Sunday, August 10, 2014

St Anterus 19th Pope

St Anterus was the 19th Pope from 235 to 236. He was the fourth of four Popes who were opposed by Hippolytus as the anti Pope in a schism of the church. His reign was only 40 days. His main accomplishment in that time was appointing a bishop for the city of Fondi, Italy. He died on January 3, 236 and January 3rd is his Feast day.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact 28

The majority of the seven wonders were on the rim of the Mediterranean Sea while two were inland. The Pyramids at Giza are about 200 km or 124 miles from the coast and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were about 850 km or 528 miles from the coast.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, August 8, 2014

Knights Templar Fact 28

The Gonfanier was the knight that held the Templar standard in battle. No knight was allowed to leave the battlefield as long as the standard was raised. That contributed to the high fatalities to the Order over 150 years.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Viking Fact 28

The Viking quote A man's own hand is most to be trusted originated in The Saga of Viga-Glum which was written in Iceland in the 13th century.

Viking page

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

American Civil War Fact 28

The Border states were the slave states that did not leave the Union but they did support the cause of the Confederates. They included Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Eight

The language of the Ancient Egyptians had an influence over the modern languages of Europe. There are many words that have similar pronunciations to the original word in the Egyptian language. For example French, Spanish and Italian all are similar with their respective words for 'desert'.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Eight

The term Dead Men Tell No Tales was an expression that no survivors should be left so their plans would remain concealed.

Pirate page

Sunday, June 29, 2014

St Pontain 18th Pope

St Pontain was the 18th Pope from 230 to 235. He was the third of four Popes who were opposed by Hippolytus as the anti Pope in a schism of the church. Little is known of his accomplishments. Persecution of Christians resumed in 235 when Emperor Maximinus the Thracian started his reign. Both Pope Pontain and Hippolytus were arrested and exiled to the mines of Sardinia. Pontain resigned as bishop so a successor could be named. He died at Sardinia in October 235. His Feast day is celebrated on August 13.

Monday, June 16, 2014

site note 061614

I won't be writing for a few days while I deal with health issues

Friday, June 13, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Seven

In 1218 the Templar fleet traveled from Acre to Egypt. They anchored at the mouth of the Nile River and the crusaders laid siege to Damietta. In the battle Grand Master Guillaume de Chartres was wounded and later died of pestilence which may have been endemic typhus. He was succeeded by Pedro de Montaigu who led the crusaders to victory in Damietta but then failed in an attempt to take Cairo. 

Knights Templar page

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Seven

The Vikings for all their extensive trading and travels preferred the Arab silver coins called dirhams for compensation. These coins have been unearthed in Viking settlements stretching from Harrogate, England to Gdansk, Poland to St Petersburg, Russia. Many of the coins were minted in Bagdad from 750 to 950 and had the year stamped on them. 

Viking page

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Seven

While the Union had a far superior navy the Confederates did have some success using cruisers obtained from England. These Confederate cruisers caused havoc on the U.S merchant marine by either destroying ships or chasing them out of the area.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Seven

Many cats have been found mummified and buried along side humans. Cats had been considered sacred by people and it was believed they were keepers of the underworld. There were also cat cemeteries at several points along the Nile River and the city of Tell Basta had over 300,000 cat mummies. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Seven

Pirates kept their drinking water in barrels on their ships. Clean water was important and they either refilled their barrels when they made it to a port or found other sources on islands. The barrels tended to range in size from 15 to 60 gallons. 

Pirate page

Sunday, June 8, 2014

St Urban I 17th Pope

St Urban I was the 17th Pope from 222 to 230. His exact birth date is unknown but was born in Rome. He was the second Pope of four during the schism when Hippolytus rivaled the pontificate as the anti-Pope. The Roman Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated in 222 and his successor Alexander Severus had favorable views of the Christians and he protected Christianity. There is little known about the papacy of Urban but since Christianity thrived during the reign of Alexander Severus it is believed he was skilled at garnering conversions. A Papal decree is also attributed to Pope Urban about donations made at Mass by the faithful should be used for the common good of the Christian community. There were conflicting stories of his death ranging from him being beheaded to his being burned at the stake. Yet the majority believe he died of natural causes based on the peaceful conditions at the time. His Feast day is celebrated on May 25.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Six

Four of the seven Ancient Wonders were destroyed by earthquakes: Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, June 6, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Six

The Knights Templar built a castle in the County Sligo of Ireland in 1216. It was their westernmost stronghold in the country. Only ruins remain today near a location known as Temple House which is considered one of the finest estates in West Ireland.

Knights Templar Page

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Six

Vikings started to settle in Scotland not long after their initial raid on the monestary at Lindisfarne in 793. The Viking population was densest in a settlement on the northeast tip on what became the county of Caithness.

Viking page

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Six

Both sides had a General killed due to action at the Battle of Gettysburg. Major General John F Reynolds of the Union army was killed the first day of the battle on July 1, 1863. Major General William D Pender of the Confederate army was wounded on July 2, 1863 and died on July 18.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Six

During the mummification process priests often wore a jackal mask which represented the god Anubis. Anubis was the god of death and people often associated jackals with him because they were known to dig up the bodies in cemeteries and eat them. It is thought the first tombs were built to deal with this problem.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Six

As long as there were pirates there were also those trying to hunt them down. One pirate hunter was Captain Benjamin Hornigold. Hornigold had been a pirate himself from 1715 to 1718. He gave that up when he accepted a general pardon for all pirates by King George II of England. Then he accepted a commission by the governor of the Bahamas Woodes Rogers to hunt down pirates. Among those he pursued was his former shipmate Edward Teach AKA Blackbeard. Hornigold spent 18 months hunting his former allies until he died in late 1719 when his ship was wrecked on a reef during a hurricane.

