I am sending this out right now:
The Xenophile Historian Newsletter, #22
( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/ )
Greetings once again to all my loyal readers! Charles Kimball is here, to give you the latest news on my world history website. The good news is that I am still in Kentucky; so far the only trips out of state this year have been to Baltimore in January, and Oklahoma in April. The bad news is that I have not worked a day since the last newsletter; the Great Recession may be over elsewhere, but here the economy is still as bad as ever. Fortunately I am starting to have some success with my LegalShield business; if that takes off I won’t need a job anymore. In April I got a new business website, at http://charlesskimball.legalshieldassociate.com/ .
Long-time readers will know that at the end of 2010, I started writing a complete history of Latin America & the Caribbean, and have finished four chapters so far. I still have to write a paper or two to cover the region’s recent history (1889 to present), but after getting done with Chapter 4, I took a break from that to revisit one of my older history projects–Russia. You might think I was going to write about what has happened there since 1999, and while the last Russian history paper badly needs updating (I broke off right when Vladimir Putin replaced Boris Yeltsin), I didn’t do that. Instead I went with a “prequel”; I greatly expanded the section discussing the various peoples who lived in northern Eurasia before there were any Russians. That section became the new Chapter 1, covering Russian history up to 862 A.D. Here is a link to the new chapter, and a list of the subheadings in it:
Chapter 1: Before the Russians (before 862 A.D.)
The First Steppe Lords
The Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus
The Rise of the Bulgars
The Magyars and Petchenegs
The Main Ingredients — The Slavs and Varangians
Of course this meant a renumbering of the chapters already in that folder. The old Chapter 1 is now Chapter 2, and it just covers Russian history from 862 to 1682. Likewise Chapter 2 became Chapter 3, Chapter 3 became Chapter 4, and Chapter 4 became Chapter 5. I also had to locate and update the links to those pages from other parts of the website.
This is the first time I have done a prequel on the site, unless you count The Genesis Chronicles, which are basically a prequel to everything else. Regular readers will know that when I start an historical narrative I like to go way back, further in the past than most historians will go. With my North American history series, for instance, I did not start with the Pilgrims, Jamestown or even Columbus –- I started with the ice age. I did not do that with the Russians, however, because I composed most of those papers in 1990, before I had developed the writing style I am using now. Back then it made sense to breeze through the pre-Russian tribes, from the Cimmerians to the Khazars, but now the early birds will get equal time, in part to give me a chance to mention the interesting archaeological discoveries made over the past twenty years.
Okay, here is the link again. I hope you enjoy reading my newest history paper as much as I did researching and writing it!
Regular readers know that I have some off-topic humor (funny pages, pictures and jokes) in a folder on The Xenophile Historian, which you can reach from a page named "Just For Fun" ( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/holybook/kup9.html ). Now, because I have started posting links to YouTube videos on some of the history pages, I have created a page with links to all my favorite videos that are both funny and history-related. If you have a broadband connection, click on the link below, watch and enjoy!
In the same folder, I also composed several new essays. First, I looked at a disturbing trend; is the human race getting dumber?
On the other hand, we are better off than the vast majority of people who have ever lived. This essay counts the ways:
And here I looked at how declining intelligence, depopulation, and political correctness could put us in another dark age:
Are we living in a kakistocracy (government or rule by the worst)? Here are some thoughts on where the political Left is taking us:
And Florida seems to have become a very weird place since I moved away from it. Here are my observations on that:
And I used to post the essays about topics besides history, politics and philosophy on one page, which I simply called Chapter 4. As you might expect, after fifteen essays, that page was getting quite large, so each of the essays now has its own page, with links to them from the Chapter 4 page.
Among the pages that already existed on the site, I made the most changes/updates to the European history. Chapters 1, 9, 10, 12, and 13 have each been divided in two, to make indexing by search engines easier. Chapter 14, which covers the years from 1914 to 1945, was the longest, so I divided it into three parts, for World War I, the interwar years, and World War II.
Chapter 15 became two whole chapters. The first part is still Chapter 15, but now it just covers the Cold War years (1945 to 1990), and has been renamed “A Continent Divided.” Events from 1990 to 2001 went into the new Chapter 16, which has tentatively been named “Europe Today.” That title could change if anything earthshaking happens over there in the near future; for instance, I’m thinking of calling Chapter 16 “Eurabia” if the rapid growth of Europe’s Islamic community continues. There isn’t really anything new in either chapter yet. One of these days I will have to write down what has happened in Europe since 2001, and this arrangement makes room for such an addition.
For Chapter 8, I split the long section about Frederick II, the most interesting Holy Roman emperor, into two parts, and inserted a new section, about the Mongol invasion of Europe, between them:
For Chapter 9, I added the William Tell legend to the paragraph on how Switzerland got started. That expanded the paragraph into a whole new section:
Also in Chapter 9, I added a few words to footnote #22, about last year’s discovery of the bones of King Richard III:
For Chapter 14, I added two footnotes covering incidents where Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were shot, long before World War II, but both recovered. Imagine how that could have changed history!
The first chapter of my North American history was divided, too, for the same reasons as the European pages were divided; to improve indexing and make room for more Google ads. In Chapter 3 I added the German Coast Uprising, a major slave rebellion that was forgotten until its bicentennial arrived in 2011:
For Chapter 5 of The Genesis Chronicles, I added a section on Boskop Man, a South African caveman who had a brain much larger than ours. Would "cave nerd" be a more accurate term here?
The Chinese and Southeast Asian papers were first composed in the late 1980s, when the papers I wrote were much shorter than the papers I’m writing now, so with them I did the opposite of splitting — I merged some of them together. For China, Chapters 5 & 6 are now merged to make a larger Chapter 5. With Southeast Asia, I merged Chapter 1 with 2, and Chapter 5 with 6, reducing the total number of chapters from eight to six. In both folders, the other chapters were renumbered accordingly.
Don’t worry, I did not delete any content. If anything, I will have to add more, to cover what has happened in both regions since 2000.
Finally, I switched the search engine on each page of The Xenophile Historian website, from Picosearch to a customized version of Google. Picosearch served the website well, so I hated getting rid of it, but it had its limitations, the biggest one being that if the website grew to have more than 250 pages, I would have to pay $20/month to keep Picosearch running. In fact, the website had grown past that point already; I managed to avoid paying by excluding Picosearch from the largest folder; obviously that isn’t a long term fix. Well, Google has a limit of 5,000 pages on its custom search engine; that solved my problem, because I don’t expect the website to ever have that many pages, at least while I’m managing it.
What’s next? I haven’t made up my mind on that yet. Because I spent most of the past eight months taking care of old business, I will probably go back to composing new papers. Chances are I will write another Latin American history paper, because I have gotten nothing but favorable comments on those so far.
That’s the latest website-related news. If you missed older issues of the newsletter and want to see them, they can be downloaded in a zip file from
http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/download/index.html . And the links below go to topics I mentioned in previous issues, that are still valid. Please visit them, if you haven’t already:
The Xenohistorian Weblog, this site’s official blog.
My world history textbook, "A Biblical Interpretation of World History."
Take Care and God Bless,
Charles Scott Kimball