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This Thread Will Go Down in [History]

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Posts

  • JedocJedoc Take a look. It's in a book. It was always in a book, you fool.Registered User regular
    I'm reading a really good book about relics right now! Pancratius is featured in the photographs.

    What's the name of the book

    Holy Bones, Holy Dust by Charles Freeman. Very much a historical account of medieval European history, through the lens of Christianity and how relics were viewed as intercessors, sources of cures and miracles, and how pilgrimage was effectively the early tourism industry. It's particularly interesting to me once we get to the Renaissance period and early scientific beliefs start stripping away the supernatural elements of the remains of supposed Biblical characters, and how this directly feeds the later Protestant movement.

    Weirdly there were seemingly very few people who did not accept all relics as genuine, even when particularly important Biblical people such as John the Baptist apparently had many, many heads and arms distributed throughout Europe, the apparently miraculous abilities of bones and clothes, the visions granted to the bishops of impoverished dioceses that led to the discovery of the burial sites of people who almost certainly never traveled to Europe, and the sheer amount of the blood of Christ and the milk of the Virgin available. (Interestingly, these last two types of relics were themselves the subjects of heated debate. One side very much argued against either being genuine, as both Christ and the Virgin directly ascended to Heaven and thus no biological traces of their bodies would remain on Earth.)

    Another book on a similar subject, though less focused on history and more focused on the spectacle of death and how medieval European people related to it, is The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses by Paul Koudounaris. I actually found this book first, after discovering "jeweled skeletons" on the internet some years back and trying to figure out just what the deal with that was. As an American born in the 20th century, the only approach to death I've ever known is the Victorian one where we try to interact as little as possible with the deceased. I was shocked to learn that even 200 years ago this was very much not the case. You'd clean the bones of your ancestors at least yearly, and had a much more involved relationship with those who came before. Death was seen as much less ghastly and more just a simple thing that happens to us all.

    If you're interested in this and are a fan of absurdist humor, I can also recommend the novel "The Relic Maker" by Christopher Buckley. It's about a legitimate relic dealer getting caught up in a plot with an egomaniacal artist to forge the Shroud of Turin. Shenanigans ensue.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    IronKnuckle's Ghosttynicchrishallett83DisruptedCapitalistsarukunVegemyte
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    I just found out Paul Koudounaris has a book out specifically about the catacomb saints.

    Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures & Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs

    I haven't read it yet, but given how much I loved his other two books I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it. And I also just found out he has been doing research on "sex ghosts and demonic cats." Which sounds very interesting.

    tynicDisruptedCapitalistIronKnuckle's GhostLost Salient
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    A bit about modern Japanese family seal making, but it also explains the interesting history of them

    Kana on
    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.
    lonelyahavaTrippyJingIronKnuckle's Ghost
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    This guy's a little dry, but I like how he really goes in depth on armor and looks at the engineering and theory behind their design. It really makes you appreciate how much experience and expertise went into their creation.

    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.
  • Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    RCmKIvs.gif
    indie_winter on PS4 | 3034-4093-8537 on Switch
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    She looks extremely pleased with herself in that mugshot

    DecomposeyKanaDedwrekkatynicchromdomDisruptedCapitalistmasterofmetroidHefflingworksintheoryTrippyJingKwoaruNijavalhalla130Darth WaiterDouglasDangerEvilCakeAl_watDoobha5ehrenFencingsaxGatorShortyRorshach KringlefrandelgearslipsarukunKetarVegemyteMatevMagellMvrckTheodore FlooseveltMaddocRainfallBahamutZEROJoolanderSlacker71Tofystedeth
  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    That face just screams "Worth it."

    Before following any advice, opinions, or thoughts I may have expressed in the above post, be warned: I found Keven Costners "Waterworld" to be a very entertaining film.
    chrishallett83StraightziKrieghundDedwrekkatynicSkeithchromdomDisruptedCapitalistHefflingTrippyJingNijaDarth WaiterEvilCakeAl_watDoobha5ehrenFencingsaxGatorShortyRorshach KringlefrandelgearslipZibblsnrtsarukunKetarV1mMatevMvrckTheodore FlooseveltMaddocRainfallJoolanderSlacker71
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Amazon: shorturl.at/giJSV Steam: shorturl.at/ftCLSRegistered User regular
    Well yeah I feel like you'd have had to been doing some pretty nasty shit to drive her to slice your dick off with a cut-throat razor...

