Storyline: The titanic tyrant knows how to bend both countries and centuries to his steel will, while leaving his leviathan footprints, as well as countless corpses, in his wake as one of the most perilous characters ever to trod the hallways of power here.

Joseph Stalin (Iosif Dzugashvili) (1879-1953) - Soviet dictator. Outer: Son of a poor cobbler given to drink, who beat him regularly and eventually abandoned the family. His mother was a devout washerwoman, who was born a serf and wanted him to be a priest, although she, too, beat him, but out of the desire that he better himself. The third of three brothers, with the first two dying as infants before he was born. Grew up in extreme, brutalizing poverty, speaking Georgian. Wrote poetry, read avidly, and was an excellent student, who often sang at weddings, because of a sweet, high tenor voice. Learned Russian at a church school, and was educated for the priesthood at the Tiflis Theological Seminary, through a scholarship his mother had won for him, but became enamored of Marxism while there and was expelled for revolutionary activity in 1899. 5’4”, stocky, strong, with one arm longer than the other, and a mustached face pock-marked by small-pox. His singular job outside politics was a brief stint as a clerk. Joined the revolutionary underground in 1900, where he remained in violent obscurity. Threw in with the Bolsheviks in 1903, and became a disciple of its leader, V. Lenin. Organized labor in the oil fields of Baku, and was a compulsive bank robber, with little facility for avoiding the police. Arrested 7 times over the next decade, and imprisoned and exiled as well as escaped repeatedly. May have been a double agent for a time. Married Ekaterina Svanidze, a pious Georgian woman, in 1904, who died 3 years later, and at her funeral stated his heart had died with her. Later repudiated their son, whom he deemed a weakling, refusing to exchange him when the Germans captured him during WW II. Adopted the name Stalin, which meant ‘steel’ as his nom de revolution, while rising slowly in the party hierarchy, through thuggery, articles and editing. Spent most of his 30s with his freedom abrogated one way or another, with his last exile lasting 4 years, before he returned in 1917, as the first of his crew to do so, while initially calling for order and cooperation with the government, although he would completely excise this apostasy from his official biography. When the Bolsheviks, under Lenin, seized the government, his moderation excluded him from the Central Committee, thereby minimizing his actual role in the transition, despite his inflated claims later on as having been a pivotal player in the upheaval. May have had a son with a common law wife, while he was in exile. His 2nd marriage in 1919 was to Nadya Alliluyev, the daughter of a radical worker 20 years his junior, which produced a son who became an alcoholic and a daughter, Svetlana, who emigrated from the Soviet Union after her father’s death, while his wife committed suicide in 1932 with a revolver after 14 years with him. May have ordered her death, although he claimed her act had crippled him for the rest of his life. Had a plethora of affairs, spoiled his children, and enjoyed playing servant to his daughter, making her his ‘Boss,’ and obeying all her orders, as an exercise in faux powerlessness. Active during the 1918 to 1920 Civil War between the Reds and the Whites, he held 2 ministerial posts in the new Bolshevik government, before becoming secretary general of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, a position he would hold until his death. Although Lenin, who died in 1924, warned against his succeeding him, he did anyhow in a centrist troika, and immediately set about removing his co-equals. Promoted a Lenin cult, did the organizational work necessary to entrench his position, and subsequently purged the party of all his rivals by playing its left against its right, so that he had uncontested control by the late 1920s. Instituted a series of 5 year economic programs, where statistics, however false or misleading they were, were the judge of progress, creating a grossly inefficient system from which the country would not recover, even by the end of the century. Known as “Comrade Card-Index,” for his need to know what everyone was doing, while deliberately using starvation as an instrument of internal policy. Collectivized his peasants, slaughtering any who resisted, and undoing millions more through famines. In the 1930s, he plunged the country into a repressive industrialized police state, killing tens of millions and exiling millions more, while finishing off his party purges in a series of show trials that removed the last of his earlier cohorts. Controlled every level of society, turning his people into informers on one another, and removing anyone who questioned the supremacy of the state, while fashioning a dead soul society of ghosts and bureaucrats. Created a cult of the Supreme Being around himself, replacing God in the consciousness of his deliberately de-spirited nation. Ousted most of his competent generals prior to WW II, then made a pact in 1939 with German Führer Adolf Hitler, whom he admired, that encouraged the latter to attack Poland. Shocked when his fellow dictator later reneged and turned against the Soviet Union, and was completely unprepared for it, denying all intelligence that crossed his desk to the contrary. Absorbed the Nazi invasion, but was wise enough to eventually allow his generals to repel it, while his country suffered immensely during the war, both materially and in casualties, racking up some 20 million losses, both civilian and military. Courageously remained in Moscow when it was about to be besieged, and his iron will managed to help hold the Soviet Union together. Later took full credit for the defense of the motherland, despite his coterie of gifted commanders, who did the actual fighting. Never allowed his Allied partners know what he was planning, seeing them as dead-end imperialists, per Marxist doctrine, and at war’s end, claimed Eastern Europe as his own satellites setting up brutal puppet Communist regimes in the war-devastated eastern part of the continent. Suffered some sort of stroke or heart attack following the last allied conference at Potsdam in 1945, as America finally recognized his expansionist aims as totally inimical to its own. The postwar world quickly became a dichotomy of capitalist and communist expansionists, with the Soviet State as the bastion for the latter and the United States as the beacon for the former. Proceeded to ratchet up the planet’s paranoia level when the Soviet Union got nuclear capabilities in the late 1940s, and continued his absolute control of every aspect of Soviet life, purging, exiling and executing all dissidents, while using the country’s resource primarily for its military machine. In ill health and increasingly more suspicious and paranoid in his later years, he would spend his nights drinking and card-playing with his inner circle, existing on a few hours sleep, before placing his watchful eyes everywhere in search of deviations from his control. Even his drinking would be carefully self-monitored, while he encouraged his cohorts to lose themselves in alcohol, so as to better reveal themselves to him. In 1953, he began a new round of purges against Jewish doctors, whom he suspected of doing in various Soviet leaders, in preparation for another larger round of terror, before he was mercifully removed from the earth plane under questionable circumstances, after a night of drinking. Surrounded by intimates, he lifted his left hand and pointed toward the ceiling in one final gesture, before officially expiring from a cerebral hemorrhage. May also have very well been poisoned. His body would be embalmed and placed in Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square for public view and veneration, until it was removed in 1961, during the subsequent revelations of his excesses, and he ultimately wound up buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Inner: Brutal, shrewd, criminal, paranoid, suspected conspiracies everywhere. Never committed anything to paper, and often gave his directives as subtle suggestions, in keeping with the absolute power her projected. Like Hitler, an abused child of a drunk, so as to make 2 obscure alcoholics the symbolic fathers of the 20th century’s prime debasing personalities. Singular individual who could carry off the thorough dehumanizing of the Soviet state. Had an idealized view of himself, projecting negative aspects onto others. Equally passionate about and obsessed with his/story, as well as his place in it, employing his Ivan IVth life as a measuring yardstick. Used paranoia as a management technique, making himself feared by everyone, a world shaker and mover who abused his power in extremis. Continually had mistresses, even in penniless exile at career’s beginning. Had a good singing voice, and was an avid reader, with a library of some 20,000 volumes. Judged his subordinates by what they did or didn’t read. Supreme-willed soul, and probably the personality most responsible for the deep divisions of the 20th century. Man-of-the-century lifetime of coming to embody the deep, dark peasant soul of Russia, bringing his savage, cunning sensibilities to bear on a divisive century over which he will probably be judged as its primary personality of power. Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) - Russian anarchist. Outer: Eldest son of a small landowner. Had an idyllic childhood, and was devoted to his 4 sisters, allowing his more intuitive side to come out, instead of the usual male monster. Received a military education at the Artillery School in St. Petersburg, although never graduated, leaving school at 19 to become an ensign in the artillery corps on the Polish front, only to go AWOL 2 years later in disgust and resign his commission, while almost being arrested for desertion. Returned to Moscow in his early 20s and became part of an intellectual crew, that included Vissarion Belinsky (Leon Trotsky), and Alexander Herzen (V. Lenin), while studying and writing articles on Hegelian philosophy. Moved to Berlin Univ. in 1841 to continue his studies on Hegel (Benedetto Croce), and then moved onto Dresden, where he contributed articles to a revolutionary journal under the name of ‘Jules Elizard,’ offering the anarchic equation of passion and destruction as the equal of creation. Moved to Paris in 1843, where he joined the socialistic workers movement, became interested in the Slavic liberation movement, and met Pierre Proudhon (Leon Blum), whose work he initially admired. Refused to return home when the Russian government, which had become alarmed at his activities, demanded him to do so, and his passport was revoked and his property confiscated, while he was stripped of his nobility and sentenced to exile in Siberia. Spent time in Switzerland, but his anti-Russian writings made him unwelcome in Paris. Turned on by the street fighting there in the February Revolution of 1848, he attended the Slav conference, then wrote his first major manifesto, denouncing the bourgeoisie and calling for the overthrow of the Hapsburgs, while looking to the Russian peasant as the primary agent of the coming revolution. Denounced by Karl Marx (Victor Serge) as a Russian agent, while disagreeing totally with his revolutionary view. As an activist again, in the Dresden resurrection, he was arrested and handed over to the Russian authorities, where he was incarcerated for 6 years and wrote an apology and repentance for his actions, while his health deteriorated. Sent to Siberia in 1857 where he made an unconsummated marriage with Antonia Kwiatkowski, the daughter of a Polish merchant. Able to use connections to gain an escape via travel and wound up in London in 1861, where he reunited with Herzen, although the 2 fell out over politics as well as his impecunious state. Headed for Poland in 1863 to participate in the failed insurrection there, but never made it, then went to Italy where he spent 4 years and grounded his anarchic critique, while trying to win the international working class movement from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Willie Brandt), which he failed to do, while attempting to create a complex of interlocking secret revolutionary societies. Settled in Geneva, came into strong conflict with Marx over his ultra-revolutionary stance, and was expelled by him from the International in 1872, which split the revolutionary movement. Briefly enthusiastic over fellow anarchist S.G. Nechayev (Lavrenti Beria), who practiced the nihilism he preached, and attracted numerous followers by his writings, which were often left incomplete, in keeping with his commitment to the complete lack of order of anarchy. Eventually wound up living impecuniously and in declining health in Switzerland where he died, anti-authoritarian to the bitter end. Later reviled by Lenin and the architects of the Russian state as the voice of petty bourgeois individualism. Inner: Provocative, violent and anti-authoritarian, save for his own sense of authority within his projected movement. Great believer in violent means as the proper end towards revolution, seeing all authority as the lower end of the his/storical development of humanity, which he limned in “God and State.” Thunderous orator, passionate character. Also impetuous and highly irresponsible, in a curious other-side-of-the-circle go-round from his Justinian law-encoding existence. Archetypally anarchic lifetime of this hyper-masculine being trying to touch on his more female side by channeling his normally super-aggressive nature into an integration of theory and action, although he was unable to find the balance between the two, and wound up an odd, disconnected figure from the political realities around him. Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) - French revolutionary. Outer: Son of a failed lawyer, mother died young and father abandoned the family, leaving him to 2 aunts. Raised by his mother’s parents, grandfather was a brewer. Imbued with a sense of the heroism of the Roman republic in his education, he became the protege of a local bishop, and through him won a scholarship to the College Louis-le-Grand in Paris, where he excelled in philosophy and law. Became a lawyer in 1781 in his native town, then a judge, distinguishing himself through his scholarship. Had a passion for Latin his/story, viewing Paris as a 2nd Rome, while believing that extremist virtue in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Became chancellor and later president of the Arras Academy, and led a comfortable, social, intellectual life, despite his aloof character. Showed compassion for the poor & oppressed as an altruistic lawyer, using his clients as embodiments of the dualistic principles of victim and violating powers, and was elected as a representative to the National Assembly in 1789, which began his political career. Although he had a relatively weak-carrying voice, his sentiments, his rationality, his sense of austerity and self-control, his diligence and his total commitment to liberty all impressed some, and made him a demon to the royalist press. Joined the Jacobins, the most radical arm of the incipient French Revolution, and came to lead them, after their more moderate members were ousted. Withstood threats on his life, and was made public prosecutor of Paris in 1791, but gave it up for his work with the Jacobins, while founding a newspaper that offered him greater access to the public mind. Correctly foretold the disaster of France’s war with Austria and Prussia, an unpopular prediction at the time, and in 1792, was elected to head the Parisian delegation to the National Convention. Called for the king’s death, which was actualized at the beginning of the following year and successfully suppressed the more moderate Girondists. In the summer of 1793, he was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, the executive organ of the new government, from where he inaugurated the Reign of Terror, and became its personification, using his dictatorial will to keep the blade of the guillotine adrip with the blood of his perceived enemies, who were anyone who opposed him, from the extreme left to the relative moderates, including Georges Danton (V. Lenin), who correctly predicted he would soon follow him. Supported a cult of the Supreme Being in response to the anti-Christian activities of many revolutionaries and was made president of the National Convention, although the opposition against his high-handed ways was steadily rising, while his own health, because of his obsessive work habits, was steadily declining. Removed himself temporarily from his public activities, only to find his popularity slipping, culminating with his enemies successfully stopping him from speaking before the Legislative Assembly. Arrested, although not held, refused to lead an insurrection, and was condemned as an outlaw. Made a suicide attempt by shooting himself in the jaw, then was captured and summarily tried. Led to the guillotine drenched in his own blood, and had the bandage to his jaw ripped away, while he screamed in pain, before having his head removed from his body to the cheers of the Paris mob. A figure of controversy forever afterwards. Inner: Puritanical with a sense of inner incorruptibility. Frugal, forever righteously indignant, stiff, cold, pedantic, wedded thoroughly to the Revolution, a political being to his very soul. Champion of the powerless, although extremely imbued with his own sense of power and ego. Political embodiment lifetime of attuning his consciousness to the revolutionary sweep of his time, working with many of the same beings who would be active during the succeeding, and far more successful, Russian Revolution, thanks to the lessons learned in this first go-round of it, while making the shift to popular movements after earlier having been the autocratic, aristocratic tyrant he so vehemently fought against. Ivan IV (1530-1584) - Russian tsar. Outer: On the day of his birth, the whole country was filled with roaring thunder and flashes of lightning. Eldest son of Vasily III (Kim Jong Il). Succeeded his father at the age of 3, with his mother, Elena, serving as an arbitrary and capricious regent. She, however, was probably poisoned and died by the time her son was 8. Powerless to stop the Russian boyars, or nobles, from ravaging the land for their own ends during his childhood, while his uncles were incarcerated and his 2 closest friends were imprisoned, one dying of starvation. Grew up in an environment of brutality, scorn and neglect, and showed cruel, paranoid rage even as an adolescent, torturing animals and testing his power whenever he could. Had a quick, intuitive, absorptive mind, and was a voracious reader, using his sense of his/story to augment his own sense of rule. Officially crowned in 1547, the same year a devastating fire swept Moscow for 2 months. Happily married Anastasia Romanova, a member of the Romanov clan and became the first ruler of Russia to use the title of tsar. Quickly established his autocratic power, and became known as “groznyj,” or dreadful and awe-inspiring. Added to his territories through conquest, brought in western artists to beautify Moscow, while modernizing his armies through western experts, and making a trade agreement with England, which would have long-lasting consequences. Fell ill in 1553, and thought himself near death, but after seeing complete disloyalty around him when his boyars refused to acknowledge his infant son as heir, he recovered and took brutal vengeance on them. His first wife, whom he loved dearly, died when he was 30, probably the victim of poison, which seemed to unbalance him for the rest of his life, although his acts of madness always added to his sense of absolute power, as he came to trust no one. Alternated between orgiastic behavior and half-mocking and half-sincere repentance, sometimes dressing as a monk. Organized a secret police, killed thousands of suspected traitors, including his best advisers and generals, often in his presence. Reigned for 50 years, making Russia a multinational state through endless and often senseless wars. In his later years, his vengeance knew no bounds. Ravaged Novgorod, throwing whole families into the river while men in boats pushed them under, for having had the audacity to negotiate with Poland. Had 6 to 8 official wives all told, killed his eldest son in a fit of madness, and was consumed for the rest of his life by deep, dark guilt, thinking at one point of abdicating and becoming a monk. Rehabilitated posthumously all of his victims and ordered the church to pray for their souls. Howled throughout his palace in his last days, and finally died in a pique of passion after a game of chess, in which his playing partner dared to win. Left his country in shambles at his death, despite all his considerable accomplishments. Succeeded by his feebleminded son, Fyodor I (Lavrenti Beria), while his chief adviser, Boris Godunov (Boris Nemtsov) was then left to pick up the pieces as best he could. Inner: Brutal, paranoid, suspected conspiracies everywhere. Passionate, religious, supreme-willed soul. Personification of the classic tyrant, believed in cruelty as the birthright of an effective leader. Tyrannous rex lifetime of being given the royal imprimatur to act out his brute will without restraint once he had established his power, giving resonance and foundation to his Stalin life many centuries in the future, where he would do the same as a peasant ennobled by a faux revolution. Caesar Borgia (1475-1507) - Renaissance Italian nobleman. Outer: Son of Roman cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (Maxim Gorki), who would ultimately become Pope Alexander VI. 2nd son and oldest of the family of 4, by his father’s long-standing Roman mistress, Vanessa Catnap. Younger sister was Lucrezia Borgia (Indira Gandhi). Had a largely Spanish upbringing, and was made a canon of of the cathedral of Valencia at 7. Educated for a career in the church and was de-illegitimatized by the pope so that he could hold ecclesiastical offices. Intelligent, handsome, cunning and an excellent athlete. Went to the Univ. of Padua, where he studied law, and then the Univ. of Pisa where he received a degree in canon and civil law. Became bishop of Pamplona, then after his father was made pope in 1492, he was appointed archbishop of Valencia, and became his sire’s principle adviser, along with being raised to the cardinalate the following year. Despite his vocation, he was very much a man of the world, noted for his licentious liaisons and his fabulous wardrobe, as well as his murderous disregard for human life. Fathered at least 11 illegitimate chiildren. Once assembled some condemned prisoners, and nonchalantly shot them with arrows for amusement, as his father and his sister looked on. Bypassed for the title of duke of Gandia, which was given to his younger brother, Juan (Boris Nemtsov), who he probably had murdered in a pique of jealousy. Made commander of the papal army in 1496 against the family’s enemies, the Orsini, and 2 years later relinquished his title of cardinal, when his sire decided he was not cut out for the spiritual life. In 1499, he made a French dynastic marriage to Carlotta d’Abret, the sister of the king of Navarre, and was named duke of Valentinois by the French king. The marriage also insured French support for the papacy in its aims, as well as the possibility of carving out a permanent Borgia state in Italy for him. Proved to be an effective military organizer and administrator in defending and extending his duchy, while serving as the prototype for the Machiavellian “Prince,” the leader whose ends justify his means, when its author, Niccolo Machiavelli (Stephen Fry) got to view his ruthless manipulations first-hand. Became hideously disfigured by syphilis, so that he had to wear a mask to go out in public. Portrayed as a lust-filled monster by his enemies for his and his father’s ambitions and arrogance, and was widely feared and abhorred. The duo worked well in tandem, with his aggressiveness counterbalancing his father’s political skills. Engineered a number of assassinations, but in his next campaign, his commanders, fearing his power, after 2 lightning attacks that totally subdued his enemies, turned on him and stripped him of his power. Rebuilt his army through papal funds and destabilized his usurpers, isolating and killing them. His father died in 1503, and he was arrested by the succeeding pope, Julius II (Peter Jackson). Fled to Naples, but was re-arrested and taken to Spain and imprisoned, only to eventually escape in 1506. Unable to return to Italy, he joined his brother-in-law, the king of Navarre, but was killed by rebels in battle. Inner: Ruthless, ambitious, feared and arrogant. Dualistic character, alternating between being possessed by hyper-kinetic energy and absolute sloth, while rarely sleeping. Boastful, secretive, remote and extremely sensitive to slights. Daring, duplicitous, opportunistic, and an excellent military planner. Machiavellian lifetime of adjusting his ongoing supreme dance with power with Mediterranean realities to carve out the prototype of the cunning, calculating and cruel Renaissance prince. Harald III (1015-1066) - Norwegian king. Known as ‘Hardraade’ or ‘Hard Reign.’ Outer: Father was an eastern Norwegian chieftain. Half-brother of the Norwegian king, Olaf II (Eduard Limonov), with whom he shared the same mother, which put him in line for the throne. As a teenager, he did battle against the Danes in 1030 in which Olaf was killed. Retreated to heal his wounds and was forced to flee to Kiev, where he briefly served under its grand prince, Yaroslav the Wise. Realized while there that the key to power in his own country was trade, and set up an international trade center there. For the next decade, he fought in Italy, Sicily, the Greek Islands and Palestine, among other theaters, showing himself to be a clever strategist and intrepid warrior. Left Constantinople in 1042, after being refused the hand of a princess, and wed instead the daughter of Yaroslav, Elizabeth, whose 3 sisters became Queen of Poland, France and Hungary. Returned home with an enormous treasure, which he used to buy a co-rulership of Norway, with his nephew Magnus I (Boris Nemtsov), who died two years later of an accident while fighting against the Danes. May have had a hand in his death, because of the jealous enmity twixt the two. Began building Oslo as a trade center, developed a Norwegian currency, and used Byzantium as a model for his nation, while doing battle with the Danes over the next decade and a half, before the two countries finally recognized one another as sovereign nations. Proved unpopular because of his harsh rule, but expanded both trade and his kingdom’s possessions, while antagonizing the orthodox church, through his independent stance. Always looking to enlarge his realms, he invaded England with a large army, and after initial successes, was killed with an arrow through the throat at Stamford Bridge by the forces of Harold II (Moshe Dayan). Succeeded by two of his sons, and, in effect, ended Viking influence in western European affairs, as a culminating figure of his age. Inner: Sly, treacherous, hard-hearted, fierce, but a courageous and imaginative general and legendary warrior. Heavy-handed lifetime of exercising rule in the northern latitudes as prelude to his memorable runs there during the next millennium, with the same supporting cast of characters. Justinian I (Petrus Sabbatius) (483-565) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: Peasant-born, he was well-educated at the behest of his uncle, Justin I (Nikita Khruschev), who later became Byzantine emperor and legally adopted him. Received an excellent education in Constantinople while Justin was a military commander, then became a close adviser to his uncle when he ascended the throne in 518, and was responsible for much imperial policy during his reign. Married an actress and former prostitute, Theodora (Indira Gandhi), who held considerable sway over him, and later helped him during a time of riot by supporting a rival family to keep his throne. Given important offices, he was made co-emperor in 527, succeeding his uncle several months after his death. 2 years later, he closed the last great school of pagan philosophy in Athens, in one final blow for orthodox Christianity. Much of his reign was taken with protecting and trying to expand his territories through wars in both the east and the west, which he was able to do through 2 talented generals, Belisarius (V. Lenin) and Narses (Leon Trotsky). Able to maintain his eastern provinces in the face of longtime struggles against the Persian Empire, ultimately effecting a treaty near the end of his reign, but at considerable cost. Wished to restore the old Roman empire from its barbarian invaders, and proved successful in its outlying provinces, recovering North Africa from the Vandals in a 15 year struggle. Less effective in Italy, since he destroyed it in process of a near 2 decade conflict with the Ostrogoths, despite eventually taking control of the country in 562. In the northern territories, he was unable to keep the Slav and Bulgar presence out. As a Roman Catholic, he saw himself as a vice-regent of Christ, and the champion of orthodoxy, although did little to mend church schisms, and drifted over towards heretical views later in his career, with his view that the body of Christ was incorruptible and that his sufferings were illusionary. Far more successful with his domestic policies, with his singular greatest accomplishment, giving order to Roman law. Best known for sponsoring the codifying of Byzantine law, the Codex Justianus, which was brought about by his able minister, Tribonian (Maxim Gorki). Reorganized the administrative government, rooted out corruption, and chose talented ministers to implement his edicts. Through his reconquest of Italy, able to restore the empire to its former frontiers, while also bringing a semblance of unity to the Christian Church. An enthusiastic builder, particularly of churches, although all his projects, both military and civilian, were extremely costly. Completely distraught at his wife’s death in 548, he withdrew into theological questions, which occupied much of his reign, while accomplishing very little legal legislation. Expunged the idea of reincarnation from theological works, since it negated the temporal power of leaders, while evicting all pagans from teaching positions, effectively ending the influence of Greek culture on western civilization until its rediscovery in the Renaissance. His last decade would be extremely unhappy, although he was never able to delegate authority, despite a noticeable diminishing of his own abilities. Succeeded by his nephew, Justin II (Boris Nemtsov), supposedly per his last wish, just before succumbing to a heart attack or stroke. Inner: Ambitious, industrious warrior, but viewed as a malevolent monster by some contemporaries. Subject to depression, sleeplessness, jealousy, irresoluteness. Largely unloved by his subjects. Much preferred buying off potential enemy peoples than doing battle with them. Extremely detail oriented. Strongly affected his/story as he always does, but his madness was somewhat tempered by a coequal relationship with his wife, bringing out his partnership side so noticeably lacking in his later incarnations in this series. Lawmaking lifetime of being a champion of ordered justice as well as a true partner in power, while acting out the creator/destroyer duality that is his ongoing bloodstained signature. Gaius Messius Quintus Decius (c190-251) - Roman emperor. Outer: From a family that enjoyed Italian connections and also owned extensive lands. Married an Etruscan woman from a distinguished family, 2 sons from union. Became a senator, enjoyed a consulship and was probably governor of Nearer Spain and Lower Moesia. Entrusted by the emperor Philip I (Master P), with restoring order on the Danube, after usurpers threatened his position and he almost abdicated in their favor. His success in repelling the invaders and restoring discipline led his troops to declare him emperor in 249, and he summarily defeated Philip’s forces and had him slain, along with his son. The Roman senate honored him with the name Traianus, and showered him in honors. Spent his first year in reorganization, rallying the pagan forces of the Empire around his regime. Initiated a severe Christian persecution, viewing their separatism, despite their small number, as a threat. Executed the pope, Fabianus, and demanded at least one pagan religious observance, to which most of the urban churches conformed for fear of police action. The persecutions lessened because of a two-pronged Gothic invasion. Made his wife Herenia Estrucillia, an Augusta and his elder son Augustus and sent him to Moesia to fight the Goths. He soon followed, and after initial losses, won a victory, and proclaimed his teenage son joint ruler, while making his younger son in Rome, Caesar. In the summer of 251, both he and his son were slain in battle, and almost all of his army was decimated. May have been betrayed by his successor Gallus (Lavrenti Beria). It would be the first time a Roman emperor fell in battle against a foreign foe. Inner: Competent general, strong-willed but nowhere near the transcendental martial figure the times demanded. Judgments of him alter: Christian writers view him coldly and darkly, pagan scribes see him as warmly and kingly. Conventional lifetime of enjoying privilege, a successful career, and the fantasy of dynasty, only to be overwhelmed by the forces of his/story.


