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Hyborian Age Conan Robert E. Howard Reference

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#1 Taranaich

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 11:52 PM

Given that there's been some discussion on the encyclopedia elsewhere, I think it's time to give it its own dedicated topic.

I'll start with some cross-posting from my initial announcement:

Ever since I got really into Robert E. Howard after my second gateway via Conan, I've wondered just why there isn't a counterpart to Robert Foster's Middle-earth Encyclopaedia. Here, I thought, was a world rich in atmosphere, facination and delight, with all the characters, places, events, relics and wonders one could possibly want. It seemed every line of exposition was pregnant with a story in itself. A character who appeared in a single sentence would have the foundations of their entire history encapsulated within a few words. A mere phrase opened up whole worlds of possibilities.

So where is that Hyborian Age Encyclopaedia?

Well, Deuce let the Smilodon fatalis out of the bag over at the REH Forums, so I figure there's no time like the present to announce The Big Secret. All those wondering what happened to Conan: Total War and the many other projects I've been working on can finally know the truth: all my effort over the past year has been put into a reference book for the Hyborian Age.

Actually, it's been far more than the past year. In fact, I'd been gathering notes, formulating theories, researching past scholarship, and seeking out scraps of information for years now. In the beginning, this was for Conan: Total War, but as numerous technical issues and general burnout took their toll, work on the mod started to dwindle almost to a crawl. But the search for information, the challenging of presuppositions, and the sheer thrill of excavating the Hyborian Age as if I was Jeff Shanks out on a dig never truly left.

Since those beginning days of me being a wet-behind-the-ears pup barking in the company of wolves, I've grown seasoned and more experienced. My time on The Cimmerian has been invaluable, and I've just recently started pubishing my first 'Zine in REHupa (more to come on that later). I'd even been nominated for a Venarium Award. I'd come a long way in that short space of time, though of course, I still have a long way to go. Still, even after five years among the online Robert E. Howard Fandom, there hasn't been a reference guide for the Hyborian Age, certainly not one that eschews pastiche and original material. With the new film coming out, the time seemed ripe for such an opportunity to bring the true majesty of Howard's work to the fore, to show that yes, despite the gulf in sheer volume, the Hyborian Age is just as full of magic and imagination as Tolkien's Middle-earth. Yet no encyclopaedia.

And so I wondered... maybe I should do the Encyclopaedia...

Initially, I was going to make it a website, modelled after the magnificent Encyclopedia of Arda. Crom knows there are plenty of great resources for the comics and pastiches, like Thulsa's Hyborian Age D20 resource, Dale Rippke's Gazetteer Hyboria, and the Conan Wiki, but to the best of my knowledge, there isn't a resource out there that has only Howard. Then I thought: why stop at a website, when I could do a book? I think I have enough momentum to go further, and get the book published. Of course, there are copyright considerations, but by Jove, I think I can make a case for it.

The Encyclopaedia Hyboriana will be a catalogue of the names, people, places, events, weapons, treasures, religions and fauna of the age of Conan, using only Howard's work as a source. Of course, the Conan stories, drafts, fragments and synopses will be the primary source material, and additionally those non-Conan stories which deal with the Hyborian Age in some manner, such as the Kull and James Allison tales, "The Haunter of the Ring," and select Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn tales. No pastiches, no comics, no video games, not even works by contemporaneous writers like Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft. This is pure Howard, and the only supposition and theorizing therein will be clearly delineated as such. This isn't a book-length version of the Hyborian Age Gazetteer: just the facts, and any reasonable hypothesis.

The aim is for the book to be informative without being too dry, and just detailed enough to be interesting without swamping the reader with too much information. The setup shall take after several other encyclopaedias, with a few tweaks for the purposes of the setting.

