Terrific History Truths

A Bohemian army general was so devoted to his country that when he died he asked for his skin to be removed and made into a drum that could be beaten in defiance of Bohemia's enemies. It was used nearly 200 years later at the start of the Thirty Years War in 1618.

A common way of attacking a besieged castle or city in the Middle Ages was to catapult dead animals, corpses or even the heads of enemies over the walls.

A dead body found in the Alps in 1991 was at first thought to be a climber who had died. Investigators discovered it was a man who had been mummified naturally in the ice after dying 5,300 years ago.They named him Otzi.

A French medieval torture involved trapping a person in the stocks – a wooden structure that held their ankles while they sat on the ground – pouring salt water over their bare feet and letting a goat lick it off.

A medieval trial of guilt required a suspected criminal to plunge their hand into a pan of hot water and take out a stone, or carry a red-hot iron bar. The injured arm was bandaged and inspected after three days. If it was healed the person was considered innocent. If not, they were guilty and were punished.

A Saxon cure for madness was a beating with a whip made from the skin of a dolphin.

After a massacre carried out by Indian soldiers in 1857, the British soldiers made the Indians clean up the blood – and those who refused had to lick it up.

An Ancient Egyptian cure for burns involved warming a frog in goat dung and applying it to the burn.

An Ancient Egyptian who was feeling a bit unwell might eat a mixture of mashed mouse and faeces. Mmmmmmm, bound to make you feel better!

An Anglo-Saxon cure for baldness was to rub the ash from burnt bees into the head.

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Terrific History Truths