh-mail, and the only glitter about him was the broad gold buckle of the belt which supported his sword in its leather scabbard.” – A Witch Shall Be Born

In The Man-Eaters of Zamboula he is no longer a captain and has sold everything but his sword including his horse, but buys another, a bay stallion (reddish brown) at the end.

“’I have no goods,’ growled the Cimmerian, touching the shagreen-bound hilt of the broadsword that hung at his hip. ‘I have even sold my horse.’” – The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

“’A horse,’ demanded Conan. ‘The swiftest steed you have.’” – The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

“Presently on a bay stallion, Conan was riding toward the house of Aram Baksh.” –The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

Conan is a mercenary in several other tales but it is not mentioned what his rank is or if he had a black charger. By Wolves Beyond the Border he is a mercenary general and no longer a captain, and his horse is never mentioned. The only black horse mentioned prior to his kingship is at the beginning of Queen of the Black Coast. He was previously a captain of hosts and after selling the star of Khorala was able to buy new equipment and arms presumably a better horse suited to war (charger) than the fast horse he had purchased to outdistance any pursuers. Newly armored with more money than just a bag full of gold he sets out to sell his sword as a mercenary ending up in Argos not finding wars to employ him.

"'So you could steal from him the only thing he would never give you - the ring with the jewel men call the Star of Khorala - the star stolen from the queen of Ophir, who would pay a roomful of gold for its return.'" – The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

“The compact bag of gold pieces clinked gently at his saddle bow, like a promise of the greater riches to come.
'I wonder what she'd say if she knew I recognized her as Nafertari and him as Jungir Khan the instant I saw them,' he mused. ‘I knew the Star of Khorala, too. There'll be a fine scene if she ever guesses that I slipped it off his finger while I was tying him with his sword-belt. But they'll never catch me with the start I'm getting.'"
- The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

“’We will give you arms and horse, and five thousand golden lunas, and escort you to the eastern frontier.’
‘Setting me adrift where I was when I rode into Aquilonia to take service in her armies, except with the added burden of a traitor’s name!’ Conan’s laugh was like the deep short bark of a timber wolf.”
– The Scarlet Citadel

The eastern frontier of Koth is Turan. Just where he was (Turan) and as he was (a sword, a bag of gold, and a horse) when he rode northwestward from Turan to Ophir to sell the Star of Khorala after The Man-Eaters of Zamboula and came to the eastern borders of Aquilonia; purchasing new arms and equipment along the way. Possibly serving Aquilonia much earlier as a mercenary (possibly attaining a position of captain with a black charger) but at the very least while in Aquilonia buying a great Aquilonian broadsword. Whether he found war in Aquilonia or not is unknown, he may have traveled home to Cimmeria but eventually ended up in Argos looking for employment at the start of Queen of the Black Coast.

References in the story to the time of the civil war during Wolves Beyond the Border when Conan becomes king:

“What are you but an adventurer, seizing a crown to which you had no more claim than any other wandering barbarian?” – The Scarlet Citadel

“I climbed out of the abyss of naked barbarism to the throne and in that climb I spilt my blood as freely as I spilt that of others.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“I found Aquilonia in the grip of a pig like you – one who traced his genealogy for a thousand years. The land was torn with the wars of the barons, and the people cried out under oppression and taxation. Today no Aquilonian noble dares maltreat the humblest of my subjects, and the taxes of the people are lighter than anywhere else in the world.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“’Conan, once of Cimmeria. Now king of Aquilonia.’ The other’s eyes showed surprize. ‘Indeed? And Namedides?’ ‘I strangled him on his throne the night I took the royal city,’ answered Conan.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Conan mentions an earlier adventure as king in The Phoenix on the Sword.

“Rumor said that the mad poet Rinaldo had visited these pits, and been shown horrors by the wizard, and that the nameless monstrosities of which he hinted in his awful poem, The Song of the Pit, were no mere fantasies of a disordered brain. That brain had crashed to dust beneath Conan’s battle-axe on the night the king had fought for his life with the assassins the mad rhymer had led into the betrayed palace, but the shuddersome words of that grisly song still rang in the king’s ears as he stood there in his chains.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“Rinaldo dropped with his skull shattered, and Conan reeled back against the wall, blood spurting from between the fingers which gripped his wound.” – The Phoenix on the Sword

“Even with the thought the Cimmerian was frozen by a soft rustling sound, blood-freezing in its implication. He tensed in an attitude of listening, painful in its intensity. An icy hand stroked his spine. It was the unmistakable sound of pliant scales slithering softly over stone.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Conan has slain serpents in Stygia with the Corsairs, in Kush with the Corsairs, and in Xapur in The Devil in Iron he would have heard one slithering on stone. Satha the Old One is by far the largest serpent that Conan had yet encountered.