Here's an example of an entry regarding a place, kingdom or country, colour-coded and annotated:



Abombi
A city on the black coast, ruled at one time by King Ajaga. Conan sacked the city during his time as chief of the Black Corsairs. Conan met two chiefs in the ensuing battle, one of whom he killed, while the other escaped with his life. After his capture and incarceration in the dungeons beneath the Scarlet Citadel, one of Strabonus’ black guards revealed himself to be the chief who fled, and the brother of the chief Conan slew.
*Possibly from Abomey, the capital of the West African kingdom of Dahomey. Abomey is well known for the earthen royal palaces built in the mid-17th Century by the Fon People, and a mud wall with a six-mile circumference encircling the settlement. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.
(Note: Since neither Bêlit or the Tigress are mentioned during the conversation, it can be inferred that the sack of Abombi takes place during a speculative later period of Conan’s life, as chief of the Black Corsairs.)
See Black Corsairs; Black Coast, The; Kush; Scarlet Citadel, The; Shukeli
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, “The Scarlet Citadel,” p.99


Name
Description of appearance, history and culture
Possible etymological, mythological or cultural derivation
Notes on continuity, implications, thematic resonance, differences in draft or other stories, or similar items of interest
Other entries relevant to discussion in the Encyclopaedia
Volume and page number reference

The format for people & things would be similar, though the blue section would be "appearance, biography and personality" for people, "appearance, natural history and individual encounters" for animals, "appearance, history and use" for objects, and so forth:


Ajonga
One of three Black Corsairs Conan reckognized from his Black Corsair days. Some time prior to the resurrection of Xaltotun, Ajonga was captured, and set to galley work on the Argossean trading ship Venturer. He was freed by Conan in the ensuing mutiny. The fate of Ajonga, as well as the other blacks of the Venturer after Conan retrieved the Heart of Ahriman, is unknown.
*Possibly from the same source as Aja and Ajaga, or the Yoruba name Ajani, “he who fights for possession,” Wajanga in southern Libya as alluded by Rosita Forbes, or ajoga (“wizard”) of the Lango people of Uganda.
(Note: Ajonga is not mentioned in “Queen of the Black Coast,” and the final voyage of the Tigress had no survivors save Conan. Either Ajonga was on the Tigress at some point and left before the journey up the Zarkheba, or he was one of Conan’s shipmates during a speculative later time among the Black Corsairs.)
See Aja, Ajaga, Amra; Black Corsairs; Laranga; Venturer; Yasunga
The Bloody Crown of Conan, “The Hour of the Dragon,” p.191


Ape, Gray
Large, carnivorous, forest-dwelling primate. Also called the “gray man-ape,” the gray ape was indigenous to the mountains and hills that border the eastern shores of the Vilayet, and the lost jungles of Khitai. It was not unlike a human in general outline, but its face was clearly ape-like: close set ears, flaring nostrils, thick lips, tusk-like fangs, a bullet-shaped head, and small black eyes. Its huge body and limbs were covered in shaggy gray hair, sometimes flecked with silver. It walked in a bipedal motion on short bowed legs, with long, knotted arms, whose huge hands nearly reached the ground. Despite its size, the gray ape was tremendously agile and fast-moving. It had incredible vitality and strength, being capable of hurling rocks to a range comparable to siege engines.
The gray ape is a nocturnal creature. It typically dwells in the deepest and darkest part of the forest. It does not typically emerge into the open, only doing so when threatened or provoked. A curious aspect of the creature is that it is mute: it seems incapable of vocalization. The gray ape is carnivorous, and is known to strip a carcass to the bone, even breaking them lengthwise to access the marrow. Normally the gray ape was hostile to man, and became figures of fear and terror to the Hyborians, their memory passing into myth and legend as goblins and ogres. The gray apes of Khitai featured in unusual ceremonies among the adherents of Yogah: they dance to the pipes of the priests. The significance of the ceremony, and how it was accomplished, is unknown.
Yogah of Yag spoke to Conan of gray apes very briefly, though the Cimmerian later encountered a dislocated gray man-ape on the isle of Iron Statues. Conan was nearly slain in the ensuing fight, and only survived by dismembering and disembowelling the beast with his scimitar. Conan encountered a second gray ape in the dungeons of Belverus.
* The Gray Ape is most likely inspired by the many dangerous primates of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ canon, particularly the Tarzan tales. It could also have been inspired by the race of white apes in Lovecraft’s “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family,” itself possibly inspired by Burroughs’ The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. There is another possible inspiration in Am Fear Liath Mor – “The Big Grey Man” - a Scottish supernatural being that haunts Ben MacDhui, which first reported by Professor Norman Collie in 1891. The story attracted much media attention in 1925, when Collie recalled his experience.
(The gray ape may be related to the man-apes of the mountains east of Zamora, or simply a case of convergent evolution.)
See Lost Jungles of Khitai; Man-Ape; Vilayet.
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, “The Tower of the Elephant,” p.94
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, “Iron Shadows in the Moon,” p.202-203
The Bloody Crown of Conan, “The Hour of the Dragon,” p.113-115