Pirate page

Sunday, June 1, 2014

St Callistus I 16th Pope

St Callistus I was the 16th Pope from 217 to 222. He had been one of the Christians sentenced to work in the mines of Sardinia. Later he was freed when Pope Victor I visited the mines with a list of those to be released and while his name was not on it Callistus pleaded and convinced Victor to take him also. The mines had greatly diminished the health of Callistus and he was sent to Antium to recuperate while he collected a allowance from Pope Victor I. When Pope Zephyrinus started as the Roman See he called Callistus to Rome and made him a deacon while entrusting him to oversee the burial chambers of the Church along Appian Way. 

When he was chosen to succeed Zephyrinus it sparked a schism when Hippolytus led the followers of his theological school out of the Church and declared himself a rival or anti-pope. Callistus was the first of four Popes to serve while Hippolytus stood in opposition. One issue that was decried by both Hippolytus and the Montanist Tertullian was that Callistus offered an edict that granted Communion to those who had committed adultery and fortification if they did penance. Callistus also took a controversial stance when he allowed lower clergy to marry and declared that noble women could marry those of lower classes including slaves. While his exact cause of death is unknown he is credited with having been a martyr and may have been killed during an uprising. His Feast day is celebrated on October 14.

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Five

The city of Alexandria, Egypt was founded in 332 BC which was only fifty years before the construction of the Lighthouse. 

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Five

Thibaud Gaudin was the 22nd of 23 Grand Masters of the Knights Templar and he held the position the shorted amount of time. He was Grand Master from August 1291 until April 1292 when he died.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Five

Rollo the Walker was a Viking chieftain that helped lead the initial siege of Paris in 885 that lasted 13 months. The Vikings eventually gave up the siege but returned again 25 years later in 911. Rather than endure another siege Charles King of the Franks gave the Vikings part of Francia and that territory became Normandy. Rollo was the first Duke of Normandy and his great-great-great grandson was William the Conqueror. 

Viking page

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Five

Colonel Santos Benevides reached the highest rank of a Mexican American in the Confederate army. He was from Laredo, TX and his greatest military accomplishment came in defense of his hometown. On March 19, 1864 he led his 33rd Texas Calvary to defeat the Union First Texas Calvary.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Five

Developing agriculture along the Nile River led to grain based food to be a large part of the diet. Bread and beer were two staples that provided nourishment for all no matter the economic class.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Five

Pierre Le Grand is credited with being the first to give piracy a try in the America's as he operated in the Caribbean in the late 1620's. He started with a small boat and 28 men and made the bold move to upgrade when his crew boarded and overtook a Spanish galleon that had fallen behind the rest of the Spanish treasure fleet. He reportedly returned to his native France with the ship while word of his actions inspired many others to turn to piracy in the Caribbean.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 25, 2014

St Zephyrinus 15th Pope

St Zephyrinus was the 15th Pope 199 to 217. His birth date is not known and it is believed he was born in Rome with the birth name Zepheniah. He spent his time dealing with the persecutions of the Christians set forth by Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, countering the heretical teachings for both the Montantists and the followers of Theodotus and trying to remain neutral as the theological schools of Hippolytus on one side and Cleomenes and Sabellius on the other debated the modality of God. Hippolytus did not think highly of Zephyrinus and referred to him as a simple man without education. Pope Zephyrinus was close to Callistus who he brought to Rome from Antium and made him a deacon. Upon his death Callistus was elected to succeed him which further infuriated Hippolytus as he and his scholars withdrew from the Roman Church causing a schism as Hippolytus declared himself a rival Pope. The Feast day of St Zephyrinus is celebrated on December 20.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Four

The Parian marble used in the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus came from the Greek island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. Paros was nearly on the same 37th latitude about 200 km or 124 miles to the west. The marble quarries were on the north side of the island.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 23, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Four

King Alfonso I of Navarre and Aragon had willed his entire country to the Knights Templar when he died in 1134. The territory was actually controlled by the Moors at the time. Plus the aristocracy of both the kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon rejected the bequest and seized control in each.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Four

Known as the Vale of York hoard, a large collection of Viking artifacts was found buried near Harrogate, England in 2007. It is speculated it was buried by a wealthy Viking leader in 927 AD in reaction to the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria. The collection showed the wide reaching travels of the Vikings as it contained Islamic dirhams, Russian jewelry and artifacts from Afghanistan, Ireland and many of the countries which spanned between. It is on display at the British Museum.

Viking page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Four

There were only two people convicted of war crimes in the Civil War. The first was Captain Henry Wirz who was tried and executed for crimes associated with his command of the prison camp at Andersonville, GA. The second was Champ Ferguson who operated as a Confederate guerrilla during the war and was tried and executed for killing by his own admission over 100 Union soldiers and pro-Union civilians.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Four

The twenty-eighth dynasty was the shortest dynasty and only had one Pharaoh. Amyrtaeus led a successful revolt against the Persians and ruled 404 to 398 BC.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Four

Another bad luck superstition was that it was believed whistling on board a ship would bring stormy weather. It spawned the phrase "whistle up a storm".

