Oh! Let me introduce my project…

It occurs to me that I have had this blog up and running for several months now—I’ve only made a few posts, but let’s disregard that fact—and many people who happen to come across it may not know what it’s really about. Well, as previous posts can tell you, it’s to give my professional writing a kickstart by allowing me to put down my thoughts informally, but well enough organized for people to follow. And also to share some of the high points of being a medievalist. But enough of that. Here’s some material I have put together to give a somewhat scholarly overview of my project. The project itself is much larger, but what we have today is a start that should allow you to catch on if you’re unfamiliar with Carolingian Catalonia:

By way of introduction

The Spanish March of the Carolingian Empire provides an interesting and useful case study in how rulers integrated a conquered territory into the political, social, and cultural framework of the regnum francorum. From the first forays across the Pyrenees in 778 to the severing of links between local counts and their kings late in the tenth century, Frankish rulers managed personnel, patronized monasteries, and cultivated ties to people based in the March in order to maintain a sort of royal presence in the area. In this way, the Spanish March became not just a militarized frontier zone, but a prized province, a sought-after honor for members of the imperial aristocracy. When it was entrusted to loyal men of regional origins late in the ninth century, a dynasty was able to emerge gradually. The new ruling family of the March, it should be stressed, seems never to have sought autonomy, and indeed maintained loyalty to the Carolingian rulers. It was the Carolingians themselves who faced dynastic challenges in the late ninth and tenth centuries, and these issues helped to separate the monarchy from the March. What the history of the Spanish March tells us about the Carolingian Empire, then, is that relationships between local aristocrats and kings were coveted by both, and when these relationships became ultimately untenable, powerbrokers in places like the March were left to their own devices.

Charlemagne

A reliquary bust of Charlemagne in the Aachen Cathedral Treasury (photo taken on the May trip)

Reliquary bust of Charlemagne in the Aachen Cathedral Treasury (photo taken on the May trip)

The beginnings of heavy Carolingian involvement in the area that became the Spanish March can be traced to a meeting of Muslim messengers and the Frankish king at Paderborn.[1] The wali of Zaragoza submitted to Charlemagne himself and the cities over which the “king of the Saracens” had placed him.[2] An uncertain political environment within the Abbasid caliphate perhaps provided an opportunity for ambitious local governors.[3] Suleiman ibn al-Arabi, governor of Barcelona and Girona, was fighting against the caliph’s forces and made the appeal to the Frankish king, who had proven himself against the Saxons and Lombards.[4] Suleiman and his son Yusuf offered Charlemagne a sort of protectorate over cities and promise of collaboration. There is no indication that these walis from northern Spain wished to enter into alliance with Charlemagne in order to truly submit to his rule, so it must be that they wanted to entice the Frankish king with lofty promises, deliver on those promises as little as possible, and therefore maximize gain for themselves.

Charlemagne was concerned with affairs on multiple fronts in 777, when the envoys came to Paderborn.[5] He accepted the rebels’ invitation to invade Spain and in 778 crossed the Pyrenees. The king himself made way for Zaragoza via Pamplona, while a second army was to meet him after first coming through the eastern passes.[6] We should note that troops were called in from all over the kingdom and its various parts. Eastern territories of the Frankish realm provided troops to participate in the eastern entrance of Pyrenees, with soldiers coming from the western territories at the western end of the mountains.[7] This enabled Charlemagne to arrange his forces for a pincer movement like the one he used during the Lombard campaign and others.[8] Most annals agree on the events of the campaign, which by all accounts ended badly with the famous Basque ambush in the Pyrenean pass at Roncevalles. Despite his ultimate failure, Charlemagne appears to have realized his goal of conquering Pamplona—without a fight—taking hostages from the governor of the city.[9] At Zaragoza, however, he was less successful. Surviving sources from southern Gaul report that the Franks killed thousands of Muslims in battle, before having to withdraw in order to deal with a Saxon force that had crossed the Rhine.[10] Charlemagne never returned to the southern theater again. He left to his subordinates and his son, Louis, the tasks of controlling and expanding Carolingian holdings in the area.

