Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part II: The Fall of Constantinople

by Heather R. Darsie On 6 April 1453, Sultan Mehmed II, known as the Conqueror, began his siege against Constantinople. Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, was a capital city for one governmental body or another since 330 CE. Founded by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, a city stood on this spot off and on for centuries before. Constantine transferred the imperial Roman seat of … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part II: The Fall of Constantinople

Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!

by Heather R. Darsie Greetings, Dear Reader! I am pleased to announce that I launched a podcast over on Patreon called Tudor Speeches!  I hope to post the first podcast this weekend. I will provide historical background for speeches and letters from the Tudor time period. I think hearing a speech or letter can impact the beholder differently than just reading it. Each patron will be … Continue reading Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!

The Scythian Lamb, or the Delectable Lamb-Vegetable of Tartary

by Heather R. Darsie In the Middle Ages, rumour spread that there was a mythological zoophyte known as the Scythian Lamb or the Borametz. Herodotus, from the fifth century BCE and Theophrastus of the third century BCE wrote of the Scythian Lamb, bolstering credibility that such a thing existed. An additional source for the rumour was found in a Jewish text from 436 called, Talmud … Continue reading The Scythian Lamb, or the Delectable Lamb-Vegetable of Tartary

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part I: Background of the Turkish, Ottoman Empire

by Heather R. Darsie The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299 by Osman Uthman. Uthman’s name was transliterated into “Ottoman,” giving the Empire its name. For perspective, Edward I, known as Longshanks, was King of England. Philip IV, known as the Fair, was King of France, and Albert I was the Holy Roman Emperor. No one had given any thought to the Tudors, the Valois, … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part I: Background of the Turkish, Ottoman Empire