Pirate page

Sunday, May 18, 2014

St Victor I 14th Pope

St Victor I was the 14th Pope from 189 to 199. While his exact date of birth is unknown it is thought that he was born in Leptis Magna which became part of the Roman Province of Africa and later would be in modern Libya. Pope Victor I once again addressed the Easter controversy over when it was celebrated. He called a meeting of the Italian bishops of Rome in the first known Roman synod to discuss the matter. He also requested the Bishop Polycrates of Ephesus have a similar meeting with the bishops of Asia. The ultimate decision by Pope Victor I was that the Eastern practice of observing Easter on the 14th day of Nisan should change to be in line with Rome which observed Easter on Sunday. Those that did not comply would be excluded from the church. The Pope also dealt with more heretics during his years and excommunicated Theodotus of Byzantium. 

Pope Victor I saw some peace for the Christians under the later years ruled by Emperor Commodus and the early years of Emperor Septimus Severus. The favorite mistress of Commodus thought highly of the Christians and may have been Christian herself. She requested a meeting with Pope Victor I and asked for a list of those persecuted and she used the list to free those condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. One twist was that Marcia was one of the assassins of Commodus because she saw he name on a list of those to be executed. During the reign of his successor Severus the fifth persecution against Christians by the Romans started when he decreed that no one was allowed to convert to Christianity or Judaism. 

Pope Victor I was also the first to bring Latin to the church. He also introduced sequentes or acolytes among the clergy which were assistants to the priests and later became the alter boys.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Three

The city of Ephesus where the Temple of Artemis was constructed was a city on par with Athens and Rome. The prosperous city had over 250,000 people living there at its peak.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 16, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Three

The Knights Templar had many business ventures that ranged from farming, manufacturing, shipping, banking and hospitals. The wealth of the order grew at a staggering rate and over time more man power was devoted to overseeing these businesses than adding to the forces of their military interests. 

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Three

There were several large Viking settlements in northern and Eastern England and they ruled most of that territory by 880 AD. Some of the towns and villages of Viking origin are indicated when they end in "by" and "thorpe" such as Selby, Whitby, Crownthorpe and Tholthorpe. 

Viking page

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Three

Shortly after the beginning of the war the estate of Robert E. Lee in Arlington, VA was confiscated by Union soldiers in May 1861. The main house served as the headquarters for the Army of the Potomac and later the Army of Northeastern Virginia. In 1864 it was decided to be the location of the new military cemetery as the military cemeteries in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, VA were reaching capacity. It was also motive to put the cemetery there to remind General Lee what he helped cause. The location later became Arlington National Cemetery.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Three

While the Egyptians did worship over 2000 gods as a whole, fewer than 100 were worshiped through out the entire country. Most were just local gods. Those worshiped nationally tended to be part of the state religion. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Three

Captain Oruç Reis was one of the first known pirates to wear a hook after he lost his arm. He was a Turkish pirate in the 1500's who operated in the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. In 1512 he lost his left arm in a battle against Spaniards and a doctor in Egypt later fashioned him a silver prosthetic device with a hook for him to use. That earned him the nickname Gümüş Kol which is silver arm in Turkish. Over the years he was also known as Baba Oruç, Baba Aruj, Red Beard and Barbarossa.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 11, 2014

St Eleutherius 13th Pope

St Eleutherius was the 13th Pope from 175 to 189. He was born in Nicopolis, Greece. He had been a deacon in the Roman Church under both Pope Anicetus and Pope Soter before succeeding St Soter. After giving the issue much study Pope Eleutherius declared against the Montanists. He was also dealing with the heretical Gnostics and Marcionites. Pope Eleutherius made the decree that no food should be despised by Christians which likely was a counter to the Montanists whose followers were forbidden to eat meat. The conversion to the British King Lucius is credited to Pope Eleutherius. He died on May 24, 189. His Feast day is celebrated on May 26.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty Two

The people of Rhodes had a budget of 300 talents after the sale of all the abandoned equipment left by the forces of Demetrius. One talent was equal to about 928 ounces or 26,308 grams of silver. The modern value would be over $5 million U.S.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 9, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty Two

The Knights Templar went into battle well armed. Besides the standard broadsword each was issued a lance, three knives of different lengths and a Turkish mace. Some knights were also known to use crossbows. It was also common for them to take weapons they found on the fallen enemy in battle.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty Two

Vikings enjoyed playing many games including chess. Chess pieces of many designs have been discovered at many locations with the most famous being those found on the Isle of Lewis. Now on display at the British Museum the Lewis Chessmen were carved out of walrus ivory and whales teeth sometime between 1150 and 1200. The rooks resemble Viking berzerkers as they chewed on their shields.

Viking page

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty Two

Nearly one-third of the soldiers that fought for the Union Army were immigrants with 10 percent of the army being Germans and 7.5 percent being Irish.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty Two

It was believed that the flooding of the Nile each year was caused by the tears of the goddess Isis as she mourned the death of the god Osiris who had been killed by his brother Set. An annual festival was called Night of the Tear Drop.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty Two

The bilge is the part of the ship below the floor boards on the bottom level but above the hull. It is a dark, dirty and smelly. Therefore it was one of the greatest pirate insults to call someone a bilge rat.

