Forgotten History

EnolaGaia

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Recent finds and analyses suggest the Romans were whaling on a commercial / industrial level ...

Ancient bones reveal forgotten history of whales
Whale bones unearthed at Roman ruins suggest the animals were hunted by humans as long as 2,000 years ago.

Genetic fingerprinting evidence points to the presence of right and grey whales in the Mediterranean Sea, where they may have been targeted by Roman fishing fleets.

Until now, the Basque people were thought to be the first commercial whalers from the 11th Century onwards.

However, the new discovery suggests whales were exploited long before then. ...

"This is the first identification of these two species within that basin," said Dr Camilla Speller of the University of York, one of a team of UK and French scientists that analysed the bones. ...

The Gibraltar region was the centre of a massive fish-processing industry in Roman times. Products such as salted fish were exported to faraway parts of the Roman Empire. ...

If the Romans were exploiting fish such as tuna, they might also have been catching whales with boats and hand-held harpoons to supply whale products such as meat and fat.

The presence of large whales along the shores of the Roman Empire suggests that the Romans would have had access to grey and right whales.

These would have been easier to hunt than faster-moving sperm or fin whales, which are commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea. ...

However, it is not yet known the extent to which Romans were actively hunting whales or whether a Roman whaling industry existed at all.

People have been harvesting whales for thousands of years around the world in indigenous cultures, but the Basques were thought to be the first to pursue whales for economic gain on an industrial scale.
"I guess that's the key question - whether the Romans were actually starting to do this before or whether the Basques were the first industrial whalers," said Dr Speller. ...

Analysis suggests right whales and grey whales could be found in the Gibraltar region at least up to the late Roman period.

"It seems incredible that we could have lost and then forgotten two large whale species in a region as well-studied as the Mediterranean," said Dr Ana Rodrigues, researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. "Makes one wonder what else have we forgotten."
SOURCE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44782898
 

EnolaGaia

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The discovery of whale bones in the Gibraltar area also seems to vindicate Pliny the Elder's account of whales in that region.

Pliny the Elder Wasn't Crazy After All. There Were Whales in the Mediterranean.

Scientists have questioned the credibility of Pliny the Elder's now 2,000-year-old account of orcas hunting whale calves near the Strait of Gibraltar, since those marine mammals aren't known to visit that area. Now, archaeological evidence suggests Pliny knew exactly what he was talking about.

Researchers discovered whale bones from the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and the Atlantic gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) within the ruins of an ancient Roman fish-processing facility located along the Strait of Gibraltar. The discovery was published today (July 10) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

In the first century A.D., Pliny the Elder famously wrote about orcas (also called killer whales, though they are in the dolphin family) attacking whales and their calves in the Bay of Cádiz, near the Strait of Gibraltar— the entry point from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean that lies between Africa and Europe. According to Callum Roberts in "The Unnatural History of the Sea" (Island Press, 2008), Pliny described how whales "during the summer periods hide in a certain calm and spacious inlet, and take marvelous delight in breeding there." Pliny continued with a description of the brutal battles he witnessed as killer whales preyed on the mother whales and their calves. ...

But this didn't make sense to ecologists. There are very few whale species that visit the Mediterranean Sea, as outlined in a 2016 report published in the journal Advances in Marine Biology, and none of those species are known to use the area as a calving ground. This fact led scientists to wonder if Pliny's account was accurate, or if perhaps he was mistaking dolphins for whales. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/63028-pliny-ancient-mediterranean-whales.html
 

uair01

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While in Innsbruck for a conference, I attended mass at the Jesuit church. After mass I inspected the sights and was struck by this depiction of the martyrdom of three Japanese Jesuits. There is Wikipedia page about this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/26_Martyrs_of_Japan#Japanese_Jesuits

martyrs.jpg

The history is fascinating:
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan (日本二十六聖人 Nihon Nijūroku Seijin) were a group of Catholics who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597, at Nagasaki. Their martyrdom is especially significant in the history of Catholic Church in Japan.

