Historical Nonfiction

fun facts, quotes, and pictures from history
Persian cast stone horse, a reproduction of one excavated from Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, or First Persian Empire (550-330 BCE)

Persian cast stone horse, a reproduction of one excavated from Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, or First Persian Empire (550-330 BCE)

(Source: ancientsculpturegallery.com)

Known as the Detmold child, this 8-to-10-month-old baby died in Peru around 4480 BC – more than 3000 years before the birth of Tutankhamun. Scans show he was born with a malformed heart, which caused his early death. They also revealed a small, flat, rectangular object placed by his neck— maybe an amulet or a pendant

Known as the Detmold child, this 8-to-10-month-old baby died in Peru around 4480 BC – more than 3000 years before the birth of Tutankhamun. Scans show he was born with a malformed heart, which caused his early death. They also revealed a small, flat, rectangular object placed by his neck— maybe an amulet or a pendant

(Source: newscientist.com)

China through time: the size of each dynasty

China through time: the size of each dynasty

a police officer on a Harley motorcycle with a “mobile booking cage”

a police officer on a Harley motorcycle with a “mobile booking cage”

(Source: news.distractify.com)

Concord’s Colonial Inn has one of the longest and most varieded histories of any hotel in America. The house was built in 1716 (though it wasn’t used as an inn until 1889). In 1775, of its original buildings was used to store the munitions British troops came looking for, leading to the first fighting of the American Revolution — Lexington and Concord. The Thoreau family moved in the early 1800s, and Henry David Thoreau lived here from 1835 to 1837 while he attended Harvard. The inn also served as a variety store, a boarding house, before being christened the Colonial Inn and opening as a hotel.

Concord’s Colonial Inn has one of the longest and most varieded histories of any hotel in America. The house was built in 1716 (though it wasn’t used as an inn until 1889). In 1775, of its original buildings was used to store the munitions British troops came looking for, leading to the first fighting of the American Revolution — Lexington and Concord. The Thoreau family moved in the early 1800s, and Henry David Thoreau lived here from 1835 to 1837 while he attended Harvard. The inn also served as a variety store, a boarding house, before being christened the Colonial Inn and opening as a hotel.

(Source: concordscolonialinn.com)

Seoul, South Korea. The West Gate, which no longer stands, in 1904.

Seoul, South Korea. The West Gate, which no longer stands, in 1904.

(Source: Wikipedia)

In 1988 the Soviet Union admitted that, for the previous 50 years, all of their maps had been faked. Rivers and streets were misplaced, boundaries were distorted, and sometimes things were just left off — a mountain here, a village there. Accurate maps were classified “state secrets” since Stalin. These maps woefully confused their own citizens and tourists, and didn’t stop that Nazi invasion.

In 1988 the Soviet Union admitted that, for the previous 50 years, all of their maps had been faked. Rivers and streets were misplaced, boundaries were distorted, and sometimes things were just left off — a mountain here, a village there. Accurate maps were classified “state secrets” since Stalin. These maps woefully confused their own citizens and tourists, and didn’t stop that Nazi invasion.

(Source: news.google.com)

A Jewish concentration camp survivor, the moment she finds out she has been liberated

A Jewish concentration camp survivor, the moment she finds out she has been liberated

(Source: panicdots.com)

French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, (1844–1923) was so famous that even in her sixties, there were daily headlines in The New York Times charting her progress as she struggled to recover from a severe kidney disease. (She survived and lived seven more years.)

French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, (1844–1923) was so famous that even in her sixties, there were daily headlines in The New York Times charting her progress as she struggled to recover from a severe kidney disease. (She survived and lived seven more years.)

(Source: circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov)

The Sons of Adam

Mandaeism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world; its history goes back to the time of the Pharaohs. Mandaeans, also known as Sabians, are commonly and mistakenly referred to as the followers of John the Baptist, while they are in actuality distinct from Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Mandaeans revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aron, and especially John the Baptist. They consider themselves the true sons of Adam. But unlike the other religions of the book, Mandaeans reject Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

The Mandaeans fled from the Jordan Valley around 70 CE — during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. They moved to Mesopotamia, where most stayed. Slowly their numbers declined, through persecution and disease. Today there are between 60,000 and 70,000. Before the Iraq War, almost all lived in Iraq. After it began, many Mandaeans fled the country to the West. Mandaeans are currently found in large communities in Holland, Sweden, Australia, and to a lesser extent, in the United States.

(Source: aaiusa.org)

The Creation of Japan

Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto are two of the primary kami found in ancient Shinto mythology. The primordial gods who created Izanagi and Izanami brought them down to earth, and ordered them to make the vast emptiness useful. At first they stayed on the heavenly bridge bcause there was nowhere to land. After realizing the problem, the primordial deities cast down a magnificent jeweled spear, which Izanagi thrust into the ocean. The brine stuck to the spear, and when Izanagi raised it dripped down to form Onogoro, (“spontaneously-congealing”). This mythical island became Izanagi’s and Izanami’s home.

Izanagi and Izanami performed a marriage ceremony, walking around a pillar. He moving to the left and she to the right. When they met on the other side, Izanami spoke first, saying: “Ah! What a fair and lovely youth!” To which Izanagi replied: “Ah! What a fair and lovely maiden!” But Izanagi became angry, thinking they had broken proper etiquette. Who was a woman to speak before a man? Izanami quickly became pregnant, but gave birth to a monstrous leech child. They cast it into the ocean, and asked the primordial gods what they had done wrong.

The heavenly kami confirmed that yes, it was because Izanami had spoken first. So Izanagi and Izanami repeated the marriage ceremony, making certain that Izanagi spoke first. This ceremony was pleasing to the kami, and the couple gave birth to a total of fourteen islands and thirty-five kami. And thus Japan was created.

(Source: jedijack-his-story.blogspot.com)

Ancient Egyptians had their choice of hairstyles. Shaved heads with wigs, worn long, or worn cut to the neck were all normal styles. Hairstyles did not show gender, but perhaps age or the social group. Children, for instance, always wore their hair shaved except for one long sidelock. When they reached puberty, they could decide on a different style and shave the side lock. Working men cut their hair short. Older people wore wigs to hide baldness or white hair. You get the idea.

Ancient Egyptians had their choice of hairstyles. Shaved heads with wigs, worn long, or worn cut to the neck were all normal styles. Hairstyles did not show gender, but perhaps age or the social group. Children, for instance, always wore their hair shaved except for one long sidelock. When they reached puberty, they could decide on a different style and shave the side lock. Working men cut their hair short. Older people wore wigs to hide baldness or white hair. You get the idea.

(Source: thehistoryofthehairsworld.com)