A Quickly-Changing Word

The word "nice" originally mention "foolish". In the 1400s, the word came to mean "coy," then in the 1500s, "fastidious." By the 1700s, nice had assumed its modern meaning.

Feeling Fab

The word “fabulous” comes from the Latin “fabulosus” or “celebrated in fable.” Once, you had to do something nearly unbelievable for it to be fabulous. Nowadays, a mildly productive work meeting counts.

Las Llamas: An Archaeological Exploration of the Largest Child Sacrifice in History

Historical-nonfiction published a post in July 2018 about the discovery of the Las Llamas site in Peru. Archaeologists have recovered 269 children between the ages of five and 14 and three adults, all sacrificed in the same manner at the same time. National Geographic recently published a new article about the continuing excavations, with new information and some really good interviews with the archaeologists studying the site.

Need To Remember All The British Royal Houses?

Here's a fun mnemonic: "No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Halfway!" Which stands for the main British royal families: Normans, Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanovers, and Windsors. And in chronological order, too!

New Aztec Ballcourt Discovered In Mexico City

A ball court and its associated temple, dating to the 1400s, was recently discovered under Mexico City. The Aztec temple was devoted to a wind god named Ehecatl, and it included a ceremonial Mesoamerican ball court. The sport predates the Aztecs. It has been played in Mesoamerica since at least 1600 BCE, but the newcomer Aztecs clearly adopted it as their own. And not just as a fun pastime, but as a religious ritual. Researchers also recovered 32 neck vertebrae at the site, indicating that losing players lost their heads, a present for the gods.  

Incan Marriage Was Unfair

Lower-class men were allowed to have just one wife. But nobles could, and did, take multiple wives.

When You Visit the Great Wall of China, You're Really Visiting the Great Ming Wall

The best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China existing today were built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). That's very new: the oldest sections date to the 600s BCE. The Ming version stretched from northern Korea to Tibet, with the middle section near Beijing splitting into an inner- and outer-wall. Double the wall, double the protection.

Cameroon Means What Now?

Cameroon is the only country in the world named after a crustacean. In 1472, Portuguese explorer Fernando Po named the country “Rio dos Camaroes,” which means “River of Prawns” after he saw the immense number of shrimp in the country's Wouri River. The official language of Cameroon is French, and in French, it is spelled "Cameroun." The English spelling is just a corruption.

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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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