History 104A, October 24: The Dark Knight is White & Plays Chess!


               I was checking for the date for the next exam which is


          November 9th.  So it's about a week and a half away, two weeks.  Today


          is the 24th.


               I did get, I think, all of the group meetings up on the Internet.


          I think I got all of the papers to make up for all of the missed group


          meetings also as well.  So please do check the grades and see if


          everything is hunky dory, using the ancient word, to make sure that


          I'm not missing anything of your own work so that everything goes




               Any questions before we begin on this Monday?  All right.  We are


          moving onto a new topic in a sense then, we have developed the


          fundamental base for Christianity and touched on Islam as well in


          neither case extremely thoroughly but enough for a general course to


          look at.  And now we're going to be moving into western Europe.  And


          that means that we're going to be dealing with the medieval period.


               We identified that when we talked medieval Europe, we're talking


          basically 500 to 1500 basically.  We historians like to put times to


          things, but they often do not work.  We identified more specifically


          that we saw from 476 perhaps the decline and fall of the Roman empire


          which of course we finally say didn't decline and fall through at


          least to the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1553.


               Now, it ain't so uniform, also tends to identify with false


          images.  Now, that's what we're going to have to first  begin.  One of


          the biggest false images of medieval Europe -- I think it can viewed



          today outside in the weather.  We have this images that this is the


          dark ages, at least the first half if not the whole thing.  And when


          we visualize the dark ages, we visualize the sun not shining.  That


          may be true in Belgium, but it's not true all the time.  That dark


          ages, at least in color, certainly is one of the major invalid


          elements of it, false images.  Historians, basically at least college


          historians and a few high school who really took history, no longer


          really use the term dark ages.  So as soon as I see the word dark ages


          on your next text paper, I'm just going to put a big fat F next to it.


          I just thought I would throw that in.  Dark ages means that learning


          disappears and that is not valid.


          Q    I heard that it was the dark ages because we don't know much


          about the time period.  Is that correct?


               THE PROFESSOR:  We have really pretty good knowledge of the time


          period; so the answer is, no, it's not correct.


               Perhaps we talked earlier about Charlomaine during this period.


          And we know about the 500 period CE about Clovis and the Franks.  We


          certainly know about what was going on with the Muslim invasion of


          Spain since there were records on that basis.  We lack specific kinds


          of records perhaps in northern Europe among the Vikings and Norsemen,


          but we certainly have some background into what we were doing.  We


          have what we call the Carligeon renaissance under Charlomaine where


          writing and education became very important and that's in the 800


          period.  In the 900 period, a little north of where Charlomaine set


          his capital, we have the Ottos -- Otto one, Otto two, Otto three.  In



          other words, we have sort of a German renaissance.  In England, we may


          not know about King Arthur, although the myths are there.  The


          knowledge is certainly lacking, but we do know about Robin the great.


          What's Alfred of course in England and in the 9th century begins at


          sort of images of huts out his territories fighting off the Norsemen


          coming in, the Danes as they're called in the north of England.  And


          sets forth territory by actually using chalk to create little horses


          to cover the areas where he's covered, which sort of gives us the


          image of the white horse which becomes sort of a whiskey or something


          and begins a very thorough education process.  We know a little bit


          highland.  I'm not sure we have tremendous details.  We do know that


          the monks went forth perhaps even in the period of Saint Patrick.  I


          want to say it's as thorough knowledge as we may have had of Rome.


          But even a lot of things that we know about Rome come from later


          historians.  And our knowledge of Jesus comes from people who did not


          know him or wrote later in the sense of Luke, Mark, Matthew -- all


          were not contemporaries, and so they're writing down what they heard


          more than they are about context.  It isn't like the dark ages in


          Greece where we really don't know what the hell happened between the


          Trojan war and Homer.  From 1200 to about 800 there really is a period


          of nothing being known to speak of.  And that's why I think Velikovsky


          may have something in saying that those 400 years never existed.  They


          were made up.  Yeah, you've heard those terms before.


