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Quotes / Been There, Shaped History

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I mention the Renaissance, not because it was an important time for the family, but because our more distant relatives as a whole linger over memories of the age, savoring them like a soup bone: the elders who played at sophistication sharpened their fangs on Machiavelli, and discovered that this interesting Alighieri person had been composing some poetry. Most remarkable - most frustrating - of all was the incredible way that they began to claim that they'd been involved in these advances all along - as if they'd been sipping vitae in Boccaccio's studio instead of cowering under bridges, hiding from Inquisitors.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Malkavian (Revised)

If Pompeii is destroyed, then it's not just history. It's me.
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Fires of Pompeii"

Inquisitor: This Elder One thinks he can become divine? That's the oldest conceit of mortals!
Envy Demon: He knows. He was there.

It's not too bad being a footnote to a legend.

How many historic events have only the two of us witnessed together, Ronald? How often did we make or change history? And our names can never grace any pages of record. No monument will ever bear our image. And yet once again, tonight, the course of human history will be set by two unknown men... standing in the shadows.
The Cigarette-Smoking Man, The X-Files, "Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man"

She glided through vital points of history. She watched Mesopotamia rise. She called pharaohs and queens lovers. She confounded emperors in Rome, manipulated popes. She has been Isthar, Athena, and Juno - priestess, seductress, scientist, goddess. She led cults to sun worship. She led armies of demons. She watched holy wars, sometimes with glee, sometimes with regret.
The Buzzing, on Lilith, The Secret World

It was 1204. Need I remind you of a singular emergence in Mongolia just two years later? Of course not, his name was Temujin - later Genghis Khan! With a party of Uighurs I joined him and helped subdue and unite the last of the rowdy Mongol tribes, until all Mongolia was finally united. I proved myself a capable warlord and he showed me some respect. With some small effort I was able to change my features until I looked the part; that is to say I willed my vampire flesh into a new mould. The Khan knew that I was not a Mongol, of course, but at least I was acceptable. And later he would have many mercenaries in his command, so that my participation was in no way a rare thing. I was with him against the Chin, when we penetrated the Great Wall, and after his death I was there to see the total obliteration of the Chin Empire. I passed my 'loyalty' down to Genghis's grandson, Batu. I could have offered my services to other Mongol Khans, but Batu's objective was Europe! It was one thing to return a man alone, but another to go back as a general in a Mongol army!
Faethor Ferenczy, Necroscope II: Wamphyri

In the centuries after, he collected eyewitness testimonies. Pliny the Younger and other historians gave a great accounting of the disaster that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. Some eighteen hundred years later, the first excavations of the cities revealed grotesqueries, shapes of despair frozen in ash and preserved in plaster by archaeologists. Gray husks of mothers bent over children, of dogs chained helplessly to walls. They had known they were going to die. They'd had moments to prepare, to wait. Squeeze shut their eyes, hold their breath, and hope that they would survive the flood of ash. Seeing photographs of those cast figures so many years later, Gaius felt that stab of triumph all over again. That thrill of realization: he had done it, he had caused this terrible thing to happen, this explosion of the Earth.
And he could do it again.
Bellum Romanum, by Carrie Vaughn

The Irishman paused his tale to answer a question on the television. “Would anyone happen to know who opposed Richard The Lion Heart in the Third Crusade?”
“B,” Yulric answered.
“Saladin? Are you sure?” asked Jack suspiciously.
“Quite,” responded Yulric, his hand unconsciously straying to the place where his throat had met with the blade of Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub.
An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

You're worse than animals. Your instincts revolve around fear - you hate, you covet, you cause centuries of agony, and all because you're scared to trust the other guy. Your fear is a palpable thing, John. You wear it like a second skin. I should know. I killed the first man on Earth. Believe me, he was dripping with it. And before you accuse me of planting poisoned apples in your spiritual Eden, let me point out that two hours before I found him, the idiot had killed his eldest son... in an argument... over a mango.
The King of the Vampires, Hellblazer: Rough Trade

Marcus Parks: And here's another interesting thing to ponder. Russia would have gotten into World War I with or without Rasputin, and the chaos and failures of World War I helped to push Nicholas out of power. The question is, would the Romanovs have been able to hold onto their power had they not allowed Rasputin into their lives?
Marcus: (increasingly frantic) Would Russia have emerged from World War I as a constitutional monarchy instead of the eventual Soviet Union, possibly morphing even further into something resembling what England has?
Marcus: That definitely isn't for us to say— we're not historians. But, the fact that we're even questioning the role of this country bumpkin flim-flammer in the context of the spread of Communism, the Cold War, and even the mess we find ourselves in today with Russia is a testament to how one man can bumble his way into changing the course of history for centuries to come.
Henry Zebrowski: Forrest Gump, but horny.
The Last Podcast on the Left Episode 312 ("Rasputin Part III: The Rise of Rasputin")

Sabrina: that's why [the Parthenon]'s in ruins?
Hilda: Yes. But History blamed the Turks.

Marco: Oh, Erek, one more thing. I kind of need a makeup paper on some great figure from American history. It's kind of due day after tomorrow.
Erek: How about Franklin Roosevelt? I was the White House butler during his administration. I was the one who came up with the phrase 'New Deal.' Of course, it was during a poker game.
Animorphs #34

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