13 May 2007

speaking of barbarians...

Speaking of barbarians...hmm...I did some research, and chances are if you're Pinoy na Spanish tisoy, your great great grandfather (makes you "apo below sa tuhod") may be a terrible invader of, what else but the magnificent, mighty, ancient city of Rome. They were known as the Visigoths.

This dreadful, hideous, wandering tribe entered the formidable walls of the great city between the years 408-410 AD. The horrible "barbarians" pillaged and looted the once mighty capital of its wealth and splendour. According to ancient Roman historians, that was. But heck, the credibility of some of the paid hacks may as well be compared to the puppet corporate media of today that duped you to non-existent WMD's for the oil blessings war. At least though, they didn't mention much about raping and grudgingly admitted that the 'barbarians' murdered just a little bit.

Obviously, history classes at school didn't mention everything either. The root of the historical conflict may be probed due to the corrupt and unreliable Roman leaders of that time. For many years the Visigoths waited for the promise of Rome to give them land in exchange for the service of fighting against a common barbaric enemy, the Huns. But corruption, prejudice and the unfulfilled promise caused much resentment among the Visigoths who finally threatened to lay siege to Rome. The Visigoth king, Alaric I, an admirer of the city's magnificence, made ways to avoid destroying it by agreeing to withdraw upon payments of gold and silver. When the exiled emperor, Honorius, refused to sign the treaty, Alaric I demanded the surrender of Rome and the terrified inhabitants opened its gates (courtesy of Visigoth 'slaves'). He then appointed another emperor for Rome, but the bloke ruled so badly. Amazingly, Alaric I decided to restore Honorius, but the emperor's barbarian chief treacherously attacked Alaric, which proved unsuccesful. The angered Visigoth King finally laid siege to Rome, and, after the previously botched attempt at appointing another individual, crowned himself and sat at the emperor's throne (parang si Bonifacio).

Curiously, Alaric I made clear his command to spare the Christian churches. Modern historians theorize that the Visigoths may not necessarily be 'barbarians' as the olden Roman historians wanted people to believe, but rather that they may be a Christianized tribe that had to deal with the decaying and corrupt Roman Empire.

Eventually, the Visigoths proceeded westwards and created a powerful Kingdom with boundaries that stretched into what are now the modern regions of France, and, the home of the country's colonizers, Spain.

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