A promising beginning to Catholic missions in Japan—perhaps as many as 300,000 Catholics by the end of the sixteenth century—met complications from competition between the missionary groups, political difficulty between Spain and Portugal, and factions within the government of Japan. Christianity was suppressed, and it was during this time that the 26 martyrs were executed. By 1630, Catholicism had been driven underground. Two-hundred and fifty years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, they found a community of "hidden Catholics" that had survived underground.

The ceiling of the church also commemorated how multinational the Jesuits were, mentioning, China, Japonia, India and Moluca (= Lucifer D.X. Occidentis = Lightbringer of the East), besides Hispania, Gallia, Italia and Germania (= Hesperus di Occidentis = Evening Star of the West).

martyrs2.jpg
 

uair01

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AlchoPwn

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Anyone interested in this will probably enjoy the movie "Silence"
My impression of the film:

Silence: Well, I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition but I got the Japanese Inquisition instead. This one being an anti-Christian pogrom. The Jesuits, their acolytes and converts are burned at the stake, beheaded, burned whilst wrapped in straw mats, tortured with boiling water, drowned whilst wrapped in straw mats, hung upside down in pits of offal. Mel Gibson must have had a hand in this script of martyrdom.

The film is set mainly in 17th century Japan, two Jesuit missionaries set out on an ill-advised voyage to Japan hoping to contact their mentor (Liam Neeson) who has apparently become an apostate. Neeson looks like a fallen Jedi, will they be able to bring him back from the dark side.

Beautifully filmed but a tad overlong and certainly not for the squeamish. 7/10.
 

Swifty

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Peg Entwistle, the early years famed failed Hollywood starlet famously jumped from the letter H of the famous Hollywood sign .. she remains the only person to have committed suicide from this sign.

Adam The Woo retraces her last steps ..

 

Swifty

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Centuries of Sound

In an ambitious project, this chap has decided to create a sound and music mix for every year from 1859 to current day. He's got up to 1905 so far, you just click on the desired year to listen in and learn .. 1890 has voice recordings from P.T.Barnum and Florence Nightingale !

https://centuriesofsound.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/1905/
 
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Swifty

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I didn't know but apparently there was a nude scene filmed of Marilyn Monroe from the film Misfits and it's been re found .. which would make it the fist ever full frontal female nude scene in cinematic history. To date, it's still locked up in someones safe though ..

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/80656
 

GNC

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I didn't know but apparently there was a nude scene filmed of Marilyn Monroe from the film Misfits and it's been re found .. which would make it the fist ever full frontal female nude scene in cinematic history. To date, it's still locked up in someones safe though ..

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/80656
Hedy Lamar ("the most beautiful woman in the world") performed the first full frontal nude scene by a star in the movies back in Extase from 1933. She also invented the technology that makes mobile phones work. Now there's range...
 

Swifty

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Hedy Lamar ("the most beautiful woman in the world") performed the first full frontal nude scene by a star in the movies back in Extase from 1933. She also invented the technology that makes mobile phones work. Now there's range...
And Ernie Wise (almost) made the first mobile phone call .. he made the second ever civilian phone call in the UK with his short fat hairy legs ..

https://londonist.com/2014/12/how-ernie-wise-almost-made-the-uks-first-mobile-phone-call
 
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Fitted in just like one of the locals.

A sculpture honouring a gorilla who lived in a Cotswolds village will be erected after receiving local approval.

The ape, called John Daniel, was adopted by Alyce Cunningham, from Uley, Gloucestershire, in 1918 after her brother bought it for £300 in London.

The animal was raised like a normal child, had its own bedroom and could use the light switch and toilet.

Stroud District Council has now granted planning permission for a sculpture of the ape on Uley village green.

The Uley Society's Dr Rod White said he hopes it will be formally unveiled "sometime in September or very early October".

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-45222456
 

hunck

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A sad end to the story:

Once it grew to adult size Ms Cunningham could no longer look after it so, in 1921, she sold it to an American for one thousand guineas.

