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The Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxons were German tribes that settled in England from the middle of the 400's through the 500's A.D. They soon began to run out the native Britons, and by the 6th century they had started to take over most of England. By the 600's they were well established in Britain. A rich Anglo-Saxon culture soon started to blossom in the years between the 7th and 11th century.

Early Anglo-Saxon society was centered around families and clans. Tribes, were mainly centered on the warrior and a system of reciprocity called comitatus. The lord or one of the ruler expected loyalty and martial service from his thegns, or knights as they would later be called, and they, for their services, would in turn expect protection and rewards from their lord or ruler.

In the 12th century, when Kerbouchard lived, the Anglo-Saxons were losing their control of Britain and England. In the wonderfully exciting book titled The Walking Drum, Kerbouchard came from Britttany in France, and indeed he had a Druid heritage. Although in the book it is never clearly stated that he was, in any way, related to the Anglo-Saxons, you could most likely assume that he was indeed related to the Anglo-Saxon.(aavs)

The Crown--History--Anglo-Saxon From Her Majesty's Website.


The Assassins

In the times of Mathurin Kerbouchard, there was a group of professional trained killers. The Assassins were instructed to kill people of high rank such as emperors or philosphers. They would either travel alone or with a partner. the two most important rules of the Assassins were, kill your chosen target, if you failed you would be hunted down and assassinated and, two, if you ever gave away the plans or location of the Assassins you would be killed.

The ruler of the Assassins could do whatever he wanted. He could kill who he wanted when he wanted. One time, the Assassin ruler had both his sons killed, one for carrying out an unassigned murder and the other for drinking wine.

The Assassins were trained to fit in and not be noticed, living in shadows, or in this case deadly shadows. A technigue often used by the Assassins was to dress up as one of the victim's servants or someone who had easy access to him. Then when the time was right, they would creep up rushing him and bury a dagger in his bosom.

Assassins knew many lanquages which made it very easy for them to fit in, or get closer to a chosen target.

The way the Assassins tie in to The Walking Drum is that Mathurin Kerbouchard's father was being held by the Assassins in a temple.

The Assassins are still thought of today as one of the most feared and secret societies of ancient times.(jmmy)

Theme from Mission Impossible


Avignon is home of the Palais des Papes which is the biggest structure in the city. the Pont St-Benezet is a bridge built from 1171-1185 had 22 arches. Most of these, however, were destroyed in 1668 by floods. Because of trouble in Rome, Pope Clement V moved the Papal Court to Avignon in 1309. The Papal Court remained there until 1377. Seven official Popes were there until 1377. After that there were three anti-popes. the last one Benedict XIII fled in 1403. The Palais des Papes is more of a fortress than a palace. the Palace's heavy fortification shows how violent religious life was. During the French Revolution all art and furniture was looted or destoyed.

The Festival d'Avignon lasts from the middle of July through the middle of August and takes place near the Palais des Papes. The Festival d'Avignon is the largest festival in France and was originated in 1947 by Gerard Philipe. There is another festival called of Off Festival with theater and music.(cigs)



The Childrens Crusades

There were many Crusades or Holy Wars, but one of the stangest and most tragic was the Children's Crusade. Boys and girls from the ages of ten to eighteen years of age marched by the thousands to recover Jerusalem. They believed that God would deliver the Holy City to them because they were poor and faithful. The group of children came from Germany and France. They expected that God would part the waters of the Mediterranean Sea so that they could cross it safely to Jerusalem.

On this tragic journey none of the children reached the Holy Land. On the southern march to the Mediterranean many of them starved or froze to death. When the miracle they had expected didn't happen for the youngsters that survived the journey to the Mediteranean they returned home in shame. Others got on board ships going to the East and either were drowned in the storms at sea or sold into slavery by the Muslims.

