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Dirk Puehl
Lives in Frankfurt am Main
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#onthisday  in 1717, the pirate captain Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy and his treasure-laden ship “Wydah Gally” perished in a storm off Cape Cod.

Rated by Forbes as #1 in its list of "Top-Earning Pirates", “Black Sam“ Bellamy, who saw himself as “Robin Hood of the Seas”, had a dashing and very successful career until he ran afoul of a lovelorn witch’s curse off Cape Cod. But read for yourself on:

Depicted below is A piratical romance, as imagined by the American author and illustrator Howard Pyle in his “Book of Pirates”, posthumously published in 1921.

#ageofsail  #americanhistory  #folklore #history #pirates
Nathan Joel Clairmont's profile photoBruce Marko's profile photoToday's Memory's profile photoveraluciobo santana's profile photo
Home, and Hallett, and an inch above the knee - thank God we do not have the metric system !
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#onthisday in 1671, the Don Cossack ataman and hero of the folk song “Ponizovaya Volnitsa” Stepan Timofeyevich Razin, leader of a major rebellion, was seized by his followers and turned over to the authorities.
Stenka Razin, sometimes called the “Russian Robin Hood”, whose Cossacks controlled large parts of Southern Russia for about a year, certainly has left a colourful, if gory, heritage, including drowned Persian princesses, sacked cities, lots of blood and thunder and, of course, the song. But read for yourself on…:
Depicted below is The Imagination of the contemporary Russian artist Sergei Alekseevich Kirillov (1960 - ) showing Stenka Razin proceeding to the scaffold (1988) found on

#culturalhistory   #europeanhistory , #history , #socialhistory
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My pleasure, +Joseph Moosman!
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“Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow.” (William Shakespeare)
… well, not all of it, but at least the tales from my little #onthisday series. It all started with the need for a reference-system. Checking dates and wondering: “I did feature the Ides of March already… didn’t I”. And while the search function of Mother Google her network here indexes a lot, but not what I needed at the moment, e.g. what tale did I tell on March 15, 2013, I first started to export the posts from the series to pinterest to have a quick reference platform and wondered for the umpteenth time to establish a blog, detached from a social networking platform. Using Mother Google’s “embed post” feature that preserves your wonderful comments made on the post and migrated the #onthisday posts from January 2013 to April 2015 to #blogger. I’m still busy with indexing and referencing all of them, but yesterday was the premiere of a #onthisday post appearing in the blog first and getting subsequently shared to Google+. And that’s what I plan to do with the #onthisday-series hereafter, while G+ remains my premier publishing spot for #wunderkammer tales and a few other things I think about at the moment.
Without much ado, the link to the blog is below – I hope you like the new features with three pictures instead of one and sharing comments with and from readers who do not use G+ as much as I do

#blogging #blogger #socialmedia
Musings about History, Art and Artsy Thing, Literature and Gothic Fiction, Mythology and Fantasy
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No, I didn't, +Marc Schnau! What a pity indeed - and second that! Help, please!
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#onthisday   in 1025, the Piast Duke Bolesław Chrobry, the Brave, was crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

“In this Great Poland political life among the Northwestern Slavs began in the second half of the ninth century. About the middle of the tenth, Mechislav (Mieczislaw), the ruler, received Christianity, and the modest title of Count of the German Empire. Boleslav the Brave, his son and successor, extended his territory to the upper Elbe, from which region its boundary line passed through or near Berlin, whence it followed the Oder to the sea. Before his death, in 1025, Boleslav wished to be anointed king by the Pope. The ceremony was denied him, therefore he had it performed by bishops at home.“ (Henryk Sienkiewicz, “Fire and Sword”)

Getting baptised in 966, marrying into the up-and-coming Přemyslid dynasty and, first and foremost, taking care that Poland’s first bishopric in Poznań would report directly to the Pope and not to the Holy Roman Emperor was a statesmanlike masterstroke of Mieszko, Duke of the Polans. For decades, the Polans, settling in the Warta River basin in what is now central Polands since the 8th century, had time do develop without getting noticed by the Holy Roman Empire or the Scandinavians who began to settle the shores of the Baltic Sea as well as the Dniepr valley and the Přemyslids in Bohemia and Silesia. It was warrior society with a fighting elite at its core, living by selling slaves to the south rather than agriculture and since they could hardly trade their own people endlessly, they were bound to conquer other areas and clashed with their mighty neighbours since the 950s. Duke Mieszko, first of the Piast dynasty, and his warriors got a bloody nose more often than not from the better equipped and organised Franks. Diplomacy and a prudent alliance policy was the way out and as a Christian prince, Mieszko now had the full support of gushingly religious Emperor Otto III when the Duke of the Polans began to Christianise pagan Slavic tribes along the river Elbe. With fire and sword, goes without saying. Duke Mieszko and the Polans had become a part of the Concert of European Christian Princes. It was Poland’s hour of birth.

