Category Archives: history

Ten crazy laws that ancient Romans lived by

In the ancient world, Rome was a proud spotlight for civilization. The empire was considered by many as the sign of dignity and virtue, and the civilization had one goal in mind.

They were to progress the world of philosophy by surpassing the Greek legends that transformed modern society.

This led to a series of laws that would baffle even the most conservative rulers in the world. Here are 10 ways you could break the law as a Roman.

10.Wearing Purple Wasn’t Frowned Upon – It was Illegal

The Empress Theodora, the wife of the Emperor Justinian, dressed in Tyrian purple.
The Empress Theodora, the wife of the Emperor Justinian, dressed in Tyrian purple.

In ancient Rome, purple was the sign of royalty, and only the most powerful could wear the color. Purple was the most majestic color inside of the culture and wearing it was viewed as a right only given to a proud few. Emperors would dress in the finest purple togas; they were so stylish that they made the purple color exclusive among the elite.

The law was set inside of the sumptuary class, which prevented the lower class from extravagantly showing off the extra income they could acquire. The goal was to make it possible to immediately determine a person’s social status in a simple glance. Royalty wanted to make sure they didn’t mingle with the peasants; the value of the attention of the empire’s elite was precious.

In turn, peasants were banned from wearing togas and purple was reserved for none other than the emperor. This was due to the fact that purple dye was priced through the roof during this era. It came all the way from Phoenicia, where the dye was created from mollusks. A single purple toga required thousands of mollusks to be crushed, making them an expensive item.

9.Crying During Funerals Was Illegal for Women

Fragment of a relief from a sarcophagus depicting stages of the deceased's life: religious initiation, military service, and wedding (mid-2nd century AD)
Fragment of a relief from a sarcophagus depicting stages of the deceased’s life: religious initiation, military service, and wedding (mid-2nd century AD) Photo Credit

Roman funerals were very precise rituals. They started with a group of people walking the dead down the street, crying as they carried the deceased.

It was believed that the amount of people crying directly reflected a person’s popularity at death. Sometimes, this was considered incredibly important to the family of the dead, who would pay criers to show up at the ceremony. The goal was to impress the elite with the importance the family had within the city. This served as an important part of the family legacy. Women who never even knew the dead would be paid to make quite a scene while walking through the streets. They would quite literally rip out their hair and scratch their own faces in dismay.

Due to these actors, funerals became far too hectic and often transformed into a publicity stunt rather than a moment of passage. To stop the actors from inserting themselves into the ceremonies, crying became outlawed.

8.Fathers Were Allowed to Murder their Daughter’s Love in Cold Blood

If a husband caught his wife red-handed while she was having affair with another man, he was legally obligated to follow a procedure.

First, he had to hold his wife captive with her newly discovered lover.

Roman couple joining hands; the bride's belt may show the knot symbolizing that the husband was "belted and bound" to her, which he was to untie in their bed (4th century sarcophagus) Photo Credit
Roman couple joining hands; the bride’s belt may show the knot symbolizing that the husband was “belted and bound” to her, which he was to untie in their bed (4th century sarcophagus) Photo Credit

Next the husband was supposed to gather up all of their neighbors so they could bear witness to the shameful crime that was committed. The man had a full twenty hours to get the neighbors together so everyone could see the man responsible for the betrayal.

The husband then had three days to make a public statement. He was to describe where his wife was having an affair, who was having an affair with her, and any other details that would develop the case. After the statement, the husband was legally required to file for divorce or instead be charged with the crime of pimping out his wife.

If the man chose, he could ultimately murder his wife’s lover if he turned out to be either a prostitute or slave. However, it got a little more complicated if the lover was a citizen. The husband would have to talk to the father of the wife. This was because in Rome, the only men who could murder lovers was the father of the daughter. No matter how important the citizen was, a father had full discretion.

7.The Ultimate Death Sentence was Drowning with Animals

"Ertränken im Fass oder Sack", a 1560 sketch showing capital punishment
“Ertränken im Fass oder Sack”, a 1560 sketch showing capital punishment

If you committed an average crime, you’d be treated to a simplistic beheading. But if your crimes were thought to be unspeakable, things could get pretty rough. You could be taken to the top of a prison and thrown off it to your death. However, no crime was deemed as terrible as murdering your father in cold blood. If you were found guilty, you would be robbed of light for the rest of your life. The murderer would be blindfolded and then taken out to a field on the outskirts of the city. He was then stripped of his clothes and beaten with rods until he could truly suffer no more.

