August 15, 2008

History Can Be Fun!

I remember at school thinking how boring history lessons were - only to realise in later years that if I had listened more closely I might have thought somewhat differently. The truth is that history is about people, their triumphs and their troubles; a rich tapestry of human endeavour - and that makes it a fascinating subject.

What period of history doesn't really matter either. It might be that you're interested in ancient history (Greek, Roman etc) or medieval history (Norman Conquest of England, The Crusades etc) or more recent history perhaps (16th-20th century). Whatever period you choose you can then choose from all sorts of areas of interest - eg. daily life, food and recipes of the time, medicine, music and the arts or warfare and weaponry. The list goes on.

In our family there's an interest in medieval history. Weaponry of the time merits close study as it was a time of many battles and any advancement of technology over the enemy often proved decisive. The trebuchet, for example, was developed around 1300 and proved an incredibly potent weapon on the battlefield. There's a super 'mock' trebuchet at Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland and of course Warwick Castle in England houses the biggest trebuchet in the world (18 metres high, weighing 22 tonnes). I've yet to see that but it sounds amazing. Until then we may just make do in the office with a desktop Trebuchet Kit like this one from Amazon.

Anyway back to the point about fun with history .... there are lots of period costumes available today for anyone going to a fancy dress party or special Halloween celebration. So if you think you'd make a good Guinevere or Lancelot, what are you waiting for?!

Alternatively you can always check out the BBC History website - as they say "bringing history to life, for the casual browser and the total enthusiast." That about sums it up.