Sat, 28 July 2007
The Norse - or Vikings - were an amazing seafaring people. They got as far as North America, and played a role in
For most of our recent history, until the 1970s, in fact, many historians doubted that the Vikings ever made it to
And that concerns me, a little, like a chill down my back. You ever wonder about what happened in the ancient world, or even the Dark Ages, that we don't know about? In an age before mass media, lots of important events went unreported and unrecorded. Sometimes, even when they were recorded, they were lost. How many unique copies of scrolls and codices were lost in the burnings of the Library of Alexandria? Such questions make good material for historical fiction - I deal with some of them in the sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates (which I'm currently at work on). But I also worry about them in our real lives.
Well, maybe worry is too strong a word. I certainly think about them. What cures for our illnesses were discovered in ancient times and then forgotten? The Bible (Psalm 51) says, "cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" - hyssops has antibiotic qualities. But we did not discover antibiotics until Fleming was struck by what the mold on his bread did to bacteria in his petrie dish, in the 20th century.
And trips across the
But until we dig up some evidence - hey, every excavation for a parking lot has that possibility - the answers will be blowing in some ancient pre-mass media winds...
Category:Technology & Society -- posted at: 12:54am EDT