Western Europe

  • Théroigne de Méricourt

    Théroigne de Méricourt

    Born Anne-Josèphe Terwagne in Marcourt, Rendeux in the province of Luxembourg, Belgium, Théroigne de Méricourt was far from royalty. She was born in 1767 to peasant parents, the middle child of three. Her mother died when she was five years old and Anne-Josèphe was passed back and forth between a couple of aunts and her father and his new wife. None of these homes were particularly kind to her, through a series of misadventures including being hired as a governess and then ditched at a tavern, young Anne-Josèphe found herself in the employ of a woman named Madame Colbert. Madame Colbert hired Anne-Josèphe to be the governess of her children,…

  • The Assassination of Domitian

    Titus Flavius Domitianius was born the youngest son of Emperor Vespasian in 51 CE.  This was prior to his father’s rise to emperor of Rome.  (For more on Emperor Vespasian, please see this post http://www.historynaked.com/emperor-titus-flavius-vespasian/ )  His older brother, Titus, and his father were close, leaving Domitian on the outside looking in.  After a stunning turn of events, Vespasian became emperor and passed the throne to his oldest son Titus on his death.  Titus was groomed as Vespasian’s heir, and it was assumed Titus would marry and pass the throne on to his sons.  Domitian was relegated to being a patron of the arts, and was none too happy about…

  • Arachidamia of Sparta

    The Greeks did not have a good track record on women’s rights in the ancient world.  However, there was an anomaly in a strange place.  The city-state of Sparta was not generally a tolerant place.  Men were expected to give life long service to the military and boys were separated from their families to build esprit de corps.  A coming of age ritual was killing a slave and not getting caught.  It was a messed up place. (For more on the Spartans, please see these posts:  http://www.historynaked.com/leonidas-unlikely-king/ and http://www.historynaked.com/historical-inaccuracies-300/ )  However,  women there were given extraordinary rights.  This was because the men were off fighting and the women were left…

  • Isabel MacDuff Comyn-  The Lady in the Cage

    As I have said before, do not mess with a Scottish woman.  This is the story of a woman who did her duty to her country and her king and paid the price.  A price that seems like it’s out of a fairy tale or a horror movie, but paid it she did.  This is the story of Isabel MacDuff Comyn, a patriot of Scotland. Isabel was born to Duncan Macduff, the Earl of Fife, and Johanna de Clare.  The date of her birth isn’t recorded and estimates range from 1270 to 1285.  Her father was murdered by his classman in 1299, and Johanna and Isabel’s younger brother also named…

  • Princess Caraboo of Javasu

    If you are worried that your knowledge of geography is lacking because you don’t know where Javasu is, don’t be concerned.  It’s completely made up.  It is the product of an elaborate fiction of a young woman in 19th century England.  This is the amazing story of a girl who faked her way to royalty and how she almost got away with it. On the evening of April 3, 1817, a strange young woman appeared at the cottage of the local cobbler in the small village of Almondsbury near Bristol.  She indicated to the cobbler’s wife she wanted to sleep there and wandered in uninvited and laid down on the…