marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

The Royalists' most reliable way to transmit documents was to sew them into books and then give them to women who managed to escape notice by the meanness of their condition.

Nomadic peoples, regardless of their theoretical beliefs on the practice of witchcraft, generally (but not universally) do not accuse people of being witches or specifically witching anyone.

Medieval convents would call to meals by ring a bell -- a hundred times. (So you could finish up what you were in the middle of.)

A Roman work on astrology from the fourth century recounts seven cases of a horoscope being drawn in order to determine whether to charge someone with practicing magic.

In Hinduism, giving charity means your sins are transmitted to those you give you -- the "poison of the gift." A worthy priest can purify this.

The first intelligence efforts on the Roundhead side was very clumsy, opening all letters meant for Whitehall, without distinguishing what was likely to be useful. Given the way they were folded to be delivered -- you often had to cut things to open them -- this revealed all.

The lilith demon of Mesopotamia was dangerous to women and children because she regarded herself as the true lover of the man she preyed on, and so reacted with jealousy toward the actual wife and her children.

The European notion of a fairy kingdom and court (unlike the beings) appears to have been a late medieval innovation.

In Cameroon, one tribe practiced executions for witchcraft so often that every village had its witch-hanging tree.

In Elizabethan England, being a doctor or apothecary was a good job for a spy. Gave you an excuse to about at all hours, and put in you in the way of secrets.

For a long time, it was thought that the Labyrinth was a cave complex in the south of Crete.

In medieval Livonia, werewolves heroically fought against witches.

The Secret Knot, the first Royalist conspiracy in Commonwealth Britain, was lead by younger sons, so their families would not be so implicated.

A king of France, being excommunicated because of an illicit marriage, prevented any services being held in a town he visited. Hence, his departure was heralded by the peal of church bells as the services resumed.

In India, witchcraft accusations were made within the same caste. Nevertheless, the British estimates of executions for witchcraft would indicate that it was a far greater killer than suttee. (The rebellion in 1857, and resultant lack of British authority, unleashed savage witch hunts in northern tribes.)

Queen Eleanor once, writing to the Pope, described herself as "by the wrath of God, Queen of England."

The Hampton Court maze was originally of hornbeam, but in replacing dead plants, gardeners frequently slapped in what they had: privet, holly, yew, hawthorn, sycamore.
Tags: historical tidbits

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