Pirate page

Sunday, May 4, 2014

St Soter 12th Pope

St Soter was the 12th Pope from 168 to 175. He was born in Fondi, Campania which is now in southern Italy. As Pope he declared that marriage is valid as a sacrament only if blessed by a priest. He was also responsible for setting a yearly festival to celebrate Easter. Pope Soter was also known for caring for the poor in Rome. His Feast day is on April 22.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty One

The distance between the Statue of Zeus at Olympia to the Colossus of Rhodes was about 435 miles or 700 km.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, May 2, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty One

Tomar, Portugal was founded in 1162 under the orders of Dom Gualdim Pais. Pais was the fourth Grand Master of Portugal who had fought in the crusades along side Alfonso Henriques who became the first king of Portugal when they gained their independence. The castle of Tomas was built in 1160 and the Convent of the Order of Christ was constructed within the next few decades as an extension of the castle. It was one of the famous round churches the Templars were known for. Nearby the Church of Santa Maria do Olival was also constructed and that became the burial place of Pais and all the Grand Masters of Portugal that followed him.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty One

Sigrblot was a festival and corresponding feast the Vikings had in April to welcome summer. April 14 was viewed on their calendar as the first day of the summer half of the year. The word sigrblot translates as victory sacrifice. Prized livestock was sacrificed at the festival and provided for the feast held outdoors. The sacrifice to the gods may also been done to ensure a successful or victorious upcoming raiding season.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty One

Dr Mary Edwards Walker was the first female surgeon in U.S. military history and the only woman to date to receive the Medal of Honor. She graduated from Medical School in 1855 and when the war started she volunteered for the Union army. She was initially only allowed to serve as a nurse. In September of 1863 she was contracted as a civilian assistance surgeon by the Army of the Cumberland. Dr Walker was later appointed as an assistant surgeon to the 52nd Ohio Infantry. On April 10, 1864 she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy and remained imprisoned until August 12, 1864 when she was released as part of a prisoner exchange. 

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty One

Buto was an ancient city in the Nile Delta of Egypt that was 95 km or 59 miles east of Alexandria. Originally there were two cities called Pe and Dep which merged into one which the Egyptians called Per-Wadjet. Wadjet was a local goddess represented by a cobra and was the patron diety of Lower Egypt. The city was the primary site of cultural development for nearly ten thousand years until 3100 BC. It lost its standing after the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. The name was changed to Buto when they were under Greek rule from 305 to 30 BC. Buto was the Greek name for the same goddess Wadjet.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty One

A privateer was an individual or ship that had the backing of their respective government to launch attacks on foreign vessels during times of war. They were given official papers called a letter of marque and reprisal. Within the letter it named the person who was allowed to pass their national borders with forces under their command, the specific nationalities they were to target, the authorization to destroy or seize assets of the target nationality, any seized assets would be split between the privateer and the government and any restrictions on the reprisal such as time, manner, place or amount.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 27, 2014

St Anicetus 11th Pope

St Anicetus was the eleventh Pope from 154 to 168. He was born in Emesa, Syria. Around 162 he had a meeting with St Polycarp of Smyrna over the Pascal or Passover controversy. Those in the East that included Polycarp's Church of Smyrna celebrated on the feast on the 14th of the month of Nisan or the first month on the Assyrian calendar. The Roman Church celebrated the Passover on a week day before Easter Sunday. Jesus was celebrating Passover during the Last Supper which is associated with Holy Thursday. Anicetus and Polycarp did not reach an agreement over the issue but parted on friendly terms. Pope St Anicetus also spent much time countering other religious views growing in Rome such as Manichaeism. He is listed as a martyr but whether the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus actually had him put to death is unclear. His Feast day is celebrated on April 20.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty

Scopas was a Greek sculptor and architect who worked on two of the Ancient wonders: the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. 

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 25, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty

While the initial pilgrimages to the Holy Land were by land routes the Knights Templar took many groups via the sea on their own ships. From the port in Venice, Italy it took about six weeks to reach the Holy Land.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty

Vikings made jewelry primarily out of bronze, gold, silver and bone. Bronze was most common while those of upper status favored the gold and silver jewelry. Goldsmiths made neck and arm rings which were high status objects. The jewelry makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths were looked upon with high favor in Viking society.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty

There were between 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians that served with Union forces in the American Civil War, about 10,000 fought with the Confederacy and four were Generals in the Union army. John McNeil was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was an insurance company president in St Louis prior to the war and served out of Missouri. John Franklin Farnsworth was born in Compton City, Quebec and was an elected U.S. Representove to Illinois prior to the war and served out of Illinois. Jacob Cox was born in Montreal, Quebec and was a college professor turned lawyer prior to the war in Ohio where he served. Martin Thomas McMahon was born in LaPrairie, Quebec and was a lawyer in California prior to the war but served most of his time in the Army of the Potomac starting as an aide to General George McClellan and eventually rising to General himself.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty

The ancient Egyptians were the first to invent toothpaste. One formula found on a papyrus listed the ingredients as rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper. Once crushed into a paste it was usually applied with the end of a frayed twig.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty

William Dampier was a British privateer who was the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. The first happened over the period 1679 to 1691. The second took place 1703 to 1707. The third and final went from 1708 to 1711. Dampier was the first to explore parts of Australia. He kept very detailed journals which Charles Darwin used as a guide for his journeys starting in the 1831.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 20, 2014

St Pius I Tenth Pope

St Pius I was the tenth Pope from 140 to 154. It was believed he was born at Aquileia, Italy which was about 400 miles or 644 km northeast of Rome. He decreed that Easter should only be celebrated on Sunday. Much of his time was spent warding off the corruption of several heretics in Rome and he had the assistance of St Justin in defending the Christian doctrine. The oldest church in Rome was also built during his pontificate as the original church of Santa Pudenziana was constructed. His Feast day is celebrated on July 11.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Nineteen

Sostratus of Cnidus was the Greek architect who designed the Lighthouse of Alexandria. He had also designed the sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi and the sanctuary to Apollo on Delos.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 18, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Nineteen

