10 Interesting Facts from (mainly ancient) History

1. You know how statues from the ancient world are famous for their marble look? What if I told you they were painted back in the day… (Here is a photo I took from the Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge. On the left is a cast of the statue as it looks today and on the right is a depiction of how it would have looked when it was made.)

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2. Spartan men only participated in homosexual relations until marriage so upon marrying the woman was required to shave her head and dress in mens clothing as a way of easing him into heterosexuality.

3. “All European lines converge in the 10th century… For instance, Charlemagne is the ancestor of literally every European” (Rutherford). Similarly, anyone with Chinese heritage is descended from Genghis Khan. (Further reading: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2930277/Eleven-fathers-Asia-800-million-modern-men-descended-ancient-leaders-including-Genghis-Khan.html)

4. The Biblical creation story and the ancient Egyptian creation story are quintessentially the same, except one is monotheistic and the other polytheistic.

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void (Hu and Hauhet), and darkness (Kuk and Kauket) was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God (Amun and Amaunet) moved upon the face of the waters (Nun and Naunet). -Genesis 1:1-2.

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5. Christians in the Coptic Period practiced magic.

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6. The Greek word ‘δράκων’ used in the Bible is translated as ‘serpent’. While drakon is usually translated as ‘lizard’ it can also mean ‘dragon’ or ‘dinosaur’. Is this evidence for the existence of dragons in Biblical times? Also worth noting: dragons exist in every known mythology.

7. The Emperor Nero (AKA ‘Caligula’) made his horse consul (an important political position in ancient Rome).

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8. Images of penises were used in Pompeii as signs pointing the direction of brothels

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9. The ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the centre of thought. It was the only organ kept inside the mummy’s body. The lungs, intestine, stomach, and liver were preserved inside canopic jars. Meanwhile, the brain was thought as useless and thrown away.

10. There is a rumour that Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a serial killer from the 16th-17th centuries, bathed in the blood of virgin girls in order to retain the appearance of youth.

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