I think this was a terrible part of History. It is so sad to think of all the children dying out in the cold. I hope that nothing like this ever takes place in history again.(nilh)

Medieval History

The Coptic Religion

The Coptic Church was the major Christian church in Egypt. Tecent scholarship suggests that the origins of Egyptian Christianity are to be found among the Jews living in Alexandria in the 1st Century A.D. by the end of the 2nd Century the Christian catechetical school headed by Clement of Alexandria had acquired great fame. Clement was the head of the school. In the 4th and 5th Centuries, two bishops of Alexandria defended Christian orthodocy--Saint Athanasius, against Arianism, and Saint Cyril against Nestorianism. Some Egypt Christians, however, don't believe in Jesus Christ being"one in two natures." Two natures" mean two Christs, divine and human, this is something that they are against. Today the Coptic Christian population of Egypt consitutes a substantial minority of about 7 million, but official government statistics lower this figure. Traditionally the Coptic Church is headed by the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. This relates to The Walking Drum because he traveled to Alexandria and that is where this religion exists.(lnun)

The Crusades

The Crusades were holy was fought between 1000 and 1300 A.D. to reclaim Jerusalem from the Arab Muslims. Crusade is a word that comes from the Latin word crux which means "cross". this is because of the outfit that the Crusaders wore. There was a red cloth cross sewn onto their tunics which indicated that they had take up their cross and were soldiers for Christ. There were many causes of the Crusades. Religious beliefs were cecoming very extremely important. the Crusaders began a religious trek to the Holy Land. When they arrived in Jerusalem and saw that the Muslims, who had ruled since 700 A.D., were not acknowledging the holiness of the city, the Crusaders took the role of not only pilgims but soldiers as well.

Many Crusaders were drawn into the wars by the riches of the East and the idea of leaving feudal society which would be much like a communist government. by joining in the Crusade, young and old Christian men could explore the mysterious eastern lands.

Because of the Crusades, Muslims have cold attitudes toward the Christians. The Crusades ended in the 1300's when a Christian Holy Roman Emperor named himself King of Jerusalem. The City was then taken back by the Muslims.

The Crusades tied in with the novel The Walking Drum because the story took place in Europe and Asia during the time of the Crusades.(cnfr)

Early Iceland Prior to 1200

Iceland is an island close to the Arctic Circle. Iceland lies in the North Atlantic Ocean just southeast of the largest island in the world, Greenland. the first people to go to Iceland and discover breathtaking natural beauty of the Island went there in the 8th Century. These people were Irish monks. These monks left the newly discovered land between 870-930 A.D. due to the arrival of the Vikings.View of black beaches of Kleifarvatn to right. These Vikings, whose leader was Leif Erikson, were living on the Island of Iceland 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus. With them, the vikings brought the Celtics and together they established the new world of Iceland.

The first thing that the settlers accomplished was to establish a law making body. This lawmaking body was named the Althingi, which called for four local courts and a supreme court. The Althingi is today considered the oldest national assembly in the history of the world. Christianity became the country's main religion in the year 1000. In the year 1056, the government establihed the first Christian school, which became the main center of learning in early Iceland. Even though Iceland is like a child, as it was the last European country to be settled, it has developed a stron national government, a population of about 260,000, and a well-maintained economy based on fishing. This spectacular country, with a magnificent landscape, is certain to grow in the future and be a greath place to be a tourist.

Iceland relates to the book called, The Walking Drum; by Louis L'Amor. The main character in this historical book is Mathurin Kerbouchard. Mathurin, when diescribing himself, says that he is a Celt. Celt is the shortened name for Celtic. The Celtics were the the group of people that traveled with the Vikings to settle Iceland in the years 840-930 A.D.(jasr)

The History of Iceland

MusicGigue, Antonia Bembo c. 1640-c. 1715

Eric the Red and Leif Ericson

For my Walking Drum report I reseached Eric the Red and Lief Ericson. I learned many interesting facts about them. I will now tell you some of the facts.

I'll start off by telling you about Eric the Red. (pictured lower right) He was a 10th Century Norwegian born explorer. He lived from about 950-1001. His real name was Eric Thorvaldson. He was nicknamed Eric the Red because of his bright red hair. Around 960 he came to Iceland with his father, Thorvald Asvaldsson.