Storyline: The savage shadow matches his longtime mentor in his powerlust, but has none of the latter’s offsetting talents for rule, and remains an ongoing heartless black hole, in his attempts at mimicking a master of brute will.

Lavrenti Beria (1889-1953) - Russian secret police chief. Outer: Like Joseph Stalin, born in Georgia into a peasant houshold. His mother was deeply religious and outlived 2 husbands. Had one brother and a deaf-mute sister, while his father died when he was in his mid-teens. Attended a polytechnic institute, intending to be a technician architect, although was a poor student, despite being cunning. Organized a student group in school in 1915, then joined the Communist Party in 1917 and participated in revolutionary activity in his home state, before becoming involved in intelligence and counterintelligence activities. Tall and heavy-set, with bulging eyes, sallow skin and a flaccid build. Married Nina Gegechkori, the niece of an Old Bolshevik, one son from the union. Identified with the Mensheviks initially until the Bolsheviks took over in 1921, and he immediately switched allegiances out of expediency, and was eventually made head of the Cheka or secret police in Georgia. In 1932, he became party boss of the Transcaucasus, and oversaw Stalin’s purges in those republics. Brought to Moscow in 1938, he was rewarded for his loyalty by being made deputy to the head of the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, then succeeded his boss, when he was purged the same year, and held that position for the rest of his career. Became a shameless promoter of a cult of personality for both himself and Stalin. A member of the latter’s inner drinking circle, he never tried to upstage him, always making sure his notoriety was several notches below that of his mentor. A serial rapist, he’d have his bodyguard kidnap young women and brought to his house. Served as a superflak for the dictator, even authoring a his/story that exaggerated Stalin’s largely nonexistent role in the Russian Revolution. During WW II, he was a deputy prime minister, and a member of the state Defense Committee, controlling the Soviet Union’s internal security system, as well as overseeing raw material production via slave labor. Made a marshal of the U.S.S.R. in 1945, and the following year, he became a member of the Politburo and the 2nd most powerful man in the state. Present at the death of the dictator in 1953, he tearfully begged the unconscious Stalin’s forgiveness on his deathbed. Became the most powerful member of Moscow’s collective leadership afterwards, and tried to abruptly de-Stalinize the Soviet bloc, with greater religious and minority rights, while jockeying for position to succeed him. After a power struggle with Nikita Khruschev and other members of an anti-Beria coalition, he was arrested, deprived of his posts, and accused of being an imperial agent and a high office criminal. Tried and convicted, he was immediately executed, while his wife and son were shipped off to Siberia. After his death, his sexual excesses, including drugging hordes of victims, were revealed, as well as his personal involvement in beatings, torture, and murder. Inner: Cruel, boorish, unprincipled, perfect foil to strongman Stalin, never challenging or threatening him. Unlike his mirror, he was not crazy, only egregiously ambitious. Excellent organizer and manager, calm and self-centered, fond of speechmaking. Extremely sadistic with no compunctions about personally executing people. Doppelganger lifetime of following in the shadow of his longtime ally, equalling him in savagery, but never provoking him, and then falling when his mentor’s mean embrace could no longer support his larger ambitions. Sergei Nechayev (1847-1882) - Russian revolutionary. Outer: Father was a waiter. While a student in St. Petersburg, he participated in the student revolutionary movement, and wrote “Catechism of a Revolutionary,” in which he stated any end justifies revolutionary means, and that the true revolutionary has a total passion for destruction. Emigrated to Geneva, where he met and impressed anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (Joseph Stalin), while claiming to be head of a powerful clandestine organization, and produced several propaganda brochures calling for dictatorial centralization, secrecy and strict subordination. Returned to Moscow in 1869, and set up a body called the ‘People’s Retribution,’ then to show he walked his talk, murdered a protesting member and fled abroad. Continued his revolutionary intrigues, but was repudiated by even Bakunin, and was extradited from Switzerland as a common criminal. Tried and sentenced to 20 years hard labor, he was, instead, kept in solitary confinement in St. Petersburg’s grim Peter-Paul fortress, and eventually died under cloudy circumstance, but probably by his own hand. Became the prototype for Fyodor Doestoevsky’s (Alexander Solzhenitsyn) “The Possessed.” Inner: Hardcore violence-monger. Bloodlust lifetime of acting out his inner anarchist, and winding up thoroughly isolated for his efforts, before committing the ultimate anarchic act and taking his own life. Antoine Fouquier-Tinville (1746-1795) - French revolutionary. Outer: Raised in the provinces, he moved to Paris, and became a lawyer, serving as procurator at the Chatelet. Lost his post through misconduct and became a police clerk, then after falling into heavy debt, became a police agent. Married with several children. As a relative of journalist Camille Desmoulins (Leon Blum), he was an early supporter of the French Revolution, and rose through minor legal posts, to become the assistant public prosecutor of the criminal tribunal. Despite his limited trial skills, in March of that year, he became public prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal, thanks to his capacity for hard work and his ruthlessness. Subsequently served as an important legal spearhead for the Reign of Terror. Turned on his cousin, Desmoullins, and sent some 2400 people, including the queen, to the guillotine. After the fall of his mentor, Robespierre (Joseph Stalin) in 1794, he was arrested and sentenced to the same fate, despite serving as his own defense and claiming he had merely been following orders. Executed, after his plea fell on ears that were as deaf to his pleadings, as he had been to the many that had fallen to his accusatory finger. His last statement was to tell his children their father was an unhappy, innocent man. Inner: Efficient bureaucrat, cold and bloodless. Family man at heart, although able to completely cut off any sense of normalcy when engaged in his heartless work. Seen as a monster by many. Bureaucratic lifetime of serving the death machine of the Terror, while acting as the archetype of the banality of sheer evil. Fyodor I (1557-1598) - Russian tsar. Outer: Oldest surviving son of tsar Ivan IV (Joseph Stalin) and his first wife. Grew up in an environment of absolute fear, with his totally over-the-edge father treating him with absolute contempt. Small, short-armed, and no-necked. Slow-walker and feeble-voiced, with his face forever frozen in a foolish smile. With no will of his own, he remained a perpetual adolescent, and the proverbial dead-end seed. Married Irina Godunova, the sister of boyar Boris Godunov (Boris Nemtsov). Succeeded to the Russian throne on his sire’s death in 1584, after the latter had earlier murdered his older brother and heir apparent in a fit of pique. Played with his sceptre and globe like a child, and took no part in governmental affairs, handing over the reigns of state to his brother-in-law, Boris Godunov. When he died without issue, the Rurik line of the Grand Princes of Muscovy ended, and the throne was passed on to Godunov, in a situation of total chaos. Inner: Childlike, with occasional flashes of 2nd sight that indicated something else behind his idiot’s grin. Harbinger of chaos, and symbol of the sudden fall of his once-mighty house. End-of-the-line lifetime of playing the fool at the helm, at the finalization of his family’s fortune. Phocas (c547-610) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: From modest origins. May have been a native of Thrace, who pursued a military career in the Byzantine army, rising to the rank of centurion.. Red-haired with beetle brows, a beard, and a huge facial scar that turned crimson whenever he was angry. A drunken debauchee, he was cruel to the point of out-and-out sadism, with a pathological love of the sight of blood. At some point, he married Leontia, one daughter from the union. Became the leader of a delegation complaining about policy around prisoners, where he was slapped and humiliated for his audacity in questioning imperial policy. Took advantage of the unrest in the Byzantine army, when the eastern Roman Emperor Maurice (Georgi Zhukov) refused to allow his troops to return home, and instead had them winter in the field, in order to cut costs. A mutiny ensued, and he led a march on the capital in late 602, while the emperor fled the city. Despite having no dynastic claim on the throne, he was accepted as his replacement by the Green faction of Constantinople’s political color divide between its circus factions, and had his predecessor disposed of, along with his five sons. Proved initially popular for lowering taxes, although his pathological and hyperviolent resistance to anyone questioning his policies, soon defined his unstable reign. Introduced the gallows and the rack, as well as blindings and mutilations to Byzantine retaliatory culture, while the empire bottomed out under his eight year rule, with hordes dying at his whim. Publicly swore an oath of orthodoxy, and had his coronation occur in a church, to give it divine benediction, which would become a standard ceremonial mode from that point onward in the empire. Enjoyed a solid relationship with the papacy, generally supporting it on all religious issues, while seeing the frontiers of his empire erode, as he lost the Balkans to the Slavs, while Persia, which enjoyed good relations with his predecessor, crowned an alternate emperor in his stead. Persecuted the Jews, as well as the Monophysites, which made him a hated figure in the eastern provinces. A revolt soon led to civil war, and he was deposed and executed by his successor Heraclius (Yukio Mishima), a former general of Maurice and co-exarch of Africa, meeting his end with defiance. Beheaded, mutilated, displayed and burned, along with his cronies. Vilified forever after by the chroniclers of his and subsequent times. Inner: Cruel, choleric and cannibalic. Blood-splattered lifetime of giving full expression to his extreme sociopathic nature, with his domain directly reflecting his intemperate sense of subterranean rule. Gaius Vibius Trebonanius Gallus (c206-253) - Roman emperor. Outer: From an old Italian family of Perugia. Served as a senator, and became consul in 245. Married Afinia Gaemina Baebiana, about whom almost nothing is known, son and daughter from the union. Became governor of Upper Moesia from 250 and played an important role in his predecessor, Decius’s (Joseph Stalin) Danubian wars. Blamed for the death of Decius through aiding a treacherous entrapment, although no proof existed of the act, despite his being proclaimed emperor by his predecessor’s soldiers in 251. After Decius’s death, he adopted the latter’s son, and made a highly unfavorably peace treaty with the Goths, allowing them their plunder and their Roman prisoners, as well as an annual tribute. Hastened back to Rome to secure his selection, and raised his predecessor’s son to the rank of Augustus and co-emperor, while not honoring his own wife with the title of Augustus in deference to Decius’s widow. Made his own son Caesar when his adopted son suddenly died from the plague. Revived the persecutions of the Christians of his predecessor to distract the populace from their larger problems, while imprisoning the pope, who died while in captivity. Won approval for making sure that even the poorest victims of the plague received proper burial, while his rule was plagued from the outset by disasters on his northern and eastern frontiers, when both the Persians and the Goths ravaged Roman territory. After the Goths were defeated by the governor of Upper Moesia, Aemilianus (Leon Trotsky), the latter was proclaimed rival emperor by his soldiers. Hurriedly mustered troops to meet an expected invasion of Italy, but they were surprised by the speed of Aemilianus’s army, and both he and his son were murdered by their own soldiers, who realized they were an inferior fighting force, after a reign of only 2 years. Inner: Duplicitous and manipulative, and over his head in the problems facing him. Overarching lifetime of briefly tasting rule in troubled times and succumbing to the consequences of being ill-prepared for his problems, as he has in all his lives of standing alone, without the backing of his powerful kinsman/ally/doppelganger.


