Capturing important moments in history from as far back as the 11th and 12th centuries, Deutschland’s palatial monuments are as striking to us today as they were to the royal families and military leaders who once inhabited them.
Having survived centuries and World Wars, many of these castles remain important parts of German life. They now serve as government buildings, museums, landmarks, hotels, and—in more than a few cases—incredible private homes.
In extreme cases, where no amount of surgery could come close to repairing disfiguring injuries, war survivors went to a “Tin Noses Shop.” It was in such a studio where sculptors would construct masks to help veterans get around
your profession is one that has been given many witty names throughout the centuries. gossips who tease the dead, prophets in reverse, and other quips like that. you prefer the term celebrity necromancer. you deal in a sort of immortality, bartering eternal memory for information about the past. the result is not always what your clients wished for, but necromancy doesn’t come with a satisfaction guarantee.
you are reading a book on imperialism when you realize that the past few pages have been eerily identical. looking back, you confirm that this is the case; looking forward, you see that the rest of the book appears to be the same two pages reprinted over and over again, napoleon forever invading russia. you put the book on imperialism down and pick up a book on farming practices in the early united states. it begins in the middle of the narrative of napoleon’s march on russia. you shrug. you are used to history repeating itself.
your library is a graveyard and your mind is a museum, facts and figures and little bits of the past cataloged in every nook and cranny of your memory. the ghosts of those who lived long ago whisper to you in the fluttering of every page you turn in your books. you rarely listen to what they have to say. the ghosts of historical figures tend to be miserable liars, and they can never seem to agree with each other.
you know so many dates that you can hardly close your eyes without seeing months and days and years burned onto your eyelids. you don’t mind them too much. they are a familiar comfort. you do not count sheep at night; instead, you recite days that generally only have a significant meaning if you are older than three hundred. september second in the year thirty-one before the common era- the battle of actium. may fourteenth in the year sixteen hundred seven in the common era- the foundation of jamestown. you struggle to remember your own birthday at times, but you can rattle off the dates and sometimes even describe the weather for hundreds of historical events, and that is good enough for you.
you are mocked, sometimes, for the perceived lack of contribution you make to society and for how little monetary compensation people think your occupation is worth. “what do you even do?” they often ask, and so you show them. you present some of your finest wares: a dull and lingering sense of melancholy that comes from missing someone you have never met; spontaneous moments of dread that our lives are meaningless, part of a great cycle that will never correct its errors and instead will only continue to run the same eroded path; a tear shed for the misery that humanity has put itself through and the hope that it has somehow never stopped feeling. the others are begging you to stop now, wrangling with the emotional turmoil of this academic
séance, but it is no use. you remind them that history trudges on, with or without us.
Roman Tablet Recording the Sale of the Slave Girl Victoria, Dated 19th May, 274 AD
A wooden tabula
handwritten ink text recording the sale of a ten-year-old slave girl; a rare and exceptional legal document, providing a
fascinating insight into the functioning of Roman society and its
economy. The contract follows standard Roman legal formulae.
as “On May 19th, AD 274. Apertius Florus buys from Masuna, son of
Masincthanis, the Egyptian-Garamantican girl ++MG/AM who lives at
Auluemi Maior, who from now on is called Victoria, 10 years old, for 31
thousand denarii. (…) Masuna said that he received and has this sum
from Apertius Florus. … He has (the girl?) on May 29th …”,
Filipina actress Nela Álvarez’s made her screen debut in 1936 and appeared in about five more movies before World War II brought film production in the Philippines to a halt. In 1948, she continued her film career and worked throughout the next two decades. Álvarez was also the star catcher on one of the first women’s softball teams in the Philippines.
It’s easy to swing by your local library and pick up a book by Homer or Sappho—two of the greats of ancient Greece. But finding translated works of ancient Egypt isn’t as simple.
The difference between hieroglyphs and other ancient languages is that the former is often dismissed as art, not story.
Toby Wilkinson, a fellow of Clare College in the U.K., wants to change that. He’s publishing a book that, for the first time, amasses the writings of ancient Egyptians and translates it into English for the general public.
Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI’s queen, founded a college at Cambridge in 1448. When Henry VI lost his crown to Edward IV, the college fell on hard times. Enter Elizabeth of Woodville, Edward’s queen. In 1465 she refounded the college, and gave it its first statutes 10 years later. It is often said that the placement of the apostrophe in Queens’ reflects the fact that two queens founded the college, but the college disputes that story. Even if Elizabeth can’t claim credit for the placement of an apostrophe, her portrait hangs in the college.