Dream of: 28 February 1999 "Sword Held High"

the products of the power to create beauty must be judged by moral law

I was watching a lengthy movie about a man who appeared to be living somewhere in a desert region, probably on the Arabian Peninsula. I had been under the impression that the action of the movie was taking place before the time of Muhammad, whom I knew had lived around 600 A.D. But suddenly a whole new segment of the movie began, and the man who was the subject of the movie was shown riding a horse while holding a sword high above his head. In the top right corner of the movie screen were the words, "16th Century."

Obviously this man on the horse had lived long after Muhammad, and was apparently an adherent of Islam - a Moslem warrior. The idea that the man had lived so much later than I had thought threw me off for a moment, but I quickly adjusted to the time period. I knew that the term "16th century" meant that the time was in the 1500s. All I had to do was think of something with which I was familiar during that time period, and I would be able to place the time of the action.

I first thought of the fall of Constantinople to the Moslems, which I was thinking had occurred in 1492. But then I thought of someone whom I knew even better - the writer Machiavelli, who I knew had lived and written during the early 1500s. I was fairly familiar with Machiavelli and the world which he had described. So, I decided to use Machiavelli as my reference point to better understand the time period of this movie.

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