Storyline: The charismatic martyr continually sacrifices himself to the state after long being on the receiving end of the paranoia of his longtime comrade-in-arms, despite his loyalty, competence and willingness to forgive and forget the danger he always assumes through his continual political proximity to his nemesis/ally.
Boris Nemtsov (1958-2015) - Russian politician and professor. Outer: Born in a southern Russian resort city. Mother was Jewish and a pediatrician as well as an activist. His paternal grandmother, however, had him baptized and he became a practicing Orthodox Christian, without finding out his real religious root until years later. Father was a restauranteur. Moved at age 7 to Nizhny Novograd, a closed city at the time to foreigners, and went to school there. Studied physics at the State Univ. of Gorky, where an uncle worked as a professor, and gradated with honors before earning a Phd in physics and mathematics. Worked as a research fellow afterwards at the Gorky Radio-Physics Research Institute. Wrote numerous papers on scientific subjects, while also inventing an acoustic laser as well as antenna designs for space use. After the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown disaster in 1986, he began getting politically involved, organizing a protest movement in his home town which stopped another nuclear power plant from being built there. Ran as a reformist candidate for the Congress of People’s Deputies in 1989, although his relatively radical agenda was a bit much for the voters and he lost. In 1990, however, he won over a slew of candidates for the Supreme Soviet, the country’s highest legislative body, and joined the center-left, as a non-Communist Party member. Married Raisa Akhmetova, two sons and two daughters from the union, which may or may not have ended in divorce when he later married his secretary Irina Korolyovoj, with one daughter from the second union. Had always kept his family out of the media spotlight, so that his relationships are speculative, since he felt a great need to keep personal details of his life private, as a means of self-protection. Supported Boris Yeltsin in 1991 during the failed Communist coup which brought down the Gorbachev government, and was made governor of Nizhny Novograd as reward. Wanted to make the region a model of free market capitalism, and was able to implement new construction while keeping the city open to journalists. Elected senator to the Federation Council, the upper Duma or Parliamentary house in 1994 and 1996, then was made Deputy Prime Minister in 1997, ultimately taking responsibility for government and financial issues, only to see a general economic collapse the following year..Co-founded SPS, a liberal market-oriented party, and was elected to the Duma under it in 2000. The following year, he became party leader, a post he held until 2003, when electoral fraud against him caused the defeat of SDS. Accepted responsibility and resigned and became a bank director the following year, although soon left the company amidst allegations of fraud. Served as an economic adviser to the pro-western president of Ukraine, only to run afoul of authorities there, because of criticisms he had made around cabinet decisions. Ran for Russian president in 2007, only to drop out of the race so as not to take votes away from other liberal candidates. Gave his backing afterwards to the newly formed Solidarity movement, named after the earlier Polish group seeking to reform the eastern bloc. Ran for mayor os his hometown Sochi, only to be roundly defeated, and remained a leader of the opposition to the dictatorial rule of Vladimir Putin. Arrested numerous times for taking part in unauthorized protests, he ultimately became a member of the regional parliament, while co-chairing RPR-PARNAS, a registered political party, and penning numerous anti-Putin articles. Shortly before his death, his apartment was searched and his papers were confiscated, after he had publicly stated that Putin was going to kill him. Gunned down afterwards on the streets of Moscow by four shots out of a larger fusillade in the back from a passing white car, two days before a planned opposition march, and just yards from Red Square and the Kremlin wall. At the time he had been walking with Interior Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Alexeyevna who was unharmed. The assassination sparked international outrage, as Putin stated he would personally oversee the investigation to find out the guilty culprits. .At the time of his death, he had been working on a report called “Putin.War” alleging that Russian troops had been fighting alongside pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine, a charge that the government has heatedly denied. Tens of thousands wound up mourning him in Moscow, making him a touchstone for anti-government sentiment, despite the huge plurality Putin continued to hold in public opinion polls. Two Chechens were subsequently charged with the murder and confessed under obvious torture, thereby letting Putin manipulate events to his extreme advantage, despite considerable skepticism abroad over the resolution of the assassination. The duo later recanted their confession. Inner: Loud, brash, boastful, vain and compulsively seductive. Addressed everyone he met with the familiar ty, which was viewed as rude. Despite his flaws, possessed a quick wit, and was highly principled, with a need to be in the public spotlight, wile sporting a continual tan, and a deliberately sexy look. Had great passion for his homeland, and was unafraid of exposing corrupt practices. Always working for a democratic and open Russia, despite displaying some autocratic tendencies himself. Martyred lifetime of being victimized by power once again, after trying to undo the system he served in his earlier go-round in this series, in his ongoing role as sacrificial offering to the various machinations of the states he tries to serve according to his vision of how things should be. Sergei Kirov (Sergey Kostrikov) (1886-1934) - Russian revolutionary. Outer: From a poor family, both his parents died serially when he was very young. Brought up by a grandmother, who sent him to an orphanage at the age of 7, where he was raised. Became an active revolutionary by organizing strikes and running underground printing operations. Joined the Bolshevik party by 1905, and was arrested numerous times for revolutionary activities, while taking on the name Kirov as an alias. Viewed prison as his true university, thanks to access to its libraries during his three year sentence. Continued working towards the revolution, and was arrested one final time in 1915. When the Bolsheviks gained control following the 1917 Russian Revolution, he worked in the Transcaucasia area to extend their control. In 1921, he was appointed first secretary of the Azerbaijan party organization and subsequently helped organize the Transcaucasian S.S.R., which was incorporated into the U.S.S.R. In 1926, he was transferred to Leningrad to head Leningrad party organization. Made a candidate for the Politburo the same year, he loyally supported Joseph Stalin against his right wing opposition, and was rewarded in 1930 with full membership on that governing body, ultimately becoming one of 4 secretaries of the Central Committee. Helped spur the modernization of Leningrad’s industries, although he began to manifest independence in his position, despite remaining loyal to Stalin, and was soon perceived as a rival threat to power by the paranoid dictator, who was jealous of his popularity. Shot in the back of the head in a corridor at Communist Party headquarters by a crippled youthful party member, which Stalin used as an excuse to begin his party purges, claiming a vast conspiracy was afoot to unseat all top party leaders, although, in all likelihood, he had ordered his murder as a means of ridding himself of anyone who might pose a threat to his absolute control over the state apparatus. Eventually had streets and cities named after him, as well as a pre-eminent ballet company. Inner: Cool, competent and loyal. Had the potential to crystallize an anti-Stalin movement around himself, but remained obliquely unaware of the threat he posed. Martyred lifetime of falling victim to the jealous paranoia of a longtime comrade-in-arms, in his ongoing dealings with him, as he has to yet to recognize the competitive threat he continues to pose, in his all-consuming dedication to whatever cause he serves. Georges Couthon (1755-1794) - French revolutionary. Outer: Father was a notary in his village. Married in 1787 to a childhood friend, 2 sons from union who died young. Studied for the law and became a poor people’s advocate. In 1791, he was elected a deputy to the Legislative Assembly and went to Paris, where he joined the Jacobins, working closely with Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin) and Louis Saint-Just (Maxim Gorki), whose excesses he supported completely. Disabled by meningitis, his legs were paralyzed and he was confined to a wheelchair, although that did not stop him from going on missions and being an active voice in the French Revolution. Elected to the National Convention, he voted for the king’s death in 1793, then denounced the Girondins and was instrumental in their downfall. Made a member of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive arm of the provisional government, and directed the military operations that put down the Lyon revolt, although he had himself removed from command so that he would not have to be personally responsible for destroying the city. Rabid speechmaker in going after the enemies of the Jacobins, showing a powerful voice that belied his invalided body. Helped bring about the downfall of Georges Danton (V. Lenin). Rounded up with the Jacobin leaders and died on the guillotine the same day as Robespierre and Saint-Just. Went to his death in horrible pain, his executioners disregarding his crippled limbs, and trying to straighten out his body before beheading him. Inner: Genuinely motivated by an awareness of common welfare, but became caught up in the Terror, and the power over life and death that his fellow Jacobins gloried in, although he showed far more of a sense of humanity than they did. Saw clemency as parricide, vigorously pursued all his perceived enemies. As uncompromising as his long-time karmic partners, with much blood on his hands from their combined actions. Body-bound lifetime of suffering a crippling disability, perhaps as a way of gaining more compassion for the dispossessed and making him a more effective leader in the future, if ever he is truly given the full chance to be one. Boris Godunov (1551-1605) - Russian tsar. Outer: Member of the Tatar nobility, worked in the service of the court of Ivan the Terrible (Joseph Stalin). In 1571, he married Maria Grigorievna Skuratova-Belskaya, the daughter of one of the most feared commanders of the tsar, then cemented his relationship with him when his sister married Ivan’s son, Fyodor I (Lavrenti Beria) in 1580. Made a boyar, or noble, the same year and 4 years later, he was appointed one of the guardians of the incompetent boy, who succeeded his father shortly afterwards. Banished his opposing boyars and as regent, became virtual ruler of Russia, proving himself an able military chief and domestic administrator. Annexed and recolonized large areas of western Siberia, built numerous defensive towns and fortresses and promoted the interests of the service gentry. On Fyodor’s death in 1598, he gathered together the boyars of Russia and bullied and bribed them into electing him tsar, and then continued with his policies, showing himself to be an adept reformer and leader, although the illegality of his manipulations made his position insecure. Sent students abroad to study western technology, reformed the judicial system, promoted foreign trade and fought to preserve peace at home. His continual struggles with opposing nobles made him institute an extensive spy system and ruthlessly persecute his enemies, including the banishment of the Romanov family, whom he accused of treason, sorcery and witchcraft, very heavy charges at the time. Planted false evidence in their homes and bribed their servants to swear false testimony against them. In the 3rd year of his rule, however, Russia suffered a 3 year famine that devastated the country, causing epidemics, the collapse of order, and the advent of brigandage, with a rising dissatisfaction against his rule. Died suddenly during an invasion of a false pretender to the throne (Grigori Rasputin), a claimant who said he was Fyodor’s brother, Dmitri, who had actually passed on in 1591. Succeeded by his son, who was murdered several months later, while the country plunged into absolute chaos, known as the Time of Troubles, before the Romanovs returned to claim the throne of Russia in 1613 for the next 300 years. Inner: Handsome, clever, intelligent, though unread, with all the instincts of good leadership. Sympathetic to the poor and downtrodden, vicious and suspicious of opposition from his own class. Once again, a bridge figure, working out of an absolutist position, in a lifetime of monitoring monumental transition. Not quite good enough lifetime of rising to the height of power from an unassuming base of boyars in the ‘hood, while evincing the political instincts that allow him to weather all but the most overwhelming challenges to his rule. Juan Borgia (1468?-1497) - Italian military commander. Outer: Illegitimate second son of Alejandro Borgia (Maxim Gorki) by his favorite mistress. Brother of Caesar Borgia (Joseph Stalin), and a favorite of his father’s. On the death of his oldest brother when he was 16, he received the duchy of Gandia in the Kingdom of Valencia. Also married the former’s betrothed in 1493, son and daughter from union, with the former becoming the father of St. Francis Borgia. Given a host of titles, including 2nd Duke of Gandia, Grand Constable of Naples and Governor of St. Peters, along with a captain-generalcy, and then was mysteriously murdered, possibly on the instigation of his brother, whose rise to power followed afterwards. Found floating in the Tiber river with nine dagger wounds on his body, as well 30 golden ducats in his purse. Inner: Martyred lifetime of falling victim to his fraternal nemesis’s competitive jealousy in his ongoing embrace of the victim’s role to complement the latter’s insatiable hunger for power. Magnus I Olafsson (1024-1047) - Norwegian king of Denmark. Known as ‘Magnus the Good.’ Outer: Illegitimate son of Olaf II (Eduard Limonov), mother had been an illegitimate Swedish princess. Named after Charlemagne (Napoleon Bonaparte). Taken to Kiev at the age of 4, when his father went into exile, and grew up at the court there. Gained the throne at the age of 11, when it was restored to his family, following the death of the usurper Canute (Whittaker Chambers), and a rebellion against the latter’s son. Became king of Denmark in 1032, per an agreement with king Hardecanute (Guy Burgess) that if either of the died without issue, the other would succeed him. Able to defend his possessions, and show his mettle in battle, which earned him his nickname. His wife’s name was unrecorded, and he had at least one daughter with her. Continually did battle to maintain his tenuous position as ruler of two countries, after uniting Denmark and Norway. Laid claim to the English crown, as well, although did not have the power to realize it. In 1046, he agreed to share the throne with his uncle, Harald III (Joseph Stalin), although the two were jealous of one another’s power. Killed two years later when he fell off his horse during a battle with the Danes, and was succeeded by Harald in Norway. Inner: Strong sense of Christian belief. Silver medal lifetime, once again, of going up against his eternal fraternal nemesis, and coming out, as always, second best. Justin II (?-578) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: Nephew of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (JosepByzantine emperor. Outer: Mother was the sister of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (Joseph Stalin). Served as a close adviser to his uncle, and succeeded him to the throne in 565, when the former supposedly made a deathbed decree he do so. Beforehand, he married Sophia, the niece of theodora (Indira Gandhi), the Empress Consort. The union produced a short-lived son and a daughter. Began his reign under positive auspices, by paying debts and reducing expenditures, while trying to resolve the schism between the Monophysites, who saw Jesus Christ as a divine entity, rather than a human one, and the orthodox Church through toleration, but when this policy failed, he began a round of intense persecution. Insisted that the clergy sign an anti-Monophysite creed under penalty of imprisonment for those who refused. Lost part of Italy to the Lombards, who had been invited in by the disgruntled general Narses (Leon Trotsky), whom he had recalled. Abandoned his uncle’s policy of buying peace with enemies, but suffered military reverses and was soon paying the same tributes, while angering his allies, the Turks, who grabbed Byzantine land in recompense. Failed militarily against the Persians as well, who also grabbed Byzantine land, and when he heard that the city of Dara had fallen in 573, he became subject to fits of insanity, and was no longer capable of rule. His aunt, Theodora, then took over his duties and induced him to adopt the general Tiberius (Yul Brynner) as his son and co-emperor. Went into retirement and shortly after crowning Tiberius, died. Inner: Had some brief sense of justice, but fell prey to the vicissitudes of power when his larger will was blocked. End-of-the-road lifetime of bringing his genetic line of rule to conclusion, and disappearing into his own mind as escape from the judgments of his/story. Valerian (Publius Licinius Valerianus) (c195-c260) - Roman emperor. Outer: From a distinguished Etrurian family. Little is known of his background. Married Egnatia Mariniana and had 2 sons, including Gallienus (Eduard Limonov), later widowed. Served as a consul in the 230s, and was a leading supporter in the senate of the Gordian rebellion in 238. Held high office under later emperors, and served under Decius (Joseph Stalin) against the Goths. Held a command on the Upper Rhine, and was summoned to resist the emperor Aemilian (Leon Trotsky), who was then murdered by his own soldiers. While planning to invade Italy, he was hailed as emperor by his own troops in 253, and was ratified by the Senate. Made Gallienus co-emperor, and inherited an empire rife with plague, civil strife and victim of German invasions on the northern and eastern borders. Like his predecessors, he revived the persecution of the Christian sects, mainly to divert attention from larger problems. Divided the provinces between himself and his son, and took the east as his own responsibility. Moved into Asia Minor, where his army was immobilized by a recurrence of the plague, then had to take it into Mesopotamia to withstand an invasion of the Persian emperor, Shapur. Decided to try negotiation and sent envoys to Shapur asking for a personal meeting, but instead, he was made prisoner and taken back to Persia. May also have taken refuge from his army, which was turning mutinous. Humiliated by Shapur, who used him as a footstool to mount his horse, and after he died his skin was removed, dyed with vermillion and placed in a Persian temple as warning to future Roman delegations. Inner: Honest and well-intentioned, but given an overwhelming task as head of an empire that was reeling out of control. Overextended lifetime of taking on a state that was beyond his gifts, and then coming to an inglorious end that may have been demanded by his own exaggerated and martyred sense of self.


Storyline: The passionate prole totally identifies with revolution as a means of effecting radical change, while hosting an endless series of contradiction within, after many a go-round of being a self-styled voice of violent upheaval.