Louis the Pious

An actual street sign for "Louis the Pious Street" in Barcelona (photo by your humble blog author)

An actual street sign for “Louis the Pious Street” in Barcelona (photo by your humble blog author)

Louis was born during the campaign of 778; three years later he was named king of Aquitaine. By reorganizing the region as a sub-kingdom under his son (as he also did in Italy under Louis’s brother Pippin), Charlemagne did not merely give a nod toward the fact that Aquitaine had until recently been ruled by its own duke, but indeed made for more efficient management of his growing kingdom as well as further involvement in Spain.[11] Indeed, the kings’ men launched numerous campaigns, nominally under the young Louis. The Astronomer and various annalists’ accounts of Louis’s reign in Aquitaine reveal just how great the effort was. Just as Charlemagne’s interest in Spain was sparked by envoys from Muslim leaders in 777, Louis faced similar opportunities. The young king of Aquitaine even received Muslim envoys and agreed to peace in 790.[12] Of course, not all Frankish interaction with their Muslim neighbors was quite so peaceful. Evidence points to many armed confrontations during the late eighth and early ninth centuries. In 785, Girona submitted to the Franks, according to the Moissac Chronicle, which states that “the men of Girona delivered the city . . . to king Charles” even though Charlemagne was in Saxony that year, and as noted never personally ventured south of the Pyenees after 778.[13] Nevertheless, the successful annexation of Girona resulted in the creation of the first county in the Spanish frontier area, with the Frank Rostagnus as its count.[14]The Pyrenean region was incorporated into the new kingdom of Aquitaine and placed in the hands of the very young Louis and his advisors.[15]In 793, the year Louis turned fifteen, William, duke of Toulouse, led Frankish forces against the Saracens, who ventured forth from Hispania into parts of Gothia and terrorized the Christians there.[16] The Muslim raid may have been prompted by Charlemagne’s attention to other matters, namely in Saxony and his canal project designed to link the Rhine and Danube.[17] Other combat followed, often instigated by the Franks after Louis reached his majority. Indeed, the Astronomer reports a rather significant campaign in the late 790s that burned the city of Lleida and ravaged the countryside around Huesca, but no permanent conquest resulted.[18] Louis later set his sights on cities farther south. Because of this campaign, he was able to inflict damage on the Muslim troops raised to stop him and return to Aquitaine with booty plundered from along the route, including the cities of Tarragona and Tortosa.[19] These and other minor campaigns did not result in further conquests as much as shows of Frankish strength, so they can be said to have set the geographical limits of Frankish rule south of the Pyrenees.[20]

The most important campaigning revolved around the city of Barcelona, which was to become the principal seat of power in the March. By 797 the Franks had formally acquired the city by negotiation, but its Muslim governor seems never to have actually surrendered it.[21] Louis needed a rather extended campaign to affirm Carolingian control of the city. After meeting at Toulouse to develop strategy, the king of Aquitaine set off for Barcelona in 800. He divided his army in three parts.[22] Despite hopeful expectations that Barcelona would surrender like Girona, it seems that Louis set off with ample preparations for a long siege.[23] One Frankish detachment successfully blocked Muslim relief forces; these Muslims withdrew, freeing the Franks to join their comrades at Barcelona, where resistance was tough. The siege of Barcelona lasted into winter, proving a longer operation than the Franks were accustomed to, but causing the city to suffer and become demoralized. Louis appeared with his reserve troops in early 801, and six weeks later Barcelona capitulated, allowing the king a triumphal entrance on Easter Sunday 801.[24]When all is taken into account, the Carolingian kings needed intermittent fighting from 778 to 801 to solidify their control of the Christians in the future Catalonia—approximately the same length of time as they needed to accomplish the same task for pagan Saxony. The conquest of Saxony occupies pages upon pages in the accounts of those who knew and worked for Charlemagne as well as in those of modern historians.[25] It is about time that the Spanish March, of Carolingian Catalonia, became as well known.

As always, please let me know if any of this is unintelligible, incorrect, or otherwise needs to be fixed.

 

[1] Annales Regni Francorum741-829 qui dicuntur Annales Laurissenses maiores et Einhardi. in MGH SSrG, 1. ed. G. Kurze (Hanover 1895), 48-49, 51 [frequently abbreviated as ARF]. The Reviser states that the emissaries surrendered their cities to Charlemagne. For recent treatment and re-evaluation of this source, see Roger Collins, “The ‘Reviser’ Revisited: Another Look at the Alternative Version of the Annales Regni Francorum,” in Alexander Callander Murray, ed. After Rome’s Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. Essays Presented to Walter Goffart (Toronto, 2000), 191-213.

