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Women in History – Queen Isabella of Castile

Queen Isabella of Castile was a powerful woman in history at a time when Europe passed from the medieval period to the Renaissance. She enjoyed the finer things in life such as pretty dresses and jewells and was described as having beautiful blue eyes, chesnut hair and as being a striking looking woman. She held the title of Queen Isabella of Castile from 1474 to 1505, after fighting a civil war to secure her crown.

Ferdinand, her husband, and Isabella succeeded as joint sovereigns a unified Spain from 1481, the "Catholic Kings," as Ferdinand and Isabella became known, ruled both kingdoms of Castile and Aragon jointly, however kingdoms maintained their separate laws, institutions and governments. A typical example of Queen Isabella's political vision was when she agreed to fund the expedition of Christopher Columbus which brought spain into contact with the lucrative New World.

Source: Queen Isabella I of Spain (r. 1474 - d. 1505)

Five Facts About Alchemy

Alchemy, the Science of Love!
  1. Ancient history sources reviel that alchemy was first conceived in the ancient civilisations of the Babylonians and the Egyptians who could mine and refine metal ores, and transform them into precious metals.
  2. There are early text sthat give recipes for producing various precious metals, gemstones and dyestuffs. A popular alchemist practice was to add silver or copper to gold which made it look like there was more gold.
  3. In Renaissance Europe, the theories behind alchemy were much the same as those of the ancient Greeks. According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, matter consisted of four elements, earth, water, air and fire. It was believed that as everything was made up of these four elements, it was possible to transmute any starting material into anything else.
  4. The idea of turning base metals into gold was known by the Greek term chrysopoeia, but it was not the only aspect of alchemy. It was however, seen as the logical conclusion for alchemy and it was believed it would be possible if the golden combination of ingredients could be found.
  5. Although alchemy was and still is seen by many as a mystical art in general world history, some alchemists had a much more scientific approach. From the middle ages, the name for it was ‘chymistry’ and it laid the foundations for modern day chemistry.
Source: The Science of Alchemy

    Mae West Philosophy

    Iceni Queen Boudicca  Female Warrior of Legend

    Queen of the Aztecs
    Young as she was, she was exceedingly artful and vicious; so that, finding herslf alone, and seeing that her people feared her on account of her rank and importance, she began to give way to an unlimited indulgence of her power.

    Whenever she saw a young man who pleased her fancy she gave secret orders that he should be brought to her, and shortly afterwards he would be put to death. She would then order a statue or effigy of his person to be made, and, adourning it with rich clothing, gold, and jewellry, place it in the apartment in which she lived. 

    The number of staues of those whom she thus sacrificed was so great as to almost fill the room....

    The British did all they could to increase the trade: They bribed officials, helped the Chinese work out elaborate smuggling schemes to get the opium into China's interior, and distributed free samples of the drug to innocent victims.

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