May 17, 2014

Amazing Historical Facts That Sound Like Fiction

1. Sultan Ibrahim I became the head of the Ottoman Empire in 1640, he had 280 concubines in his vast harem.
Sultan Ibrahim
One of his concubines slept with another man and in a fit of rage Sultan Ibrahim ordered that his entire harem should be drowned in the Bosporous. This order was promptly carried out.

2. The famous Mexican General Santa Anna lost one of his legs in battle and he held an elaborate state funeral (complete with 21-gun salutes, speeches, poems etc) for the amputated leg.
General Santa Anna
3. During the 17th century false teeth (Dentures) were commonly made with teeth pulled (often with pliers) from the mouths of dead soldiers.

4. Roman Emperor from 12-41 AD, Gaius Caligula, whom many historians agree was insane, actually made his best horse a Senator.
Caligula and His Horse
5. The Romans used human urine as a mouthwash to clean their mouth.

6. Pope Pius II was a popular author before he became Pope. One of his famous books was "The Tale of Two Lovers", a very popular erotic book of that period.
Pope Pius II
7. Before the advent of modern medicine there were numerous cases in which people in paralysis or coma were buried alive.
As a result of this a series of bizarre contraptions were invented to signal to people up on earth when someone who was buried actually comes back to life.

These inventions ranged from bells, whistles and even a spring-loaded ejector coffin.

8. In medieval Europe animals were routinely put on trial and these animals (rats, dogs, horses, pigs etc) were often sentenced to death, imprisoned and even excommunicated.
Animal on Trial
A pig, in 1386, was dressed in human clothing when it was brought out to be hanged.

9. During the Dark Ages in Europe there were practices that were called "Trials by Ordeal". They were crude and inhuman ways of determining the innocence or guilt of an accused person.

One practice involves the accused dipping hands inside a pot of boiling water. If the arm emerges from the boiling water unscatched, then the accused was innocent, otherwise the person was guilty.
Hot Water Ordeal
Another involved the accused walking nine paces while carrying a piece of heated iron on bare hands. If there were no burns then the person was innocent, other wise the person was guilty. And the consequences were always grave.
Hot Iron Ordeal
10. When Emperor Peter the Great of Russia found that his wife was having an affair with another man. The man was beheaded, his head placed inside a glass jar filled with alcohol and the glass jar was then placed in the bedroom of his wife where it remained for a long time.

11. Wealthy and educated Europeans in the 16th and 17th Century ate human corpses and drank human blood believing that they would cure them of their ailments.

12. In early Roman society a typical family includes unmarried children, married sons with their families etc.

The oldest male was the ruler of the family, and he could legally kill any member of his family without any consequences.

13. Before the 1960's in the United States tobacco companies ran advertisements that were expressly endorsed by doctors and physicians.
Tobacco Ad
14. The An Lushan Rebellion against the Chinese Tang Dynasty in 755 A.D resulted in the death 36 million people, one-sixth of the entire world population.

15. Pregnant women in early America were not given pain killers during delivery because because the pain was considered "God's Punishment" to Eve for eating the forbidden fruit.