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This Thread Will Go Down in [History]

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I got recommended a book from a weaving group yesterday. It's titled "Women's Work, the first 20,000 Years" by Elizabeth Barber.

    I haven't gotten very far into it, but it seems like almost a social anthropological look at fibre arts, specifically weaving and spinning, through history. I'll report back when I know a bit more about it as I keep reading, but I'm enjoying the little bit that I read last night.

    JedocPlatysarukuncB557V1mMayabirdDisruptedCapitalist
  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    edited May 3
    I think we know a lot about weaving and other types of textile work because it was also an acceptable type of work for high-status women

    For example, in the Odyssey, Penelope is portrayed as a skilled weaver but otherwise doesn't engage in the same work as the other women in the household

    Quoting this from an article I once saved because it's really interesting:
    The mantles buried with the man in t[omb] 89 at Verucchio were almost certainly the work of one woman working alone (Stauffer 2002, 212), like the mantle woven by Tanaquil for Servius Tullius and preserved for centuries in the temple of Fortuna (Pliny NH 8. 194).

    Garments created by high-status women were probably especially valued

    Platy on
    lonelyahavacB557
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    From what I'm gathering, every woman wove. or spun, or some other fibre art. every single one. no matter the social status, a woman was the one in charge of the fibre and cloth for the family.

    The author of the book above mentions that it's likely because it's so accessible to child-rearing. because you can just put it down and come back to it. I mean, it's annoying as fuck to do (especially when counting stitches oh my god child you are not bleeding just wait), but it can be put on hold, delayed, and then picked back up with an easy place to continue from. Same with sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, nalbinding (just learned about this one recently).

    And it's social! You can gather all your women together, and all the small children, they can play and socialize while the women move on to spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing.

    I've only just started to pick up weaving myself, but it is amazing how it feels knowing that I can make cloth for my family that can then be used for warmth, or cleanliness. And that I'm doing something that other women have been doing for thousands of years. I might have finer material, more consistent material, I might not have to comb the fleece or spin it myself or ply it myself, but I am still doing those same practices as those women were.

    Although spinning is likely the next step for me. maybe. probably.

    ElvenshaeFencingsax
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular

    tylvh4k5gys0.gif
    Elvenshae
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular

    tylvh4k5gys0.gif
    ElvenshaeIronKnuckle's GhostStraightziMulysaSempronius
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    strike-papyrus.jpg

    This papyrus dates to the reign of Ramses III, the last great pharaoh of the New Kingdom of Egypt, reigning during the Bronze Age Collapse when most the other empires of the known world fell. The reasons for the Bronze Age Collapse are hotly debated, and going into it would go way off topic for my intentions today. All we need to know is that times were hard.

    Anyway, it was the 29th year in the reign and there were plans for a grand jubilee festival to celebrate the thirtieth year, because who doesn't like a festival, right? But festivals are expensive, and grain was scarce due to bad harvests (why? See: debate about Bronze Age Collapse). And thus, the craftsmen at the Valley of the Kings, high status and high paid hereditary craftsmen who worked on the temples and tombs of the pharaohs, were stiffed on their pay.

    The workers were primarily paid in grains; they received no pay for eighteen days. At that point, the workers all laid down their tools, marched into the city, demonstrated and then had a sit-in within a temple. It was the first labor strike in history.


    As this was something that had apparently never happened before, the officials didn't know what to do. Various officials got called up down the chain of command, but the workers would not relent because they were hungry. The police chief even ended up joining the strikers:
    Year 29, second month of winter, day 13
    At the Gatehouse of the Tomb. Declaration by the chief of police Mentmose: "I'll tell you my opinion. Go up, gather your paraphernalia, close your doors, fetch your wives and your children, and I'll lead you to the temple of Menmaatre and let you settle down there forthwith.

    Year 29, second month of winter, day 13
    The chief of police ... "finish 'whatever you are (doing)' ..."

    ... (second month of winter, day 13)
    likewise, they having taken their wives ... go/went out again saying ... the chief taxing master had brought to them ... list of that (?) which came to them ... (which) the chief taxing master Ptahemheb sent.


    The papyrus up top is a chronicle of the labor strike written by the scribe Amennakhte. The translation is a little hard to follow, but it details how the officials tried to give cakes to the strikers to appease them, but that obviously wasn't enough. They tried to give late and very partial pay, but the strikers would not go to work (and brought torches after that). They finally did get their payment and food and went back to work...

