Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It’s Talk Like a Cossack Day

Steen tipped me about this story, but it was entirely in Danish. Fortunately, Mikael of Turban Bomb was kind enough to translate it. Here’s what he says:

Back in 1667, the Zaporozhian Cossacks defeated a Turkish army that had been sent in to the south of Russia. In spite of his defeat, the Turkish Sultan, Mehmed IV, sent a letter to the Cossacks, demanding their surrender.

The letter went like this:

As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the Sun and Moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians—I command you, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.

And the response from the Cossacks?

Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!

O Sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are you, that can’t slay a hedgehog with his naked arse?…

You’ll have to go to Mikael’s place to read the rest. The Cossacks weren’t PG-13 in their language, and you know what prudes we are around here.

It’s very entertaining, however…

[Post ends here]


Subvet said...

The subtle semantic nuance and diplomatic restraint shown by the Cossacks in their response should serve as an inspiration to us all.