By April Stevens (W&M Managing Editor)
Are you familiar with the listicle? No, that isn’t a word I just created. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a listicle is “an article on the Internet presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list”. Even if you weren’t familiar with this term, you are probably quite familiar with the listicle itself. This week we are sharing some of the recent and engaging historical listicles.
That’s Simply Medieval!
It seems every other day you hear about a new poll that talks about the mounting stress and anxiety westerners face over any number of issues: work, money, family. Far from a new dilemma, worrying spans the ages. History Extra presents the Top 9 things that Medieval Londoners worried about. Not surprisingly, health, money and relationships make the list, but some items may surprise you.
Add to that list of Medieval concerns: serial killers? They may not have been called serial killers at the time, but murder and psychopaths have existed since the dawn of time. Listverse (a website devoted to listicles!) gives us the fearsome 10 Forgotten Serial Killers from the Middle Ages, including Peter Stumpp, a cannibal killer called the “Werewolf of Bedburg”. Some figures on this list may admittedly be more fantasy than fact, like Christman Genipperteinga who allegedly murdered 984 people between 1568-1581, and likely represent multiple killers who became legend.
What is the solution to Medieval serial killers? Why, Medieval Superheroes of course! Marvel Comics isn’t the only one spreading tales of magical rescues and superhuman abilities, in fact, some modern superheroes may be borrowing from their Medieval counterparts! In Medievalist.Net’s Top Ten Superheroes of the Middle Ages, we are introduced to “superheroes” like Golem of Prague, an invisible stone creature that could be animated with prayers. Or consider, Seigfried, the hero of a German epic whose body is invincible and is armed with his cloak of invisibility. Sound familiar?
That’s Just Plain Crazy!
Napoleon Bonaparte: emperor, egomaniac, romance novelist? Yes, Napoleon was also something of a writer, of short stories at least. Considered a bit of an eccentric historical figure by many, the listicle 10 Wild Stories about Napoleon shares even more strange tales. Did Napoleon shoot off the sphinx’s nose? Did he poison his wounded? Read the listicle to find out!
Napoleon waged some successful wars but also suffered some bitter defeats. Imagine if alcohol was to blame for these losses? The emperor’s army didn’t suffer this fate, but according to the list 7 Times Alcohol Decided the Course of Battle other armies did fall to the temptation of fire water. Read amusing tales about the samurai that partied so hard they didn’t realize they were being attacked or the Ottoman sultan who lost his entire navy for some casks of wine in the listicle.
Want to read more surprising history? Check out these recent posts on Wonders & Marvels:
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