               You've heard also that there was no traveling.  Well, as we


          identified the other day, there was a lot of movement, mostly for



          religious purposes for pilgrims.  And of course a little later in the


          medieval period we certainly have stories that come out of these


          periods about Chaucer in England, in the Canterbury Tales, where


          people are sitting around the campfire telling these bawdy or sexy


          stories and all tales that people tend to relate as they're going to a


          pilgrim Canterbury.  And then in Italy one of the most famous or fun


          story reading the little tale of Boccaccio and the Decameron.  And


          they were really on a pilgrimage telling these tales, if you will.


          Granted, we don't know a lot about western Europe, a lot of knowledge,


          even under the Roman period.  What we know of the Romans comes from


          works of Julius Caesar who talked about the Gaelic wars and writing


          down about the Britains.  Much of that knowledge we still don't know


          what the dark age was.  We seem to see it as an astrological


          iconography -- that's not the word I'm looking for -- a time piece and


          also a way of watching the stars.  When it was built is still debated


          and what its main purpose is.  Most of Europe was somewhat under Roman


          control was still frontier.  And on the frontier what you had was


          basically a serpent firefly, what the hell does that mean?  We're


          talking about the new movie that came out, that is out right now


          that's dealing with the frontiers of space a few hundred years in the


          future and how people are living like cowboys.  They don't have a lot


          of records.  They don't have a lot of things going on in the sense of


          what they're talking about.


               Urbanization -- it's not in Alexandria.  It's not in Rome for


          that matter.  Yeah, there is a certain lack of the knowledge of the



          major Roman cities, but it's an area that wasn't Rome.  And so there's


          a bias saying -- you know.  And with that bias comes mainly out of the


          latter middle ages when writers begin to talk about that period as a


          period of lacking knowledge.  That they see themselves following in


          the Roman, Latin, Greek tradition and they talk about it as an era of


          darkness and light coming forth into the renaissance.  And there is


          also, by the 1800s, the dealing with the middle ages, a period where


          they look at it as Christian, and since it's Christian, and they're


          rebelling against the Christian control of universities and education


          and knowledge, they're attacking the middle ages as dark and dreary


          with no knowledge because it was controlled by the Christians.  And


          that certainly is perhaps major works of people like Burkhark and


          others -- you don't need to know the names -- who basically blamed


          that whole lack of knowledge on Christianity and its attempt to


          control the masses before the Protestant reformation.  There is some


          truth to the fact that definitely knowledge, the way that it was


          spread in Rome with the universities, with the learning, with the


          large population, with the art, didn't exactly exist.  And a lot of


          what was known by Rome certainly ceased to exist in Europe.  It was


          really hardly ever there.


               Much of the knowledge continued in the Muslim areas.  The Muslim


          universities exploded with Spain, Toledo, and throughout north Africa


          and certainly in areas like Arabia, Persia.  They kept much of the


          knowledge.  They collected the Plato's.  They collected the


          Aristotle's.  They studied them and they combined that knowledge with



          knowledge they brought from India.  And this was during this same


          period of time.  Now again, please note that the Muslims, in their


          expansion of knowledge, controlled a good portion of Europe.  They


          controlled Spain, north Africa, and went into this area here later as


          far as Vienna and much of southern Italy.  Sicily had Muslim


          influence.  So we had here was just a little center part of Europe


          that was just Christianity.  That's another false image, the image


          that Europe was Christian during this era.  Many of these Christians


          here, but some of them were considered heretical, meaning that they


          didn't follow the Catholic doctrine.  The Vikings, the Danes took a


          longer time to become Christian and weren't fully converted until the


          11th century -- not 600, not 500, not 400 -- but 1000 to 1100 they


          became Christian.