Emperor Otto III dreamed of a universal Christian empire on the four pillars of Gallia, Germania, Rome and now the Sclavinia, by and large the Poland of Mieszko’s son and successor Bolesław. And while the enthusiastic emperor’s grip on reality dangerously slipped under the apocalyptic visions of the expected Second Coming of the year 1000 and the Last Days, Otto pilgrimaged to Gniezno, might or might not have elevated pious Bolesław to the rank of King, went to Aachen, exhumed his predecessor Charlemagne to get him canonised in Rome, disappeared for a while to live as a hermit and awoke without an apocalypse and a bit of a religious hangover on 1 January 1001. Whether or not Bolesław was made king under the auspices of the Congress of Gniezno already in the year 1000 was never fully cleared up. However, neither the pope nor Otto’s successor, his relative Henry II, ratified Bolesław’s appointment. Gniezno as a new archdiocese, however, was like Poznan under direct control of the pope, a fact that kept Medieval Poland out of the claim of power of the Holy Roman Empire altogether. Bolesław and Henry were soon at daggers drawn, though. The Piast Duke had supported the claim of his neighbour Margrave Eckard of Meissen, Henry’s rival during the election of the new king of East Francia, occupied Přemyslid Prague and confounded Henry’s entire plans for the regions beyond the Elbe and in Bohemia and threatened him with a Danish invasion by his brother-in-law Sweyn Forkbeard. In short, King and later Holy Roman Emperor Henry II was rather miffed, especially since he could not bring the unruly Polish Duke under his heel after several unsuccessful campaigns. With an expansion east into the dominion of the Kievan Rus and the capture of Kiev itself and ruling Bohemia as well, Duke Bolesław was, for a couple of years, the most powerful ruler in Central and Eastern Europe, ousting even the emperor, who, naturally fought in Italy. However, Pope Benedict VIII did not dare to ratify Bolesław’s kingship until after Henry’s death in 1024. And while the pope already had died in Rome on April 9th, Bolesław was finally crowned as first King of Poland, probably in Gniezno, as culmination of his turbulent life. The king died in June of the same year.
Depicted below is the remarkable Polish history painter Jan Matjeko’s (1838 – 1893) imagination of the “Coronation of the first king A.D. 1001.“, admittedly, the controversial one during the “Congress of Gniezno” with a wraithlike Otto III standing next to kneeling, robust Bolesław Chrobry receiving the crown from the hands of Archbishop Radim Gaudentius and half-brother of St Adalbert of Prague.

And more about Bolesław Chrobry on

#history   #europeanhistory   #medievalhistory  
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Half Elbe Slav, half Lombard and half Viking, I daresay :-)
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#onthisday   in 1525, 490 years ago on a Easter Sunday during the German Peasants' War in Swabia, Count von Helfenstein and 80 others were executed by Jäcklein Rohrbach, the Schwarze Hofmännin and the “Bright Band” of peasants after Castle Weinsberg was overwhelmed in an event known as the Weinsberger Bluttat, the Weinsberg Massacre.
“Link. …. Whence come you ?
Metzler. From Weinsberg. There was a jubilee.
Link. How so?
Metzler. We stabbed them all, in such heaps, it was a joy to see it !

