marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

An ancient text from India warns kings of speaking secrets in the presence of mynah birds or dogs.

After World War II, many American, German and Japanese de-mobbed soldiers went on wearing their uniforms. There weren't enough civilian clothes to get them all to change.

Under Byzantine law, insanity was grounds for a man to divorce his wife. Demonic possession, however, was not.

After the battle of the Monitor and the Virginia, and reading the formal accounts of it, the British Navy immediately canceled all contracts to build sail-powered wooden ship and scrapped all the ones under construction. Shipwrights were immediately assigned the task of making iron-clads.

Most of India doesn't make good pasturage, and most of the regions that do dedicate the land to agriculture instead. As a consequence, horses have been a prestige imported item.

Byzantine emperors signed in a special purple ink, reserved to them, and it was a crime to manufacture the ink without authorization.

One scandalous rumor about a marquise in ancien regime France was that she would wear red clothes to church.

At the battle of Surigao Strait, the heavy cruiser Mogami was commanded by a warrant officer for several hours. He was not the senior officer onboard, but he was the senior bridge officer. More senior officers were at their (vital) posts.

Roman emperors would vigorously ferret out and destroy books on divination. They didn't want anyone looking for signs that the emperor could be overthrown.

Katherine of Aragon sewed all of Henry VIII's shirts by herself, and remembered all of her servants by name in her will.

Byzantine writers noted as proof that the world was round, that the sun rose earlier and set earlier for the Persians. The proof that it was earlier was that Persians recorded eclipses happening in the afternoon when Byzantines saw them in the morning.

A sage who taught the Vedas to the horse-headed gods the Ashvin was punished. The Ashvin were associated with farmers and herdsmen and so too lowly for the teaching.

At the Ploutonion at Hierapolis, animals were sacrificed to Pluto by being pushed into a cave, where they would fall down dead. Only the priests were able to enter, being divinely protected. (It appears that the carbon dioxide causing the deaths would not rise high enough for the priests to suffer death.)

In Nepal, the girls of the Newar area are married first to a fruit when a child (5,7,9 -- the year has to be odd), and then to the sun when puberty hits. Among its other virtues, it means she will never be a widow.
Tags: historical tidbits

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