               Of course there was also the fear of the invasion.  It's not just


          the Germanic invasions.  That image is true.  And so they have the


          Haga the terrible's, the Vikings, the Danes the Norsemen.  Be aware of


          the Norsemen, and that certainly also tended to create a little


          different culture.  It tended to build churches that were more


          fortresses.  It moved people inland.  It created self-sustaining


          communities.  People moved away from the waterways for a very basic


          reason.  Transportation took place on the waterways.  And anywhere


          there was water, the Norsemen came in; or for that matter, so did the


          Muslims.  And therefore, they had to get inland to protect themselves.


          And in so doing, it did cut down on a certain level of trade because


          they moved from the waterways.  The Norsemen continued trade and began



          to settle all along the Mediterranean and as far as Greece.  And


          certainly they moved into the area of what we call Europe today.  Or


          actually better said, their main area was in the Ukraine.  And in the


          Ukraine, the City of Kiev, game a train maids point for VARINGES


          meaning the force member, the Vikings.  They used, at least during the


          warm time, the rivers to come down into this particular area,


          confronts the Mongols who came out of central Asia.  Once again, there


          was some mobility, certainly not on the level that they think of as


          far as the Romans were concerned with all roads leading to Rome.  If


          you read the Roman journals, even when they were moving through these


          areas, they were heavily forested and confronted with barbarians.  And


          they had trouble holding them off because they were more used to the


          ease of movements in places where you don't have that kind of forested


          land and the mountainous land either.  Again, we have to deal with


          what we would call false images.


               Some of those turn around on other levels that we're dealing


          with.  In the early middle ages, we really didn't have what later


          became known as serfdom.  Slavey began to disappear.  Never really was


          that heavy in Europe itself, but the Romans certainly used it


          dramatically.  It was Dioclese, if you remember, who ordered that


          people continue in the occupations of their parents.  And therefore,


          if somebody was born as a farmer, they would remain on the land.  Now,


          people began to turn that land over to protectors, those more wealthy


          individuals that could afford the armor and the knights -- I'm sorry,


          the knights in armor to fight, to protect.  And with that, they bound



          themselves to those lords.  And they became what we know as serfs.


          The difference between serfdom and slavery:  Slaves are owned


          individually and sold individually; serfs cannot be sold as people,


          only the land is sold and they're sold with the land.  They belong to


          the land, not to the owner.  They are not free, however.  They're not


          freeman.  So we begin to see that expansion as well.  Some of those


          things that we see as part of that medieval society, but we need to


          understand that during this early period called the dark ages by


          ancient Christians, that serfdom did not exist as such.  It's going to


          come into being more around 1,000 ADCE.


               Even the images of knight.  I say medieval period and people see


          it as the knights in shining armor.  The earlier period under


          Charlomaine and others, the concept of a knight was a retainer.  They,


          worked for them.  They didn't wear that heavy armor.  They wouldn't


          wear it on the horses.  It wasn't until the 9th century that the armor


          became more usable as they developed the stirrup, a place to hold onto


          when you got on, the footing on the horse.  So that horses then could


          be used with knights wearing armor.  And by the 13th century, the


          armor got so heavy that if you fell off, you needed a crane to pick


          you up.  It is said that Frederick Barbose 1 of the Sicily, from the


          two Sicilies, on the third crusade fell off his horse and drowned


          because he couldn't get up with the armor on, and nobody was around


          him.  He fell into a mud puddle.  I don't know how valid that is.  I


          think it's basically a story.  The images then of the knights in


          armor -- by the way, have any of you ever been to a museum and see the



          size of the armor that they war?  It's amazing how small the people


          were.  Most of you could not fit into that armor if you tried it on


          because it was generally for people 5-foot 4 to 5-foot 6.  Now


          Charlomaine stood out.  He apparently was 6-foot 7 to 7-foot.  He was


          a giant of a man at that time and was described as such.  For whatever


          reason, maybe he had some giantism in him.


