Posts Tagged ‘history’

Ring-Dancing Monkeys and Black Death Rubbish

At Got Medieval, Carl Pyrdrum re-debunks the persistent, authentic-sounding story that the nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosies” has anything whatsoever to do with the Black Death of the 1340s. It does not. As any good English plague survivor********** could tell you, the plague was caused by sin and best warded off by extreme piety […]

“Wicca Man” Trailer

Here is the trailer for the new British documentary on Gerald Gardner, theatrically introduced by Ronald Hutton rather like an episode of the archaeology program Secrets of the Dead. Britain’s Wicca Man – (C) Matchlight from Matchlight on Vimeo. I am happy to hear Professor Hutton say that Wicca was developed in the 1940s—I would […]

Upcoming Gerald Gardner Documentary

A commenter asked about the documentary on Gerald Gardner in which Ronald Hutton is involved. Here is the announcement. How long before it might be available outside Britain is a good question.

Another “Celtic” Illusion Shattered

This may come as a shock to some, but the Asterix the Gaul comics do not present an accurate view of the ancient Gaulish people, according to a new museum exhibit in Paris. No dolmen-moving, etc. Next thing, they will be telling us that Vikings did not wear horned helmets like Hägar the Horrible. Shocking.

What Was Ancient Roman Childhood?

Historian Peter Thonemann reviews books on childhood in the Roman republic and empire in the TLS. A lot is about trying to uncover the Romans’ balance between sentimentality and utility, particularly in the upper classes: House-reared slaves, as Beryl Rawson shows in Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture, could play a variety of […]

‘The Magical Battle of Britain’

“The Battle of Britain” usually refers to the German bombing campaign during the summer of 1940, planned to lead into a seaborne invasion across the English Channel. Gerald Gardner claimed that the “Southern Coven”  performed a ritual in the New Forest at Lammas 1940 against the threatened invasion. Based on my reading of the evidence, […]

Learning History through Pop Tunes

Via Sightless Among Miracles, a link to a group of history teachers’ remakes of music videos to teach history. French seismologists have probably noticed disturbances near Toulouse caused by  medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas spinning in his grave after having been  memorialized to the tune of “Venus.” The rap-style delivery of Middle English in Canterbury Tales […]

San Francisco, Market Street, 1905

A few months before the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, someone mounted an early movie camera on a street car and filmed as the car rolled down Market Street toward the Ferry Building. Pretty much everything in this movie was destroyed on April 18-19, 1906. It’s a lost world. I find this movie to […]

Departed Pagan Elders

On the home page of the Green Egg (now free for download), see a list of “departed Pagan pioneers, founders, and elders.” I do not think that Dorothy Clutterbuck belongs there, however. She was the unwitting victim of Gerald Gardner’s Gemini sense of humor, I think. But aside from her, these pioneers deserve to be […]

The End of World War 2 in Honolulu

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 from Richard Sullivan on Vimeo. (The sound track was obviously added later—those 1940s home movie cameras did not record sound.) Catharine, my stepmother, was there, I think. After her first husband, a Navy ensign, died when his ship was torpedoed in 1942,  she ended up in Hawaii working […]