Historical anecdotes prove people never change.

Historical anecdotes prove people never change.

Life in the 21st century is so potent with technology that it can be challenging to connect with those ahead. The mobile phone, the Internet, and the automobile are just three of the countless inventions that have markedly changed the world.

However, history shows that people have not changed much despite new technology. Long before the invention of the rampant toilet, long before the idea of ​​a nation-state, people behaved precisely as they do now. You can view this as peace of mind or worry. Here are ten historical anecdotes that prove that people never change, for better or worse.

Oldest Jokes in the world

Let’s start with a joke. The oldest human civilization is the Sumerians. This antique society, which built the first cities and invented writing, flourished between the 5th and 3rd millennia BC, among other achievements. So, do we maintain anything in common with individuals who lived five thousand years ago?

While it’s tempting to imagine our ancient ancestors were much more intelligent than our own, the truth is quite surprising. One of the most socially fascinating artifacts discovered by archaeologists working in Iraq today is a plaque inscribed with the world’s oldest joke. The joke between 2,300 and 1,900 BC goes like this: “Something that hasn’t happened since time immemorial; A young woman does not fart in her husband’s lap.

Somehow, it’s reassuring that humanity’s first civilization was comfortable with toilet humor. What’s more, to see them use a recognizable jaunty structure with juxtaposition and twists to life in ancient Mesopotamia in a way that ruined statues and monuments could never have. [first]

Infatuated Teens

The idea of ​​falling in love with teen boys who are speechless in front of their beloved is deeply ingrained in popular culture. But long before Superbad (2007) hit theaters, teenage boys struggled to express themselves.

The Italian venerable Dante Alighieri, best known for his religious epic The Divine Comedy, is a prime example. As a young man in 13th-century Florence, he wrote a treatise on love called La Vita Nuova or New Life. In one, Dante writes about his reaction when he sees his lover, Beatrice, at a party. He felt “shaking on the left side of [his] chest,” started shaking uncontrollably, and nearly passed out.

The other “nice ladies” at the party mock her for acting so strange, then Dante goes home, cries, and writes a love poem. This gossip led to Beatrice refusing to congratulate Dante when they ran into each other in Florence, which seemed to take away “all [her] sources of joy.” It will be reassuring for teenagers in love to know that the greatest poets of the Middle Ages were just as depressed as they were. [2]

Scipio’s 8 Hairs

Somehow, it’s reassuring that humanity’s first civilization was comfortable with toilet humor. Moreover, watching him employ a recognizable joke structure with arrangement and twists revives ancient Mesopotamia in a way that ruined statues and monuments could never have.

Infatuated Teens

The idea of ​​falling in love with teen boys who are speechless in front of their beloved is deeply ingrained in popular culture. But teenage boys struggled to express themselves long before Superbad (2007) hit theaters.

The Italian venerable Dante Alighieri, best known for his religious epic The Divine Comedy, is a prime example. As a young man in 13th-century Florence, he wrote a treatise on love called La Vita Nuova or New Life. In one, Dante writes about his reaction when he sees his lover, Beatrice, at a party. He felt “shaking on the left side of [his] chest,” started shaking uncontrollably, and nearly passed out.

The other “nice ladies” at the party mock her for acting so strange, then Dante goes home, cries, and writes a love poem. This gossip led to Beatrice refusing to congratulate Dante when they ran into each other in Florence, which seemed to take away “all [her] sources of joy.” Teenage lovers should take comfort in knowing that the great medieval poets were just as depressed as they were.

Scipio’s 8 Hairs

The conflict between generations is nothing new. In the 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll was labeled immoral, and 50 years later, hip-hop was treated the same way. Over the past half-century, many cultural trends have been shared by parents and grandparents alike, from bullies to goofs and everything in between.

The same thing happened in ancient Rome two thousand years ago. During the Second Punic War, as Hannibal nearly led the Carthaginians to victory over the Roman Republic, a young man stepped in to save the day – Scipio Africanus. He was undoubtedly a military genius, but his habits made him disrespectful of the venerable older members of the Roman Senate.

The Roman historian Livy records that the boy Scipio had long “fluffy” hair, which was different from the usual Roman shaved head. That’s reprehensible in Rome. Later, when Scipio proposed an invasion of Carthage, his hairstyle and dress were turned against him by Fabius Maximus, a prominent statesman, and general. No matter how many ancient Roman idols we have, it’s worth remembering that they also had severe intergenerational conflicts over small things like fashion. [3]

Neck Bending Machine

Going back to Mesopotamia, the cradle of human civilization, several rediscovered texts demonstrate how the Sumerians were related. Not only does he drink beer, but he also loves it. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the most senior written story in history, has several mentions of “delicious” and “sweet” beers. A Sumerian proverb says, “he who does not know beer does not know good wine.”

The world’s oldest beer recipe is recorded in “Hymn to Ninkasi,” written around 1800 BC, and there have been many attempts to follow it recently. It is also speculated that this civilization only existed thanks to beer. The ancient people who discovered fermentation realized that to produce beer on a large scale, they would have to switch from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle.

