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Men Wearing Mirrors: Portuguese Conquistador in Northern Australia? December 8, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Men Wearing Mirrors: Portuguese Conquistador in Northern Australia?

The Portuguese ‘discovery’ of Australia is one that has excited Australians and Europeans for most of the last century, since, in fact, it was first realized that there was a very real chance that Portuguese ships could very easily have headed south from their base at Timor and have run smack-bang into ‘the lost continent’. […]

Arty Monarchs November 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
Arty Monarchs

How many rulers can you think of who show a gift for the arts? By this we don’t mean a Charles I or a Cosimo de Medici who could talent spot. Rather Beach is looking for blood-line rulers who were actually good with the paint-brush or with chisel or (taking the broader sense of ‘the […]

River Mermaids in Southern Spain November 1, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
River Mermaids in Southern Spain

***Thanks to Invisible for this tip*** Norman Lewis’s The Tomb in Seville had, to say the very least, a bit of an unusual publication history. It is a back-looking account of a trip in southern Spain in 1934, taken with a mafioso, written decades later, while NL was in his ninetieth year and brought out […]

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 […]

Goa the Golden February 14, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Goa the Golden

***Sorry this was accidentally pre-released yesterday…*** Goa was both the oldest continuous and one of the most curious of European colonial territories and is included here as part of our Forgotten Kingdom series. An important medieval Indian state it was attacked and captured by the Portuguese in 1510. Portugal would then run Goa up until […]

Britain’s ‘Indian’ Prime Minister January 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Britain's 'Indian' Prime Minister

Did you know that a nineteenth-century English Prime Minister was of Indian descent? Well, many of our text books tell us that this was the case. Lord Liverpool (Robert Jenkinson) (obit 1828), who presided over such questionable events as the Congress of Vienna and the War of 1812, had an Indian grandmother. Here is one […]

Columbus Knew Where He Was Going, Claims Soviet Historian December 30, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval
Columbus Knew Where He Was Going, Claims Soviet Historian

A weird little news report from New York Herald Tribune, 12 October 1959 Soviet Historian Declares Columbus Tricked World. A Soviet Historian said today that Christopher Columbus hoodwinked the world 467 years ago because he knew all along where America was. The historian, identified only as Tyspernik, a lecturer at the Kazakh Pedagogic Institute, was […]

The Survival of the Marranos June 22, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Survival of the Marranos

A Beachcombing favorite to day, the Marranos of Belmonte. In 1492 Spain expelled its Jews or at least those who refused to convert to Catholicism. Some of these fleeing Spanish Jews crossed the border into Portugal where they joined an already substantial Jewish population and the Jews of all descriptions there were driven out of […]

The Bearded Princess December 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The Bearded Princess

A day of freedom: 77 exams graded, course readers prepared, translations refined, goodbyes given… It is all over, at least, until, in January, the whole merry dance begins again. In the meantime, Beachcombing thought that he would go back to an old love of his, some of the more unusual saints in the Christian pantheon. […]

From the Mahogany Ship to Mons Badonicus: An Archaeological Fantasia October 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
From the Mahogany Ship to Mons Badonicus: An Archaeological Fantasia

Inspired by thoughts of Nag Hammadi, Howard Carter and Leslie Alcock at Cadbury Beachcombing spent an  evening wondering about archaeological fantasias, discoveries that he hopes will be made before he  himself becomes an archaeological subject and is put into the ground. Boudica’s grave. Boudica was, of course, the queen of the Iceni who gave Nero […]

Crowning Corpses in Portugal April 30, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Crowning Corpses in Portugal

Beachcombing’s site has a long and honourable tradition of screwing up anniversaries and today will be no different: a celebration of the most bizarre royal ceremony in history, a full twenty four hours after the fairly modest William-Kate affair drew to its uncontroversial conclusion. Bizarrists will already have anticipated. Beachcombing is, of course, referring to […]

Discovering Australia in the Sixteenth Century March 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Discovering Australia in the Sixteenth Century

  Beachcombing has been wondering in the last few days about the various maps from the Age of Discover when Europe was laying claim to the world. These charts are a dream for mystery lovers as there are so many ‘irregularities’ that can be explained in the hushed tones of a conspiracy theory: drbeachcombing is always interested in […]