History and Mythology! Not just for nerds anymore!

Hi! My name is Arp1033, and you know what I like? History NOWAITCOMEBACK!

History is a fascinating topic for everyone, and there are a bunch of super bizarre, crazy things that have happened since the dawn of recorded history. Since we have a thread about one author’s writing on interesting people, I think we should have a thread about interesting events too!

To make things more casual, I suggest we post our random knowledge without needing to include sources, but we should be ready to supply ones if requested (And if you need help finding sources I will be happy to assist, there are a ton of good sources out there that can be hard to find without a bit of know-how, and since my degree is in History I have more experience finding sources than I could ever need…) So let’s do this, and help educate each other!

Discussion of books and papers is also a fun idea! Just make sure they are well respected and not based off of bigotry or hatred (aka we can rag on Mien Kampf, which may be the most boring, bland offensive material I have ever read, but lets not talk about how good Hitler’s ideas were [hint: they were all terrible and stupid, I will fight you about this.])

Important side note: don’t be jerks to each other. Don’t insult other groups of people for no reason, or at all actually.


Is discussion of mythology allowed in this thread. It’s a pretty significant aspect of history, considering that many prominent cultures throughout history have had their own specific mythological systems that have become ingrained in history as well as pop culture.

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Oh of course! I should have mentioned that. Mythology is a good source of oral history, if you can weed the fact from the exaggerations. One of the saddest things I know is that a lot of early history in the Americas was lost because European settlers didn’t not listen and write down what the natives were saying when asked about their land, so a lot of history was lost :frowning:

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So there have been some kinda weird news about Rome in the last few months. Some skeletons dated back to when Rome ruled England have been identified as possibly Chinese, which would be the farthest Chinese remains have been found for this time period. Also, some ancient Roman coins have been found in Japan, which is very odd as there has been no indication the two civilizations knew about each other. Pretty big news, right? Not really.

We know Rome was aware of China in a very vague sense, mainly by way of trade between Persia who did have regular contact with China. Also, slavery was very much a thing back then, so it is not a stretch to think that Rome and Persia participated in slave trade with each other. Now, if Persia trades with China, and Rome trades with Persia, and in Rome exotic things are seen as something of a status symbol… The Chinese bodies found were likely Chinese civilians kidnapped and sold to the Persians, who then sold them to some rich Roman dude, who then went to England for whatever reason bringing his slaves, who then died.

As for the coins? Same principle, but in reverse with an extra step. Roman guy buys something from Persian guy who trades with Chinese guy (using male pronouns as women were very rarely merchants) who trades with Japanese guy. Why would the accept each others currency? Money back then was made of precious metal, and metal is still metal no matter where you are!

The world can be a big wonderful crazy place, but sometimes, it is just boring ol’ economics.


Oh god my all time fav is an alleged duel in Notre Dame. There was a murder and one person was pointed out by the only witness. So to have the decision made as to whether he was guilty they made it a trial by combat and the suspect had to duel the witness. The witness being the victim’s FUCKING DOG. So to make it fair they put the dog in a barrel and gave the guy a stick. And the duel lasted like 3 fuckin seconds cause the dog just jumped up and ripped out his throat. Then the dog inherited the estate and lived with a caretaker who looked after it. There is even boss artwork of it.


Ain’t nobody got shit on my boy CASANOVA. :airhorn:

Oh yeah I should mention! I’m big into HEMA and finding online resources for it so maybe I could do it some day. I make a lot of GIFs relating to it, here’s a few examples.


Does archery count? Because if so I’m very much there. I should make it clear that I think compound bows are super not fun, traditional all the way everyday.

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Bows count too! I like to learn about them a lot as well as properly understanding their role historically. There are always those arguments about which wins, Arrow X or Armor Y and there are so many contextual influences I like to remind people of. And how the Battle of Agincourt is pivotal to understanding the longbow.

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In early Norse mythology, Loki actually wasn’t evil. He was a trickster with jerkish tendencies, yes, but when push came to shove, he’d usually stand with the rest of the gods. There’s at least one story where he’s the hero, guiding a giant, aggressive bird (I believe it was a falcon) into a trap. However, once Christianity began to take influence in the area, Loki was turned into a Satan analogue, solely working against the rest of the gods and being the mastermind behind Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse.

I just found that kind of interesting, especially since in pop culture, Loki’s image seems to almost always line up with the later interpretation.


To be fair, he is the reason Ragnarok happens, because he is the one who is responsible for Baldr’s death, AND he fought with the Giants instead of the Aesir. On the other hand, the Baldr thing was a prank gone horribly wrong, and he WAS a Giant and not Aesir. But yeah, Loki was always more of a jerk than a villain.

Someone page Geop to this thread yo.

I know history about the wild west! Mostly that a lot of it wasn’t actually as cool as everyone says it was. It’s not inaccurate to call it the western version of the age of the samurai. Compare Romance of the Three Kingdoms to any romanticized western legend, for instance.

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Also, reading or watching anything that takes cues from Greek mythology becomes way more awkward and uncomfortable after learning, well… anything about Zeus outside of his title as the god of sky and thunder.

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I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology right now, having never really studied up on the topic before. It’s facinating stuff, but I do love how many problems Loki causes by having sex with things.

Edit: Well mostly problems, and one sweet as heck horse.

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That is actually leads into one of my favorite Norse stories, thank you!

