Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:
I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.
History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.
Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.
The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.
But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.
The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.
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Why The Merkel Election Isn’t Like Trump’s:
In the US when you get Trump elected President the election means Isolationism. Americans want to pull back from being involved in lots of international affairs. They want to cut back on immigration and make sure that they themselves have jobs and money before they invite anybody else in. But in America you can’t completely cut off immigration. The US is a country of immigrants. None of this is very deep or very serious or very old.
In America there is no core ethnic group like the Cherusci tribe from ancient Germany from whose ranks arose the traitor named Arminius who pretended to take on a Roman gloss when being educated at Caesar’s expense back in Rome. Then when he was “helping” to guide the Roman troops towards the Elbe River he and his fellow Germans fell upon the trusting dupes and slaughtered them. Germanicus appeared in 14AD, five years later, to seek revenge on the German tribes. But the Romans never again pushed toward the Elbe River. The line was drawn at the Rhine instead. This is terribly significant for western civilization and makes the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest one of the most important battles in history.
Merkel visited the site of the battle in 2009. Germany issued a stamp to celebrate 2000 years. Can you believe it? I bought one of these myself and put it up on my website under the novel in question.
There is a Hermann the German (Arminius’s German name) statue in Germany right now located on the A7 near Detmold. We unfortunately missed it. No one in Germany is talking about taking it down the way people here are trying to take down Robert E. Lee statues. No way! As has been pointed out the leader of the Alternative for Germany Party just used the word “volk”. He invoked the “volk”.
Merkel’s election echoes through the centuries. Trump’s does not.
Cheops Books LLC will publish a novel about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest next year as part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
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Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:
Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.
Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.
I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.
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