Then we brought out Helfenstein, Eltershofen, thirteen of the nobility, — eighty in all. They were led out on the plain before Heilbronn. What a shouting and jubilee among our lads as the long row of miserable sinners passed by! They stared at each other ; and, heaven and earth ! We surrounded them before they were aware, and then despatched them all with our pikes.
Link. Why was I not there ?
Metzler. Never in all my life did I see such fun.” (Goethe, “Goetz von Berlichingen”)

The Modern Age had already dawned in earnest upon the peasants of Europe who were no longer willing to accept their fate of being downtrodden by their self-proclaimed betters since the first revolts flared up all across Europe from mid-14th century onwards all across Europe. Originally enough, it was the clergy’s crumbling monopoly on education and of being educated that gave the peasants and their clerical and knightly sympathisers the requisite know-how of giving the revolution the necessary ideological superstructure. With translations of the Bible itself into the mother tongues of the hoi polloi, the identification and definition of the general bad state of affairs of the medieval manorial system was possible by means of exegesis. “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty,” John Ball, an English Lollard priest wrote in 1381. A hundred years later, with an increase of literacy, the burghers in the free cities gaining more and more influence over the nobility, the printing press having already produced more than twenty million books in Western Europe and the Reformation picking up pace, Martin Luther wrote: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.” The peasantry of the Holy Roman Empire took him at his word. The German Peasants’ War began in 1524.
Neither the clergy nor the Empire’s nobility were of a mind to say good-bye to their privileges and the counter-revolution, as usually, fielded the better equipped, better trained and better paid troops. Near Ulm, at Leipheim, on April 8th 1525, the Landsknechte, the mercenaries of the Swabian League with their guns and pikes and armour and cavalry beat the living daylights out of the local peasant army and the mopping up in the aftermath got especially ugly for the survivors at home in the peasant villages of Swabia. With the news from Leipheim just becoming public, the Heller Lichter Haufen, the Bright Band of 5,000 peasants under Jäcklein (little jacket) Rohrbach, something of a Swabian Jack Cade, and Margarete Renner, the Schwarze Hofmännin (Black Villeiness) marched on the weakly-defended Castle Weibertreu at Weinsberg. Thel burgrave, Count Helfenstein, married to the illegitimate daughter of the ex-emperor Maximilian and of some importance to House Habsburg, was known as an especially loveable specimen of local aristocracy and endeared himself to the peasants with his raids on scattered groups and the treatment of his prisoners. Chivalric rules of war were valid for equals only, or so Helfenstein thought, but 5,000 irate peasants were not exactly a scattered group and after sending to Stuttgart for help, he chased away a deputation of the Bright Band who asked for an honourable surrender, threating the whole lot with burning them. He bit off more than he could chew, though. The castle was taken in a coup de main by the peasants, Helfenstein and his henchmen dragged out and forced to run the gauntlet, back then a rather ugly capital punishment, while his wife pleaded with Jäcklein and Margarete in a vain for his life. Jäcklein Rohrbach spared her life and that of Helfenstein’s three years old child, put the two on a dung cart and sent them off to Heilbronn, while Margarete advised the men of the Bright Band to grease their pikes and forks with Helfenstein’s belly fat.
The Bloody Easter of Weinsberg was too much for most of the supporters of the Peasants and Martin Luther, first and foremost, publicly rowed back. Already in May he published his polemic “Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasant” under the immediate impression of the day the lights went out in Weinsberg and the deeds of Rohrbach’s Bright Band. Aristocratic and clerical resistance began to form in earnest and the Peasant’s War was over by the end of the year, with several severe repercussions being unleashed on the peasants and about 70,000 people dead, belligerents and non-combatants. It was the last major uprising in Europe before the French Revolution, more than 250 years later. Jäcklein Rohrbach and the Schwarze Hofmännin were captured after the Battle of Böblingen in May, Jäcklein was indeed burned to death while Margarete was released after her former landord interceded on her behalf and the judges decided that the only crimes she had committed were done with her “onverhutten mont”, her untended mouth. She died in 1535 and Luther’s quote from Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities”, the leitmotif of “Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasant”, became the writing on the wall of German history.
Depicted below is the imagination of the “Die Ermordung des Grafen Helfenstein“, the murder of Count Helfenstein (sic.!) by the German history painter Fritz Neuhaus (1852 – 1922) from 1879
And more about the German Peasants' War of 1525 and the Weinsberg Massacre on:

#history #europeanhistory #culturalhistory #socialhistory  
Chris Collins-Wooley's profile photoJordan Peacock's profile photoAaron Helton's profile photoBrian Roberts's profile photo
Of course you are, dear +Mari Christian, however, that has usually not much to do with the visibility of the posts... it's maybe just that I don't write one every day.
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#onthisday   in 1782 in the West Indies, a British squadron commanded by Sir George Rodney defeated the French under the Comte de Grasse at the Battle of the Saintes, the last major naval engagement of the American War of Independence.

