It’s possible that after learning about yet another historical character or event, a question may pop into your thoughts. If you want to know the answer, you’ll have to consult some textbooks written in a formal style. Reading it is a chore, so people frequently fail to look in the appropriate places for the information they need. Simple explanations will be provided for the historical questions we cover today.
1. What is in the secret archive of the Vatican
The collection of documents stored in the primary location for all Catholics was referred to as the “Vatican Secret Archive” up until November 2019, when the name will be changed. It was renamed the “Vatican Apostolic Archive” after most documents were made available to the public with unrestricted access.
Films like The Da Vinci Code and its sequels, as well as other works of popular culture, particularly those about the search for ancient treasures, frequently refer to the Vatican archive as some secret repository of all knowledge on the planet. It is said that there you can find information about the Holy Grail, about the treasures of the Knights Templar, and other things like that.
On the other hand, fiction is much more interesting than reality. Yes, the Apostolic Archive in the Vatican includes a large number of books, manuscripts, and other documents that have been accumulated over the centuries. But out of all of the 85 kilometres of shelving, the three documents that are the most interesting are Michelangelo’s letter, in which he complains about not being paid for his work on the Sistine Chapel, the protocol of Galileo’s trial for heresy, and the request by Henry VIII of England to annul the marriage. According to the scientists who constantly work with this invaluable source of information, there is nothing extraordinary in these archives.
2. Is it true that people in the past lived to be 30 years old?
It is not uncommon to hear that people used to live up to the age of 30, or possibly even up to the age of 20, but today is the first day that people have a chance to live to the venerable age of 100. However, if we took into account life expectancy several thousand years ago, their 30 years can be safely equated to our 100 years – a number that seemed so unattainable at the time.
In point of fact, this is an illusion that is ingrained in us by our society’s predominant popular culture. Even in some classic works, phrases such as “40-year-old man” can be found, which allegedly further confirms that people only lived a relatively short amount of time several centuries ago. On the other hand, this whole thing is based on an incorrect interpretation of the term “average life expectancy.” The fact of the matter is that the average duration is construed as the aggregate of all generation representatives, including those who have passed away. In addition, because infant mortality rates were so high in the past, women had frequent pregnancies to minimise the risk of interrupted labour. As a direct consequence, only three of the ten children, at best, managed to survive.
However, according to the statistics, these people who died really did exist. Consequently, if we add up all of those children, three of whom lived, for example, to the age of 90, and seven of whom died when they were still infants, we can get a very low figure somewhere in the range of 20-30 years.
Because of the significant advancements that have been made in medical care, adults in today’s society have a much better chance of living to an age that is considered to be respectable than they did one hundred years ago. However, the meteoric rise in life expectancy can be largely attributed to the dramatic decline in the infant mortality rate. Therefore, if you were to travel back in time with the assistance of a time machine, you would find many people over the age of 30 and even some older adults over the age of 80.
3. History of dragons: Where did the myths about dragons come from among different peoples
You can find an interesting event associated with dragons if you read the folk legends of people from different cultures and give them some consideration. These fantastic beasts can be found in the folklore of almost every nation and culture, even the most remote communities, and take on a more or less identical form. The artistic depictions of these made-up creatures have a similar appearance, making it appear as if they could have been real and lived hundreds of years ago.
Everything can be summed up in one word: simple. At least in Western culture, the popular conception of dragons is based on a fusion of ancient people’s descriptions of various creatures, most of which were reptiles. These descriptions were made thousands of years ago. In many cultures, dragons are depicted as having characteristics of birds, reptiles, cats, and other animals.
In addition, the discovery of dinosaur fossils by people in ancient times impacted how dragons were depicted in different cultures. When ancient people compared the sizes of dinosaur skeletons to the remains of real-life reptiles like crocodiles, they imagined these creatures as gigantic monsters with wings. This was especially true if they discovered the skeletons of pterosaurs, such as Arambourgiania, which had a wingspan of 7 to 13 meters.
