How to Build the Perfect Castle

“This is Epic History TV’s guide to building the perfect castle, based on the development of European medieval castles over 400 years of history. We trace the origins of the castle in the feudal system that emerged in France c.900 CE, and look at the early motte-and-bailey castle, used by the Normans to subjugate England and Wales in the 11th century. We then look at how castle’s became stronger and more sophisticated, with the addition of stone curtain walls, massive keeps, towers (square, round and D-shaped), as well as powerful gatehouses, barbicans, machicolations and moats.”

The twin perils of overreach and neglect.

In the Western world, and the United States of America, one can garner the sentiment that what David Polansky tenders above is profoundly true. One of the sad realities of the western world is much of it as devolved into a Panopticon Police State. This police state is acclimated to an “information overload” where it’s perpetually hypervigilant over seemingly benign infractions. Here they chase shadows in order to have an illusion of control, and yet they usually neither effectively maintain control nor possess the comfortable illusion of it.

In Great Britain, for instance, cameras canvas every street, building, bridge, and subway, and some have described it as the realization of George Orwell’s 1984 novel come to life. As well, in the United Kingdom, police are tasked with investigating peoples’ thoughts and words, and ascertaining whether they conform to a conjured Newspeak or have committed thought crimes. At Davos, the talk of the WEF crowd is of “recalibrating free speech,” which is Newspeak for doing away with “free speech” as conventionally understood, and subjecting everything to the control and filter of elite censors.

To the Tweet’s point, in Uvalde, Texas, local authorities sat on their hands while a mass-shooter sadly killed children earlier in May 2022. Burke said evil only prevails when good men do nothing, yet they did nothing. Their inaction and ineptness roundly elicited condemnation from across America and even other Sheriffs expressed condemnation. They waited 40+ minutes and did nothing but restrain upset parents gathered outside who were demanding that they take action. It was ultimately an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol officer acting independent of them that subdued the killer. Erstwhile rewind several months earlier and this same Uvalde Sheriff’s Department was raiding a bar-restaurant with a SWAT team to uphold a pandemic lockdown closure restriction. Does one see the discrepancy? Is this not a two-tiered concurrent manifestation of “institutional failure” and “wildly disproportionate accountability”? The most basic protective functions of the law as it relates to protecting life, liberty, and property are neglected while civil government routinely overreaches and oversteps the reasonable bounds of prudence. This in in a nutshell is the crux of the problem and David Polansky’s Tweet of 27 May 2022 captures it.

“Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
―Alexis de Tocqueville

The Ancient Copper Mine that Transformed Britain

Dan Davis History had an interesting podcast on ‘The Ancient Cooper Mine that Transformed Britain:’ The Bronze Age copper mine on the Great Orme in North Wales, is one of the most important prehistoric archaeological sites in Britain. Since excavations began here in 1987, a vast network of tunnels dating to the Bronze Age has been uncovered.

The First Crusade (1096-1099)

