Giovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

Giovanni Battista della Porta was born in November 1535 in Vico Equense, a municipality of the Kingdom of Naples that since 1504, by the Treaty of Lyon, belonged to the Crown of Aragon and with the rise to the throne of Joanna the Mad was transformed into a viceroyalty, remaining in Spanish possession until 1704.…Continue readingGiovanni della Porta, the Renaissance scholar who encrypted messages inside eggs to fool the Inquisition

The Great Taboo, the 240 square kilometer area sealed for eight centuries where the tomb of Genghis Khan is believed to be

The national literary work par excellence of Mongolia is the Secret History of the Mongols, of which the author is unknown, but it is known to have been composed between 1227 and 1228, shortly after the death of Genghis Khan. The original document is not preserved, but a copy a century later and written in…Continue readingThe Great Taboo, the 240 square kilometer area sealed for eight centuries where the tomb of Genghis Khan is believed to be

Devshirme, the recruitment of Christian children by the Ottoman Empire to become soldiers and officials

The Ottoman Empire was one of the main powers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Its colossal dimensions guaranteed it a military surplus that allowed it to recover from any defeat in a very short time, as happened in Lepanto, and to undertake campaigns simultaneously on different fronts, in the case of Asia or Europe.…Continue readingDevshirme, the recruitment of Christian children by the Ottoman Empire to become soldiers and officials

The French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

If we talk about battles of the Second World War, the names of some that are already inevitable references will come to mind, from Stalingrad to Berlin to El Alamein, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, the Bulge and several more very famous ones. But there were others that are not so well known, even if some of…Continue readingThe French resistance in Lille that saved time for the British to be evacuated in Dunkirk

Corupedium, the battle that ended the long war between Alexander’s successors

It is curious that one of the most extensive empires of antiquity had such a weak foundation that, in reality, it was only based on the charisma of its builder. We’re talking about Alexander the Great. That giant with feet of clay that he formed with his military genius fell apart as soon as his…Continue readingCorupedium, the battle that ended the long war between Alexander’s successors

The mystery of the disappearance of the most valuable medicinal plant from antiquity

The ancient Greek city of Cyrene (in present-day Libya), where Eratosthenes was born, was founded by settlers from Thera (Santorini) on the advice of the Oracle of Delphi around 632 BC. It soon prospered and became one of the richest cities in the Mediterranean. A plant, whose trade Cyrene dominated for centuries, had a lot…Continue readingThe mystery of the disappearance of the most valuable medicinal plant from antiquity

The hand of Hercules at the Great Roman Temple in Amman

The Citadel of Amman, the Jordanian capital, is one of the oldest cities in the world that has been inhabited without interruption, at least since about 7000 BC. Around 1200 BC it was already called Rabbat-Amon (from which it derives its present name), the main city of the Ammonites, a Semitic tribe from which there…Continue readingThe hand of Hercules at the Great Roman Temple in Amman

Corsican Republic, the small and ephemeral independent state that held the first modern constitution

In 1775, on the occasion of the outbreak of the American War of Independence, a group of students from King’s College (now Columbia University), among whom was Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s future right-hand man, founded a militia which, under the motto God and our right (the same as the British crown Dieu et mon droit…Continue readingCorsican Republic, the small and ephemeral independent state that held the first modern constitution

The Great Marib Dam, one of the engineering wonders of antiquity

Yemen is a relatively fertile country, thanks to its location on the seashore and its humid climate. It has valleys and mountains to the west, with heights exceeding 3,500 meters, but also desert plateaus to the east. Here is located the Rub al-Khali, considered the largest sand desert in the world. From very ancient times…Continue readingThe Great Marib Dam, one of the engineering wonders of antiquity

Carsten Niebuhr, the scientist who crossed the Middle East disguised as an Arab as the only survivor of the Royal Danish Expedition

Scientific travel became widespread among European countries from the mid-18th century following the establishment of the Enlightenment. And although the most famous were led by the great powers of the time (United Kingdom, France, Spain …), there were other nations that joined the trend. One of them was Denmark, which in 1761 organized an expedition…Continue readingCarsten Niebuhr, the scientist who crossed the Middle East disguised as an Arab as the only survivor of the Royal Danish Expedition

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