A few months ago I did a historical tea party post about women in history I’d love to spend some time with. Since we’re coming up on Father’s Day I thought it would be a good time to do a men’s edition. As before, the guest list is limited to 5 people.Here are some fascinating historical men I’d love to get to know better.
Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama)
Alexander the Great
Burt Green Wilder
Rabban Bar Sauma
My selection of Thomas Jefferson has more than a little to do with the fact that I’m part way through America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. To be honest I never gave Jefferson or any of the other founding fathers much thought in terms of the years following the initial Revolutionary War, but it’s become rather fascinating for me to read about it all from Patsy Jefferson’s perspective. As with political figures, it can be hard to get a true read on them, especially in the early days when decorum and honor were so important and many things remained unspoken, certainly unwritten, during their lives. I do find it interesting that he was a prominent slave owner yet fought for liberty, which is a sentiment brought up multiple times in the book. I’d love to get to know the inner workings of a man who risked everything for the “American Experiment” and dreams to form a new type of government.
I don’t remember the first time I discovered the Dalai Lama, but I’ve always loved him. He has such a charming face and calm energy about him. The concept of the Dalai Lama involves reincarnation where each is the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama and they hold the place as spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Tenzin became leader of Tibet when he was 15 and was immediately faced with war as China began their path to take over Tibet and eventually forcing him into exile. Since then he has worked tirelessly to gain Tibet it’s autonomy. I would love to just sit in his presence and experience a little of his own peace.
Alexander the Great is like a firework. He burst in a bright flash, astonishing the world and then just as suddenly he was gone. Before his death at age 33 he was the ruler of Macedon, Greece, Egypt, Persia and parts of Asia. What would have driven so many people to follow a 20 year old on a campaign to conquer empires? How much force of personality would he have wielded? Alexander’s empire had far reaching influences, such as the establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt (Cleopatra), establishment of a common Greek language and introducing the west to Buddhism.
Burt Wilder was introduced to me by my friend Lauren when she was studying the history of medicine. He was a physician placed with a black regiment in the Civil War and his journals are so cool. He was a really interesting guy who was fascinated by everything. He would pay people to bring him specimens and would examine them and he had a great sense of humor in his writing. In one case he even charged into the water to save a drowning man, fully expecting to have to fight off a shark in the process. If you gave Milo Thatch a dose of courage and athleticism, you’d have a pretty good idea of what Burt Wilder was like. His work is a little difficult to track down, but if you can get your hands on it, I recommend checking out his diary, which is an excellent recount of the Civil War from his unique position.
Rabban Bar Sauma was employed for a time as the Mongol ambassador to Europe in the late 1200’s under the reign of Kublai Khan. He traveled much of Eurasia and wrote about all of it. He consulted with leaders of the time and was charged with carrying priceless treasures on his journey. He lived his life doing two of the things I love best and I think his stories would be amazing.
Hopefully you enjoyed the men I chose for my tea party and that it introduced you to some people you didn’t know about before. Go forth and enjoy history :)
Thanks for stopping by!