“It was a snake that dwarfed all Conan’s previous ideas of snakes. Eighty feet it stretched from its pointed tail to its triangular head, which was bigger than that of a horse.” – The Scarlet Citadel

"Strong beyond the comprehension of civilized man, he had broken the neck of a python in a fiendish battle on the Stygian coast, in his corsair days." - The Scarlet Citadel

Conan is reminded of his time as a corsair in Queen of the Black Coast.

"The black spoke in a sea-coast dialect, and Conan replied; he had learned the jargon while a corsair on the coasts of Kush." - The Scarlet Citadel

“’Long have I wished to meet you, Amra,’ the black gave Conan the name – Amra, the Lion – by which the Cimmerian had been known to the Kushites in his piratical days.” –The Scarlet Citadel

“I know you from of old, since the days when I was a chief among a free people, before the Stygians took me and sold me into the north. Do you not remember the sack of Abombi, when your sea-wolves swarmed in? Before the palace of King Ajaga you slew a chief and a chief fled from you. It was my brother who died; it was I who fled. I demand of you a blood-price, Amra!” –The Scarlet Citadel

Conan references his time in Zamora as a thief.

“It was exactly such laughter as he had heard bubble obscenely from the fat lips of salacious women of Shadizar, City of Wickedness, when captive girls were stripped naked on the public auction block.” – The Scarlet Citadel

“’Because I learned long ago to avoid touching with my flesh that which I do not understand,’ answered the Cimmerian.” – The Scarlet Citadel

Possibly a reference to Thog, the Ancient, the god of Xuthal.

"It towered above him like a clinging black cloud. It seemed to flow about him almost liquid waves, to envelop and engulf him. His madly slashing saber sheared through it again and again, his ripping poniard tore and rent it; he was deluged with a slimy liquid that must have been its sluggish blood. Yet its fury was nowise abated.
He could not tell whether he was slashing off its members or whether he was cleaving its bulk, which knit behind the slicing blade. He was tossed to and fro in the violence of that awful battle, and had a dazed feeling that he was fighting not one, but an aggregation of lethal creatures. THe thing seemed to be biting, clawing, crushing and clubbing him all at the same time. He felt fangs and talons rend his flesh; flabby cables taht were yet hard as iron encircled his limbs and body, and worse than all, something like a whip of scorpions fell again and again across his shoulders, back and breast, tearing the skin and filling his veins with a poison that was like liquid fire."
- Xuthal of the Dusk

“Prince Arpello came before the distracted council and announced himself ready to take over the government of the city until a new king could be decided upon, Conan having no son.” – The Scarlet Citadel

"You have no heir to take the crown." – The Hour of the Dragon

“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." He had no male heir at that time, because he had never bothered to formally make some woman his queen, and the sons of concubines, of which he had a goodly number, were not recognized as heirs to the throne.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Aquilonia, Ophir, Koth

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 07 January 2011 - 09:21 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

 

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


#93 Taranaich

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:45 AM

Just one story left, and it's a doozy!

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!


#94 deuce

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:08 AM

Posted Image

Here is my attempt at a map. Revised


"I?ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet."


Conan is stating that he has been in all the great cities of the Hyborians. It would be interesting to know what is considered a great city and if some Hyborian nations like The Border Kingdom have any. By this time in his life he has been to Hyperborea, Brythunia, Nemedia, Zamora, Corinthia, Ophir, Aquilonia, Zingara, Argos, Koth, Khoraja, and Khauran of the Hyborian kingdoms. He has been in the land of Shem, and also among the Stygians in the ancient realm of Stygia. By this statement it seems he has also been in Hyrkania possibly as a Kozak, but had definitely seen some of the Hyrkanian?s great cities in the empire of Turan in addition to those he might have seen east of the Sea of Vilayet. Conan states he has been in the unknown countries south of Kush, possibly meaning unknown to Hyborians, having traveled to Keshan and Punt. He has been in the Himelias and Vendhya.


