Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle
, in which Napoleon's armies met Russian troops 75 miles east of Moscow on 7 September 1812. The huge battle, involving quarter of a million troops, was the strongest stand the Imperial Russian Army made against Napoleon's forces, and it resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Although the Russian army withdrew, the French tactical victory in the Battle of Borodino was a Pyrrhic one, and Napoleon ultimately left Russia in defeat.
The battle was reenacted
at Borodino last weekend, as is done annually
. A cultural symbol of Russian national courage, the Battle of Borodino has been famously commemorated in Russian literature, music, art, and poetry. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F.
on Sep 7, 2012 -
Dear Leo, Dear Mohandas
"The longer I live -- especially now when I clearly feel the approach of death -- the more I feel moved to express what I feel more strongly than anything else... the doctrine of the law of love unperverted by sophistries. Love... the highest and indeed the only law of life".
The Kingdom of God Is Within You
(full text available) is Leo Tolstoy
's tractatus of "Christianity
Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life", a primer of (among other things) the doctrine of non-violence
. Among the many fans
of the 1894 book was an imprisoned
Hindu barrister, a "half-naked fakir"
if you want, a certain Mohandas
who was fascinated by "the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness"
of the book
. So he ended up writing fan letters to the great Russian man: who warmly wrote back to his young Indian "friend and brother". The old wise Christian anarchist
and the shy, insecure young man
who sparked a revolution: to paraphrase another wise, badly-dressed , pacifist old man
, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such men ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
posted by matteo
on Jun 17, 2004 -