[2] ARF, 48-51.

[3] J.J. Saunders, A History of Medieval Islam (London and New York, 1965; reprinted 1996), 95-98, 115.

[4] Ramon d’Abadal, El domini carolingi a CatalunyaCatalunya Carolíngia 1(Barcelona, 1986), 41-2.

[5] As the annals make clear, the king was preoccupied first and foremost with the Saxons, as they hold the first place in the year’s entry; the fact that he was at Paderborn for the assembly is also telling. See the entries for the years 776 and 777 in ARF, 42-51. See Abadal, El domini carolingi a Catalunya, 39-41, which points out that Arabic chroniclers downplay the significance of the meeting.

[6] ARF, 50-53; Odilo Engels, Schutzgedanke und Landherrschaft im östlichen Pyrenäenraum (9.-13. Jahrhundert). (Münster im Westfallen, 1970), 8. See also Robert-Henri Bautier, “La campgagne de Charlemagne en Espagne (778): la réalité historique,” in Roncevaux dans l’histoire, la légende et le myth: Actes du colloque organisé à l’occasion du 12e centenaire de Roncevaux, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, 1978, vol. nouv. série, 135 (Bayonne, 1979), 1-47.

[7] See, on raising troops, Guy Halsall, Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450-900 (London and New York: Routledge, 2003), 71-110.

[8] Roger Collins, Charlemagne (Toronto, 1998), 60-61, 66-67.

[9] Annales d’Aniane in Histoire Générale de Languedoc, vol. 2. Cl. Devic and J. Vaisette, eds. (Toulouse, 1875), cols. 1-12, at 8-9; Chronicon Moissiacensein MGH SS, 1, ed. G.H. Pertz (Hanover 1826), 296; ARF, 51.

[10] Annales d’Aniane, cols. 8-9; Chron. Moissac, 296.

[11] The argument that the move placated Aquitanian particularism stems from the harsh fighting earlier in the eighth century. See Leonce Auzias, L’Aquitaine carolingienne (Toulouse, 1937), 1-63. Archibald Lewis, The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society, 718-1050 (Austin, 1965), 51, discusses the region’s particularism as a possible motivation behind the creation of the kingdom. But see Collins, Charlemagne, 70 and 73.

[12] See Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, in MGH SS 2 (Hanover, 1829), 609 and 611.                I like the recently published translation in Thomas F. X. Noble, trans. Charlemagne and Louis the Pious: the lives of Einhard, Notker, Ermoldus, Thegan, and the Astronomer (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009).

[13] Chron. Moissac, 297; Collins, Charlemagne, 70.

[14] Rostagnus may have already been count in the city, perhaps leading in its submission to the Franks. See Josep M. Salrach, El procés de formació nacional de Catalunya (segles VIII-IX) 2 vols. (Barcelona, 1978), vol. 1, 17-19; Ramon d’Abadal i de Vinyals, Dels visigots als catalans, ed. J. S. i. Callicó, 2nd ed. (Barcelona: Edicions 62, 1974), 155, 202. The main source is Astronomer, c.13 (trans. Noble, 237).

[15] Astronomer, cc. 3-4 (trans. Noble, 229-231). See also Louis’s portion of the Frankish kingdom as spelled out in the Divisio regnum MGH Leges 1, 140-141.

[16] Annales Laureshamenses, in MGH SS, 1, ed. G.H. Pertz (Hanover, 1826), 33. See also for the leadership of William Annales Alamannici, in MGH SS, 1, ed. G.H. Pertz (Hanover, 1826), 47; Chron. Moissac, 300.

[17] See ARF, 93, for the year 793; Annales d’Aniane, cols. 9-10; Chron. Moissac, 300; ARF, 95. See also Collins, Charlemagne, 127-128.

[18] Astronomer, 613-16.

[19] Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, c. 14 (Noble trans. 238-239).

[20] ARF for 809. See especially and the many ARF and other entries for the 790s and early 800s.

