Did you know Cromwell attacked Jamaica?

It was part of Oliver Cromwell’s war on Spain. In 1654, a huge fleet -- one of the largest English fleets ever assembled -- left Portsmouth headed for the Caribbean. Its target was the rich prize of Hispaniola. Unfortunately, it was a fiasco, and 3,000 English marines failed to take the island’s capital of Santo Domingo. The “invincible” New Army was defeated and the victors of the English Civil War were exposed as ineffective on the world stage. How could the head of the expedition save face? Attack Jamaica of course!

It was another Spanish island, but much less well defended. On May 10th, 1655 the admiral attacked, easily defeated the small Spanish garrison at Cagway Bay. It was hopeless for the Spanish and the admiral had a treat of surrender from the Spanish commander in 6 days. England annexed Jamaica just like that. And Jamaica speaks English to this day.

Boston's Original 1630 Shoreline, Overlaid With Its Modern Infrastructure

On top of the original shoreline are the city's current roads and metro stations. Which means Massachusetts built land, then put a metro tunnel through that man-made land!

The archangel Michael, whose cult first emerged in Ethiopia under the patronage of Emperor Zär'a Ya'eqob (ruled 1434–1468), remains the most venerated archangel in Ethiopia. This is largely due to his role as an intercessor on behalf of the faithful. In this folio dating to the late 1600s, Saint Michael rescues the faithful from the flames of hell. And on the facing page, those Michael has already saved are depicted as living safely in paradise.

The first record of a bagel is in Krakow, Poland in 1610. A document issued by the Jewish elders of Krakow, with instructions on various aspects of Jewish life, included the recommendation to give "beygls" to women after childbirth. It was part of a section on how to properly celebrate the birth of a boy.

Better Late Than Never?

Potatoes arrived in the present-day United States in 1621, when the British Royal Governor of Bermuda sent chests filled with the vegetable to the British Royal Governor of Jamestown, which had been founded 14 years earlier. Bermuda was a little late: the winter of 1609 - 1610 was so bad that it was known as "the starving time" and archaeologists keep finding evidence of cannibalism on bodies that died then.

The major Incan god, Inti, was the god of the sun. You can see his sun on the flag of Argentina (above), the coat of arms of Bolivia, the coat of arms of Ecuador, and on the historical flag of Peru.

Figure of a Standing Beauty

  This lovely lady was crafted between 1670 and 1690 in Japan. She is dressed in a fashionable outfit of the day; she is draped in several layers of kimono, which are belted at the waist with a black obi. Her face has a jovial expression. While one foot is slightly revealed at the hem of her garment, her hands are held demurely by her body. Depictions of such bijin, or beautiful ladies, were becoming popular in Japan at this time in the newly budding art form of ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world." The leaders in fashion were typically residents of the pleasure districts. So beautiful figures such as this were often styled based on them.

How Big Was That Empire?

Now you can compare all the largest empires that have ever existed, by geographic area. Thank you modern geography!

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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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