The gorilla died of pneumonia in the USA a year later.

She thought it would be sent to a home in Florida, but instead the ape ended up in Barnum and Baileys Circus.

There its health deteriorated, with reports reaching Ms Cunningham that the animal was pining for her.

She set sail for New York but the gorilla, by now aged four-and-a-half, died from pneumonia before she arrived.
 

Swifty

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Germany also had a colonial past.

Germany has handed back the human remains of indigenous people killed during a genocide in colonial Namibia more than 100 years ago.

A Namibian government delegation received the skulls at a church service in the capital, Berlin.

The bones had been sent to Germany for now-discredited research to prove the racial superiority of white Europeans.

Tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people were murdered in response to an anti-colonial uprising.

It is thought that 75% of the Herero population and half of the Nama population died.

The skulls of some of the victims were sent to Germany where racial anthropologists studied them as part of an attempt to justify a theory about the superiority of Europeans.

There are thought to be hundreds of Namibian skulls in Germany and on Wednesday more than 25 remains were handed back.

Skulls from Germany's other African colonies, including modern day Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda and Togo, were also used in the discredited studies.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-45342586
 
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Sounds like a cracking good read.

Gibraltar, The Greatest Siege in British History by Roy Adkins and Lesly Adkins



Gibraltar, The Greatest Siege in British History
by Roy Adkins and Lesly Adkins was first published this year. The subject is the Spanish and French siege of British controlled Gibraltar that occurred between 1779 and 1783. This book is a military, social and political history. Though I think that the title is a little sensationalist, this is well written and researched. It tells a fascinating story. The writers are a husband and wife team. They are both historians and archeologists.

Such a large event involving all sorts of history that occurred in Europe during this time period is in and of itself of interest to me. However, I also wanted to know more about this siege because it was part of the world - wide conflict between Great Britain, France and Spain that The American Revolution was also part of. In fact, many sources classify this siege as being part of The American Revolution. The authors of this book even write,

"Although the Great Siege has no other name, it was in reality part of the American War of Independence. The actions and ambitions of France and Spain had caused that war to spill across the Atlantic into Europe, and the war zone would extend from Britain to Gibraltar, Spain and Minorca."

The conflict actually spanned the entire world. Personally, I think that this war needs another name. It encompassed both The American Revolution and what was known as The Second Anglo-Mysore War in India. It does not have one however.

It turns out that, to a great extent, Spain, joined France and the rebellious American Colonies in a war against Great Britain because it wanted to take Gibraltar from The British. One theme that I came across in this work as well as in Brothers at Armsby Larrie D. Ferreiro was that in a way, Great Britain sacrificed America for Gibraltar. In diplomatic wranglings before Spain went to war with Great Britain, it demanded that Great Britain cede the fortress as it had been Spanish territory in the past. Had Great Britain acquiesced, Spain would have stayed out of the war. This world have increased the chance of a British victory that would have led it to retain America.

Later, as this work illustrates, enormous resources were diverted to hold Gibraltar. These resources would have made a great difference in America. In fact, a fleet that Great Britain sent to relieve Gibraltar was diverted from intercepting a French Fleet that played a decisive part in Great Britain’s loss at Yorktown. That defeat cemented the American victory against Great Britain.

The authors cite multiple sources to illustrate this point. They write,

“In 1783 the Scottish politician and prolific writer Sir John Sinclair

https://briansbabblingbooks.blogspot.com/2018/08/gibraltar-greatest-siege-in-british.html

 
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This could provide material for an Alternative History novel.

In 1921, Canada developed a secret plan to invade the U.S.



“Very dishonest and weak”: that’s what Trump called Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau just a few months ago. And now the president wants to exclude Canada from a revised NAFTA. Yes, U.S.-Canada relations have been better.

They’ve also been a lot worse.


