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Unresolved historic mysteries

  1. Mar 5, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    Some of the historic fact/fiction stories i have an interest in, there is plenty about them on the net, but who is right ?

    Rosslyn chapel, linked to the (westford knight) rock engavings in Massachusetts, some of the oldest grave yards in Nova scotia, the search
    for the Holy grail and followers of the Davinci code.

    The star of Bethlehem, was it an actual astronomical event, myth ?

    The Shroud of turin, most think it is a fake, but how was it produced ?

    Robin hood, a mythical character ? well there is plenty of evidence that
    he may have existed.

    Pope joan, was there a woman pope ? is there evidence that records were
    altered in an attempt to wipe her from history ?

    Anyone have a view on any of the above?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2006 #2

    arildno

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    Many of those are unanswerable.
    I think it is more interesting to elucidate the FUNCTIONAL side of these tales, whether or not they are myths or facts:
    Why were they perpetuated?
    What was the tales' function in the societies in which they were told?
    Answering such questions might give us a better understanding of the societies in which those tales were told.
     
  4. Mar 5, 2006 #3

    wolram

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    In the case of Robin hood, it is a fight between the powerful and less so,
    or a residual hatred for the Normans by the Anglo saxons.
    There are many records of people deprived of their estates, as revenge
    for some action they partook in against their lords approval, or for non
    payment of taxes, often the deprived had no other choise than to take
    up villany, and the early accounts of robin hood are less romantic than
    modern adaptations, some depict him as quite blood thirsty.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2006 #4

    arildno

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    I agree.
    It is often forgotten, that prior to, say, the 17th century, law enforcement was haphazard and restricted to areas in the immediate vicinity of either a city or a noble's holdings.

    Thus, there were lots of spaces that could be occupied by "outlaws", and indeed they were. Part wandering tradesmen, part criminals, part rebels, outlaws were well-known, but somewhat mysterious figures in the rural areas.


    This is, I guess, the basic social background upon which legends like the Robin Hood myth has sprung.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2006 #5

    wolram

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    I am very unsure as to the back ground to pope joan, unless the story
    was intended as a religious slur, if false, and some rewrighting of records
    if true.
     
  7. Mar 5, 2006 #6

    arildno

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    What is the source material for that legend, and has it been documented that it was a story that was in general circulation in the Middle Ages?
     
  8. Mar 5, 2006 #7

    wolram

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    I have just burnt my dinner oh well it is only black on top.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Joan

    The story of Pope Joan is known mainly from the 13th century Polish chronicler Martin of Opava (Martin von Trappau to Germans, also known as Martin Polonus, "Martin the Pole"). In his Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatum, Martin writes:

    After... Leo, John Anglicus, born at Mainz, was pope for two years, seven months and four days, and died in Rome, after which there was a vacancy in the papacy of one month. It is claimed that this John was a woman, who as a girl had been led to Athens dressed in the clothes of a man by a certain lover of hers. There she became proficient in a diversity of branches of knowledge, until she had no equal, and afterwards in Rome, she taught the liberal arts and had great masters among her students and audience. A high opinion of her life and learning arose in the city, and she was was chosen for pope. While pope, however, she became pregnant by her companion. Through ignorance of the exact time when the birth was expected, she was delivered of a child while in procession from St Peter's to the Lateran, in a narrow lane between the Colisseum and St Clement's church. After her death, it is said she was buried in that same place. The Lord Pope always turns aside from the street and it is believed by many that this is done because of abhorrence of the event. Nor is she placed on the list of the holy pontiffs, both because of her female sex and on account of the foulness of the matter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
  9. Mar 14, 2006 #8
    Charles Fort collected quite a few mysteries aside from anomolous events. Most were relatively mundane without any real historical importance but had odd elements to them.

    Jack the Ripper is a pretty notorious mystery.

    I read once about a mystery involving Lord Byron. Supposedly Byron returned to England unexpectedly from travels abroad. While there he did several things that angered many of his friends and associates then disapeared. Later he returned and was unaware of the things he had supposedly done saying that he was in another country and sick with a terrible fever at the time when these things had happened. Apparently there was plenty of evidence to support his alibi and it was never figured out what happened or who might have posed as him.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2006 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    From the Credible Anomalies Napster:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=58374

    Hobbits
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1027_041027_homo_floresiensis.html
    PF Thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=50063&highlight=Hobbit
    For a little wild speculation, see also PF thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=50855

    Anasazi, The Ancient Ones
    http://www.northwestcollege.edu/id/wilsonr/2003Capstone/AshleeMASON.pdf

    Scientists Study Anasazi Calender
    http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?nid=5&sid=157234

    The Colony At Roanoke
    http://www.nationalcenter.org/ColonyofRoanoke.html
    http://www.libraryreference.org/roanoke.html
     
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