Why didn't Conan say to Balthus, "I've adventured in the unknown countries east of Nemedia and south of Ophir"?

--Deuce




The argument as to whether the countries south of Kush are known or unknown is the same argument as the countries east of the Vilayet, some know them, some only know of them, having never traveled there the lands themselves are unknown to them.

I agree the black kingdoms are known by some Hyborians, but not all, and to many the countries themselves would have been unknown (meaning they had never known them by traveling there) even if they had had contact trading with blacks in Stygia, Shem, or any of the Hyborian coastal cities, or seen black slaves (mentioned in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula) or mercenaries (they are mentioned in Black Colossus) anywhere in the mapped Hyborian world. On most maps mentioned the northern, eastern, and far southern regions are sparsely represented if at all.

The countries east of the Sea of Vilayet would likewise be unknown to many Hyborians in the sense that they probably never had traveled in that region, however there is ample evidence that they had traded with and seen persons from countries east of the Vilayet Sea. I think just as some Hyborians know of Kush they know of these eastern lands, but the geography itself may be unknown (hence poorly mapped) because very few had visited there. We know that Conan has been to Vendhya, the Zhaibar region of the Himelians, Afghulistan, and possibly Kosala.

.
.

Balthus had never been outside Aquilonia, by all indications. So, Ophir or Nemedia were JUST as "unknown". Basically, in your map, you've placed "black kingdoms" SOUTH of the actual "black kingdoms" Robert E. Howard described. Please try to justify their existence.




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#95 deuce

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:35 AM

IMO, it's possible that Conan went through Keshan and Punt at some point in his career, but there is NO WAY that the "unknown countries" refer to those kingdoms.

The rules of English grammar and REH's usage of "Kush" (as in, "the black kingdoms of Kush") basically deny the use of "Kush" as a singular kiingdom (in this instance). Show me where I'm wrong.

You've extended "Atlai" from sea to sea, and put the "Silver Isles" far eastward than likely.

THIS is exactly why I brought up "semantics" a week ago.

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#96 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:29 PM

IMO, it's possible that Conan went through Keshan and Punt at some point in his career, but there is NO WAY that the "unknown countries" refer to those kingdoms.

The rules of English grammar and REH's usage of "Kush" (as in, "the black kingdoms of Kush") basically deny the use of "Kush" as a singular kiingdom (in this instance). Show me where I'm wrong.

You've extended "Atlai" from sea to sea, and put the "Silver Isles" far eastward than likely.

THIS is exactly why I brought up "semantics" a week ago.


It's not only possible it is definite that Conan went through Keshan in The Servants of Bit-Yakin. I believe the text supports that he also went to Punt as well. There is no mention of him traveling to any unknown kingdoms of non-blacks anywhere in the REH Conan stories. Xuthal and Xuchotl are cities and do not count, all tribes that are mentioned that he has contact with that may have had some blood from an unknown brown-skinned race are also mixed with black blood with the exception of the women in The Vale of Lost Women and a few women in a valley hardly make a kingdom in my opinion. Any placement of Atlai (even the name is speculative) is subjective and there can be no arguments for or against it as there is simply no information at all available on the matter other than Howard listing it as one of the vast black kingdoms south of Stygia.

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Ironically I placed it on the map in that way to satisfy being one of the "vast" kingdoms and also for you so you could say your Atlaians were a breakaway nation from Negari; even though I think that Moon of Skulls which I re-read and think belongs to a separate continuum from the Conan stories because of the time line differences between when Atlantis was destroyed in the text and the Conan related Hyborian Age that Howard wrote.

The "brown race" referred to in TVoLW and RN doesn't seem to have been extirpated all that long ago. There is also the dragon-cave referred in "Servants" which seems to predate the rest of Alkmeenon (I believe the latter part of Alkmeenon was built by early Hyborians). Nakari in "Moon of Skulls" sat upon a dragon throne. There are also the lighter-skinned, straighter-featured Corsairs in THotD. Their homeland lay to the south.

According to "MoS" the empire of Negari seems to have stayed largely intact for a very long time. The final contraction doesn't appear to have come about until post-Hyborian times. Rule didn't pass from the brown Negarians to their black subjects until the Christian era. Interestingly, Dale Rippke places Atlaia (which I see as a black breakaway nation from Negari) just east of where REH seems to have situated the city of Negari. Rippke and I independently located Atlaia in the same place.