There were many criminal knights that were forced to join the Templars as rehabilitation. It was seen as a two fold benefit with the undesirable element out of the communities and it gave more forces to fight in the Crusades. The most famous was a knight named Bertran who had killed a bishop in 1224 and Pope Honorius III told the Templars to accept him into the Order for seven years to do his penance.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Viking Fact Nineteen

The Vikings far reaching trade routes extended to Constantinople. The Vikings called the city Mikkelgard or Miklagard which meant The Great City.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

American Civil War Fact Nineteen

There were 37,574 discarded rifles collected after the Battle of Gettysburg and then shipped back to Washington D.C. where they were inspected and reissued. Approximately 24.000 were documented as being still loaded: 6,000 with one round in the barrel, 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel and 6,000 had three to 10 rounds in the barrel. One was listed as loaded to the top with 23 rounds in the barrel.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Nineteen

The Papyrus was a reed that the Egyptians utilized to make sheets to record information on. The process to transform it from plant to paper included cutting them into strips, pressing them together, pounding them flat and then allowing them to dry to make sheets. It was readily found along the Nile River and referred to as Nile grass. Today it is nearly extinct in the Nile Delta.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pirate Fact Nineteen

Anyone that brought bad luck to a ship was called a "Jonah". Pirates were very superstitious and if they learned a crew mate had the name Jonah they would throw him overboard. Tales linking bad luck to the name Jonah date back to around 1610 prior to the Golden Age of Piracy.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 13, 2014

St Hyginus Ninth Pope

St Hyginus was the ninth Pope from 138 to 140. There had been a short gap after the death of his predecessor St Telesphorus. Hyginius was the second consecutive Pope who was Greek by birth. He is given credit for establishing the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the bishops, priests and deacons. He is also given credit for establishing the order of ecclesiastical precedence which was the order promotions were given. The practice of including godparents at the baptism of the newly born to assist them during their Christian life was also started by Hyginus. A fourth accomplishment was that Hyginus decreed all churches be consecrated which made them sacred. His Feast day is January 11.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Eighteen

The Knights Templar helped Portugal gain its independence as the first nation-state in Europe. Bernard of Clairvaux was the nephew of both Andre de Montbard and Dom Henrique. Andre de Montbard was one of the founder Templars and Dom Henrique was the father of Portugal's first King Alfonso I.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Viking Fact Eighteen

The early Viking exploits were first reported by their initial victims as the Christian monks wrote about the raids. The Vikings viewed the Christian churches and monasteries as easy targets full of great riches. 

Viking page

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

American Civil War Fact Eighteen

The population of the Union states at the start of the Civil War was 18.5 million while the Confederate states had 9 million. The further breakdown of the Confederacy showed 5.5 million people who were free and 3.5 million that were enslaved.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Eighteen

Small groups of people gradually migrated from the Eastern Sahara in 15,000 BC to the Nile River valley by 7000 BC. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pirate Fact Eighteen

During the golden years of piracy the Bahamas was a favorite haunt. It became a haven for many pirates including Blackbeard and the locals were helpless as they got out of control. To deal with the situation the Bahamas was made into a British crown colony in 1718. The first Royal Governor Woodes Rogers succeeded at the difficult task of suppressing piracy during his four years in office. Rogers himself had been a privateer.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 6, 2014

St Telesphorus Eighth Pope

St Telesphorus was the eighth Pope from 125 to 138. His family was thought to be of Greek descent and he was born in Terranuova located in the Italian province of Calabria. He may have been an anchorite or hermit monk before ascending to the office. Pope Telesphorus is credited with establishing both the seven week lenten season that precedes Easter and the Christmas midnight Mass. He witnessed the persecution and deaths of many Christians under the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian. He is the second Pope whose death as a martyrdom is not disputed. While the exact cause is not documented it was described as a glorious martyrdom that happened under the first year of the reign of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. His Feast day is January 5th.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Seventeen

All seven of the Ancient Wonders had ties to Alexander the Great. Five had been in existence during his time and all fell within the territory he eventually ruled. The Temple of Artemis was set ablaze the day he was born and was rebuilt after his death. There was a story he had visited the Great Pyramid of Giza after he conquered Egypt and ruled as their Pharoah 332 to 323 BC. He likely visited the Statue of Zeus while attending the Olympics and inspected the Mausoleum after conquering the city of Halicarnassus. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon may have been located near where he died in 323 BC. The Colossus of Rhodes was built after his death after two of his generals fought and it celebrated the victor. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was necessary because it was at one of the several cities he had founded in his name.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 4, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Seventeen

The Knights Templar built their first church in 1128 on donated land in the Holborn area of London, England. It was established by first Grand Master Hugh de Payens. The original temple was the first round church and the grounds also contained gardens, orchards and a cemetery. It became known as the Old Temple when the Templars later moved to a larger location to the south.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Viking Fact Seventeen

The Vikings turned Dublin into the largest slave trade center in the world by 1000 AD. The slave trade was an important part of the Vikings commerce as they captured people from the British Isles and the lands along the Baltic Sea. Each year hundreds and sometimes thousands of young men and women were bought and sold there.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Civil War Fact Seventeen

There were more than 150 prisons established and utilized by both sides during the Civil War. About 195,000 Northerners spent time in Confederate prison camps and about 215,000 Southern soldiers were in the Union prisons. The casualties were high as over 30,000 or 15.5% of Union soldiers died in Southern prisons. Andersonville in Georgia was the worst claiming the lives of  about 13,000 or 29% of those who entered. On the other side nearly 26,000 or 12% of Confederate captives perished in Northern prisons. Elmira Prison in New York had the highest mortality rate with 25% or 2,963 deaths.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Seventeen

