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History

6 Things to Note About Spectators in the Roman Colosseum

When it comes to entertainment back in ancient times, there’s nothing like being at the Roman Colosseum. From reenactments, gladiators, and music, this was the place to enjoy yourself. Here are 6 things to note about being a spectator in this facility.

Spectators Could Get Keepsakes and Refreshments Before Going to Their Seats

There were tons of street vendors who sold everything from food to trinkets. Enjoy some sausages and chickpeas with your cup of wine as you saw someone battling it out in the arena.

Tickets Were Free But Had Designated Seating

It was free to enter but your social order determined where you would sit. If you were in the lower class, you’d be in the nosebleed seats. 

Attendees Used Separate Staircases

Depending on your class, you would enter from different sections of the colosseum. The entrances and staircases were separated by iron and marble dividers to keep some order.

Top Rows Didn’t Have the Best View or Sound

Likely, you didn’t hear or see much when you were watching from the top view. You had to go based-off the arena and vibe to really enjoy yourself. 

The Emperor Had VIP

Spectators were kept away from the emperor. If you were an elite, you may get a seat close to the emperor. However, the emperor had his own entrance so that he didn’t run into the commoners.

Successful Gladiators Were Seen As Celebrities

When it comes to being a gladiator, you could build a great reputation from winning. Some gladiators were enslaved while others may have volunteered as a youngster and built up their skills through a gladiator school. Successful gladiators were held in high esteem and were the top-notch athletes of the day. The reaped benefits from prizes to glory. 

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History

5 “Wow” Facts About Ancient Roman History

When it comes to Roman history, there’s certain lore about it that’s captured both on and off-screen. We gravitate to these ancient stories like moths to a flame. There’s something cool about having a warrior people with all of the tales that sound extravagant. Here are 5 wow facts about ancient Roman history. 

Augustus Was a Multi-Trillionaire 

Emperor Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD) was filthy rich. He had a huge inheritance from his great-uncle Julius Caesar. However, the time he took it to another level after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra. His personal net worth: $4.6 trillion.

Antonius Pius Oversaw a Time of Peace

For quite the battle-hungry place of Rome, there was actually an extended period time of peace. Pius’ reign (117-138 AD) saw turbulent politics, but this didn’t spill over into violence. He was credited for having a lack of scandal and military disaster. His successor, Marcus Aurelius, definitely didn’t follow that motif.

Claudius Mocked for Physical Deficiencies

Physical weakness was a no-no back in those days. His family regularly picked on him for his limo, foam at the mouth, and other small things that would stand out. Even his mother thought he was a monstrosity. Wow, a bit of a messed-up life. 

Elagabalus Pranked His Guests

Eccentric is an understatement. Here’s a young emperor that loved to put whoopie cushions in his guests’ chair during dinner. Who knew whoopie cushions were a thing even back then?

The Bronze Statue of Marcus Aurelius Was Spared Destruction

Aurelius’ statue had staying power within the Christian community. The key factor was the bearded look. They thought this statue was a tribute to Constantine 1, the first Christian Roman emperor. As a result, it was spared from getting melted down and turned into something else. 

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History WOW

5 Ingenious Methods of Hiding Booze During the Prohibition Era

With domestic violence and public indecency up, people blamed alcohol for these less than desirable factions. As a result, the government stepped in and banned drinking. However, people still wanted to get their drink on and found some clever ways to hide the contraband. Here are 5 clever methods of hiding booze during the prohibition era.

The Torpedo Trick

About 75% of the alcohol consumed during this era came from bootlegging between Winsdor, Canada, and Detroit, Michigan. Gangsters and ordinary people alike used an underwater cable system to transport massive quantities of alcohol at a time.

Using a Thigh Flask 

Women were notorious for wearing an overcoat stashing their liquor in tins on their garters. It was a good way to conceal their shots of whiskey when going out.

 

The Four Swallows

There was a fake book flask with the title “Spring Poems: The Four Swallows”, which was ingenious because it included four flasks in one. This was a good way to keep your flasks on deck for your secret events.