    ...only to get stiffed again, so the workers went back on strike. When the officials decided they would just send armed guards to force the people to go back to work, a striker said he'd deface the royal tombs if they tried, so the guards wouldn't go.

    The papyrus doesn't mention how the strike ended, though it does mention the mayor of Thebes paying the workers in grain out of his own stores eventually. The pharaohs did not make monuments or official mention of anything that would embarrass them (you can tell when a war was going bad when the "grand victories" honored in carvings get increasingly close to the capital over time). However, there are records from later in this time period about other labor strikes for other reasons, so we can only assume that this one worked.


    Tl;dr An account of the first known labor strike in history.

    PeasfurlionKayne Red RobeGvzbgulJedocStraightziL Ron Howardvalhalla130Metzger Meistertynicchrishallett83IronKnuckle's GhostDuke 2.0PolaritieSolarJayKaosPlatyDer Waffle Mous
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Fuck yeah

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
    furlionJedocchrishallett83
  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    The reasons for the Bronze Age Collapse are hotly debated, and going into it would go way off topic for my intentions today.
    As it's now tomorrow, you're getting ready to share this story, yes?

    Fencingsaxvalhalla130
  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    November 3rd, 1858!

    Walter Wellman was born in Mentor, Ohio, USA to Alonzo Wellman and Minerva Sibilla Wellman, the sixth son of the family. Alonzo was serving in the Army of Ohio at the time, where he eventually would become a ship's carpenter as a part of the Union's Mississippi River Squadron. Alonzo would later pass on his carpentry skills to his sons, and after the war ended the Wellmans relocated to Nebraska.

    When Walter Wellman was 14, he started his first newspaper, and seven years later at 21 he moved to Cincinnati where he founded the Cincinnati Evening Post, which would continue in one form or another until 2007. Wellman married in 1879, had five daughters, and by 1884 served as a political correspondent for the Chicago Herald.

    Walter_Wellman%2C_1858-1934%2C_head-and-shoulders_portrait%2C_facing_left.jpg
    Wellman in 1910, aboard a ship we'll talk about later.

    Throughout much of the nineteenth century, Arctic exploration attempts had gripped the consciousness of European and North American peoples and governments. Attempts to find a viable sea route through North America, and thereby not require ships to make the very long voyage around the entirety of South America, were of particular interest. A related effort, in that great tradition of assuming nobody had done something before white people had done something, was to reach the North Pole. Many attempts were made in latter half of the nineteenth century, and such announcements, updates, and results were regular subjects of newspaper reporting. Wellman himself was gripped by these stories, and, with his wealth and connections, he began to become interested in exploration.

    In 1892 Wellman lead an expedition to San Salvador Island, where he placed a marker on the presumed landing spot of Columbus's 1492 voyage. I say presumed here, because it's unclear which island Columbus actually landed on. Two years later, he traveled to the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and attempted an overland expedition to the North Pole, but failed. He would try again in the winter of 1898, this time from the Russian territory of Franz Josef Land, itself not far from Svalbard. This was also met with failure.

    The latter half of the 19th century saw many advancements in all sort of fields, including steam powered engines and a renewed focus on powered flight attempts. Hot air balloons had been around for nearly a century, but the idea of developing a hot air balloon that could be controlled, and not merely move about at the mercy of the winds, was one that many inventors worked towards. These efforts would culminate in the first powered, steerable airship (or dirigible if you want to be pedantic), developed by Henri Giffard of France in 1852. By the time Wellman returned from his second failed attempt to reach the North Pole, he had an idea. He'd been stymied by the harsh terrain of the Arctic. But what if he could bypass that? Why not simply fly to the North Pole?

    Wellman began to sketch out ideas for an airship expedition. He knew enough about the technology available at the turn of the 20th century that he'd have to keep the party, and the supplies, very small. The news of the Wright brothers completing the world's first heavier-than-air powered flight in 1903 was exciting and encouraging. But Wellman needed money. He'd need to hire someone to design and construct his airship, have a place to build the thing in the first place, and outfit the party for the journey. Fortunately Wellman had numerous contacts in the newspaper industry, and Victor F. Lawson agreed to the venture to the tune of $60,000. This is about 1.7 million in today's dollars. Wellman and Lawson founded a company to raise funds for the remainder of the needed funds, which was about 7.2 million today.