I am sorry that I disagree with Dale's and your placement of Atlaia but I don't see how you can argue placement at all based on this quote being the only known reference:

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

I pointed out English grammar already in this post.

"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

I view this sentence this way, with two geographic place names separated by a comma but sharing the action verb "roamed" and the descriptive adjective "unknown", with the conjunction "and" serving as a connector between the common clause "I've roamed in these countries:

I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush.(and) I've roamed in the unknown countries east of the Sea of Vilayet.


The reference to the unknown countries south of Kush could mean, the uncharted regions south of Kush which is usually described as deserts as in Xuthal of the Dusk, or thick jungle as in the region of the Zarkheba River in Queen of the Black Coast that Conan had traveled to using the word countries as synonymous with countrysides instead of established countries with borders and cities, with governments. I believe that since he is speaking to Balthus an Aquilonian from Tauran, he is probably guessing that the countries south of Kush (a Hyborian may be familiar with with Kush itself), and east of the Vilayet Sea would be unknown (not visited) to Balthus and describes them as such.

Merriam-Webster defines Country with the plural Countries as:

1 : an indefinite usually extended expanse of land: region <miles of open country>
2 :
a : the land of a person's birth, residence, or citizenship
b : a political state or nation or its territory
3 :
a : the people of a state or district : populace
b : jury
c : electorate
4 : rural as distinguished from urban areas <prefers the country to the city>
5 : country music

They also list Countryside as a synonym of Country.


"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. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact - Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them." - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

What is Howard really saying in this quote is not that a Hyborian refers to all the black countries as Kush as you would have us believe Howard means in the quote, "unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush"; he is saying literally or littoral-ly if you will :rolleyes: , the entire coastal region "the whole southern coast" i.e. the Black Coasts where Hyborians most likely have had contact through maritime trade. If you still think Kush refers to all black kingdoms you will need to place Darfar, Punt, and Keshan on the coasts because that is what Howard is referring to. Black persons on the other hand he is referring to a Hyborian calling all of them Kushites regardless of nationality in ignorance whether their country is situated on the coast or not. Also remember that Conan is not a Hyborian so who knows how he views or references any of the black kingdoms, but having been there he probably knows their proper names.

For all we know "the black kingdoms of Kush" could be Howard referencing Kush and the Kingdom of Keshan that it claims being a hinterland of Kush possessed by them making Kush the kingdoms of Kush.

“Keshan was a barbaric kingdom lying in the eastern hinterlands of Kush where the broad grass lands merge with the forests that roll up from the south.” - The Servants of Bit-Yakin

Hinterland –
1. Often, hinterlands. The remote or less developed parts of a country; back country
2. The land lying behind a coastal region.
3. An area or sphere of influence in the unoccupied interior claimed by the state possessing the coast.
4. An inland area supplying goods, esp. trade goods, to a port.

- Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

To quote grim cimmerian: "The scientific principle of Occam's Razor lex parsimoniae states that the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions is the correct one or in other words, often the less complicated version is usually the easiest to explain the evidence available. We have a common phrase that illustrates this principle: 'The simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.'"


It seems to me more likely and far simpler that Conan is referring to places/kingdoms he has been to, and that Howard is referring to his previously published Conan stories than Conan and Howard referring to an event, adventure, kingdom, race or people that is never mentioned that was not written about or published.

I don't know what this "Silver Isles" is your are referring to but it smacks of Comic Book Clonan or Role Playing Game Clonan and there is no reference to it in any REH Conan tale. I admit I have not read every single REH story and reference or letter and may not be aware of it, however even if it is referenced in another story it is not a Conan story; and even if that story has place names, people names, references to Æsir, etc. there are too many inconsistencies with what is said in the Conan stories to say they exist in the same continuum. If you do include any of the references from non-Conan tales that might be similar to Conan tales you have to accept them all including that John O' Brien is Conan of Cimmeria reincarnate and that Conan of the Reavers of People of the Dark is Conan the Cimmerian. I choose not to include anything that is not in the Conan stories or Hyborian Age even if they share similar names such as Picts etc. including all Bran Mak Morn (Picts), El Borak (reference to the white wolf standard of ancient Turan, and Stygian), Kull (Picts Lemurians, and Atlanteans), Solomon Kane (Atlanteans), and any reincarnation or past life vision story; I place them all in separate continuums from The Hyborian Age. I did not place these islands you refer to more east or any direction as I did not place them at all. Any unnamed islands on the map are actual islands and were there from the physical map I stole and that I did not photoshop out as they bore no consequence on the main geography in question for this Hypothetical Hyborean map in progress. If you are saying these "Silver Isles" are somehow related to the home of the corsairs, I would say that in placing the "Southern Isles" I have placed them to the south and far as referenced.

