A Spaniard in Samarkand, 1404

Special note: an earlier version of this post appeared on a new blog I helped develop in partnership with Not Even Past of the University of Texas at Austin and Origins (Ohio State University). Check it out here: historymilestones.tumblr.comOn September 8, 1404, the Castilian diplomat Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo reached the Silk Road city of Samarkand. He had travelled over […]

Playing Cards of the South Sea Bubble, 1720

I lay it down as a foundation, that whosoever, sailing over the South Seas… shall never fail to discover new worlds, new nations, and new inexhaustible funds of wealth and commerce, such as never were yet known to the merchants of Europe. – Daniel Defoe, A New Voyage Round the World, by a Course Never […]

Image of the Week: The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

This painting, by an anonymous English artist, depicts in remarkable detail the Spanish Armada‘s confrontation with English vessels, probably at the momentous Battle of Gravelines. From Wikipedia:          English losses stood at 50-100 dead and 400 wounded, and none of their ships had been sunk. But after the victory, typhus, dysentery and hunger killed many […]

A Pirate Surgeon in Panama

  It was in the evening when we came to an anchor, and the next morning we fired two guns for the Indians that lived on the Main to come aboard; for by this time we concluded we should hear from our five men that we left in the heart of the country among the […]