“Had a chief worthy Britain commanded our fleet,
Twenty-five good French ships had been laid at our feet“ (John Leyland, quoting a contemporary poem)

When Cornwallis surrendered in Yorktown in October 1781, the American Revolutionary War had long since escalated into a world-spanning conflict between Great Britain and the future United States’ allies France, Spain and the Dutch Republic with war theatres from Canada to Gibraltar and India. The loss of HM’s North American colonies was, in the late 18th century, rather a matter of prestige than an immediate economic threat and the sugar cane fields in Jamaica still yielded far more profit than all 13 colonies taken together. And after making a major dent in the archenemy’s self-esteem, French strategic considerations turned to the real objectives of the war. Thus, after playing a pivotal role in preventing the British to land reinforcements in Virginia, leading directly to Cornwallis’ surrender, Admiral Comte de Grasse’s squadron of 24 ships-of-the-line that saw off the Royal Navy at the Battle of the Chesapeake in September 1781, was ordered to French Santo Domingo. Over the following winter, a large invasion fleet of 35 French and 12 Spanish battleships was assembled, along with 15,000 troops about to embark in a convoy bound for Jamaica. The French contingent left Martinique on 7 April 1782 to rendezvous with the Spanish and strike out. In the meanwhile, Admiral Lord Hood, outnumbered by de Grasse’s squadron, finally failed to prevent the French from taking St Kitts, despite a series of bold manoeuvres. When Lord Rodney arrived in Caribbean Waters with 17 more ships-of-the-line, the British even had a slight advantage in numbers and sailed to intercept de Grasse. Having received their new copper bottoms, Rodney’s squadron, now numbering 36 battleships, sailed considerably faster than de Grasse’s 33, their hulls overrun with marine growth, holed by teredo navalis, shipworms, and corroded by years in salt water without a necessary overhaul. On April 9th, Rodney was sighted and de Grasse ordered his convoy off to Guadeloupe and a few broadsides were exchanged. For two days more, the two fleets moved alongside of each other, trying to get the weather gauge for the upcoming battle. 

Halfway between Guadeloupe and Dominica near the small archipelago of the Îles des Saintes, a French straggler, the seventy-four Zélé was sighted in the early morning of April 12th. Four ships-of-the-line from Hood’s van sheared out and immediately gave chase while de Grasse ordered his squadron to form a battle line and hastened to the rescue. Hood’s “Barfleur” (98) recalled the four British breakaways and Rodney’s “Formidable” (98) signalled “form line-of-battle” as well. With the broadsides of HMS “Marlborough” (74) leading the van, the Battle of the Saintes had begun in earnest at 7:40 am. Whether it was intentional or just due to a sudden change of wind, around 9:20 am, the British centre followed the “Formidable” after Rodney’s flagship had changed course all of a sudden and bore down on the French line, taking de Grasse’s flag “Ville de Paris” (104) under fire, breaking the line a few minutes later and taking the vulnerable fore and aft sections of the French ships under fire with both broadsides. Another recently adopted British invention soon began to take a terrible toll: the heavy calibre, short ranged carronades. Called “smashers” by Britain’s jolly tars, the new guns lived up to their nom de guerre. The British rear followed Rodney’s example and cut the French line as well and soon the orderly battle lines were deteriorating into an all-out melee at close range. The “Ville de Paris” desperately signalled to re-form into a line again and was ignored several times. And while the audacious manoeuver against all established rulea of naval warfare of the day, whether it was intended or not, certainly won the battle for the British, it had cost them the weather gauge and soon the French ships-of-the-line, even with their un-coppered hulls, managed to break away in small groups while the British had to tack several times before they could pursue them. Then, for inexplicable reasons, Rodney broke off the chase. The battle was over.   

Rodney was feted for his daring for the rest of his life and while going for close action would have certainly changed the outcome of the Battle of the Chesapeake as well and maybe the course of the American Revolution, the British success of the Battle of the Saintes was moderate at best. Despite their breaking the French line, only one of de Grasse’s 33 ships-of-the-line was destroyed and 4 more were captured, even though the “Ville de Paris” and the Comte himself were among them. The rest of the French squadron, now under the former explorer de Bougainville, did indeed join up with the Spanish off Guadeloupe, but with the severe losses among crews, the damage received in battle and a subsequent outbreak of a plague, the invasion of Jamaica was off the cards. About half a year later, the war was finally over. Trying to break the enemy line, however, and engage the enemy at close range had caught on and became a decisive part of naval tactics in subsequent conflicts, first and foremost in Nelson’s famous battles.    