    DN-0079395.jpg
    Victor Lawson had about 1.7 million to throw at an insane idea.

    In 1905, Wellman had secured enough cash to hire Mutin Godard, a French airship builder, to begin the design and the construction of the airship America. She was 50 meters long, her envelope 15.8 meters wide, and constructed of layers of fabric and rubber. The envelope was a soft type with no internal support framework. It was also filled with hydrogen. Powering America were three internal combustion engines which selectively output power to two propellers situated fore and aft of the gondola. Wellman himself was heavily involved in the design process despite having no experience designing any sort of mechanical equipment.

    On December 31st, 1905, Wellman publicly announced his expedition in his newspaper, and once again selected Svalbard as the expedition's launch point. An additional infusion of funds was provided from his newspaper, which mostly went towards construction of a hangar for the yet-to-be-delivered America. Wellman also set about procuring the fuel, food, and navigational equipment necessary for the voyage, as well as to find four people willing to try this whole thing with him. By summer 1906, Godard had completed their construction efforts, disassembled America into pieces, and shipped her north to Svalbard. Wellman and friends received the airship and reassembled her in her hangar, and fired up the engines for the first time on July 8th, which immediately exploded. By September, America was disassembled and sent back to France for redesign and repairs.

    Wellman_air_ship_LOC_ggbain.03344.jpg
    The creatively-named American airship America, in 1906. Shortly after this picture was taken, her engines self-destructed.

    The next year, America and Wellman returned to Svalbard. The airship had been enlarged, with a new middle section of the envelope added to further increase the volume of hydrogen she could carry. Weather problems throughout the summer of 1907 delayed any attempt to fly America until September. Seizing the opportunity, Wellman, mechanic Melvin Vaniman, and navigator Felix Riesenberg immediately set off for the North Pole with no additional preparation time. They made it a handful of miles north before weather threatened the ship and they deflated the envelope to avoid destruction. America again was disassembled and returned to France.

    In 1908, Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the North Pole via an overland route on April 21st. The claim was widely disputed, though it was later ruled his expedition had discovered a previously unknown (to white folks) island. Just under one year later, Robert Peary claimed his party had reached the Pole. His claim was also disputed.

    Walter_Wellman.jpg
    Walter Wellman aboard America's deck, firm in his resolve and surrounded by equipment he was unqualified to design or operate.

    Just months after Peary's claim, in July 1909, Wellman resolved to try it all again. Airship America was again returned to her hangar in Svalbard, and Wellman, this time with no financial assistance, departed with his trusty engineer Vaniman, Vaniman's brother-in-law Albert Louis Loud, and Russian balloonist Nicolas Popov, the morning of August 15th. For nearly three hours, America flew wonderfully, achieving a new personal best of approximately 40 miles traveled. Then, a device Wellman named an "equilibrator" failed. The device was intended to function somewhat like an altimeter, and was filled with ballast and suspended underneath the gondola to help the crew maintain an approximate height over the ice. America gained altitude very rapidly, but was brought under control at about 5,000 feet. The crew vented hydrogen to lower their altitude, and were rescued by the Norwegian ship Farm.

    Back in the hangar, Wellman decided to either enlarge America again, or possibly build a newer, larger one from scratch, but abandoned these plans and the general North Pole expedition upon learning of Cook's claim to have reached the Pole a full year prior. Instead Wellman settled on a different world first: crossing the Atlantic Ocean by air.

    America was disassembled and removed from her Svalbard hangar for the last time, returned to France to have her envelope enlarged a second time, had numerous small improvements made, and was shipped to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The morning of October 15th, 1910, America was prepped for her somehow even more audacious journey. Among the improvements to the ship was an early radio, a spark-gap type which is exactly what it sounds like. The airship's envelope had an antenna strung around it to improve reception, and as you may recall from the beginning of this story, that envelope is filled with hydrogen, making this radio exceedingly dangerous. However, this setup also meant that America made some of the very first air-to-ground radio transmissions. Before the flight, a cat, Kiddo, had snuck aboard the gondola, and engineer Vaniman sent the historic, possibly first ever aerial transmission "Roy, come and get this goddamn cat!" Despite having an accidental cat, Wellman and Vaniman cast off and prepared for their historic transatlantic flight.