Less than a century ago, simmering tensions between the two countries led generals on both sides to draw up plans to invade their neighbour. Canada’s 1921 plan for a ‘pre-emptive invasion’ of the northern U.S. was called Defence Scheme No. 1. America’s plan to knock out Canada, developed a few years later, had a rather more belligerent title: War Plan Red.

Why would Canada want to invade the U.S.? Paradoxically, because it felt offence was the best defence against an imminent American attack. Here’s a quote from the document itself:

“The first thing apparent in the defence of Canada is that we lack depth. Depth can only be gained by Offensive Action. To carry out an Offensive Action against the United States, with our population in a ratio of 1 to 12 and the United States’ Regular Army of 175,000 Enlisted Men, and with between two and four millions of men who were lately embodied for service, is a difficult and on the surface an almost hopeless task, but on further study, it would be found out that it is not as hopeless as it appears on the surface and that Canada has a good many advantages in her favour”. ...

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/in-1921-canada-developed-a-secret-plan-to-invade-the-us
 

amyasleigh

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The time when William from 'Just William' decided to become a 'nastie' so he could call himself Him Hitler and chase away the Jewish shop owners. Unsurprisingly, it was withdrawn from print .. eventually ..

http://justwilliamsyear.co.uk/william-the-detective/william-and-the-nasties

https://gabrielquotes.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/william-and-the-nasties-scan-split.pdf

Have only just noticed this post. As a child and young person many decades ago, I was a "Just William" devotee: recall reading the "nasties" tale back then, obviously in an edition from before it was "pulled". Re-reading it as linked above, caused a few rather uncomfortable moments; but I perceive in this matter, a certain "hindsight is 20 / 20" element -- and there is in the story, a good quantity of the characteristic "Just William" humour, which delights me -- often revolving around the kids' hilarious, to me, misunderstanding and botching of information which comes their way.

I recall this as just one of several "William" stories set in the late 1930s, in which the Outlaws get the impression that assorted right-wing dictators in foreign lands at the time (and their admirers nearer home), are decidedly "cool", and set about trying to imitate them. There was one which drew upon the much-remarked-on Fascist passion for uniforms involving various-coloured shirts: William initiates, and recruits the Outlaws to, the "Blue Shirts" movement: prompting imitation in the shape of the "Green Shirts", by the rival gang headed by the obnoxious spoilt brat Hubert Lane. The Outlaws have somehow got wind vaguely, of Nazi Germany's demands for the return of the pre-World War I German overseas colonies: "col'nies" as William & co, render the word -- they unofficially appropriate a local farmer's grass field for colonisation, and post a notice on the field's gate reading "Blue Shirts Col'ny" (the word written in that spelling).

I would be loath to see this small element in Richmal Crompton's output, as evidence of her having been a sympathiser with Fascism (though pre-World War II, a fair number of perfectly decent people in Britain did see a good deal to admire in that current in politics: the truly hideous side to it was not realised at the time / came about later on); I envisage it rather, as her having fun with her juvenile (anti)-heroes' persistent getting the wrong end of the stick about most things which come their way -- far-right-wing goings-on, just one of many useful vehicles for this theme; plus the possibility of the author's poking fun at the absurdities of such goings-on, via the kids' confused take on them.

I seem to recall another "William" story from this period, in which the Outlaws discover Communism, through William's much-older brother Robert, and friends of his, getting into a period of earnest conversion to that ideology. (Uncharacteristic of Robert, if my memory of the books is correct; I seem to recall him as, mostly, an engagingly un-intellectual and vacuous young man rather a la Bertie Wooster: interested chiefly in tennis, and girls -- about achieving any success with whom, he is endearingly clueless.) William does a copy-cat act, roping the Outlaws into his micro-Soviet-republic; likely enough, I suspect -- memory fails me here -- with him as Stalin-counterpart. The thought occurs, that the author might have conceived this tale as a bit of evening-up of the record, vis-a-vis the "would-be Fascists" ones.