[21] Collins, Charlemagne, 74, emphasizes Louis’s role in enforcing the treaty. ARF, 100-101 highlight the presence of the Muslim governor in Aachen. Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, 611 states Louis on the campaigned into Spain but did not receive Barcelona.

[22]Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, 612-13. See also Lewis, Development, 41.

[23] Salrach, El procés, vol. 1,14-24; Abadal, El domini carolingi a catalunya, 183-216. ARF, 116 mention a two-year siege, which is surely an error.

[24] Astronomer, Vita Hludowici, 612-13; Chron. Moissac, 307, which places the campaign in 803.

[25] The Saxon wars take up a great deal of Einhard’s Vita Karoli—see the translation by David Ganz in Einhard / Notker the Stammerer, Two Lives of Charlemagne (Penguin, 2008) and the new book by Bernard S. Bachrach, Charlemagne’s Early Campaigns(768-777): A Diplomatic and Military Analysis (Brill, 2013).

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Charle-May-Term 2014

Well, here is my first post not really directly related to my work as a scholar. My work as a teacher, however, has from time to time included enterprises that merit mention here. This is one of them.

As many people may know, the emperor Charlemagne died in the year 814. That was 1200 years ago, so some time ago I figured I would do something academic to commemorate the occasion. The best idea I had was to teach a travel course, so that’s what happened last month. My college’s academic calendar makes it possible to devote nearly all of May to the occasional, unusual course offering, especially when somebody can dream up a course featuring travel to a faraway place. This one took about a year of planning and making arrangements, but in the end it was all worth every minute spent. Two faculty colleagues and I led a group of fourteen students and six guests to various sites in Germany, as well as two cities in France, over three weeks. Most places featured some link to Charlemagne or the Carolingian dynasty, but some were related to other historical developments connected to the formation of the Carolingian world or Charlemagne’s legacy. Because Charlemagne was the key element of the course, we all called the endeavor “Charle-May-Term.” The official name was “Charlemagne’s Europe,” which is more professional but less fun.

I neither want nor intend to offer here a full travel journal or photo album, but I did want to share some of the highlights. As the Carolingian period is my professional specialty, it seemed to me appropriate to publicize here, even though the trip was teaching, and also it gives me something to write about, which is the purpose of this blog. So here we go (note, this post is rather long-ish):

The Preliminaries

For three days, the class met on campus. I gave several lectures on the historical developments leading to the creation of the Frankish kingdom and the rise of the Carolingian family, as well as Charlemagne’s empire. My colleagues, who teach German and French, gave lessons on German and French culture, the medieval literatures of those cultures, and crash courses in “survival” French and German for travelers. I was pleased with how well all the students engaged with this material—historical, linguistic, and literary—and it proved a solid foundation for the period of traveling.

Stop #1: Frankfurt

The Dom in Frankfurt

The Dom in Frankfurt

This was the first stop because it’s where the airplane landed. We saw an interesting archaeology museum featuring Roman and barbarian artifacts from the Frankfurt region, which taught our group quite a bit. I gave a lecture reminding everyone about Charlemagne’s church council at Frankfurt in 794, which addressed the doctrinal controversies of Adoptionism and Iconoclasm, among other things. We had good food and apple wine, and everyone pretty well liked the place.

Stop #2: Köln (Cologne)

The even more spectacular Dom in Cologne, as seen on the first night in town

The even more spectacular Dom in Cologne, as seen on the first night in town

I went here on a previous May Term in 2010 (that one was just for “Medieval Germany”) and wanted to return, mostly because of the Roman-Germanic Museum in town and the Dom (cathedral). The museum, which has tons of interesting stuff, could easily be related to the course, because Charlemagne inherited the cultural mixing of Roman and Germanic cultures that took place in the centuries before his own time. The Dom made the itinerary simply because it is spectacular. Whoever is able to make a trip there should do it. And climb the stairs to the observation deck in the tower; it’s well worth the few euros to trek up, passing stones laid in eras from the fourteenth century to the nineteenth, to take in an amazing view of the city and Rhine valley.

