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Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses

Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses
In the Middle Ages, creating a book could take years. A scribe would bend over his copy table, illuminated only by natural light—candles were too big a risk to the books—and spend hours each day forming letters, by hand, careful never to make an error. To be a copyist, wrote one scribe, was painful: “It extinguishes the light from the eyes, it bends the back, it crushes the viscera and the ribs, it brings forth pain to the kidneys, and weariness to the whole body.” Given the extreme effort that went into creating books, scribes and book owners had a real incentive to protect their work. They used the only power they had: words. At the beginning or the end of books, scribes and book owners would write dramatic curses threatening thieves with pain and suffering if they were to steal or damage these treasures. They did not hesitate to use the worst punishments they knew—excommunication from the church and horrible, painful death. The curse of excommunication—anathema—could be simple.

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When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans? To read an annotated version of this article, complete with interviews with scientists and links to further reading, click here. Peering beyond scientific reticence. It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

What Cringing at Your Own Voice Reveals About You So you hate the sound of your own voice. This complaint has become something of a cliché, perhaps especially on media Twitter, in that journalists routinely confess that they are procrastinating an interview transcription because hearing their own recorded voice is so unbearable. And yet of course the hatred itself existed long before Twitter; studies dating back to the 1960s have demonstrated that people dislike hearing recordings of their own voices, whereas listening to playbacks of friends’ or strangers’ voices didn’t bother them. What happens to the unprotected human body in space? It's a recurring horror in sci-fi: the hull is pierced, a human is trapped without equipment in an airlock about to open, a door needs to be opened in order to expel something undesirable. With no air and almost zero pressure, the human body isn't going to last long without some form of protection. But what does happen, exactly? Do your eyes explode outward while your blood evaporates?

The Classics Pages You'll find well over 1000 pages of news, information, games and controversy about the life, literature, philosophy, art and archaeology of the ancient world of Greece & Rome. Search The Classics Pages (including "The Romans" - below) has a dedicated search engine, accessible from any page. Search now. Email The Classics Pages welcomes your emails - whether you want to comment, query or argue. 6 Weird Dating Traditions In History That Might Actually Make You Grateful For Tinder We hear a lot about the so-called "golden age" of dating — the early '50s and '60s, where men brought flowers, opened doors, and generally behaved as if their date was a piece of fine china without any agency — and how modern casual attitudes have made the process both less formal and less magical. But it's important to remember that taking a girl to a drive-in movie and sharing a milkshake on the way home, (while it might seem charmingly complicated and puritan to us), is actually pretty damn daring when you look at the history of dating and courtship. Throughout history, people have concocted all kinds of ways to express love and propose marriage in the confines of their societies — and they've had to get very inventive.

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Shitty Boyfriends of Western Literature: The Card Game Shitty Boyfriends of Western Literature: The Card Game Illustrated by Matt Lubchansky What do we think about when we think about boyfriends? As a bookish young person, my first experience of romance had a lot in common with the first experiences of other bookish young people: it was heterosexual, not entirely healthy, and above all, fictional.