Again if memory serves me rightly: quite a number (though not monopolisingly so) of the many hundreds of "William" stories, revolve around the Outlaws' learning of some interesting venture on the part of grown-ups, present or past, and seeking in their garbled way, to emulate it. One story which had me helpless with laughter, was that in which there is made known to them at school, the story of St. Francis of Assisi; which inspires them to form their own religious order, dedicated to benignity and love for all living creatures, and for other things: the Williamcans, on the model of the name "Franciscans".

Maybe a far-fetched notion: but I wonder a little whether this "emulation" strand in Crompton's "William" stories, might have contributed to the idea of the (a good deal later in the 20th century) space-fantasy "Hoka" stories by Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson. Premise of these tales being the discovery by spaefarers from Earth, of the Hoka people, inhabiting a planet vast numbers of light-years away. The Hoka, teddy-bear-like in appearance, are quite amazingly imitative: having been contacted by the human race, they become fascinated by human culture, and obsessively emulate and role-play accordingly, re all manner of human things -- latched onto, chiefly through the medium of works of fiction. I admit to not being all that keen on the Hoka stuff, good though the initial idea may have been: the Hoka are just too talented and adept as emulators -- the humour of misunderstanding and getting-wrong just isn't there; for me, the whole thing pans out as a rather drearily repetitive one-trick pony. For my money, Crompton is a lot funnier.
 

escargot

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There was one which drew upon the much-remarked-on Fascist passion for uniforms involving various-coloured shirts: William initiates, and recruits the Outlaws to, the "Blue Shirts" movement: prompting imitation in the shape of the "Green Shirts", by the rival gang headed by the obnoxious spoilt brat Hubert Lane.

This was also parodied by Wodehouse in his 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters. Roderick Spode, a thinly-disguised Sir Oswald Mosley, led a brigade of 'Black Shorts' who were widely reviled.

'Look at that frightful ass Spode, swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher!'
 

amyasleigh

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This was also parodied by Wodehouse in his 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters. Roderick Spode, a thinly-disguised Sir Oswald Mosley, led a brigade of 'Black Shorts' who were widely reviled.

'Look at that frightful ass Spode, swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher!'
Likely, as "political" as Wodehouse ever got. His mostly inhabiting the benignly bonkers world of his fiction -- having very little to do with the turmoils and horrors of the earlier twentieth century -- was well known. His being a naive innocent re such, played into his World War II misfortunes: Wodehouse and his wife were staying in early summer 1940, at their holiday home in France -- obliviousness to the news bulletins, led them to stay there too long and be caught by the advancing Germans, and interned with other civilian enemy nationals at a location in the far east of Germany.

Wodehouse's agreeing to the Germans' suggestion that he make over the national radio, a series of English-language broadcasts, got him into rather serious trouble when back in Britain after the war -- notwithstanding the broadcasts' having been essentially harmless and light-hearted stuff about the (fairly small-time) trials and tribulations of internment. Authority in Britain saw him as having "given aid and comfort" etc. -- proposals were made, for his arraignment for treason. In the end, he was spared that: many, including an interesting cross-section of his fellow authors, defended him along the lines of "this is ridiculous -- everyone knows that this chap lives on another planet -- he had not the slightest intention of acting treasonously, and it never crossed his mind that the German suggestion of broadcasts could, if taken up, land him in time with accusations of so doing". However, he was never thereafter very comfortable or happy in Britain; and ultimately moved "for keeps", to the USA.
 

Coal

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This was also parodied by Wodehouse in his 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters. Roderick Spode, a thinly-disguised Sir Oswald Mosley, led a brigade of 'Black Shorts' who were widely reviled.

'Look at that frightful ass Spode, swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher!'
and Spode immediately change his politics on marrying into the 'up' crowd...
 

Mungoman

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This was also parodied by Wodehouse in his 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters. Roderick Spode, a thinly-disguised Sir Oswald Mosley, led a brigade of 'Black Shorts' who were widely reviled.

'Look at that frightful ass Spode, swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher!'
One million likes for that last sentence Essie...could perfect perisher be translated as 'pure radge" nowadays?
 
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