Posts tagged with history

The auction for capital has happened in such diverse places as under banyan trees, in coffee shops, in whore houses, near the sandal market (Egypt, Jerusalem), in a cave, at farm crossroads, near lake edges and river deltas, at magic springs, over a levee, in private country club gardens, etc.

The folks who made it more comfortable thrived (Mr. Lloyd, for example). The folks who made this process more uncomfortable eventually killed the golden goose (not many trades in Florence anymore, and it is all Savanarola and the Bishop’s fault. Bonfire of Vanities indeed).
user “Bachelier”

(Source: mail.nuclearphynance.com)

Already getting on in years (I was past the change of life), Béatrice fell passionately in love with the young priest; her feeling was translated by the verb adamare. She threw herself at him. As Barthélemy Amilhac himself said later:

It was she who made the first advances; one day, when I had just finished teaching my pupils … Béatrice said to me: ‘Come to my house this evening.’

I did. When I was in her house, I found that she was there alone. I asked: ‘What do you want of me?’

And she said: ‘I love you: I want to sleep with you.’

And I answered: ‘All right.’

Straight away I made love with her in the antechamber of the ostal, and subsequently I possessed her often. But never at night. Always in the daytime. We used to wait until the girls and the servant were out of the house. And then we used to commit the carnal sin.

What she loved in him was his gentleness and his desire — priests were known to be much more lustful than mere laymen….Béatrice loved the young man so much that she accused him of having bewitched her:
I have never committed the sin of sorcery…. But I think the priest Barthélemy did cast a spell on me, for I loved him too passionately; and yet when I met him I was already past menopause.

After she became the vicaire's sweetheart Béatrice was continually annoyed by village gossip, spread by the parish slanderers (lauzengiers)…. She was also subjected to vexation by her brothers, who in typical Occitan style set themselves up as custodians of their sister’s virtue. She was afraid they might hurt her….

She [ran away] to Vicdessos, where she was joined by Barthélemy, and from there they both went on to Palhars, where a priest-cum-notary ‘married’ them, but without giving them his blessing. There they lived for a year in the same domus without causing the slightest scandal. They lived meagrely…[consuming her] dowry. Gradually Barthélemy got to know about [her heretical] past. He was afraid. There were quarrels…. They parted.

When they met again later it was just before they were both put in prison. Béatrice had already been roughly handled by the Inquisition, and she asked her former sweetheart to help her. Once again, as before … in the cellar at Dalou, Béatrice made love with the young vicar in a vineyard while her faithful maid kept watch… The rest of [their] story belongs to [the Inquisitor]. He put them both in prison. Then, a year later, on the same day, 4 July 1322, he set them both free.
Montaillou — southern France in the 1320’s (story ends 1322)

The reactions against Grassmann make a humorous chapter in the history of mathematics. For example, Professor Pringsheim, dean of German mathematicians and the author of over one hundred substantial papers on the theory of infinite series, both convergent and divergent, kept insisting that Grassmann should be doing something relevant instead of writing up his maniacal ravings. “Why doesn’t he do something useful, like discovering some new criterion for the convergence of infinite series!” Pringsheim asserted, with all the authority that his position conferred.

Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts

(if you don’t get why this insult is funny: Pringsheim’s articles must have been dry and small-minded, whereas Grassmann’s packs a universe
into a kernel)


Winthrop also subscribed to the belief that the native peoples who lived in the hinterlands around the colony had been struck down by G-d, who sent disease among them because of their non-Christian beliefs:

“But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by smallpox which still continues among them. So as G-d hath thereby cleared our title to this place…”

New World Encyclopedia, via MRU

(search pictures of smallpox only if you have a strong stomach)

Stones from neolithic Scotland, for the story see Lieven Le Bruyn.


Sunset, Foggy Weather, Pourville
by Claude Monet in 1882
via the art geeks, wow great


文震亨 (lived 1585–1645, during the Ming Dynasty)
author of 长物志, “Treatise on Superfluous Things”

文震亨 (lived 1585–1645, during the Ming Dynasty)

author of 长物志, “Treatise on Superfluous Things”

(Source: Wikipedia)

There are very few facts I think “everyone should know”. The huge income differences across countries are an exception.


Everyone should know that income per person in Burundi is about 1% of in the U.S. (yes, even though there’s a recession on).


And everybody should know a rough quantitative history of the world.

13 minutes by Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok

The Speenhamland allowance scale enacted in 1795 effectively set a floor on the income of labourers according to the price of bread.

When the gallon loaf cost 1s, the laborer was to have a weekly income of 3s for himself. … Weekly wages of 3s are equal to …3.72 pounds of bread per day for a single labourer. This is an important figure to remember as the Speenhamland allowance.

As a pound of bread provides about 1100 calories, the allowance gave the labourer a total of 4100 calories per day. An agricultural labourer doing 8-10 hours of vigorous work can easily require 3000 calories/day. It is evident that the Speenhamland allowance provided just above the bare means of subsistence.

Wheel Of Fortune

Sors immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis, status malus, vana salus semper dissolubilis. #oFortunaRoll #newRickRoll
— JD Long (@CMastication) September 22, 2012