    A storm had passed through Atlantic City the day prior, so America's envelope was heavy with water, and the winds behind the storm front made flight and navigation difficult. Despite this, America pressed on. For 38 hours, when the engines failed. Possibly due to ingesting sand from the beach while taking off. The airship was adrift after making it somewhat east of New Hampshire and south of Nova Scotia. Prevailing winds pushed the airship south along the US Atlantic coast. Wellman and Vaniman jettisoned all excess weight, including one of the useless engines and much of their supplies. For 33 hours, America drifted more or less south without seeing a single ship. Somewhere around Bermuda, they sighted RMS Trent and successfully attracted their attention with their signal light, and communicated via Morse Code their situation. Radio operator Irwin then made the first aerial radio distress call. After determining a recovery plan with Trent, the crew of America abandoned the airship for the life boat, Kiddo in tow, and began venting hydrogen from the airship's envelope. The life boat splashed down successfully, and America drifted off in the high winds and was never seen again. Due to rough seas Trent nearly ran into the lifeboat, but successfully recovered all aboard, including Kiddo.

    Walter_Wellman%27s_America.png
    Airship America, moments before splashing down, as photographed from RMS Trent. Visible trailing in the water is the airship's anchor.

    M._Vaniman_and_cat.jpg
    Melvin Vaniman and accidental Ship's Cat, Kiddo, aboard RMS Trent after their rescue, 1910.

    Walter Wellman gave up his exploration efforts in the wake of this incident. Melvin Vaniman, however, continued to thirst for adventure and became captain of the airship Akron. (Not to be confused with the 1931 United States Navy rigid airship USS Akron, the world's first airborne aircraft carrier.) Unfortunately Vaniman and all his crew were killed after the airship's envelope ripped open minutes after their maiden flight.

    Kiddo the cat was given to one of Wellman's daughter, and lived a long and happy life.

    KwoarucB557chrishallett83PolaritiechromdomAl_watFencingsaxXaquinElvenshaelonelyahavaMayabirdPlatyJedocsarukunMetzger MeisterL Ron Howardkime
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    edited May 9
    Mayabird wrote: »
    The reasons for the Bronze Age Collapse are hotly debated, and going into it would go way off topic for my intentions today.
    As it's now tomorrow, you're getting ready to share this story, yes?

    Oh sure. Long version:



    Short version for people who don't want to watch an hour+ video or read the professor's book:

    What seems to be the current consensus (which I say as a non-historian) is that the late Bronze Age went through a general systems collapse. There seemed to be a multitude of factors that fed into each other (a series of earthquakes, a volcanic eruption, top-heavy civilizations) that lead to a positive feedback loop. The "Sea Peoples" had been blamed before, but they seem to be a symptom rather than cause, refugees fleeing falling cities and heading to other lands rather than raiders and invaders from elsewhere. Simply put, once dominos started falling, there was nothing to stop them and the whole collapse accelerated.

    I had read his book 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed and IIRC there were a few things in there that weren't mentioned in the video. For instance, at a few sites that were thought to have been utterly destroyed during this collapse, later archaeologists found something quite different. The first archaeologists found sites where all the grand palaces and temples had been burned about the same time and thought invaders must have wiped them out. Later ones then started excavating the towns by those temples and palaces and saw that those towns and villages suffered no destruction during that time; they were just fine and dandy without a sign of damage and continued healthy and prosperous for a century or more afterward. In those areas, it seems less like civilization collapsed and more like the people overthrew their old ruling class. Clearly they needed to do more investigations.

    Mayabird on
    cB557IronKnuckle's GhostMvrckYoshisummonsElvenshaeToxsarukunFencingsax
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    I linked that video earlier in the thread!

    Brainleech
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    ...

    Aw crap. Sorry about that. Probably why I remembered it in the first place.

  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    no dude, it's a really fascinating video!

    tynicBrainleechcB557YoshisummonsTynnanFencingsaxDisruptedCapitalistMayabird
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    The Sea People have always felt like such an obvious scapegoat to me.

    Like, yeah, society is undergoing massive changes, we're not sure how to contend with in any way, it must be those fucking Sea People.

    tynicKwoaruShortyJedocYoshisummonsElvenshaeTynnanvalhalla130FencingsaxkimeMidnite
  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    Massive movements of people, be they refugees or invaders would probably really destablise a bronze age society. We aren't equipped to handle that stuff now.

    cB557sarukunKanaGvzbgulFencingsaxJusticeforPlutoNeveron
  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    The Sea People have always felt like such an obvious scapegoat to me.