Eduard Limonov (Eduard Savenko) (1943) - Russian/French writer and dissident. Outer: Mother was a strong-willed munitions factory worker, who taught her son to be aggressive. Father was a low level secret policeman, whose banality inspired their offspring to search for something far different for himself. When he was young, the family moved to Kharkov, in the Ukraine, where he grew up. Began penning bad poetry at 13, as well engaging in petty theft and hooliganism as a teen, at which point he adopted the name Limonov, a loose transliteration of slang for lemon-shaped hand grenades. Slim, sinewy and bespectacled with an ultimate trademark goatee, as well as a cultivated resemblance to Bolshevik revolutionary, Leon Trotsky. Came to Moscow in 1966, with his common-law wife, Anna Moiseevna Rubinstein, an overweight artist, with the hope of becoming a famous poet. Supported himself by sewing trousers, which got him into high cultural circles, while he harbored extremely dualistic feelings around fame and success. Struggling within himself, he left the city, dumped his partner and returned to Kharkov, there to brood, before trying Moscow again in 1967. During his second stay, he met a model and fellow poet, Yelena Shchapova. The duo were married in 1973 in a church wedding, despite his anti-bourgeois posturing. The following year he was expelled from the Soviet Union for refusing to inform for the KGB. Went into exile in NYC with his wife, where he was attracted to the punk scene, and wound up living on welfare in abject poverty, although always managed to dress resplendently. His wife left him for a third-rate photographer, and he found solace in the arms of a black man, which he would later write about. Following his divorce, he pursued a variety of jobs, including working as a butler. Also served as a proof-reader at the NY based newspaper, New Russian Word, while writing anti-capitalist articles for Russian émigré journals, and maintaining close links to the US Socialist Workers Party. Continually harassed by the FBI, he was ultimately sacked from his proof-reader position. After repeated rejections, his first novel, “I, Eddie,” a fictional memoir, was published in France in 1980. An immediate success, it became an international phenomenon afterwards, cementing his literary reputation. Disillusioned with America, he moved to Paris in the early 1980s, where he was involved with the French Communist Party. In 1981, he married his stunningly beautiful traveling companion, model, singer and writer Natalya Medvedevna, who was 14 years his junior, and allegedly bipolar and an alcoholic. Nevertheless, the duo remained a couple for thirteen years, before divorcing in 1994. No children from his first three unions. After being stateless for 13 years, he was granted French citizenship in 1987. In the early 1990s, he became a man with a country again and returned to his native Russia, now much changed from when he left it nearly two decades earlier. Soon after, he founded the newspaper Limonka, as well as the National Bolshevik Party or NBP, which tried to fuse the ultra left and right against the middling Boris Yeltsin regime. Gathered young toughs around him, as emblem of his stance as an uncompromising dissident, with the ability to attract youthful muscle. Briefly joined the Serbs in their conflict with Bosnia in 1992, and was infamously photographed spraying buildings with machine-gun fire. In 1996, he was found guilty of disseminating illegal and immoral info in his citing of various ethnic groups, like the Chechens, as inimical to larger Russian goals. In 2001, he was arrested and charged with the illegal purchase of arms, in preparation for invading Kazakhstan. Sentenced to four years, he served two, before being let off for good behavior. Three years later, he married twice divorced Ekaterina Volkova, an actress some three decades his junior. Son and daughter from the union. In his ongoing political attention-grabbing, he pulled several spectacular stunts, including seizing the Kremlin’s reception office, resulting in the NPB being outlawed in 2007. It later became The Other Russia in 2010, although its existence was officially denied because of a supposed lack of popular support. Has continued leading opposition rallies, as part of a disheveled alliance of a variety of groups under the rubric of Another Russia, a loose coalition of groups with conflicting goals, who use Article 31 of the country’s constitution guaranteeing freedom of assembly. All his tiny rallies have been dispersed by riot police with batons, with a certain masochistic element to them by his coterie of followers, who have often been beaten senseless. An assertive opponent of Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial rule, he tried to run in the presidential elections of 2012, but was turned down because of rule violations. Remains a thorn in the side of the government, with no slowing down his need to continually challenge the state, as an anti-authoritarian authoritarian. In between his continual public posturing, he has also written more than 40 books. Inner: Profoundly egotistical and charismatic, as well as dictatorial and highly contradictory, with a desire to have Russia rule a huge EurAsian empire again. Pitiless in his worldview, admiring strength and despising weakness. Full of bile for democrats, liberals and humanists, as well as extremely chauvinistic, with little real regard for women. In your face lifetime of giving full play to his deep-seated Stalinist sentiments as an unrelenting ideologue with an overwhelming craving for fame and an equal disdain for it. Maxim Gorki (Alexei Maximovich Peshkov) (1868-1936) - Russian writer. Outer: Father was a journeyman upholsterer turned shipping clerk who died of cholera when his son was 5. Brought up by his maternal grandparents, after his mother remarried and then died of tuberculosis, when he was 11. Treated badly by his grandfather, a dyer, while his singular source of early affection was his grandmother, who had a love of literature and a sense of compassion for the dispossessed. Only had a few months of schooling, and was working by the age of 8. Beaten by his employers, always hungry and ill-fed, his singular passion was for reading, inducing him later on to adopt the name, Gorki, “the bitter one,” when he transposed his experiences into a writing career. Had a variety of menial jobs after leaving home at 12, and at 16, failed to get into Kazan Univ. Arrested for revolutionary activities several years later, he made a suicide attempt at 19, although survived when the bullet missed his heart. Tramped across southern Russia doing odd jobs, and in the early 1890s, he began publishing stories. In 1895, his tale of a harbor thief, “Chelkash,” gave him a reputation as the voice of the underclass. Married Ekaterina Pavlovna, two children from the union, later divorced. Quickly became a literary icon, and expanded into novels and plays, although his most effective medium was the short story, since he tended to preach in longer pieces. Became a Marxist and Bolshevik while living in St. Petersburg in his early 30s, although he didn’t care for the leadership of V. Lenin. Despite this, he gave a large share of his enormous earnings to the Social Democratic Party, keeping it afloat. Arrested but released for revolutionary sentiments, he then contracted tuberculosis. Elected to and rejected from the Russian Academy of Scientists, then founded a publishing business, before playing a prominent role in the 1905 revolution. Arrested and released again, he toured America with a mistress to raise funds for the Bolshevik cause, then went into exile in 1906 to Capri for 7 years. Less popular with the intelligentsia and orthodox Marxists than he was with the masses because of his independence of mind. Returned to Russia in 1913, and helped found the Workers’ and Peasants’ Univ., as well as a theater and another publishing house. Fought in WW I and was wounded at Galicia, despite ridiculing Russia’s initial enthusiasm for it, and disowning his adopted son for joining the army. Opposed the Bolsheviks grabbing power in late 1917, and criticized Lenin’s dictatorial ways, and was later censored on the latter’s orders, before co-operating with the new government in order to help his fellow writers. Wrote his autobiographical trilogy during the period of 1913 to 1923, which would prove to be his greatest work, etching his overview of Russia and life, but written more as a painter than a preacher. Ill health and disillusionment took him to his villa in Sorrento, Italy, where he finished his trilogy. In 1928, he yielded to pressures to return, which coincided with Stalin’s stranglehold on the wheel of state, and he became his support. In 1934, he was made first president of Soviet Writer’s Union, and became the chief exponent of socialist realism, although his later works were all concerned with the pre-Revolutionary period. Glorified Stalin in pamphlets, while writing perceptive pieces on other classical Russian writers. Died under mysterious circumstances, after the equally unexplained demise of his son in 1934. Both may have been poisoned, although the suspicion was never proven, and the official reason given was pneumonia or heart disease. Inner: Emperor-at-heart, whose preachy humanitarianism extolled the struggle at the bottom end of society. Self-reliant and a fierce independent proponent of truth as he saw it. Held a great admiration for strong bodies and equally strong wills. Total immersion lifetime of living the revolution, rather than being one of the elite running it, before ultimately glorifying his longtime ally/family member as its false personification. Louis Saint-Just (1767-1794) - French revolutionary. Outer: Mother had been born to wealth as the daughter of a local notary, but wished to see a far more egalitarian society, while his father was a retired cavalry commander, who died when his son was 10. Raised by a great uncle and a nurse his first four years. Oldest of 3, with two younger sisters. Attended the College of Oratorians, then stole some silver from his mother and ran away to Paris, only to spend a year in a reformatory at the request of the latter. Sobered by the experience, he got his law degree in 1788 from Rheims, then anonymously published a forgettably epicene epic poem, which criticised both Church’n’State, and forced him to go briefly into hiding. Disillusioned with the early violence of the French Revolution, he, nevertheless, wished to serve the poor and the peasants, and yet was too independent and overbearing to join any of the political clubs. Published a spirited manifesto calling for a rational and ethical new society, and was elected to the National Assembly in 1792, after having earlier bristled about being too young to hold office. Saw himself as the oracle of the Revolution, and became one of the leaders of the new Jacobin left, along with Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin), but was even more vicious and tyrannical. Decisive and action-oriented, he became a terror to the generals in his various military missions, while tackling each problem presented to him with absolute authority and unwavering confidence. In 1793, he became part of the Committee of Public Safety, the executive arm of the new government, and a key player in the Reign of Terror. As heads fell left and right, he was elected president of the Convention, supplanting Robespierre. Led the victorious attacks on the Austrians in Belgian and passed the Ventose Decrees which confiscated the property of the enemies of the state, while proposing far more radical decrees than the new constitution warranted, in an attempt to create a totally egalitarian society. Became more and more bloodthirsty and impossible as he rose in power, dividing the revolution into the black-and-white of supporters and detractors, while showing himself unafraid to spill the blood of the latter in his authoritarian, fanatical demand for absolutism in the name of rebellion. Dreaded, detested and isolated, he was arrested, showing extreme nonchalance at his capture. Tried and guillotined along with Robespierre, ending France’s Reign of Terror, which he, more than anyone, came to personify. Went to his death stoically. Inner: Ambitious, passionate, strongly emotional, overbearing and ruthless, yet attractive and affectionate when out of the political arena. Prototype of the corruption of power. Off-the-charts lifetime of totally throwing himself into his cause and acting as the archetype for the autocratic dictator of the 20th century, while, as always, working as the loner in the midst of massive social change. Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) (1431-1503) - Italian Pope. Outer: Member of the prominent Spanish Borgia family. His uncle Alejandro Borja (Vyacheslav Molotov), later a cardinal, supervised his education, and while still a teen, gave him ecclesiastical benefices. Studied law at Bologna, and when his uncle became Pope Calixtus III, he was elevated to cardinal in 1456. Amassed a great fortune and lived like a wealthy Renaissance prince, while siring 8 illegitimate offspring, including 4 by a Roman noblewoman, who was married to 2 other men at the time. His progeny numbered the notorious Cesare (Joseph Stalin), Juan (Boris Nemtsov) and Lucrezia (Indira Gandhi). After he became pope, his daughter was married off to a 3rd husband. Used his wealth to extend his influence, rather than dissipating it in extravagance, and showed himself a shrewd administrator and politician. Elected pope in 1492, he immediately enhanced his family, creating cardinalates galore, and bestowing the red hat on 5 of his kin. Reformed papal finances, vigorously pursued war against the Ottoman Turks, and was forced to deal with the French king, Charles VIII’s (Hermann Goering), designs on Naples. Made political marriages for his children, then was devastated by the murder of his favorite oldest son, Juan, by Cesare, yet remained loyal to him, and worked towards his advancement. Patronized the arts, indulged in political intrigue, and was accused of every vice imaginable, including incest with his daughter, yet remained spry into old age. Had a mistress as pontiff, and rumors of orgies constantly circulated about the Vatican, as did his voyeuristic role in watching multiple couplings, and his predilection for both sexes. Died of a bacterial infection, but also may have succumbed to poisoned wine. Inner: Corrupt, unprincipled, eloquent, charming, handsome, worldly, the prototype of the nonreligious political popes of the time, and overseer of the all-time low-point of the papacy’s role as moral beacon for the Catholic world. Dance-with-the-Devil lifetime of thoroughly enjoying power in his basic karmic family, while proving to be an odd combination of reformer and reprobate. St. Olaf II Haraldsson (c995-1030) - King of Norway. Known as ‘Olaf the Stout.’ Outer: Son of a Viking lord, and descendant of an earlier Norwegian ruler. Half-brother of the future Harald III (Joseph Stalin). Raised a pagan, he earned his warrior stripes in the Baltic region, beginning at the age of 12, where he engaged in pirate activity. As a teenager, he fought for King Ethelred II (Bob Hope) in England against the Danes. Went to Spain, and then Normandy, where he was baptized at Rouen. Probably fought again in England afterwards. Returned to Norway in 1015, and within the next year, consolidated his power militarily, so that he was ruler over Norway. Married Astrid Olavsdttr, an illegitimate Swedish princess in 1019, one daughter from the union, and in 1023, married a second time, to a princess of Norway. Proved himself a good king, giving his subjects a sense of peace and security, while upholding the legal enactments of his predecessors. Worked through farmer aristocrats of his choosing, rather than local kings, and developed a sense of national law, while proving himself a popular ruler. Over the next 12 years, he spread the gospel through bribery and strongarm tactics, rather than through pious acts, while employing English missionaries as conversion tools. Organized the Church of Norway in 1024, through a framework of church law, which enjoined Norway to the rest of Christian Europe, taking it out of its previous isolation. Did battle with the Anglo/Dane Canute (Whittaker Chambers), when the latter won the loyalty of some leading Norwegian chieftains, through a promise of more indirect rule. Forced to flee to Kiev in 1028, he took refuge with his wife’s Swedish relatives there, leaving his son by a mistress, the future Magnus I (Boris Nemtsov) behind. Returned two years later, but was killed at the celebrated Battle of Stiklestad, while trying to regain his throne, during what might have been a solar eclipse. Canonized the following year and later made patron saint of Norway. Last western saint accepted by the Eastern church. Succeeded by Canute. Inner: Strong sense of both law and order, although merciless against his perceived enemies. Nation-building lifetime of integrating Norway into the European community through church and civil law, while remaining a pirate at heart, despite his later canonization. Basil I (c830-886) - Byzantine Basileus. Outer: From a peasant family of Armenian descent. Had no formal education and remained illiterate his entire life. Showed himself to possess extraordinary physical strength and was an adept horseman, with the ability to control virtually any steed, as a preeminent horse whisperer of his time. As a groom and a wrestler, he came to the attention of the emperor Michael III (Johnny Weissmuller), who took him on as his bodyguard and trusted confidant, elevating him quickly to court chamberlain. Although married at the time with three children, he was ordered by the emperor to divorce and wed the latter’s favorite mistress, Eudokia Ingerina (Gloria Trevi) in 865, in order to have her at court without scandal, since he was married to another. Six children from the union, with their oldest son ultimately becoming Leo VI (Leo Tolstoy), his successor, while their second son, Stephen, became Patriarch of Constantinople, although both he and Leo were probably the scions of Michael, leading to a lifelong hatred of the first by his putative father, whose heart was only open to his own eldest, Constantine. A third son, Alexander (Suge Knight), also inherited the throne, although was a drunken sot, while all three of their daughters became nuns. In 866, he convinced Michael his uncle Bardas, who was a caesar, wished the throne for himself, and personally killed him. The Basileus was so pleased, he was made a caesar, and then co-emperor, as the former adopted him. When he saw his position eroding slightly, he took advantage of a drunken banquet, and, with a small group, including members of his own family, personally murdered the Basileus in 867, to assume the throne, and inaugurate the Macedonian dynasty, which would last nearly two centuries. His predecessor was little mourned because of his drunken ways, so that the transition was accepted, particularly since he immediately showed himself well worthy of the throne, and proved satisfactorily pious to win the approval of the clerical establishment. Used the earlier emperor Justinian (Joseph Stalin) as his model, wishing to be seen in the same light as a codifier of laws and began collecting them in a sixty volume work called the Basilika, while harkening back to his Tribonian life of that era, as a reviser of Roman law. This feat was all the more remarkable, since he was illiterate. Showed himself to be prudent financially, and maintained solid relations with the papacy for a while, before an unbridgeable breach occurred that would lead to the permanent divide of the eastern and western churches. An enthusiastic builder, particularly of churches, he also oversaw a steady expansion of his holdings, so that it became the most powerful empire in Europe, using an instinctive gift for rule that run counter to a background that gave no hint he would be such a powerful and decisive leader. Able to strengthen his eastern frontiers, while working as an ally with the Holy Roman Emperor against Arab incursions in the west, with mixed results elsewhere, despite being able to convert several former tribal enemies into the Christian orthodox fold, and stamp out heresies. His last years saw him sink into depression and imbalance, particularly after losing his beloved eldest scion from his first marriage in 879, after making him co-emperor, causing him to imprison his son Leo, and threaten to blind him, while making his far lesser heir Alexander his co-emperor. Never recovered from the loss, sinking deeper and deeper into himself, while suffering fits of insanity. Died after a stag attacked him on a hunting trip and caught his horns in his belt, before dragging him off his horse for sixteen miles, before being cut loose, although the story smacks of exaggeration. Contracted a fever, and passed away soon afterwards, but not before having his rescuer executed in the belief he was trying to murder him. His rule would begin the apex period of the Byzantine empire, which would reach its peak under his successors, before its long, slow and inevitable decline and ultimate disappearance. Inner: Extremely physical, with extraordinary strength. Natural gladiator, but with an excellent mind, and a deep innate sense of his/story. Hercules shrugged lifetime of eschewing his usual keen literacy, in order to bring out his other gifts, as a man of the law easily capable of the complete lawlessness of murder, and a ruler able to bring an ancient empire to its heights, despite his own depths of despair at the end of his run. Tribonian (c500-c545) - Byzantine legal codifier. Outer: From a pagan background. Pursued a legal career, and in 529, became a Quaestor of the Sacred Palace, the highest law officer in the Byzantine government. As a corrupt official, he was always ready to receive bribes and sell his services to whoever bid for them. as a member of the imperial commission, helped produce the first Codex Constitutionum, before becoming head of the commissions that prepared the further codifying of the laws. Responsible for Corpus Juris Civilis, one of the seminal legal works of western civilization. Served Byzantine emperor Justinian I (Joseph Stalin) as his chief officer of state and legal adviser, beginning in 1530 for 2 years, and from 1534 until the end of his life. Had an encyclopedic knowledge of law, as well as scientific and philosophic interests. Accused of venality and heresy, because of his interests in secular philosophy and astronomy, but maintained his office, after being temporarily removed to quell rioting. Inner: Keen legal mind with an excellent sense of organization. Dualistic character, both venal and charming. Law’n’order lifetime of organizing information and directing its long-lasting structure, while maintaining his position in the literal Byzantine halls of power. Gallienus (c213-268) - Roman emperor. Outer: Son of Valerian (Boris Nemtsov), a future Roman emperor, although the place of his birth and the status of his young father at the time are unknown. Married to Cornelia Salonina (indira Gandhi), 3 sons, one dying prematurely, and 2 later murdered. Also took on a 2nd wife/concubine, as part of a treaty with the king of the Marcomanni. Around 240, when his father was elevated to the purple, he was named Caesar at the same time, and then declared co-emperor within a month. The following year, when his sire went east to deal with invasions in the provinces, he was given responsibility for the western provinces, and the 2 never saw one another again. Patron of the arts and a poet, with a strong interest in literature. Reversed the anti-Christian edicts of his father, ushering in a period of 40 years of tolerance for the sect. Inspired the philosopher Plotinus to try to found a philosopher’s state in Campania. Fought against the Germans for 2 years on the Danube, and when he had secured the area, he moved west to the Rhine, again meeting success and being granted the honorific ‘Germanicus’ Maximus 5 times between 255 and 258. Returned to the Danube frontier in the latter year, where his older son, who had been made a Caesar, died. Became sole ruler in 260 when Valerian was captured by the Persians, which gave rise to a number of rebellions, and rival emperors, whom he serially crushed, save for Postumus (V. Lenin), the governor of Lower Germany, who was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. Subsequently cleared the western provinces of its foreign invaders and was recognized in Gaul, Britain and Spain as head honcho by the end of 261. The empire fell into economic chaos because of all the martial energy directed at it, with coinage debased to its lowest level in its his/story. After considerable preparation, the two armies met in Gaul, and, after being wounded in the back by an arrow, the rightful emperor was forced to retreat and Postumus held Gaul for the rest of his reign. Lost the good will of the senate by barring them from military office, because of their support of rival claimants to the throne. Forced to make Odaenthus of Palmyra the power in the east when he repelled a Persian invasion, although he was assassinated in 267. The following year, he had to deal with a Gothic invasion in the Balkans, as well as another revolt in Italy, in which he was summoned from his tent by the false news of an attack, and, unprotected by his bodyguard, struck down by a commander of his new cavalry. His wife was probably murdered along with him. Spent 15 years trying to hold the empire together, and was generally vilified by the senate, who left an unfavorable impression of him to posterity. Inner: Able commander, cultured poet and strict military disciplinarian. Had enthusiastic Greek tastes, and was a pagan intellectual, as well as an initiate of the Eleusinian Mysteries, but was censured because of his high-minded pursuits in a time of military crisis. Sword-swinging lifetime of continually dealing with overwhelming martial crises, while evincing the signature intellectuality and love of learning that all his lives manifest, only to be badmouthed by his/story for failing the impossible task of integrating the two.


Storyline: The shoe-pounding peasant hides his pedigreed past behind a veneer of commonality, while continuing in his role as a complementary character to his longtime family’s unslakable thirst for power.

Nikita Khruschev (Nikita Sergeyevich Khruschev) (1894-1971) - Soviet dictator. Outer: From an uneducated peasant family, grandfather had been a serf, father was a farmer and miner. Born in the former’s mud hut. His education ended after primary school, when he was forced to go to work, first on an agricultural farm as a herder and then as a coal miner, an experience he later saw as his higher education. 5’3”. Became a pipe-fitter, was active in worker’s organizations, and in 1918, became a Bolshevik, before joining the Red Army as a junior political commissar, where he was involved in several campaigns. His first wife died soon afterwards during the Civil War famine. Finished his secondary education, then married Nina Petrovna, a schoolteacher in 1924, 3 children from the union, with one son killed in WW II. The following year, he went into fulltime party work, showing himself to be diligent and an ardent supporter of dictator Joseph Stalin. Rose through the support of a party leader, and was an active party organizer in various regions, before going to Moscow in 1929 to study metallurgy at the Stalin Industrial Academy. More posts followed, as he assumed responsibility for a number of construction projects in Moscow, including the underground Metro system. Dined frequently at Stalin’s home, and was overwhelmed by him, becoming one of his inner drinking circle. In 1935, he was appointed, in effect, mayor of Moscow, after having been elected the previous annum as a full member of the 70 man Central Committee of the Soviet Party. Participated in the purges of the last of the old Bolsheviks, sending thousands to torture and death and became a full member of the Politburo in the late 1930s. During WW II, he was made a lieutenant general, after participating in the defense of Stalingrad, and was put in charge of civilian resistance in his assigned areas, while his belief in Stalin’s infallibility totally evaporated during the conflict. After the Ukraine was liberated in 1944, he had to deal with a huge famine there, as well as Stalin’s countermanding orders to utilize the devastated area for other means. Returned to Moscow in 1949, to resume his former position as head of the Moscow City Party, while continuing his focus on the country’s agricultural problems. Maintained his close association with Stalin, and was present at his death. Afterwards, he adroitly maneuvered for power, and made his first trips outside the country, showing a brash, peasant style that endeared him to his various hosts as a comic, if not quite lovable character, offering a much more accessible face of Russian leadership. At the 20th Party Congress in 1956, he issued a 20,000 word secret report on Stalin’s excesses and began the process of the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, releasing many thousands of political prisoners from the notorious gulag, while also undermining his rivals and lessening his own guilt in the depradations of the past. At the speech, a dozen or so delegates collapsed and one died of a heart attack. Although it was never printed in the Soviet press, it was circulated via the Communist Party apparatus to an astonished public. Never realized the full effect of his revelations, for he soon had to face an open revolt in Poland and then crush a 2nd one in Hungary. Almost overthrown in 1957, but he consolidated his position and became Russian premier in 1958, thawing out the country, and opening the door for much later reformers, while putting forth a policy of co-existence with the western world, which, in turn, raised diplomatic tensions with China. Continually traveled around the Soviet Union, practicing populist politics. Recognized the martial superiority of the West, but proved adept at bluffing and posturing, with little desire for actual armed confrontation. Visited the U.S. in 1959, playing the role of ebullient tourist, and made a memorable shoe-pounding speech at the U.N., threatening to bury that enclave of capitalism, economically. Precipitated an international missile crisis in Cuba in 1962, but also allowed his citizens freer movement in the world-at-large, while his own position grew shakier, thanks to his arbitrary style of rule based more on personality than ideology, a contretemps with his military over nuclear policy, a failed agricultural course when he could not meet his exaggerated expectations and the Soviet Union’s ongoing rift with China. Broke down and cried when he heard of JFK’s assassination and was unable to work for days afterwards. Alienated the army with his low-cost view of defense, and made the party more of an economic than a political organ, which further eroded his support, since local party bosses found their influence reduced through his policies. Thanks to all of his spotlight hot-dogging on top of everything else, he was removed from power in 1964, and spent his last 7 years in quiet retirement, testament to the changes he had initiated by not leaving office feet first. Denied a state funeral. His surviving son later defected and ultimately became an American citizen. Inner: Boorish, boisterous, vulgar, uncouth, anti-intellectual, cocky, impetuous, impatient and mercurial, yet honest and pragmatic. Always suspicious of educated people, preferring personal contacts and direct action to communiques and theories. Important transitory figure for a nation still struggling to find itself, decades after him. Influenced less by ideology than his own temperament and personality. Remained deeply disturbed by his own complicity in Stalin’s bloodletting to the end of his days. Felt that communism would provide far more abundance than capitalism. Pragmatic superpeasant lifetime of literally rising from the underground of poverty and poor education to become one of the most powerful people on the planet, as testament to his dogged will to persevere and his ‘wing-it’ style of rule. Joseph Fouché, duc d’Otrante (1758-1820) - French statesman. Outer: Father was a merchant marine captain, who wanted his son to go to sea as well. Not particularly physical, he opted after his sire’s death in 1771 to be educated by the Oratorian order at Nantes and Paris, but was not ordained a priest, and, instead became a school teacher. When the order was dissolved in 1791, he became principal of their college at Nantes, and joined the local Jacobin club, serving as its president. The following year, he was elected deputy to the Convention. At the same time, he married Bonne-Jeanne Coiquaud, one son and one daughter from the union. Initially aligned with the moderate Girondins, but after voting for the king’s death, he switched to the more radical Montagnards. When war was declared on England in 1793, he was sent to the provinces to maintain their support. Oversaw the punishment of rebels in Lyons, then later demurred over his role in the wholesale massacre. Supported the cult of Reason, and felt no compunction about ransacking churches and taking part in the Revolution’s dechristianization of the country. Recalled to the Convention, he became president of the Jacobins, then brought together the coalition that led to Jacobin leader Maximilen Robespierre (Joseph Stalin) fall. Remained a Jacobin under the subsequent Directory, during the last half of the 1790s, showing a continual instinct and cunning for political survival, taking on the posts of envoy to Milan and the Hague. In 1799, he became minister of police and supported Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup. Organized the secret police, although his ministry was later suppressed, when he tried to block, via the Senate, Napoleon’s desire to be consul for life. When it was seen that his bureaucratic skills were needed, he was called back, and he compromised his position, as the Senate proclaimed France as an empire, with Napoleon at its imperial head. Made a count in 1808, and a duc the following year, while he added minister of the interior as well as of the police to his expanded resume. Despite his honors and position, he began intriguing against the empire with the royalists and emigrés in England, and in 1809, on his own authority, he ordered a levy of the national guard throughout France, and he was dismissed by the emperor later that year, although was made governor of the Roman states. His intriguing came to light, however, and he fell into disgrace. Lived in the province for 3 years, and then to get rid of him, Napoleon made him governor of the Illyrian provinces, although he continued his intriguing. After Napoleon’s fall, he returned to Paris, but was ignored by the restored monarchy and continued to plot and scheme. Refused his old position of Minister of Police by the restored monarchy, although accepted it from Napoleon on his brief return, while maintaining his contact with the crown. Elected president of the provisional government on Napoleon’s final abdication, which he helped arrange, and accepted the position of Minister of Police once again, but the ultraroyalists would have none of him, and he was forced to resign and take the inferior position of minister plenipotentiary to Dresden. Marked as a regicide, he spent the rest of his life in exile, finally dying in Trieste. Inner: Born intriguer, although with some sense of integrity, and a gift for correctly reading the political winds through much of his career. Fanatic and cruel when needed be, and calculating at all times. Survivalist supreme lifetime of maintaining his authority through the entire succession of the French Revolution and its aftermath, before finally retiring, head intact, although reputation largely besmirched. Aleksandr Menshikov (1673-1729) - Russian statesman. Outer: From a lowly background, son of a corporal or a groom. Reputedly sold pies on the streets of Moscow, before becoming an orderly for Peter I (Yukio Mishima) in 1686. Became a drinking companion of his, indulging in the tsar’s tastes for the ceremonial consuming of vast amounts of alcohol, and fast became his favorite and chief adviser. Tall and coarse, he was a rough-hewn mirror of Peter. Given military command against the Swedes, he proved himself adept on the battlefield, rising to the rank of field marshal. Married, one daughter from union. A good administer, but his abilities were tainted by financial irregularities and his greed, which placed him under continuous investigation for corruption. Saved from dismissal by his own keen political instinct, although he fell into disgrace by the end of Peter’s reign. On the death of the tsar in 1725, he ensured the succession of Yekatrina I (Maggie Cheung), who had been his mistress before being passed onto Peter, and had long been an ally of his. Became Russian ruler in all but title for the 2 years of his reign, while shifting his allegiances to the old aristocracy. Arranged to have his daughter marry her successor, Peter II (Peter Revson), but the young tsar soon grew tired of both, resenting the high-handed manner he was ordered about and the tight reign under which the older man held him. Eventually fell victim to court intrigues and his legion of enemies from the very aristocrats he had proffered power to, and was arrested, deprived of all his titles, dismissed to his estates, then stripped of his property and exiled to Siberia, along with his family, where he died within a year. Inner: Rapacious and corrupt but able, with a keen sense of political survival, which served him until the near end of his life. Up-from-the-bottom lifetime of balancing his hunger for power with political realities, only to ultimately outlive his effectiveness. Justin I (c450-527) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: Of peasant stock. Worked as a swineherd, before going to Constantinople around the age of 20, with his two brothers. Entered the palace guard and eventually was ennobled and became its commander. Married Lupicina, a former slave and concubine, and she would serve as a key adviser on her husband’s ecclesiastical policies. Won the throne in his mid-60s, on his predecessor Athanasius’s (Ivan Boesky) death in 518, when he was the first to walk into his room, following the latter’s secret decree to himself that whoever did so would be his successor. Had the support of the army, who liked him as a leader, and easily won confirmation to the purple. As champion of Christian orthodoxy, he ruthlessly pursuing deviants from official beliefs, particularly the Monophysites, who saw Jesus as divine, rather than divine and human, which was a continual contentious bone in both his and his successors’ powerful maws. Also issued an edict against the Arians, although he granted some concessions when the pope visited Constantinople and pleaded for its mitigation. Completely illiterate, he employed a stencil to sign decrees. Unable to repel Slavic invasions, he also had trouble in the Georgian region to the north. Aided throughout his reign by his nephew, the future Justinian I (Joseph Stalin), whom he had earlier adopted and educated, and who was his prime adviser. Justinian became co-emperor a few months before his death and succeeded him. Inner: Quiet opportunist with a good deal of self-confidence, in the right place at the right time. Unremarkable reign but able to create the base for his far more talented and driven nephew to expand upon. Supreme swineherd lifetime of creating the foundation for the more talented and aggressive members of his longtime crypto-familial herd to strut their considerable stuff on his/story’s imperial stage.


