marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

One way to become a loup-garou is to violate Lent seven years in a row.

Four children on the Mayflower were indentured servants sent off by their putative father who maintained they were, in fact, the fruit of his wife's adulterous liaison.

Libraries in the ancient world were often adjuncts of temples. The one at Alexandria was to one to the Muses, which explains its association with poetry.

Cradles should not be made, or repaired, with elder wood, because it would give witches the power to rock it from a distance, and hard enough to injure, or throw out of the cradle, the baby.

Eunomia was the Greek goddess of law and order and also of springtime green pastures.

Kryptonite appeared once in the Superman oeuvre during WWII. The government didn't like stories about radioactive materials for security reasons.

Alicorn, the horn of a unicorn, is said, in many ancient writers' works, to be many colors. One reason for this is that it was probably often mammoth tusk, discolored by the years and the conditions it was buried in.

The British classified the peoples of India into "martial" and "non-martial" races -- the first of which was recruited for the army. The classification had a tendency to shift.

A collector of fairy tales in Rome noted that many fairy tales ended with the witch being burned, and being aware that witch hunting was not common in Italy, questioned her informants. They would answer promptly enough, that they had not said the tale was in Rome, or that they knew that the law was against it, but if people caught a witch acting like this, they would burn her, law or no law.

In 1210, the Arts Faculty at the University of Paris was forbidden to teach Aristotle because it was infringing on the Faculty of Theology. Other universities seized on this to try to lure students from the University of Paris -- the University of Toulouse promised to let them read what was forbidden in Paris.

During the Chinese seventh lunar month, when the ghosts roam, live stage performances are conducted with the first row of seats left empty so that the ghosts can sit there.

Alaric was able to sack Rome because, after the execution of Stilicho, the emperor incited attacks on the wives and children of Gothic soldiers in the Roman forces. The mass murder produced mass defection.

English witchcraft trials often had the accusation revolve around a gift of bewitched food, often an apple.

Gerard Nolst Trenité, a Dutchman, wrote a poem "The Chaos" about English pronunciation. One Frenchman observed of it that he would rather serve six months' hard labor than have to recite six lines of that poem.
Tags: historical tidbits

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