Chapter Five




- chapter 5 index -
pg. 1 - Lizard | pg. 2 - Prince Rupert Awakes | pg. 3 - Tears of Glass | pg. 4 - Go Polonius or Kneel
pg. 5 - Rainbows' Ends and Gold | pg. 6 - Prophets Chained for Burning Masks
pg. 7 - Frederick II & The Cathars | pg. 8 - Bolero - The Peacock's Tale
pg. 9 - The Battle of Glass Tears | pg. 10 - Big Top



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The Last Skirmish


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Dawn Song

As the Light Bringer (Phosphoros, Lucifer), a morning star (Stella Matutina), Mercury is not himself the light, but heralds the dawning of self-knowledge, the cognitio matutina.

- The Pythagorean Tarot by John Opsopaus

The lyrics could describe the prelude to just about any medieval conflagration. The only clue to the specific nature of this situation is that the, presumably European, combatants "stare eastwards" toward the enemy.

The Battle of Glass Tears

The Battle of Glass Tears corresponds to the Pelican stage of alchemical development:

"This active working with the soul forces is perfectly pictured in the Pelican. The Pelican is shown stabbing its breast with its beak and nourishing its young with its own blood. The alchemist must enter into a kind of sacrificial relationship with his inner being. He must nourish with his own soul forces, the developing spiritual embryo within. Anyone who has made true spiritual development will know well this experience. One's image of one's self must be changed, transformed, sacrificed to the developing spiritual self. This is almost invariably a deeply painful experience, which tests one's inner resources. Out of this will eventually emerge the spiritual self, transformed through the Pelican experience. The Pelican was in this spiritual sense a valid image of the Christ experience and was used as such by the early alchemists."

- The Birds In Alchemy by Adam McLean

Remember that the glass tears belong to Rupert, therefore, as much as they represent a real life military conflagration, they also represent the paradigms of east and west. The Battle of Glass Tears is a symbolic battle of world views, an alchemical allegory and a military conflict involving actual armies.

The Battle of Liegnitz – The Battle of Glass Tears

Henry of Silesia met the Mongols outside of Liegnitz with over 20,000 men, on April 9
th , 1241. Included in the European force were Teutonic Knights.

"Their army was lured into a charge, split in half by a smoke screen and while one half was leveled by enveloping archers, the other was crushed under the stampeding hooves and piercing lances of the Mongol heavy calvary.
The Templar losses were 11 knights, 2 sergeants, and 500 men-at-arms. According to James Chambers in The Devil's Horsemen , the Mongols counted the dead by cutting an ear off each body. They sent nine large sacks to Batu in honor of their victory. Their objective of keeping the northern European forces tied up and out of Hungary was all too successful.
Western Europe, at this time, was not in a position of strength, with the Pope Gregory IX and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II at each other's throats to the point where neither could spare any military support elsewhere."

- The Mongolian Hordes by Lord Martin aus Brandenburg

The Teutonic Knights wore a very distinctive white tunic. The knights portrayed on the back cover of the album, Lizard, also wear this distinctive tunic.

"The white habit of the Teutones was very similar to that of the Templars (much to the latter's disgust). This right was granted them by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II."

- Deutschritter Teutonic Knight

"Frederick liked to attribute to the earlier Hohenstaufen, indeed to Barbarossa himself, the founding of the Teutonic Order, so as to lend age and dignity to the institution. He also liked to talk of it as his own creation. It was in fact the work of his own hands, his and the first great Grand Master's: Hermann of Salza. It is remarkable how much attention Frederick devoted to attaching the Teutonic Order to himself."

- Frederick II
by Ernst Kantorowicz
(p. 89-90)

In Gini Barris' illustration, Teutonic Knights are fighting, what are obviously, Mongol warriors. The Battle of Liegnitz marks the only time in world history Teutonic Knights and Mongols met on the battlefield.
This battle occurred in 1241, during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
The Battle of Liegnitz by Angus McBride


A Medieval depiction of the Battle of Liegnitz

Detail from the Gini Barris painting

- note the compositional similarity (the similarly posed horses) in the two illustrations

"After the Mongols had defeated the European armies in Poland and Hungary, what was to prevent them from pressing farther west and subjecting all of Europe to their rule? In 1241 the answer was, very little. While the Mongol Empire was a unified state stretching from northern China to the Ukraine, Europe was a patchwork of states at constant odds with each other. The nominal leader of Europe, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, never seemed particularly concerned by the Mongol threat."

