The Lemnos Stele, a funerary inscription from the 6th century B.C. that links the Pelasgians to the Etruscans

In 1885, a unique stele was found as part of the walls of a church in the town of Kaminia on the Greek island of Lemnos. It has been dated to the 6th century BC, prior to the conquest of the island by the Athenians in 510 BC to the Pelasgians. This was the name…Continue readingThe Lemnos Stele, a funerary inscription from the 6th century B.C. that links the Pelasgians to the Etruscans

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

When Emperor Hadrian destroyed the world’s longest bridge

On 103 A.D. emperor Trajan ordered to build a bridge over Danube river to be used for the crossing and supply of troops in the imminent Second Dacian War against Decebalus, for which he was preparing the biggest army since Augustus’ times, about 150,000 men. The architect Apolodorus of Damascus, to whom the Pantheon is…Continue readingWhen Emperor Hadrian destroyed the world’s longest bridge

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

The Great Taboo, the 240 square kilometer area sealed for eight centuries where the tomb of Genghis Khan is believed to be

The national literary work par excellence of Mongolia is the Secret History of the Mongols, of which the author is unknown, but it is known to have been composed between 1227 and 1228, shortly after the death of Genghis Khan. The original document is not preserved, but a copy a century later and written in…Continue readingThe Great Taboo, the 240 square kilometer area sealed for eight centuries where the tomb of Genghis Khan is believed to be

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

The French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

If we talk about battles of the Second World War, the names of some that are already inevitable references will come to mind, from Stalingrad to Berlin to El Alamein, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, the Bulge and several more very famous ones. But there were others that are not so well known, even if some of…Continue readingThe French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

Corupedium, the battle that ended the long war between Alexander’s successors

It is curious that one of the most extensive empires of antiquity had such a weak foundation that, in reality, it was only based on the charisma of its builder. We’re talking about Alexander the Great. That giant with feet of clay that he formed with his military genius fell apart as soon as his…Continue readingCorupedium, the battle that ended the long war between Alexander’s successors

The mystery of the disappearance of the most valuable medicinal plant from antiquity

The ancient Greek city of Cyrene (in present-day Libya), where Eratosthenes was born, was founded by settlers from Thera (Santorini) on the advice of the Oracle of Delphi around 632 BC. It soon prospered and became one of the richest cities in the Mediterranean. A plant, whose trade Cyrene dominated for centuries, had a lot…Continue readingThe mystery of the disappearance of the most valuable medicinal plant from antiquity