Quest for History – Episode 1

Quest for HistoryThe period of time Sage and Savant find themselves in their first adventure is of particular interest as it was a tumultuous period for Eastern Europe. The Treaty of Basel (1795) ended the War of the First Coalition against France. In it, the First French Republic and Prussia had stipulated that the latter would ensure the Holy Roman Empire’s neutrality in all the latter’s territories north of the demarcation line of the river Main, including the British continental dominions of the Electorate of Hanover and the Duchies of Bremen-Verden. To this end, Hanover (including Bremen-Verden) also had to provide troops for the so-called demarcation army maintaining this state of armed neutrality.

In the course of the War of the Second Coalition against France Napoleon encouraged King Frederick William III, King of Prussia, to recapture British Hanover in early 1806. On August 6 of the same year, the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved as a result of Napoléon’s victories over Austria. King William’s title of Kurfürst (Prince-elector) of Brandenburg became meaningless and was dropped. His crest was changed and the stampery making the buttons mentioned in our first episode, were to be changed to reflect the new seal. However, much of army marching with Marshall Gebhard von Blücher were still wearing the buttons on their uniform during the battle of Auerstedt. After the battle, the Prussian army collapsed. The royal family fled to Memel, East Prussia, where they fell on the mercy of Emperor Alexander I of Russia.

Scintillating Science – Dead Bodies

Scintillating ScienceFacts you learn while working closely with cadavers: A dead body is capable of getting goosebumps.

When rigor mortis sets in the muscles contract and this causes the body to stiffen up. Just below the hair follicles lay tiny muscles that also contract. When these muscles contract, or flex, the hairs stand on edge giving the appearance that the dead person has goosebumps.

Men’s 19th-Century Fashion

Victorian Man's outfitfrom Victoria and Albert Museum.

Men’s Dress
By the early 19th century men’s fashions had also undergone a radical change. The coat still finished in long tails at the back but was cut higher in front. The waist-length square-cut waistcoat showed beneath it. The lining of the shoulders and upper chest of the coat was sometimes quilted to improve the fit. In the early 19th century some dandies wore boned corsets to give them a small waist.

Gradually men adopted long trousers rather than knee breeches. Trousers became increasingly fashionable in the first quarter of the 19th century. At first they were only worn for day and informal dress but by the 1820s they were acceptable for evening wear. Breeches continued to be worn at court.

The tall hat from the late 18th century was still worn and developed into the top hat which was worn for day and formal dress throughout the 19th century. Hair was carefully styled into a windswept look or worn short and curled.

During the second half of the 19th century men retained the white waistcoat and black tail-coat and trousers of the early 19th century for evening wear. For day wear they wore a frock coat with straight trousers, a short waistcoat and a shirt with a high stiff collar. The single- or double-breasted frock coat fitted quite closely to the torso and had a waist seam. The skirts were straight and finished at mid-thigh or below. The front of the coat was square cut. Hair was still styled but by the late 19th century it was short and cut close to the head. Many men had beards and moustaches.

Quest for History – Theosophy

Theosophists#‎Theosophists‬

In the 19th century there was a broad expanding of knowledge about the world. Trade routes to the East not only brought back fine silks and exotic spices, but new concepts in thought. These concepts were taking hold in everyday society bringing about an expansion of the Age of Reason (18th Century) and the world of philosophy was exploring a wide variety of new ideas.

While the roots of theosophy can be traced back to ancient Indian and Chinese writings, the Theosophical Society was founded in New York in November 1875. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a world traveler from the Ukraine who settled in New York in July of 1875 and became a founding member of the Theosophical Society. Her book magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine of 1888 are the basis for many of the beliefs, although they are the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy.

The three basic characteristics of theosophy are:

1. Divine/Human/Nature Triangle: The inspired analysis which circles through these three angles. The intradivine within; the origin, death and placement of the human relating to Divinity and Nature; Nature as alive, the external, intellectual and material. All three complex correlations synthesize via the intellect and imaginative processes of Mind.
2. Primacy of the Mythic: The creative Imagination, an external world of symbols, glyphs, myths, synchronicities and the myriad, along with image, all as a universal reality for the interplay conjoined by creative mind.
3. Access to Supreme Worlds: The awakening within, inherently possessing the faculty to directly connect to the Divine world(s). The existence of a special human ability to create this connection. The ability to connect and explore all levels of reality; co-penetrate the human with the divine; to bond to all reality and experience a unique inner awakening.

Theosophy has given rise to, or influenced, the development of other mystical, philosophical, and religious movements up to the present day.