Tag Archives: history

History for the fantasy buff: Roman fossil collecting

Remember the Calydonian Boar, the oversized boar of Greek mythology? The ancient Greeks possessed a pair of tusks which they claimed had belonged to the Calydonian Boar, and they kept them at the Temple of Athena in Tegea. These were … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: werewolves and vampires

There are some interesting ideas about monsters in history in Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite: The Science of Monsters, by Matt Kaplan. Monsters from the ancient and medieval eras were primarily large pedators. Think the Nemean Lion or the Calydonian … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: fossils and storytelling

Say you lived in ancient times and you walked to the top of a mountain. There, you were astonished to find fossils of seashells and various marine creatures. What explanation would you come up so that your find made sense? … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: Eating utensils

If you’re writing a historical or fantasy novel and come to a scene where the characters are eating a meal, you may need to think about what they eat with. One utensil you can, with confidence, provide to your characters … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: kitchens

Sometimes I run into this question when writing scenes in my fantasy novels: where do the people cook? And how is it done? The kitchen–a room built for the purpose of cooking–is a relatively recent invention. So where have people … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: ovens vs. open fire cooking

The oven is an invention that’s been with us for a long time. Simple ovens were used in the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. These were clay ovens called tandoors, and they’re still in use today. … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: Cracking enigma

One of my favorite true life stories about cryptography is the breaking of the Enigma cipher in World War II. And I can’t possibly do it justice in a couple of short blog posts. I highly recommend reading the whole … Continue reading

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