  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    From everything I can find on the case, not really?

    It looks like her husband was planning on leaving her, possibly with a plan to move to Mexico.

    Spoilered for h-scroll
    eICYe1Z.jpg

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Amazon: shorturl.at/giJSV Steam: shorturl.at/ftCLSRegistered User regular
    It was 1907. Things like spousal rape weren't even a crime in most of the world back then. I would like to know more about her side of the story, well both sides actually.

  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Oh for sure, and I'm completely unsurprised that she was found guilty as a result of that.

    But while I haven't like, managed to dredge up trial transcripts, I also haven't seen anything on her part about domestic abuse (or anything else provided as cause aside from her husband potentially leaving her). It might be there, it might just not have been said in the trial or in the reporting on the trial or whatever.

  • chromdomchromdom Why do bad things keep happening to me? Oh yeah, because of the things I've done.Registered User regular
    Huh. San Pedro St in San Jose. I used to live near there.

  • MorivethMoriveth ESCA FLOWNERegistered User regular
    chromdom wrote: »
    Huh. San Pedro St in San Jose. I used to live near there.

    Huh yeah that's nearish to an apartment I lived in too!

  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    did you guys ever see a ghost-dick floatin around

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    A bit about modern Japanese family seal making, but it also explains the interesting history of them

    Welp

    Now I know what I'm going to be listening/watching all day.

  • chromdomchromdom Why do bad things keep happening to me? Oh yeah, because of the things I've done.Registered User regular
    did you guys ever see a ghost-dick floatin around

    Ghost dick? Nope, no ghost dicks. Fair number of live dicks though.

  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    While the Olive Branch Petition is a useful tool for understanding the depth and sincerity of the rebels’ internal disputes, in practical terms it was a complete waste of time. George III refused to even read the thing. On August 23, the king issued “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition” in the American colonies. (excerpt)

    —Sarah Vowell in "Lafayette in the Somewhat United States"

    A Complete Waste of Time Day of Note: On this date in 1775 King George III of Great Britain delivered his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St James's.

    14046107_10154481096599343_2448763979912094840_n.png?oh=ce41fe5a3d8edf70057c3a6e8a9f4cc8&oe=584F4B96

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    I know that's an S.

    But I keep reading it as an F.

    We must fuppreff the rebellion.

    God fave the King!

    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
    KrieghundworksintheoryIronKnuckle's GhostRMS OceanicknitdanXaquinNijaAl_watGatorShortysarukunVegemyteMatevHefflingRainfallJoolanderTofystedeth
  • Straightzi wrote: »
    From everything I can find on the case, not really?

    It looks like her husband was planning on leaving her, possibly with a plan to move to Mexico.

    Spoilered for h-scroll
    eICYe1Z.jpg

    "...or slits the tongue"

    Was that shit happening a lot back then?!

  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    I know that's an S.

    But I keep reading it as an F.

    We must fuppreff the rebellion.

    God fave the King!

    It muft be peppered

    Der Waffle MousV1m
  • knitdanknitdan Oh no Too much hornyRegistered User regular
    Read that thing closely

    Not every "s" is written as "f"

    It'f a confpiracy of printerf

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
    Der Waffle MousHefflingBahamutZERO
  • JedocJedoc Take a look. It's in a book. It was always in a book, you fool.Registered User regular
    It's a confpiracy of Clafsicift wankery. The same people who argued that you should use the long "s" at the beginning and middle of words and a regular "s" at the end were the same people who said that split infinitives are ungrammatical just because they're impossible in Latin.

    Hey, eighteenth century prescriptivists! If you love Ancient Rome so much, why don't you marry it?

    GDdCWMm.jpg
    tynicShortyVegemyteBahamutZEROSlacker71Tofystedeth
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I wonder what a good modern term for Ancient Roman enthusiasts would be. Imperiboos?

  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Wasn't the long s used explicitly because it read better when you were writing with a quill? Why did it stick around like at all once printing was invented?

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    I wonder what a good modern term for Ancient Roman enthusiasts would be. Imperiboos?