"Most of these were Kushites, but some thirty of the blacks who now rested on their oars and stared up at the stranger with dull curiosity were from the far southern isles, the homelands of the corsairs." - The Hour of the Dragon

Hey Amra! "Negarian" refers to the language spoken by the "Atlantean" rulers of "Atlai" who also figure into the Solomon Kane yarn, "The Moon of Skulls". Frankly, it is easier to group the SK yarns with the pre-"Hyborian Age" essay fiction of REH (for instance, ALL of the Kull tales), than it is to try and shoehorn all of Howard's yarns. MUCH easier to just say that Conan existed in his own separate and unique universe. Bran, SK and Kull belong together.


You are a well respected REH scholar deuce by many including me, at this point we are going to have to agree to disagree. You have your opinion which I respect if not agree with and I have mine that I ask you to do the same. We both love Conan and Robert E. Howard so we agree on something!

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 19 January 2011 - 06:04 PM.

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


#97 Taranaich

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 01:49 PM

Frankly, Amra, I'm with Deuce on this one.

I've seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.

From what I can deduce, your justification is that, since Balthus doesn't know of the other black kingdoms than Kush, that Conan is referring to the likes of Punt and Keshan. Yet we know that the Hyborians were aware that there were many Black Kingdoms of Kush, but they just referred to them as Kushites regardless of what nationality they were:

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. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact--Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them.

This means that although a Hyborian will refer to a Puntan, Darfari, Keshani or whatnot as a Kushite, it does not mean that those kingdoms are unknown to them. This is reinforced by the final paragraph: the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact, not the only black men. It is akin to a Saracen calling a Crusader a Frank, or vice versa: just because they name them so doesn't mean they aren't aware of the different countries and ethnoi of which they are a part.

I really don't see any way other than to conclude that these "unknown countries south of the Black Kingdoms of Kush" are not related to the kingdoms of Kush, and by extention, the kingdoms of Punt, Keshan, or Darfar. The fact that Conan specifically refers to them as the black kingdoms - without capitalization, indicating Howard was describing the kingdoms themselves rather than using the name the Black Kingdoms - also suggests that they are not in reference to Atlaia, Zembabwei or Amazon.

Edited by Taranaich, 07 January 2011 - 01:50 PM.

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#98 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

That's fine Taranaich. So how would you and Deuce map out the southern black kingdoms?

"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

I've roamed in the unknown (not known to anyone Hyborian or not, unmentioned, no stories) countries (plural as in more than one) of brown-skinned peoples that are south of the black kingdoms of Kush (Keshan, Darfar, Punt, Kush proper), and I roamed east of the Sea of Vilayet.

Is that how you really view that sentence? So what are these multiple non-black countries? Let's speculate that Negari can be one setting aside problematic placement in Africa that Rippke states: "Negari is described as lying inland from the western Slave Coast of Africa; an area that was submerged beneath the sea during the Hyborian Age", and an incompatible time-line in Moon of Skulls that would not coincide with The Hyborean Age or anything in the Conan stories. What are the others? Let's say for argument's sake non-human servants of Bit-Yakin have their own country as well. It boggles me that you believe Conan is referring to gray hairy devils and an elusive brown skin race that he never mentions visiting countries or kingdoms of.

"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

I view this sentence this way, with two geographic place names separated by a comma but sharing the action verb "roamed" and the descriptive adjective "unknown", with the conjunction "and" serving as a connector between the common clause "I've roamed in these countries:

I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush.(and) I've roamed in the unknown countries east of the Sea of Vilayet.

I have stated that I think it is a possibility that there are brown-skinned peoples south of Kush. There are several mentions of them with the current tribes mixing with them and still at least the women of The Vale of Lost Women that are not mixed.

I do not discount the possibility of a brown non ne groid race south of Kush, but do not think he is referring to them and there is no mention of his traveling to a country of them, not to say it couldn't have happened just that it is not chronicled. It would be cool indeed if it was as more Conan stories by Howard would be awesome regardless of locality.