- Mongol Invasion of Europe by Erik Hildinger

In Prince Rupert Awakes , Frederick shows more concern for his Catholic enemies, who he describes as "devils" and vagabonds, (a vagabond is called in French pied poudreux) than he does for the Mongols whom he describes, rather benignly, as "bears".

"He (Frederick II) also had received a letter from Batu demanding the surrender of the empire and offering him a position in the Mongol hierarchy, but he had only joked about it saying that with his falconer's experience he was well qualified for the post of the khan's falconer."

- The Devil's Horsemen by James Chambers, p. 104

"During the whole campaign, the European countries were incapable of resolving their differences to fight a common enemy (Austria seized parts of Hungary and the pope was rumored to be trying to induce the Mongols to attack his rivals and enemies)."

- Mongol History and Chronology from Ancient Times by Per Inge Oestmoen


But there was another side to this story. It was also feared the Mongols would be loosed upon Europe under the direction of Frederick II Antichrist.

"It was feared by some wise and thoughtful men that Frederick in his wrath might turn apostate or call in to his aid the Tartars from Russia, or give the Sultan of Babylon, with whom he was on the most friendly terms, the chance to overrun the empire with his pagan hosts, to the destruction of all Christendom..."

- Empire and Papacy

- Tarot and the Millenium
by Timothy Betts Ph.D. (p. 220-21)

"Had Frederick hastened north he would have stilled the voices which were murmuring everywhere, that he himself had called the Dragon forth, lusting by the aid of Tartarean allies to make himself Dominus Mundi , and to destroy like Lucifer the Christian faith. These rumbling murmurs were doubtless strengthened by the intimate knowledge of Mongolian habits and customs displayed in the manifestos. Frederick II had probably made it his business, with eager curiosity, to acquire all the information he could about these unknown Mongols, a people 'whose origin and first home we do not know,' who were fabled to have lived hidden beyond the seven climates under burning sun."

- Frederick II
by Ernst Kantorowicz
(p. 554)


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The Last Skirmish

"Amidst all the duplicity and recrimination there was one concession: the pope allowed a crusade to be preached against the Mongols in Germany and the Emperor sent his thirteen year old son Conrad, who had been crowned as German King in 1237, to become its nominal leader. Frederick composed a rousing call to arms and sent it to all the kingdoms of Europe;
' to Germany ardent in war, to France who nurses in her bosom an undaunted soldiery, to warlike Spain, to England mighty with warriors and ships, to Sicily, to savage Ireland and to frozen Norway."

- The Devil's Horsemen by James Chambers, p. 129

"Conrad, King of Germany, took up the cross on May 19th, 1241, but, when not joined by many others and after skirmishing with the Mongols along the borders, the crusade fell apart."

- The Mongolian Hordes by Lord Martin aus Brandenburg

Prince Rupert's Lament

On the surface, this is a lament for fallen comrades or a lost battle, but, in relation to the Mongols, there was no final defeat of the Europeans. As noted above, the hostilities ended in a last skirmish along the border. On a deeper level, the lament is about the failure of unity between east and west. In this piece, Fripp's guitar solo sounds like a Moslem call to prayer.

"…after Frederick's first night in Jerusalem, the emperor is said to have complained to Shams ad-din, saying: 'O qadi, why did the muezzins not give the call to prayer in the normal way last night?' To which Shams ad-din replied: 'This humble slave prevented them out of regard and respect for Your Majesty.' But Frederick is supposed to have said: 'My chief aim in passing the night in Jerusalem was to hear the call to prayer given by the muezzins, and their cries of praise to God during the night."

- Frederick II A Medieval Emperor by David Abulafia, p.185




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