marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

tidbits cross time

Mayan cosmology held that the gods made several attempts to make men, but the first ones could not keep time or worship the gods properly. One of them survives as monkeys.

Coleridge commented on the quaint customs of the Germans. For instance, at Christams time, everyone in the family would give the others presents.

Oxen are steadily than horses, though slower. Therefore, one used oxen, not horses, to draw your cart if you loaded it with explosives.

The Peshtigo Fire was the deadliest forest fire ever in American history. It was overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire, happening on the same day. A number of other fires also occured, leading to theories of a common cause -- such as comet fragments.

In medieval times, the belief that King Arthur would return was known as as the Breton Hope.

Under common law, for centuries, cross-examination of witnesses was normally carried out by defendants.

Westcliffe, Colorado was so filled with remittance men -- British men living on remittance from home on the condition they stayed away -- that it was known as the Valley of Second Sons.

In Babylon, priests practiced exorcism by throwing wax figures into fires.

Singapore, Michigan is a ghost town because of the Great Chicago Fire. The deforestation to get the timber to rebuild the city caused ecological damage to such an extent that sand dunes engulfed it.

British tourists, taking the Grand Tour, complained of Genoa that all the nobles wore black, except for the brides in their first year of marriage.

In Korea, the cave Kiringul is said to have been the home of a kirin ridden by a king of old. North Korea touts this claim to link to the kings, a claim to bolster its legitimacy.

Salt mines were, historically, very dangerous to the miners because of the way they would dessicate them.

Coronations, in medieval England, referred not only to the original crowning but to formal occasions at which the king wore a crown.

A fourteenth century German manual on dueling specified that the duelists must "share the sun" -- that is, it must be to the side of both of them, not behind one.

During WWII, some American POWs escaped a prison camp and a fair amount of countryside (until they managed to connect to the French Resistance), with a clipboard and a measuring tape. Any time anyone with authority got near them, they took measurements and looked busy.

The Roman homo sacer could be translated as either the "sacred man" or the "accursed man" because it meant that which was set apart, not the particular reason. He could be killed freely but not sacrificed.

In Elizabethan England, young noblemen were sent abroad to tour, frequently at the queen's expense, and having to avoid locations particularly associated with Catholicism, both to pick up intelligence and to acquire polish so as to be suitable diplomats later.

The Texas Rangers began a Book of Rogues in the late 19th century, of offenders and people wanted for offenses, which was a major innovation. Before then, you just had to escape from where the law knew you personally.
Tags: historical tidbits
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