Akbitanan Steel
Material or technique used in the production of swords, originating in Akbitana. Swords forged with Akbitanan steel were considered to be unbreakable.
*See Akbitana.
(There are metals or alloys developed in history that have almost mythical qualities ascribed to them. Weapons forged with Damascus steel were said to cut through inferior swords, and even stone: the technique and formula has been lost for centuries, encouraging and advancing the legend.)
See Akbitana; Aquilonian steel; Hyrkanian steel.The Conquering Sword of Conan, “The Servants of Bit-Yakin,” p.34


For ease of browsing, I'm also wanting to make a small symbol beside each entry that indicates what the entry is: a coin would refer to a person, a coat-of-arms refers to a country, a mountain refers to a geographical feature, a sword refers to a battle, a book refers to... a book. I'd love to have illustrations: battle plans, maps, diagrams, that sort of stuff. I'm reluctant to include any commentary on pastiche at all, be it on the Uberboreans, Aquiromans or Special Sword, but there might be one or two occassions where something has to be stated. As with the theories, they would go in the brackets.

As of now, my notes, drafts, snippets and finished entries amount to over 900 entries comprising some 50,000 words(!), though a colossal amount of tidying-up remains, as well as rewriting into a readable format. Most of them are culled from various scraps I've cobbled from my own research, previously written work like the Hyborian Age Gazetteer, and extrapolations from journals, websites, forum posts and emails. I haven't even finished finalizing the letter A yet!

Work on the Newcomer's Guide has taken a decent chunk of my time of late, though I think it's just as important. Basically, I got sick and tired of waiting for a decent Robert E. Howard reference guide to come along, and until something better comes along, I might as well do it myself.


Frequently Asked Questions

Right, lads and lasses, I figure I might as well post a few factoids about my intentions for the Encyclopædia, just to give you a better idea of what it'll entail.

How many separate entries are there?

As of right now, 1,052. This may change as entries are conflated or divided, based on whether a given entry deserves its own spot, or should be absorbed into another.

What's the word count so far?

The master document, which has a fair portion of the information on it, is almost 54,000 words: out of that, about 10,000 is completely neat and tidy. There's still a metric boatload of information spread across dozens of files which hasn't been collated and applied, though.

In sculpting analogy, the 54,000 is the giant block of clay, with the 10,000 representing the completely carved sections -- but there's still a lot of clay in the studio to pile on.

Will it be as extensive as the Hyborian Age Gazetteers?

If they were, I'd never get the thing done! The average length for each entry is about 200 words, though that can vary from as little as 100 to as much as 2,000. So while it'd be awesome to do something like a Hyborian Age Gazetteer in book form, it would take a lot longer.

Does the world really need an Age of Conan Encyclopædia?

I think it does, and I think it's been a long time coming too. There are Hyborian Age resources out there, but they all utilize the work of other authors, leading to confusion. There are times when one can easily believe, for example, that Howard called the City of Thieves "Arenjun," or called the tribes allied with Tombalku "Mindango," and "Bigharma." There have been calls for such a resource on the Conan Forums, and such great Howard minds as Steve Tompkins believe it to be necessary. Indeed, there have been previous attempts, the most recent being Scott Oden's, but he eventually decided to concentrate on his historical fiction.

So you're essentially doing this because you hate pastiches?

