To know American History is to know the history of substance abuse. Whether alcohol, tobacco, or narcotics, Americans have sought the comfort of substances to ease the pains of the world and to "lubricate" life. And as long as there have been addicts in the United States, there have been others who claim to know the way out of addiction. At the end of the nineteenth century, Dr. Leslie Keeley claimed to have invented a cure to solve the addiction crisis he saw in the US. In order to deliver this cure, Keeley opened at least one treatment center in every US state. His cure? Injecting gold into the veins of patients. Chase a dragon along a gilded path on this episode of Footnoting History.
Manfred of House Hohenstaufen is dead; Charles of Anjou, in the name of the papacy, has claimed Sicily and awaits coronation. Across the Ionian and Aegean Seas, Michael Palaeologus looks to the Latin West and waits. In Germany, Conradin, son of the last "rightful" king of Sicily, desires to seize his own claim to the throne. And the House of Aragon begins to stir and look towards Sicily with its own ambitions. This week on Footnoting History, the thrilling conclusion to our saga of the Sicilian Vespers which sees 4000 Frenchmen dead.
In the middle of the 13th Century, a violent uprising began on the island of Sicily in an attempt to oust the French King, Charles I of Anjou, that left approximately 13,000 people dead over the course of six weeks. This violent uprising also sparked a wider pan-Mediterranean war between the Spanish crown of Aragon, the Angevin Kingdom of Naples, the Byzantine Empire, and the Kingdom of France. In part one of this two-part series, Josh explores the causes of the uprising and the immediate aftermath.
Christopher Columbus inaugurated unprecedented global changed when he sailed from Europe to the Caribbean in 1492. But he brought with him expectations that his “discovery” of this new found route to “India” would see the beginning of the end of the world. He wrote about these expectations in his Book of Prophecies. Come behold the apocalypse on today’s Footnoting History.
Martyrdom of the Franciscans (Ambrogio Lorenzetti)
In the early fourteenth century, four Franciscan friars set out for East Asia to preach the Gospel among the Mongols. In the city of Thana (modern Mumbai), however, they met their end after running afoul of the local administrators. We explore their story, a Latin Christian understanding of Asia, and more in this episode of Footnoting History.
While most of us imagine life in Hollywood’s golden age as glamorous and full of star-studded extravaganzas, for Milicent Patrick, it was anything but. Working behind the scenes and on the sides of the sound stage, Patrick designed perhaps the most famous monster in movie history: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. In this episode, we trace the incredible intersections Patrick’s life had in history as well as her should-be-celebrated film career.
Chart of William Miller's Calculations via Wikimedia Commons.
In the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples the following about the end of the world: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36). Despite this, William Miller, a popular minister in New York, preached that he had calculated the precise day on which the world would come to an end. He was wrong. Twice. In this episode, Josh explores William Miller’s conversion to evangelical Christianity, his calculations about the end of the world, and the fallout from his incorrect predictions.
Prester John, a legendary Christian king, endured in the imaginations of many medieval crusade theorists and geographers. Thought to be a savior who would assist the forces of Christendom to defeat Islam in a final crusade to take Jerusalem, Prester John occupied an important place in the minds of those who hoped for a successful crusade. In this episode, join newcomer Josh as he takes you on a whirlwind tour of Asia and Africa in search of this mythical figure.