Random Reading – May 2021

How young couples managed to meet before the advent of social media

Love island: the love lives of our 19th century ancestors
by Dr Marion McGarry
In recent years, apps have increasingly facilitated online dating, Indeed, thanks to Covid-19, these have become the only way for single people to link up with potential partners. Covid has also meant that large get-togethers in real life are out of bounds. This would have been an unimaginable state-of-affairs to our rural 19th century ancestors, whose courting rituals in their pre-married days happened at mass social gatherings like fairs, pattern days and wakes…

Pliny the Elder’s rescue mission to Herculaneum

Vesuvius Victim Identified as Elite Roman Soldier Sent on Failed Rescue Mission
by Livia Gershon
A new analysis of a man killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius suggests that he was most likely an elite Roman soldier sent on an unsuccessful mission to rescue refugees from the natural disaster…

Abandoned villages and what remains of them today

Where history happened: the villages that disappeared
by Christopher Dyer
Even during a recession, we expect towns and villages to expand. New housing estates are, after all, part of modern life. It is rather depressing, and even shocking, to see dilapidated houses in towns or ruined farmhouses in the country. Yet in earlier centuries, roofless buildings, grass-covered streets and redundant houses were commonplace…

Smell like an Ancient Egyptian

Researchers May Have Recreated Cleopatra’s Perfume Thanks To 2,000-Year-Old Residue [or maybe not]
After centuries’ worth of paintings and sculptures, we have a pretty good idea of what Cleopatra, the storied ruler of ancient Egypt, looked like. But now, we may also know what she smelled like…

And my favourite piece of social media for the month.

This applies to so much more than just the Middle Ages.

12 thoughts on “Random Reading – May 2021

    • Thank you. Abandoned places are interesting. Each seems to have its own atmosphere. Some are quite peaceful and others sad.
      Not quite the same as villages but the Old Gaol here in Melbourne is grim and has a definite atmosphere. Yet when I visited Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1990, I thought it peaceful despite the history. I don’t know that I would feel the same if I were to visit now though.

      Liked by 1 person

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