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 inClassical Archaeology

Evidence of Intentional Roman Use of Narcotic Seeds, Found in Bone Vessel in the Netherlands

The black henbane or mad herb (Hyoscyamus niger) is a highly toxic plant that can also be used for medicinal or psychoactive purposes. Its remains are common in archaeological sites in Northwestern Europe as it grows wild near human settlements, making it difficult to infer whether its presence in the archaeological record is due to […]

Posted inModern Era

Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s Brother who Was King of Holland and Confronted Him after the Invasion of the Country by the French

It was the year 1851 when the prince president of France ordered the demolition of the old – and dilapidated – parish church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles in Paris. In its place, another church was built at his expense to house a family crypt. Among others, the mortal remains of his father, who had died in Livorno […]

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 […]