Concealed Egg

Apparently, a smuggler got caught by US Customs Agents that found out he had eggs filled with liquor. The smuggler would poke a small hole in the egg and drain the contents. He filled them with liquor and seal them back up. Pretty crafty, right?

Speed Boat Styling

Rumrunners took advantage of Detroit being close to Ontario (who at the time had more favorable liquor laws). They used speedboats and binoculars for the lookouts to keep an eye on the authorities. 

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History

5 Things America Did Before Anyone Else

The US has been at the forefront of a lot of things in what we call now “for the culture.” Even though it has a much shorter history than many parts of the world, it’s always been at the cutting-edge side of things in modern history. Here are 5 things America did before anyone else. 

Formally Recognize PTSD

Being in constant battle (especially in times of war) can put you in a state of PTSD. The US was the first to recognize this as a real issue that can be treated. As a result, thousands of ex-soldiers were able to get back on their feet and adjust to society.

Allow “Whole Grains” as an Ingredient on the Packaging

Before gluten-free became a thing, this was ahead of the curve back in 1999. They allowed more plant-based ingredients in packaged food for those that were more health-conscious.

Build a Floating Nuclear Power Plant

That literally sounds like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. They were able to refurbish the USS Sturgis in the 1960s and add a nuclear reactor to it. They used it from 1967-1975 before officially decommissioning it due to too much maintenance. 

Use Outer Space for Commercial Purposes

It was not only used for research but help us connect better here on Earth. Satellites help our communication from the internet, radio, and television like none other. The Telstar 1 back in 1962 was the first of many.

Use Lethal Injections

Back in 1982, the US executed a prison using a lethal injection. This is a more humane way of taking out a prisoner who’s on death row. 

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CH_Lifestyle History

7 Things About Courting in Regency England

Every time period has its own customs, especially when it comes to dating or romance. England had a very specific style back in its Regency era in the early 1800s. Here are 7 things to note from that era. 

Cousins Were Courting Each Other

Remember the whole thing with “country cousins” back in the day in the US? Well, it’s a bit of the same concept here. The whole romantic cousin thing was acceptable because generational wealth could be kept in the family. Also, there wouldn’t be any surprises. 

Age of Consent for Girls Was 12 and 14 for Boys

When it came to marriage, it was a bit different in those days. With permission, they could get married at an early teenage phase. However, they could make their own decisions at the age of 21. 

Marriage Mart

Apparently, there was a whole season where different groups of privileged people actually went out looking for their brides and grooms. Sons and daughters from affluent backgrounds mingled at parties, dinners, and other social gatherings. 

Engaged Couples Could Be on a First-Name Basis

Preserving the last name was such an important thing back then. That only engaged couples could be on a first-name basis. There was a certain closeness at play here.

Values Meant Something

It wasn’t just about wealth in the Regency days. The two had to be compatible to make it worth it. Was their honor, respect, dignity, understanding, and prudence? When the values matched up, it made for a more fruitful marriage.

Young Ladies Needed to Be Accomplished

This is especially the case for young women on the verge of being married. They needed to have a mix of talents ranging from good speaking skills, cooking, dancing, singing, drawing, or some activity to show a sign of dexterity and completeness.

Respectable Ladies Couldn’t Be Alone

Simply put no funny business. They needed a chaperone when courting. This was to keep her virtue and reputation in high regard. 

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History

6 Childish Military Tricks

With the seriousness of the military, you would never think they’d pull some childish or light-hearted tactics to get over on their enemy.  Sometimes unconventional methods prove to be the deciding factor in war. Here are 6 childish military tricks. 

US Military Scaring the Vietcong

When it comes to getting an edge on the battlefield, there are a lot of strategies people do to get ahead. In a unique approach, the US military acted like ghosts to spook out the Vietcong. The Vietnamese have some superstitious beliefs, so when the US would blare sounds ghostly groans from their speakers it worked well to lower their morale.

Polish Created a “Disease” To Repel the Nazis

In a small Polish town called Rozwadow, Dr. Eugene Lazowski and Stanislaw Matulewicz found a way to inject non-living Typhus bacteria into people. They used this to their advantage when Nazis were trying to send Polish away to their concentration camps. When the Nazis would run tests, they found the people in that town positive for Typhus. However, this was a bigger ploy from the doctors to get the German Public Health Authority to quarantine Rozwadow. As a result, this saved many Polish lives.

