Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: History

Absinthe – Elixir of Inspiration

Absinthe – Elixir of Inspiration

Absinthe – Elixir of Inspiration


The 1890s were the decade of absinthe, its high point, short take-off before oblivion for a hundred years, during which it was banned. But at the beginning of the XXI century, quite unexpectedly, it again appeared in the shops.
Absinthe is a strong alcoholic beverage, which includes anise, fennel, mint, lemon balm, angelica and other herbs, but the most important component is wormwood, which contains a large amount of thujone. This substance enhances the harmful effect of absinthe on the brain. This drink can be yellow, brown and even red, but more often it is emerald green.
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Great poisoners

Great poisoners

Great poisoners

Since ancient times people have been looking for the most effective ways to send their neighbors to their forefathers. Poisons play an important role. It is unknown who was the first to use poisonous mushrooms. Perhaps it was the leader of some ancient tribe, and the fatal properties of concrete mushrooms were experienced beforehand by a certain “mushroom man”.
The brief reign of the Roman emperor Caligula was saturated with poison from beginning to end. Caligula poisoned his predecessor, the emperor Tiberius. The emperor in general was a delicate connoisseur of poisons. He made up various mixtures and tested them on slaves. However, not only slaves got it. After the murder of Caligula, a huge chest of poison was found: each poison was signed by the emperor and was called by the name of poisoned person. The chest was thrown into the sea and caused damage to the environment, similar to the crash of an oil tanker.
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Alexandrian Column – miracle of engineering calculation

Alexandrian Column - miracle of engineering calculation

Alexandrian Column – miracle of engineering calculation


Alexandrian Column (Alexander Column) is on the main square of St. Petersburg.
In the late 20s of the XIX century, an open tender was announced. The French architect and engineer Auguste de Montferrand won it. Nicholas I insisted that the main part of the monument should be similar to the column of the emperor Trajan in Rome or the Vendome column in Paris, only higher and made from the monolith.
A granite rock, found in Finland, was used for the monolith. A prism, much larger than the size of the future column, was cut off from the rock. Huge stones for the foundation of the monument were cut down from the same rock. The largest weighed about 400 tons. They were taken to St. Petersburg by water, on a special barge.
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Modest charm of Samovar

Modest charm of Samovar

Modest charm of Samovar


Today the samovar is out of date. Earlier the families had a wonderful tradition of tea drinking, when the whole family gathered together at the samovar. This amazing household item was in almost every family.
The samovar became a symbol of Russia, but it was not a national invention. Peter I brought it from Holland along with other curious things. Because of the cold climate the samovar became very popular in Russia. To keep warm, people drank 15-20 cups of tea a day! In addition, the samovar heated the room.
The first manufacturers of samovars in Russia were the Ural craftsmen. Then there were workshops in Yaroslavl, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Kostroma. Tula, which received the status of the capital of the samovar, was the leader among them.
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Fan – luxurious necessary thing

Fan - luxurious necessary thing

Fan – luxurious necessary thing


Fans were a sign of the wealth and authority of the owner.
The historians believe that the first fan appeared in China. Mentions of these things are found in the works of ancient Chinese poets, dating back to the second millennium BC. During the excavation of the grave of the principality of Chu fragments of fans made of feathers with a wooden handle were found. Similar findings refer to the Eastern Zhou Period (770-256 BC).
In the III century BC, Chinese fans had a semi-circular shape. They were made mainly of thin bamboo plates. Later, the masters began to make round paper fans on the handle. In the I century, the Chinese presented several such fans to the Japanese emperor.
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Jester – doomed to be a fool

Jester - doomed to be a fool

Jester – doomed to be a fool


All the monarchs of Europe had court jesters. They had to amuse the king and his guests. It was believed that the jester was an idiot who was allowed to do much of what was not allowed even to the king himself. In fact, the jester was the alter ego of the master. In a simple humorous and often allegorical form, he expressed the will of the lord. He also influenced the policy of monarchs. In Europe, the tradition of hiring jesters ended with the advent of the era of the Enlightenment and the Reformation.
We remember the kings and emperors, but undeservedly forget those who were not afraid of a sharp word, even if pretending to be a fool, to direct the rulers to the right path. Even the wise Khodja Nasreddin, as they say, was a jester of Tamerlane himself. Some of the court jesters were smarter than the kings themselves.
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Era of wigs

Era of wigs

Era of wigs


False hair has been a success in all ages. For a long time people used wigs to achieve different goals: to protect themselves from the sun, hide a bald patch or emphasize their status.
Because of the heat in Egypt, both men and women cut off their hair, but wore wigs, which appeared in the III millennium BC. Men wore short wigs. Women decorated their wigs with ribbons and multicolored threads. Pharaohs, their close associates, important officials and priests wore huge wigs made of natural hair. Landowners, warriors, merchants, peasants wore short wigs made of wool, feathers, palm or papyrus fibers, sea grass and linen threads. The wigs were fixed with beeswax. Black and dark brown wigs were common, although later orange, red, blue, green and yellow colors were used. Wigs were sprayed with aromatic oils and essences, sprinkled with flower petals and spices.
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