History, Culture

The emperors of imperial China had hundreds of concubines who were captives for life, leading very lonely lives.

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Image Credits: AncientOrigins — Movie Credits Curse of the Golden Flower

There was a popular misogynistic proverb in China that tries to justify why men need multiple women but women are expected to adjust only with just one man.

“One teapot is usually accompanied by four cups. But have you ever seen one cup with four teapots?”

That said, concubinage was a complex practice in imperial China and for most of the women a necessary evil to be adopted simply because women at that time had only four options to survive; be a wife, work as a maid, be a concubine, or work as a prostitute.

And out of the options available, being a concubine was one of the easiest ways available for a poor woman to earn social security and financial status if she can’t find a husband. Concubinage was also considered far safer than prostitution as there will be only one male partner and chances of getting sexual diseases were less. …

The amusing story of the Lydian king Candaules, his wife, and usurper Gyges.

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Image Credits: Painting and Paintings

If there is one fact that clearly comes from Herodotus, the Greek historian’s writings, it is his liberal use of suspense, sex, and sanctity. The man certainly knew how to win over his audience and was not at all averse to using yellow journalism at times.

And perhaps that is the reason that the amusing tale of the Lydian king Candaules, his wife, and usurper Gyges features right at the start of his epic work The Histories. Needless to say, The Histories is Herodotus’s eternal bestseller to date.

Herodotus’s script had only three actors; Queen Nyssia of Lydia, King Candaules, and the usurper (or voyeur) Gyges. As the story goes, the foolish King Candaules of Lydia arranged for his guard and confidante Gyges to see his wife naked so that he can appreciate his beauty and agree to the fact that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. …

The story of the brave teen couple, Goar and Gevork Vartanyan who saved the lives of Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943.

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Image Credits : RadioFreeEurope

In German, it was called Operation Rösselsprung, which translates to “Long Jump.”

And it was an audacious Nazi plan to kill or kidnap the ‘Big Three’ leaders — Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt when they met in Tehran, Iran, in November 1943.

Unfortunately for the Nazis, the plan was foiled by a drunk Nazi officer and a Soviet spy couple Goar and Gevork Vartanyan. She was only 16 and he was 19 and they were posted in Iran as part of the Soviet spy network. …


Mythili the dreamer

I write about gray areas and blurred boundaries where imagination rules supreme. Find me in the twilight between relationships, creativity, and human behavior.

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