Video Above: ‘Epic History’ – ‘First Crusade Part 1 of 2′ – The First Crusade was one of the most remarkable, bleeding and huge scenes in medieval history. It started with an intrigue for help from the Christian Byzantine Empire, compromised by the rising intensity of the Muslim Seljuk Turks. Be that as it may, when Pope Urban II lectured a lesson at Clermont in 1095, the outcome was not normal for anything at any point seen previously. The Pope offered profound salvation to those ready to go east to help their kindred Christians in a sacred war, and help free Jerusalem from Muslim standard. Knights and laborers the same joined in their thousands, prompting the tragic People’s Crusade, at that point to a considerably more composed and ground-breaking Princes’ Crusade. Their powers accumulated at Constantinople, where they made an uncomfortable union with Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Entering Anatolia, they assisted with winning back the city of Nicaea, at that point won a definitive however hard-battled triumph at Dorlyaeum, before walking on the extraordinary city of Antioch…
Video above: ‘Epic History TV’ – Animated video documentary on the First Crusade continues with the Siege of Antioch. The Crusaders endure immense hardships outside the city walls, but finally take Antioch thanks to a ruse by Bohemond of Taranto. Against the odds, and inspired by their recent discovery of a relic believed to be the ‘Holy Lance’, the Crusaders then defeat the Seljuk army of Kur Burgha. After disagreements within the Crusader camp, the army finally moves on to Jerusalem in the spring of 1099. During a full-scale assault of the city walls, Godfrey of Bouillon’s troops gain a foothold in the defences, and Crusader troops pour into the city. A bloodbath follows. Victory results in the creation of four Crusader states, but their existence is precarious, surrounded by hostile Muslim powers, who will one day return with a vengeance.
RCH’s classic documentary on the First Crusade revised and updated. From the Battle of Dorylaeum to the Siege of Antioch, to the taking of Jerusalem, the First Crusade greatly impacted the medieval world, and essentially launched the broader Crusades movement. Bohemond, Godfrey of Bouillon, Tancred, and other important figures appear in all their glory.
New Kings and Generals animated historical animated documentary series on the First Crusade starts off with a prelude video covering the situation in the Byzantine empire after the death of Basil II, including courtly intrigues, coups and civil wars. We will talk about the rise of the Seljuk sultanate, the Eastern Roman response to it and the ascension of Romanos IV to the throne and battle of Manzikert fought in 1071 between the Roman Emperor and the Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan.
Kings and Generals animated historical animated documentary series on the First Crusade continued with the aftermath of the battle of Manzikert of 1071 (https://youtu.be/JkyYjpYLORI) where the Eastern Roman Empire’s army led by Romanos was defeated by the Seljuk army of Alp Arslan. We will cover a number of Byzantine civil wars, and the battles of Zombos Bridge and Kalavrye, which led to the rise of Alexios I and his Komnenos dynasty.

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212 A.D.)

Video Above: Kings and Generals‘ – ‘Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa’ (1212) – Reconquista is one of the most significant events in history. By 718 Islamic Invasion reached and then took over most of the Pyrenees sparring only a remote region in the north. The Spanish and Portuguese people fought for almost eight-hundred years to reconquer the Christian lands, and that epic struggle strengthened their sense of identity, and allowed to grow into empires that dominated the world for a few more centuries. This is a documentary on the general events of Reconquista and the decisive battle of Las Navas De Tolosa that took place in 1212 between the alliance of Aragon, Castile, Portugal, Navarre, knightly orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Templars and the Almohad Caliphate.

Video Selections from Real Crusades History

[This is an archival repository of content previously published on the home page of Ryan Setliff under the topic Crusades Studies.]

Video Above:Knights Hospitaller: Origins‘ – Kings and Generals new animated historical documentary series on the knightly orders starts with the Knights Hospitaller and their origin. This video will describe the early Crusades and the role the Hospitallers played in them.
Video above: ‘Real Crusades History’ – “Why did the Crusades fail?,” with Dr. Paul Crawford, Dr. Andrew Holt
Video above: ‘Real Crusades History’ – “Acts of Valor During the Crusades.” – This video highlights five interesting episodes of bravery and poise from the Crusades era. Figures highlighted are Tancred, Prince of Galilee, Usama ibn-Munqidh, Baldwin II of Jerusalem, Alfonso VIII of Castile, and Jean of Joinville. Featuring episodes from the First Crusade, the Battle of Azaz, Las Navas de Tolosa, and the Seventh Crusade.
Video above: ‘Real Crusades History’ – “Top Five Medieval Warrior Kings.” – Many great European monarchs of the Middle Ages inspired gallantry by their exploits during the Crusades.
Video Above: Real Crusades History‘ – ‘El Cid’ – the story of history’s greatest knight, a hero of Spain and the Reconquista. This is a compilation of all my previous El Cid videos in a documentary presentation.
Video Above: Real Crusades History‘ – ‘El Cid’ – the story of history’s greatest knight, a hero of Spain and the Reconquista. This is a compilation of all my previous El Cid videos in a documentary presentation.
Video Above:Real Crusades History‘ – ‘Teutonic Knights: Crusaders of the North’ – Video documentary series on the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, commonly the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1192 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Teutonic Order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. They later took to conquest to free captive slaves in northeastern Europe which was the practice of the pagan Balts and Slavs.