               Before I forget, just as a reminder, we have no class on Friday.


          Everybody mark that down.  The other element is that we often talk


          about the medieval period with days and concepts.  What does get lost


          is a certain level of time, dates are not as important.  The Greeks


          bring a sense of some dating to history.  And then Rome deals with the


          emperors.  Medieval Europe deals with memory.  We're going to talk


          more about learning through memory, through oral tradition, not


          through dating of time or periods.  For example, it was said that


          people were waiting around until 1000 because they thought that the


          second coming of Christ and the forces between good and evil were


          going to occur at the millennium, that the millennium of Christ's


          birth would bring back the second coming.  But most people had no idea


          that it was 1000 AD or CE.  They didn't deal with dates.  We live with


          dates.  We know our birthdays and we know what year we were born.


          They may have known they were born in the year of the flood that New


          Orleans disappeared.  That's about the extent.  They had a better


          picture of it.  In fact, my grandparents came over from Europe and


          they had no idea when their birthday's were.  That's over 100 years


          ago, but still -- my grandfather, he took July 4th as his birthday



          because he knew he was born sometime during the summer.  And that was


          not uncommon from people coming from illiterate societies.  So again,


          other false images, these timing, these dates, these calendars that we


          often get into the medieval period.


               We're going to develop the expansion in the medieval period and


          these early years.  I thought I had a chess game in there, E four.


          Who wants to make the next move?  Okay.  Just check to see if anybody


          played chess.  How many of you actually know the chess pieces in the


          game of guess.  That's all?  Maybe about 10.  I think, well, maybe you


          have some sense of what it is.  Chess develops.  And originally of


          course the stories vary.  In one, India sort of over here goes on to


          Persia and goes into China and it develops in the 6th century, at


          least that's what we're told.  As it moves into Europe in the 7th and


          8th century, again during the early medieval period, it takes on the


          basic persona the game, as it is today, expanded out.  And it's a game


          that's sometimes called the game of kings because it is played among


          the royalty.  And so it reflects, in many ways, the medieval period


          and the patterns and the developments of what was taking place in


          medieval Europe.  And so I like to use it as sort of an analogy.  How


          the game developed, we have no basic idea, but we have stories.  Such


          stories as a king in India whose children, whose two boys were always


          fighting.  And whether or not let them go to war with each other, he


          developed this game to let them fight it out on a chessboard.  We know


          the pattern of the movement of the game into Europe and into China,


          into India and into Japan because while there are differences in the



          game, the knight, the horse -- of course we don't use the word horse


          if you really play chess.  I tell the kids never to use the word


          horsy.  The knight.  The knight has a certain jumping move.  It can


          jump over pieces like a checker piece, and it is very unique to the


          game.  And by following that knight, move to other areas.  We pretty


          much follow the game of chess as it expanded into other parts of the


          world and perhaps as the one game that's played by people throughout


          the world today under international rules, but there are different


          rules for different countries.  This is Chinese chess which has


          similar moves but they have a river and they have symbols on it.


          Afghanistan has a chess game that's quite different.  The king --


          there's no such than as a stalemate.  If the piece is to -- a pawn


          better said -- to promote to the better piece -- I'm sorry -- to the


          pieced that started out on that file.  And the western game of chess


          is pawn can proceed to get to make it wants but to a king or a pawn.


          Unless it started out as a file, it cannot become a game.  Differences


          exit.  It became more western and that western game passed on during


          the medieval period.  As I say, it did reflect the game.  Now, granted


          board games existed.  The Egyptians played a board game with stones


          similar to the game named Go.  Does anybody play Go?  That's a


          complicated game.


          A    Really?  I don't think so.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I see nice little black and white stones, but you


          don't think so?


          A    No.



