All posts filed under “History

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The Log Cabin at the Heart of St Petersburg, Russia

The most famous ‘little log cabin in the woods’ is probably the one in which Abraham Lincoln grew up in Kentucky. It was built in 1808, but unfortunately, no longer exists.  However, in St Petersburg, Russia, there is to this day, a log cabin built… Read more

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The Day I Walked Around the Roman Empire

When Emperor Constantine woke up on May 28, 1453, it would have been to the depressing thought that it was likely his last day on Earth. Justinian was emperor of the Roman Empire (we tend to call them Byzantine, but they thought of themselves as Romans),… Read more

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Turkey/Armenia: Ani – capital on the wrong side of a border

I’ve seen two cities that look like they were comprehensively destroyed. I don’t mean just ruins,  but places where someone seems to have made a comprehensive, and successful attempt to wipe the place out. Warsaw may come to mind – it was practically obliterated in the… Read more

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(Both) Battles of Breitenfeld – a day’s walk near Leipzig

It is a macabre thought that in these days of GIS and databases, someone could probably come up with a map of Europe – colour-coded by the amount of human lives lost in battles over the past score of centuries or so. I wonder what… Read more

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Thinking Outside the Triangle – Polynesian Origins

New Zealand school kids, at least when I was one, were taught to draw the Polynesian triangle. It has Hawaii at the top corner, Easter Island at another, and New Zealand at the third. Within this triangle, so we were told, are Polynesian cultures. Outside… Read more

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Pacifism in New Zealand: A Ruined Life?

My Mum always told me that her father was a Pacifist. As a kid, the information was of-interest, but a little bit so-what? He didn’t believe in fighting. Some years later I came across a couple of old books in our bookcase. These had been… Read more