Monday, October 15, 2007


This Day in the History of Successful Western Stands

On this day in 1529, the troops of Sulieman the Magnificent abandoned the siege of Vienna. There were two good results--the Muslim religion didn't conquer its way into Western Europe, and coffee was introduced to Viennese drinking establishments and spread like wildfire across Europe, which was, I think, a very, very good thing. Thank you Turks. The depiction of the raising of the siege in Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver is very vivid. Haven't read a good history of it.


I'll commend another fictional mention of the siege to your attention:

Tim Powers's The Drawing of the Dark is a well-written book set mostly during that siege.
Thanks, Doug. I'll try to get a hold of one. Good to see you Saturday even if we didn't get a chance to speak.
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