    Nah, a lot of the enthusiasm for the Romans wanes quickly after Augustus because it bogs down for long stretches and even the intrigue gets boring. There's a few bright spots like Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, but there's not a lot of people who could name their successors and predecessors off the top of their heads. No, I'm not counting Commodus because Gladiator.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Wasn't the long s used explicitly because it read better when you were writing with a quill? Why did it stick around like at all once printing was invented?
    Jedoc wrote: »
    The same people who argued that you should use the long "s" at the beginning and middle of words and a regular "s" at the end were the same people who said that split infinitives are ungrammatical just because they're impossible in Latin.

    pretentious wankers, basically

    KwoaruIronKnuckle's Ghostchrishallett83SolarVegemyte
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2016
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    I wonder what a good modern term for Ancient Roman enthusiasts would be. Imperiboos?

    Nah, a lot of the enthusiasm for the Romans wanes quickly after Augustus because it bogs down for long stretches and even the intrigue gets boring. There's a few bright spots like Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, but there's not a lot of people who could name their successors and predecessors off the top of their heads. No, I'm not counting Commodus because Gladiator.

    I'd argue that it's really just a 200 year stretch of history that most people care about, from 100 to 100.

    Although really few people care about Caesar until he's damn near dead, so you could probably drop that down a bit.

    Straightzi on
    tynic
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    235 to 285 Blazeit

  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    I know that's an S.

    But I keep reading it as an F.

    We must fuppreff the rebellion.

    God fave the King!

    Sylvester-the-Cat-warner-brothers-animation-30976216-300-297.png

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




    RMS OceanicDer Waffle MousHefflingSlacker71Tofystedeth
  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) What's up, bootlickers?Registered User regular
    the king: your problematic fave

    Miss me? Find me on:

    Twitch (I stream most days of the week)
    Twitter (mean leftist discourse)
    Rainfallnever die
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Amazon: shorturl.at/giJSV Steam: shorturl.at/ftCLSRegistered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    Wasn't the long s used explicitly because it read better when you were writing with a quill? Why did it stick around like at all once printing was invented?
    Jedoc wrote: »
    The same people who argued that you should use the long "s" at the beginning and middle of words and a regular "s" at the end were the same people who said that split infinitives are ungrammatical just because they're impossible in Latin.

    pretentious wankers, bafically

    fixed

    JedoctynicGatorShortyVegemyteJoolander
  • worksintheoryworksintheory Registered User regular
    I wonder what a good modern term for Ancient Roman enthusiasts would be. Imperiboos?

    Classics majors

    tynicStraightziGatorFencingsaxDer Waffle MousKetarVegemyteMatevknitdanTofystedeth
  • Rome didn't end till 1453 and the Byzantine era was the ballerest

    tynicKayne Red RobeSolarVegemyteCrimson King
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    In the south of France on the Atlantic coast (bordering the French Basque country) is the department of Landes. Today, it's primarily planted in pine plantations, but a century and a half ago, it was pastoral land. Poor shepherds wandered the boggy heathlands with their sheep, but travel was difficult by foot. The locals came up with a solution:

    640px-GintracLandes.jpg

    Don't go by foot. Go by stilt. Boots won't get stuck and lost in a mire, the extra height makes sheep easier to watch, and an experienced stilt walker can move as fast as a horseman due to the longer stride and thus travel long distances more quickly. People in the region grew up walking on stilts, so it was commonplace and easy for them.

    355px-FacteurPaysdeBuch.jpg

    One of the Landese decided to take his stilts on a long road trip.


    From the Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 (copied from Project Gutenberg)

    Sylvain_Dornon%2C_the_stilt_walker_of_Landes_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_13640.jpg

    Sylvain Dornon, the stilt walker of Landes, started from Paris on the 12th of last March for Moscow, and reached the end of his journey at the end of a fifty-eight days' walk. This long journey upon stilts constitutes a genuine curiosity, not only to the Russians, to whom this sort of locomotion is unknown, but also to many Frenchmen.

    Walking on stilts, in fact, which was common twenty years ago in certain parts of France, is gradually tending to become a thing of the past. In the wastes of Gascony it was formerly a means of locomotion adapted to the nature of the country. The waste lands were then great level plains covered with stunted bushes and dry heath. Moreover, on account of the permeability of the subsoil, all the declivities were transformed into marshes after the slightest fall of rain.