The people of Ancient Egypt believed that when a person died their soul split into two parts. The Ba would leave the body each morning to keep watch over the person's living family. The Ka would fly off to the Land of Two Fields which was their afterlife. Each night both the Ba and Ka returned to the body in the tomb to rest for the next day. A cartouche on the coffin helped the Ba and Ka find their way back. However if the preserved body was disturbed or damaged the Ba and Ka would be lost and a person would cease to exist in the afterlife. That is why grave robbery was considered such a vile crime and punishable by death.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pirate Fact Seventeen

Ching Shih was a Cantonese prostitute who was captured by pirates and in 1801 married Zheng Yi who was one of the most powerful pirate leaders. She became immersed in the pirate life and learned the military tactics and techniques that Zheng Li used. Zheng Li died in November 1807 and Ching Shih took over the leadership position. At her peak she commanded over 300 ships and as many as 40,000 pirates that controlled the coast of South China as the Red Flag Fleet. She decided to retire from piracy in 1810 when the Chinese government offered her amnesty.

Pirate page

Sunday, March 30, 2014

St Sixtus I Seventh Pope

St Sixtus I was the seventh Pope from 115 to 125. His name has also been documented as Xystus. He was born in Rome in 42 AD. Pope Sixtus I is credited with passing three ordinances: 1) that none but sacred ministers are allowed to touch the sacred vessels which includes the chalice, paten and ciborium, 2) that bishops who have been summoned to the Holy See shall upon their return not be received by their diocese except upon presenting Apostolic letters, 3) that after the Preface of the Mass the priest shall recite the Sanctus with the people. The Holy See refers to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome and currently is Vatican City.The Sanctus is a hymn that is sung or spoken as the final words of the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine. He is listed as a martyr but how he died is not known. His Feast day is April 6th. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Sixteen

The distance between the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Colossus of Rhodes was about 69.9 miles or 112.55 km.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, March 28, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Sixteen

The Knights Templar followed the Rule of St Benedict when they established the order. It had 73 chapters set forth by St Benedict around 530 AD for his monks to follow. 

Knights Templar page

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Viking Fact Sixteen

Danish Vikings launched a siege on Paris starting in November 885 that lasted 11 months. They used 700 ships and 40,000 men in the assault.

Viking page

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

American Civil War Fact Sixteen

Among the differences between the North and South were their life styles. The North was an urban society and the jobs were in the city. The South was mostly agricultural where people lived on farms or plantations or in small towns.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Sixteen

Legendary King Menes founded the city of Ineb-Hedj around 3100 BC which became the capital. Ineb-Hedj translated as "The White Walls". It later changed to Memphis which is a Greek translation for "the good place". The location was 12 miles or 20 km south of the current capital Cairo. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pirate Fact Sixteen

John King was one of the youngest known pirates when he joined the crew of the Whydah on November 9, 1716 at about nine years old. He died less than six months later when the ship sank in a storm on April 26, 1717 off the coast of Cape Cod.

Pirate page

Sunday, March 23, 2014

St Alexander I Sixth Pope

St Alexander I was the sixth Pope serving from 105 to 115. He was born in Rome although his date of birth is unknown. Alexander is credited with inserting the canon of the Qui Pridie which are the words of the institution for the Eucharist. He is also attributed with introducing the use of blessed water mixed with salt to purify Christian homes and ward off evil. There are some indications he was a martyr as he may have been executed by beheading. That would have made him possibly the third Pope to be executed under the reign of Roman Emperor Trajan. His Feast day is May 3rd.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Fifteen

Philo of Byzantium was a paradoxographer in the fourth to fifth centuries credited with work on the ancient seven wonders of the world. Paradoxography was a popular type of literature in ancient times devoted to descriptions of marvelous or miraculous objects in addition to abnormal and inexplicable phenomena. 

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, March 21, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Fifteen

Knights Templar numbers grew in England and when the Grand Master was not present the Prior of the temple was next in the chain of command. He position was also called the vice-regent of the master. When the numbers swelled sub-priors were appointed and the vice regent became the Grand Prior and later the Master of the Temple.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Viking Fact Fifteen

Vikings ate two meals a day. Day meal was in the morning after they had put in two hours of work. Night meal was after the day's labor had been completed.

Viking page

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

American Civil War Fact Fifteen

Alexander Hamilton Stephens was the Vice President of the Confederate States of America. He was a U.S. Representative from Georgia. First he was elected to the Confederate Congress and they chose him to be Vice-President of the provisional government. He was then the running mate of Jefferson Davis as they ran unopposed in the Confederate States presidential election in November 1861.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Fifteen

The Ancient Egyptians had the view that Egypt was divided into two types of land. Black land was the area with the black, fertile soil along the Nile River. Red land refers to the vast deserts which acted as a buffer between neighboring countries on both sides.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pirate Fact Fifteen

Music was important on ships as a form of entertainment and nearly every ship had its own band. The musicians were very popular with the crew. At a bare minimum they had a drummer, fiddler and someone playing the flute. Bagpipes, oboes and trumpets were among the other instruments sometimes used aboard the ships. 

