Vikings, Odin, And The Duality Of A Raven God

This great world has been home to endless ancient people throughout the ages, many of whom were never seen or understood by modernity because they lacked the written word. Without the ability to document their own beliefs and experiences through some form of writing, these cultures were muted by time and left with little acknowledgment or…

Hidden Witchcraft: How The Magic Jäckel Scared Europe To Death

On the dark and winding roads of history, few instances remain as wholly terrifying as the witch hunts of Early Modern Europe. The heady combination of religion, magic, heresy, and evil —topped with a hearty dose of moral panic and mass hysteria—gave rise to a new brand of organized persecution and led to an estimated…

From Rape To Reason: A Brief History Of Sodomy

“In general usage, sodomy was not an exact term and did not merely refer to a specific sexual act. Rather, it described the whole range of homosexual behavior, sexual or otherwise, which belonged to the ancient lechers of Sodom and Gomorrah. This Biblical idiom was as commonplace in the 19th century as it had been…

Cheers To The Royal Wedding That Served Up Death

When it comes to history, there are few events more anticipated, more idealized, or more relished than a royal wedding. Although modernity has mostly swept away the need for such spectacles, the idea of two bejeweled hands reaching out to clasp the glittering future of an entire kingdom still holds a certain allure. For many…

How The Werewolf Of Bedburg Passed From Man To Myth

Strangely enough, the most modern source on the medieval life and times of Peter Stumpp, otherwise known as the Werewolf of Bedburg, can be found in the lyrics of the rock band Macabre, a group of American troubadours who specialize in the obscure genre of “murder metal.” Paring down the meat of the story to bare…

How One Medieval Murder Unleashed The Legend Of Blood Libel

Sometimes it only takes a tiny spark to light a massive fire, one capable of burning furiously through the ages and killing many innocents in the process. In the case of young William of Norwich, this inferno first began with his brutal murder in 1144 and blazed into a mad vendetta against the local Jewish…

Why Giving Birth To A Monarch Was A Queen’s Darkest Hour

Since the beginning of civilization, the royal world has always been special, elevated above the mediocrity of regular life and filled with the pleasures and privilege of divine power and influence. After all, a king and queen were not simply elected to their posts—they were chosen by most discerning judge all, God. This notion alone was…

Hidden Gunpowder: How Guy Fawkes Plotted His Way To Death

If you ever find yourself in London on November 5th, you may see the bursts of fireworks around the city, accompanied by burning effigies in the neighborhood square. Also known as Bonfire Night, this celebration does not mark Britain’s independence but rather, its salvation from the nefarious plans of its most infamous villain, Guy Fawkes. Publicly…

In The Name of Christ: Is The Shroud of Turin Real?

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth that bears the clear image of a crucified man—a man millions of people believe to be the image of Jesus Christ. The artifact’s authenticity, however, has never been completely established, and the mystery of whether this ancient material actually wrapped the crucified body of the Christian…