So while drinking may seem like a modern problem, it is, in fact, an ancient problem. To quote the epitaph from the Epic of Gilgamesh: “A drunken robed man wets his carnival robes with vomit.” Congratulations! [4]

Poetry Songs

The idea of ​​a “dis track” seems to date back to the 21st century, and it has become a staple of pop culture for rival rappers or musicians to mock each other. While long before Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly terminated their respective rebuttal, another disgruntled artist was working hard to eliminate his nemesis.

Lord Byron, the most well-known and influential poet of the Romantic period, was an expert on deviance. His first book of poetry, published in 1807, was not well received. In response, the distraught Lord Byron wrote “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,” a satirical poem that stunned critics and poets who mocked his earlier collections.

Byron called his rival admirers “tentacles banished by those whose abilities [their] abilities are overestimated” and repeatedly insulted other, more famous poets of the day. . Literary critics now believe that the overwhelming reception and response to Byron’s first collection of poems may have kicked off his career. Either path, “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers” is a fun read, and it takes the supposedly modern concept of this record to a whole new level. [5]

Roman older brother

George Orwell’s vision of an almighty police state is now easier to envision than ever. With the advent of current technology, the idea of ​​us hearing “Big Brother” in our homes doesn’t seem far-fetched. What may surprise you — and perhaps even disappoint you — is that state-mandated eavesdropping dates back more than 2000 years to 1984.

The great Roman historian Tacitus wrote regarding the case of Titius Sabinus, a Roman knight who frequently complained about the emperor Tiberius. One of Sabinus’s friends betrayed him by creating a secret room in his house and inviting Sabinus around one evening. Several witnesses hid in the private room and listened to Sabinus’ opinion about Tiberius.

This confession was created public, and Sabinus was executed. Informing the emperor about traitors became a thriving business in the Roman Empire. It’s rewarding when a whole class of pseudo-professionals — delators — emerge. It is a sad reminder that history is full of lessons that we must be careful not to forget.

Spies in Ancient Greece

The idea of ​​espionage is closely associated with the 20th century. This is reminiscent of recent films such as James Bond, Cold War, German Mystery Machine, and the Jason Bourne and Kingsman franchises.

But the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, often called the “father of history,” wrote about an unreliable detective who could confound even Mr. Bond.

During the Greco-Persian Wars in the 5th century BC, Histius – king of the Greek province of Miletus – was moved to the capital of Persia after being defeated by Darius I of Persia. Histories knew he needed to get a message for his grandson Aristagoras, who was still at the conquered Miletus. To achieve this without a doubt, he chose his most trusted servant, shaved his head, and tattooed the message on his scalp. When the servant’s hair grew back, the king sent him to Greece on an innocent mission, where the servant presented himself to Aristagoras and shaved his head to reveal the message.

Bocasio’s 9 Decameron

Born shortly after Dante, Giovanni Boccaccio is an Italian writer whose Magnum opus, The Decameron, is a testament to the vibrancy of the Middle Ages. While we think of medieval people living in miserable conditions, Boccaccio’s collection of stories offers an alternative, modern perspective.

Decameron is full-bodied of wit, tragedy, and romance. We read about a cunning man who pretended to be blind and found work as a convent gardener, where he seduced one of the sisters. There was a story about a knight who offered to take a lost girl on horseback to the nearest town. Still, his conversation afterward was so dull that the young girl dismounted and went there herself. . And, inconsistent with the religiously restricted medievalist conception, there is a story about three boys taking off a judge’s pants while presiding over a case.

Kids behaving badly

Livy, active in the late 1st century BC, is considered the greatest epic historian of ancient Rome. His retelling of the legend of Romulus and Remus and his account of the war with Hannibal is legendary. But beyond her grand narratives, Livy makes some surprisingly modern remarks.

Praising the manners and integrity of previous generations of Romans, Livy complained that “children in this day and age are treated with contempt and disregard for parental authority.” Today’s news is rife with people complaining about children’s behavior, whether they play too many video games or no longer face discipline at school. It is interesting to read the laments of the Romans about the same problem two thousand years ago. Antisocial or mentally lazy people often use it as an excuse for today’s youth behavior, and it is thought that the idea of ​​”reducing standards” may be older than any other. Any natural decline in youth behavior. Memories can lead to. But we should also remember that it happened during the fall of Rome, and we all know how it happened. Perhaps we should take this as a sign of doom and not laugh at it as “old man” problems. [9]

Death and Tax

They say that only two things are sure in life: death and taxes. This recipe may sound too modern, but it was made famous by Benjamin Franklin in the late 18th century. Even more interesting is that as long as there was human civilization, people complained about taxes. . Let us not forget the treatment Saint Matthew received as a tax collector (and future apostle) and with Jews and even followers of Jesus Christ until he corrected him. Cure everything by dining in your home.

When ancient Rome presented a 5% inheritance tax, it caused a lot of confusion, like Julius Caesar’s 1% sales tax. Indeed, the Roman Senate assigned tax collection contracts to private companies, known as public servants. There are countless stories of disgruntled citizens complaining to the Senate because the public taxed them too much.

Perhaps the Rosetta Stone is the most important archaeological find, a tax break written in three additional languages! Not only have taxes been omnipresent throughout history, but tax evasion has also occurred. Even Jesus was blamed for refusing to pay taxes to Caesar. And in medieval France, an entire city was sentenced to torture and crucifixion for burning tax papers.

This hardly lightens the load, but it is perhaps reassuring to know that taxes have been plaguing people for centuries.

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