Not at all - in fact, I hope this will make better pastiches. The pastiches which have come before have persisted through to new continuities, and this leads to its own problems. Let's take Age of Conan as an example. The developers say that their aim is to use mostly Robert E. Howard material, and use elements from the comics and pastiches only to fill out the world. However, where does the line between using some pastiches stop? In filling out the north, they use elements of de Camp stories, such as the Yakhmar of "The Lair of the Ice Worm." But if "The Lair of the Ice Worm" is canon, does this mean other de Camp stories - like the hated Conan the Liberator - are canon too? If not, why not? And if de Camp stories are canon, does this mean other pastiches are canon - even the very bad ones? This is bad enough when one considers quality, but then there are the cases where pastiches conflict with the game itself. A famous example is the use of a quote describing Cimmeria as "a treeless land"... which kinda contradicts the very wooded hills of the game, not to mention Howard's description.

So many RPGs, games, books and other pastiches have been influenced by the pastiches that have gone before. The Encyclopædia will allow new pasticheurs to start from the ground up: just Howard, nothing from anywhere else. No more Brylukas, Hydragons, Giant Mantids, and Spider-Things of Poitain running about the wilds of "Hyboria"; no more Arenjun, Haloga, Ianthe, Pathenia, or Uttara Kuru muddling up the map; no more Queen Vammatar, King Ferdrugo, Jenna, Thulandra Thuu or Sigurd of Vanaheim photobombing group photos; no more Cobra Crown, Herat of Tammuz, Atlantean Sword, or Mamajambo's War Club littering the treasuries of the age.

Besides, I'm sick of the Yakhmar turning up everywhere, and I even think it's one of the cooler* de Camp creations.

Are you going to publish it through Hulu, the REH Foundation, or another publisher?

That all depends on how Paradox/CPI want to do it (assuming they let me!): hopefully I can get a license and permission to do so.

Will the Encyclopædia be a super-elite-collector's-limited-extended edition hardback, or an affordable paperback?

Given the choice, the latter. I'd rather take after Barbara Barrett's Wordbook or Paul Herman's The Neverending Hunt than the lavish, gorgeous tomes A Means to Freedom and Collected Poetry.

Why "Encyclopædia" instead of "Encyclopedia"?

It's a tip to the hat towards the Encyclopædia Britannica and other tomes using the spelling. Besides, I love the æ ligature. I played about with different ideas: Lebor Hyborianach, Codex Hyboriana, The Hyborian Lexicon, even something quirky like Cyclopedia Hyboriana. I wasn't sure whether to go with Nemedian Chronicles or not, but I'm fairly satisfied with Encyclopædia Hyboriana.

Why "Encyclopædia Hyboriana" instead of "Encyclopædia Hyboria"?

Hyboria is a pastiche term, and is loaded with all sorts of possible misinterpretations: the idea of the land, or even the planet, being called "Hyboria" paramount among them. Rather than contribute to any possible misinterpretation, I decided to use a cod-Latin term with the "-a" suffix to give a general feel without using "Hyboria."

Anyone else with any questions, feel free to fling them over!

*I never apologise for puns.


I've also done a few blogs on the sort of things that come to mind while researching:

On Tsotha-Lanti's mother and Zamorian women, Pallantides and Ophir, the baton of authority, and alternate spellings

On the etymology of Belesa and Beloso

On the mythic and symbolic dragons in The Hour of the Dragon

So, everyone with questions, thoughts, musings, criticism, let's have at it!

Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006

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#2 icarus

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:39 PM

This looks like a pretty extensive and intimidating project. I'm very much looking forward to it, even if it does just turn out to be an online document, because the Guide to Middleearth has been very helpful to me and I feel this could be too. I have Roy Thomas's book Conan: The Ultimate Guide, and I have gotten a lot of really good info from that, but I think it would be really cool to have more of an encyclopedia/dictionary type book. Good luck!

Edited by icarus, 05 December 2011 - 04:40 PM.


#3 EM Erdelac

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

Wow! Good luck - I'll definitely be picking up a copy when it's out there.

#4 Taranaich

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:01 AM

Cheers, folks!