After this, the man was thrown into a sack with a serpent, a dog, an ape, and even a rooster. The collection of animals would then be thrown together into the ocean to ensure death by drowning.

6.Prostitutes Were Forced to Make their Hair Blonde

Wall painting from the Lupanar (brothel) of Pompeii, with the woman presumed to be a prostitute wearing a bra
Wall painting from the Lupanar (brothel) of Pompeii, with the woman presumed to be a prostitute wearing a bra

The Roman empire was filled with natural brunettes. Blondes in the area were considered barbarians, and were usually Gauls. Since no prostitute was given the full rights of other Roman women, they had to ensure that they looked like barbarian scum.

Oddly, this rule didn’t end up working out for the lawmakers. Roman women became jealous of the blondes and started dying their own hair. Some ladies even went as far as to cut off their slaves’ hair and transform them into wigs. The result left the city in dismay, as it was then impossible to tell the difference between the woman of class from prostitutes.

5.Suicide Must Have Been Approved by the Senate

Sometimes the Roman empire thought that preparation for suicide was a sign of forward thinking.

Emperors and kings were known to always keep poison within reach if things turned south. Even sick people would be encouraged to poison themselves to end their suffering.

Representation of a sitting of the Roman senate: Cicero attacks Catiline, from a 19th-century fresco in Palazzo Madama, Rome, house of the Italian Senate.
Representation of a sitting of the Roman senate: Cicero attacks Catiline, from a 19th-century fresco in Palazzo Madama, Rome, house of the Italian Senate.

While many Romans were gifted with the ability to control their own fate, soldiers, fugitives and even slaves were banned from the prospect of suicide in order to keep the economy intact. Once you were a soldier inside of the Roman army, you were forced to serve out your term until given permission to leave. Criminals were also stripped of the right to end their lives because without conviction the empire couldn’t legally own the criminal’s property. If a slave ended his own life, the owner was usually given a refund of the slave to protect the income of the influential people of Rome.

It even got to the point that suicide became formal. A depressed person could file a document to the senate asking for the granting of death. If the senate determined that the person was better off dead, they’d be granted a free bottle of poison to end their lives.

4.Someone Killed By Lightning Wasn’t Allowed to Receive a Proper Burial

Marcus Aurelius sacrificing Photo Credit
Marcus Aurelius sacrificing Photo Credit


If lightning hit a citizen of Rome, it was believed to be a result of the wrath of Jupiter. The Romans believed that if lightning struck an establishment or person, Jupiter was furious with whatever was hit.

If your loved one was struck down by the gods, it was forbidden to bury him or her. You couldn’t even lift the body up past the knees in order to keep peace with the gods. Any breach of these rules would be seen as robbing Jupiter of his sacrifices. And if you chose to break the law, you’d become Jupiter’s next sacrifice from the Roman empire.

3. A Father Only Had Only a Few Opportunities To Sell Their Sons Into Slavery

If you had children in Rome, you had the right to temporarily sell them into slavery.

This was done through an agreement with a buyer – while the buyer would gain possession of the child, he was always expected to bring the children back home.

Roman mosaic from Dougga, Tunisia (2nd century CE): the two slaves carrying wine jars wear typical slave clothing and an amulet against the evil eye on a necklace; the slave boy to the left carries water and towels, and the one on the right a bough and a basket of flowers Photo Credit
Roman mosaic from Dougga, Tunisia (2nd century CE): the two slaves carrying wine jars wear typical slave clothing and an amulet against the evil eye on a necklace; the slave boy to the left carries water and towels, and the one on the right a bough and a basket of flowers Photo Credit

Luckily for the children, a father who sold off their child three times was declared as a person unfit to parent. After the third term of slavery, the child would be declared emancipated from his home. He would have to finish his third session as a slave because a deal is a deal, but afterward, he would be legally emancipated from his parents. While there was a limit to how much a single child could be sold off, there was no limit to the number of children that could be sold off to buyers.