4. How the pyramids were built
The Egyptian pyramids are considered one of the world’s most intriguing structures. Mysterious for the people of the community who enjoy reading a wide variety of mystical literature or watching a well-known channel on which they discuss the reptilians who a century and a hundred thousand years ago established a civilisation on Earth.
In this century, people started getting it wrong about the pyramids; more specifically, it wasn’t that people started getting it wrong about how they were built. Even the ancient Greek historian Herodotus perpetuated the myth that the pyramids were constructed solely by enslaved people. According to this story version, tens of thousands of unwilling people were tormented by hunger and beaten with whips to force them to work more quickly.
The construction of the pyramids required a massive amount of human resources; nevertheless, according to the findings of recent research, the majority of these workers were not enslaved. It is thought that the labourers who worked on these enormous construction sites devoted no more than three months of their yearly time to this endeavour. The pyramids were constructed according to the principle of barter. In addition, they were compensated for their efforts in grain or some other form of natural trade. In addition, as a reward for their hard work, a portion of their taxes was waived.
There are very few records that have been passed down to us that explain the process of how the pyramids themselves were built. However, evidence in the form of papyri and hieroglyphs found on the walls of the same pyramids demonstrates that the Egyptians had a highly sophisticated culture of construction founded on physics. They did not receive assistance from extraterrestrial beings armed with anti-gravity or laser beams. Anyone with a high school geometry background can construct the structures employed in building the pyramids. Workers raised stones to extraordinary heights using simple cranes based on counterweights. Contrary to what is depicted in the films, the stones were not pulled under lashes to achieve these heights.
We could figure out how the stones were moved, but we were perplexed about how they were transported to the construction site. This involves travelling over the desert for tens of kilometres, in extreme heat conditions, with no roads and no cars capable of carrying such loads. There is also nothing confusing about this situation. It is widely held among historians and archaeologists that the resources taken from the quarries were merely floated down the Nile on boats. The Egyptians were very inventive in extracting stones from mine sites. They did not move enormous stones but dug out stones, broke them up into blocks, and then moved them using wooden ramps and ropes rather than lifting the stones in their whole. With this technology, dozens of workers could move slabs of granite weighing several tons and sandstone and other lighter boulders.
If this is the case, how did the massive blocks get transported to the construction site of the pyramids, many of which are situated a significant distance from the Nile? Sledges were employed for this purpose and were dragged along the sand to accomplish the task. Because the sand is structured, it is not too difficult to move large objects through it. Additionally, the Egyptians likely splashed water upon the sand to improve the sledge’s ability to glide. After being delivered to the construction site, the blocks were dropped onto the ground, after which they were dragged with ropes onto the ramps and lifted up.
5. Why February is the shortest month of the year
It seems illogical that every month has either 30 or 31 days, except for February, which only has 28 and 29 days in leap years. Why did it happen? King Numa Pompilius is credited with introducing the 12-month calendar into the Roman kingdom around 700 BC. Before his arrival, each year was divided into ten equal parts.
The lunar cycle was followed by the creation of 354 days on the calendar. In addition, Numa added a day to the calendar to reduce the number of months that were even. The problem is that even numbers were thought to be unlucky, so it was decided to make the months odd at most. Several days were subtracted from February to accomplish this goal, which was added as an additional month. However, with 355 days in a year, February remained even. The Romans, however, did not let this bother them because they performed ritual sacrifices in February related to the purification process. Doing so could mitigate the potentially negative “effect” of having an even month.
Gaius Julius Caesar reformed the calendar sometime later, in the 40s BC, but he already focused on the solar cycle rather than the lunar cycle. He kept the 12-month format but removed a few hours added at the end of every other February. Instead, he added another day to the calendar on February 29, which only occurred once every four years. This was because February 29 only occurred once every four years. At the same time, February remained the shortest month of the year because the Romans were highly susceptible to superstition and simply because it made it possible not to break the system that had been working for centuries. In addition, February was the shortest month of the year because it made it possible not to break the system that had been working for centuries.