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Showing posts from May, 2011

Earthquakes in Antioch

Today is the anniversary of the great earthquake of Antioch in 526 A.D. It ranks as the 6th greatest natural disaster (in terms of death toll), and 250,000 people are said to have died. This was hardly the first earthquake to hit the great city, one in 37 A.D. had caused Emperor Caligula to send a special delegation of two senators to report on Antioch's condition.

It would also not be the last; during the Siege of Antioch in the First Crusade an earthquake hit on December 30th of 1097, supposedly weakening the city's defenses and causing, along with subsequent bad weather, an army of their allies to depart. The city fell the following May, leading to a terrible massacre of the inhabitants that lives in historical infamy.

Wedding Fashions Through the Ages

The royal wedding may be over, but my own wedding is only two short months away and everywhere I look I can see that it is high wedding season. In honor of all the brides (and grooms), let's take a look at wedding fashions throughout the ages.
In a traditional Roman wedding the bride wore a white toga with a very long red veil, which hung from a headdress made up of six even strands of hair held together in a kind of conical shape. There was potentially a second veil, also red, which the bride used as she symbolically veiled herself  ("nupta", as in "nuptial") like a piece of property which was transferred from one owner to another. There was a also a wreath on her head and a knotted girdle around her waist which was meant to tie up evil spirits.

Fast forward to medieval times and in some ways things had relaxed a little. There wasn't quite so much symbolism and clothing was more a matter of fashion than tradition, the brides gown being generally just her bes…

The Tudors...According to Histeria

I loved the series Histeria! when I was younger, I mean, it was cartoons and history; what's not to like? Here's their primer on the Tudor dynesty. I was lucky enough to get mine courtesy of the British school system, but this is a fine recap.