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Thread: Penguin Classics: A History of the Vandals

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    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Penguin Classics: A History of the Vandals




    ----------


    Historia Vandelus
    A History of the Vandals

    by Agrippa the Younger


    This edition (c) 1974, Penguin Classics, Inc.

    Translation and Introduction (c) 1933 by Archibald von Crovan
    and published by Viken Press, Norway.

    All Rights Reserved

    PENGUIN BOOKS
    Published by the Penguin Group
    Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand London WC2R 0RL England
    Penguin Putnam Inc, 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
    Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124 Australia

    www,penguin,com

    This translation first published in 1933

    Except in the United States of America, this AAR is sold under the condition that it not be lent, re-sold, used to plug drafty windows, to reshoe horses or in any other manner inconsistant with the proper use of a book (I am looking at you, owner of an outhouse) without the express written permission (which also may not be used in place of toilet tissue) of the publisher, the estate of the translator, and the express written permission of either 1- the Mayor of Syracuse, Sicily or 2- the President of Greece. This AAR was produced using Europa Universalis: Rome with Vae Victus and with the Epigoni Mod. The tribe of the Vandals was then modded in using the Chatti as a model. They were given the province of Vandalia because that seemed pretty obvious.



    ----------

    Table of Contents:

    Introduction by the Translator
    The Apologia of Agrippa the Younger


    Part I: On the Vandals
    On Their Religion
    On the Seven "Great" Clans
    On The High-Chiefs
    On The Officials Who Lord it Over the Others and On The Horde
    On The Laws and the Lawspeakers

    Part II: On the Misdeeds of Their Chiefs
    Glossy Insert Page 1
    Ageric Andicid
    Teutobod Dagaricid
    Gunthamund Marbodid
    Teutobod Andicid
    Nithard the Mad Marbodid
    Catualda Dagaricid
    Magneric Marbodid
    Tassilo Dagaricid
    Lucterius the Druid
    Godomar Gelimerid
    Amalaric Andicid

    Glossy Insert Page 2



    Part III: My Life With The Vandals
    The First Years After My Capture
    Tassilo Dagaricid Thinks He Is My Friend
    First Chance To Escape
    During The Roman War
    ??
    ??
    How I Put A Madman On the Throne
    During the Rebellion
    Escape

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    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Translator's Introduction:
    Archibald von Crovan

    On the Importance of the text:

    The early history of those Barbarous Peoples who would later on destroy civilization and
    plunge Europe into a horrific Dark Age, where learning was suspect and personal hygenie could
    get one burned as a witch is mostly lost in legend and mystery. This makes Agrippa's account
    of life among the Vandals rank among the most important contributions to our understanding of
    the way of life of these unusual peoples. While Tacitus wrote at length about the tribes, he
    never travelled there personally, so a great deal of his information is suspect at best and
    nonsensical at worst. Later Roman historians tended to hold a distorted image of the
    Barbarian Tribes simply because their interactions tended to be of a violent and final
    nature. Sore losers, if you will. While Agrippa is also a sore loser, he is not bemoaning
    the destruction of his way of life, but rather his personal imprisonment at their hands. So,
    while he is still presenting a distorted view of Vandal life, it has to be at least somewhat
    more reliable than, say, Lucius Aemellius, who was forced to marry his daughters to the
    butter-smeared barbarians and give them his farm.

    On Agrippa the Younger:

    We know little about Agrippa himself. We know that either his father or an uncle was also
    named Agrippa, hence the 'Younger.' We also know he was Greek and considered Syracuse his
    home city. He was not a Roman Citizen, but lived within lands owned by the Republic. His
    family was of solid merchant stock, we know this from his Apologia. We also know he
    participated in a trading voyage to North Europe, apparantly in hopes of securing part of the
    valuable Amber trade. We also know he was waylayed by, and imprisoned by, the Vandal tribes
    for a period of around 40 years. His learning apparantly impressed the chiefs who wanted him
    to write a fancy history of their peoples. This was fortunate for him because the Vandals at
    this time made a practice of eating the brains of Greeks. This happened to all of Agrippa's
    travelling companions and his slaves. We also know that he took his manuscript with him when
    he finally escaped the Vandals and made it home to Syracuse, where he died an old and bitter
    man. Finally, as the manuscript makes abundantly clear, we know he hated the Vandals with a
    virulent passion.