Depicted below is an imagination of the Battle of the Saintes by the Swiss painter and engraver François Aimé Louis Dumoulin (1753 – 1834) who was in Grenada while the engagement was fought.

And more about the Battle of the Saintes on:

#history   #europeanhistory   #americanhistory   #navalhistory   #militaryhistory   #ageofsail  

Sushama Karnik's profile photoKen Harbit (Pogi)'s profile photoLilium Candidum's profile photopaul sullivan's profile photo
Can only get better this week :-) Thank you, Ildiko!
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#onthisday  in 191 BCE in Ancient Rome, at the end of the first Megalesian Festival, the Temple of Magna Mater was dedicated on Palatine Hill.

“Let the sky turn three times on its axis,
Let the Sun three times yoke and loose his horses,
And the Berecyntian flute will begin sounding
Its curved horn, it will be the Idaean Mother’s feast.
Eunuchs will march, and sound the hollow drums,
And cymbal will clash with cymbal, in ringing tones:
Seated on the soft necks of her servants, she’ll be carried
With howling, through the midst of the City streets.
The stage is set: the games are calling. Watch, then,
Quirites, and let those legal wars in the fora cease.
I’d like to ask many things, but I’m made fearful
By shrill clash of bronze, and curved flute’s dreadful drone.
‘Lend me someone to ask, goddess.’“ (Ovid “Fasti”).

Rome was over the worst, admittedly, in 204 BCE, 12 years after the disaster of Cannae. However, after the latest crop failure, war with Macedonia looming again and Hannibal’s army being still in Italy, somebody came up with the bright idea to consult the Sibylline Books again, the first time since the battle, when two Greeks and two Gauls were buried alive in the forum, albeit an act that had no immediate results in regards to immediate welfare of the Republic. This time, the oracle read that Rome lacked a mother, Delphi was consulted for further advice and the result was that fist-sized black meteorite on Mount Ida in Phrygia, said to incorporate the goddess Cybele, the Magna Mater or Great Mother, was meant and that the cult object had to be brought to Rome, and pronto. An embassy set out for King Attalos’ court at Pergamum to negotiate, since Phrygia in Asia Minor was not yet a Roman province. After a bit of haggling and divine intervention, the stone was finally on its way to Rome. The welcoming committee Ostia, allegedly made up of all married women of the city and the male haute-volée, though, was in for a bit of a disappointment when the ship carrying Cybele’s stone ran aground in the mouth of the Tiber at Ostia. “… like an island fixed in mid-ocean“, according to Ovid, the vessel could not be moved, until a lady named Claudia Quinta stepped forth, lately fallen from grace in Roman society for her a bit too elegant dresses and coiffures along with her gift of the gap and her habit of giving lippy answers to Latian dignitaries. She conducted a bizarre ritual on the banks of the river, the crowd assumed that she finally had lost the plot altogether, took the ship’s tow line, fastened it to her belt and tugged her up the river to Rome, the stone found its first resting place embedded in a silver statue of the goddess in the Temple of Victory on the Palatine Hill, Claudia Quinta was a national heroine and Hannibal quitted Italy during the next year.

Thirteen years later, in 191 BCE, the Megalesia, the festival in honour of Magna Mater, was celebrated for the first time in Rome with circus games, chariot races and, for the more educationally minded, theatre performances along with feasts in the family circle. On April 11th, when the Ludi Megalenses were over, Magna Mater got her own temple on the Palatine. The place burned down for the first time in 111 BCE, was rebuilt twice, the last time by Augustus in the usual lavish imperial style, aedem Matris Magnae in Palatio feci, I built the temple of Magna Mater on the Palatine. The shrine allegedly remained in use until 394 CE when it was closed and demolished by order of Emperor Theodosius in the course of Christianity becoming the state religion. Remains of the temple include the fundament, column capitals, parts of a larger-than-life female sitting statue and the stone paws of lions, the goddess’s usual companions and the tales of rather outré Asiatic ritual acts and a caste of self-castrated priests, the Galli, who did an annual procession on the “Day of Blood” on March 24th, cross-dressed as women and mutilating themselves further. Whether their senior priest, the Archigallus, was a eunuch or if the other Galli in Rome ever were, is highly dubitable, since self-mutilation was forbidden under Roman law. If the Taurobolium, the ordination of the priests in a bath of bulls’ blood ever happened the way the Christian author Prudentius described it during the 4th century is rather improbable as well, since Taurobolium altars that were found look rather like other Roman altars and give no hints of underground pits with bulls slaughtered on top of them on a latticed lid to flood the priest below. The bull sacrifices along with Cybele’s Phrygian origins and the Phrygian garb worn by her initiates, the trousers and the famous cap, later called liberty cap during the French Revolution, brings her close to the worship of Mithras, though, and maybe some hints of the Magna Mater and her black meteorite have survived in the Black Madonna, worshipped all across the Christian world to this day.

