Infamous Nazi Submarine Discovered

A multi-beam echo sounding technique has been used to locate the infamous Nazi submarine U-3523 in the Skagerrak Strait between Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The U-3523 was technologically advanced for its time. If it survived, the sub could have revolutionized naval warfare because it could cruise for prolonged distances without needing to resurface. It was sunk on May 6, 1945, by a British aircraft.     After World War II was over, rumors began that the U-3523 had been fleeing Germany, carrying high-ranking Nazis and a cargo of Nazi gold. The wreck is being treated as a war grave and will not be disturbed. So who or what the U-3523 was carrying on its last voyage will remain a mystery.

Ancient Mirrors Said Nice Things To Their Owners

These five lead mirror frames, dating to the turn of the 200s CE, have been found while excavating a Roman villa in northern Bulgaria. Three of the frames are decorated with the image of a large wine vessel and bear an inscription that means a “good soul.” A nice thought to have when looking at oneself, no?   The villa belonged to a Roman military veteran. The specific building where the mirrors were found was initially thought to be a house for workers, but the mirrors suggest perhaps it was a temple.

Shakespeare May Have Annotated Book Passages Behind One Of His Famous Plays

A 16th-century book, with notes in the margins, may have been annotated by Shakespeare himself. The 1576 copy of François de Belleforest’s "Histoires Tragiques" has faded ink symbols next to six passages -- passages featuring a Danish prince who avenges his father's murder by his uncle, who cemented his stolen throne by marrying the prince's mother. Sound familiar? The "Histoires Tragiques" was already thought to have been one of Shakespeare's sources for Hamlet. This new find may have been the specific copy Shakespeare read!


"A half history or a sanitised history serves no one – it’s a corruption. History shouldn’t be comfortable and it shouldn’t be safe. It should always challenge you and should always be challenged."

Fern Riddell, a historian, author, and broadcaster.

How Well Do You Know Your World Cup History?

Luckily for those less into soccer/football history, someone made a handy map! It has all the host countries, and the past participants and their best results…as of this year’s group stage.

The Mathematician Who Found A Planet

Neptune was originally going to be called "Le Verrier's Planet," after French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. He was the first to hypothesize that a planet may lay beyond Uranus. He hypothesized, but did not see. Le Verrier did not noticed Neptune in a telescope. Instead, he used mathematical and astronomical calculations to show that a planet beyond Uranus should exist, and to calculate where it would be.

Emperor Augustus, The Eternal Teenager

Although he died at age 76, Emperor Augustus was always portrayed as a 19-year-old. That was the age he first became consul, and First Citizen of Rome. His portraits are recognizable by the "swallow tail" or "lobster claw" of two locks of hair on his forehead.     Photograph courtesy of the Walters Art Museum

Was the Persian Army so Big Its Arrows Really Blocked out the Sun?

The army of the Persian Empire had enough archers that they were said to be able to "block out the sun." You might remember the Spartan's famous answer to that: great, we "can fight in the shade."

Were those ancient chroniclers exaggerating? We do not know, but conservative estimates of the Persian army's capabilities was that they had 50,000 men in their army. Yes, that's a conservative estimate. Previous armies in the region are believed to have fought with mainly infantry, with archers being a supporting group; we know the Persians innovated by increasing the numbers of archers. Let’s crunch some numbers.

As a conservative estimate, let's say there are about 20,000 archers in the Persian battle line. Each archer can fire about 5 arrows a minute. And their quivers held 120 arrows, but let's assume they had to go hunting for dinner the last few nights, and give them 100 arrows. When you do the math, that means the Persian Army could fire 100,000 arrows a minute. And they could do that for as long as their arms held out, or until their arrows run out, so about 20 minutes.

The Persian army could fire 100,000 arrows a minute, for 20 minutes. As a conservative estimate. Now, I've never been on an ancient battle field, but that sounds like it could block out the sun.

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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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