I have Roy Thomas's book Conan: The Ultimate Guide, and I have gotten a lot of really good info from that, but I think it would be really cool to have more of an encyclopedia/dictionary type book. Good luck!


The Ultimate Guide is a great resource for the Conan franchise, but it, like others before it, encompasses all the pastiches too: most similar guides like the Mongoose RPG sourcebooks and Thulsa's excellent Hyborian D20 site do the same. Mongoose has been good separating REH from pastiche by using quotations from the stories, but there are still some weird ambiguities as a result of the sheer number of pastiches confusing things. The encyclopedia would be a distilled version of those that only includes Howard, so there's no ambiguity over what's a Howard creation and what isn't.

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#5 Scott Oden

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:07 AM

I hope the words flow like fine, fine wine, Al! I've been waiting many years for this project to become a reality :)

#6 icarus

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:53 AM

Cheers, folks!

I have Roy Thomas's book Conan: The Ultimate Guide, and I have gotten a lot of really good info from that, but I think it would be really cool to have more of an encyclopedia/dictionary type book. Good luck!


The Ultimate Guide is a great resource for the Conan franchise, but it, like others before it, encompasses all the pastiches too: most similar guides like the Mongoose RPG sourcebooks and Thulsa's excellent Hyborian D20 site do the same. Mongoose has been good separating REH from pastiche by using quotations from the stories, but there are still some weird ambiguities as a result of the sheer number of pastiches confusing things. The encyclopedia would be a distilled version of those that only includes Howard, so there's no ambiguity over what's a Howard creation and what isn't.


Totally agree with you there! Most of it's gold and then there's some total pastiche nonsense thrown in there. A purely Howardian book is the best way to go.

#7 Taranaich

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:57 AM

I hope the words flow like fine, fine wine, Al! I've been waiting many years for this project to become a reality :)


Heh, the problem isn't so much getting the words to flow as to knowing when to put a stopper in. :P

Totally agree with you there! Most of it's gold and then there's some total pastiche nonsense thrown in there. A purely Howardian book is the best way to go.


Even given my, ahem, antipathy to the majority of pastiches, I just think we've gone so far in getting REH's own words out there without other authors crowding him in things like the Del Reys and beyond, maybe that sensibility should go further - or, at least, we have some representatives of that sensibility. After all, if you really must have Venjipur and the Serpent Crown and the Spider-Thing of Poitain, you always get them in wherever those turned up (I still don't know where that last one came from, I'm starting to wonder if Mongoose made it up themselves). It isn't exactly hard finding old copies of the Lancers and Aces online, at least for the moment.

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#8 ollonois

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:37 AM

hey Al, here Francisco, in case you don't know... :rolleyes: ... a kind of suggestion for the encyclopedia, as you know one of my favourites issues about Howard and Conan is the correlations between the hyborian age and the real world history, so apart from etymologies, history and descriptions of the landscapes could be interesting some research on the inspirational people or civilization that Howard took for every kingdom or empire...

by the way in Spain we have had since the mid 90's some books on Conan and Hyboria but the main spanish scholar Javier Martin Lalanda take Sprague de Camp as canon so I think purist movement hasn't arrived at Spain

This was the first in the mid 90's

Posted Image

a biography of the cimmerian, the glossary of hyborian terms and a very long, almost the mid of the book, dossier for the films, later was re edited with other cover

a bit later appears this, I haven't read but could be interesting, two of the authors are fantasy writers and the other is the co author of the first book I have metioned

Posted Image

This one about the comics

Posted Image
This covers a complete biography of Conan in comics, its continuation Las cronicas nemedias did the same with the Dark Horse Conan, first issues, and other REH characters like King Kull, Solomon Kane...

Posted Image

the most recent covers the depiction of Conan in all kind of mediums, books, comics, films...

Posted Image

ehem trying to be informative I have invaded your post feel free to remove the links...

Edited by ollonois, 07 December 2011 - 12:51 AM.

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#9 Duar2009

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:18 AM

If you make his this book" too good" it may become the main source book for future generations of pastiche writers!