Inflatable Tanks Confused the Axis Powers

Apparently, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops were not even soldiers. They were 1,100 people made up of artists, set designers, architects, and engineers. They used fake tanks and staged a setting where it showed tons of soldiers being quite rash in enemy territory. This fooled the Axis powers because they believed the Allied Nation had a huge army in place. This saved thousands of real soldiers.

Greeks Hid in a Big Horse

We all know this story of psychological warfare, but it’s still a classic moment to tell. In the Trojan War, the Greeks had a great strategy in their mind. They placed a giant wooden horse at the entrance of Troy. They thought it was a gift or a sign that the Greeks offered to end the war. As the Trojans dropped their guard and were getting ready to celebrate, the Greeks stormed the city and turned the tides in their favor.

Genghis Khan Lit Extra Campfires

Genghis Khan was a master tactician. He deceived his enemies into thinking that his army was a lot larger by lighting more campfires and creating hundreds of straw soldiers. The fear of a big army led the enemy side to surrender.

Bring in the Cats

The Persian army used cats to take over the Egyptians. Cats were sacred in ancient Egypt, and the Persians knew this would come in handy. When they released cats on the battlefield, the Egyptian army was so careful not to touch the cats that it distracted them and caused the Persian army to gain the upper hand. 

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History

5 of the Oldest Houses in the US

Even before the US became official, there’s been life on there for centuries. There are some old structures from indigenous to early American history. Here are five of the oldest houses in the US.

Taos Pueblo

These are some unique structures made from an old-school Native style featuring earth, water, and straw. Some parts of these buildings were formed between 1000 and 1450 AD. This spot in New Mexico has been used since 1150 AD. Wow, talk about history.

Fairbanks House

Here’s a home in Dedham, MA, which holds the title of “oldest known wooden structure still standing in North America.” It’s housed eight generations of the Fairbanks family. Now, the spot is a museum, which is in solid condition after being around for almost 4 centuries. 

Henry Whitfield House

The Whitfield House is the oldest house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in New England. It’s built more than a century before the American Revolution and features a local granite that shows the early building of America.

James Blake House

This house in Boston, MA is one of only a few examples of West England country framing in the United States. Originally it was to be demolished but it was purchased and refurbished by the Dorchester Historical Society. This place has been around since 1661.

Halsey House

Check out this structure that was homesteaded in 1648. The saltbox style that’s there today was from 1683. Even today, the home has tons of 17th and 18th-century furnishings to give it that appeal of yesteryear. 

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History

6 Interesting Contents of Queen Victoria’s Coffin

As time goes on, you begin to notice how eccentric the elites were back in the day. They wanted to go out with a bang and leave nothing behind. This meant that they would take some weird belongings with them as they passed on,. Here are 6 interesting contents of Queen Victoria’s coffin.

She Left Secret Instructions for Her Burial
We all have our last wishes, but secret instructions? That’s definitely taking it to another level. Apparently, her physician Sir James Reid carried out her last wishes in a discreet manner. Many years later, author Tony Rennell (a descendant of the Reid Family) got permission from the family to go through the archives and finally publish Queen Victoria’s last days. The secret instructions were revealed.

Entire Funeral in White
Not only did she want the funeral in complete white, but she asked for a wedding veil. Before her marriage, she believed in purity to the fullest.

Keeping Wedding Rings on Both Hands to Represent Her Husband and Lover
This was a bit controversial. The family knew she wanted her wedding ring from her husband. The other ring was for her relationship with her servant John Brown. They had a strong bond because he was the only one who could speak with her in a common tone.

Charcoal and Jewelry
She wanted to take as much of her jewelry as possible. It’s quite possible she believed that she could take her riches to the afterlife. The charcoal under her was a bit more common to help keep the odors at bay.

