Ancient Roman River of Memory Loss

Limia-river

The Limia river in Galicia, Spain which is in the Ourense province was claimed to be cursed by the ancient Celt’s and crossing this river was believed to cause the loss of one’s memory. In the year 135 BC, the Roman forces led by General Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus reached the banks of the river Lethes, or as it is referred to in Spain, the river “Limia”, and proceeded no further with their invasion of Spain because the soldiers were afraid of losing their memories. A Roman military leader named Brutus Callaicus, single handedly dismantled this myth by crossing to the other side and then listing the names of all his soldiers one by one

Ancient Egyptian Scarab Beetles

Egyptian-scarab-beetle

The scarab beetle was among the most popular of all ancient Egyptian jewelry pieces as the beetle represented the God “Khepri”. Khepri was the God of creation and rebirth and controlled the movement of the Sun. There are 30,000 different depictions of scarab which account for approximately 10% of all known beetle species. Beetles feed upon the undigested nutrients left behind within the excrement of larger animals, almost always mammals. Beetles then lay their eggs within the ball of dung and soon after die. The eggs hatch from within the inner dung, set foot into the world, and end up pushing the very ball of dung which they were born in. Ancient Egyptians viewed this as the beetle having eternal life and therefore placed incredible importance upon it

Chinese Wu Dynasty

Wu-Zetian

The Wu Dynasty ruled by emperor Wu Zetian was the only female to ever rule China in her own right. She was made a concubine because of her renowned beauty and slept with both the emperor Taizong and his son Gaozong after emperor Taizong’s death which was considered incest during this period. Wu clawed her way to the top of China’s political ladder, challenging the male dominated patriarchy of the Chinese government and the traditional Confucianism teachings by introducing Buddhism. After Wu died, her daughter and China’s prime minister were murdered to bring back Confucianism. Many scholars and historians have attributed Wu to the downfall of the Wu Dynasty, vilifying her by referring to her as sex crazed with many lovers and a person who was guilty of murdering her own child. In reality, it is true Wu was crueler than any male leader before or after her. 1200 years would pass before another female leader would emerge; emperous Ching Shih (pronounced “See-shi”) in the 19th century

The Great Wall of China

Great-Wall-of-China

When the craftspeople who built the Great Wall of China died during construction, their bodies were cremated and ground into a powder so that they could be mixed into the mortar of the bricks. The Chinese sometimes refer to the Great Wall of China as the “Wall of Tears” because of this. Over 400,000 people died during the construction process. Rice was added to the mortar which was placed in between each brick as it helped to bind each brick together so tightly that weeds could not grow through, but was also waterproof and resistant to earthquakes due to the flexibility it provided to the mortar

Camels

camels

Camels originally inhabited North America, not the Middle East. Radiometric dating has allowed archeologists to approximate the arrival of the camel to the Middle East which was confirmed to be 930 B.C., which was long after their first appearance in literature like the Bible. Scientists now think the Bible was written up to 500 years after the authors who originally wrote it claimed it to be. Camels were brought to the Middle East as the Egyptians recognized a bustling copper trade and needed a way to import and export copper quickly and cost effectively

Democracy and Currency

democracy-and-currency

The ancient Greeks are responsible for western democracy and western currency. The ancient Greeks were the first to invent and implement democracy stemming from the Greek term “dēmos” meaning “people” and “kratia” meaning “power”. When the ancient Greeks found what was then the worlds richest vein of silver, near a volcanic site, they exploited it to mine silver and mint coins which became traded not only locally but also between the Romans and eventually all of Europe. This idea then spread to the Americas when the Europeans arrived and colonized. The idea of silver being used as currency caught on because it was more easily found than gold and could be traded with ease because of its devalued monetary status. The conquistadors brought with them the ideology of democracy and currency which shaped the western world of the modern day

 

Comets and Asteroids

comets-and-asteroids

Comets and asteroids meant different things to different cultures throughout history. To the Masai of East Africa they meant famine, to the Zulu of South Africa they meant war, to the Ighat* of West Africa they meant disease, to the Jaga of Sier* they meant smallpox, and to their neighbors the Luba, they foretold the death of a leader. The Chinese tracked and cataloged comets and asteroids starting in 1400 B.C. In Chinese mythology, a 3 tailed comet or asteroid meant calamity for the state, and a 4 tailed comet or asteroid signaled an epidemic was coming. The human being ability to recognize patterns can be a double edged sword as it can lead us to believe a pattern exists when really there is no correlation between the before scenario and after event. This phenomena is referred to as “post hoc ergo propter hoc” which is Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”. Post hoc ergo propter hoc explains a logical fallacy which states “since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.” This theory of thought is often shortened to simply “post hoc fallacy”. An example of this incorrect theory of thought would be “the rooster crows immediately before sunrise; therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise”. Oddly enough, the reason roosters crow at sunrise is because they actually believe they are prompting the sun to rise into the sky due to their limited brain capacity and ability to utilize logic and/or reason

*spelling may be slightly inaccurate for the indigenous people listed