Category Archives: History

December 15

Nero: Poet, Hedonist and Sadist

On the 15th of December 37 AD, Nero, the famous Roman Emperor (54-68 AD), was born in Antium, Italy. He was a controversial figure known for his explosive violence, homoeroticism, love of poetry and bad acting. This puzzling mélange of character traits has spawned numerous anecdotes and stories about Nero’s life. They present him as […]

December 06

The Earliest Encyclopædia Britannica

On the 6th of December 1768, the first part or ‘number’ of 100 thick pamphlets which made up the first ever Encyclopædia Britannica appeared in print in Edinburgh, sold for 6 pence a piece. In our times when digital versions of the Britannica  online and on optical discs can be accessed from various modern gadgets, the graft […]

November 25

Mishima Yukio: The Last Samurai

On the 25th of November 1970, Mishima Yukio, a Japanese writer, actor and film director, killed himself in the traditional Japanese warrior manner of seppuku in Tokyo, Japan. His suicide shocked equally the Japanese and people worldwide. It is believed that Mishima’s suicide was a premeditated act determined by certain political but also personal and […]

November 18

Caxton’s First Printed Book In English

On the 18th of November 1477, William Caxton (1415/1422 – 1492) finished printing Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, the first incunabulum (from the Latin “incunabula” which meant “swaddling clothes” or “cradle”) : the earliest printed book in English, which bore a clear publication date, but also, for the first time, a printer’s colophon/logotype which […]

November 11

Ned Kelly: The Rebel and Nolan’s Muse

On the 11th of November 1880, Ned Kelly, an Australian bushranger, was hanged in Melbourne. At the time of his death he was only 25 and already a legend. By some perceived as a criminal and villain, by others as a rebel or even an Australian equivalent of Robin Hood, Kelly was and still is one of the most controversial […]

November 05

Is Bonfire Night a Pagan Rite?

In the early hours of the 5th of November 1605, Guy Fawkes was found guarding explosives in Westminster Palace. Late January 1606, the man and his fellow Catholic plotters were found guilty of an attempted assassination against King James I; on the last day of the same month, they were hung and quartered; their body […]

November 04

Buried History: Tutankhamun

On the 4th of November 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter (1874 –1939) and his team found the entrance to the 14th-century BC Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. This little known pharaoh ruled in the 18th dynasty (ca. 1332 BC – 1323 BC) during the Egyptian New Kingdom period. […]