2.If a Woman Didn’t Leave Home During Three Days Every Year, She Would Become Property

Dido embracing Aeneas, from a Roman fresco in the House of Citharist in Pompeii, Italy; Pompeian Third Style (10 BC - 45 AD)
Dido embracing Aeneas, from a Roman fresco in the House of Citharist in Pompeii, Italy; Pompeian Third Style (10 BC – 45 AD)

Another odd set of laws the Romans had were ones named usuacpio. These were the laws that declared how long a person could hold on to a possession before it automatically became their property.

The objects inside this law also included people. As a result, a wife had to leave her home on three days each year, exploring the city or simply going on a walk. It was believed that Roman women had a right to freedom as long as they left the house for three straight days once a year.

1.Fathers Had the Right to Murder the Entire Family

Ara Pacis showing the Imperial Family of Augustus Photo Credit
Ara Pacis showing the Imperial Family of Augustus Photo Credit

During the early era of Rome, fathers were given complete control over their family. Fathers could freely use any form of punishment and abuse.

The power of the father extended so far that if the father deemed fit, he could murder his children in cold blood without any repercussions. Even after the kids left home, fathers still held the right to murder their kids. This created a suitable situation for family lineage. For example, it was pretty standard for daughters to be afraid of punishment from their dads even after they got married and started a family. Boys in the family were free of their fathers’ rule upon death. After the empire developed awhile, these rules began to become more strict. By the last century BC, the laws that allowed fathers to have complete control over the destiny of children were diminished. For example, fathers only reserved the right to murder if their son was convicted of a crime.



Badbury Rings – An Iron Age hill fort – video

The Iron Age hill fort in East Dorset, England, known as Badbury Rings,  was most probably constructed by the Durotriges tribe who inhabited the area before the Roman invasion.

It is believed that the Durotriges were the first real opposition that the Romans encountered and were one of the two tribes that fought against the future emperor Vespasian and the 2nd Legion in the early phases of the invasion.

Hill forts had existed in Britain from the Bronze Age, but what is interesting about the Durotriges is the fact that they still occupied hill forts when the Roman invasion started. One of the most fascinating of these Durotrigan hill forts is Badbury Rings.

Badbury Rings is one of the largest Iron Age forts in Britain.
It has three concentric ditches and ramparts and is nearly a mile in circumference.


Aerial view of Badbury Rings

Badbury Rings consists of three concentric rings of a bank and ditch construction, dug to a depth of almost 20 feet. However, it seems that this was not enough to stop the advance of Vespasian and the 2nd legion who managed to conquer Badbury Rings.

Although there’s no clear evidence, it is speculated that the Romans established a town outside the fort called Vindocladia. It is said that Vindocladia became one of the biggest Roman towns in Dorset and excavations that started at the beginning of the 1990s uncovered pottery, robber trenches, tesserae and evidence for iron working.

Toposcope in the center of Badbury Rings hill fort

Apparently, Badbury Rings was of a great strategic significance for the Romans since their road network cut across Dorset. There were five Roman roads near Badbury Rings, including a military road from the Lake Farm fort, 3 miles southeast of Badbury, that passed by the northeast side of Badbury Rings on its way to Hod Hill further north. In the later Roman period, another road was built that passed through Vindocladia and led to the roman town of Dorchester.

Excavations also revealed that West of Badbury Rings there is a Roman/Celtic temple that was used from about 0AD to 400AD. Nearly 200 Roman coins and more than 20 Durotrigan coins were found at the site, as well as roofing tiles, painted wall plaster, jewelry, and pottery.

Badbury Rings is the fifth in a series of Iron Age earthworks, starting from Hambledon Hill, and also including Hod Hill, Spetisbury Rings, Buzbury Rings, Badbury Rings and Dudsbury Camp.


During the Roman era, five Roman roads formed a complex junction on the north side of Badbury Rings.

Some people believe that Badbury Rings is the site of Mons Badonicus (Mount Badon), where King Arthur fought his greatest battle against the Saxons. There is no firm evidence to back this up, but the similarity between the names Badbury and Badon suggest that there is a possibility that Badbury Rings is the location of the battle.

