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"OH WATERS, TEEM WITH MEDICINE TO KEEP MY BODY SAFE FROM HARM, SO THAT I MAY LONG SEE THE SUN." - Rig Veda
What all these stories have in common is a military connection. To the
peasantry and the clergy the steppe is entirely hostile and foreign, but to the
military aristocracies which dominated Europe politically for over a millenium,
it really was not. The mounted knight with his hawk and his hound shared many
things with the Turks and the Mongols which he did not share with his own
subjects and religious counselors. The original conversion of the barbarous and
semi-Turkified Germanic rulers of Western Europe was very thin. A hybrid"
version of Cluistianity was ccncocted which allowed the rulers to continue most
of their practices as long as they supported the Church, said certain prayers, and
respected certain taboos. Western Europe thus came to be ruled by two elites -
one peaceful, celibate, and abstemious, and the other lusty, hearty, and brutal .