But Deuce seems to think there is no possibility of conceding that even if they exist Conan is not referring to them.

IMO, it's possible that Conan went through Keshan and Punt at some point in his career, but there is NO WAY that the "unknown countries" refer to those kingdoms.


Even though I have given several possibilities in the other thread: such as Howard referring to earlier published stories for the fans, Conan referring to places we know he has visited from prior stories, kingdoms of Kush being plural in this instance because it includes Keshia because it is claimed by Kush being a hinterland, Howards quote being in two parts one referencing Kush to the Black Coasts or coastal region the "whole southern coast" making it impossible to have unknown kingdoms south of the the whole southern coast, and the other part in reference to a hyborian's ignorant view of people from the black kingdoms, the fact that Conan is not a Hyborian and said quote wouldn't apply to him anyways as to how he would name nations or call the peoples (In every Conan tale he correctly names the black countries and black peoples and distinguishes them by name and features), the word countries meaning not necessarily ruled by a government but referring to an alternate definition that countries mean lands or countrysides, a breakdown of the sentence per English grammar including sentence parts, structure, and punctuation, the fact that the sentence indicates the "roamed in the unknown countries" clause is shared between the area south of the black kingdoms of Kush and additional unknown countries east of the sea of Vilayet based on sentence structure, The Hyborian Age mentions the Cimmerians, nordics and the Hyborian nations as descendants of the Atlanteans supported by Conan stories with wizards from Archeron saying they fought Conan's ancestors of old contradicting the Solomon Kane Atlanteans settling in Africa and being brown-skinned, etc.

But none of those in any way is a possibility for Deuce preferring over any of those more simple theories a speculative one that Conan is referring to unknown, unchronicled adventures in some non-black kingdom (which is a possibility, however remote). All because of my explanation of this quote:

"‘I’ve roamed far; farther than any other man of my race ever wandered. I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet. I’ve been a mercenary captain, a corsair, a kozak, a penniless vagabond, a general – hell, I’ve been everything except a king, and I may be that, before I die.’ The fancy pleased him, and he grinned hardly. Then he shrugged his shoulders and stretched his mighty figure on the rocks. ‘This is as good life as any. I don’t know how long I’ll stay on the frontier; a week, a month, a year. I have a roving foot. But it’s as well on the border as anywhere.’” – Beyond the Black River

With my explanation:

"Conan is stating that he has been in all the great cities of the Hyborians. It would be interesting to know what is considered a great city and if some Hyborian nations like The Border Kingdom have any. By this time in his life he has been to Hyperborea, Brythunia, Nemedia, Zamora, Corinthia, Ophir, Aquilonia, Zingara, Argos, Koth, Khoraja, and Khauran of the Hyborian kingdoms. He has been in the land of Shem, and also among the Stygians in the ancient realm of Stygia. By this statement it seems he has also been in Hyrkania possibly as a Kozak, but had definitely seen some of the Hyrkanian’s great cities in the empire of Turan in addition to those he might have seen east of the Sea of Vilayet. Conan states he has been in the unknown countries south of Kush, possibly meaning unknown to Hyborians, having traveled to Keshan and Punt. He has been in the Himelias and Vendhya."
- The Chronicles of Conan the Cimmerian

The funny thing is it has no bearing whatsoever on my chronology whether the statement is supportive of a visit to Keshia and Punt and Deuce agrees.

More cool stuff. While I might quibble about specific points, you're definitely doing some great work here, Amra.

BTW, I have no problem with your placement of "Servants" or with your theory about when Conan was in Keshan and Punt. However, I simply can't see how the passage in question backs up that particular bit of speculation.

IMO, it's possible that Conan went through Keshan and Punt at some point in his career, but there is NO WAY that the "unknown countries" refer to those kingdoms.



All placement of the kingdoms south of Howard's maps are purely speculative and conjectural in nature, being the case I am open to ideas of how they can be placed and will be interested to see Deuce and your theories supporting compelling reasons for a brown-skinned race south of Kush, and placements for any and all of the black kingdoms and non-black kingdoms on the Stygian continent.

There's no compelling reason to argue against a brown race surviving somewhere south of Xuchotl. "MoS" argues for it. Howard and HPL both believed there was such a race which predated the black peoples (and the KhoiSan) in southern Africa. They discussed it in their correspondence. It is generally believed now that blacks/Negroids didn't penetrate into the southern third of Africa until the Christian era. So, having a non-black population in that region during the Hyborian era violates neither REH's beliefs or current scientific knowledge.


