marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

A fully automated water mill, using vertical and horizontal belts, managed to omit all human activity except loading in the grain and the final lid on the barrel. It is considered the first full-automated system.

Sweden, after its attempt to convert to the Gregorian calendar went awry, decided to go back to the Julian. As a consequence in 1712, they had a February 30.

The Athenian Plague devastated the city because of the crowded conditions from the war. The Spartans left because they didn't want to catch it, but the Athenians attributed it to Apollo fighting on the Spartan side.

A Scottish title can be granted to "heirs male whatsoever" where the heir doesn't have to be a descendant of the original lord.

At shrines to Inari, offerings of sake, tofu (especially fried) and other foods are made not to Inari but to his kitsune messengers, to get them to plead with Inari for the petitioner.

A judo throw that lands you on your back is an automatic loss. In full armor, it's too hard to get up from that position before you are killed.

Some corrupt bank employees apparently tried to get John Dillinger to rob their banks, to cover up the losses.

A shrine in Tokyo was famous for its foxfire -- kitsune were said to gather there on New Year's Eve and set it with their tails, and how bright it was would tell how good the harvest would be.

Roman law allowed you to temporarily sell your child into slavery. The third time you did it, however, the child became emancipated from you as well as his master when the term was up.

The monks of Crowland Abbey held off a lawsuit by another monastery for some of their land by producing a forged history as proof of their claims. It is clearly forged because some monks are described as being monks for over 148 years.

Sergeant Thomas Baker, severely wounded in Saipan, asked a comrade to leave him behind with a pistol. He was given one with eight rounds. Later, his body was found under the tree where he had left, with eight Japanese soldiers dead before him.

A Roman law, from Numa, declared it was impiety to offer the gods wine that had been made from grapes from unpruned branches.

In Aztec war, the way to conquer a country was to charge its chief temple and extinguish the central flame. This proved that your god was better than theirs.

In Japanese folklore, foxes were said to marry when it was raining and the sun was shining. Whether the foxes choose this as a suitable time for a wedding or the foxes' uncanny powers caused the weather during the time.

An Athenian jury that imposed a fine too great for the defendant to pay in effect disenfranchised him -- failure to pay meant inability to attend the assembly, serve as a juror, or bring actions in court. (This penalty could also be imposed as such, for crimes.)

Henry Benedict Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie"'s younger brother, became a monk, thus cutting off any further Jacobite claims from his line. He went on to become the longest serving Cardinal in history.

According to the Romans, Romulus imposed the law that a daughter-in-law who struck her father-in-law would be dedicated as a sacrifice to his ancestral deities.

The Bureau of Divination in Heian Japan issued warnings that a procession of a hundred oni would occur, thus warning everyone to get off the streets at that time.
Tags: historical tidbits

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