Posted inAge of Exploration

Pier Gerlofs Donia, the Giant Peasant Who Fought Against Dutch and Germans in Frisia

If someone visits the Fries Museum in the town of Leuvarden, in the Netherlands, they will see among the exhibits a zweihänder (also called biedenhänder). This is a type of enormous sword, typical of the Modern Age, with a long handle and crossguards suitable for inevitable two-handed use. According to tradition, this weapon belonged to […]

Posted inAge of Exploration

“The Book of Five Rings”, Written by the Ronin Miyamoto Musashi in the 17th Century and whose Philosophy the Japanese Apply to their Work

The speed and consistency with which Japan recovered politically and materially after its defeat in World War II, overcoming the enormous destruction from aerial bombings, two atomic bombs, and a severe demographic drain, is often a source of amazement. Part of this effort was due to the aid received and the cultural influence exerted by […]

Posted inAge of Exploration

Patagones, the “Three-meter-tall giants” that Magellan Found at the Southern Tip of America

In 2022, the 500th anniversary of the First Circumnavigation of the World was celebrated, the Spanish maritime expedition that allowed for global circumnavigation and opened a route to the Spice Islands as an alternative to the route along the southern tip of Africa, which was monopolized by Portugal. It was a grand adventure in which […]

Posted inAge of Exploration

The Sad Story of Icelanders Captured and Sold into Slavery by Barbary Corsairs in the 17th Century

Previously we dedicated a couple of articles to recounting the exploits of the Barbary pirates in the Atlantic, chronicling their attacks on the Canary Islands, the south of England, the Irish city of Baltimore, the archipelagos of Shetland and Faroe, the coast of Denmark, and even the East coast of what are now the United […]

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Amakusa Shiro, the Teenage Messiah who Led the Rebellion Against the Persecution of Christians in 17th Century Japan

When we talk about persecution of Christianity, usually the image that comes to mind is that of the Roman Empire, with Roman Christians identifying themselves incognito through drawings of the Chi-Rho or a schematic fish. However, in late 16th century Japan, a similar situation was also experienced. In 1587, the daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the unifier […]

Posted inAge of Exploration

The Story of Peter Minuit, the Settler who Bought Manhattan in Exchange for Teapots, Hoes, Necklaces, and Other Objects

On May 24, 1626, one of the most famous real estate transactions in history took place: the director-general of New Netherland, a colony of the United Provinces of the Netherlands located in the northeast of America, bought the island called Manhattan from the Lenni-Lenape Indians for sixty florins. The location was used to establish the […]