The Danube

The Danube

The Danube

The Danube

Excerpt

The Danube flows through twenty thousand years. It gave protection to the Stone-Age man long before the Tiber became im- mortal. It was a center of culture thousands of years before Paris had become a fishing village. It saw the bowmen of Sesostris the Egyptian, the archers of Darius the Persian, the hoplites of Alexander the Macedonian, the lancers of Charlemagne the Frank, the warriors of the Hungarian conqueror Arpád, the Janizaries of Soleiman the Magnificent, the hordes of Genghis Khan the Tatar, and the Grande Armée of Napoleon the Great.

It has seen more wars than any other river. Godfrey of Bouillon's Crusaders, bound for the Holy Land, were massacred on its banks. The flower of an entire country was crushed at the battle of Mohács, five centuries later. Slaughters that horrified the world here more than justified the name of the "unspeakable Turk." Here the Holy Alliance drowned hopes of a freer day in blood.

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