marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

Ancient Romans thought that veiling would protect a woman from the Evil Eye.

An early modern newspaper blamed women's declining health and increasing sanity problems on the multiplication of novels, thus giving them more chances to read.

Regency upper-class women would, among other things, include two infant shrouds in the trousseau, because they might need them before they had time to sew more.

Oats originally grew as a weed among crops before it was cultivated as a crop of its own.

The Chinese explorer Zheng He brought a live giraffe back from Africa in 1414. People thought it was a qilin, a mythological creature looking only a little like it -- except that after that, qilin in art looked a lot more like a giraffe than the original art. Likewise, the Japanese named the tapir after the mythological baku, and the baku's alleged appearance shifted, frequently looking exactly like a tapir.

During World War I, French forces put up smoke screen to prevent German aircraft from navigating by landmarks, as they had to do at the time.

According to Heimskringla, all Swedes practiced magic until they realized it was making them soft. After that, it was banned for men.

Of Henry VIII's wives, only Jane Seymour received a queen's funeral.

In the 18th-century, a writer blamed the existence of ferocious animals, that would attack humans, on not all lands being peopled and subjected to law and order; if they were, that would be the end of those animls.

The Sassanid Empire crowned King Shapur II before he was born.

King Edward, to dispose of Simon De Montfort, assigned a dozen knights the specific task of hunting him down in the battle.

During World War I, Robert Graves was reported dead of wounds he had suffered. When recounting this in later life, he often shifted the day to three days later, so it was his twenty-first birthday.

A girl is supposed to be able to see her future husband by looking in a mirror on Halloween, but the tales differ whether she's supposed to walk backwards upstairs (while eating a hard-boiled egg without salt) or into the cellar.
Tags: historical tidbits

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