               THE PROFESSOR:  The Romans had board games.  But the game of


          chess, as I say, for whatever reason in its complication and in its


          uniqueness has stayed.  And does reflect medieval Europe as it expands


          and comes into being at its height.  Many of the moves that we know of


          today came out of the higher middle ages.  So let's look at the


          chessboard.  It is in a sense an imaginary battlefield between the


          forces of good and the forces of evil.  Black and white -- did you


          ever feel evil if you're playing black?  And black moves second so it


          doesn't get the first moves.  Dark nights.


               All right.  The name in the West has on the edge of the board


          rooks which are often known as castles as well.  And in some part of


          the world, like India, what they are, are really elephants with these


          little sort of castles on some of them or rooks on some of them


          moving, again reflecting the position itself.  Castles of course


          become pretty powerful.  In medieval Europe, I might note again


          another false image during the early medieval period.  They did not


          have those big stone castles.  In the early medieval period that is


          sometimes referred to as the dark ages, what they really did was have


          wooden forts similar to the Roman forts that were built in Europe.


          What they are, were basically logs pointed at the top made on sort of


          mounds of earth that were set up to protect the Roman legions that


          were stationed in those areas.  As medieval Europe began to expand,


          the castle became the center of power.  And we're going to talk more


          about the castle and the manner system later on, but people went for


          protection behind the castle walls, would avoid the Norsemen, the



          Muslims and others who were invading Europe.


               Next to the castle sits the knights.  The knight in shining


          armor, the knight that has the ability to jump over pieces.  Not able


          to go as far as castle, somewhat limited in its mobility, but the


          knight was an interesting position in medieval Europe because you had


          to buy your own equipment.  And it was status.  What was the name of


          that recent movie Knight Tale or something?  It was a fun film.  And


          you got the picture of the status and the expense of armor and what it


          costs to build and make that armor.  Obviously people trained.  They


          spent their life almost as Spartans, training for battle at perhaps


          the expense of peasants and serfs around them.  Sometimes they were


          lords and sometimes they were vassals and sometimes they were just




               I might note that in front of all these pieces were the pawns.


          The pawns were not serfs.  They were the foot troops that were drafted


          by being hit over the head and taken from their lands.  They were


          pretty much free peasants or lower knights that couldn't afford the


          equipment.  And of course they became, in many places, the cannon


          fader.  They were put in front of the forces.  They were the archer,


          the protected forces.  They had the shields to protect, but they


          didn't go on horseback.  And because of that, they have simply a


          single move.  They move one square at a time, forward only.  We don't


          want them going backwards because that would ruin the battle.  They


          have to put their lives on the line in battle like in medieval Europe,


          so only forward one square at a time.  I should probably have a



          chessboard in here and show you this stuff.  It's not as important to


          show you medieval Europe and how it's reflected on a chess board, I




               Later on, during the Medieval period, the pawns would say


          permission to go two squares forward.  They would only win a battle if


          they are diagonal.  And so they're stuck.  There's another piece in


          front of them.  The next to the knight came a very important piece


          that name does not exist in other parts.  Names differ because it


          definitely comes out of medieval Europe the bishop.  And the bishop is


          identified on the chessboard wearing a bishop's hat which is a hat


          with a hole in it basically, a cresses the bishop's wore.  In any


          case, we have the bishop who has equal power to the knight.  And


          pretty much had that equal power.  Bishops had the force of being able


          to crown the kings to give them their staph and their ring.  And they


          had the power of the church courts.  The bishops on the chessboard go


          diagonally.  And they like open space.  Knights like it nice and


          closed because they can jump over pieces.  Bishops like to run across


          the whole board.


               And then the queen.  The queen is the most powerful piece.  It


          wasn't originally.  It was an advisor when it started out.  It didn't


          move much more than the king, a square at a time.  But by the end of


          the medieval period, the power of the queen reflected the power of the


          queen in society.  The queen can go anywhere she likes just like any


          woman you know.  And the most powerful piece, just like any woman you


          know, probably shouldn't use the term piece here -- you'll think I'm



          being sexist.  Perhaps the best example of where that power comes from


          Richard the Lion Hearted mother's her name, Eleanor of Aquatain.