    Like, yeah, society is undergoing massive changes, we're not sure how to contend with in any way, it must be those fucking Sea People.

    almost as bad as those bloody beaker folk

    Tube wrote: »
    I was legit hoping that Shorty was somehow mistaken and the world wasn't that fucked
  • JedocJedoc Take a look. It's in a book. It was always in a book, you fool.Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    The Sea People have always felt like such an obvious scapegoat to me.

    Like, yeah, society is undergoing massive changes, we're not sure how to contend with in any way, it must be those fucking Sea People.

    I'd definitely watch a disaster movie that's just a bunch of rowdy Mesopotamians invading New York and like chopping down the Empire State Building with their weird sickle swords.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    Elvenshaevalhalla130Fencingsaxtynic
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Shorty wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    The Sea People have always felt like such an obvious scapegoat to me.

    Like, yeah, society is undergoing massive changes, we're not sure how to contend with in any way, it must be those fucking Sea People.

    almost as bad as those bloody beaker folk

    Beaker.jpg

    ElvenshaechromdomTynnansarukunvalhalla130Metzger MeisterFencingsaxCaptain InertiaIronKnuckle's GhostShortytynic
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    Jedoc wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    The Sea People have always felt like such an obvious scapegoat to me.

    Like, yeah, society is undergoing massive changes, we're not sure how to contend with in any way, it must be those fucking Sea People.

    I'd definitely watch a disaster movie that's just a bunch of rowdy Mesopotamians invading New York and like chopping down the Empire State Building with their weird sickle swords.

    This feels like an animated bit from Monty Python

    ElvenshaeXaquin
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Krieghund wrote: »
    Massive movements of people, be they refugees or invaders would probably really destablise a bronze age society. We aren't equipped to handle that stuff now.

    I've been reading about a similar dynamic in the Mongol invasion of Song China. One of the ways the Mongols would try to destabilize Chinese defenses was by raiding less defended areas, forcing mass refugee movements. Then after the refugees had filled and destabilized a city, they would attack the city, and then just kill almost everybody. The Mongols were assholes.

    Then the Chinese military would come back in to clear the area out, and you get these haunting stories about armies marching in to now dead lands. Almost all the population dead, all the food and valuables taken, p much everything else burnt.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    sarukun
  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    Took me a few minutes to understand what Procopius meant when he wrote that Theodora flung open three gates to the ambassadors of Cupid

    Yay?

    Fencingsax
  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    Procopius was a noted gossip and slanderer.

    FencingsaxtynicSolar
  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    It falls in the same category as Suetonius's work which is sometimes difficult to understand for modern readers

    Fencingsax
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Hey history bros, what's good right now for general Roman history? I need to brush up on some stuff before my birthday, and I figure just an overview book or whatever will do the trick.

  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    SPQR by Mary Beard is the most recent one that pops to mind.

    JedocKanaDisruptedCapitalisttynic
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    ChicoBlue wrote: »
    SPQR by Mary Beard is the most recent one that pops to mind.

    Alright, that's what I was thinking, but I had no idea if I was right or not.

  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Hey history bros, what's good right now for general Roman history? I need to brush up on some stuff before my birthday, and I figure just an overview book or whatever will do the trick.

    History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan is decent. Starts a bit shaky but improves noticably over time.

    cB557
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    Actually yeah any history podcasts anyone wants to suggest, I'd love to hear suggestions. And I have a very broad range of historical interests so anything goes basically

  • Also by Mike Duncan the 'Revolutions' podcast is quite excellent with a large backlog, so far he's covered the English civil war and the American, French, Haitian, Bolivarian and Mexican revolutions. New season just started, two episodes covering the International Working Men's Association and Marx.

    KanacB557DiarmuidKayne Red Robe
  • DiarmuidDiarmuid Registered User regular
    Revolutions is fantastic


    Kayne Red Robe
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I'm best at assimilating knowledge through reading, so a podcast wouldn't work for me (and in fact, I've tried listening to History of Rome and learned absolutely nothing from it). They're honestly probably at the bottom end of the scale for my ability to learn through them.

    Shorty
  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Hey history bros, what's good right now for general Roman history? I need to brush up on some stuff before my birthday, and I figure just an overview book or whatever will do the trick.

    History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan is decent. Starts a bit shaky but improves noticably over time.

    I quite like this one because he keeps most episodes in the 10 to 15 minute range, which makes them nicely bite-sized, considering the nature and scope of the podcast's topic.

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