Stop #3: Aachen

Our group next to Charlemagne’s throne in the Aachener Dom (you may be able to pick me out)

You can’t do a Charlemagne tour and not go to Aachen. On the In the 790s, Charlemagne made Aachen his capital city, after decades of being an itinerant king. Frankish custom for ages had held that the king would move around the kingdom to administer justice and so forth. But as Charlemagne got a bit older, he appreciated the natural hot springs in Aachen and decided to stay put. We of course went to his octagonal church, now the centerpiece of the Aachener Dom—it’s been added onto over the centuries and now has some lovely Gothic elements. Inside the Dom you can see his throne. The last time I was in Aachen, the gallery where the throne is was under construction, so I didn’t get to see it. This time, we made sure to go up and get a good look. Everything was coming up Charlemagne all over town. A shiny, new Charlemagne museum was set to open—just after we left—and the big pilgrimage was also set for after we left. Depending on when I get this posted, the pilgrimage may still be going on! There was more to see, including a little area in a park where they conducted an archaeological dig. They left part of the site open for observation, behind glass walls, and you could take a gander at things dating all the way back to the palaeolithic. Cool. A good number of students also took advantage of Aachen’s proximity to the Netherlands and Belgium and went for a hike to visit three countries in one day. Also cool.

Stop #4: Paris

Saint Denis, with colored light coming through the stained glass windows--how breath-taking would that have beenb for people who had never seen such before?

Saint Denis, with colored light from the stained glass windows playing on the floor below–how breath-taking would that have been for people who had never seen such before?

I admit that this stop was stretching things a bit. I had halfway held out hope that somebody somewhere in Paris would be into observing Charlemagne’s anniversary, but if anyone was, we missed them. The class took in Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle as official visits. The site most closely related to the course, though, was Saint Denis. It took a good trip on the Metro to get there, but you could see the tombs of Charlemagne’s ancestors Charles Martel, Pippin the Short, and Bertha. Some of his descendants are there, too. Plus, as textbooks will tell you, Saint Denis was the first church structure to be built totally in the Gothic style. That happened because the earlier church burned down, so the abbot had a new one put up in the 1140s. You can easily see that the sarcophagi are in Gothic style, too.

Charlemagne's parents

Charlemagne’s parents

We stayed in Paris longer than anywhere else, because it’s Paris. One whole day was basically devoted to the Louvre, which has a nice Carolingian collection. Then there was a free day, because we couldn’t take students and others to Paris and not let them just be tourists. As for me, I went with my home crew and took in the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and other such things. It was nice. The feedback on Paris was that it was both the high point and the low point of the trip: it’s famous and definitely worth seeing, but as by far the largest city on our tour, there were big-city drawbacks, too.

Stop #5: Strasbourg

Le Petite France, Strasbourg

Le Petite France, Strasbourg

What a lovely city! It got put on the itinerary by the French professor, but I justified it as the location of the Oaths of Strasbourg, sworn by Charlemagne’s grandsons Charles the Bald and Louis the German as they made an alliance with each other against their older brother Lothar. There was a decent archaeology museum in which we saw artifacts from Roman to Frankish times, but an even better museum on the history of the city. I do not exaggerate when I say that it is one of the most well-executed museums I have been to. It features a whole lot of post-medieval stuff, but I can’t hold that against it. The way they have artifacts displayed, in large cases that show types of things vertically while moving by chronology horizontally allows you to see the developments in how, say, cooking vessels were made over a period of decades. On the shelf below there would be something like writing implements, and again you could see changes over time by moving along the display case. I found that preferable to the “go into the room for the 1250s and look at how everything was made then” organization more typical of what I’ve seen. The historical museum also has complete rooms done up in period fashion. Cool. And a cathedral nearby. Learning about Alsatian culture was hugely interesting as well. By the time we left Strasbourg, it had become most students’ favorite city on the trip.

Stop #6: Sigmaringen/Meßkirch – Campus Galli

Blacksmith's workshop, Campus Galli

Blacksmith’s workshop, Campus Galli

This was perhaps the highest highlight of the trip. Sigmaringen is a small town in the Black Forest, but we didn’t go there for the town. Oh, it’s lovely and has a cool (modern) castle of the Hohenzollern family. But the reason we were in the area was to visit Campus Galli. The folks there are building a Carolingian-era monastery complex according to the so-called Plan of St. Gall. The plan exists in a manuscript found at the very old monastery of St. Gall, but it wasn’t the plan for St. Gall itself. In fact, no monastery was ever built according to the Plan. So, let’s do it now! With ninth-century plans! And ninth-century tools and techniques! And have everyone dress and spend their time on-site as authentically ninth-century as possible! I’m all for that. They’ve really just begun, so no official buildings are up yet. Artisans’ huts are, so we got to see the woodworker, blacksmith, basket-maker, and wool women do their stuff. They are preparing the foundations for the wooden chapel, on the spot where the “real” stone church will go, and everything else will follow. This will be a 40-year project, to which the crew members have basically given up their previous life pursuits to join. Really cool. I want to return with students every few years to check in on their progress.

