marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

One Scandinavian grave has runes to inflict the grave-robber with ceaseless wandering and ostracism not only before but after death as well.

In 19th century France, peasants who dug up Roman coins freely used them as coins.

English accounts of the battle that finally ended the Danelaw in England sometimes mention the miracluous repair of the king's sword by the bishop Oda. The ironical thing is that Oda's father was a Dane.

A writer in King Charles's time complained that they used to do the solemn dances and then the merry ones where lords, grooms, ladies, and maids all mixed togehter, but nowadays just they cut to the merry dances.

The Great Albertus and Petit Albertus were said to be books of sorcery in France. The downside was that you couldn't die if you didn't get rid of it.

An Arabic chronicler tells of a group of Vikings who got separated from their companions in Arabic regions, converted to Islam, married local girls, and founded a farm on the Mediterrian shore with a reputation for excellent cheese.

In the Congo, the first step in founding a village is planting a fig tree. If it flourishes, the site is good -- having enough water.

To have his heirs be recognized as imperial heirs, Napoleon knew he needed a Russian or Austrian royal bride for their mother so they were royal on both sides.

The distinction of Iron, Bronze, and Stone Ages was first made in the early 19th century by a Norwegian trying impose some order on a random collection for a history museum.

Ottokar II of Bohemia was known as the "Iron and Golden King"

There was a proverb in France that birds flying over Landes had to carry their own food to cross the moor.

There are Norse myths that state that Odin can live on wine alone.

Ancient Egyptians taught baboons to harvest figs.

In Lower Brittany, it was maintained that all priests had a magic book, the Agrippa -- it appeared (by magic, naturally) on their desks on the day of their ordination.

The most common grave good found in Norse graves is a comb.

Suleiman the Magnificent insisted, after the coronation of a Holy Roman Emperor, that he was the Caesar.

Those who used the regional patois of France often regarded France as more formal. In Loire, where the patois lasted well into the 20th century, a boy asked a girl to dance in French.

A Norse poet wrote that Odin claimed the earls who died in battle; Thor, the thralls.

Breton bards first disappeared in the regions the railway reached first.

Under Icelandic law, if you quickly proclaimed that you had killed a man, it was manslaughter, not murder, and you could compensate by paying his family. However, all killing by night was murder.

The 19th century tradition in France was brightly colored bridal gowns -- in some regions green (for hope) with silver, others blue with stars, still others any vivid color, and in some regions black with colorful articles on top (so it could be your formal dress for all events, including funerals). The white veil being cheaper, it was adopted sooner.

Charles I said at the time of his execution, that he deserved it for signing Lord Strafford's death warrant.

Iceland's lack of timber meant that even on the shore, riding by horse was prefered for travel over boats.

In 19th century France, young men tried to rent the wedding rings of widows of impeccable virtue when the draft came up. They were said to be charms against being drafted.

In England, it was the custom that if the younger sister married before the older, the older sister danced at the wedding without shoes.

Buddhists have long used finding the "flower of a fig" as a metaphor for the impossible. The truth of it is, the fig "fruit" forms around the flowers; the pollinating wasp has to dig her way into it, pollinate the flowers there, and lay her eggs.

In France, when the rule was laid out that priests should no longer have the church bells rung when storms threatened, anti-clerical forces fomented the rumor that this was a conspiracy of nobles and clergy to ruin poor peasants and got it re-instated.
Tags: historical tidbits

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