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  • Colonel Fowler and the Mammoth, 1887 February 27, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Colonel Fowler and the Mammoth, 1887

    Col. F. Fowler lived for 12 years in Alaska, from c.1877-1889. On finishing his time there he was asked by a reporter about the most interesting thing he had seen there. He answered as follows: Two years ago last summer I left Kodiac for a trip to the head waters of the Snake River, where […]

    History Roundup 25: Time Traveling Celebs? February 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 25: Time Traveling Celebs?

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on the battle where the fewest died (perhaps), then please click. More exams today so this is a little brief… 1) Time-Traveling Celebs: a new meme and well worth a look 2) In […]

    The Myth of Unbloody Zagonora February 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    The Myth of Unbloody Zagonora

    One of the least bloody periods in the history of warfare came in early fifteenth-century Italy. The Italian city states had become a good deal less violent than a century before, and warfare was farmed out to mercenary captains, who proved themselves both greedy and all too often endearingly effete. These mercenary captains were in […]

    History Roundup 24: Why the British Hated Fish February 25, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 24: Why the British Hated Fish

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on a beautiful epilepsy superstition, then please click. 1) Why the British hated fish: the ancient origins of the dairy craze 2) Neanderthal Extinction Before Humans?: Apparently they came close… 3) Jutish Belt […]

    The Most Beautiful Folk Cure: An Epilepsy Ring February 25, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Most Beautiful Folk Cure: An Epilepsy Ring

    ***for Tacitus on sabbatical*** There is a little to be said for many folklore cures in terms of efficacy unless we call out placebo. However, some cures are winners, even spectacular winners in an aesthetic sense. I recently ran across this very curious nineteenth-century Welsh cure for epilepsy (‘the cure of fits’): it appeared in […]

    History Roundup 23: Second-Century AD Earthquake Detector! February 24, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 23:  Second-Century AD Earthquake Detector!

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on an early Mardi Gras in New Orleans (and bears), then please click. Lots of fairy editing today so any email replies delayed. 1) Earliest Earthquake Detector: from China 2) Town vs Gown: violence […]

    The First New Orleans Mardi Gras: Bears and Transvestites February 24, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The First New Orleans Mardi Gras: Bears and Transvestites

    The relevant Wikipedia page dates the first recorded Mardi Gras to 1835. However, there was certainly a small Mardi Gras held a long century before. Indeed, possibly our earliest Mardi Gras description from the city was written out in 1730. In that year a Company of the Indies official Marc-Antoine Caillot, who had been in […]

    History Roundup 22: Ancient Scottish Murder Victim February 23, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 22:  Ancient Scottish Murder Victim

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on Walter Starkie with a nod to fairies, then please click. Woops, a bit late today. A rare siesta and a polished Sunday lunch. 1) Ancient Murder Victim: in Scotland 2) Buying Lawrence’s Revolt: […]

    Review: Walter Starkie, An Odyssey February 23, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Review: Walter Starkie, An Odyssey

    Walter Starkie is an in between figure. Born to the last of the Anglo-Irish in 1894, he added to his initial liminal state by: marrying an Italian (one of his better decisions); living abroad in Spain, Italy and the US; dividing loyalties between some of the twentieth-centuries less attractive regimes (Fascist Italy and Franco’s Spain) […]

    History Roundup 21: Has The Nebelung Treasure Been Found? February 22, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 21: Has The Nebelung Treasure Been Found?

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on Plato and ancient meteorites with special reference to Egypt and a grudging nod at Atlantis, then please click. 1) Have We Found the Nebelung Treasure?!: Ask the man with the metal detector (who […]

    Plato Meets the Meteorite: Solon, Egypt and Atlantis February 22, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Plato Meets the Meteorite: Solon, Egypt and Atlantis

    ***Dedicated to ANL who sent this in*** The story is well-known and comes in Plato’s Timaeus. Solon, the law-giver, has travelled to Egypt and there, in the city of Sais, he speaks to one old priest, who tell him how 9,000 years before a power named Atlantis had fought against Europe and Asia. These passages […]

    History Roundup 20: Strange Paracas Skulls February 21, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 20: Strange Paracas Skulls

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on the history of earthquakes with special reference to Britain and Ireland, then please click. 1) The Paracas Skulls: Bad Archaeology gives consistently great articles though sadly relatively little is posted 2) Welsh […]

    History and Earthquakes February 21, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    History and Earthquakes

    I’ve recently been wasting my time reading about earthquakes in British and Irish history. This does not reflect a new interest in geology, or local plate tectonics. It has rather to do with my perennial fascination for the way that historical sources are utterly unreliable and utterly skewed. When do earthquake records begin? Well, as […]

    History Roundup 19: Shape-Shifting Christ February 20, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 19: Shape-Shifting Christ

    Note that in Feburary, as an experiment, we’ll be releasing history links roundup most days at 12.00 GMT. If you want the proper post on the Egyptian mortuary lynching, then please click. Torrential rain here but great excitment as the tortoises are emerging from hibernation. Bring it on!!!! 1) Shape-shifting Christ: and the prerogatives of exaggeration 2) […]

    The Mummy, the Slitter and the Mortuary Mob February 20, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    The Mummy, the Slitter and the Mortuary Mob

    Been reading a lot about Egyptian mummies recently. There are nauseating details, intermershed with fascinating stuff. Here is the single most famous description to come down to us in Herodotus: The best process is this one: as much as possible of the brain is taken out through the nose with an iron hook, and what […]

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