The Battle of Hastings

[This is an archive of content previously posted on my personal home page under the Anglophile and Historian topical sections.]

Baz Battles – “Battle of Hastings, 1066.”

Earning notoriety as one of the greatest battles in English and European history, the Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, which was the defining moment at the onset of the Norman conquest of England.
Duke William lands near Pevensey, Sussex and heads east and northward exacting the Norman Conquest of England, and effectively securing the claim to the monarchy of England. This animated video documentary from ‘Baz Battles‘ chronicles the series of events that lead to the clash between English and Norman forces a few kilometers west of Hastings.
Video Above: HistoryMarche – “The Battle of Hastings: Norman Conquest of England” was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, and it marked the beginning of the Norman conquest of England.

Evangelicalism is too effeminate. Towards a muscular robust faith.

I just stumbled upon this aforementioned series of videos recorded and distributed in 2018. Unfortunately, Dr. Maxwell has went apostate and renounced his faith as of 2021. However, I cannot help but comprehend what it says when he refers to evangelical culture as too apt to produce effeminate and girly beta males.

“As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.”

—Isaiah 3:12

It’s the agreeable, compromising, compliant, capitulating beta male that conveys spirituality in effeminate terms. In fact, spirituality in the popular imagination has come to be perceived as an almost feminine quality. For instance, I have quoted the Bible beforehand in the manner of a devotional, and a less spiritually inclined, more irreligious man speaks of it as me “being sensitive” but the reality is, he’s chosen to see public avowals of faith as a tender, “sensitive” trait, (and maybe that’s a polite way of saying girly because he’s seeing spirituality in feminine terms.) But this is illustrative partially of why evangelicalism has been a failure and its popular perception is that evangelical piety is a display of sensitive feminine traits like being emotional, sensitive, and passive. It’s illustrative of why men drop out of fellowship in evangelical churches. It’s furthered along by the fact that increasingly women (i.e., mothers, grandmothers) are functioning as the spiritual pillars of their households and extended families. Christian masculinity doesn’t find an ideal expression in the evangelical subculture. Not only is this the case, but evangelicalism has also lost its earlier traits of militancy and tribalism that made it attractive to men. Contrast men like J.C. Ryle and Ian Paisley with contemporary evangelicals like John Piper and Andy Stanley, for instance.

Evangelical churches tend to conjure images of soprano-singing males in praise bands playing contemporary Christian music one associates with the KLove radio station. Maxwell was not influential in my earlier summations that evangelical subculture is ‘too effeminate‘ and ‘girly‘ — in the sense of producing a subculture of men that are passive, weak, too prone to a spirit of compromise, and wishy-washy talk in order to be agreeable, and palatable. I just heard Maxwell talk on these issues recently and I had formed a comparable critique of evangelicalism years ahead of hearing Maxwell’s critique.

I have said things, such as affirming that we need “a muscular robust faith,” thinking in terms of soldierly analogies of masculine spirituality whereby we’re prepared for battle. This is an ideal where Christian men can live out their existence as men. We need to comprehend leadership, sacrifice, and the necessity of struggle and see our Christian culture/occidental civilization as an extension of the church and seek its preservation. We men need causes to fight for. Christian men yearn to fight cultural wars and spiritual battles as men with masculine traits of perseverance and steadfast faithfulness, not with timidity, passivity, and an air of compromise. The Christian man prays most humbly in his cloister where the genuineness of his humility and contrition may be manifest not in showy displays of contrived prayer before his fellow man, but in heartful yearning for God’s aid, and professed dependency upon God. There are more than a few reasons why Christian men are NOT putting their most sincere, heartful prayers professing their unequivocal dependence upon God’s providence before others. They’re NOT necessarily ashamed of their faith in such instances, but they’re not seeking to wave it on their shirt sleeves nor virtue-signal it either. Part of being a Christian man entails being discrete and circumspect in certain things such as manifest piety, and aggressive in other things like decrying wrong and standing up for justice.