    Notes on the Translation:

    Agrippa's hatred for the Vandals and everything they stood for caused him to use language
    unfit for the daintier sex and, as they have been inexplicably permitted to inhabit the halls
    of Historical Learning in increased numbers, there is a risk that a member of this humbler
    sex may stumble across this text while studying the history of Sewing, Food Preparation or
    other Womanly Studies. Because of this risk, I have chosen to alter the language in such a
    way as to avoid as much accidental swooning as possible while still holding true to the
    spirit of Agrippa's work. I am aware that this change does somewhat compromise the
    'authoritative' nature of this translation, but I feel it is my duty as a gentleman.

  3. #3
    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Excellent style and introduction! You really capture the feel of those old dusty Penguins, especially the warning to "the fairer sex!"

    Best line:
    "This was fortunate for him because the Vandals at this time made a practice of eating the brains of Greeks"
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    I take it Radama is dead then?

    Excellent concept, style and execution! Personally though I find that the format of the text (ie. spaces every second line) is a little awkward to read (nothing I couldn't live with of course, just something I'm not used to seeing in an AAR) will you be using it for your subsequent chapters?
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    Nice to see the great Alfred Packer try his hand at another EU:Rome AAR. Your introduction was good and witty, so I have little doubt that what will follow will be at least as good.


    When I use this color I am speaking as a Moderator.

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    ah this is soo relaxing and this

    where he died an old and bitter man
    so appropriate - at least, so to speak he died with his own brains still in his head?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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    Off Again Alfred Packer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllmyJames View Post
    Excellent style and introduction! You really capture the feel of those old dusty Penguins, especially the warning to "the fairer sex!"

    Best line:
    "This was fortunate for him because the Vandals at this time made a practice of eating the brains of Greeks"
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    I take it Radama is dead then?

    Excellent concept, style and execution! Personally though I find that the format of the text (ie. spaces every second line) is a little awkward to read (nothing I couldn't live with of course, just something I'm not used to seeing in an AAR) will you be using it for your subsequent chapters?
    I fixed the formatting...that double spacing was an accident. I just assumed it had something to do with the italics, but what happened was that extra line-breaks appeared when I copied it from notepad. I don't know why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    Nice to see the great Alfred Packer try his hand at another EU:Rome AAR. Your introduction was good and witty, so I have little doubt that what will follow will be at least as good.
    Thanks for the high praise...I am certain I will fail to live up to it soon enough, but I'll try!

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    ah this is soo relaxing and this



    so appropriate - at least, so to speak he died with his own brains still in his head?
    Thanks I figure he'd have to be bitter spending 40 years with people reeking of rancid butter

    Quote Originally Posted by Murmurandus View Post
    I'm on board.
    Yay!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    I love a good book. Looking forward to reading more (although certainly not in my outhouse).
    welcome aboard!

  10. #10
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    The Apologia of Agrippa the Younger

    The Apologia of Agrippa the younger

    I never intended to write a history. No, I am the son of a merchant family and sought only to join my father in his business. Alas, the gods do not always let us choose our own path through this world.

    When I set out from Syracuse in 530 A.U.C. (223 B.C.) and headed into the wilds of Europa it was not to tread in the foot-steps of Herodotus, no I and my associates sought the fabled Amber-fields of the North, where great frozen rivers of the stone lay out for all to see. I admit, I did wish to see the fabled lands where the eye cannot see for the great flows of feathers, but never did I plan to write my adventures down for posterity. And I certainly had no desire to learn more of the Barbarian’s customs and histories than was absolutely necessary. All I wanted was to improve the family business. Indeed, Hermes seemed to smile upon our venture, for we passed to the north at great pace, moving across the lands of the Barbarous Boii within months. We had many fine goods, such as steel, dyes, and butter which these horrid beings had much use for and which eased our passage through their lands.

    Soon, we were well into the eastern lands of the vile Vandals, their ancestral homeland, and here it was my troubles began. Soothsayers and Oracles have since told me that my ancestors must have perpetrated a vile sacrilege against some god. They suspect Hermes himself, for there could be no other reason for my mission to tarry for almost forty years. At some point in our journey through Vandali we were accosted by large numbers of these horrific creatures, grinning through rotting teeth, they jostled us to the decrepit throne of their debauched chief. While my uncle, the leader of our expedition, was explaining the purpose of our travels to the moron, they seemed particularly excited to learn we were Greeks. We thought their excitement meant we had earned some advantage. Alas, this was not the case.

    I, little expecting what was to come, began reading to pass the time. I brought along some of Plato’s works and Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War and began to make notes in the margins as I grew absorbed in the work. While watching the grotesque chieftain of this nightmarish tribe of troglodytes smear our wares about his cheeks and hair, one of their shamans noticed me writing.