Later on Eric got in arguments and killed a few eople in these fights. He was banished from Iceland for 3 years. He left in 982 and discovered Greenland. Eric named it Greenland, even though it was covered with ice, because he thought that with an attractive name he could attract more settlers.

In 986 he led 500 settlers, including his wife Thojadhild and his children (including Leif Ericson), there.

Eirc the Red's Son, Leif Ericson, (Pictured to left) was an Icelandic explorer. He lived from about 975-1020. A little before the year 1000 he sailed to Norway. There Olaf I converted him to Christianity. He then was sent back to Greenland to convert the other Vikings.

There are several stories about what happened next. One story states Leif lost his way and accidentally discovered North America. Another says a trader named Bjarni first sighted North America, lataer Leif Ericson bought his ship and retraced Bjarni's trip. He is credited with being the first European to go to North America.

As he sailed he found Vinland. Some say it's New Foundland, while others says it's Nova Scotia or New England. Most people believe it was New Foundland. On his way back he saved a crew from a ruined trading vessel. he received the entire cargo as a reward and waws nicknamed Leif the Lucky. This ties into the Walking Drum because like Mathurin, they were explorers.(easy)

Leif Ericson

Tresfjordingen A Norwegian waltz.


The development of explosives in China started with gunpowder. There is not a lot known about the beginning of gunpowder, but there is enough to rove that it was developed in China as early as the T'ang Dynasty in A.D. 618-906. The Chinese made fire works which were recorded as being called "fire trees". They were made of a substance like gunpowder. In 1161 and 1162 the Chinese supposedly defeated their invading opponents using types of early explosives. There is also some evidence that the Chinese developed a certain type of annon which they called a "thunderer".

In The Walking Drum, Kerbachaurd, while escaping from the Assassins' fortress at Amulet, uses what he calls "the Chinese fire chemical". It was a type of "dust", which was no doubt an early form of gunpowder. the make-shift explosive that Kerbachaurd makes enables them to escape.

The Chinese are believed to have developed gunpowder no later than the 9th Century. The powder is made of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. It was introduced to Europe in the 14th Century. Until around the mid 19th Century, gunpowder was the only explosive substance in wide use during warfare.(mtsw)

Music The Hokey Pokey


In The Walking Drum Kerbouchard came across many medieval fairs in his journey across Europe and Asia. Kerbouchard met a wide range of people throughout his travels. He encountered people such as peasants and princes. these fairs would cometimes help him escape death, because it would make it more difficult for people to find him. Many experiences came out of these medieval fairs.

Merchants and peddlers were send from different villages to buy, sell, and trade items at the fairs. As demand for items increased they would move around more frequently. they soon became businessmen, who became familiar with complex issues of trade. This would help mold medieval fairs into what they would become in later years.

Art, music, and drama became wonderful aspects of medieval fairs and a part of everyday life. People started to have singing and instrumental accompaniment in church ceremonies. In many medieval fairs, they would have small groups of people perform small skits. somethimes there would be stories, acrobats, jugglers and many other different types of theatrical performances. A majority of the people wore woolen clothing with undergarments made of linen. Brighter colors, better material and longer jacket length showed greater wealth. Merchants usually wore very elaborate clothing.

Medieval fairs were something that everyone could go to no matter if they were rich or poor, boy or girl. These fairs were made so everyone could enjoy themselves. Medieval fairs influence the Renaissance and modern times today in numerous ways.(lnas)

Music Whispering
Middle Ages, Town Life

The Fortress of Alamut

One of the rulers of the Justanid dynasty of Dylam, called Wahsudan bin Marzuban, is reported to have built the Fortress of Alamut. It has been said that while the king was hunting he saw an eagle take shelter on a rock out of reach, which gave him the idea to build a fort on top of a high rock. He named it aluhmut which aluh means "eagle" and amut means "nest". Iranian historians have brought up the fact that if each letter in Aluhamut is given its full numerical value in Arabic, its sum is 483, which is the year in which Hassan bin Sabbah obtained possession of Alamut. When Hassan bid Sabbah moved to Ashkavar and then to Anjirud, adjacent to Alamut. He entered the castle using a fake identity for a while. When he realized he was no longer obeyed, he left, while all of his followers had turned to Islailism.