Pirate page

Sunday, March 16, 2014

St Evaristus Fifth Pope

St Evaristus was the fifth Pope from 97 to 105. He was originally from a Jewish family from Jerusalem although he was born while they were living in Greece. Evaristus converted to Christian and later decided to become a priest. When chosen he didn't think he was worthy of being Pope but accepted the challenge. He was noted for appointing seven deacons to Rome. Pope Evaristus is also credited with dividing Rome into parishes and appointing priests to over see them just as Pope Anacletus had done. This may have been necessary due to the constant persecution the Christians were under and organization was undone when Roman Emperor Trajan exiled Pope Clement I. Pope Evaristus was arrested an imprisoned. Whether he just died in prison or was executed is unconfirmed. His Feast day is celebrated on October 26.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Fourteen

Contrary to popular belief the Pyramids at Giza were not built by slaves but by farmers. There were numerous farmers available and willing to work when the Nile River flooded their fields in late summer and early autumn each year. They were paid with food and clothing and given a place to live during the flooding.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze statue on the Greek island of Rhodes and was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The statue was commissioned to commemorate a decisive victory on the island. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC three of his generals divided the empire into three regions and Rhodes was within the region controlled by General Ptolemy. General Antigonus was one of the other generals and he ordered his son Demetrius to invade Rhodes in 305 BC. Demetrius commanded 40,000 troops and 200 warships but could not break through the defenses of Rhodes.

The people of Rhodes determined the victory should be remembered by a statue dedicated in honor of Helios, the patron god of Rhodes. Greek sculptor Chares of Lindos started in 294 BC to cast the giant bronze monument and it took Chares and his laborers 12 years to complete the task. The project was financed by the sale of equipment left behind by the army of Demetrius. The statue was completed in 280 BC.

The most popular theory is that the statue was forged around towers of stone blocks. The bronze sculpture was 110 feet or 30 meters tall and stood on a marble base that was 50 feet or 15 meters tall. It stood at the entrance of the harbor which was at the intersection of the sea-trade routes to Asia Minor and Egypt. Some historians thought the statue of Helios may have been nude while others believed the figure was semi-nude holding a cloak. There were also differing theories whether the statue had the feet together or standing apart.

The statue was severely damaged by an earthquake in 226 BC which broke it off at the knees. Egyptian King Ptolemy III offered to rebuild the statue commemorating his grandfather's victory but an oracle advised against it. The ruins of the Colossus of Rhodes remained on the ground for 900 years to be seen by visitors from around the world. Then in 654 AD Arab Muslims conquered Rhodes and dismantled the remains of the statue and transported the pieces to Syria so they could sell the metal.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, March 14, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Fourteen

The Knights Templar had an initiation ritual which drew on their Christian roots by having the initiate act out a symbolic death and resurrection. A skull and two crossed thigh bones were used in the ritual and they became an important symbol for the Templars. The symbol could be found on the tombstones of Templars and on their flag.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Viking Fact Fourteen

Vikings were very clean and well groomed. They had many bath houses, used wash basins and those that settled in Iceland often took advantage of the natural hot springs. Fine tooth combs were used made of either bones, antlers or walrus ivory. 

Viking page

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

American Civil War Fact Fourteen

United States Senator John J Crittenden of Kentucky had two sons that served in the Civil War but on opposite sides. His eldest George Crittenden started the war as a colonel in the Confederate Army and had been promoted to brigadier general and major general. Yet he was later demoted back to colonel after charges of drunkenness. Thomas Crittenden started the war as a brigadier general in the Union army and was later promoted to major general.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Fourteen

There were several gems mined and traded in Ancient Egypt. They included:

  • Agate
  • Amazonite
  • Amethyst
  • Carnelian
  • Emerald
  • Fluorite
  • Garnet
  • Hematite
  • Malachite
  • Peridot
  • Serpentine
  • Turquoise

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pirate Fact Fourteen

Pirate treasure sometimes included precious metals such as gold and silver, rare gems like diamonds, rubies and emeralds or jewelry or artifacts made with combinations of these. Coins were also very welcome because they were easy to share among the crew. Silver coins were more common because far more silver was mined in America than gold. 

Pirate page

Sunday, March 9, 2014

St Clement I Fourth Pope

Saint Clement I was the fourth Pope from 88 to 97. He had converted Sisinnius and over 400 persons of rank in Rome. In response the Roman Emperor Trajan banished Clement to the Crimea. There Clement converted thousands and had 75 churches built. Learning of this Trajan ordered him executed by having him thrown into the sea while tied to an iron anchor. After dying as a martyr in exhile his body was returned to Rome for burial. His Feast day is celebrated on November 23.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Thirteen

Herostratus was the arsonist who tried to gain fame when he set the Temple of Artemis ablaze. Yet the townspeople made great effort to foil that plan by passing a law which allowed anyone who said his name to be put to death. Yet his name was recorded by Greek historian Theopompus.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, March 7, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Thirteen

The Knights Templar fought in many battles defending the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1145 with the Second Crusade through the fall of Acre in 1291. Over that span over 20,000 Templars died. One contributing factor to their high fatalities was their reputation of being the first into battle and the last to leave. 

Knights Templar page

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Viking Fact Thirteen

Erik the Red is credited with discovering and naming Greenland in 982 AD. Although it has a tundra climate he gave the misleading name to sell fellow Norsemen on settling there.

