Nazi Myths And The Banality Of Evil

Good and bad men are less than they seem. —Samuel Taylor Coleridge People just love the word evil. It is small, powerful and can be liberally applied to basically any situation where severe deviance or misbehavior defies explanation. In a clear, no-nonsense way, the word evil fills the void of what we don’t understand about darkness…

Remembering Boudicca’s Rebellion And Her Daring Revenge On Rome

…a terrible disaster occurred in Britain. Two cities were sacked, eighty thousand of the Romans and of their allies perished, and the island was lost to Rome. Moreover, all this ruin was brought upon the Romans by a woman, a fact which in itself caused them the greatest shame… But the person who was chiefly…

Remembering Old London And Its Epic Battle With Modern Crime

Crime has a way of uncovering the soft and vulnerable facets of society. While most people rarely fall victim to misdeeds of others, maleficium does have a way of seeping out into the populace and infecting the larger framework of life. And once this criminality is expressed through murder, theft, rape, or general malevolence, it…

Revealing The Romance Of The Ancient Roma Gypsy

 You don’t kill a gypsy by cutting him in ten pieces–you will only make ten more gypsies.–Romanian Proverb Way, way up in the peaks of Transylvania, a land steeped in myth and legend, lies one of the most darkly romantic settings of all times–the Carpathian Mountains. As the last truly wild mountain range of Europe,…

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…

Welcome To The Grim Underworld Of The Resurrectionists

When examining the dark crevices of London’s history, there’s no shortage of stories about decrepit neighborhoods and criminal networks, especially along the 19th-century docks and poorer areas of the great city. These notoriously seedy backdrops have set the scene for many a gruesome tale—from Jack the Ripper to the Yorkshire Witch—and remain some of the…

Remembering The Brutality Of The Antebellum South

With so much talk in the news about Charlottesville, Virginia and the recent race riot they endured, it’s worth considering what all the fuss is about. The Virginia controversy has centered specifically on a statue of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee, who appears larger than life as he sternly surveys the landscape before…

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…

Sex With A King Demanded An Accomplished Mistress

“Every woman was born with the ambition to become the King’s favorite,” wrote Primi Visconti, an Italian fortune-teller who lived at Louis XIV’s French court in the mid 17th century. And in this world of glittering ambition and mercurial passions, it seemed he was right. While princesses were bred to be proper and abiding, the…

These Baffling Artifacts Prove How Little We Know About History

An oopart, otherwise known as an “out-of-place artifact,” is an archeological discovery that does not fit into our established understanding of history. Given the artifact’s advanced level of technology or general sophistication, its existence seems impossible within the physical, chemical, and/or geological constraints of its time. Then, how can they exist? Science measures them as…