Stop #7: Nürnberg

Part of the Kaiserburg Nürnberg

Part of the Kaiserburg Nürnberg

Nürnberg is one of the places we went to dig into the legacy of Charlemagne. While in France, we read and had class discussion on The Song of Roland, to follow up on the lives of Charlemagne by Einhard and Notker that we had addressed in Aachen. For Nürnberg, though, it was all about the “Holy Roman Empire” that came along in the Middle Ages, with emperors modeling themselves on Charlemagne. We saw the Burg (citadel), which has been turned into a museum, and lucky for us had a special exhibit on just the theme we needed for class—the emperors modeling themselves on Charlemagne. (Not that they called it that at the exhibit, but it was a running theme.) Good food, as was the general rule at all these places, good times.

Stop #8: Bamberg

Der Gabelmann, a fountain featuring Poseidon, common Bamberg meeting place

Der Gabelmann, a fountain featuring Poseidon, common Bamberg meeting place

More Holy Roman Empire stuff, and also a stop at the university in town, with which my college has a student exchange relationship. This cathedral has two towers on each end, which is neat to see. It’s also in a Romanesque style, different from the Gothic prevalent in so many other places. Plus, right across the plaza is a location of the Bavarian State Library, of which we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour. The earliest manuscripts there are from the Carolingian period, but we were unable to see them as they are being digitized. We met with the international studies director at the museum and also met up with students from our college who are doing the exchange program there. There may have been some kind of event relating to a beer garden. The students liked this town, too, even without as much of a direct link to the course themes.

Stop #9: Mainz – Bacharach – Bingen

Fastradas marker

Fastrada’s marker

In many ways, Mainz is an excellent place to end a medieval-history themed trip. The production there of Johannes Gutenberg’s movable type printing press marks one aspect in which medieval civilization gave way to modern. While we were there, we of course saw the cathedral, the history of which has some links to the Carolingians. St. Boniface, and Anglo-Saxon missionary, was made the first archbishop in Germany and was given Mainz as his see in the eighth century. In the cathedral is a marker for the grave of Fastrada, fourth (or third, depending on how you count ‘legitimate’ wives) wife of Charlemagne.

Bacharach, nominee for Cutest Town Ever

Bacharach, nominee for Cutest Town Ever

From Mainz we made a day trip to Bacharach and Bingen, because Bacharach is simply too picturesque of a place to pass up, and Bingen is of interest to serious medieval nerds because of the local should-be-a-bigger celebrity Hildegard. Even though there isn’t much Hildegard-related to see, and nothing pertinent to Charlemagne’s Europe other than the Rhine valley itself in these places, it was worth the trip. There’s the touching story of the Wernerkapelle up the hill in Bacharach, and then the fairly outstanding old castle at the top of the hill, now a youth hostel. Not to mention the wine of the Rhine valley. Our visit to the Gutenberg Museum was, in fact, the last official group event, and the excellent dinner I had on the last night was the appropriate high note for ending the trip.

Closing Thoughts

Fourteen students, three instructors, and six guests made this trip, and to the best of my knowledge, all returned safely to their homes. The feedback I’ve received from students has been quite positive, although I do hope that if anyone has serious recommendations for how to do better, from a student’s perspective, next time, that they will let me know. I enjoyed it, and while it took me away from research and writing, it inspired me to get back to the sources and scholarship with vigor and enthusiasm. I would do another travel course. Not next year, certainly, but sometime soon. The experience on my end is always first-rate! Good memories made, that’s for sure.

Wow, this seems like a very long post. Thanks to whoever among you kept going to the end! I hope the narrative was lively enough and the content informative enough to give a taste of what we did, and the photos satisfying as illustrations. As always, thoughts, reactions, and feedback are welcome. Thanks!