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Why Do Married Couples Sleep in the Same Bed? October 17, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Why Do Married Couples Sleep in the Same Bed?

T.S. Eliot to his wife ‘To whom I owe the leaping delight/ That quickens my senses in our wakingtime/ And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,/ The breathing in unison ‘ Why do married couples sleep together? This might seem a stupid question, but really why? Is it a biological imperative dating back to the […]

Twelve Best History Montages October 13, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Twelve Best History Montages

By history montage we refer to short length runs of images and film available on youtube often with attractive music in the background. They are typically put together by amateurs and their productions standards and their production values can be a little shaky. However, often late in the evening or when he wants his daughters […]

The Bird Whisperer! October 12, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Bird Whisperer!

Horse whisperers are there in fiction and film and perhaps in fact and Beach previously had fun with East Anglian horse whispering (with many reader’s emails elucidating). But what about bird whispering? What could you possibly do to calm a bird? This blogger would find it easier to relate to a reptile or an insect […]

The West Without Christianity: Neo-Platonism, Allah or Jupiter? September 28, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
The West Without Christianity: Neo-Platonism, Allah or Jupiter?

Woke up with a crazy counter-factual thought. Let’s say that Christ is born and becomes messiah to a select group of Nazarenes. He is crucified and allegedly rises from the dead: keep or strike the ‘allegedly’ as pleases you. However, then things go awry. Paul never has a migraine on the Road to Damascus and […]

African in Tenth-Century Britain September 22, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
African in Tenth-Century Britain

***Thanks to Borky for this lovely piece*** People and perhaps particularly kids are forever pulling things out of rivers. So the fact that, in July of this year, a couple of thirteen-year-olds dragged some human bones out of the Coln river in Gloucestershire is hardly a world-stopper.  Nor it is suprising that these bones turned […]

American Indians in Twelfth-Century Germany #2: The Portuguese September 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
American Indians in Twelfth-Century Germany #2: The Portuguese

First of all a huge thank to those who, two days ago, sent so many interesting emails about this problem. Thanks, particularly, to Wade, the Count, Borky, Kenton and Filip, I now have the original Portuguese, which was on pdf page 44 of the unnumbered book.  This throws up two interesting points, which were hidden […]

American Indians in Twelfth-Century Germany?! #1: Hakluyt September 18, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
American Indians in Twelfth-Century Germany?! #1: Hakluyt

***Thanks to ANL who sent this one in*** In 1601 Richard Hakluyt translated, into English, António Galvão’s Tratado que compôs o nobre & notauel capitão Antonio Galuão, dos diuersos & desuayrados caminhos, por onde nos tempos passados a pimenta & especearia veyo da India às nossas partes, & assi de todos os descobrimentos antigos & […]

The Things We Couldn’t Say September 9, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Things We Couldn't Say

A heartbreaking story yesterday. A friend works with the terminally ill, helping those suffering and family members ‘survive’ the process. She is a trained psychologist and a very energetic and capable, elderly woman came under her care. As part of a therapy of ‘release’ this elderly woman, with a steadily growing malignant tumour inside her, […]

Burning Lesbians September 6, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Burning Lesbians

  Christianity has never been particularly friendly to homosexuality, but from the thirteenth century things started to heat up immensely. There were some footling differences between sodomy and other ‘sex crimes’, but if a man was accused of having sex with a man in any form then there was an excellent chance that both would […]

Cauls in the Deep South September 5, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Cauls in the Deep South

Beach has been obsessed the last couple of weeks with baby’s cauls. The caul for readers who don’t know (and Beach was vague previous to the obsession) is the amniotic sac which holds us in our mother’s belly. In some very few cases, a baby is born with a caul in place, in the same […]

Pre-Viking Vikings in the Faroes? August 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Pre-Viking Vikings in the Faroes?

F ***Special thanks to PGR, Chris and Wade for signaling this*** Beach has never hidden his dislike for the Vikings and so was particularly happy to hear that Faroe, those lonely islands, between Shetland and Iceland are having their history rewritten (or rather their archaeology because history was in short supply back then). Orthodox history […]

The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate July 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate

  Kilwa (or Quiloa as it was often called in European sources) was a small almost-tidal island off the coast of Tanzania. ‘Almost tidal’ because in its early history there was allegedly a causeway and even in later centuries it was possible to wade to Kilwa at low tide. The city of Kilwa was a […]

The Wessel Coins #2: The Coins July 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval
The Wessel Coins #2: The Coins

In a previous post we examined the background to the discovery of the Wessel Coins. Today, instead, it is time to look at why the coins are so exciting. It will be remembered that Morrie Isenberg came across nine coins on the beach in Jensen Bay. These coins break down into two classes, and this […]

Flying Drums in Tibet July 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Flying Drums in Tibet

A lot of interest recently in the objects used by witches to fly: broomsticks, trees etc: Other weird flying objects, drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com. This brought Beach to parallel traditions, among which is the extraordinary flying drum of Tibet. An earliest, perhaps the earliest example on record follows here.  The description is of a […]

Colonialism and Burying the Irish Under Buildings July 18, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Colonialism and Burying the Irish Under Buildings

Luise White published, in 2000, her Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. Very crudely – the book is difficult to reduce to a simple core because it recognizes complexity on the ground –White shows how colonial anxiety was played out through what she chose to call ‘vampire’ legends. Europeans and their agents […]

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