Strange History and News of Weird Trivia 1500 B.C. to 1450 A.D.

A collectiong of random facts and strange history from 1500 B.C. to 1450 A.D. including trivia about Dante, Aristophanes's longest word, and fingerprinting.

CHRONOLOGY OF UNFORGETTABLE ODDITIES

1500 B.C. Emperor Ch'eng T'ang ordered his chief minister, I-Yin, to prepare an inventory of the most flavorful foods available in all of China. Heading I-Yin's list of the best meat dishes were "orangutan lips . . . the tails of young swallows . . . and the choice parts of yak and elephant. . . ."

1288 B.C. Pharaoh Ramses II was soundly defeated by the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh. Undaunted, the Egyptian ruler built a memorial to his magnificent "triumph." The monument endured, the Hittites died out, and generation upon generation of historians paid tribute to Ramses' military victory. Only recently have archaeologists unearthed the truth about the Battle of Kadesh and exposed Ramses' 3,300-year-old "Big Lie."

590 B.C. The Athenian lawgiver Draco designed an early legal code that was hardly noted for its leniency. Nevertheless, he was quite popular with his fellow citizens. In 590 B.C. there was a testimonial in his honor at the theater of Athena. As Draco entered the open-air arena, thousands of well-wishers showered him with their hats and cloaks. Draco was smothered to death under the pile of clothing.

400 B.C. In his comedy The Ecclesiazusae, Aristophanes introduced a new word, which remains to this date the longest ever penned in the history of literature-Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranip sanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatake chymenokich lepikossyphop hattoperisterale ktryonoptekephalliokigklope leiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon. One hundred seventy letters long in Aristophanes' Greek, 182 letters in its English transliteration, the word means a fricassee of 17 sweet and sour ingredients including mullet, honey, brains, pickles, vegetable marrow, vinegar, and the Greek drink ouzo.

700 A.D. Fingerprinting was in use in China as a means of identifying people.

887 Charles the Simple, the heir of Charles the Bald, acceded to the French throne by overthrowing Charles the Fat.

c. 1050 The historical Macbeth had a stepson named Lulach the Fatuous.

1321 Dante Alighieri died just a few hours after writing the final lines of Paradise, the third section of The Divine Comedy.

1349 To upgrade the fighting skill of the peasantry, King Edward III of England banned all sports in his country save one--archery.

c. 1400 Isabeau of Bavaria, the consort of King Charles VI of France, regularly applied to her face an emollient of boar brains, wolf blood, and crocodile glands.

c. 1450 Louis XI of France commanded the abbot of Baigne to invent a preposterous musical instrument for the amusement of His Majesty's friends. After mulling over the possibilities, the abbot gathered together a herd of hogs, ranging from nursing piglets to full-fledged swine. Under a velvet tent he lined them up with low-voiced porkers on the left, the middle-range sows in the middle, and the soprano piglets on the right. Then the abbot constructed a modified organ keyboard, attaching the keys to a complex apparatus terminating in a series of small spikes, one poised over the rump of each pig. The courtiers were gathered together and the abbot played his keyboard, causing the spikes to prick the pigs in sequence. The pigs naturally let out a piercing squeal, each in its own particular voice range. The tunes were actually recognizable, and the concert was adjudged a success by all.

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