Artifact History Mystery

Why is There a Stuffed Crocodile Hanging in This Italian Church Building?

Old Catholic churches often house treasure troves of religious art and relics. From frescoes to altarpieces to the alleged belongings of various saints, church collections can be both impressive and eccentric, especially in churches that date many centuries back. The Santuario Madonna delle Lacrime Immacolate, in English “The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Immaculate Tears,” […]

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Biography History

The Cadaver Synod: A Trial For a Dead Pope

In January of 897 AD, the Basilica San Giovanni Laterano in Rome bore witness to one of the strangest “trials” in human history. Referred to as either the Cadaver Synod or Synodus Horrenda, this event remains a dark blemish upon the history of the papacy as well as that of Rome itself. The reason that […]

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Biography History Mystery

The Humorous Tale of Saint Expeditus

I previously wrote about Saint Guinefort, a dog who became an unofficial local saint after a folk tale emerged surrounding his heroic deeds. While studying Saint Guinefort, I stumbled upon a little-known saint by the name of Saint Expeditus. There is little information available regarding this character, but what I could find is quite amusing. […]

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Book Review History

The Universe According to Menocchio: A Review of Carlo Ginzburg’s “The Cheese and the Worms”

The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg is a fascinating glimpse into the private lives and personal beliefs of the Renaissance commoner. This human-centered history presents the story of a miller who committed the unthinkable crime of developing and sharing his own personal cosmology. Human History Before exploring the specifics of what makes this […]

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