Storyline: The machiavellian Methuselah maintains his ongoing status with his longtime steel-willed family, by compensating in guile and opportunism for what he lacks in imagination, and cementing strong foundations for them through his skills.

Vyacheslav Molotov (Vyacheslav Skryabin) (1890-1986) - Russian politician. Outer: Distantly related to the composer Alexander Scriabin (Karlheinz Stockhausen). From a middle-class family, father was a shopkeeper, with enough means to give music lessons to his children. At 12, he was sent to a czarist secondary school, and became part of a Marxist group in his mid-teens, taking part in the 1905 uprising. The following year, he joined the Bolshevik Party and helped found and edit Pravda. Arrested in 1911 for revolutionary activities, he spent two years in exile, before escaping and being rearrested, while taking on his nom de revolution, which meant ‘hammer’ in Russian. In 1917, he was a member of the Military-Revolutionary Committee which oversaw the insurrection that ultimately put the Bolsheviks in power, and became one of the leaders of the pro-Lenin left wing of the party. During the Civil War he was mostly engaged in party committee work, while rising through the hierarchy with the backing of longtime associate, Joseph Stalin. A completely colorless bureaucrat, he had no originality, while his industry, unflagging loyalty and grey, robotic efficiency were seen as quite useful. Married Polina Zhemchuzhina, the daughter of a Jewish tailor, in 1921, and the same year, he was made a member and secretary of the party Central Committee. One natural daughter, and one adopted daughter from the union. After Lenin’s death in 1922, he hitched his star to Stalin, and was rewarded in 1926, with full membership in the Politburo. Helped purge the Moscow Party Committee of its anti-Stalin elements, and in 1930, he was made prime minister of the Soviet Union, a position he held until 1941. His wife, however, won the undying enmity of Stalin, who thought she had a negative influence on her husband, and played a role in his own wife’s suicide. In 1939, he was made commissar for foreign affairs, and negotiated a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany, which they subsequently broke. Replaced as premier, although he remained deputy chairman. In that capacity, he ordered the production of inflammable liquid for gasoline fire bombs that became known as Molotov cocktails. Did diplomatic work during WW II, and was a familiar presence at Stalin’s side during the end-of-war conferences, where he was known as “old Stone Bottom,” by his American counterparts. Saw his wife arrested in 1948 on trumped-up treason charges, and was forced to divorce her, after voting for her detention, although they were reunited following Stalin’s death in 1953, and both remained fanatically devoted to his memory, despite what he had done to them. Although he was replaced as foreign minister in 1949, he remained a member of the Politburo and Central Committee, and after Stalin’s death, resumed his post as foreign minister until 1956, when Nikita Khruschev dismissed him, then stripped him of his powers after he joined the group that unsuccessfully tried to depose the latter. Given 2 minor posts, suffered a heart attack in 1962, then in 1964, he was denounced as a collaborator in the Stalinist purges and was expelled from the party. Refused to apologize for his actions during the Stalinist years. Lost his wife, to whom he remained close, in 1970, and receded into total obscurity, a shadow on the streets of Moscow, whom people would recognize in shock, thinking him long dead. Reinstated in the Party in 1984 and died 2 years later, the very last of the name Bolsheviks in the 1917 revolution. Inner: Dour, dull, impassive, unoriginal, and a consistent hard-liner. Efficient, extremely cold-bolded, and a perfect apparatchik, swallowing his own personality in order to serve Stalin well and keep afloat in various positions of power. Suspicious, precise, pedantic and mistrustful, albeit a bibliophile at heart, with a deep sense of both Russian culture and his country’s spirit. Also played the violin, although his more aesthetic side was completely veiled in his pubic persona. Survivor lifetime of showing his signature abilities for continuance and longevity in an otherwise unremarkable career, save for its sheer length, and its obdurate loyalty to Stalin. Bertrand Barere (1755-1841) - French revolutionary. Outer: From a middle-class family of French lawyers and ecclessiasts. Studied law at the Univ. of Toulouse and in 1777, he became a provincial magistrate. Came to Paris just prior to the French Revolution, and got caught up in the republican and liberal ideals of the day. Elected a deputy to the States General, and helped draw up a list of grievances against feudal abuses. Joined the Jacobin club and became a close supporter of Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin), vigorously pursuing royalist sympathizers, while being involved in a number of committees, so as to make his revolutionary presence felt. Active as a prosecutor during the king’s trial, he voted for his death in 1793, while supporting the war against the royalist powers of Europe. Helped found the first Committee of Public Safety, and was elected its secretary, while formulating its propagandist stance against the aristocracy. Appointed head of cultural propaganda, but his popularity quickly waned after Roberspierre’s execution in the summer of 1794. Arrested and ordered deported, he escaped, and was given amnesty by Napoleon Bonaparte 4 years later. In 1803, he was given the unofficial title of “reporter of public opinion,” in his ongoing role as propagandist to the powers that were. Ultimately shifted his loyalty back to the crown at the first Bourbon restoration in 1814, then was elected a deputy during Napoleon’s 100 Days, but after the 2nd restoration, he was placed on a police list and was forced to flee once again, this time to Belgium. Returned 15 years later and ended his active career as an elected official. Wrote his memoirs, which were published posthumously. Inner: Eloquent, but devious opportunist, feeding off the power of others, in his ongoing ability to survive the trickiest of situations, despite his own excesses and darkness. Shifty-eyed lifetime of being nimble of foot and continually aware of the changing fortunes of the times, in order to once more survive and see vast old age, when all others about him long ago had lost their heads. Calixtus III (Alfonso de Borja) (1378-1458) - Spanish Pope. Outer: From the Spanish Borgia family, initiating their fortunes. Uncle of Rodrigo Borgia (Maxim Gorki). Held a position at the Spanish court, and through his diplomatic maneuvers, reconciled the king of Spain with Pope Martin V (Martin Luther King), who made him bishop of Valencia in 1429. Raised to the cardinalate in 1444. Despite a largely undistinguished career, he emerged as a compromise choice as pope in 1455 because of his advanced age, and the feeling he would not last long in office. His brief pontificate saw a failed attempt at recapturing Constantinople, although he was able to relieve many of the Aegean islands of their Turkish domination. Proclaimed Joan of Arc (Petra Kelly) innocent, reversing her conviction a quarter century previous. Used his office to enhance the career of his nephew, Rodrigo, making him generalissimo of the papal forces as well as a cardinal, while also raising a second nephew to the cardinalate and Italianizing the family name to Borgia. A third nephew was enfeoffed in hopes of his acceding to the throne of Naples, but he died before that could come to pass. After his death, a swarm of fellow Aragonese whom he had instilled in lucrative posts were unceremoniously given the boot from Rome and the papal states. Inner: Dry, dusty Spanish jurist with a bland personality, who established his infamous family in European annals through his nepotism and favors. Long lifetime of little real overt accomplishment save for giving the foundation for one of the most notorious crews of the Renaissance to rise to power. Vigilius (c490-555) - Italian pope. Outer: Born into the nobility, he became a Roman deacon, then accompanied the pope to Constantinople on an unsuccessful mission to stop the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (Joseph Stalin) from his plans to re-conquer Italy. After the pope’s death, he conspired with Justinian’s wife, Theodora (Indira Gandhi), to become pope, and was elected in 537, when the interim pope was deposed by the Byzantine general Belisarius (V. Lenin). Unwillingly served as Justinian’s tool in trying to resolve the political crisis between the eastern and western Churches over the schism created by Monophysitism. Taken by warship in stages to Constantinople where he was bullied and cajoled for 8 years to accept an edict condemning 3 chapters that were opposed by the Monophysites, who saw Jesus Christ as divine, rather than human, in order for the emperor to maintain a hold on their provinces. Managed to keep the emperor at bay by a combination of obstinacy and indecision, then defied him by excommunicating the drafter of a more drastic edict, and fled to a church, where he was manhandled while clinging to an altar, the first time a pope had physically suffered at the hands of a temporal ruler. After an apology, he was reinstated in his palace, but eluded his guards and took refuge in another church. Isolated and kept under close watch, his resistance finally broke, and when his spirit was broken as well, he was allowed to return to Rome, and died from kidney failure on the way home, precipitating a schism twixt east and east for the next century and a half, while leaving Rome a shambles. Inner: Obdurate, ambitious and obstinate. Stand-off a testimony to his own courage and resiliency. Intransigent lifetime of dealing with a being even more strong-willed than himself, while clinging to his own sense of office in the face of emotional, physical and spiritual abuse.


Storyline: The shifty subordinate uses his singular skill for ingratiating himself with those far more powerful than he, to become an asterisked figure in the annals of major country rule.

Georgi Malenkov (1902-1988) - Russian prime minister. Outer: Fabricated his origins in order to be seen as a politically correct proletarian. Probably the son of a provincial official, and enjoyed a bourgeois upbringing. Waited to see which side would prevail, then joined the Red Army in 1919 during the Russian civil war, and the following year, he became a member of the Communist Party, rising swiftly through its hierarchy via a close association with Joseph Stalin, as his unthreatening supporter. 5’7”, 250 lbs. As an unswerving loyalist, he participated in the purges of the 1930s. Married twice. Made a candidate member of the Politburo in 1941 and helped direct the war effort during WW II as a member of the State Defense Committee. Won full membership to the Politburo in 1946, and was made deputy prime minister, although an intense rivalry with another member caused him the loss of one of his party posts. As one of Stalin’s tight circle of drinking companions, he was able to maintain his position throughout the dictator’s regime, despite competitive threats from within. Became senior party secretary and prime minister on Stalin’s death in 1953 as a figurehead, while the real power-mongers struggled behind the scenes. In 1955, he fell to the intrigues of Nikita Khruschev and was forced to resign his position. After failing to dislodge Khruschev in a further clash, he was expelled from the party and his positions of power and wound up his career as the manager of a far-removed hydroelectric plant for 3 decades, while his reputation was never rehabilitated, and his death was completely ignored by the state. Inner: Mediocre intriguer who gained power through association rather than achievement. Lapdog lifetime of unquestioning attachment to the central personality of the Soviet Union, with the inability to maintain his position or effect intrigues in his favor once his mentor was gone. Jerome Petion de Villeneuve (1756-1794) - French revolutionary. Outer: Son of a lawyer, he became one himself, while trying to make a name for himself as a writer. His advocation of marriage for priests got him attention as a reformer, and he accepted a seat with the Third Estate in the 1789 Estates-General, where he joined Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin) in calling for democratic change. In doing so, he maintained his ties with both the Jacobins and Girondins, as well as the royal house, carefully covering all of his options. Elected president of the criminal tribunal of Paris in 1791, then was appointed one of three commissioners to retrieve the escaped king, Louis XVI (Lex Barker), from Varennes. Later that year, he was elected 2nd mayor of Paris, and subsequently allowed the mob to overrun the Tulieres to further frighten the royal family. Suspended from office because of that act, but was reinstated by the Legislative Assembly less than a month later. Refused to commit himself to the revolution, but was elected the first president of the National Assembly. Joined the Girondins because of ill feelings towards Robespierre, while severely overestimating his own power and underestimating the latter’s. Voted for the king’s death, and was elected in 1793 to the first Committee of Public Safety, while continuing to attack Robespierre. His popularity had long since peaked, however, and he soon found himself expelled from office. Arrested, he escaped his guards, fled and ultimately committed suicide. His body was later discovered in a field, half-eaten by wolves. Inner: Vain, weak intriguer. Liquid lifetime of continually trying to cover himself and shifting loyalties amidst vast chaos, only to be undone by finally taking a specific stand. Vasily IV Shuysky (1552-1612) - Russian tsar. Outer: From a noble family of boyars, descended from the ruling line of Rurik. Headed the investigation into the death of the last of the Rurik line, Dmitri, and concluded he had killed himself in an epileptic fit, then reversed his decision later when the first of the false Dmitris claimed the throne, supporting him. When tsar Boris Godunov (Boris Nemtsov) died in 1605, he aided in murdering the former’s son. After the false Dmitri was crowned, he reversed his position again, and called him an impostor. After being tried, found guilty, and then reprieved at his place of execution, he was banished. Organized a group of boyars to riot and assassinate Dmitri, then claimed the throne for himself, by organizing a mob in Red Square to popularly proclaim him in 1606. Sent messages throughout the country that the throne had been previously claimed by magic, while other pretenders sporadically appeared. Had the real prince Dmitri buried in Moscow and canonized to insure that no more claimants would step forward under that name. A rebellion was suppressed with himself at the head of a force of 100,000, but a 2nd false Dmitri appeared, setting up an alternate government, which had popular support. Forced him to withdraw, but Poland declared war on the beleaguered tsar, Moscow rioted, and he was deposed and forced to take monastic vows. Inner: Weak intriguer taking advantage of a chaotic situation. Misplaced machiavellian lifetime of trying to manipulate events to his advantage, only to be undone by a lack of character that equalled his blatant and limited cunning.


Storyline: The towering tyrant takes it upon himself to reshape his nation’s destiny according to his own vision of it, and winds up wielding unprecedented influence on the succeeding century, as an individual prototype of the expression of pure will in the service of theory.