Depicted below is a Bronze statuette of Cybele on a cart drawn by lions from the 2nd half of the 2nd century CE, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: “The goddess is shown with her usual attributes, a patera (libation bowl) in her right hand and a large tympanum (drum) in her left. But instead of flanking her throne as they normally do, here the two oversized lions pull a chariot. This elaborate group comes from a fountain, in which spouts projected from the open mouths of the lions. The original cart, harness, and throne no longer survive; the rear left wheel is a nineteenth-century restoration.“ (Quote and image found on:

And more about the Roman Magna Mater on:

#history   #europeanhistory   #romanhistory   #ancienthistory   #ancientrome   #mythology   #1000faces  

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Made a Black Madonna out of it, +The Cloberth? Just saying...
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Have him in circles
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#onthisday  in 1792, the royalist French Army captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed “La Marseillaise”  in Strasbourg.

Victor Hugo wrote: “With just the ‘Carmagnole’ to sing he will only overthrow Louis XVI; but give him the ‘Marseillaise’ and he will liberate the world”. The latter's liberation is a bit long in coming, nevertheless, Rouget de Lisle composed an iconic song, far more than just a national anthem with a history of origins that's not without irony.

But read for yourselves on:

Depicted below is An inspired Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle writing the tune of  “La Marseillaise” with the Goddess of Freedom waving the Tricolore à la Delacroix and pointing the way, as imagined by the Swiss-born painter Auguste de Pinelli (circa 1875).

  #culturalhistory #europeanhistory #history #musicalhistory
Dirk Puehl's profile photoTeodora Tzankova's profile photoAmanda Rachelle Warren's profile photoToday's Memory's profile photo
Indeed - and have a wonderful Sunday, too, my dear.
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#onthisday in 753 BCE, Rome was allegedly founded and the Parilia were celebrated as well, an old festival in on honour of Pales, a deity of shepherds and livestock.
… while Romulus committed his famous fratricide. The Parilia, in the meanwhile, included some rather picturesque rituals in the city, along with Rome’s birthday party, until late antiquity. But read for yourself on

Depicted below is the Flemish painter Joseph-Benoît Suvée’s (1743 – 1807) neo-classicistic idea of the “Festa di Pales” (ca 1783).

#ancienthistory #ancientrome #europeanhistory #history #mythology   #romanhistory
S. John's profile photoGérard LENELLE's profile photoalias inkhorn's profile photoKen Harbit (Pogi)'s profile photo
Funnily enough, I wrote the post while I was travelling as well... my favourite pastime in trains... and hotels... and... well, not in the shower, though. I usually sing songs there... from the 1940s, more often than not... by all means... I do remember.
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#onthisday  in 1757, the British naval hero Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, GCB, was born in Dover.

The model for several fictional heroes, form Dudley Pope’s Ramage and Alexander Kent’s Bolitho to the heroes of O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series and, of course, the novels of C.S. Forester with Pellew acting as mentor of Horatio Hornblower while he served as midshipman aboard “Indefatigable” did indeed live a life that reads like an adventure novel all by itself... but read for yourself on: 

Depicted below is George Hyde Chambers’ (1803 – 1840) epic imagination of “The Bombardment of Algiers, 1816“ from 1836, just one of Pellew's epic feats.  

