The imperial summer palace, or Yuanming Yuan, evolved over time into the main residence of the Qing emperors. Eight miles north of the Forbidden City, it was constructed throughout the 1700s and early 1800s, as emperors successively added gardens, water features, follies, and eventually European-style palaces.

Yuanming Yuan was burned from October 18th to October 21s of 1860, during the Opium Wars, by the Anglo-British Expeditionary Force. These photographs were taken on October 18th before the palace was burned.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

This arch and the attached façade are the only remains of the once-great metropolis of Ctesiphon. Perched on the banks of the Tigris River, for eight hundred years, Ctesiphon reigned as the capital of first the Parthian and then the Sassanian Empire. But the city quickly declined after the Arabic conquests in the mid-600s CE, and was completely abandoned by the 700s. As new empires rose and fell, and the world moved on, Ctesiphon slowly crumbled into the desert.

Immortality Through Death

Publius Ostorius, a gladiator at Pompeii, was famous for surviving 51 fights. Or should it be "is famous"? After all, we still know his name and his deed today.

Koreans invented moveable type made of durable metal in the 1200s CE. The oldest existing book made from moveable metal type is the Jikji a collection of Buddhist teachings, hymns, eulogies, and poetry. It was compiled by a Korean Buddhist monk named Baegun, and printed in 1377.

On October 30, 1313, King Edward II of England passed the Statutum de Defensione Portandi Arma. The law forbids MPs from entering Parliament with weapons or in full armor. King Edward II passed this law after “certain individuals” interrupted and disorganized several meetings he’d had with members of Parliament. The law is still upheld today and has been extended to bulletproof vests. Note that visitors are not included in the law, and so are allowed to bring weapons or wear armor, if they so choose.

The Ancient Heritage of the Pearl

Pearls have long been considered a precious gem. They were presented as gifts to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BCE! And we know they were used as adornment from ancient times because a fragment of pearl jewelry was found in a Persian princess' sarcophagus dating to around 420 BCE.

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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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