A legend has it that at midnight King Arthur and his Knights return to haunt the battlefield. Another legend tells how marching Roman legionaries haunt Badbury Rings. But, of course, these legends are just a part of the fascinating history of Badbury Rings.

The site belongs to the National Trust.

The site, which was privately owned until 1983, is now part of the Kingston Lacy estate and it belongs to the National Trust, who have provided free access. It is a popular tourist destination that offers fabulous views across the Dorset countryside and a history that goes back thousands of years.



Pacal the Great – King of Palenque

Way back in 1952, when Yuri Knorozov made his breakthrough discovery that the Mayan glyphs were mostly syllabic, not phonetic, most Mayan scholars failed to believe him. Michael Coe, David Kelly and Floyd Lounsbury were among the few exceptions. Since that time, thanks to those old-hand epigraphers and such relative newcomers as Linda Schele and Peter Mathews, steady progress has been made in deciphering the wealth of Mayan texts. Though these numerous inscriptions tell us nothing about what the common people were up to, we are now able to read and understand a little of the fascinating history of important rulers like Pacal, King of Palenque, and his lifelong struggle to prove his right to the throne.

K’inich Janaab’ Pacal was born on March 23, 603 CE, the son of  Lord K’an Mo’Hix and Lady Sak K’uk’, the reigning Queen of Palenque. Because the royal family claimed the throne through the First Mother, affectionately known to scholars as Lady Beastie, theirs was one of the few pre-Colombian dynasties that allowed a woman to take the crown in default of a male heir. Even so, she was expected to step down the moment any son of hers reached maturity. Pacal, whose name means “Shield” in the Mayan tongue, was crowned king by his mother on July 29th, 615, shortly after his 12th birthday.

The passing of the crown from mother to son was not unknown. It had taken place not many years before when Pacal’s great-grandmother, Lady Kanal-Ikal was queen and her son, Ac-Kan succeeded her. Despite this precedent and the fact Pacal proved to be an unusually wise and capable ruler during his long reign, his right to rule at all was always in question. Since, in all other matters of inheritance the Palenque society property and titles passed only from the father to his heirs, other noble houses felt their claims to the throne to be more valid.

Apparently to refute such claims, Pacal and the son who reigned after him, K’inich Chan B’alam II, kept adding magnificent buildings to their capitol city. Every new temple and pyramid prominently displayed images of the Kings and glyphic texts proclaiming their Royal lineage. Most of the existing structures on view today date back to their combined reigns during the seventh century CE.

Chan B’alam II was responsible for the construction of the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Foliated Cross and the Temple of the Sun.

This trio of lovely buildings crowns the slopes overlooking the Palace Complex. Pacal himself commissioned the building of such major works as the Temple of Olvidado, the Temple of the Count the Royal Palace.

This huge complex has many surprising architectural innovations. The roofs were mansard-type, with overhanging eaves to protect the outer walls which were studded with bas beliefs of gods, kings, priests and important ceremonials. The numerous rooms with interior courts overlooked a four-story tower which probably served as both lookout and observatory. The most unusual feature was a long, corbelled vault through which an underground stream flowed assuring the occupants a constant supply of fresh water, an engineering feat of no mean caliber.

Pacal’s greatest architectural triumph, however, was the magnificent Temple of the Inscriptions. This, like the Great Pyramids of Egypt, was designed as the King’s last resting place. The tomb chamber lies below ground level and was completed, with the massive sarcophagus in place, before the towering temple structure was built over it. Everything was provided for, including a speaking tube leading to the upper temple through which the deified king could communicate with his priests and advise his people from the otherworld.

All was in readiness long before it was needed. Pacal lived long enough to see to the expansion of Palenque’s power over the western part of the Lowland Maya territory and preside over a veritable florescence of arts and engineering. Pacal the Great died on March 31st, 683 at the ripe old age of 80. He had ruled Palenque for 68 years.

Even his sarcophagus was designed to bear witness to Pacal’s right to rule. The flat, heavy lid of his sarcophagus shows the dead King falling toward the Xibalba. (Not an astronaut at the controls of a spaceship as Eric von Daniken’s book, Chariots of the Gods, proposes.) The sides and ends, however, are carved with a royal portrait gallery showing the kings and queens who had ruled before him. His mother and father are there. So are Lady Kanal- Ikal, her son Ac Kan and others from far back in time.