#ageofsail #europeanhistory #history #militaryhistory #napoleonicwars
Xabier Ostale's profile photoToday's Memory's profile photoKen Harbit (Pogi)'s profile photoChris Collins-Wooley's profile photo
Thank you, +The Cloberth and no... just the posts from the #onthisday -series... well... since yesterday, actually: 
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#onthisday   in 1897, a UFO incident, featuring the crash of a steampunk-like airship from Mars, took place in Aurora, Texas, 25 miles northwest of Dallas.
“The Galveston News has been regaling its readers of late with voluminous dispatches from its corps of correspondents describing a mysterious flying machine that is alleged to be hovering over Texas, and seen at many places. A paper that resorts to such fakes to interest readers who pay for news is indeed heard up. It would be more interesting for the News’s editors and its correspondents to get on a jag and describe the different species of animals they saw in their deliriums.“ (Beeville [TX] Bee 23 April 1897) 

Aurora, Texas, boasting 3,000 proud inhabitants back then in the 1890s, was anything if not on the decline. A boll weevil infestation had destroyed the cotton crop, Aurora’s main source of income, after a spotted fever epidemic, the town was placed under quarantine and then the Santa Fe decided to leave the place untouched and without the railway, the danger of Aurora becoming a one-horse town forever was imminent. And then the airship crashed. On a fine Saturday morning. Right into the windmill on Judge J.S. Proctor’s property, destroying the craft, the contraption, a water tank and Proctor’s flowerbed. Unfortunately, neither the judge nor anyone else from Aurora witnessed the accident. Except S.E. Haydon who published an account of the events two days later in the “Dallas Morning News”. According to Haydon, a U.S. signal service officer from Fort Worth, one T.J. Weems, allegedly an authority on astronomy as well, confirmed on the crash site that the remains of the airship’s pilot and only occupant were clearly not that of being from this world, but from Mars. How, precisely, Mr Worth could determine the supposed Martian’s origins was not explained, but maybe they were a common sight in Wise County already, at least for the astronomers of the U.S. signal service. Of course, Martian papers were found on the body of the pilot, written in indecipherable hieroglyphics and Hays astutely assumed that they were the ship’s log. Along with parts of the wreck, made from an unknown metal, something like an aluminium alloy, the dernier cri in metallurgy, the mortal remains and the log were given, admittedly a bit presumptuous, a Christian burial at the Aurora Cemetery.  

Cosmopolitan had just published the first instalment of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” a couple of days before the tragic accident of Aurora’s very own Martian and whether or not Mr Haydon tried to anticipate Orson Welles, the downed alien was a notable exception in the series of UFO sightings that did the rounds in the U.S. and Canada since 1896. In a time, when the meaningful borderline experiences, experienced and narrated, of expanding the frontiers of the Old West were no longer available and the settlement of the continent from coast to coast was, by and large, in the bag, it seems that quite a few eyes turned skywards to a new frontier. The first mass sighting of a blimp-like airship, hovering a thousand feet over Sacramento, powered by two pedalling men, was reported in November 1896. More curious observations were made over the following months, usually of propeller-driven dirigibles, crewed either by handsome, naked humans, male and female, or, discovered in a close encounter of the third kind in Texas, by “peculiar dressed men” belonging to the Lost Tribes of Israel now inhabiting the North Pole, having learned English from members of Hugh Willoughby’s expedition in 1553. Usually, the UFOs sighted in the 1890s looked like innovative but very mundane technology. The first dirigibles already flew in Europe, even aluminium-clad all-metal airships, and Jules Verne’s novels and their countless local dime-novel offshoots certainly did the rest to fire the imagination of the American public. Alleged encounters with alien craft and their crews, usually Martians, were rare but some had been recorded, usually by representatives of the local variants of “Yellow Journalism”, including the now well-known clichés of cattle abduction by aliens, as in Leroy, Kansas, likewise in April 1897 and the dragging of humans into spaceships, as reported Stockton, California, in November 1896, probably the earliest record of its kind from the modern era, admittedly sans tractor beams. 

Haydon had a reputation of being something of the local hoaxer and his attempt to give dying Aurora, today down to a population of 853, a bit of desperately needed PR lines up with hundreds of other, similar tales, even if the Martians were something of a novelty. Most reports were exposed as hoaxes and canards back in the day already. Several investigations were conducted in Aurora since the 1970s and while the basic framework of the story was unsurprisingly true, since Haydon was a local and his article was read by locals, few hard evidence was discovered beside traces of aluminium, hardly an alien substance, even back in 1897. The alleged grave of the alien aeronaut is still there and authorities still don’t permit an exhumation to this day.

Depicted below is the sketch of Moses S. Coles "Aerial Vessel", printed in the “Scientifc American” in January 1887, a design sharing many features with the airships sighted ten years later.

