Alexander’s Gate (6)


I finished the draft copy of “In the Shade of the Iron Gates”, which will be Part 1 in Unit 5. The title of the unit will be “Mapping Marvels and Monsters”. There are additional notes that can be inserted; this part needs some tuning. It includes eight chapters and Conclusion.

I am happy that this entangled story was finally put to paper. The legend about Alexander’s Gates evolved into the tale about the confrontation between Christendom and the steppe world. In the end, it was fused with the myth about the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and various yarns about the Mongols and the Turks.

I gave myself a few days’ break before tuning. I believe that the material needs a fresh look. It won’t be uploaded until I publish previous parts of my manuscript “The Enchanting Encounter with the East: Breaking the Medieval Ice between Latin Europeans and the World beyond Islam”. 

Meanwhile, I continue collecting materials for the book proposal. The most difficult part is to get through the section about the platform and marketing. If I manage with it, I will be able to start looking for a literary agent. The manuscript can be ready till the end of 2017. I need to add Part 2 to Unit 5, decide whether I need Part III or not, and do another research on the European expeditions to the East in the 13-14th centuries. That will be the final unit.

Alexander’s Gate (5)


Still writing this chapter though it looks more like a unit as it has already exceeded 10,000 words. I decided to rename it: “In the Sinister Shadow of the Iron Gates”. I have nearly finished six sections having covered the material about the legends of Gog and Magog, Alexander’s Gate, and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. All these themes are connected. I am thinking whether I need to add some pages about the Khazars. It can be the background to the legends. I will also need to write Conclusion.

I added one illustration, the Aivazovsky’s picture of the Dariel Gorge in moonlight. I would like to add some more: some of the material for this chapter is based on mappaemundi.



I have to thank all the viewers who have read my blog. For some time I was thinking that almost nobody pays attention, but I was wrong.

While preparing materials for the book proposal, I realized that I have to supply statistics about my social links. This is what is called “platform” in the publishing world. My blog has more than 800 views, a few followers, and several comments. This is very encouraging. I also have another blog devoted to my book “Dawn and Sunset” at

I also appear on Twitter where I follow 175 sources and have 20 followers. I have dozens of friends on Facebook

and promise to contribute more to Goodreads

I understand that I need much more to build a platform as a nonfiction history writer. In the fall, I am going to take an online course on ancient  history. The course is given by a lecturer from the University of Liverpool.