The Unstoppable Race

Yorkshir has a 4-mile horse race called the Kiplingcotes Derby which has been held every year since 1519. That makes it the oldest annual horse race in England. According to the ancient rules, if the race ever fails to take place, it must never be run again, so the Derby's organizers have always been careful to have at least an attempt at a race every year. In 1947 (harsh winter), 2001 (foot-and-mouth disease crisis), and 2018 (heavy rain), the race was functionally canceled but a single horse was led around the course to keep the tradition alive.

Extremely Well-Preserved Ship From 400 Years Ago Found in Baltic

This particular find is an excellently-preserved example of a type of Dutch ship called a "fluit." These ships, whose earliest versions emerged in the 1500s, were unusual in being purely mercantile vessels. Other ships at the time were designed to switch between serving as cargo ships and war vessels. But the three-masted fluit had a cost-effective design, maximizing cargo capacity and minimizing the number of sailors needed to run the ship. The fluit could therefore carry double the cargo of other ships on similar routes. Though popular between 1500s and 1700s, few fluits survive today, meaning this well-preserved wreck could help teach us more about the ship that helped the Dutch build their international mercantile power.

A rare gold coin from the Mughal Empire in India, showing Emperor Jahangir on one side and a lion, representing the leo from the zodiac. Minted between 1605 and 1628 CE. In his memoirs, the Mughal emperor Jahangir recorded his idea for the unusual design of this (and other coins) showing all the signs of the zodiac.

The Three Wise Monkeys

A slightly-mysterious carving of the Three Wise Monkeys on the sacred stable at the Nikko Toshogu Shrine complex in Japan, which was built in 1617. The sculpture is attributed to Hidari Jingorō, a legendary sculptor whose existence is a matter of debate. Not only is their carver potentially a myth, these monkeys may also be the first physical representation of the old saying, which arrived in Japan with Buddhist monks in the 700s CE.

The Assassin Who Gave Us A Word

The English word "guy" meaning a man or gender-neutral person, likely comes from Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot he was involved in, in 1605. The word "guy" was first slang for a poorly-dressed person like those that carried Guy Fawkes effigies at the yearly festival. Eventually it lost its negative connotation.

Before Newton and his laws of physis, the English word "gravity" denoted a serious or solemn mood. It also meant the quality of having lightness or heaviness.

Official Signature of Ottoman Sultan Murad III

AAlthough "signature" is a rough translation of the Ottoman's word "tugra." Murad III did not literally sign all documents like this, rather, it was a symbol of his authority which was placed on all official documents and seals and coins. Each sultan chose his personal tugra immediately after their accession to the throne, and used the same format throughout their life.

Fun Fact of the Day

By the end of the English Civil War (in the 1640s to 1651) there were Mesopotamians fighting in the monarchists' army.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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