Sunday View

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Pony Express

Wanted – Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, 
willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.
From an advertisement seeking Pony Express Riders
While the mail delivery enterprise of 120 riders, 184 stations, and 400 horses lasted less than eighteen months, the romantic vision of horse-backed carriers remains one of the most colorful elements of American Western History.
The Hashknife Pony Express has an annual event wherein riders still carry the mail for delivery. There is a special stamp required today and it’s something that horsemen in the Arizona highlands enjoy doing. It’s been sponsored by the Navajo County Search and Rescue Posse since 1959. Some say that it’s an excuse for the guys to get together and ‘pull a cork’. But when did they ever need an excuse.
The Old West only really existed for a generation or so and then it was gone, but echoes remain.
Roman Rumor Control
Roman Legio IX Hispana marched East with the army of Crasus, who suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Parthians. The 9th Spanish Legion no longer appeared in records and what fragmentary evidence that exists tells us that they may have survived – in China.
Based on local Chinese rumors, the Romans settled, built a fortification, part of which still exists. Some of these claims are supported by the evidence provided by several villagers in Liqian with European DNA. (youtube here)
There are problems with the youtube video. The Chinese fought the Xiongnu, not the Huns. The Romans stopped using the Phalanx before the Battle of Carrhae. But it might have happened the way that people speculate that it did. More here
I don’t claim to have any special insight and I’m only putting the theory forward for your consideration.
The quote is from Marcus Aurelius’ most widely quoted work, Amelianvs.
It has nothing to do with the 9th Spanish Legion ending up in China. I just
like the quote.
If they were alive today (representations by Becca Saladin)

74 Ways

There are 74 ways to die in a Shakespearian play. (more here) They are all politically correct because they didn’t involve the use of firearms.

20 thoughts on “Sunday View

  1. Pony Express – Possibly the last time for true and honesty in advertising.

    Not so sure on the modern take with the Roman portraits, Julius Caesar and Augustus look like they wore skinny jeans. As for Agrippa, she's has that "run away from crazy" look going.

    Wonder how much the MSM will try to overshadow today's Super Bowl fun…'cause ya know, the Left hates it when America has fun.

  2. The MSM and the Bloombergs of this world view it as an opportunity to spread propaganda that has nothing to do with funny commercials, building up America or making America Great Again. Thus, given enough billions, they spew.

    I can't speak to the humanization of the marble busts, but I find them interesting. With these people, history has taken the measure of the person.

  3. …albeit getting more difficult, we can ignore the MSM and enjoy our respective SB events with gusto.

    The portraits are interesting, adding a human face to history intrigues the mind. (was being somewhat tongue in cheek – typos included)

    Incidentally, the quote is an excellent reminder… plus Gladiator is in my top ten movies.

  4. My then 15 year old father delivered mail in Browns Park (extreme NW CO) by Model A in the good months and horseback during the winter. Took him three days horseback and the ranchers in the area would put him up overnight plus food for his horse. This would have been around 1936.

  5. The early fur trappers have always held a fascination for me. Usually in a small group to some area, then operating in one or twos in often severely hostile terrain, both physically and politically. The ability to identify different tribes and know whether to trade, negotiate or run like hell was vital. Sometimes it got down to who in the tribe, rather than what tribe. And running had it's own perils- Osborne Russell tells of an epic foot bound struggle across the mountains in the winter, after refusing village shelter from a Chief who later turned out to have made a good faith offer.
    In many respects their stories (unfortunately few in number as most could not read or write)remind me of tales from the SF people operating in hostile areas.

    That trapping era only lasted 30 years or so, before the big push west.

  6. Trapper's advice I still follow. "Don't go bothering something that ain't bothering you".

  7. Bad video, but truthful speculation on Romans in Western China. Probably died off due to some plague or flu that came out of Western China in the day.

    There is also some speculation that Norse or Rus traders made it to… Japan. There's this weird strain of red-haired northern Japanese that the rest of Japan considers to be barbarians. Speculation, but…

    And to really bake one's noodle, there's the opera "Turandot" about an exiled Russian Prince making the moves on one dangerous frigid Han princess. Sure, after a lot of singing, he finally gets the girl and escapes getting whacked, but… A Russian marrying a Han dynasty princess in the late 1300's? Hmmmmm….

    'Black Irish' being Spanish survivors of the Armada?

    Picts having some ties to Native Americans – the Seal People especially?

    Phoenician coins being uncovered in South America?

    Hmmmm…. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….

  8. I've read up on the Legion in China, oddly enough, and perhaps there's truth in it. Neat story, regardless and worth several novels if they haven't been written, which they prob have.

    And riding the mail sounds like fun, I'd be in if I hadn't smashed up my hip, dammit.

    Message to market — think at least twice before messing with Aggripina, or her cohort.

  9. The Pony Express still holds a lot of fascination for people. We have an old Overland Express Station up near Virginia Dale, and one of the roads on the extreme West side of town is named "Overland Trail".

    Much, much American History here, and I soak it up like a sponge.

    And I have a whole new appreciation for the Transcontinental Railroad thanks to WSF.

  10. I was always drawn to John Johnson, the Crow Killer. He didn't kill Crows for his entire trapping career but you have to admire somebody like Johnson who takes on a massively powerful, intelligent tribe such as the Crow.

  11. The world was a much smaller place than current science paints it. Kennewick Man came from Asia, and there were people crossing both ponds. Much evidence exists to support that.

  12. WSF is THE train officianado!

    Since the pony express route in Arizona ran near my house along the Army road built by General Crook during the Geronimo Campaign, I find that personally interesting. As Raven commented above, it didn't last long, but it was remarkable. The Hashknife Cattle Company (which still exists between the White Wolf Mine and Holbrook, AZ) lent drovers to do some of the work.

  13. I always like the old trapper's remark about land nav–"Nope, never been lost. But the wuz a coupla days one time when I wuz powerful confused".

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