#10 Primeval

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 06:16 AM

I will definitely be in line for a copy of this, no matter the format. And, while I generally share your opinions on pastiche (mostly when they contradict REH) I think this could lead to better pastiche possibilities if it facilitates research for the authors.

"Roll on me like a flood, now, if ye dare! Before your viper fangs drink my life I will reap your multitudes like ripened barley - of your severed heads will I build a tower and of your mangled corpses will I rear up a wall!" - Bran Mak Morn in "Worms of the Earth"


#11 deuce

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:12 AM

I will definitely be in line for a copy of this, no matter the format. And, while I generally share your opinions on pastiche (mostly when they contradict REH) I think this could lead to better pastiche possibilities if it facilitates research for the authors.


Exactly. B) I've been telling people that for years. Once the EH is published, no pasticheur can whine or make excuses like, "I didn't know that!" or, "What? Didja expect me to read ALL of those Conan stories that Howard wrote?" (three moderate-sized volumes, which I read in three days while working a full-time job :rolleyes: )

No more "ebon Belit" crap. No more "Nemedian navy". After publication, any contradictions enter the realms of (1) willful violation or (2) laziness/stupidity.

Good to see ya back, Primeval. :D

BTW, don't rule out the possibility of a Thurian Age book in the future. ;)

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#12 Primeval

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:23 AM


I will definitely be in line for a copy of this, no matter the format. And, while I generally share your opinions on pastiche (mostly when they contradict REH) I think this could lead to better pastiche possibilities if it facilitates research for the authors.


Exactly. B) I've been telling people that for years. Once the EH is published, no pasticheur can whine or make excuses like, "I didn't know that!" or, "What? Didja expect me to read ALL of those Conan stories that Howard wrote?" (three moderate-sized volumes, which I read in three days while working a full-time job :rolleyes: )

No more "ebon Belit" crap. No more "Nemedian navy". After publication, any contradictions enter the realms of (1) willful violation or (2) laziness/stupidity.

Good to see ya back, Primeval. :D

BTW, don't rule out the possibility of a Thurian Age book in the future. ;)


I will be in line for that book as well!

"Roll on me like a flood, now, if ye dare! Before your viper fangs drink my life I will reap your multitudes like ripened barley - of your severed heads will I build a tower and of your mangled corpses will I rear up a wall!" - Bran Mak Morn in "Worms of the Earth"


#13 Taranaich

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:37 AM

hey Al, here Francisco, in case you don't know... :rolleyes: ... a kind of suggestion for the encyclopedia, as you know one of my favourites issues about Howard and Conan is the correlations between the hyborian age and the real world history, so apart from etymologies, history and descriptions of the landscapes could be interesting some research on the inspirational people or civilization that Howard took for every kingdom or empire...

by the way in Spain we have had since the mid 90's some books on Conan and Hyboria but the main spanish scholar Javier Martin Lalanda take Sprague de Camp as canon so I think purist movement hasn't arrived at Spain


Hey, Francisco! Man, I really wish my Spanish was beyond the High School level (and my French, and Italian...)

That said, a discussion of the possible historical, mythological and literary influences will definitely be part of the text. I'm probably going to shy away from any discussion of previous pastiches except in special circumstances: there's enough in Howard to provide a wealth of information and speculation.

I will definitely be in line for a copy of this, no matter the format. And, while I generally share your opinions on pastiche (mostly when they contradict REH) I think this could lead to better pastiche possibilities if it facilitates research for the authors.


As Deuce said, this was a strong motivation for me. Whether it be a comic artist looking for inspiration to fill in the gaps, a new pastiche series (you never know if Paradox/CPI want to go to that well again in the future), whoever takes up the RPG mantel from Mongoose, or just a fan who wants to write their own fan fiction, I want to provide the most distilled REH-only resource out there. Contradicting with previous pastiches is inevitable, but contradicting Howard can be avoided.