Vladimir Ilych Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov) (1870-1924) - Soviet dictator and ideologue. Outer: Of Russian, German and Swedish descent. Son of a provincial school inspector, who became ennobled, mother was a school teacher and the daughter of an army doctor. 3rd of 6 children. His older brother’s hanging for a plot against the tsar deeply politicized him at the age of 17. 3 other siblings later joined his cause, while his older sister became his first official biographer. Squat, snub-nosed and stoop-shouldered, with a large head and piercing eyes. Expelled from Kazan Univ. in his first year for demonstrating, he graduated the Univ. of St. Petersburg in 1891 with a law degree, while studying Marxism and becoming involved in revolutionary activity, proselytizing among the workers, while constantly trying to raise their awareness of their potential roles as the very backbone of social change. Practiced law for a year in St. Petersburg, while earning a reputation as a formidable debater. Went to Switzerland in 1895 for medical treatment as well as to establish contact with a fellow revolutionary group. Arrested in 1896 and sentenced to a 3 year exile, he married a fellow revolutionary, Nadezhda Krupskaya, the daughter of a commissioned infantry officer, in 1898. No children from the union, which was largely political in nature, and she remained an activist her entire life, dying in 1939. Took his party name from the river Lena, and wrote reviews as well as a study of capitalism in Russia, while forming his ideas for a more effective party organization. Went abroad in 1900 to set these ideas in motion, writing a pamphlet, “What is to be Done?” in which he argued that the proletariat was incapable of carrying out a revolution, only a disciplined party of professional revolutionaries could bring socialism to Russia, which ran counter to Marx’s thesis. By 1903, he had enough support to convene a party congress in London, which divided the movement in twain, between the Bolsheviks, or majority, and the less radical Mensheviks, the minority. Became the chief exponent of the former, while he continually feuded with everyone in the party in making his will supreme, leading to his expulsion from his own central committee in 1905. Returned to Russia the same year, and for the next 9 years his feuding continued, particularly in his own faction, as he fine-tuned his ideas. His singular distraction from his all-consuming focus was an affair with a married French woman and fellow communist, Inessa Armand, which was conducted with the knowledge of his wife, and happened during his exile in the early teens. She ultimately died in 1920 of cholera. Arrested briefly in 1914 as a spy by the Austrians, he was permitted to leave for Zurich with his wife, and survived on his mother’s dwindling estates. Published his anti-imperialist analysis of capitalism during this period, seeing the time as ripe for a proletarian revolution, since he felt that imperialism was the final stage for capitalism’s smothering hold. Called for an anti-imperialist civil war during WW I, viewing a defeat for Russia less of an evil than a victory for Germany. Surprised at the fall of the tsar in 1917, he was given transport to Russia by the Germans who wished him to disrupt the war effort, which he did, declaring the revolution was being betrayed by its moderate leaders now in power, and that a new militancy was demanded. Fled later that year to nearby Finland when the new government turned against the Bolsheviks, then returned when the bloodless October Revolution gave power to them and overthrew the provisional government. In November, he became Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, with Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin and Aleksey Rykov as its other chief members, and immediately nationalized the land to be redistributed to the peasantry, demobilized the army, and launched the Cheka, or political police to ruthlessly suppress all dissident elements to his rule in a Communist dictatorship that controlled all levels of the state. Moved his government to the Kremlin in Moscow early the following year, declared atheism as the official state religion, and made peace with the Central Powers in a humiliating treaty, which was declared null and void when the war officially ended later that year. In July of 1918, he ordered the secret execution of the tsar and his family, so that they would not spearhead a royalist counter/revolution. Shot and wounded in the jaw by Fanya Kaplan, a disillusioned and near-blind revolutionary, a month later, which permanently affected his health. Declared the “Red Terror” less than a week later, and civil war ensued, as the country was rocked by revolts, riots, strikes, demonstrations, executions and indiscriminate slaughter. Subsequently purged all universities, and closed down all independent journals which did not support the new-found Marxist state. Firmly intrenched by 1921, he moderated his economic views, with his quasi-capitalist New Economic Policy, but continued his absolute hold on power. The following year he deported a selected group of writers, intellectuals and scholars who were deemed dangerous thinkers, which finally brought the ideological civil war to conclusion, and marked the new Soviet state as absolute in its need for control over every aspect of Russian society. Overwork and ill health led to 3 strokes in successive years, and he died of the last one, robbed finally of his extraordinary power of speech, but not before denouncing Stalin as a possible successor. Wished to be buried with his mother, but instead, his embalmed body was placed in Red Square in Moscow, where it was a venerated icon until the final fall of Soviet Communism nearly seven decades later. Inner: Supremely self-confident, intimidating and autocratic, demanding absolute obedience to his supreme will. Continually suppressed his more humane side for abstract principle, creating a state that would do the same. Took on the personality of not only his country but the 20th century, fostering absolute control as the hallmark of succeeding European dictatorships. Prolific writer, keen intellect, contentious thinker, with a shrewd political instinct and no regard for democratic processes. Towering figure of his time, willing to sacrifice millions for his aims, but flexible enough to remold his theories into a more compromised actuality when they didn’t hold true. Had he lived, the 20th century might have been quite different. Century-striding lifetime of taking on a tottering empire and rebuilding it in his own theoretical image, before exiting relatively prematurely, to allow others to both recreate and exaggerate what he had wrought. Aleksandr Herzen (1812-1870) - Russian writer and journalist. Outer: Illegitimate son of a Russian nobleman in his mid-40s, mother was a German teenager who had fled from her clergyman father. Given his last name by his father, from the German word for ‘heart.’ Mortified and embittered at his illegitimacy, which he learned about in his teens, although he was treated with love by his father, who tyrannized the rest of his family as well as his servants. Read widely and had an upper-class upbringing but was an implacable foe of privilege and capitalism. Became imbued with the romantic student utopian movements, and was a supporter of the abortive Decembrist revolt in 1825. After completing his education at the Univ. of Moscow, where he majored in science, he was exiled in 1834 for his political activities. Despite strenuous family objections, he married his cousin, Natasha Zakharina, the following year, who was also illegitimate and whom he idolized. Returned to Moscow after 6 years of exile, and with Vissarion Belinsky (Leon Trotsky) and others, he became a “westerner” as opposed to slavophile, as well as a positivist and a ‘critical realist.’ In 1846 and 1847, he published a novel and several stories which limned the social problems of the time. Inheriting a fortune from his father in 1847, he went abroad with his family and never returned. Welcoming the various revolutionary movements of 1848, he was deeply disappointed in their failures, which he wrote about in his best known work, From the Other Shore. Moved to England in 1852, and his marriage broke up because of his wife’s infatuation with a revolutionary German poet. Serially lost his mother and son in a shipwreck, and his wife soon fell ill and died as well. Founded a Russian language weekly in England, “The Bell,” which printed enlightened public opinion that could not be expressed in his homeland. After the serfs were freed in 1861, his influence declined. When he threw his support to the Polish uprising in 1863 at the urging of anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (Joseph Stalin), he lost his following entirely, and had to suspend his periodical in 1867. Evolved a nationalist socialist philosophy in his later years, as he became deeply disillusioned with parliamentary democracy and bourgeois revolutions. Felt Russia had a great national destiny, but not with its religious orthodoxy or tsarist autocracy. Over the course of his last 2 decades, he wrote his biography, My Past and Thoughts, in fits and starts, which limned his ideals of individual dignity, freedom and progress. Died of pneumonia. Inner: Life of the heart, strong connection to both parents, deeply felt love for wife, as well as his mother country. Believer in western ideals, but not practices, hoping one day they could be transposed into Russia’s destiny. Harbored a strong imagination, fiery intellect, and great moral passion. Noted as a brilliant conversationalist, and saw everything with a cool, ironic eye. Heartened lifetime of focusing on his own inner life as a witness rather than an activist as a means of preparing himself for his own century-shaking destiny to come. Georges Danton (Georges-Jacques Danton) (1754-1794) - French revolutionary. Outer: Eldest of 6 children of a procureur and his 2nd wife, the daughter of a contractor for public works. Lost his father when he was 8, and his mother remarried a cotton-spinner and bore 4 more children. Disfigured at one, when a bull charged a cow he was suckling, and tore away his upper lip, giving him his odd leonine look. Extremely aggressive as a child, often getting into fights, while growing up in a petit bourgeois household, with a strong attachment to his mother. Educated by the Oratorians, a Catholic order, at Troyes before earning a degree in law at the University of Reims in 1785. Moved to Paris, where he was employed in the office of public prosecutor in 1787. The same year, he married Gabrielle Charpentier, the daughter of a coffeehouse owner, who wanted a lawyer for a son-in-law. Two sons from the union. Able to use her dowry and credit to purchase the office of advocate to the King's Council, and soon became a wealthy barrister. Sported a dramatic public presence, and was extremely effective verbally. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he gained various offices, while using his booming baritone and powerful oratory to steadily rise in councils, as a member of the Club of the Cordiliers and the Jacobins, frequently making speeches throughout 1791. Became increasingly prominent after the king, Louis XVI’s (Lex Barker) abortive attempt to leave the country. Following the overthrow of the royal government in the summer of 1792, he publicly boasted of his role in the insurrection that led to it, despite no evidence of it, and was elected minister of justice by the Legislative Assembly. Quickly became a dominating figure, thanks to his decisiveness, sense of theater and strength of character. Charged by the Girondins with the responsibility for a series of prison massacres, he was also tainted by financial irregularities, which embittered him and lessened his prestige. Voted for the death of the king after exhausting other possibilities, then made his irreparable break with the Girondins in a cross-fire of accusations. In the spring of 1793, he dominated the first Committee of Public Safety, which was the executive organ of the Revolutionary government, and for 3 months ran the show, using compromise and negotiation, but when his term expired, he was not re-elected. Although he supported the Committee, he refused to play a part in it, choosing instead to be a moderating voice of stability, while still acting as projected voice of the masses. Became a leader of the moderates, disapproving of Maximilien Robespierre’s (Joseph Stalin) Reign of Terror in which aristocratic blood flowed freely. After his wife died, some of the heart went out of his activities. Married his 15 year old neighbor and babysitter, Louise Gely, then withdrew from public life by the fall of that year, feeling helpless in the wake of the violence that had been unleashed, and briefly returned to his native town. Came back to Paris towards year’s end, and re-engaged himself, determined to save his associates who had been arrested, and, after informing the Revolutionary radicals that their role had ended, he was viewed as a rightist counter-revolutionary. Remained unafraid of his continuing defensive activities, he was arrested in March of 1794, along with his cohorts. Brought to a sensational trial by the Revolutionary tribunal, he turned into his own tragic theater, commandeering center stage for a whole day to stupendous effect, before being sentenced to death, telling Robespierre he would follow him. Guillotined with composure and dignity, stating to his executioner, “Don’t forget to show my head to the people. It is well worth the trouble.” Inner: True revolutionary at heart, but covered his bases, leading to his denigration immediately after his death. Possessed excellent leadership and speaking abilities, strong persona but victim of the violence of his time. Profound sense of public theater, able to share the revolutionary passions of the masses, despite being a man of wealth and prestige prior to the revolution. Transition lifetime of switching his autocratic character to become a leader of a populist movement, learning his lessons well, so that at his next opportunity in this series, he was able to actualize his considerable ambitions of leading a revolutionary revolt to manifestation and continuity. Thomas Muntzer (c1490-1525) - German reformer. Outer: Son of a middle-class burgher, his family had a tradition of embracing heretical ideas. Little known of his youth, he was educated at Leipzig Univ. and the Univ. of Frankfurt, where he was an accomplished scholar and linguist, with a specialty in ancient and humanistic literature. Extremely cerebral, and an expert on the Bible. Became a teacher, pastor, and prior, working towards religious reform, with various secret alliances towards that activist end. Attracted to Martin Luther’s (Martin Luther King) ideas, he became a highly independent religious revolutionary in the wake of the burgeoning German Reformation. Continuing his studies in 1519 and 1520, he ultimately came to oppose Luther, seeing inner light as the guiding principle of humanity, rather than Holy Scriptures. Served in Zwickau as a pastor, taking the side of the guilds and the workers, as exemplars of divine will and law on Earth. Grew increasingly opposed to both Roman Catholic practices and the reforms of the Lutherans, seeing a mystic sense of inner divine guidance and commonality as the true spirit of the planet. Driven from his pastorships, as well as expelled by the Lutherans in 1522 for his theological differences, he became an Anabaptist. Felt that the masses, because of their lack of property and political and theological innocence, would be the ultimately instruments of bringing effective revolutionary change. Won numerous disciples and married a former nun, 2 children from union. Wrote extensively while working as a pastor at Allstedt, where he served miners and other working people. Tried unsuccessfully to wield the Protestant princes of Saxony into a league for his protection. Left in 1524, and in Muhlhausen, organized the workers there into a group called the “Eternal Covenant of God,” but once again was forced to leave. His main political writings were published in Nuremberg. Witnessed an abortive Peasant’s Revolt against taxes and deflation, then returned to Mulhaulsen, where his program proved successful in a revolt against religious and civil authorities, as some cities and a few members of the lesser nobility joined his alliances, although it was defeated in mid-1525 by the superior might of the princes. Blamed resistance to his movement as a revolt against God, although his precepts were far too sophisticated for his minions to grasp, particularly his ideal of a classless society based on a pure and innocent love of God. Imprisoned, tortured, tried and beheaded soon afterwards, with his head displayed on a pike as forewarning to anyone else who wished to kindle the unhappy violence of the unwashed hordes. Inner: Deeply spiritual and political, as well as egotistical, saw the inner light of humanity superseding all. Pre-Marxist, wished to liberate religion and society from the outer trappings of authority, but was himself, prisoner of his own unbending motives, as well as a powerful ego that saw him as a direct instrument of God’s will. Messy messianic lifetime of experimenting with ideas and ideals that would ultimately make him one of the most powerful social philosophers this planet has yet to see, in a failed attempt to wed economics and spirituality. Belisarius (c505-565) - Byzantine general. Outer: Of unknown Thracian origins, he probably joined the army as a youth and became a member of the emperor Justinian’s (Joseph Stalin) bodyguard, and was made commander of that unit at 25. Enjoyed his first battle command against the Persians in 530, suffered a reverse the following year, but was able to fend off further assaults and effect a peace treaty, emerging as a hero of that war. Suppressed an uprising in 532 with the help of fellow general Narses (Leon Trotsky), which saved the crown for Justinian, and further inspired his confidence in his abilities. Married a lively widow, Antonina (Bridget Bardot), a former actress a dozen years his senior, with whom he was passionately in love, although she was reckless and immoral, continually testing his loyalty, to the point of having an affair with his godson. She was also a close friend of the empress, Theodora (Indira Gandhi), which secured his place at court. Given command against the Vandals in North Africa, and proved his battlefield brilliance, capturing Carthage and returning to Constantinople in triumph in 534. Proved his adept leadership once again in Italy against the Ostrogoths, but refused their offer of a crown in Ravenna, which antagonized them, and did little to relieve Justinian’s growing jealousy of him. Although his military skills made him a distinct threat to the emperor, he was also indispensable. Recalled in temporary disfavor, but given command again against the Persians the following year, where he had difficulty with his soldiers. Stripped of his command and accused of disloyalty, he was saved from disgrace and ruin by Theodora. Sent back to Italy without the crown’s full support, he spent several militarily insecure years there, losing, then recapturing Rome, but the emperor refused to send him reinforcements and he was recalled once more to Constantinople, after the death of Theodora. Allowed to retain his wealth, he went into retirement, but was sent to complete the subjugation of southwest Spain in 554, and again did his duty against further invasions. Accused of plotting against Justinian in 562, he was imprisoned, but partially restored to favor the following year. Disgraced, but left alone, he died a few months before Justinian. Inner: Brave and skillful soldier, bold, clever and flexible, always making the most of what was given him. Forced to play with the unbalanced personalities of the emperor and his own wife his entire professional life, and endure imposed humiliations of those closest to him. Tempering lifetime of continually testing his sense of loyalty and his martial mettle, proving himself over and over again on all counts. Postumus (Marcus Cassianius Latinius) (?-268) - Roman emperor. Outer: Of humble origins. Probably was born in Gaul. Pursued a military career, served under Valerian (Boris Nemtsov) and became governor of Upper or Lower Germany. The emperor, Gallienus (Eduard Limonov), left the Rhine area in his command to deal with a usurper, but he killed his rival’s son and praetorian prefect, after an argument with the latter, while his former sovereign was too wounded to deal with him. Assumed the purple in 260, when he was recognized by his German legions, the armies and populations of Gaul and Spain, as well as Britain, which he visited in person. Set up a new Roman state entirely independent of the central government, with a separate senate and separate elected consuls, an office he held 5 times. Selected his own praetorian guard and made Augusta Trevirorum his capital. Most of his reign was spent fighting the Germans. Successfully withstood an invasion by Gallienus, despite being beaten by the imperial forces. After one of his own senior officers declared himself emperor, he took the city in which he was in by seige, but then refused to allow his men to sack and plunder it, which infuriated them, and he was subsequently assassinated. Inner: Highly competent, excellent soldierly and economic skills. Strong identification with the Greek hero Hercules. Founder lifetime of successfully setting up an alternate state to the prevailing one, a skill he would utilize again and again in his ongoing incarnations.


Storyline: The hypercerebral martial artist comes to believe in permanent revolution as the only way for civilization to go if it wishes to remain unshackled, only to wind up a victim of a far stronger counter/revolutionary will who prized shrewdness over sheer intelligence.

Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) (1879-1940) - Ukrainian/Russian revolutionary. Outer: Son of a prosperous Jewish farm owner, mother was from the educated middle class. One brother who later disowned him and was executed in 1938, and two sisters, one of whom was executed in 1941, with four others who never survived infancy. Despite his isolated upbringing, showed himself to be rebellious, intellectually curious and quick-minded. Blue-eyed and bespectacled. Sent to Odessa, were he was an outstanding student at a German secondary school. Initially cool to Marxism, but once he converted in the mid-1890s, he became an ardent revolutionary. In 1898, he married Aleksandra Sokolovskaya, a co-conspirator who shared both prison and exile with him, 2 daughters from the union, one of whom committed suicide, and the other died young of TB. The duo would amicably part after two years together, and she would ultimately be banished and executed in 1938. Arrested while laboring for a worker’s union and imprisoned for the first of many times, and 2 years later he was exiled to Siberia. Took the name Trotsky from the head jailer at the Odessa prison where he had earlier been incarcerated, using it on a forged passport to escape alone to London, where he began working with V. Lenin on the revolutionary journal, Iskra. Although the two were initially cordial, he came to bitterly denounce the latter’s dictatorial ways, branding him another Robespierre (Joseph Stalin). Went to Paris to deliver a talk and met Natalia Sedova, an art student who left her husband for him, and the duo were inseparable afterwards, as she dedicated her life to him. 2 sons from the union, both of whom were assassinated, so that he outlived all four of his children. After the Russian Social Democratic Party split into divided factions, he briefly became a spokesman for the minority Mensheviks. Wavered for years between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, before finally opting for the more radical program of the former. Returned to Russia in 1905 and became chairman of the short-lived soviet, before being arrested at its last meeting. While in prison, he developed his theory of permanent revolution, seeing a combination of a bourgeois and socialist uprising in Russia that would spread as a proletarian revolution throughout the rest of the world. Banished again to Siberia, he escaped to Vienna, and worked as a journalist from 1907 to 1914, while remaining a relatively isolated figure. At the outbreak of WW I, he went to Switzerland, and then Paris, working on pacifist and radical propaganda. Expelled from France, he went to NYC, where he co-edited the paper, Novy Mir, or New World, then returned to Russia in May of 1917, after the abdication of Nicholas II (Lex Barker), and took part with Lenin in the unsuccessful Bolshevik uprising later that month. Imprisoned by the provisional government, but released in September of that year. Became one of the chief organizers of the successful October Revolution which brought the Bolsheviks to power and became 2nd in the party to Lenin, whose leadership he now respected. Appointed people’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, and was one of the chief negotiators for the Brest-Litvosk Treaty with the Central Powers, despite strong reservations, which were overcome when he realized the necessity of taking Russia out of WW I at any price. Resigned his position and became Commissar of War in 1918, building and organizing the new Red Army, and leading them to victory in the subsequent Civil War against remnants of the tsarist forces and other dissident elements. Felt a strong enmity against the manipulations of Joseph Stalin, and was also at odds with Lenin over trade union policies, although the duo drew together around the suppression of an anti-Bolshevik revolt in 1921, which he successfully squelched. On Lenin’s death in 1924, he chose to go duck hunting instead of to the state funeral, and wound up being outmaneuvered by Stalin in the subsequent Soviet state, where appearances counted more than realities. Ultimately pushed to the margins with his call for world revolution, while the ruling triumvirate, consisting of Stalin, his own brother-in-law, Lev Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev, were more focused on their own country. While he had great prestige as a brilliant martial artist, with followers in both the army and state administration, Stalin, the ultimate bureaucrat, controlled the party machine. Dismissed as Commissar of War in 1925, he was joined by the other 2 disheartened triumvirs the following year as Stalin gained even more control. Expelled from the Politburo in 1926, and the following year, the party gave him his walking papers. Successively exiled to Turkestan and then ordered to leave the country in 1929. Refused asylum by most countries, he wound up in Turkey, then was allowed to move to France in 1933, before finding refuge in Norway 2 years later. Charged during the show purge trials of heading a conspiracy against the Stalinist regime, which allowed the dictator to get rid of the last of those sympathetic to the exiled leader. Forced into deeper exile, he finally settled in Mexico City with his family at the invitation of artist Diego Rivera (Robert Rodriguez) , where he continued his writings and founded the Fourth International, a group dedicated to world revolution. Briefly involved with his wife, Frida Kahlo (Eva Aridjis), who rejected him, much to his deep hurt. After a failed attempt via a machine-gun attack on his fortified house, he was assassinated with an ice pick blow to the back of his head on Stalin’s orders, by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish-born agent who was involved withj a member of his entourage. Stopped his guards from killing his assassin, with the plea, “Do not kill him! This man has a story to tell!” Mercader would serve a 20 year sentence for the crime, before spending his last 18 years shuttling between Cuba and the U.S.S.R. as a people’s hero. Remained conscious for several hours, and died a day later at a hospital. Cremated, with his ashes buried in his garden. A highly prolific writer, he limned his revolutionary theory, analysis and autobiography in a host of books in a clear, lucid style, and was working on a biography of Stalin when he was killed. His second wife would ultimately co-write a biography of him with Victor Serge, and she, alone of his family, would outlive him, dying in 1962. Inner: Incisive intelligence, brilliantly facile with language, highly aggressive with a penchant for the dramatic. Compelling orator, with an electric voice. Uncompromising, rigid, egotistical, far more accomplished at a sweeping overview then day-to-day affairs, which allowed the detail-oriented Stalin to undercut him. Saw revolution as a social and historical process, rather than just political, and viewed it in terms of a worldwide affair. Undone by isolating his own genius, and like Lenin, would have altered the course of the 20th century, had he continued in power. Myopic lifetime of being there at the creation of the Soviet state, only to allow it to slip away from his ultimate grasp by taking the high far-sighted view, rather than the low nearsighted one to remain competitively in power. Vissarion Belinsky (1811-1848) - Russian writer and journalist. Outer: Father, the son of a parish priest, was a ship’s doctor in the royal navy. Mother was the daughter of an obscure noncommissioned officer in the navy. The former was a drunkard and atheist, making for an unhappy homelife. Entered Moscow Univ. on a government grant. Although he was an enthusiastic student, he was impatient with the disciplines of formal academic study, preferring the informal give-and-take of fellow students to dry lectures, while absorbing the romantic and radical ideals of the day from the former. Met Mikhail Bakunin (Joseph Stalin), with whom he initially shared an interest in Friedrich Hegel (Benedetto Croce), but eventually became a humanitarian socialist. Expelled from school for his atheistic and antiestablishment views, when he wrote a play about the oppressiveness of serfdom. Supported himself by tutoring and freelance journalism in a rather threadbare existence. In 1834, he published the first of several studies which gained him the reputation as Russia’s first major literary critic, bringing the country into the mainstream of European critical tradition. One of the first to recognize the genius of Fyodor Doestoevski (Alexander Solzhenytsin), and Doestoevski, in turn, was deeply influenced by his social philosophy, although the duo eventually become estranged. Worked as a literary critic for several progressive Moscow journals, viewing art in utilitarian terms, then moved to St. Petersburg, where he continued doing the same, although he was beset by poverty, loneliness and poor health. Married in 1843 to Maria Orlova, a dull schoolteacher, one son and one daughter from the union, with one dying as an infant. Never quite able to support his family. Slight, shy, frail, nervous and tubercular, but when he spoke on subjects that interested him, he became powerful and passionate, revealing a strength and depth of character unseen on his unimposing frame. Criticized writer Nikolai Gogol (Woody Allen) and his support of Church’n’State authorities, in a well-circulated samizdat letter in 1847, that became a central credo of Russian liberals in the decades that followed. Died of tuberculosis, leaving his family penniless. His posthumous reputation would soar as the progenitor of the radical intelligentsia to come. Inner: Astute critical sensibilities, albeit unhappy and unfulfilled. Ardently felt that Russian literature had to move beyond folk poetry, as a reflection of transformation, with content as the most important element in any written piece. Paid no attention to stylistics, and was largely polemical in his own works. Felt enthusiasm was the core of astute criticism. Pen as sword lifetime of thought rather than action, sorting out his social ideas and critical faculties for his incarnation to come, and like his fellow future Russian revolutionaries, working on his inner processes so as to be fully prepared for the inner and outer challenges of his next go-round, when he could return to the arena as a passionate activist intent on doing no less than changing the world. Jean Paul Marat (Jean Paul Mara) (1743-1793) - French revolutionary. Outer: Father was a fabric designer who was originally born in Sardinia and wanted to be a clergyman, but eventually converted to Protestantism. Mother was of Huguenot descent. Oldest of 6. In 1754, his family moved to Neuchatel, where his sire taught languages. The latter was studious, while his mother had a strong sense of social justice, which she passed on to her son. Became fluent in several languages, and left home at 16 with the desire to make a name for himself, although he maintained a warm connection to his family. Partially educated in Edinburgh, he studied medicine in England, before becoming a physician in London, gaining some repute as a doctor both there and later in Paris, after returning to the continent in 1777. Added the ‘T’ to his name after moving to France. Published a number of scientific and philosophic books, some in English, including The Chains of Slavery, which attacked the despotism of the aristocracy, and a Philosophic Essay on Man, which, in turn, was attacked by Voltaire (Michel Foucault), as extremely materialistic. Had an upper-class medical practice in France, with an eye towards being an acclaimed scientist. Experimented with fire, electricity and light, was honored for his work by the Royal Society, and resigned his medical post to pursue his scientific career, but a paper he published in 1780 on criminal legislation was considered subversive, and that judgment, coupled with his rejection by the Academy of Sciences, turned him toward politics with a passion, although initially he remained a believer in the monarchy. At the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, he became the editor of a radical newspaper, L’Ami du People, in which he vented his hatred towards all who were in power, while playing the role of the rude speaker of truth as he saw it. Married Simonne Evrard in 1790. Outlawed, he twice fled the country to England in 1790 and 1791, before returning to continue his critiques against moderates, and became a popular figure, a friend of the people, as his newspaper was called. Between his flights, he hid in the sewers of Paris, which exacerbated a skin disease, arthritic psoriasis, which he had previously contracted. Forced to take frequent medicinal baths, he attacked, via his journal, all who stood in the way of liberty, including the king, Louis XVI (Lex Barker), whom he now saw as inimical to progress. His articles helped foment the summer of 1792 uprising and the September massacres which followed, although he had no direct connection to them. Entering public life again, he was elected to the National Convention, where he supported the more radical Jacobins against the Girondins, advocating a temporary dictatorship under his friend Georges Danton (V. Lenin) to deal with the emergency situation, so that he was ultimately appointed president of the Jacobins. Quickly became one of the Convention’s most influential members, with a host of reforms. Acquitted of charges brought by the moderates against his radicalism, he turned it into his own triumph, which helped bring about their downfall instead. Eventually stabbed to death while editing in his tub by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, who then calmly waited to be arrested. Greatly mourned afterwards, with his name given to 21 French towns, and a quasi-religious cult created in his memory. Inner: Martyr complex, as the Jeremiah of the revolution. Encyclopedic mind, saw himself as the apostle of liberty. Theatrically unkempt, flat-faced and bird-eyed. Subterranean lifetime of being a literal underground figure, scarred by the sewers and forced to retreat periodically from the public stage, before embracing a secretly wished-for hero’s death, as tonic to his own need to provoke, heal and change the world. Melchior Hoffman (c1495-1534?) - German preacher. Outer: Worked as a furrier, and then became a Lutheran lay missionary in Livonia, at the start of the Protestant Reformation. His fervor made him an enemy of the conventional clergy and he soon found himself persona non grata and wound up in his early 30s, preaching among the Germans in Stockholm, Sweden. Had a longtime fascination with endtimes, and saw the Bible as a prophetic tool. Given an appointment at Kiel to be a preacher there by the Danish king. Dissented from the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist at a colloquy in Flensburg, which rattled Martin Luther (Martin Luther King) and he wound up being banned from Denmark. Received the friendship of Andreas Karlstadt (Victor Serge), but then broke with him when he converted to the Anabaptism sect in Strassburg. Soon proved himself far more radical than any of the movements of his time, predicting that the world would end in 1533, and that he would be riding in with the Christ upon the clouds to set up a New Jerusalem there. Traveled to the Netherlands in 1530, and gained converts who became known as Melchiorites. When he returned to Strassburg in the appointed year of 1533, he was arrested and imprisoned, and true to his prophecy, his world summarily ended shortly thereafter when he died in prison. His followers persisted in Europe for a while, dividing into two factions, the peaceful and the revolutionary, with the latter taking over the city of Munster, and descending into cannibalism, a fitting epitaph for their misapplied zeal. Inner: Fiery, fanatical and uncompromising. Practice lifetime of playing with a religious popular movement, with himself as its primary prophet, in preparation for a much more successful run centuries later, when he turned that dynamic into a secular movement, of similar religious intensity, which would have a far more far-reaching effect. Narses (c478-c453) - Byzantine general. Outer: Of Persarmenian origin. Made a eunuch and became a favorite of the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s (Joseph Stalin) wife Theodora (Indira Gandhi) as an official in the imperial household and commander of her eunuch bodyguard. Eventually rose to become grand chamberlain. Trusted by Justinian, since he could not succeed him as a eunuch. During the Nika riots in 532, he, along with Belisarius (V. Lenin), helped preserve the emperor’s rule through lavish bribes, as well as military action. Commanded a force to Alexandria to ensure the imperial patriarchal candidate, and to quell later disturbances from his disputed election. In 538, he became imperial treasurer, before being sent to aid Belisarius in his Italian campaigns. Also sent to spy on him, since Justinian distrusted his popularity and motives, and the force of will between the pair soon paralyzed their mutual efforts, and he returned to the court in Constantinople the following year. Fought against barbarian raiders in the Balkans, in 551, then returned to Italy against the Goths, marching on Rome at the head of 20,000 men, defeating 2 Gothic armies in the next 2 years. Outflanked a superior force the following year, and became governor of Italy, working moderately and well to restore imperial authority there. Recalled by Justinian’s successor and nephew, Justin II (Lavrenti Beria) in 567, and as revenge, he invited the Lombards back into Italy just before he left. Died several years later at the ripe age of 95. Inner: Energetic, intelligent, able, and strong-willed. Considerable tactical skill, as well as loyal and shrewd. Cojones-challenged lifetime of literally being unmanned, and yet showing considerable testosterone in his military exploits, in a long life of achievement, honor, and, at the end, revenge. Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus (c207-253) - Roman emperor. Outer: Born on the island of Jerba off the coast of southern Tunisia. From an undistinguished family, forcing him to create his own opportunities. Married Cornelia Supera, but had no known children, nor is anything known of her. Pursued a military career and became a senator and consul, and governor of Lower Moesia in 252. Promised his troops liberal bonuses if they fought with success against the Goths, and the unexpected triumph, in the wake of so many other Roman defeats, caused his men to declare him emperor in the summer of 253, while the army of his predecessor, Gallus (Lavrenti Beria) and his son murdered their masters and accepted him. Despite recently calling him an enemy of the state, the senate reversed itself and confirmed him. Ruled with moderation, presenting himself as a general, rather than an overlord, but a much larger army, earlier summoned by Gallus and headed by Valerian (Boris Nemtsov), advanced on him, and as he came up the peninsula to meet it, his men felt they would surely be defeated, and so turned on their leader with daggers, and killed him, not far from where his predecessors also met a similar end. The place where he died became known as the Pons Sanguinarius, the Bridge of Blood. Reigned only 88 days. Inner: Self-made military figure, advancing on his own skills, rather than family connections. Self-inventing lifetime of serving as yet another bridge of blood over a time-span when emperors fell as easily as common soldiers. St. Jude Thaddaeus (?-65 A.Z.) - Armenian apostle. Outer: Lots of confusion around his identity and life, since he is associated with several different people, because of the unclear recording of the time, so virtually everything about him is sheer conjecture, with various scholars totally disagreeing about the basic facts of his life. Father’s name may have been Alpheus. and he may have been one of at least four brothers, including the apostle St. James the Lesser (John Coltrane), and the future Bishop of Jerusalem, St. Simeon. May have originally been a farmer, while also receiving rigorous training at home in Scriptures and the Law so that he was quite conversant with both. The eleventh of the 12 apostles chosen by Jesus to spread the Good Word, although it is unclear when he joined his entourage. Asked the soon-to-be-martyred Messiah at the Last Supper, why he would not manifest himself to the entire world on his resurrection, in expectation of a secular kingdom, rather than spiritual kingdom to come. The latter responded by implicating that the world was not ready for divine manifestation.. Some traditions have it that, following the resurrection and ascension, that he preached throughout the Middle East, focusing especially on Jewish converts, before returning to Jerusalem in 62, where he assisted at the election of his brother St. Simeon as Bishop of the City of Peace. Wrote an epistle to the Churches of the East, focusing on their Jewish converts, to warn them of the heresies of various unorthodox Christian sects, and asking them to persevere no matter how difficult the circumstances in which they found themselves. Supposedly suffered martyrdom in either Beirut, Syria or Armenia along with Simon the Zealot (Sonny Rollins), and was either killed by an axe or shot to death with arrows. Ultimately his relics found their final resting place in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Identified as the Saint of Lost Causes, while his feast day in the Latin Church is October 28th. Inner: Often shown with a flame around his head and holding a club. Puritanical, highly charitable, and extremely zealous in his beliefs. Largely conjectural lifetime of serving as a champion of difficult or lost causes, a role he would continue to play unceasingly down through the annals of his/story. Habakkuk (7th-6thcent. BZ) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: Little is known about him. May have been a member of the tribe of Levi. No other writings exist of his other than five oracles concerning the Babylonians and a song in praise of God. He was also the only prophet who dared question the divinity because of the injustices done to his peoples and the lack of action taken by the divine, placing some of the blame for their plight on the on-high, rather than the transgressions of his fellow mortals. Probably wrote just before the Babylonian invasion and Captivity, seeing the martial rise of their empire as an inevitable threat to Judea’s very existence as such. Seen as closely associated with the temple, writing in the psalmic tradition of the lament, giving a musical air to his musings. Numerous sources posit him as different beings, ranging from male to female, thanks to the interpretation of the word ‘embrace’ as one of his name meanings, with his ultimate aphorism, “the righteous shall live by his faith,” reducing a love of God to that singular sentiment. Inner: Skilled writer, with a strong sense of language, and a questioning nature. Lamenting lifetime of seeing the immediate future, and understanding the dynamics of the present, as a visionary very much attuned to his times.


Storyline: The mesmerizing storyteller becomes the archetypal apostle of the workers of the world, while ironically working little himself for pay, preferring the sweat of his inner brow in its labor to reshape the world of the future, according to the patterns of the past.