    There were no roads of any kind, and the population, relying upon sheep raising for a living, was much scattered. It was evidently in order to be able to move around under these very peculiar conditions that the shepherds devised and adopted stilts. The stilts of Landes are called, in the language of the country, tchangues, which signifies "big legs," and those who use them are called tchangus. The stilts are pieces of wood about five feet in length, provided with a shoulder and strap to support the foot. The upper part of the wood is flattened and rests against the leg, where it is held by a strong strap. The lower part, that which rests upon the earth, is enlarged and is sometimes strengthened with a sheep's bone. The Landese shepherd is provided with a staff which he uses for numerous purposes, such as a point of support for getting on to the stilts and as a crook for directing his flocks. Again, being provided with a board, the staff constitutes a comfortable seat adapted to the height of the stilts. Resting in this manner, the shepherd seems to be upon a gigantic tripod. When he stops he knits or he spins with the distaff thrust in his girdle. His usual costume consists of a sort of jacket without sleeves, made of sheep skin, of canvas gaiters, and of a drugget cloak. His head gear consists of a beret or a large hat. This accouterment was formerly completed by a gun to defend the flock against wolves, and a stove for preparing meals.

    The aspect of the Landeses is doubtless most picturesque, but their poverty is extreme. They are generally spare and sickly, they are poorly fed and are preyed upon by fever. Mounted on their stilts, the shepherds of Landes drive their flocks across the wastes, going through bushes, brush and pools of water, and traversing marshes with safety, without having to seek roads or beaten footpaths. Moreover, this elevation permits them to easily watch their sheep, which are often scattered over a wide surface. In the morning the shepherd, in order to get on his stilts, mounts by a ladder or seats himself upon the sill of a window, or else climbs upon the mantel of a large chimney. Even in a flat country, being seated upon the ground, and having fixed his stilts, he easily rises with the aid of his staff. To persons accustomed to walking on foot, it is evident that locomotion upon stilts would be somewhat appalling.

    One may judge by what results from the fall of a pedestrian what danger may result from a fall from a pair of stilts. But the shepherds of Landes, accustomed from their childhood to this sort of exercise, acquire an extraordinary freedom and skill therein. The tchangu knows very well how to preserve his equilibrium; he walks with great strides, stands upright, runs with agility, or executes a few feats of true acrobatism, such as picking up a pebble from the ground, plucking a flower, simulating a fall and quickly rising, running on one foot, etc.

    The speed that the stilt walkers attain is easily explained. Although the angle of the legs at every step is less than that of ordinary walking with the feet on the ground, the sides prolonged by the stilts are five or six feet apart at the base. It will be seen that with steps of such a length, distances must be rapidly covered.

    When, in 1808, the Empress Josephine went to Bayonne to rejoin Napoleon I, who resided there by reason of the affairs of Spain, the municipality sent an escort of young Landese stilt walkers to meet her. On the return, these followed the carriages with the greatest facility, although the horses went at a full trot.

    During the stay of the empress, the shepherds, mounted upon their stilts, much amused the ladies of the court, who took delight in making them race, or in throwing money upon the ground and seeing several of them go for it at once, the result being a scramble and a skillful and cunning onset, often accompanied with falls.

    Up to recent years scarcely any merry-makings occurred in the villages of Gascony that were not accompanied with stilt races. The prizes usually consisted of a gun, a sheep, a cock, etc. The young people vied with each other in speed and agility, and plucky young girls often took part in the contests.

    Some of the municipalities of the environs of Bayonne and Biarritz still organize stilt races, at the period of the influx of travelers; but the latter claim that the stiltsmen thus presented are not genuine Landese shepherds, but simple supernumeraries recruited at hazard, and in most cases from among strolling acrobats. The stilt walkers of Landes not only attain a great speed, but are capable of traveling long distances without appreciable fatigue.

    Formerly, on the market days at Bayonne and Bordeaux, long files of peasants were seen coming in on stilts, and, although they were loaded with bags and baskets, they came from the villages situated at 10, 15, or 20 leagues distance. To-day the sight of a stilt walker is a curiosity almost as great at Bordeaux as at Paris. The peasant of Landes now comes to the city in a wagon or even by railway.

    Al_wattynicGundiTrippyJingPlatyMetzger MeisterDisruptedCapitalistFencingsaxJusticeforPlutoXaquinNijaZellpherRMS OceanicDedwrekkaSkeithDouglasDangerZibblsnrtsarukunVegemyteMatevLost SalientknitdanHefflingBahamutZEROSlacker71Tofystedethnever die
  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Rome didn't end till 1453 and the Byzantine era was the ballerest
    Try to restore the Byzantine Empire starting in 1445 in Europe Universalis. Have fun.