Deuce is saying that south of the black kingdoms are other kingdoms not of black origin on the main continent. If you imagine the landmass as resembling Africa, Deuce is suggesting that the black kingdoms only extend to, purely as an example, the Tropic of Capricorn; south of the tropic are "countries south of the black kingdoms."


I have made my arguments and it is obvious that I cannot change Deuce's or your mind. I must admit it is unlikely that you will change mine either, but I am not saying "NO WAY" to a possibility however remote and would love to hear your quote based arguments supporting placement and existence of kingdoms and countries now.

Oh and I moved Zamboula up for you and it is still in line with the arrow on Howard's 1936 map.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 07 January 2011 - 09:30 PM.

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


#99 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:35 PM

Well to have made it this far with only a few clarifications and one error in the minds of The Cimmerian scholars Deuce Richardson (deuce) and Al Harron (Taranaich) is probably a good thing, although they probably think there are more and are too kind to point them out. Dale Rippke (Darkstorm Dale) of the The Darkstorm Files on the other hand would likely disagree on several points that we differ on, he is one of the progenitors of the scholarly look at a chronology for Conan with his The Dark Storm Conan Chronology. This being my first foray into a scholarly look into Robert E. Howard's Conan along with my ideas as to Conan's Linguistic Abilities. One last look to the understanding of "I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet." from Beyond the Black River before moving on.

"I feel indeed honored that you and Dr. Clark should be so interested in Conan as to work out an outline of his career and a map of his environs. Both are surprisingly accurate, considering the vagueness of the data you had to work with. I have the original map - that is the one I drew up when I first started writing about Conan-- around here somewhere and I'll see if I can't find it and let you have a look at it. It includes only the countries west of Vilayet and north of Kush. I've never attempted to map the southern and eastern kingdoms, though I have a fairly clear outline of their geography in my mind. However, in writing about them I feel a certain amount of license, since the inhabitants of the western Hyborian nations were about as ignorant concerning the peoples and countries of the south and east as the people of medieval Europe were ignorant of Africa and Asia. In writing about the western Hyborian nations I feel confined within the limits of known and inflexible boundaries and territories, but in fictionizing the rest of the world, I feel able to give my imagination freer play. That is, having adopted a certain conception of geography and ethnology, I feel compelled to abide by it, in the interests of consistency. My conception of the east and south is not so definite or so arbitrary.

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. Thus, when an Hyborian speaks of Kush, he is generally speaking of not the kingdom itself, one of many such kingdoms, but of the Black Coast in general. And he is likely to speak of any black man as a Kushite, whether he happens to be a Keshani, Darfari, Puntan, or Kushite proper. This is natural, since the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians came in contact - Barachan pirates trafficking with and raiding them."
- 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

"unknown countries" = "ignorant concerning" "countries of the south and east"

"south and east countries" = the opposite of "the countries west of Vilayet and north of Kush" that are known meaning south of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 03:42 PM.

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


#100 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:38 AM

Posted Image


I found Taranaich's map. It looks like there are several threads for me still to read on these boards.

I decided to make my own map of the Hyborian Age, using (well, directly lifting) elements of Dale Rippke's maps of the Blue East and Black Kingdoms, and Howard's original map. I think it looks fairly reasonable.
It's not 100% accurate, but I think it gives a general feel to the world. It's also slightly offset for aesthetic reasons, it's approximately 15 degrees counter-clockwise from a traditional north=up/south=down perspective. I didn't add cities because, frankly, I didn't know where to put most of them. I'll probably add them and some landmarks of note like Kuthchemes, Yimsha, Xapur and so forth.


It looks pretty cool. Although the black kingdoms of the Amazons, Kush, Atlaia, and Zimbabwei don't look very "vast" at all.

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"...the warriors of Kush, the first of the great black kingdoms of the grasslands south of Stygia." - Black Colossus

Now if I can just find deuce's map.

The Hyborian Age has had plenty of maps made, but only recently have ones been based on close study of Howard's text, such as those by Dale Rippke, Deuce and Vincent. I recall a member here making a map based on ice-age geography, and it turned out pretty well. Any new interpretations are always good, better than stagnation anyway.


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 09 January 2011 - 06:32 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

 

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