BTW, don't rule out the possibility of a Thurian Age book in the future. ;)


B)

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#14 ollonois

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:19 PM

it's ok amigo...

more things about the encyclopedia, what about a kind of new history of the hyborian age? a kind of new The hyborian age essay, telling more events of the hyborian world in the time of Conan, for example that war between some western hyborian kingdoms like Argos and Zingara against Estygia that the people know but that I don't remember to have read about, is a howardian event?

and althought is a silly thing to pretend to know more than you about the hyborian age is an interesting thing that people of this forum suggests you some facts or trivia, sure you know them but for instance I suggest you, of course in my favourite subject the origin of the names and the depiction of the civilizations in the hyborian continent, for example commenting about the etimology for Aquilonia, aquilon, aquilonis meaning in latin north wind or investigating the biblical resonances of the names of Ophir or Punt, the references in Sinohue the egyptician by Mika Waltari (I have not read it but in some place I read or heard about it) to the country of Kush, Pelishtia=Palestine, Tabor river=Tiber river, the tragedy in Darfur (south-west of Sudan)... I think could be hundreds and hundreds of cross references between the hyborian world and real world history and geography, clearly one of the main reasons for me to start reading Conan and Howard

Edited by ollonois, 09 December 2011 - 07:05 PM.

For I am the Bringer of War
I am The Bearer Of The Black Sword
and my name will be known to all
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#15 Taranaich

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:17 PM

more things about the encyclopedia, what about a kind of new history of the hyborian age? a kind of new The hyborian age essay, telling more events of the hyborian world in the time of Conan, for example that war between some western hyborian kingdoms like Argos and Zingara against Estygia that the people know but that I don't remember to have read about, is a howardian event?


An interesting idea. I have been dealing with things like the wars in the entries for the countries - the Argossean-Kothic invasion of Stygia being discussed in Argos, Koth and Stygia respectively - but I might still separate them into their own dedicated sections. The problem, of course, is dealing with chronology: how to discuss everything without adhering to any one timeline? Nonetheless, keeping things fairly simple might work.


and althought is a silly thing to pretend to know more than you about the hyborian age is an interesting thing that people of this forum suggests you some facts or trivia


I'm thrilled to have comments and suggestions, because even if I might already know the trivia or have already considered a possibility, it means I'm on the right track!


sure you know them but for instance I suggest you, of course in my favourite subject the origin of the names and the depiction of the civilizations in the hyborian continent, for example commenting about the etimology for Aquilonia, aquilon, aquilonis meaning in latin north wind or investigating the biblical resonances of the names of Ophir or Punt, the references in Sinohue the egyptician by Mika Waltari (I have not read it but in some place I read or heard about it) to the country of Kush, Pelishtia=Palestine, Tabor river=Tiber river, the tragedy in Darfur (south-west of Sudan)... I think could be hundreds and hundreds of cross references between the hyborian world and real world history and geography, clearly one of the main reasons for me to start reading Conan and Howard


Absolutely.

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#16 monk

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:59 PM

and please, for god's sake, please put an entire section about arms and armor and warfare. if i see one more arrow knocked over a thumb, or another godawful fantasy sword hilt...

imagine what this resource could do for the comics, the pastiche authors, what it could have done for the movie...
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ROBERT E. HOWARD, ENTIRELY ALONE, WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FROM ANY OTHER PERSON, CREATED THE CHARACTER CONAN OF CIMMERIA. NO OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS SHOULD BE INTRUDING THEIR WORK INTO THE VOLUMES OF HOWARD'S CONAN STORIES.
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#17 ollonois

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:34 PM

more suggestions on historical and geographical issues...

Tarantia=Tarento, tarantela, tarantula...???

Punt=Puntland, secessionist region in the north of Somalia

Kordava=Cordoba, I think it was the capital of Al Andalus, the south of Spain in the hands of the arabs in the middle ages

Zingara, maybe Howard was a bit simplistic giving to the spanish hyborian counterpart that name, cingaro or zingaro is the name given in Spain to the gipsy people living in eastern Europe, mainly in Hungary, in fact at the beginning I thought Zingara was Hungary or the country of the zingaros, I don't know at first I was thinking about Howard not understanding the complex ethnic groups in Spain...

and, maybe I'm a bit imaginative here, don't reminds you the plot of the unfinished story Wolves beyond the border to the American revolution? being Lord Valeriano and the other aquilonian aristocrats the equivalent to the american people loyal to the english and the supporters of Conan the rebels of George Washington?
For I am the Bringer of War
I am The Bearer Of The Black Sword
and my name will be known to all
Lord Elric of the Bright Empire of Melnibone
The Dragonlord

Domine-Dragonlord

#18 deuce

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

more suggestions on historical and geographical issues...