  • GatorGator An alligator in Scotland Registered User regular
    I know that's an S.

    But I keep reading it as an F.

    We must fuppreff the rebellion.

    God fave the King!

    I had to awefome this

    Fhame on you who paffed on the opportunity to do fo by clicking agree

    XaquinDer Waffle MousDedwrekkaDaMoonRulzTofystedeth
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Gundi wrote: »
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Rome didn't end till 1453 and the Byzantine era was the ballerest
    Try to restore the Byzantine Empire starting in 1445 in Europe Universalis. Have fun.

    done it before

    now I wanna try again

    Kayne Red Robe
  • MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    So, I'm reading the Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton. Long book, and I've been annoying my co-workers with daily HamilFacts for the last month.

    So here's one that I like bunches.

    Alexander Hamilton engaged in some espionage at the start of The Revolutionary War - primarily, stealing British cannons that were being housed at the lower tip of Manhattan. Manhattan Bay was absolutely full of British warships, so many that they looked like a floating city.

    Hercules Mulligan, who would later spy on the British in his capacity as a tailor after Manhattan fell (he could typically discern troop dispatches by when commanding officers would come in to get tailored), was also stealing British cannons at the time. Hamilton ran into Mulligan as Mulligan was returning to the Battery at the lower tip of Manhattan. The British warship, The Asia, was shelling the grounds.
    The Asia fired upon the city and I recollect that Mr. Hamilton was there, for he was engaged in hauling off one of the cannon when Mr. H. came up to me and gave me his musket to hold, and he took hold of the rope.

    Hamilton brought the cannon to the growing stash of stolen ordinance around King's College, and returned to The Battery.

    He ran into Mulligan again, and asked for his musket, but Mulligan had dropped it during the shelling in a very exposed area.
    I told him where I had left it, and he went for it notwithstanding that the firing continued, and with as much unconcern as if the vessel had not been there.

    So in short:

    Hamilton: Hold my musket while I haul this cannon.
    Mulligan: Yeah okay.

    (LATER)

    Hamilton: Where's my musket?
    Mulligan: I dropped it in the heavy shelling zone.

    (Hamilton fuckin' dodders off to collect it)

    "A new take on the epic fantasy genre... Darkly comic, relatable characters... twisted storyline."
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    My new novel: Maledictions: The Offering. Now in Paperback!
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  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    In the south of France on the Atlantic coast (bordering the French Basque country) is the department of Landes. Today, it's primarily planted in pine plantations, but a century and a half ago, it was pastoral land. Poor shepherds wandered the boggy heathlands with their sheep, but travel was difficult by foot. The locals came up with a solution:

    640px-GintracLandes.jpg

    Don't go by foot. Go by stilt. Boots won't get stuck and lost in a mire, the extra height makes sheep easier to watch, and an experienced stilt walker can move as fast as a horseman due to the longer stride and thus travel long distances more quickly. People in the region grew up walking on stilts, so it was commonplace and easy for them.

    355px-FacteurPaysdeBuch.jpg

    One of the Landese decided to take his stilts on a long road trip.


    From the Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 (copied from Project Gutenberg)

    Sylvain_Dornon%2C_the_stilt_walker_of_Landes_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_13640.jpg

    Sylvain Dornon, the stilt walker of Landes, started from Paris on the 12th of last March for Moscow, and reached the end of his journey at the end of a fifty-eight days' walk. This long journey upon stilts constitutes a genuine curiosity, not only to the Russians, to whom this sort of locomotion is unknown, but also to many Frenchmen.

    Walking on stilts, in fact, which was common twenty years ago in certain parts of France, is gradually tending to become a thing of the past. In the wastes of Gascony it was formerly a means of locomotion adapted to the nature of the country. The waste lands were then great level plains covered with stunted bushes and dry heath. Moreover, on account of the permeability of the subsoil, all the declivities were transformed into marshes after the slightest fall of rain.

