Historical Nonfiction

fun facts, quotes, and pictures from history
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)

It is disconcerting to reflect on the number of students we have flunked in chemistry for not knowing what we later found to be untrue.

—Attributed to Deming by B.R. Bertramson, in Robert L. Weber, Science with a Smile, 1992

(Source: futilitycloset.com)

one of the greatest speeches every made — Charlie Chaplin’s last speech in The Great Dictator, where a poor Jewish barber is mistaken for Adolf Hitler

Under Tigranes the Great (140 – 55 BC), Armenia was briefly the strongest and largest state east of the Roman Republic. He greatly expanded the existing kingdom, by annexation, marriage, and attacking a Parthian Empire in turmoil over its succession. Tigranes took the title “king of kings” and built a new capital to honor his achievements.

(Source: britannica.com)

This is the youngest soldier in World War I. Momčilo Gavrić lived in Serbia at the outbreak of the war. In 1916, Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed his father, mother, grandmother, his three sisters, and four of his brothers. His father happened to have sent Momčilo to visit his uncle, saving Momčilo’s life. Without a family or a home, Momčilo went to find the 6th Artillery Division of the Serbian army which was nearby.  After hearing what had happened, the major accepted Momčilo into the unit and assigned him to a soldier — really a caretaker. That night, Momčilo showed the major where the Austro-Hungarian soldiers were and helped bombard them. Eight years old, and already avenging his family. At ten, he was promoted to Corporal and at eleven to Lance Sergeant. After the war, his major made certain he got assistance from a British mission and he completed his education in England before returning to Serbia.

This is the youngest soldier in World War I. Momčilo Gavrić lived in Serbia at the outbreak of the war. In 1916, Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed his father, mother, grandmother, his three sisters, and four of his brothers. His father happened to have sent Momčilo to visit his uncle, saving Momčilo’s life. Without a family or a home, Momčilo went to find the 6th Artillery Division of the Serbian army which was nearby.  After hearing what had happened, the major accepted Momčilo into the unit and assigned him to a soldier — really a caretaker. That night, Momčilo showed the major where the Austro-Hungarian soldiers were and helped bombard them. Eight years old, and already avenging his family. At ten, he was promoted to Corporal and at eleven to Lance Sergeant. After the war, his major made certain he got assistance from a British mission and he completed his education in England before returning to Serbia.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So….He’s Kind Of Right?

Galen of Pergamum, a prominent surgeon to Roman gladiators, demonstrated that blood, not air, filled arteries, as Hippocrates had concluded. However, he also believed that the heart acted as a low-temperature oven to keep the blood warm and that blood trickled from one side of the heart to the other through tiny holes in the heart.

(Source: facts.randomhistory.com)

Fixed the Link!

Thank you to everyone who let me know that the link in my last post was broken. It has been fixed, and now goes to that site’s homepage so you can find out even more about the Celts and Romans

Map of the Celts and the Spread of the Romans

Handy dandy map showing how widespread the Celts used to be, and their slow loss to the encroaching Roman Empire. With bonus trade routes, important cities, and major battles! Just click on the upper lefthand side, its helpfully labeled “interactive map”

The earliest known publication of the term mouse as a computer pointing device is in Bill English’s 1965 publication “Computer-Aided Display Control”.  There is some debate, continuing to this day, what the plural is — mouses or mice, both of which are commonly used.

(Source: Wikipedia)