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Braveheart Loses His Head... and Various Other Parts

King Edward I of England is not a man who frightens easily but if anyone could make him feel uncomfortable it would be Sir William "Braveheart" Wallace. King Edward has made a deal with the Scots: an end to hostilities in exchange for Sir Wallace's unconditional surrender. It will be a friend that will betray him. Sir John of Menteith is told that King Edward will only keep Wallace under house arrest so after offering Wallace a place to stay, Menteith calls the English troops. Sir William "Braveheart" Wallace will become the SECOND nobleman to be hung, drawn and quartered, the first being the Prince of Wales in 1283. Six months later Robert the Bruce will raise his flag and challenge England again. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It seems incredible that Sir John of Menteith could believe such a bald-faced lie yet his only excuse is that he was a phenomenal fool. No one records Sir Wallace's last words, but the proverb he quoted from his father is well known...
 Dico tibi verum, libertas optima rerum: 
 Nunquam servili sub nexu vivito, fill.
 I tell you truly, No gift is like to liberty; 
 My son, never live in slavery.

The Man is Gone but the Splendor Remains

He has passed away but his one great work remains in print to this day... in many languages... used in every magic show you've ever seen, represented in anime on the Cartoon Network, a manga series... and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles! I've seen it at Barnes and Noble... and... IT'S A SECRET! Rabbi Moses de Leon's critical work, the Zohar meaning "The Splendor", will change the course of Jewish and Christian mysticism. Who let this secret out? The Christians will discover this book in the mid-1500s and fall in love with it. The rest is history. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm making light of a difficult work. This is Kabbalah and by tradition Jews limit the study of the Kabbalah to those over 40 years old. It's just good advice. That is why I was concerned when I found the manga Neon Genesis Evangelion with a mysticism tutorial for kids IN THE CHILDREN'S SECTION OF MY PUBLIC LIBRARY! Luckily most kids don't bother learning it. If you feel a little uncomfortable... well... relax. These ideas have been around for a long time now. It is still a theme in children's stories, fairy tales and such. Anyone who has heard the magic word "Abracadabra" has already been exposed. Kids survive. So will you. (FYI, some of my fellow Jews will ding me for calling the Zohar "Rabbi Moses de Leon's work." I know what the tradition says. Gershom Scholem has the better case on this one. Please send your complaints to "Someone Who Cares", The Trash Bucket, USA.)[16] [17] [18]

No Mercy from Mercenaries

Few things are more terrible than watching the slow-motion collapse of an Empire, yet Byzantium can't give up. Years earlier, Emperor Andronikos II had tried to save money by laying off his mercenaries, but after several military failures, he hired new mercenaries.... the Catalan Company led by Roger de Flor, but the Catalan Company expects to be paid well and on time. With the bill past due Roger de Flor is assassinated and the Emperor is blamed. The Catalan Company meets the superior forces of the Byzantium Empire at the Battle of Apros... and kicks their backsides. For the next two years the Catalan Company will destroy the area, pushing the population into Constantinople which is present day Istanbul. [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Catalan Company and Roger de Flor are no sweethearts but like Dracula... you have to invite them into your home first before they can do damage and they WERE invited. The co-Emperor Michael IX lost almost his entire army in that last battle. The Catalan Company was said to do "unspeakable things", they were so angry about losing their leader and that is saying something for the Middle Ages where "drawing and quartering" is considered proper justice.

See Also

  • 1283 It's Another "First" for Wales!
  • 1284 The Emperor Weds an 11 Year Old
  • 1285 Say Bye-Bye to Charles and His Puppet Pope
  • 1298 Honesty Is It's Own Reward.... But not in Byzantium
  • 1302 Payback is a Bitch When You Don't Pay Your Bills


  1. Murison, Alexander Falconer, Sir William Wallace, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898, pp. 134-13. (BOOK)
  2. Sir William Wallace....Biography, William Wallace Society 2007.
  3. The Execution of William Wallace, Education Scotland, Crown, 2012.
  4. William Wallace, Braveheart - The True Story
  5. William Wallace - Fight for Independence, Biography, A+E Television Networks, LLC. 2014.
  6. Hung, Drawn and Quartered, Linda Alchin, 2012
  7. The First Nobleman Hung, Drawn, and Quartered, Matthew Zarzeczny, Ph.D.
  8. William "Braveheart" Wallace, Wikipedia
  9. Matt, Daniel Chanan, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism, Book Sales, August 1997.
  10. Scholem, Gershom, Kabbalah, Buccaneer Books, December 1988.
  11. Sarah Connor Chronicles: Episode 104: Heavy Metal, from the Terminator Wiki (REVIEW)
  12. Neon Genesis Evangelion by Carlo Santos, Anime News Network, 2013-Jun-28. (REVIEW)
  13. Zohar, Wikipedia
  14. Moses de Leon, Wikipedia
  15. Shimon bar Yochai, Wikipedia
  16. Singer, Isaac Bashevis, Stories for Children. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 1984. (SHORT STORIES)
  17. Singer, Isaac Bashevis, The Golem. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 1982. (NOVEL)
  18. Abracadabra, Wikipedia
  19. Bartusis, Mark C., The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997-Jan-1. (BOOK)
  20. Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995 pp. 256-272. (BOOK)
  21. Nicol, Donald M., The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453, Cambridge University Press, 1993-Oct-14. pp. 128-132. (BOOK)
  22. Byzantine Battles, Manolis Papathanassiou, 2011-2014
  23. Battle of Apros, Wikipedia
  24. Catalan Company, Wikipedia
  25. Roger de Flor, Wikipedia
  26. Michael IX Palaiologos, Wikipedia

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