          Aquatain is a province in southern France.  You can see it up here.


          Aquataina in Gaul.  And she inherited and owned it.  Eleanor was


          married, as often is done, women of royal blood were married for


          dynastic purposes, to keep the families from fighting to keep them


          unified.  And she was married to Louie of France which basically meant


          that Louie controlled the area pretty much around Paris only.


          However, when Louie and the second crusade went to Eleanor, to the


          holy land, there she met Henry the second of England.  And they


          actually fell in love while they were married.  And they had a secret


          affair going on in which Eleanor gave Henry a ring that was really a


          sundial, so they can know when to meet secretly in the gardens.  That


          sundial ring is sold in many catalogs today.  That's the only reason I


          mentioned it.  And when they return to Europe, Eleanor was able to get


          an annulment.  Remember, there was no divorce -- and married Henry.


          And of course bore him a number of sons, including Richard and John


          who I talked about the other day.  But the lands of Aquatain still


          belong to her.  And they were under the control of her, but she was a


          vassal to the king of France even now that she wasn't married.  And


          therefore, Richard and Henry, owning this land in Aquatain became, in


          a sense, vassals to the king of France.  We're going to talk more


          about the complexity of who owns what and who controls what and who


          owes allegiance to who as well during this period.  Richard died from


          a poison arrow fighting for his mother's land in Aquatain.  But that



          power, that movement, not just the dynastic marriages, but the control


          of land became much more reflective of the queen's power and her


          ability of mobility.


               The king doesn't have the lot of power, which is short of


          strange.  His one power is, of course, once he is captured or in a


          position to be killed, the game is over.  Not quite exactly the way it


          was in Europe.  Why doesn't he have power?  Because during most of the


          medieval period until we get into the latter medieval ages, the late


          medieval period kings only really control, except in England, the land


          around their own domain.  For protection, they give the land out to


          others like Aquatain and others.  And the only land they hold


          correctly is often around the capital city.  As Louie pretty much


          controlled only the land around Paris while normally he controlled


          Burgundy and Aquatain and Normandy, that was just as a sort of name


          sake.  And so he depended upon the others to protect him.  In the game


          of chess, the king is not killed.  How is that reflective of the


          medieval period?  The king never comes off the board.  The king is in


          a position to be taken, can't get out of that position, can't capture,


          can't move out of it, and can't protect himself with any other piece.


          The game is over.  Why isn't the king killed?  For the same reason


          that Richard the Lion Hearted isn't kill.  Because of the lack of


          wealth or at least the limited wealth in medieval Europe.  It is far


          more profitable to ransom a king.  As you know, dear Robinhood was


          also raising funds so that he could also get Richard back from the


          Germanic prison that he was being held in after his return from the



          crusades.  Kings were not killed generally.  They were placed in


          ransom or placed in captivity until a large ransom was paid.  It made


          a lot of sense.  And the game of chess itself reflects that.


               And in the game of chess we give points to the pieces based on


          their value, although you don't really count them up.  In the game, it


          gives you a picture.  Pawns are worth one point.  Castles are worth


          five because of their heavy mobility.  Knights with worth three.


          Bishops are worth three.  And queens are worth nine, the most valuable


          piece on the board as far as points are concerned.  And what about


          kings?  Kings are priceless.  Translation, you can't give them a point


          value because once they're captured, they're held for the ransom that


          they're being demand for, and the game is over.  And as I say, this


          whole pattern pretty much does reflect much of medieval Europe and the


          patterns that took.  The game of chess in other parts of the world,


          the queen is an advisor, is a chancellor.  It's not female.  It's an


          advisor to the king and male.  So again, the pattern changes in


          different parts of the world.  Okay.  We've now played at the world of


          medieval Europe.