Did you know that during the Victorian Era, a popular party trend for the upper class, was to purchase ancient Egyptian Mummies and ‘unwrap’ them in front of an audience? A ‘mummy unwrapping party’ was a social event most commonly associated with the elites of Victorian England. As its name suggests, these parties involved the unwrapping of Egyptian mummies in front of an audience. Such parties were highly popular amongst the Victorian elite, and therefore were huge successes, as it blended three elements that the Victorians found irresistible – Egypt, science, and the macabre. Whilst the spectators had their entertainment, the mummies were damaged beyond repair, not to mention desecrated. Eventually, however, such parties lost favor with the elite, as the ‘preservation of the past’ overtook ‘science’ in popularity. [ancient-origins.net]
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The Importance of King Alfred to English Literature By Rider, 20 January 2008; Revised Category: Medieval Europe: Political History
King Alfred is the only king in English history to be deemed worthy of the title of ’the Great’. There are reasons for that and these reasons lie not only in his campaigns against the Vikings and the establishing of the navy but also much deeper, in the reforms Alfred passed in his lands that enabled the populace to educate themselves.
The roots of his actions are set in his visits to Rome (in 853 and 855) where he learned much and saw even more but aforemost, the concept of a centralized state, and that was his wish to create in England also.
Alfred’s first literary endeavour was the gathering and writing of the legal code. He first set up gathering the ancient Anglo-Saxon laws of Mercia, Wessex and Kent and from those he wrote his own code that became the law in the lands that he ruled. He also wrote a lenghty prologue to the code and that was a show of power and wisdom. This was the beginning of the first phase of educating his people.
He next continued with translating various Latin books to English for the commoners to be able to learn from them – he selected specifically such books that were useful by nature. Amongst his translations are Gregory the Great's ’Pastoral Care’, Boethius's ’Consolation of Philosophy’, St. Augustine's ’Soliloquies’, and the first fifty psalms of the Psalter. Also, at the direction of Alfred were translated Gregory's ’Dialogues’, Orosius's ’Histories against the Pagans’, and Bede's ’Ecclesiastical History’.
The actual greatness of Alfred also shows in his decisions – he gathered to his court a number of intellectuals and was ready to help them in their work. Secondly, he also established schools by which the children of his courtiers and nobles, plus a number of commoner children, were educated. This opened up the way for more people who could write and read and therefore were egligible for the ruling of the land. Alfred also hoped to have an administration who could use the code as a reference and would not need to ask for help from professional writers. (Continued in comments)....