All this came as a surprise to 20th century scholars. An actual burial in a pre-Columbian monument was unheard of before 1948 when Mexican archaeologist, Alberto Ruz, raised a stone slab set in the floor of the temple to find a steep flight of steps with 18 inch risers leading precipitously down into the bowels of the pyramid.  The passage had been sealed with tightly packed rubble throughout its narrow, twisting descent to the tomb chamber. Removing this fill took Ruz and his crew another four years.

It was not until 1952 that they cleared the elaborately decorated burial chamber and found Pacal the Great, together with the richest treasure in grave offerings ever found in Mesoamerica. The jade portrait mask that was still in place and the full suit of jade plaques connected with gold wire that still covered his ancient bones alone were worth a fortune.

There has been some debate as to whether the body found in the tomb is really Pacal’s.  The wearing down of the skeleton’s teeth, they say, indicates a man half the age of the King at the time of his death. Several far-fetched reasons are offered to explain the anomaly–a mistake in dates, another king of the same name, etc.

The most logical explanation is that, having spent his entire life as either Crown Prince or King, he was not confined to the common man’s diet of gritty, stone-ground maize, stringy root vegetables and tough meats. Royal personages would certainly have always dined on the softest and most refined of foods. Perhaps it is more surprising that a person 80 years old and had any teeth left to be examined. At any rate, the majority of scholars agree that it was indeed Pacal who was found in Pacal’s tomb.

Considering the length of his reign, Pacal’s propaganda campaign can be considered an unqualified success. He also succeeded in making his name as permanent and unforgettable as his architecture.


The Anunnaki Timeline – Coming to Earth

The Anunnaki Timeline – Coming to Earth: (According to Sitchin)

Some 450,000 years ago, they detected reserves of gold in southeast Africa and made a colonial expedition to Earth, splashing down in what is now the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Sitchin added – these Nibiru-ites recruited laborers from Earth’s erect primates to build eight great cities. Enki, who became the Sumerians’ god of science, bestowed some of the Nibiru-ites’ advanced genetic makeup upon these bipeds so they could work as miners.

This is how Mr. Sitchin explains what scientists attribute to evolution. He says the aliens’ cities were washed away in a great flood 30,000 years ago, after which they began passing on their knowledge to humans. He showed a photograph of a woodcarving from 7,000 B.C. of a large man handing over a plow to a smaller man: Ah, the passing on of agricultural knowledge. Anyway, he said, the Nibiru-ites finally jetted home in their spacecraft, around 550 B.C.

“This is in the texts; I’m not making it up, concluded Sitchin.”

450,000 B.C.
After long wars, the atmosphere of Nibiru began to deteriorate and became a hostile place for life, The Anunnaki needed gold to repair their atmosphere. According to researchers, we can use gold nanoparticles to repair our damaged ozone layer.

445,000 A.C.
The Anunnaki aliens landed on Earth and established their base in Eridu, wanting to extract gold from the Persian Gulf. They were led by Enki, son of Anu.

416,000 B.C.
Gold production fell, which made Anu come to Earth. Beside him, his other son Enlil arrived. Anu decided that mining would take place in Africa and promoted Enlil in charge of the Terran mission.

400,000 A. C.
In southern Mesopotamia were seven developed nations. Among the most important were: “Sipar”, “Nippur” and “Shuruppak”. After the metal was refined, the ore was transported from Africa with ‘ships’ and sent into orbit.

Curiously, the ancient Sumerian King List—one of the most interesting ancient texts ever found on our planet which details with great accuracy the rulers of the ancient Sumerian Civilization—describes Kings—Beings—who ruled over Earth living for thousands of years.

From the Sumerian King List, we read: “…After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years.”

This ancient document describes a time on Earth when unknown beings lived for thousands of years and ruled over the ancient cities of the region. Researchers have not been able to explain why the unique list blends mythical pre-dynastic rulers with historical rulers who are known to have existed and as such have mixed feelings when it comes to the interpretation of the Sumerian King list.