Jordan Peterson states: “You are like a rabbit. . . A rabbit is not virtuous, it’s harmless, it can do nothing, except maybe get eaten. But If you’re a monster and you show restraint and not act monstrously, then you’re virtuous.” As Peterson surmises, “It’s better to be restrained monster than a well-behaved coward.” It’s in recognizing his own power and strength that a man learns responsibility, and fathoms the strategic imperative of due regard for His Creator God, and using his power for just and right.

And to the point, Christian men have abdicated evangelicalism in mass. Why? Many Christian men profess to be on a search for a more primitive, traditional Christianity. They call themselves traditionalists!—or trads! They extol patriarchy! They’re tribal! Why? Evangelicalism with its de facto effeminate subculture has failed Christian men for the simple reason it’s not allowing Christian men to be ‘Christian men.’ Its lost its allure, and Christian men don’t think you can salvage the church, the culture, the nation, and Western Civilization with a modus operandi that’s perceptively passive, effeminate and girly. Hence there’s a good reason why men have hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE on the contemporary evangelical subculture.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

—Ephesians 6:16

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”

—2 Timothy 2:3-4

J.I. Packer

This past year on 17 July 2020, Rev. Canon Dr. James (Jim) Innell Packer, the English-born Anglican clergyman that was so influential on my spiritual formation, and indeed my recognition that I am but a desperate sinner in need of grace, has gone home to glory to spend eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:8). At a young age, Packer was setback by a debilitating injury incidental to a car accident whereby he was struck as a pedestrian crossing a street. He was scarred for life, and it left a visible indentation in his skull where it was fractured. Yet he lived! He grew closer to God! In his youth, Jim won a scholarship to Oxford where he cultivated his brilliant intellect in service of Christ’s Kingdom. He was a treasure in his own time! An acclaimed author, churchman, friend to sinners, professor, and Bible teacher, Packer elicited respect across denominations and communions as one of the foremost systematic theologians of the past century. Jim drew his inspiration from Scripture, and was deeply ingrained in the works of Bucer, Calvin, Cranmer, and the English Puritans. He revived Puritan devotionals into something of an art form, and he elicited notoriety as a catechist who stressed the value of sound doctrine, and reminded his students of the immense value of cultivating spiritual disciplines, such as memorizing Scriptures and catechesis. As of 17 July 2020, his faith has yielded to sight! He’s in eternity with our Lord Jesus! 

Video Above: J. I. Packer helps Christians to embrace weakness as he shares about his own struggles in this book of meditations on 2 Corinthians. Ultimately, Packer directs us to the ultimate source of strength and power: Christ himself.
Video Above: Theologian J.I. Packer challenges the Christian to know what he believes.

Video Above: In this short documentary, author and theologian J.I. Packer reflects back on his career and ministry, and what he’s found to be the most meaningful work he’s done.  Hosted by Packer biographer Dr. Leland Ryken.

Ottoman-Portuguese War – Age of Colonization

“Kings and Generals animated historical documentary series on the history of the Ottoman Empire, continues with a video on the Ottoman-Portuguese wars, as the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Portugal fight for dominance over the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In this video, we cover the early Portuguese conquests in India and their clash against the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt at Diu in 1508, as well as the battle of Diu of 1538, Ethiopian–Adal war and the battle of Wayna Daga of 1543, Ottoman-Portuguese conflict over the Arabian peninsula 1552–1554, battle of Diu 1546 and the battle of Ksar-el-Kebir (Alcácer Quibir) of 1578. More videos on the Age of Colonization are on the way!”