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Dogs of God! Christian Werewolves? March 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dogs of God! Christian Werewolves?

This is one of those rare times in the early modern witch craze where one feels sorry for the judges.  I mean they turn up at Jurgensburg in Livonia on the Baltic expecting an easy burning: old man widely thought to be a witch hauled up in front of them (though on another charge) and […]

Vintages Past January 17, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern
Vintages Past

There is a beautiful scene in the junky teen fantasy Highlander (1986) where Connor (the decapitator) opens a bottle of eighteenth-century brandy in late twentieth century New York. ‘1783’  states our hero ‘was a very good year. Mozart wrote his Great Mass. The Montgolfier brothers went up in the first hot-air balloon. And England recognized […]

From Vienna to the Baltic in Roman Times November 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient

  A couple of rarely examined sentences in Pliny’s Natural History (37,45) give the outline of a grand old Roman adventure in the times of the Emperor Nero (54 AD 68 AD). There are about 600 miles from Carnuntum [Roman camp close to Vienna] in Pannonia to the shores of Germany from which amber is […]

Eighteenth-century Scandinavian Merfolk September 7, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Eighteenth-century Scandinavian Merfolk

Here are a number of largely overlooked Scandinavian reports of mermaids dating from the first half of the eighteenth century. The account is rather long so these are the witness statements. Historians of cryptozoology might be interested to know that the earlier part of the text includes a reference to mermaids being ‘sea-apes’, an idea […]

Headless Races March 27, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Headless Races

  After all those head lice (see previous posts) Beachcombing gets back to some decapitation stories, not least because it would be the most efficient way to solve his family’s present problems. In any case, before anyone makes contact with the social workers… In response to an earlier beheading post RR wrote in with the following […]