Tarantia=Tarento, tarantela, tarantula...???


Ollonois, I say this with all courtesy: Have you read any of the introductions to the Del Rey Conan editions? I know for a fact that such were reprinted in Spain AND in Spanish. The fact that REH named the Aquilonian capital "Tamar" first pretty well blows the "Taranto theory" out of the water.



Punt=Puntland, secessionist region in the north of Somalia

Kordava=Cordoba, I think it was the capital of Al Andalus, the south of Spain in the hands of the arabs in the middle ages

Zingara, maybe Howard was a bit simplistic giving to the spanish hyborian counterpart that name, cingaro or zingaro is the name given in Spain to the gipsy people living in eastern Europe, mainly in Hungary, in fact at the beginning I thought Zingara was Hungary or the country of the zingaros, I don't know at first I was thinking about Howard not understanding the complex ethnic groups in Spain...


With all due respect, Ollonois, do you even try and read various threads dealing with the Hyborian Age on this forum?

Actually, REH seems to have been quite aware of the fact that "zingara" means "gypsy" in Spanish. He was also aware that Cordoba was a Spanish city AFTER the Reconquista. Have you read the "Hyborian Age" essay by Howard? It was reprinted in those Spanish volumes I mentioned earlier. If Taranaich and myself have to reiterate everything discussed in that essay (and the Spanish Wandering Star/Del Rey reprints which contain it) the EH won't get done for years. If ever. Rest assured that the points you've raised have been considered by everyone from Sprague de Camp to Patrice Louinet to Al Harron himself.

Robert E. Howard's understanding of history was far deeper and more complex than you seem to give him credit for. Please (I ask this sincerely), read what has already been written on the topic of the Hyborian Age before you ask the same questions others have asked (again and again and again; simply because they wouldn't take the time/use the search engine). If nothing else, read the "Hyborian Age" essay.

and, maybe I'm a bit imaginative here, don't reminds you the plot of the unfinished story Wolves beyond the border to the American revolution? being Lord Valeriano and the other aquilonian aristocrats the equivalent to the american people loyal to the english and the supporters of Conan the rebels of George Washington?


All of this has been discussed on the "Picts" thread. Rusty Burke and Patrice Louinet have both shown that the primary inspiration was the series of novels by RW Chambers which dealt with the "Seven Years' War" between the French and English. See what I mean about "reiteration"? These matters were discussed in the WS/DR volumes and here on the forum. I worked almost 60hrs last week (besides taking care of my property) and I'll do the same this week. Yet, you seem to feel that Al and myself need to spoon-feed you information that has been available to you in Spanish for over five years.


Mr. Harron has already stated that he's fine with suggestions and questions. However, is there any need to go over ground that has been covered for years if not decades? Courtesy demands a response (as I have just provided). Courtesy also demands that one acquaints himself with the available research that has already been done and not waste everyone's time. The EH is a time-consuming project. Please keep that in mind. :)

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#19 ollonois

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:23 PM

catch the idea, I'll re-read the spanish translations of the Del rey's and all the threads on the hyborian age forum before posting any reply on this thread... :rolleyes: ... I will don't disturb Al's work, be sure
For I am the Bringer of War
I am The Bearer Of The Black Sword
and my name will be known to all
Lord Elric of the Bright Empire of Melnibone
The Dragonlord

Domine-Dragonlord

#20 Spartan198

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:42 AM

Sorry for the necropost, but anyone what the current status of this project is?


"What is good in life?... To crush your enemy, see him driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -- Conan of Cimmeria

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


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