Mystery of stunning medieval carvings inside 800-year-old Knights Templar cave deep under town centre crossroads

The ancient Royston Cave, in Hertfordshire, carved into the chalk bedrock, was used by the same religious order that fought in the Crusades – made famous in the Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code.


These are the stunning medieval carvings found inside a 800-year-old Knights Templar cave deep under a crossroads in a Hertfordshire town centre.

The ancient Royston Cave, carved into the chalk bedrock, was used by the same religious order that fought in the Crusades.

There has been renewed interest in the secret organisation following the Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code – which speculates that they may have found and hidden the Holy Grail somewhere in the UK.

This cave lies under the junction of a Roman Road in Royston, on the Hertforshire and Cambridgeshire border.

The Cambridge News reports that it comprises cylindrical lower and bell-shaped upper parts totalling 17ft diameter and 25.5ft in height.

The cave is hidden deep under a road in Hertfordshire (Photo: Cambridge news WS)

These ornate images found inside this ancient monument were captured by photographer Keith Jones.

One image of the carvings show two figures close together near a damaged section – all that remains of a Templar symbol showing two knights riding a horse.

There are four saints depicted in the images – and Jesus being crucified (Photo: Cambridge news WS)

The carvings in the cave also include four saints:

  1. St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers – below the original entrance – with the infant Jesus on his shoulder and staff in hand
  2. St. Katherine high up on the west part of the wall
  3. St. Lawrence who was martyred on a gridiron
  4. Either St. Michael or St. George, patron saint of England, wielding a sword which points to what might be the twelve apostles – with Judas the small figure at the back.
There are figures which are believed to represent Mary, John and the Holy Family (Photo: Cambridge news WS)

Other carvings show calvary scenes with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John The Baptist – as well as a group believed to show the Holy Family – but uncertainty surrounds the remaining figures.

The official website for the cave says that the large panel on the left of St. Christopher “represents the Holy Sepulchre having a damaged figure of Christ awaiting the resurrection above the large niche on the left”.

It continues: “Mary Magdalene, or an angel on the right-hand side sits on the stone rolled away from the entrance.

This is thought to be either St. Michael or St. George pointing to what might be the twelve apostles(Photo: Cambridge news WS)

“The dove and the hand above may represent the Holy Spirit. The niche below probably held a lamp.

“The long row of figures below includes both men and women and although none can be identified those marked with crosses are possibly saints and those with hearts may be martyrs.

“The two small figures below St. Katherine may be (although this is by no means certain) Richard I (Lion Heart) and his Queen Berengaria whose crown is shown floating above her head as she was never actually crowned Queen.

Historians and novelists have speculated the Knights Templar knew the location of the Holy Grail (Photo: Hulton Archive)

“Beneath St. Lawrence is a figure with upraised arms that has been variously identified as King William of Scotland and King David.”

Some believe the cave’s shape is modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

It was discovered by accident in 1742 by workmen who removed a millstone to find a well-like shaft down into a dark cavern – about 2ft (60cm) diameter and 16ft (4.8m) deep.

Depiction of the Knights Templar being burned for their beliefs (Photo: Bibliothque Municipale)

Toeholds had been cut into the chalk to form rudimentary steps – and records say a small boy was “volunteered” to make the first descent.

The domed ceiling, which is now bricked and grilled, was complete and partly tiled – and lay just a foot below the surface of the road.

It’s thought the cave could have been modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (Photo: Perspectives)

They also found what is now named the East Shaft which is believed to have been a chimney or air vent.

Investigators found some decayed bones and a skull, fragments of a small drinking cup and a small unmarked piece of brass.

Much to everyone’s disappointment, no real buried treasure was discovered hidden – but for the carvings in the lower part of the chamber.

The cave tunnel entrance was dug out to control visitors (Photo: Cambridge news WS)
The entrance to the cave under this road (Photo: Google)

Early visitors came down the original ‘North entrance’ with the help of ladders but a new entry point was built in 1790 by bricklayer Thomas Watson who cut a 72ft (22m) long tunnel between the Town House and the only place in the cave wall not covered with carvings.

Mr. Watson was able to charge six pence for each visit – not cheap in those days.