Situated in the mountains all entrances could be well guarded. The fortress is 600 feet high, 450 feet long and 30 to 125 feet wide. it is partly surrouned by the Elburz Range. it was suposedly to contain over 200,000 volumes of books. It was all lost when the Mongols invaded Alamut. The fortress was destroyed by the Mongols under Hulegu who found it commanded by a weak ruler.(libt)

The Assassins of Alamut
Music Jeu Ne ris

The Knights Templar

To protect pilgrims traveling on route from Europe to Jerusalem, the Knights Templar was formed. The Knights Templar was a monastic military order. At first it was a group until a couple of decades after the First Crusade. The order was backed with the Pope and the collective European monarchies. The Papal throne was the only thing that the Knights couldn't defy. (This is 2 centuries later). The Knights were the key players in monastic fighting orders and due to the wealth of them they basically invented bankings as we know it. They would even lend money to the King. Their downfall soon would come because of the secret meetings and rituals of them. King Phillip was the head man in destroying the Knights. The power and immunity of the Knights made the King feel threatened, the only charge that allows seizing of their money and assets. So on October 13, 1307, King Phillip arrested the Knights on this charge. Rediculous confessions (wish not to mention at linked site) were tortured out of them. The power and wealth of the Knights had been stripped away by the King who urged other Christian leaders to follow in his footsteps. When Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned at a stake he cursed the King and the Pope. The Pope died in one month while Philip IV died 7 months later. The curse was that they would join him in a year.(kylo)

Photos of Mt. St. Michael

Lutetia and the First Schools of Paris
Early History of Paris

A Celtic group known as the Parisii started Paris in the middle of the 3rd Century B.C. Lutetia was an island on the bank of the Seine river ("Paris"). The Parisii probably practiced the Druid religion, as did Kerbouchard in The Walking Drum. they worshipped gods, some similar to the Roman gods Jupiter, Mercury, and Apollo. the Druids also believed in sacred spirits that lived in the trees of the forest. When the Romans found out that the Parisii practiced human sacrifice, they were shocked and appalled. They couldn't understand how these people could believe that it was an honor to die in such gory fashions (Cole 6).

When Caesar ordered an attack on Lutetia, the Parisii decided to burn it and the bridges connecting it. they then abandoned the settlement and left it for Roman rule. The Romans expanded Lutetia, or Civitas Parisorium as it was then caled, to the left bank of the Seine. Baths, streets, a forum, Caesar's luxurious palace, and aqueducts were built on this site (Cole7). All this, yet Paris was still considered an unimportant city. Germanic tribes invaded and the Franks took control in the 5th Century. The new king was Clovis I. When Vikings raided in the 9th Century, Paris was rebuilt and named the capital of France ("Paris").

King Philip had a charter to start the University of Paris. This divided Paris so that the university was on the Left Bank and the city was on the Right Bank ("Paris"). There was no campus for the University of Paris, just scholars who taught what they knew in Latin to student-scholars who roomed where they could afford (Cole 45). The university centered on four main facilities, theology, medicine, canon laws, and the arts ("Universities"). In 1257, Robert de Sorbon, started a college for needy theology students. The college, the Sobonne, was part of the university. By 1400, there were 40 colleges. the Catholic Church often threatened the students, as they did when Kerbouchard expressed his views while talking with the student-scholars of Paris (Cole 45). Today, few of the colleges survive, most notably the Sorbonne (Universities). (kyoy)

Works Cited


Mt. St. Michael

Le Mont St. Michel is a rocky islet located in the Golf of Saint Malo, in Northwestern France. Located on the top of the islet is it Benedictine abbey and at the island's base are small houses and shops. the abbey itself has survived the Hundred Years' War and the French revolution and is now a French historical monumnet. How it relates to the story is Kerbouchard's ancestors had built a Druid temple long before the Christians had buyilt the abbey, on the top of the islet. Later it was destroyed by the Normans in 875.(gycu,libt)

Mt. St. Michael

St. Denis

The Acknowledgement of Saint Denis in The Walking Drum pertains to the City of Saint Denis, rather than the partron saint of headaches and dog bites. the mention of the great city comes when Mathurin Kerbauchard says the oldest known fairs were in the French City of Saint Denis.