A Sprig of Scottish Heather
Flowers still are a big thing associated with funerals. In this case, Queen Victoria wanted a sprig of Scottish heather underneath the flowers for her personally to show her adventurous side, which was her time at Balmoral Castle and her relationship with John Brown.

Lowered in a Specific Manner
Everything was done in such care even to how she was placed into her final resting place.

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CH_Lifestyle History

6 Historical Royals Drink of Choice

Every royal person from ancient to modern times has their own idiosyncrasies. There were certain things they all enjoy from a sweet drink to something to get them toasty. Here are 6 historical royals and the drinks they enjoyed. 

Alexander the Great Binged on Wine

During the day, Alex was an empire-builder. By night, he did some heavy drinking. His nightcap after sipping one night? He ended up burning down the Persian City of Persepolis. 

Louis XIV Loved Champagne With His Meals

Apparently, drinking so much champagne caused some complications. His physicians urged him to drink other alcohol. Since Champagne only came from Champagne in France, a lot of alcohol makers were upset that he got so much due to his royal favoritism. 

Catherine of Braganza Is Credited With Popularizing Tea

When Catherine arrived in England, she brought her influence with her from Portugal. As the daughter of the wealthy King of Portugal, she drank tea as an everyday refreshment. Tea was considered more of a medicinal thing in those days. The whole court started consuming tea in a fashionable manner. 

Marie Antoinette’s Personal Hot Chocolate Maker

A drink like hot chocolate was a luxury back in those days that was thought of only as something for the elites. She had such a habit that she even hired someone solely to make different hot chocolate concoctions. 

King Tut the Connoisseur of Red and White Wine

Wine was a status symbol for wealth. And who more than King Tut could show off his riches? After his grave was dug up, he was found with wine jars. They found he had access to both red and white wine. 

Queen Victoria Loved Scotch Drinks

After spending many summers in Balmoral Castle in the Highlands of Scotland, she grew quite a liking to Scotch whisky. However, she didn’t always drink it neat. She liked to mix it with tea, claret, and soda water. 

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History

5 Craziest Scandals From the Court of Louis XIV

When it comes to the late modern age, a lot of interesting things were in place. It was a different setting with different rules that don’t really fly in today’s age. Here are 5 big scandals that happened during Louis XIV’s court.

Louis XIV Had a Top-Secret Second Wedding

Whoa! I mean, I guess being king means you can get away with a lot in those days. After his first wife died, he wasn’t rushing to get re-married. He already had an heir and was able to keep his bloodline going. However, he had a thing with Marquise de Maintenon and fell in love with her. What transpired is a small marriage where just a few people were there and were sworn to secrecy. She lived close by but didn’t gain any titles or prestige from it. 

The Affair of the Poisons

Apparently, magic and sorcery were a big thing in the 1600s. A lot of people were trying to gain the king’s favor because they wanted power and wealth. It’s no surprise that there were a lot of rumors of his court attempting to poison him. As a result of all of this news, Louis XIV criminalized magic and potion making to where he formed “The Affair of the Poisons, which were a special outfit that investigated people. Out of 400 people, 34 were exiled and 36 were put to death. 

 

The King Had an Affair With His Sister-In-Law

Apparently, the marriage between Henriette Anne of England and Philippe, the Duc D’Orleans (Louis’ brother), wasn’t as stable as people thought. Both Philippe and Anne were both having their own affairs. Anne was pretty close with Louis XIV and served as a diplomat between France and England. She and Louis XIV had a lot of private time together, so people strongly assumed something was going on beneath the surface.

Nicolas Fouquet Was the Richest Man in France Before Heading to Prison

He was born into a wealthy family and had a lot of political and social power as he grew up. However, this ended in 1661. After having a party that Louis XIV deemed too lavish, he called Fouquet in for embezzlement. At first, he was going to be banished but Louis XIV thought he’d still have so much free reign to do what he wanted. He was sent to Pignerol Prison until his death in 1680. 

Some Members of the Court Believed Henriette Anne Was Poisoned

Many historians say that her death was by natural causes. However, it seemed that she died very suddenly when she mentioned extreme side pain. What was found in the autopsy is she had signs of colic and gangrene on her organs from natural causes.