Austria seems to have a certain magnet for unusual military events. It was in the Austrian village of Itter in the Tyrol that one of the strangest battles of the entire Second World War took place. It was liberated on May 5, 1945, just five days after Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker, and…Continue readingWhen Allies and Germans fought together in World War II: The Battle for Castle Itter
Throughout History, men have not had enough of tearing each other apart in an endless number of wars, but they have incorporated all kinds of animals into the slaughters, from the most orthodox such as horses, mules, elephants and dogs to other rarer ones, such as pigeons wrapped in fire, birds in flames to burn…Continue readingPelusium, the battle the Persians won over the Egyptians by throwing cats at them.
The great Library of Alexandria was founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC by Ptolemy I Soter. At its peak it housed an impressive 900,000 manuscripts. It was not only a storehouse of books, but also an entire research and teaching center that brought together numerous scholars from different centers of classical culture.…Continue readingWhere did the books from the Great Library of Alexandria come from?
One of the most interesting chapters of the Vikings television series is the one where we witness the twist given to the story thanks to the character of Rollo, who here is shown as brother of King Ragnar Lothbrok. In reality the character, like many others in the series, is inspired by a real person.…Continue readingThe true history of Rollo, the Viking from whom all current European monarchs descend
Many readers will probably know who Martha Ellis Gellhorn was, but for those who don’t, they just need to know that she’s not one of those characters who sometimes force their way into war movies. She was the only woman, as far as is known, who landed in Normandy on D-Day covering World War II…Continue readingMartha Ellis Gellhorn, the only woman to land in Normandy on D-Day
Cossacks were a social and military group that by the 10th century settled in southern Russia and present-day Ukraine. They had a Turkic origin and had arrived with hordes of Mongol invasions in the area, settling there permanently. Famous for their combat skills and military strategy, they gradually integrated and mixed with other ethnic groups…Continue readingThe irreverent letter the Cossacks wrote to the Ottoman Sultan in 1676
The Epic Cycle, also called the Trojan Cycle because it narrates events related to the Trojan War, is a collection of eight poems composed in dactylic hexameter, the traditional type of verse of the Greco-Latin epic. The two most famous, for having been preserved complete, are The Iliad and The Odyssey, both attributed to Homer.…Continue readingThe Iliad and the Odyssey are just two of the eight poems from the Epic Cycle that narrate the Trojan War.
Throughout history, books have been a highly prized commodity. Their trade goes back many centuries to the invention of materials such as papyrus and parchment, and the creation of libraries by accumulating and copying books gave rise to collections as famous as that of Alexandria. Unfortunately, many libraries were lost due to various circumstances. Others…Continue readingHow Aristotle’s personal library arrived in Rome, almost 300 years after his death
Archimedes was probably the greatest mathematician of antiquity. He was born in the Sicilian city of Syracuse in 287 B.C., then an independent Greek colony. It is surprising how little we know about him and his life, as well as the oblivion into which he fell a few years after his death. It is known…Continue readingWhen Cicero found Archimedes’ tomb in Syracuse.
We find relatives of Napoleon everywhere and many of them with interesting lives. For instance, Louis Napoleon was in the French Resistance during the Second World War or Eugenio Luis, son of Napoleon III and the Spanish Eugenia de Montijo, fighting against the Zulus. Today we are going to review the story of another descendant,…Continue readingCharles Joseph Bonaparte, who founded the FBI, was Napoleon’s great-nephew