Happy Thanksgiving

Even though Greece doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I went to an American school so the family and I sort of do — mostly because we love the idea of a day dedicated to gratitude. In that spirit, I am very grateful to all of you for your love and support all these...

What Were Stone Age Clothes Made of?

Many fantasy books mention clothes. These are usually made of wool or linen. If there’s an “Asian” civilization nearby, perhaps even silk. But what did early civilizations really use for their clothes? I’m not talking about Medieval clothes or...

The Cossack Sorcerers

Almost everyone knows about Japanese Ninjas and Chinese Shaolin monks. How about the secretive and magical Warrior Society of Ukraine, though? I am, of course, talking about the Cossack Sorcerers. Never heard of them? Well, neither had I until I came across a...

The Real Tower of Babel

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for...

How Tolkien’s War Experience Shaped His Work

In my last post, I described how Winnie the Pooh may be seen as Milne’s attempt to describe his PTSD to his son. However, the Battle of the Somme affected more than one famous author. J.R.R. Tolkien was also there, and his experience shaped his work, as another...

Anvil Weddings and Gretna Green

Scotland and England were ruled by a single monarch until James VI of Scotland became James I of England, upon Elizabeth I’s death in 1603. However, it was only when the Act of Union was passed, in 1707, that they were united under a single parliament. One of the...

A Nafplio Visit

One of the best things about living in Greece is the history. Literally, with every stone you lift, you’re bound to find a wee bit of history underneath. This weekend, we went to Nafplio and visited the castle of Palamidi. Nafplio was the second capital of...

North American Vikings

I was just writing the other day about the 1339 monk who wrote about the discovery of America. Now, analysis of wood from timber-framed buildings in the L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland shows a Norse-built settlement over 1,000 years ago – 471 years before...

Terra Incognita: the 1339 Discovery of America

As The Economist reports, a paper for the academic journal Terrae Incognitae by Paolo Chiesa, a professor of Medieval Latin Literature at Milan University, reveals that an Italian monk referred to America in a book he wrote as early as the starts of the 14th century....