Saigō Takamori: the true story of the last samurai

In 1877 the Satsuma Rebellion or Sainan War against the Japanese imperial throne ended with the victory of the latter and the definitive confirmation that the Meiji Revolution was continuing with the modernization of the country, putting an end to the traditionalist faction that had resisted it. The leader of the Meiji Revolution died in…Continue readingSaigō Takamori: the true story of the last samurai

The High Court of Chivalry, a medieval institution still active in the United Kingdom

Heraldry is the science of the coat of arms, the “art of explaining and describing the coats of arms of each lineage, city or person” (apart from making ostentation and self-praise). It is a science that dates back to the Middle Ages, since it was then that this type of identity representations were born, and…Continue readingThe High Court of Chivalry, a medieval institution still active in the United Kingdom

The Rosenstrasse protest, when German women saved their Jewish husbands by confronting the Nazi regime

In 2003 the German Margarethe von Trotta, director, scriptwriter, actress and wife of the famous writer Volker Schlöndorf, won the David de Donatello Award (the most important in the Italian film industry) in the category of best European movie with her film Rosenstraße. It is a German-Dutch co-production whose protagonist also won the award for…Continue readingThe Rosenstrasse protest, when German women saved their Jewish husbands by confronting the Nazi regime

Beijing-Paris, the automobile race of 1907 that inaugurated the tradition of celebrating victory with champagne

If there is one classic of sports celebrations, it is motor racing, where victories are showered with champagne (including competitors, hostesses and the team at the foot of the podium). It is something that has transcended to the point that other disciplines also do the same. But no one asks why, what is the reason…Continue readingBeijing-Paris, the automobile race of 1907 that inaugurated the tradition of celebrating victory with champagne

The British Museum objects that no one can see and that Ethiopia claims

Although the British never conquered or colonized Ethiopia, in April 1868 a battle took place there that ended the so-called British Expedition to Abyssinia (as the country was then known). It all began in October 1862 when Emperor Theodore II of Ethiopia, beset by internal unrest and external threats, requested military assistance from Queen Victoria…Continue readingThe British Museum objects that no one can see and that Ethiopia claims

Jasper Maskelyne, the magician who fooled the Germans with his tricks in World War II

In 1983, the famous magician David Copperfield caused a sensation by making the New York City Statue of Liberty disappear in a live television broadcast. It is curious that almost forty years before, in the middle of World War II, another illusionist also performed a magical feat of great proportions, although in his case it…Continue readingJasper Maskelyne, the magician who fooled the Germans with his tricks in World War II

A fly-whisk provoked the French occupation of Algeria and the establishment of the protectorate

Most readers will be aware of the historical link between France and Algeria, if only because of the number of immigrants from the North African country on French soil or, above all, because of the famous people who have Algerian ancestors or roots, such as the sportsmen Zidane and Benzemá or the minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.…Continue readingA fly-whisk provoked the French occupation of Algeria and the establishment of the protectorate

The alchemist who sought the Philosopher’s Stone and discovered phosphorus by chance

The word serendipity comes from the oriental tale The Three Princes of Serendip, in which the protagonists saw their problems solved by a series of fortunate eventualities; it is defined as a valuable finding that occurs in an accidental or casual way. In science it has been something frequent and it is not necessary to…Continue readingThe alchemist who sought the Philosopher’s Stone and discovered phosphorus by chance

Giovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

Giovanni Battista della Porta was born in November 1535 in Vico Equense, a municipality of the Kingdom of Naples that since 1504, by the Treaty of Lyon, belonged to the Crown of Aragon and with the rise to the throne of Joanna the Mad was transformed into a viceroyalty, remaining in Spanish possession until 1704.…Continue readingGiovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

Devshirme, the recruitment of Christian children by the Ottoman Empire to become soldiers and officials

The Ottoman Empire was one of the main powers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Its colossal dimensions guaranteed it a military surplus that allowed it to recover from any defeat in a very short time, as happened in Lepanto, and to undertake campaigns simultaneously on different fronts, in the case of Asia or Europe.…Continue readingDevshirme, the recruitment of Christian children by the Ottoman Empire to become soldiers and officials