The City was named for the Bishop of Paris, St. Denis. Born in Italy, not much is known about his childhood and early life. Around the year 250, Denis set out to preach the Gospel in Gaul. He was joined by two companions. On this trip, a priest and a deacon. The city of Gaul did not agree with the preachings of Denis and that very night Denis along with his friends were beheaded and their bodies thrown into the Seine river, while some believed Denis was truly spreading good. His body was fished out very soon after and given a proper burial. Although, legend has it Denis arose after his execution and walked some distance through the city carrying his head in his hands. A tiny chapel was built over Denis's tomb to make the site of his death. In 626, on the same site, the Abbey of Saint Denis was erected in rememberance of this great man. The feast of Saint Denis is held on October ninth.

The city in France built in honor of Saint Denis is named Saint Denis. It is a flourishing city for wealthy tourists and is home to the Stade de France, the newest soccer stadium in France which is now the home of the World Cup.(cegm)

Ville de Saint Denis

Music Movement 3, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.

The Song of Roland

The Song of Roland had been written down during the beginning of the Twelfth Century. the poem dealt with an ambush by Basques of King Charlemagne's--known as Charles the Great--rearguard, which is a military group that protects the rear of a main force,. as the army went through the pass of Roncevanx and into France. Roland was in command of the rearguard, a noble was a vassal of the King.

The poem, The Song of Roland, was written three hundred and fifty years after the the ambush. The poem told about the story of Roland and his comrades.

King Charlemagne had conquored the entire country of Spain except Saragossa. The Saracen King Marsile wants peace so Charlemagne sends Ganelon to make terms. Ganelon hates Roland so he helps Marsile ambush the rearguard. (gecu, libt)

The Song of Roland

The Third Crusade

The Third Crusade was started as a result of many other things leading up to it. Many people fought in it and some famous people lost their lives. It started in 1187 when Saladin invaded Jerusalem, which was at the time under Latin rule. With this invasion they defeated the Christians at Hitten in Galilee on July 4. by the following October, Saladin had captured the City of Jerusalem. Then, in 1189, the Third Crusade began with the nations of western Europe fighting to win back Jerusalem forthemselves from the Muslims. These rulers included Richard I, the Lion-Hearted of England, Phillip II of France, and Frederick I, also known as Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor. They were all looking to recapture the Holy City for themselves. Not surprisingly, these three men were all rivals of each other.

This attack proved to be a smart move for the Christian forces, but for a different reason. Even though Saladin's millitary effforts were great, the Christian land and naval blockades were greater. The Christians forced the Palistinians to surrender in the year 1191. they were still unsuccessful in their attempt to follow up their victory with the Palistinians to recapture Jerusalem. Saladin came up with a solution, rather a compromise. He devised an armistice agreement with King Richard I of England which gave the Crusaders the right to reform their kingdom as well as the Palestinian-Syrian coast. The one thing they had to leave alone was Jerusalem, which was left in Muslim hands. Saladin later died on March 11, 1193.

Frederick Barbarossa also died, but he died as an old and famous man. He died while on his way with his troops to the Holy Land in 1189. After he died, most of his armies returned to Germany. The only reason Phillip II entered the Third Crusade was to match two of his rivals and now that one of his rivals was dead, he didn't really care about the Crusades any longer. In 1191, he returned to his home. Richard I was indeed a great soldier and stuck with the Crusaders. He did gain much glory, but the Crusaders were still unsuccessful to capture Jerusalem or the former territory of the Latin Kingdon for that matter. They were successful in gaining control of cities along the mediterranean coast.

The tie in to The Walking Drum book was that the Third Crusade was actually going on at the time of book. (lnrn, aymn, kemn)

Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, J. S. Bach