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Chinese Dragons Head West January 3, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Chinese Dragons Head West

Dragons have long been part of the mythic corpus of Europe, Asia and Africa and, if you include the various Amerindian Giant Serpents, the Americas as well. However, different cultures celebrated or reviled dragons in different ways and a dragon from Sweden with a breath that reaked of ragnarok and a wingless dragon from China […]

The Axe Murderer Who Became A National Hero September 8, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
The Axe Murderer Who Became A National Hero

Nations and cities have passionate rivalries with their neighbours. Beach, for example, grew up in Britain a country where national identity is based not on love of the Queen or respect for the rule of law but rather on disliking the French. However, the whole British-French thing (‘the best of enemies’) is a fairly tame […]

Exclaves! June 4, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
Exclaves!

A strange post today – just for a change… Beach has recently been troubled by the Kaliningrad Oblast, a peculiar bit of Russian territory that stands several hundred kilometres to the west of the Russian frontiers. Now an exclave of Russian life on the borders of Poland and Lithuania, Kalingrad would be just the kind […]

Romans on the Shores of the Caspian Sea August 5, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Romans on the Shores of the Caspian Sea

Beachcombing has looked in a previous post at supposed direct contact between the Roman Empire and China in the second century. Today he will not be attempting to take the Romans so far to the east – but he will still be going an impressive way into Central Asia. Azerbaijan to be exact. It should […]