    At first, they accused me of casting a curse on the chief, a misunderstanding which caused no end of mischief to my slaves, who were eaten as a result. In time, I was able to make clear to them that I was merely reading a history of our great heroes and their wars, something these illiterate beasts could never understand. Or at least, I thought they couldn’t.

    Once the chief grasped that he could have the deeds of his people magically contained on this scroll (or rather, more importantly, his own deeds) and that, more over, this was something all the fashionable nations were doing, he ordered me clapped in chains at once. I feared they would dine upon me, as they had my slaves, but no, there was a worse fate in store. I would never be allowed to leave until I had written a comprehensive history of the Vandal Tribes from their foundation until the present day. A task I was less than excited to perform, but since they executed the rest of my companions and my uncle in very undignified ways, I felt compelled to try my best and hope, someday, to return to blessed Syracuse.

    The First Part of the Work will deal with the customs, religion and organization, such as it is, of the Vandals, that you may understand what sort of creatures these are. Without this, the 'deeds' of their leaders will be incomprehensible. In the Second Part, I shall detail what the Law-Speakers remember of their past High-Chiefs, their deeds, their horrible crimes and their usually ignoble ends. Finally, the Third Part covers my years with these dispicable people and what villany I witnessed with my own eyes.

    I do not claim to the wisdom, wit and adventurous spirit of Herodotus or Xenophon and I do not claim to the lofty subject matter of Thucydides or Plato. No, this is a book I had no wish to write about a people who deserve nothing more that utter contempt. I hope reading it will inspire some great general or Consul to honor the gods by wiping these walking blasphemies from the face of the Earth.

    Agrippa the Younger, Syracuse

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    Editor-in-Chief AllmyJames's Avatar
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    Excellent! You really portray a bitter and disappointed man who nurses a hatred for his captors who, ironically, are the only reason he's still alive. Bravo!
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    Translation and Introduction (c) 1933 by Archibald von Crovan


    Penguin Classics kept me going whilst backpacking through the Indian subcontinent. I hope this one will keep me going through the darkness of the northern winter months.

  13. #13
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    Excellent. Stupendous. Fantastic. Engrossing. Inflammatory. Quite good, too. I thank the esteemed Professor von Crovan for making such an exquisite work of Classical scholarship available to... well, to the sort of chap that buys Penguin Classics. The only proper way to appreciate this staggeringly masterful oeuvre is in the original Greek, whilst blindfolded and suspended from a larch by one's gonads. Anything else is for philistines.

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  14. #14
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    More Alfred Packer writings! And there are even references to Crovans and outhouses (yes, they are fleeting, but they're still there)!

    I have high hopes of this. What a lovely way to start the new year.

    From what I've read, I like Agrippa's style already.

  15. #15
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    since this is set somewhere near the Baltic, and as we all know the Baltic is quite close to the north pole ... I have high hopes that at least one Vandal will fall foul of a passing polar bear
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  16. #16
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    Hmm, Vandals you say? I have heard of them somewhere before this...

    USA? You mean Skraelingia? New Crovania?

  17. #17
    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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    I've heard of butter smearing in other AARs, but I didn't think it could be traced as far back as 223 B.C.

    That thorough historical research and the great care you place in not offending your readership make you deserving of the next WritAAR of the Week Award. Congratulations!
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    I've never read a Rome AAR, don't even own the game, but this is too good to pass up. Brilliant stuff.
    All hail Richard XI, King of the Mod, Grand Duke of Simcity 4, and Tsar of All the Awesomes - The_Shepherd

  19. #19
    Second Lieutenant Kommunaut's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultHeir to the ThroneSword of the StarsVictoria 2
    Victoria II: A House Divided

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Damn it Packer! Why do I never notice when you start writing something new? At least I caught this one early on. I eagerly await to see where you go with this one.

  20. #20
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Rome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred Packer View Post
    At first, they accused me of casting a curse on the chief, a misunderstanding which caused no end of mischief to my slaves, who were eaten as a result.
    No wonder it is so hard to retain acceptable staff these days.
    Exile in the East - a Helleno-Varangian CK AAR (Part 28 posted 03 January 2012)
    AARland Choice AwAARds - CK historybook winner Q3 & Q4 2011
    Showcased 09-Sep-2011, Character writer of the week 28-Mar-2011
    Fan of the Week 07-Feb-2011 & 03-Jul-2011

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