    There were no roads of any kind, and the population, relying upon sheep raising for a living, was much scattered. It was evidently in order to be able to move around under these very peculiar conditions that the shepherds devised and adopted stilts. The stilts of Landes are called, in the language of the country, tchangues, which signifies "big legs," and those who use them are called tchangus. The stilts are pieces of wood about five feet in length, provided with a shoulder and strap to support the foot. The upper part of the wood is flattened and rests against the leg, where it is held by a strong strap. The lower part, that which rests upon the earth, is enlarged and is sometimes strengthened with a sheep's bone. The Landese shepherd is provided with a staff which he uses for numerous purposes, such as a point of support for getting on to the stilts and as a crook for directing his flocks. Again, being provided with a board, the staff constitutes a comfortable seat adapted to the height of the stilts. Resting in this manner, the shepherd seems to be upon a gigantic tripod. When he stops he knits or he spins with the distaff thrust in his girdle. His usual costume consists of a sort of jacket without sleeves, made of sheep skin, of canvas gaiters, and of a drugget cloak. His head gear consists of a beret or a large hat. This accouterment was formerly completed by a gun to defend the flock against wolves, and a stove for preparing meals.

    The aspect of the Landeses is doubtless most picturesque, but their poverty is extreme. They are generally spare and sickly, they are poorly fed and are preyed upon by fever. Mounted on their stilts, the shepherds of Landes drive their flocks across the wastes, going through bushes, brush and pools of water, and traversing marshes with safety, without having to seek roads or beaten footpaths. Moreover, this elevation permits them to easily watch their sheep, which are often scattered over a wide surface. In the morning the shepherd, in order to get on his stilts, mounts by a ladder or seats himself upon the sill of a window, or else climbs upon the mantel of a large chimney. Even in a flat country, being seated upon the ground, and having fixed his stilts, he easily rises with the aid of his staff. To persons accustomed to walking on foot, it is evident that locomotion upon stilts would be somewhat appalling.

    One may judge by what results from the fall of a pedestrian what danger may result from a fall from a pair of stilts. But the shepherds of Landes, accustomed from their childhood to this sort of exercise, acquire an extraordinary freedom and skill therein. The tchangu knows very well how to preserve his equilibrium; he walks with great strides, stands upright, runs with agility, or executes a few feats of true acrobatism, such as picking up a pebble from the ground, plucking a flower, simulating a fall and quickly rising, running on one foot, etc.

    The speed that the stilt walkers attain is easily explained. Although the angle of the legs at every step is less than that of ordinary walking with the feet on the ground, the sides prolonged by the stilts are five or six feet apart at the base. It will be seen that with steps of such a length, distances must be rapidly covered.

    When, in 1808, the Empress Josephine went to Bayonne to rejoin Napoleon I, who resided there by reason of the affairs of Spain, the municipality sent an escort of young Landese stilt walkers to meet her. On the return, these followed the carriages with the greatest facility, although the horses went at a full trot.

    During the stay of the empress, the shepherds, mounted upon their stilts, much amused the ladies of the court, who took delight in making them race, or in throwing money upon the ground and seeing several of them go for it at once, the result being a scramble and a skillful and cunning onset, often accompanied with falls.

    Up to recent years scarcely any merry-makings occurred in the villages of Gascony that were not accompanied with stilt races. The prizes usually consisted of a gun, a sheep, a cock, etc. The young people vied with each other in speed and agility, and plucky young girls often took part in the contests.

    Some of the municipalities of the environs of Bayonne and Biarritz still organize stilt races, at the period of the influx of travelers; but the latter claim that the stiltsmen thus presented are not genuine Landese shepherds, but simple supernumeraries recruited at hazard, and in most cases from among strolling acrobats. The stilt walkers of Landes not only attain a great speed, but are capable of traveling long distances without appreciable fatigue.

    Formerly, on the market days at Bayonne and Bordeaux, long files of peasants were seen coming in on stilts, and, although they were loaded with bags and baskets, they came from the villages situated at 10, 15, or 20 leagues distance. To-day the sight of a stilt walker is a curiosity almost as great at Bordeaux as at Paris. The peasant of Landes now comes to the city in a wagon or even by railway.

    Hmmmm...

    *scribbles note*

    This is prime fantasy novel/D&D campaign shit here.

    DisruptedCapitalistIronKnuckle's GhostJusticeforPlutotynicNijaZellpherRMS OceanicDedwrekkaSkeithDouglasDangerVegemyteCrimson KingBahamutZEROJoolander
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    It reminds me of the Bog Walkers in Mad Max

    ZellpherRMS OceanicAl_watDouglasDangerDaMoonRulzMatevknitdanHefflingBrovid HasselsmofTofystedeth
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