The Cave was Grad 1 listed by English Heritage in 1964 and leased from the then owners by Royston Town Council who installed the railings and lighting.

Gate keeper James Robinson is the only person with the keys to the cave (Photo: Cambridge news WS)

The whole surface of the lower part of the cave is covered with names cut by visitors – but steps have been taken in recent years to prevent people touching the carvings.

Nowadays gate keeper James Robinson is the only person with the keys to this ancient monument – and the Cambridge News reports that he won’t reveal its secrets to just anyone…



Mapuche Creation Story

At the beginning of time, the god Chau lived up above with his wife and children. He was the king of sky and earth.
Image result for mapuche creation storyThe Creation – Mapuche (Image Source)
The god Chau had many names. He was also known as Father, the Sun, Antü and Nguenechèn, creator of the world. The queen was his mother and his wife, all at once. Her name was Kushe, which means witch; but she also had many names; Moon, Blue Queen and Maga.
Chau began creating the sky with all of its clouds and stars, and the earth. He created the rivers and forests and gigantic mountain ranges. By sowing seeds between his great fingers, he brought forth the animals and people, the Mapuches.
From the sky, Chau watched over his creations and gave them light during the day. At night his wife the moon cared for the various creatures on earth. Chau’s sons grew quickly. They started to question their father’s rule and soon they decided to take over his great power. They planned to rule the earth.
When Chau found out he became so angry that he threw his two sons down to earth. As their enormous bodies struck the earth, they created two large holes in the ground. Mother Moon was heartbroken. She started to cry great floods of tears which filled the two holes with water. This is how the lakes Làcar and Lolog were created. When he saw his wife’s sadness, Chau felt sorry for what he had done. He took the bodies of his fallen children and made them into a great serpent with wings. He named this creature Kai-Kai Filu. But Kai-Kai Filu still carried the souls of the two rebellious sons within him. He, too, wanted to overthrow Chau. Kai-Kai Filu grew angry and from time to time. He bashed his tail and flapped his wings; this created floods and earthquakes.
Image result for chau mapuche
Cultura Mapuche(Image Source)
Chau was worried about this so he made a second, good serpent out of clay. He named him Tren-Tren and sent him down to earth to keep an eye on Kai-Kai Filu. Whenever Kai-Kai Filu got into another evil mood, Tren-Tren would whistle and warn the people.
After many years had passed Chau decided to come down to earth one day to teach people about growing and preserving food, and how to tell time. He came disguised as a man with dark skin, wearing leather. Chau also gave his people the gift of fire. This is when the Mapuches started calling him: “The Good from the Sky.”
Many years passed and Chau returned to heaven. People started to forget him and his teachings and they started to fight amongst each other. Chau looked on from above and became very bitter. He decided to ask the angry Kai-Kai Filu for help. He wanted the serpent to scare people a little so that they would remember their creator and start living the right way again. Tren-Tren overheard Chau talking to Kai-Kai Filu and decided to warn the Mapuches by whistling. When they heard this, the people fled up into the mountains, looking for protection from the rolling boulders, earthquakes and floods created by Kai-Kai Filu’s big tail. But it was of no use; the earth trembled so hard that all people died except for one boy and one girl, who hid in a cave on the mountain.
The little boy and girl grew up with the help of a vixen and a female puma, who fed them their milk. From these two people came a new population of Mapuches. Chau was satisfied with his new race.
Eventually, Chau stopped worrying about mankind. Harvests are not as plentiful as before, disease is everywhere and children have stopped obeying their parents.
Nowadays Chau doesn’t even listen to the Mapuche people’s prayers. That is why the white men were able to take so much away from them.
Featured Image Source

Knights Templar and the First Crusade

The history of the Order of the Knights Templar and the First Crusade as a trans-national military-religious order spans two centuries of the High Middle Ages, from the Order’s founding in the early 12th century to its suppression early in the 14th century.

