9 Stories

Beneath a Roman Obelisk, Mussolini Left a Letter to the Future

1,200-word eulogy describes Mussolini as rescuing Italy with his 'superhuman insight'

(Newser) - Like most leaders with any sort of an ego, Benito Mussolini wanted to be remembered. But the Italian fascist wasn't leaving his legacy up to chance, according to researchers who say they've found a Latin text hidden under the Mussolini Obelisk in Rome that eulogizes his feats during... More »

Researchers Make 'Fantastically Exciting' Koran Discovery

2 sheets written in early Arabic are at least 1.3K years old

(Newser) - Pieces of what could be the oldest Koran known have been rediscovered in a library at the UK's University of Birmingham. Mistakenly bound with a Koran dating to the late seventh century, two sheets of the Muslim holy book had sat in a collection of 3,000 Middle Eastern... More »

'Yoda' Turns Up in Medieval Manuscript

Lookalike spotted in 14th-century French volume

(Newser) - Readers of online medieval manuscripts—whoever you are—may be intrigued to know about a 14th-century image of a guy who looks much like Yoda, wide-spread ears and all, NPR reports. But is it really him? "I'd love to say that it really was Yoda, or was drawn... More »

Prof Discovers Ancient 'Mary' Gospel

'Gospel of the Lots of Mary' was used for divination

(Newser) - Some ancient Egyptians apparently used a tiny "gospel," believing it could tell their future—even though its oracles were rather vague. Princeton University professor Marie Luijendijk discovered a 1,500-year-old book called the "Gospel of the Lots of Mary" and figured it would tell Jesus' life story... More »

Vatican Library to Unveil Millions of Pages Online

And they'll be free to view

(Newser) - Today, viewing one of the Vatican Apostolic Library's 82,000 manuscripts—some almost 2,000 years old—requires a scholarly application and a trip to the Vatican. Until now, allowing just anyone to see the documents "would be like putting a child with a paintbrush in front of... More »

Kangaroo Drawing Could Rewrite Australia's History

It possibly indicates the Portuguese got there first

(Newser) - A tiny prayer book could upend the conventional wisdom about the European discovery of Australia. New York City's Les Enluminures gallery recently acquired a medieval Portuguese manuscript that appears to contain a drawing of a kangaroo curled into the letter "D." The manuscript, which provides text and... More »

Tomb May Hold Key to Shakespeare

Sarcophagus may hold manuscripts tying Bard to another writer

(Newser) - A 17th-century tomb might hold the key to the enduring mystery of William Shakespeare's identity, the Daily Telegraph reports, and researchers are hoping to take a peek inside. A scan found that the ornate sarcophagus, built at an English church by Shakespeare contemporary and fellow scribe Fulke Greville, contains three... More »

Oldest Bible Scanned for Web

(Newser) - The fragile Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest surviving Christian Bible, has been hidden in scholarly collections for decades, but today the British Library has launched a new site to let online surfers peruse the 1600-year-old document. The ancient text was discovered in the 19th century, and researchers suspect it survived due... More »

Poor Folk Disliked Hood Too: Expert

(Newser) - The rich and poor alike may have despised Robin Hood in his day, the BBC reports. A note written by a monk in a medieval manuscript describes the famous thief—and giver to the needy—as having “infested” the countryside “with his accomplices.” The find also pinpoints... More »

9 Stories