2016   |   December

The most famous prophecies

Did you know that Saddam Hussein claimed to be the heir of Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar; the leaders of Vichy France believed that Nazi dependency was the lesser evil compared to Bolshevik occupation, and that the ransom for Richard I of England brought England to the brink of economic collapse.

2016 December The most famous prophecies
”Blood bath of Melbourne”

”Blood bath of Melbourne”

While tanks were still rumbling through the streets of Budapest, and Hungary struggled against the Soviet oppressors, on December 6, 1956, 15,000 kilometers from the bloody events, the Hungarian national team defeated the Soviet Union in the water polo semi-finals of the Melbourne Olympics. The match went down in history as the Blood in the Water match.

Vichy: Synonym of betrayal

Vichy: Synonym of betrayal

Vichy is a synonym of betrayal, but the majority of the leaders of the French Vichy regime in World War II genuinely believed that Nazi dependency is the lesser evil compared to war or Bolshevik occupation.

The kidnapping of Lionheart

The kidnapping of Lionheart

Imagine British Prime Minister David Cameron coming home from a trip abroad and getting arrested at the Vienna Airport under orders from Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, who later hands him over to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While the British PM – whose main charges include insulting the head of the Austrian government at a meeting – waits for his case to be taken to court, and the German and Austrian leaders announce a ridiculously high ransom for his release, which very nearly cripples England. To somehow cough up the money, the head of state levies taxes on his people from the prison and finally manages to purchase his freedom – but the ultimate tradeoff is that England will become a protectorate of Germany.

A Kennedy in Tokyo

A Kennedy in Tokyo

In April 2013 Caroline Kennedy’s name was floated in various news outlets as a possible candidate to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan. The Japanese were thrilled by the decision. The Kennedy name – often referred to as "America’s Royal Family" – has been synonymous with politics for the past one and a half centuries.

Elephants at war

Elephants at war

Elephants trained for war were primarily frequent participants in battles fought at eastern battlefields through history, but there were a few occasions when they had a chance to scare their masters’ enemies in Europe as well. However, in some cases the easily confused giants caused great loss amongst their own soldiers as well.

The real Richelieu

The real Richelieu

In Alexander Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu is the manifestation of scheming, megalomaniacal evil, to whom the desired end justifies all kinds of dishonest and unethical means. His story, however, should be painted with a finer brush. For although he certainly did not shy away from measures that today seem rather cruel but were completely acceptable in his day, the era of collaboration between the Cardinal and King Louis XIII, which lasted from 1624 until 1642, can appropriately be called one of the golden ages in French history. By successfully confronting the rebellions of the Huguenots and the aristocracy, the ruler and his minister consolidated the power of the royal court; and, using his brilliant diplomatic skills, Richelieu established France as the most powerful nation in Europe.

Handmade freedom

Handmade freedom

Dexterity inherited from a watchmaker grandfather, a few square meters of linoleum flooring, a great deal of spunk, a lot of luck, and the stage is set for a young man at the beginning of his twenties to go against his fate: to stand in the way of the humiliation and possible extermination of himself and his family.

Persia: the rise and fall of a world power

Persia: the rise and fall of a world power

Alexander the Great was admired in antiquity just as much as he is today for crushing the greatest adversaries of the Greeks – the Persians – in the course of just a few years. However, the conqueror’s empire fell apart not long after his death, and little has been said about the conquered. The Persians had created an empire of comparable size to Alexander’s and managed to maintain it for over two centuries. This was the first state in history to stretch across three continents.

Surprising 7: The most famous prophecies

Surprising 7: The most famous prophecies

Mankind has always been interested in the future and many would have paid anything to catch a brief glimpse of it. It seems that apocalyptic events were a favoured theme of predictions; the most famous prophecies – based either on religious beliefs or scientific prognosis – concerned the various forms of end-of-the-world scenarios.

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