...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

October 25, 2006

St. Crispin's Day

Today represents a confluence of five favorite blog themes: poetry, drama, politics, history and religion. Today is St. Crispin's Day. Wikipedia says this about Saints Crispin and Crispinian.

Crispin and Crispinian were once the Catholic patron saints of cobblers, tanners, and leather workers. Born to a noble Roman family in the 3rd century AD, Saints Crispin and Crispinian, twin brothers, fled persecution for their faith, winding up in Soissons, where they preached Christianity to the Gauls and made shoes by night. Their success attracted the ire of Rictus Varus, the governor of Belgic Gaul, who had them tortured and beheaded c. 286. In the 6th century, a church was built in their honor at Soissons.

The feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian is October 25. However, these saints were removed from the liturgical calendar (but not declared to no longer be saints) during the Catholic Church's Vatican II reforms.

The reasoning used by Vatican II for this decision was that there was insufficient evidence that Saints Crispin and Crispinian actually existed. Indeed, their role as shoemakers, their relationship as twins, and the timing of their holiday are suggestive of the possibility that they could have represented a local Celtic deity (Lugus-Mercurius) which had been made into a saint as a result of syncretism. [links omitted]

You may not know about the Catholic feast day, but I hope you know about the most famous speech from Shakespeare's Henry V, the St. Crispin's Day Speech. I posted that speech back during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Today I am reminded of the appeasers and the "cut-and-run" crowd by this famous line:
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
Celebrate St. Crispin's by watching Kenneth Branagh recite the Bard's poetry:

And let's not forget too, that 62 years ago was day three of the biggest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Posted by annika, Oct. 25, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: History


Annika, you left out the sixth blog theme: Shoes.

Granted, their shoes were probably more practical rather than super-fantastic, but I'm stunned you left out the shoes.

Posted by: Victor on Oct. 25, 2006

I love that monolouge - may well be the best written by the best writer ever.

Posted by: KG on Oct. 25, 2006

Yeah, Branagh's fuckin' good. I stumbled across the last hour or so of Henry V a few weeks ago while I was channel-surfing. I got all misty-eyed an' shit during the speech. It made me want to go kill a Frenchman, or rejoin the Corps, or . . . somethin'.

Posted by: Matt on Oct. 25, 2006

"It made me want to go kill a Frenchman..."


Very funny shit, Matt.

Posted by: blu on Oct. 25, 2006


I am surprised to hear you use the Rovian "cut and run" when you know full well that it is a manufactured position of the RW, pinned to the lapel of anybody who's eyes are open to the incredible morass that Iraq has become and knows there is no effective plan in place. To defend themselves for their umworkable, planless stupidity and critics, they and their pig headed committement to continue (in spite of their new pre-election disavowal of the "stay the course" mantra) they need to call every thing that is not planless and stupid, "cut and run". The idea that we are fighting a strategic battle in Iraq against the "terrorist" forces of Islam, is so ludicrous as to be laughable. The idea that killing the various members of the shite and sunni fighters is somehow about security in America or elsewhere is completely nuts. The concept that if we kill enough of thoses who are fighting to gain control of Iraq and push us out we will prevent the spread of a world wide Islamic hegemony, as the dimwit said this afternoon is drivel. Every justification and speculation about the need to be fighting in Iraq as put forth by these hacks defies logic. The emperor has no clothes, his advocates and supporters are cutting and running from him in the hope they don't go down with his foundering ship. I don't know if the democrats have any useful ideas as to how a shattered and destabilized Iraq can be put together again but I am positive the Bushies have no solution and are prepared to allow 2-3 thousand young Americans die while they try B,C, and D if they can ever figure out that A didn't work.

Posted by: Strawman on Oct. 25, 2006

"The idea that we are fighting a strategic battle in Iraq against the "terrorist" forces of Islam, is so ludicrous as to be laughable."

The insurgency is being financed and led by Iran, the world's biggest state sponsor of terror. When Iran and Al Queda are in the same place fighting for the same goal, I'm pretty confident that we are in fact fighting the terrorist forces of Islam. Fighting them is not nuts nor is the idea of helping establish a functioning democratic state in that part of the world. Why do you think AQ and Iran are there, Straw? They don't want an American foothold in the region (that also strengthens Isreal) because it gets in the way of the Islamic hegemony they'd like to see in the region.

Read "The Looming Tower" and then wax philosophic about this topic. After that, watch the You Tube video of Henry V and maybe you'll grow a pair and then join the good guys.

Posted by: blu on Oct. 25, 2006

Thanks for the reminded about Leyte.

A Google News search showed almost no coverage in US publications--lots of stuff in the Philippines, and one mention in a paper in Illinois.

Posted by: david foster on Oct. 25, 2006

I already have a pair of televisions

Posted by: Strawman on Oct. 25, 2006

Did you know that St. Crispin's Day is also the date of the Battle of Agincourt, the greatest feat of arms in British military history. And it's the date of The Charge of the Light Brigade, one of the greatest debacles in British military history.

Posted by: Books on Oct. 25, 2006

duhh, book spammer... what do you think Henry V was about?

Posted by: annika on Oct. 25, 2006


There are three groups that are promoting terrorism in Iraq: Al Qaida, Iran and the Democrats.

Posted by: Jake on Oct. 25, 2006

Keegan, I think his name is, referred to correctly as 'an eminent Britsh military historian' at keshertalk.com, has a book on '6 Decisive Battles,' and gives the story of Agincourt and the tactical ability of the English. The French did come in all their arms of knighthood in 'overwhelming force' and were destroyed by the English long bow.

Posted by: michael on Oct. 25, 2006

It's the classic The Face of Battle, by John Keegan, you are referring to. Get a copy, it's good.

Posted by: annika on Oct. 25, 2006