Category Obscure History

Björn Ironside the Viking Ideal

The Vikings (from the Old Norse víkingr meaning “to go on expedition”)were a people famous for their skill as raiders and explorers. In the 9th century these Scandinavian peoples had earned the fear and respect of the European nations as they launched raids and conquests establishing themselves in colonies across Europe. One of the most […]

The Inconvenient Coin: Dating the Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum

An interesting article about the dating of the eruption of Pompeii through the coins uncovered there. From Roma Invicta The Inconvenient Coin: Dating the Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Sigurd the Norwegian Crusader King

The 11th and early 12th centuries marked a golden age for the Kingdom of Norway. The Norwegians had only recently, within the last couple of hundred years, abandoned the old Norse gods in favour of the Christian monotheism and formed themselves into a single nation. The Kingdom of Norway encompassed not just the modern nation […]

The Cippi of Melqart and Heracles

The Cippi of Melqart are a pair of ornamental pillars with engravings found by the Knights of St. John on the Island of Malta in the village of Marsaxlloc, they are considered to be from the 2nd century BCE. It is in this village that the Phoenicians reputedly landed in the 9th CE BC and […]

Brunanburh: The Battle that Created England

In Britain one of the first things we learn in history lessons is the Norman conquest of England in 1066. This was when Saxon rule was overthrown by Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings. It is from this point that our lessons on the history of England truly begin. A number of […]

1672: The Year the Dutch Ate Their Prime Minister

On Wednesday 1st of April Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne in favour of her son. This event made the news all over the world. In modern Europe monarchies are no longer the norm. The Dutch monarchy was a relative late-comer to the history of European kingdoms, being established during the Napoleonic wars. […]

The Report of Wenamun

The report of Wenamun has been famously been argued to be a work of historical fiction. Wenamun as a priest of Amun Ra and an Egyptian trader had a historically bad journey to the city of Byblos in around the 11 BCE under the pharaoh Ramesses XI. Wenamun was on his way to the city […]

The Dangerous Pastime of the Daughters of Rome

Some months ago my girlfriend, who was reading an Anne Rice novel (I don’t know which), asked me if female gladiators existed in ancient Rome. At the time I dismissed this notion as the artistic licence of a cult vampire novelist. However, I was recently proven wrong in my previous assumptions about women fighting in […]

Memmie Le Blanc: a history of an 18th century feral child

No images exist of Memmie, except for this naive engraving, which may not even be a likeness Last autumn I decided to conduct research into the phenomenon of feral children.  I had the idea that there was something to learn about innate human nature from them, from being raised outside of human society, unsocialised.  I […]

The invention of leavened bread, or “which fool spilled their beer into my freshly ground flour!”

Here in the West, and especially in the Northern hemisphere, the mainstay of the human diet is leavened bread, and no-one knows how this mainly European food was invented.  Traditional leavened bread is seen across Europe, and also other parts of the Northern hemisphere, including Russia.  It is not so widely seen in the traditional […]