Northeast exposure of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem. Considered to be the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina.(wikipedia)

The Knights Templar trace their origin back to shortly after the First Crusade. Around 1119, a French nobleman from the Champagne region, Hugues de Payens, collected eight of his knighted relatives including Godfrey de Saint-Omer, and began the Order, their stated mission to protect pilgrims on their journey to visit the Holy Places. They approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, who allowed them to set up headquarters on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock, at the centre of the Mount, was understood to occupy the site of the Jewish Temple. Known to Christians throughout the Muslim occupation of Jerusalem as the Holy of Holies, the Dome of the Rock became a Christian church, the Templum Domini, the Temple of the Lord. But the Templars were lodged in the Aqsa Mosque, which was assumed to stand on the site of Solomon’s Temple. Because the Aqsa mosque was known as the Templum Solomonis, it was not long before the knights had encompassed the association in their name. They became known as the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici – the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, which was eventually shortened to “Knights Templar”.

The original order consisted of Hugues de Payens and eight knights, two of whom were brothers and all of whom were his relatives by either blood or marriage: Godfrey de Saint-Omer, Payne de Monteverdi, Archambaud de St. Agnan, Andre de Montbard, Geoffrey Bison, and two men recorded only by the names of Rossal and Gondamer. The ninth knight remains unknown, although some have speculated that it was Count Hugh of Champagne himself — despite the Count returning to France in 1116 and documentary evidence showing that he joined the Knights on his third visit to the Holy Land in 1125.

Little was heard of the Order for their first nine years. But in 1129, after they were officially sanctioned by the church at the Council of Troyes, they became well known in Europe. Their fundraising campaigns asked for donations of money, land, or noble-born sons to join the Order, with the implication that donations would help both to defend Jerusalem, and to ensure the charitable giver of a place in Heaven. The Order’s efforts were helped substantially by the patronage of Bernard of Clairvaux, the leading churchman of the time, and a nephew of one of the original nine knights. The Order at its outset had been subject to strong criticism, especially of the concept that religious men could also carry swords. In response to these critics, the influential Bernard of Clairvaux wrote a multi-page treatise entitled De Laude Novae Militae (“In Praise of the New Knighthood”), in which he championed their mission and defended the idea of a military religious order by appealing to the long-held Christian theory of just war, which legitimized “taking up the sword” to defend the innocent and the Church from violent attack. In doing so, Bernard legitimized the Templars, who became the first “warrior monks” of the Western world.

[A Templar Knight] is truly a fearless knight, and secure on every side, for his soul is protected by the armor of faith, just as his body is protected by the armor of steel. He is thus doubly-armed, and need fear neither demons nor men.
Shortly after its foundation in Jerusalem and due to possible previous links of the founding knights with the crusader Count Henry of Burgundy and with the House of Burgundy, and perhaps because of the family ties that Henry and his son Afonso had with Bernard of Clairvaux, the Knights Templar were already in the western edge of Europe, in the County of Portugal, at least from May of 1122. The Templars settled there first, where the Order received donations and bought lands during the successive years of 1122, 1123, 1125, and 1126 (donated by D. Theresa), and 1127–28.[2] Another possible reason for such exceptional early donations before the Council of Troyes, may be the alleged links of one or two founding knights of the Temple in Jerusalem, among the founding French knights of Champagne, Languedoc or other regions, Burgundy and possibly Flanders, with the County of Portugal – being of Portuguese origin, or Franco-Portuguese or Burgundian-Portuguese origin; claims sustained by chroniclers of the Templar Order in Portugal, written in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, supposedly basing themselves on original medieval source material of the Order of Christ.

Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, the Order’s patron (wikipwdia)

Donations to the Order were considerable. The King of Aragon, in the Iberian Peninsula, left large tracts of land to the Order upon his death in the 1130s. New members to the Order were also required to swear religious vows of obedience, chastity, poverty and piety, and hand over all of their goods to the monastic brotherhood. This could include land, horses and any other items of material wealth, including labor from serfs, and interest in any businesses.

In 1139, even more power was conferred upon the Order by Pope Innocent II, who issued the papal bull, Omne Datum Optimum. It stated that the Knights Templar could pass freely through any border, owed no taxes, and were subject to no one’s authority except that of the Pope. It was a remarkable confirmation of the Templars and their mission, which may have been brought about by the Order’s patron, Bernard of Clairvaux, who had helped Pope Innocent in his own rise.

The Order grew rapidly throughout Western Europe, with chapters appearing in France, England, and Scotland, and then spreading to Spain and Portugal.


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