Viking page

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Civil War Fact Thirteen

The Union army had four different commanders during the war which was designated with the rank General-in-Chief. Winfield Scott was the General-in-Chief at the start of the war until he retired in October 1861. George B McClellan held the command from November 1861 until he was stripped of the title in March 1862. President Lincoln filled the role until Henry W Halleck was appointed General-in-Chief in July 1862. Hallack kept command until March 1864 when he was replaced by Ulysses Grant. Grant remained over the Union army until the end of the war.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Thirteen

Music was an important part of the Egyptian culture in both religious services and daily life. They could have had a mini orchestra with percussion, wind and string sections. The percussion included drums as well as bells, castanets, cymbals, tambourines and rattles. The sistrum was an important rattle used during religious gatherings. For wind they had an array of flutes plus oboes and trumpets. The most popular string instrument was the harp while they also had lutes and lyres.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pirate Fact Thirteen

Corsairs were pirates that operated in the Mediterranean Sea mainly along the Barbary coast of north Africa in the 15th through the 18th centuries.The corsairs were unique because they had the backing of a larger organization or religious group. There were Muslim or Ottoman corsairs that had strongholds in Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis. The Knights of St John countered with a fleet of at least 45 ships based at the Island of Malta and they acted as Christian corsairs attacking Muslim ships and towns.

Pirate page

Sunday, March 2, 2014

St Anacletus Third Pope

St Anacletus was the third Bishop of Rome and thus the third Pope as he served from 76-88. He was born in Rome although his exact date of birth is unknown. Sometimes he was referred to as Cletus. He ordained 25 priests and divided Rome into 25 parishes. When he died he was buried next to Pope St Linus at St Peter's Basilica. The Feast of St Cletus is celebrated on April 26.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twelve

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was reported by Roman writer Pliny the Elder to have cost 800 talents to build. One talent was equal to about 928 ounces or 26,308 grams of silver. The modern value would be over $14 million U.S.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, February 28, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twelve

There were 23 total Grand Masters of the Knights Templar spanning from Hughes de Paynes who served 1118-1136 to Jacques de Molay who served 1292-1314.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Viking Fact Twelve

The Vikings had a very balanced diet. Their meat came from their domesticated livestock such as cattle, pigs and sheep and from the animals they hunted like boar, deer and moose. Fish were plentiful as they had cod, haddock and herring. They grew their own vegetables including onions, peas and cabbage and foraged for hazelnuts, raspberries and strawberries. They ate mainly barley bread. When they weren't drinking wine and mead their drinking horns flowed with milk and buttermilk.

Viking page

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twelve

Three future U.S. presidents fought with the Union army in the Civil War: Ulysses S Grant, Rutherford B Hayes and William McKinley.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twelve

The ancient Egyptian alphabet contained over 700 hieroglyphics. There were three types of hieroglyphs: one could be a picture representing a single word which would be an ideogram, another could represent a sound which would be a phonogram and the third were actual alphabet characters or logographs. They wrote both right to left and left to right and sometimes top to bottom.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pirate Fact Twelve

The sword of choice by pirates was the rapier from about 1550 to 1650. Yet having a length of 40 inches\101 cm or longer tended to be a hinderance in close quarters fighting. The transition to the cutlass or hanger started in the early 1600's as the swords were often around the 25 inches\64 cm in length.

Pirate page

Sunday, February 23, 2014

St Linus Second Pope

Saint Linus was the second Bishop of Rome and the Second Pope as he succeeded Saint Peter in 67. While his exact date of birth is unknown, Linus was a native of Tuscany. One decree attributed to him was that women should keep their heads covered in church. He died on September 23, 76 and was buried next to Saint Peter at the Vatican. September 23 is also the date his Feast day is celebrated.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Eleven

It is estimated that the greenery at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon required about 300 tonnes or 92,350 gallons of water per day.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, February 21, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Eleven

The Battle of Montgisard in 1177 was one of their greatest victories of the Crusades as the Eighth Grand Master Odo de St Amand led 80 Templar Knights along with 375 other knights led by Raynald of Chatillion and a few thousand infantry against the forces of Saladin and his 27,000 men. Saladin was the Sultan of Egypt and Syria and founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. His forces were spread thin raiding villages and was surprised at Montgisard by 16 year old King Baldwin IV and his army. Baldwin wanted to make a stand there before the Muslims reached Jerusalem. The much smaller army routed the Ayyubids and Saladin returned to Egypt to regroup with only ten percent of his army.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Viking Fact Eleven

Once the Vikings raided a country they imposed a tax called Danegeld. If the tax was paid then the territories would not be subject to future attacks by the Vikings. It was primarily collected in England and France from the ninth through 11th centuries.

Viking page

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

American Civil War Fact Eleven

President Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address himself. It was only ten sentences and 269 words in total. Being so short President Lincoln completed the speech before all the official photographers could get their cameras ready and no pictures captured the event.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Eleven

Many nobles who lived along the Nile River had huge villas of 25 to 30 rooms. Most were made with sun dried brick while some were made from cut stones and others with white limestone. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pirate Fact Eleven

Pirates were often compensated for loss of a limb or eye. It was written into the ship's constitution the value of each loss. Since most people are right handed a limb on the right side was valued more. For example the loss of a right arm would go for 600 pieces of silver while losing the left arm would get 500. The right leg might get 500 and the left one would be compensated for 400. Loss of either eye would get 100. 

Pirate page

Sunday, February 16, 2014

St Peter First Pope

Saint Peter was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He was born as Simon Peter in Bethsaida, Syria although the exact date is unknown. While working as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth with his brother Saint Andrew, Andrew introduced him to Jesus. Both were among the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. Jesus gave him the new name Cephas which meant rock because he was the rock on which the Christian church would be built.

After the death of Jesus, Saint Peter continued his ministry as the head of the Christian church and was Pope from 32 to 67. The church went universal after he met with other church leaders at the Council of Jerusalem in 50 and they set the rules for Gentile converts to Christianity. Saint Peter took missionary trips to cities including Antioch, Corinth and Rome. He was executed in 67 when Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar had him crucified upside down. An inverted cross became one of his symbols. The church recognizes him with a feast day on June 29.