Victor Serge (Victor Kibalchich) (1890-1947) - Russian ideologue. Outer: Parents were Russian/Polish revolutionary exiles. Born in Belgium, he spent his childhood in an atmosphere of radical thought and continual movement, taking advantage of the libraries, including the British Museum, available to him in his peripatetic growing up in Paris, Switzerland, England and Belgium, as he took on the outlook of the perennial outcast, which he would harbor his entire lifetime. Labored as a draftsman and photographer, then went to look for work as a draftsman in Paris in 1908, and became involved with the anarchist scene there, while quickly tiring of conventional labor. Instead, he became a translator of Russian literature, his own writings and political activist polemics. As the editor of l’Anarchie, he received a 5 year sentence in 1913 for a spirited defense of anarchy during a wave of terrorism, and upon his release in 1917, he went to Barcelona, but became disenchanted with the Spanish revolutionary movement and he volunteered for service in Russia, and returned there, after being interred in a French concentration camp, with the hopes that it would be transformed into the first true socialist workers republic. Became a member of the Bolshevik party, and proved himself invaluable to the Comintern in its early stages, because of his knowledge of languages and his abilities as a translator. By 1920, however, he realized that the uniformity demanded by the party and its police actions predicted a tyrannical state that would be inimical to any who questioned its authority. Went abroad, and returned in 1926, and aligned himself with the left opposition, which caused him to be expelled from the party 2 years later. Imprisoned afterwards, he continued to work for the opposition, and was exiled in 1933, becoming an international cause celebre during his 3 year stay in one of the milder gulags. Refused to confess to anything, and was eventually released in 1936, the last opposition member to be allowed to do so. Went to France, where he maintained connection with the opposition in-exile. After the Nazis came to power in France, he sought asylum in Mexico, the only country that would have him, while he waited in vain for a visa to the U.S. Became a democratic socialist by life’s end, although never lost his faith in Marxism. Came to understand that Stalin was the main cause behind the betrayal of the revolution, and may have been ultimately murdered for his beliefs, although his cause of death was officially listed as a heart attack. A prolific writer, in English, French and Russian, he would publish more than 30 books, including several novels, and countless articles, as well as thousands of pages of manuscripts that he left behind, feeling compelled to put all his thoughts to paper, even though they imperiled his life. Most noted for his posthumous, Memoirs of a Revolutionary. Inner: Nervous, highly observant, morbid and delicate. Extremely courageous and committed dissident, with an unerring eye for political truths and a willingness to put his life on the line for his beliefs. Eternal outsider lifetime of dealing in the distorted realities that came from what he had earlier wrought in theory. Karl Marx (Karl Heinrich Marx) (1818-1883) - German economist, philosopher, writer and revolutionary. Outer: From a long line of Dutch and German rabbis. Born into a middle-class Jewish household, father was an ambitious lawyer, mother was Dutch-born. Oldest surviving son of 9 children, with four surviving sisters and two brothers. Since Jews were not allowed to practice law, his father converted when his son was 6 and rose to be the dean of his local bar. Never felt any connection to the religion of his birth, in fact, harbored a sense of anti-Semitism, but had a curious Jewish view of his/story as an iron-jawed force in the story of humanity. and was baptized a Lutheran when his father converted. Treated as an intellectual equal by his sire, while his mother nagged him to change his underwear at least once a week. Educated at a school under police surveillance for its liberal teachers, while evincing a Christian sense of devotion and self-sacrifice. 5’9”, with thick pitch-black hair. Attended Bonn Univ. for a year, then studied law and philosophy at the Univ. of Berlin, and, though repelled by the dominant academic personality there, Friedrich Hegel (Benedetto Croce), joined the Young Hegelians, engaged in the debates of the times, and ultimately got his degree from the university at Jena, while formulating his basic thesis of dialectic materialism: the dualistic conflicts of opposing viewpoints that cause change. Barred from teaching because of his views, he became a journalist and then editor of a radical socialist newspaper in Cologne, which was shut down after 15 months, while adhering to a lifelong pattern of always expecting to be supported by others. After an engagement of 7 years, in 1843, he married Jenny von Westphalen, a beautiful romantic aristocrat four years his senior, from a Prussian military and administrative family. 4 daughters and 2 sons from the union, with four of his offspring dying in childhood or infancy. Emigrated to Paris soon afterwards and became a committed communard, beginning his lifelong collaboration with Friedrich Engels (Willie Brandt), the son of a successful textile merchant. Expelled from France in 1845, he renounced his Prussian nationality. The 2 published several works, culminating in their classic call to economic arms on the eve of the pan-Europe 1848 revolution, The Communist Manifesto, in which he saw all of humanity’s social story as a class struggle, and when the workers finally rose to the top, it would be the end of his/story. Left Belgium just before being expelled, returned to Paris, and then the Rhineland, where he enflamed his supporters before being being indicted on several charges, including advocating the heresy of not paying taxes. A powerful speaker, he won acquittal, but was banished, and then expelled once more from Paris, before going into permanent exile in London with his wife and 4 children. Spent an extremely unhappy 14 years there, in which 2 of his children died, while his wife suffered breakdowns. Despite abject poverty, he refused to work, save for one occasion, while Engels contributed to his meager existence, with his singular source of income as a correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. Spent the rest of his time in the reading room of the British Museum, absorbing economic his/story. His penchant for spicy food did little too enhance his health. Had an illegitimate son with his maid, Helen Demuth, shortly after his wife gave birth to their 4th child, then spent a lifetime trying to conceal the fact to maintain his own bourgeois family life. Engels pretended to be the father, and the boy, Freddy, wound up living a hardy proletarian life, after running away from a foster home, with his real father contributing nothing to his support. His isolation ended when he joined the International Working Men’s Assn. in 1864, becoming its guiding spirit, and putting his considerable energy into trying to keep its various factions productive and effective. Produced his main work Das Kapital, publishing the first volume in 1867, limning the capitalist exploitation of the working-class, while later volumes, edited by Engels, appeared after his death. As a much-hated figure, he wrote a complimentary letter to fellow pariah, Charles Darwin, expressing solidarity, although it was ignored. The brief success of the Paris Commune of 1871, a genuine proletarian uprising, made his name synonymous with revolution, and he used his influence at the succeeding International convention, the only one he ever attended, to dispel the power of the followers of anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (Joseph Stalin), before retreating to his family and written work. Ill health plagued his later years, as well as chronic depression, as he vainly hoped for a general war that would overthrow the Russian state, seeing it as an impediment to European revolution. Devastated by his wife’s suicide in 1881, by swallowing prussic acid, he followed shortly afterwards, dying of a lung abscess, in the armchair of his study. Largely unknown during his lifetime outside of political circles, and thoroughly reviled by those of the establishment who were familiar with his texts, he exerted an extraordinary influence afterwards, and his name would continue to resonate throughout the 20th century. Felt a kinship with fellow cerebral pariah, evolutionist Charles Darwin (Jared Diamond) who failed to see the revolutionary aspects of evolution in the same way he was blinded to the evolutionary elements in revolution. Inner: Filled with anger, dogmatic, an intransigent rabbi at heart, with a biblical sense of surety of his view of economic his/story. Chain-smoker and hard drinker. Swarthy, unhappy, his health declined steadily the last 20 years of life. Never set foot in a factory, nor did he engage in a common working life. Derived all of his theories from books, rather than direct experience. Seminal lifetime of the glories of the analytic mind, and the sorrows of the materialistic body in an unintegrated dialectic existence of rage, examination and exposition that ultimately made him the pre-eminent storyteller of economic revolution of his times and those that postceded them. Francois-Noel Babeuf (1760-1797) - French revolutionary. Outer: Son of a tax farmer, he be came a land surveyor in 1776, but despised his feudal duties, and in his late 20s, switched to political journalism. On the onset of the French Revolution, he helped prepare a list of feudal grievances, then went to Paris where he founded a political journal. Imprisoned briefly, he used his time to formulate ideas of egalitarian land reform, then left Paris to became an administrator and archivist for the department of the Somme. Returned to Paris at the end of the Terror, after the fall of Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin) in 1794, and founded a new journal, attacking the fallen Jacobins, and then the Thermidorians who deposed them. Briefly imprisoned again, he fine-tuned his doctrines, in a communal call for the equal distribution of land and income, and after his release, he became a full-fledged revolutionary, joining the Society of the Pantheon and becoming one of its leaders, calling for political and social equality, which ran against the grain of the new French Constitution. Became known as Gracchus, after the Roman brothers, Tiberius (Abraham Lincoln) and Gaius (Al Sharpton) who did the same nearly 2 millennia earlier. After his organization was dissolved, he formed a secret committee to plan an insurrection, which would return to the Constitution of 1793. The conspirators, however, were arrested after an informant revealed their plans, and he was tried along with them. Only he and one companion were found guilty, and both were subsequently guillotined. Viewed as a precursor to theoretical communism. Inner: Cerebral, analytic, idealistic. Purposefully remained out of the central revolutionary limelight so as to bring forth his ideals after the violence of the Revolution had larger spent itself, only to fall victim to its aftermath. Boat-rocking lifetime of continuing to put forth his egalitarian ideals, and once again falling victim to reactionary realities. Andreas Karlstadt (1480-1541) - German theologian. Outer: Educated at Erfurt and Cologne, he was made a professor at the Univ. of Wittenberg in 1505. Assisted his younger colleague Martin Luther (Martin Luther King) in replanning the curriculum around St. Augustine and the old fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. Came to Luther’s defense in 1519 around the indulgence controversy, and was threatened with excommunication by the pope. Went to Denmark in 1521, to try to spearhead a reformation there, but failed and returned to Germany later that year. Turned to writing pamphlets and tracts, and was soon seen as a radical reformer, which he underlined on Christmas day of that year, by conducting an abridged service without vestments and administering communion to the laity. Called before the elector Frederick the Wise (Willy Brandt) for a particularly inflammatory tract, he showed himself to be highly impatient, and quickly broke with Luther, as too conservative in his demands. Fled and began dressing as a peasant, while calling himself “Brother Andreas,” and denouncing all academic degrees and distinction. In 1523, he retired to Orlamunde, and offered his own program for reformation, based in part on the mystic Johann Tauler. Openly preached against Luther, after the latter tossed a golden coin at him to signal their breach. Forced into exile, he bitterly championed Christ’s symbolic, rather than actual presence in the Eucharist, and he became a focus of the radical Anabaptists, a sect that would have strong communist overtones. Despite their differences, Luther provided refuge for him in Wittenberg from 1525 to 1529, after the latter made certain retractions in his writings. Continued to move around afterwards, until finally settling in Basel, where he became a professor of Old Testament theology in 1534. Reversed his earlier position on the university’s power over the clergy via discipline and degrees, and stirred yet another controversy for his stand. Died during an outbreak of the plague. Inner: Eccentric, extremely intense and outspoken. Stir-the-pot lifetime of playing with ideas and ideals in the context of revolutionary times, and winding up exerting strong influence on a sect which would lay the groundwork for his secular take on an egalitarian society built on similar equitable principles designed to remove the barriers between officials and ordinary people. Arnold of Brescia (1100-1155) - Italian religious reformer. Outer: Background and youth largely obscured. Became an Augustinian monk, then prior of the monastery of Brescia, where in 1137, he participated in a popular revolt against the corruption of the government of the bishop there. After making proposals for reforming the clergy and curbing the church’s powers, he was condemned as a schismatic by the pope and banished from Italy. Went to France, where he became a supporter of noted teacher Peter Abelard (Jean Paul Sartre). Condemned along with him as a heretic at a Church council in 1141 by Bernard of Clairvaux. While the latter submitted, he refused to do so, and rebelliously continued to teach in Paris, while continuing to attack Bernard, until he was exiled by the king. Fled to Zurich, then Germany, where he was protected by an Italian cardinal who acted as an intermediary between him and the pope, and eventually reconciled the two in 1145, and he was sent to Rome on a penitential pilgrimage. While there, however, an earlier insurgency that wanted to separate Church’n’State caught his revolutionary fancy and he resumed his preaching against church abuses, particularly against property-owning clergy. Excommunicated in 1148, but his agitation made him a leading figure in the revolt, with a strong following among students, the lower clergy and the poor, as he worked to consolidate the newly found republican independence the Romans had won from the Church. The pope placed Rome under an interdict and asked that he be handed over, which he was as the revolt collapsed. Fled, although captured by the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I (Sumner Redstone). Tried, condemned and executed by hanging, showing himself fearless at the end. His body was then burned and his ashes were thrown into the Tiber River, so as to avoid his bones becoming venerated relics. Inner: Austere, ascetic, logical, rational, strong-willed, charismatic and highly principled. Religious reformer who was politicized through his critiques against authority, which probably made him understand that the real sphere of change was in the political/economic and not the spiritual. Foundation lifetime of exploring the unintegrated dialectic of spiritual power and material possession, while standing up for his beliefs, no matter the consequence. St. John Chrysostom (c347-407) - Phrygian theologian and archbishop. Outer: Son of a high-ranking military official, who died when he was young. His mother brought him up as a Christian after his father’s death. Studied for the law, but was far more interested in theology. Became a hermit/monk, but his health failed, and he returned to his native Antioch to become an ordained deacon and priest. Spent his next 12 years as a preacher, and was known as “golden-mouthed” for the power of his language and eloquent exhortations, including defusing rioters with a series of sermons placing their actions within a larger perspective. Champion of the poor and oppressed against the wealthy, teaching that property was a trust and what was extra to reasonable need should be readily given away. Made Archbishop of Constantinople in 398 against his will. Continued to minister to his mass following, but angered the rich and powerful, who conspired to rob him of his see. Condemned in 403 by a synod called against him, then banished by the eastern Roman emperor, Arcadius (Roald Dahl), after thoroughly alienating his wife Eudoxia (Marguerite Duras), who had taken his anti-wealth sermons quite personally. Appealed the ruling, but was forced into exile. Still managed to maintain contact with his supporters through correspondence and exert some influence, but was moved again to a more remote area, and the strain of the journey killed him. Rehabilitated some 30 years after his death. Inner: Fierce humanistic intelligence, with a passionate gift for oratory. His power lay in his oral, rather than written, use of language. Extremely moral, with a deep sense of justice for all. Unoriginal but highly sensitive to the corruptions of the ruling class. Totally principled lifetime of using the power of language to make orthodox Christianity responsive to the needs of the powerless, a theme he would continue to explore in the secular realm. St. Matthias (?-c80) - Judaean apostle. Outer: His name meant gift of YHWH. From the tribe of Judah. Quite scholarly, he studied both the law and religious writings in Jerusalem, prior to becoming a follower of Jesus. One of 70 outer disciples of the Good Shepherd, who became a disciple of his after being baptized by John the Baptist (Martin Heidigger). Continued in his outer circle up through his death and ascension. Chosen by the other apostles to replace the traitorous Judas Iscariot (Kim Philby) after it was discovered that he had betrayed their master for a handful of silver, although, as with all stories connected with the Gospels, the betrayal may have been an affirmation, rather than a denunciation, to insure his ultimate martyrdom according to messianic demands. Chosen from among the 70, after lots were drawn between himself and Barsabas. Everything written about him afterwards is purely conjectural. May have preached the gospel in Judaea, then crossed over into Africa, where his audience was often cannibals and barbarians. Probably met his death in most gruesome fashion. After first being blinded and imprisoned, he was beaten and hung from a pillar, before his stomach was torn out with an iron blade, which proved the final fatal blow. Other traditions have him stoned to death in Jerusalem by fellow Jewish non-converts. His ultimate resting place remains a matter of conjecture, while his feast day is Feb. 24th in the Latin Church. His symbol is an open Bible with a double-bladed ax across it, signifying him as a fiercely aggressive figure of faith. Considered the patron saint of those struggling with alcohol addiction, and those trying to help them, as well as carpenters and tailors. Inner: Proponent of both conviction and knowledge, as a scholarly believer of unshakeable faith, more than willing to deal with the darkness of ignorance and bring light to it. Pinch hitter lifetime of bringing his unique cerebral talents to bear, as a combination of aggressive intelligence and unyielding belief, a stance he would continue to assume down through the millennia as one of the planet’s supreme sophists. Obadiah (c9th cent B.Z.) - Hebrew prophet. Outer: Name roughly meant ‘Servant of Yahweh’. There were numerous figures of that name in the Old Testament, so some confusion remains around which one he was, and whether he lived in the 9th or 5th century B.Z., with liberal scholars positing the latter and the majority of evangelical scholars the former. May have been a convert to Judaism from Edom, whose inhabitants descended from Esau, while the Israelites were descendants of his twin brother Jacob, making the two states closely related, while sharing the same hostile competitive rivalry as their founders. Supposedly a rich man himself, he used his wealth to help the poor. After Judah’s neighbors, the Philistines and Damascenes, invaded them, the Edomites later joined in, committing atrocities and plundering Jerusalem, while showing a jealous hatred for their sibling state that knew no bounds. Posited that anyone who opposed God’s people could expect divine judgment for their apostasies, while those who lived in divine grace would always be ultimately vindicated. Inner: Weighed his words, penning the shortest book of the Old Testament. Humble and totally at the service of his sense of the divine. Felt pride was one of humanity’s most disgraceful aspects. Skilled maker of aphorisms such as as you sow so shall ye reap. Far-sighted lifetime of acting as a servant to his own sense of divine will, with his focus on nations and their individual components in his decidedly dualistic view of the good, the bad and the ugly.


Storyline: The revolutionary political philosopher follows up a go-round of being there at the manifestoed creation of communism, by casting his acute eye across his/story’s vast economic expanse to remap its landscape according to his own overview.

Willy Brandt (Herbert Frahm) (1913-1992) - German statesman. Outer: Illegitimately born. Mother was a salesgirl in a co-op store, never knew his father. His mother’s father would be the dominant male in his early life, a trucker driver and former farm laborer who schooled him in socialism. Initially wanted to be a ship’s captain. 5’10 1/2”, nearly 200 lbs. Passed his university entrance exam in 1932, but his activities as a young Social Democrat, put him in danger, and he was forced to flee the country to avoid being arrested. Assumed the name Willy Brandt, and went to Norway to become a journalist, while renouncing his membership in the Social Democratic movement because of its lenient attitude towards Hitler. While disguised as a Norwegian student named Gunnar Gaasland, he married a fellow German, Gertrud Meyer, in order to keep her from being deported. One daughter from the union of convenience which later ended in divorce. When the Germans occupied Norway he escaped to Sweden and stayed there for the remainder of WW II, while learning to speak both Swedish and Norwegian fluently. Returned to Germany afterwards as a Norwegian citizen, and worked as a press attache at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin. In 1948, he married Rut Hansen, a Norwegian journalist and resistance fighter whom he had met in exile, 3 sons from unions. Had one more marriage later on and one more child. Became a German citizen again, and was elected a member of the federal Parliament. 8 years later, he was elected mayor of Berlin, and became a world figure, showing great moral courage when the Soviets constructed the divisive wall in 1961, and tried to remold the city into a demilitarized free zone. Became chairman of the Social Democratic Party in 1964, and moved his party away from doctrinaire Marxism, accepting both private property and a market economy. Made 3 runs for the chancellorship that decade, finally achieving it in 1969, after serving as foreign minister and vice-chancellor in earlier coalition governments. Immediately revalued the mark and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Concentrated on his field of expertise, foreign affairs, formulating a policy known as Ostpolitik or ‘East Politics,’ in which he sought better relations with the Soviet and eastern bloc countries, particularly East Germany. Made several nonaggression treaties with neighboring states, while supporting a united Europe, and helped promote the entry of Britain into the European Economic Community. Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts towards the reconciliation between the East and West. Forced to resign in 1974 after a spy scandal erupted in his administration. Remained chairman of the SPD for 13 years, and also served as president of the Socialist International, an SDP umbrella group. Headed the Brandt Commission afterwards, that studied world economic policies, with a focus on the need for industrial aid and linkages between heavily industrialized states of the northern hemisphere and the rest of the world. Wrote several books, including My Life in Politics and lived out the rest of his life as an elder statesman, largely in limbo. Died of cancer. Inner: Athletic and cerebral. Modest and reserved. World-building lifetime of integrating the theoretical with the practical while serving as a linking point between the various dualities dividing our economic world. Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) - German political philosopher. Outer: Father was the owner of a textile factory, and also the partner in a cotton plant. Extremely close with his mother. His home environment was moderately liberal, Protestant and Prussian. Showed some poetic flair as a youth and was a good athlete. Dropped out of secondary school before graduating, but his father made him enter the business world, where he worked in an export firm in Bremen for 3 years. Led a dual existence, as a socially active businessman, while also a crypto-revolutionary, reading banned works and becoming an enthusiast of the works of Friedrich Hegel (Benedetto Croce) and his dialectic, or opposing viewpoints, view of his/story. Had an inordinate capacity for learning languages, and was ultimately conversant in 24. Published articles under the pseudonym of Friedrich Oswald, while evincing a lucid style and excellent critical faculties. Returned to his hometown and served as a volunteer in an artillery regiment for a year in Berlin, showing the same ease of mastery in military affairs that he brought to all his endeavors, and earning the affectionate future sobriquet of “the general,” by his friends. Attended lectures at the Univ. of Berlin, hung with the Young Hegelians and was converted by Moses Hess, a radical who showed him how Hegelian philosophy naturally synthesized into communism. Went to England on his account in 1842, since its headstart in the industrial revolution made it a potential communist breeding/ ground. Used the pretense of continuing his business training in the family’s firm in Manchester, while steeping himself in the worker’s movement, writing articles, and reading and gathering materials for a projected worker’s his/story, as well as continuing his business successes. Met an Irish working girl, and though he did not believe in marriage, the pair lived together as man and wife for the next 2 decades until her early death. Later cohabited with her sister in a similar arrangement, although finally married her as a deathbed concession. In 1844, he contributed 2 articles to a Parisian journal that Karl Marx (Victor Serge) edited, showing the dichotomy of millionaires and paupers that the concept of private property was creating, and proposing revolution as its anthitetical synthesis of the reunion of humanity with nature. Visited Marx in Paris, after having earlier met him, and the 2 began a profound partnership that would produce several joint works, including their Communist Manifesto in 1848, which limned the principle and policies of their newly formed Communist League. Both participated directly in the Revolution of 1848, through writing and activism, and then, after its failure, rejoined forces in London, where they reorganized the Communist League. Accepted a subordinate position in his family’s firm to finance their activities, and was one of Marx’s primary supports for the rest of his life, while eventually rising to partner in the firm, while his mother placated his father and provided him with financial support. Maintained his dualistic existence, watching the bottom line in his business while advocating its ultimate destruction in the new world to come. When he finally sold his partnership in 1869, he had enough money to live on for the rest of his life. Forced to dwell in Manchester, he maintained a continual correspondence with Marx, whose poverty made him bear the social brunt of their partnership. Wrote articles under his name, and in their division of philosophic labor, took on the pragmatic details, while Marx was the over/riding theoretician. Served as the primary salesman for Marxism, and after Marx’s death in 1883, became the foremost authority on his partner. Wrote a number of works on his own and completed volumes 2 and 3 of Marx’s seminal work Das Kapital, while tirelessly keeping in contact with the faithful and fanning the flame’s of his associate’s brilliant, but flawed, interior. Finally succumbed to cancer. Inner: Urbane, outgoing, with a great zest for living on all levels, pursuing an active life of the mind as well as the body. Suffered some of the slings and arrows directed at Marx, and was quick to take umbrage at insult, and could be both ruthless and offensive when the situation merited it. Blessed-by-fortune lifetime of having it all in mind, body and spirit, and loaning that all to an angry, brilliant subversive to form one of the seminal intellectual partnerships of the century, if not the millennium, in a life forever entwined with the man who made the 20th century a formidable economic dialectic. Jacques Brissot (Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville) (1754-1793) - French revolutionary. Outer: Father was a pastry cook, knew poverty as a child. Became a clerk in a lawyers’ offices, initially in Chartres, then Paris. Went to London in 1783 to pursue a burgeoning interest in science, and founded 2 scientific periodicals which quickly failed. Imprisoned for debt, and after his release, he became politically involved on his return to France at the end of the year. Lived largely hand-to-mouth, and became something of a political lobbyist for liberal causes, before being imprisoned in the Bastille for pamphlets criticizing the queen and the government, but was soon released. Worked as both a hack writer and police spy during the decade, giving him an expertise in manipulating public opinion, while traveling to Belgium and Switzerland. Founded the Societe des Amis des Noirs in 1788, based on the British anti-slavery movement, and set sail for Boston, which opened him up to the possibilities of living in a liberated society. Returned the next year to become deeply involved in the sweeping political tide of the French Revolution as a committed Republican. Launched a newspaper in 1789, the Patriote Francais with the avowed intent of marginalizing the monarchy, and was elected to the first municipality of Paris, taking the keys when the Bastille was stormed that summer. Attacked the king’s position after his flight to Varennes in 1791 in a long speech to the Jacobins, which laid out his future foreign policy, and gave his name to the Brissotins, who later became the Girondins, the more moderate voice of the Revolution. Elected to the Legislative Assembly, he joined the diplomatic committee and focused on foreign affairs, calling for war to expose the true enemies of the newfound state, while demanding universal liberty for one and all. Won the enmity of Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre (Joseph Stalin), although he gained the backing of everyone else and war was declared on Austria. Subsequent defeats spurred the revolutionary movement, which he and his supporters were hoping to check, and he found himself denounced by Robespierre as a “liberticide.” Unable to use Paris as his political base, he represented an outlying district in the National Convention, but was roundly denounced by the more radical elements, although he still retained influence on the diplomatic committee, and his report to it led to war with Great Britain and the Netherlands. Accused of being a traitor and a cohort of Gen. Charles Dumouriez (Hermann Goering) by Robespierre, he responded by denouncing the Jacobins and calling for the dissolution of the municipality of Paris. Arrested that summer, he fled the city, but was captured and hauled back to Paris, where he was brought to trial. Denied being a police spy, as well as a forger, but his entire career was placed in the light of false motivation and spurious activity and he was found guilty by the revolutionary tribunal and guillotined the following day, along with many of his followers. Inner: Impassioned and liberal libertarian who was out of his depth in dealing with the monsters created by the Revolution. Feet-wet lifetime of dipping into revolutionary activity from a commoner base, only to have his head separated from his body for realizing too late the excesses that uncontrolled upheaval may bring, which made him move more towards theory than action in the next go-round in this series, before returning to the political realm with an integration of the two modes. Friedrich III (1463-1525) - German elector of Saxony. Known as “The Wise.” Outer: Father was the elector of Saxony, mother was the daughter of the Duke of Bavaria. Succeeded his sire as elector in 1486, and allied himself with the archbishop of Henneberg, in order to increase the power of his nobles at the expense of the Holy Roman Emperor. Became president of the Imperial Governing Council in 1500, but it was soon disbanded because of a lack of financial backing. Founded the Univ. of Wittenberg in 1502, where Martin Luther (Martin Luther King) taught, and proved a friend and supporter of scholars, humanists and artists. A student of scripture, he had a great love for the saints, whom he venerated, collecting some 8000 relics, including, he claimed, straw from Jesus’ crib. Never married, and produced no heirs. Supposedly had a telling dream before Luther tacked his theses up that God had sent him a monk whose potent pen stretched back to the Bohemian martyr Jan Hus (James Agee), and would shake the very essence of Rome with the power of its words. Refused the HRE crown in 1519, and was instrumental in winning the election of Charles V (Napoleon Bonaparte) to that powerful chair. Because of his dream, he declined to carry out a papal bull against Protestant reform Martin Luther (Martin Luther King), and instead, became his protector during the pivotal early years of the Reformation, taking him into the Wartburg castle, and giving him the space to continue his work and translate the Bible into German, despite an official imperial ban placed on him following the Diet of Worms in 1521. Had little direct contact with him and remained a Catholic although he gradually became inclined towards the doctrines of the Reformation, thanks to the influence of his brother, John of Saxony, who succeeded him. Inner: Had a strong moral sense of justice, an innate nobility and a large-heartedness. Saw Luther’s struggle more in terms of justice than theology. Right time and place lifetime to play a pivotal overseeing role in the birth of the Reformation, despite his own religious differences with it, while exploring the burgeoning humanistic revolution through patronage in his native state.



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