marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

tidbits cross time

Noble Russian girls started to learn to dance at eight, by ten or twelve were attending children's balls, and by thirteen or fourteen, regular balls.

A Regency childbirth meant the father had a duty to provide a cheese. Bits of it, put under the pillow, would let a young woman dream of her lover.

Medieval illustrations of labyrinths tend to be unicursal -- one path -- even when depicting one that would have to be multicursal -- many paths -- such as the original one with the Minotaur. Renaissance writers started using multicursal depictions.

The veche or assembly of the city of Novgorod declared that the city was "Lord Novgorod the Great" and ruled it without a prince. When it needed one for military purposes, it hired one, under restrictions.

An American visiting the Cambridge university during Georgian England found that they flatly refused to believe he learned to speak such good English in America.

Ancient Egyptians used stone only for temples and tombs. Even palaces were built of wood and brick.

The white pigeons of Moscow were regarded as a sign of the Holy Spirit.

A bishop of Worcester was told that if he would not wear sable, fox, or beaver as was fitting, he should at least give up lambskin for catskin. He answered that he had heard of the Lamb of God but not the Cat of God.

The surrender of Japan meant the end of firebombing, but not of smoke. Officials and officers burning records were hyperbolicly stated to have caused as much smoke.

At Russian theater during imperial times, junior officers remained standing, for fear that a senior officer would enter, so that they would commit the rudeness of being seated while their senior was not.

Some regions in France banned the newly introduced spinning wheel on the grounds that the thread produced was not up to standard. Others stated that its thread could be used only for the warp when weaving.

During the American Civil War, the battle of Shiloh was fought in a swampy area. Some wounded men, waiting (for days!) to be collected, found their wounds were glowing. And when they were collected, those whose wounds glowed had a better survival rate, giving it the not unnatural name of "Angel's Glow."

The corpse of James I's queen, Anne, lay in state for ten weeks while they scrounged up the money to bury her.

The tsarina of Russia was chosen by a bridal show. All over, the marriageable young woman were surveyed, and the most beautiful sent to Moscow -- and the tsar choose from the couple hundred. By this means, a quite lowly maiden could end up tsarina. Nevertheless, poetry warned against sending your daughter, and tsars had to threaten boygars to prevent their hiding their daughters.

Ancient Roman writers wrote that the Cretan labyrinth that Daedelus was only a pale shadow and imitation of a much greater (and still existing) Egyptian labyrinth.

In the 1620s, England's economy was depressed. The taste for "Old Draperies" -- heavy woolens, such as England had specialized -- had given way to that for "New Draperies" -- much lighter and easier to tailor.

A senior Russian nobleman could sign a letter to an younger one merely with his surname, but the younger one could be challenged to a duel for not signing his title and full name.
Tags: historical tidbits
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