And more about the UFO incident in Aurora on:,_Texas,_UFO_incident

and the Mystery Airships of 1896 – 1897 on:
#history   #americanhistory   #culturalhistory   #sociallhistory   #aviationhistory   #steampunk   #ufosightings  
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+The Cloberth​ about the Disney film JOHN CARTER: just take the initial scene ... does what the off voice tells you fit the images? Why would you care if a desert is stomped by some centipede-ish "city"? How can this "evil city" sit right across the "good city"? And that wonderful city, "in war for a 1000 years", as the off voice wants to have you believe, has tourists walking the highway unfazed (huh?!?) and it itself shows no signs of damage at all? Killer question (pun fully intended): can you distinguish friend from foe in the battleships? 
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“There is plenty of genial love of Nature, but not so much of Nature herself. Her chronicles inform us when her wild animals, but not when the wild man in her, became extinct.“ (Henry David Thoreau)

The five giant, furry spirits of the forest hung on to every word the sixth one read from the battered, paperback copy of a book he held in his giant paws: “…Indeed I have not seen them roused like this for many an age. We Ents do not like being roused; and we never are roused unless it is clear to us that our trees and our lives are in great danger. That has not happened in this Forest since the wars of Sauron and the Men of the Sea. It is the orc-work, the wanton hewing – rarum – without even the bad excuse of feeding the fires, that has so angered us; and the treachery of a neighbour, who should have helped us...“ – “Well, I like to be roused”, Radko cried, “a lot!” – “I haven’t seen an orc in… ages”, Mladen tossed in, wagging his shaggy head” – “You have never seen an orc at all, you are far too young, junŭ!“ Mstivoj laughed his thundering laugh that shook the skeletal remains of the trees on the hillside, that what was left of the forest after decades of acid rain and general overexploitation. Radko sprang to his enormous hairy feet like something very angry, due to have gone extinct after the end of the last Ice Age. “You…!” he roared, clenching his fists. “Peace, brothers!” Hostisvit snapped his book shut and leaped up as well. “Take out your anger on those in the valley. No more fighting among us.” – “There goes our tradition”, Boyan grumbled, a sound distinctly like a thunderstorm raging itself out behind the next hill. “Dobre. Let’s go.” And they did. The six colossal forest spirits staggered down the hillside and on to the road leading down to the village and the old full scale plant by the river. “Ta-runa runa runa rom!” Mladen sang.

Depicted below is a group of Kukeri from Bulgaria, a variant of the “wild man” tradition, with men dressing up as an embodiment of the “Corn Spirit” to scare away evil and ensure a good harvest and general happiness, usually between New Year and Lent.

The wonderful procession of Kukeri depicted below was captured by Klearchos Kapoutsis in a place called Smitli in southwestern Bulgaria, the image was found on:

 And more about Kukeri on:

and wild men on:

#mythology   #folklore  #1000faces   #picturewantsastory   #wunderkammer   #tolkien  
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Ciao, Maria, e 'certamente molto pittoresca tradizione
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"I deny nothing, but doubt everything.” Lord Byron

About what I do and post here on Mother Google her networks:

Blood and thunder, artsy things, curiosities and lots of ships, everything featured in my little #onthisday-series. I post a daily feature about something that happened “on this day”, weather permitting.

Usually, the posts turn on Literature with a heavy focus on the 19th and early 20th century and silver screen adaptions. The dark and macabre, vampires, ghosts and ghoulies, the plain fantastic, the Byronic tradition in Europe, dandyism as well as Thomas Mann, Dostoevsky and Nietzsche. History, often military history, from antiquity to the dawn of the 20th century and everything an armchair sailor can come up with. Fine arts with pretty much the same foci during the said period as well as Mythology.

And besides that I currently collect curiosities online, often with a touch of #steampunk and exhibit them in my virtual #wunderkammer, an online cabinet of curiosities. 

Speaking of what. I don’t discuss politics on the Internet.

There is a legend from the beginning of the Great War: The German High Command cabled to their allies in Vienna: “The situation is serious but not hopeless!” and some wisecrack in Vienna cabled back: “No. The situation is hopeless but not serious.” That pretty much sums it up. ‘nuff said.

The same is true for religion. Although I am willing to discuss religion from a historical point of view, I am not interested to hear people’s personal persuasions on god(s) or atheism. If you are interested in my opinion – read The Brothers Karamazov.
It’s all in there.
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