Tyr the One Handed God and the God Eating Wolf

Long long ago, in the land if the Norse Gods, Loki gave birth to three children: a snake who is not important as it was cast into the sea, only to return at Ragnerok, the Norse Apocalypse; a horse named Slipnir that Odin called dibs on and used as his mount; and Fenrir the super giant scary wolf. Fenrir was especially scary, as it was foretold that he would slay Odin during Ragnerok, which is no bueno, so the gods threw the poor pup into a cave and trapped him there. Now they were not entirely cruel, as he was Loki’s son (Loki got pregnant by turning into a mare to distract a stallion so the gods didn’t have to pay an architect… Norse legends get pretty wierd to say the least) so he was given food but there was of course the problem of Fenrir being a giant wolf that will kill Odin so everyone is afraid if him. Except one God, named Tyr.

Tyr, to put it simply, was super badass. He was a forge God, crafting the arms and armor for his divine brethren, so he was used to danger, thus he was the one to feed the wolf o’ killing. The two started up a sort of friendship, as best one can between captor and prisoner, sharing banter and witty quips (of course Fenrir can talk, why wouldn’t he be able to?) until one day the gods decided Fenrir had to be bound, as he had grown too large.

First they made a sort of muzzle/collar/chain combo thing out of the strongest stuff they had, and told Fenrir “Hey Fenrir! Everyone knows you are strong, but can you break out of THIS?” Fenrir looked at the contraption and quickly replied “That thing? Easy.” So the gods put it on ol Wolfy and just as he said, quickly and easily shattered the thing. The gods had to think up a plan B. And they did!

Plan B was the same as plan A but with MORE good stuff! This time, when they told Fenrir the same as before, Fenrir was a bit more hesitant but was still confident he could break it, and he did. Now the gods were worried because oh shit this thing can’t be stopped! That is when some traveling dwarves came by and said they had a solution, and handed Odin a thin ribbon of what looked to be cloth.

Odin asked what the fuck this was supposed to be, and the dwarves responded they were confident that it was impossible to break, as it was made of 4 impossible things: the sound of a cat’s footfalls; the beard of a women, the root of a mountain, and the top of the sky. No one coukd break this, or your money back. Odin pointed out he hadn’t and wasn’t going to pay them (Odin was kinda a dick) and the dwarves shrugged and walked off. Seeing as he had nothing to lose, he gathered some gods, including Tyr, to try it out.

When the gods returned with a ribbon and dared Fenrir to break out of THIS one, Fenrir flat out refused. He had noticed a pattern, and said he would do it under 2 conditions: if he couldn’t break it they would take it off, since this was just a test of strength, right? And the second condition was one if the gods had to out thier hand in his mouth so if this was a trick he coukd at least take something with him as a consultation prize. Of course, the gods knew full well this was a trick and didn’t want to lose thier hand, so no one volunteered but just as Fenrir was about to send them off, Tyr, Fenrir’s bro, said he would do it. So he stuck his hand into the giant wolf destined to kill his father, and made eye contact with his wolf-bro as the ribbon was put around Fenrir’s neck. Wasting no time, roughly 3 nanoseconds after the ribbon was in place the gods start celebrating thier shackling of the evil beast, apparently forgetting that thier Smith had his hand in afore mentioned beasts mouth. Regardless to say, Fenrir bit down and took Tyr’s hand. I like to think a silent conversation of “I’m sorry bro” " it’s ok bro" passed between the two but it doesn’t say.

To wrap things up, Tyr got a new bitchin hand from some dwarves, and continued to forge shit for the gods, and indeed Fenrir did kill Odin at Ragnerok (Loki freed him because Loki is a dick)

So what can we learn about Norse culture? For one thing, wolves are scary! And they were, the wolves we see today are pretty big, but nothing compared to the dire wolves our ancestors had to deal with. Also, there is the concept of fate and destiny that rings true through a lot of Norse stories, with the moral being that bad shit will happen, but it is always best to face it with bravery. But mainly this one is about being scared of wolves because hooooooly shit they scary.


You know, I have never made that connection but I will be damned if that isn’t a great comparison!

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I’m gonna quote the book here about that particular story, because I really like this passage.

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One does not simply pursue Billy the Kid.


Going off of how Christian influences in Norse culture turned Loki evil, it was actually Zoroastrian influences that caused the Canaanite/Semitic tribal religion to go Monotheistic to the Ditheistic religion that eventually became Christianity.

Ditheism definition

The belief in two (generally opposing) deities. Some sects of modern Judaism and pretty much all Christian sects and offshoots are Ditheistic, not Monotheistic.

Of course, a lot of this is obscured by various religious rewrites of history, but what we do know is that the religion of the Semitic peoples was principally the worship of a Yahweh, though some times also his wife Asherah. Most likely Yahweh started as a war-deity in a pantheon that eventually lost favor of the other gods since the Semitic people had a lot of early success in conquering the other Canaanite peoples. There are no records of the other gods, but there are some references to Asherah as Yahweh’s wife in various incarnations of the Torah.

After the kingdoms of Judea and Israel became more stable, the religion become more and more monotheistic and theocratic which is the period when the books such as Judges were written with all the rules and laws. However, it isn’t until the Babylonians conquered the Jewish peoples that the concept of the devil or Satan shows up in Jewish belief. During this time, Jews were spread across Babylon to discourage organized rebellion and the thus came in contact with Zoroastrians who were also previously conquered and dispersed by Babylon. Zoroastrian belief was based on a duality of Good vs Evil and this influence found its way into some core Jewish beliefs. It should also be noted that this is the period where Judaism morphed from a theocratic religion to a more personal religion by incorporating more rituals and taboos to retain cultural identity and is one of the reasons it has survived so long.

Judaism never really embraced the duality as much as Christianity later did, and there is some speculation that Christianity might have been a further melding of Judaism and Zoroastrianism.

To understand my stance on history, you need to understand that I memorised the Carolingian kings of Europe for no real reason.

I especially like how when Carloman of Bavaria was finally able to inherit the kingdom of Italy after his uncle swiped it, he had a debilitating stroke two years later and was forced to abdicate.