A Crystal Pendant With Hathor's Head

From Nubia, sometime between 743 and 712 BCE. It was found in the tomb of an unknown queen of King Piankhy (also called King Piye).

The Lakshmi of Pompeii

  But wait, you're thinking -- Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess, right? She is, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity and the wife of Vishnu. But this particular Lakshmi figurine was found in the ruins of Pompeii. It is beautiful proof of the trade links between the Roman Empire and the other great civilizations of their day.

Where In The World Has France Invaded?

We focus too much on the British Empire. Let's give France its colonizing, imperialist due.

This Helmet Has A Tail

Technically, its a Thracian helmet from the Odrysian Kingdom, between 431 and 424 BCE. But really, does it not look like a tail?

Florentines rescuing a painting, as David watches over the Piazza della Signoria.

Over the night of November 4th to 5th, 1966, Florence flooded. The river Arno rose as high as 6.7 meters (about 22 feet) in some places, over 100 people were killed, and many paintings and documents were destroyed by the floodwaters. Young people, arriving from across the Continent, immediately began showing up to help. They became known to the Florentines as ‘gli angeli del fango,’ or ‘the Mud Angels’. The Mud Angels were not recruited, and they were not organized, but over the winter they cleaned mud out of the Basilica di Santa Croce, carried priceless paintings out of the Uffizi galleries and brought food and fresh water to the elderly Florentines trapped in their upper-floor apartments.

An Actor Backstage in 1937

He was performing in the WPA Theater troupe’s production of “Haiti: The Story of Pierre-Dominique Toussaint l’Ouverture” at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem, New York City.

The Woman Who Wanted To Die

This snapshot captures a dynamic moment. The lady, ready to swing. The policeman, ready to duck. The year is 1942 and Mrs. Edna Egbert wants to die. In the past year her son, Fred, had gotten married, joined the army, and had not written to his mother in New York City since. As a mother she was distraught. If you're thinking that jumping from the second floor of her apartment building doesn't look particularly lethal, to either side of Ms. Egbert was a spiky iron fence that could have easily impaled her.

While a crowd gathered on the street, one patrolman talked to Mrs. Egbert from the street while others rigged a net. As officers Ed Murphy and George Munday tried to persuade her to come back in to the building, she brandished a mirror and started swinging it at them. The police grabbed her arms and she proceeded to sit on the ledge. That is when they quickly pushed her into the net. The estimated 600 onlookers quickly dispersed and Mrs. Egbert was taken to Bellevue for observation. What became of Ms. Egbert, and her unfilial son, is unknown.

A Beautiful Miniature Amulet From Iran

Prayers and verses from the Qur’an have been used as amulets throughout the Islamic world for centuries. This hexagonal, silver amulet case still contains its original prayer scroll -- rather a miracle. Click on the image to see close-ups of the case and the scroll inside.

On the scroll are written prayers in a beautiful black calligraphic hand. Names of God are in larger script, in blue and red, around the edges. The scroll was not meant to be read, however, but used as a talisman. Three small loops suggest that the case was meant to be worn as a horizontal pendant. When worn, it was believed such amulets both protected the wearer from harm, and cured them if they were already hurt.

Based on the style of the calligraphy, this amulet and scroll likely come from Iran around 1800.

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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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