Usually reading history entails understanding large scale dynamics between countries as they all jockey for position in a global economy. Every country wants to be rich and powerful to help its people most.

But sometimes you hear about one particular moment in one strange, long-dead figure's life.

And you realize one of two things: that people have always been totally irrational and act on childish impulses, or that most of the large historical changes to the world happened due to the most chaotic, blundering, unexpected circumstances.

History books just have a knack for making it seem like everything was deliberate and in its right place. WRONG

u/ErikTox asked, "What's a cool history fact?"


The Unexamined Life is WAY Less Obnoxious

When Socrates was on trial, he was so annoying during his defense, that he convinced several of the jurors who had voted "not guilty" during the finding vote, to vote for the death penalty during the sentencing vote.

u/Jalsavrah

"Okay Okay You Win"

The shortest war in history was the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896. It lasted 38 minutes.

u/GoodLordChokeAnABomb

Giphy

Aaand That's Where "Ode to Joy" Came From

When Beethoven was challenged to an improvisation duel by one of his rivals Steibelt, Beethoven took a piece of Steibelt's music, turned it upside down, played it and then improvised on that theme for over an hour.

Steibelt simply left halfway through and never returned to Vienna where the duel took place.

u/overbread

The Furthest Thing From a Cheap Date

Pirates once captured Julius Caeser and tried to hold him for ransom.

When they told him how much the bounty would be he laughed in their faces then demanded they increase the ransom because he was worth more than that.

u/can_u_tell_its_me

Rome Was Wack

Roman Emperor Titus had the Colosseum flooded in order to reenact a naval battle.

Romans also invented arrows meant to decapitate ostriches.

u/AltinUrda

Giphy

Sales Tip #378: ALWAYS Be Thinking About Your Next Sale

Prostitutes in ancient Greece would put their prices on the bottom of their sandals so that they could advertise their services while giving them.

u/LoneQuietus81

Flying Too Close (Far) From the Sun

William Henry Harrison skipped the coat and hat for his Inauguration Day Address. It was unusually cold that day and he proceeded to give the longest inauguration speech in history.

Died 31 days later from Pnemonia.

u/cubs_070816

Manners are Everything

Allegedly as a young man in World War 1, Adolf Hitler encountered a British soldier from Leamington Spa.

Hitler didn't have his rifle on him so the British soldier let him go feeling it was ungentlemanly to shoot the unarmed Hitler.

u/TacticoolUK

Kinda Glad "Mummy Brown" isn't Around Anymore

There are quite a few colours that don't exist anymore because the pigments needed to make them are no long available or aren't viable.

The most famous of which is called Mummy Brown. Made from mummies. Literal ground up mummies.

u/iamasecretthrowaway

Hell of a Lot of Hunting and Gathering

Humans are roughly 200,000 years old.

'Civilization' is roughly 10,000 years old.

u/a-1yogi

Nobody's Perfect

Lincoln pardoned someone for attempted bestiality

ItStillIsntLupus

Starting From Scratch

At least 5 times in earths history the entire planet's animals life and plants were reduced by 70% or more.

Anom8675309

A Few Misfires

Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini were all nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but never won.

Pyoris

A Showman for the Ages

Roman Emperor Titus had the Colosseum flooded in order to reenact a naval battle.

AltinUrda

"Fat Ginger Batman"

Henry VIII had a mace with a concealed gun built into it. He would take it out patrolling the streets of London, looking for ne'er-do-wells, like a fat ginger Batman.

brsmith77

All About Confidence

Celtic warriors fought naked, and this terrified the Roman armies. In my opinion though a 5'4" naked man jumping at you with a spear would be pretty scary.

PM_MEOttoVonBismarck

This is NOT an Evidence-Based Approach

Ben Franklin took "air baths" in his elderly age. He would stand on the terrace of his house, naked. He thought it would help clean him like a regular water bath.

Randomrooster67

Kinda Turns the Heat Up on Thanksgiving Traditions

Turkeys were worshiped as vessels of the gods by ancient Mayans.

elee0228

CHUTTERSNAP/Unsplash

Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.

Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.

No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.

We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.

Keep reading... Show less

People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.

Keep reading... Show less

We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.

For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.

Keep reading... Show less

What causes a small town to die?

Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.

As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.

And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.

People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,

"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
Keep reading... Show less