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15 Historical Facts We Just Learned This Week That Made Us Say 'Really?'

Updated February 17, 2021 57.8k votes 11.3k voters 1.0m views15 items

List RulesVote up the historical facts you just learned today.

If you're a history buff, or just enjoy random trivia, Reddit's TIL (Today I Learned) subreddit is a fiendishly diverting place to absorb new, interesting, and sometimes mind-boggling information. Every day, scores of people share things they never knew until they crossed a random internet article or Wikipedia entry.

These are the most intriguing and incredible facts that Redditors learned in the first week of August 2020.

  • 1

    A City Was Saved During The 30 Years War Thanks To A Lot Of Wine

    From Redditor u/spark8000:

    TIL during the Thirty Years War, the Count of Tilly was going to burn down a city, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, when a councilman tried to change his mind with 3.25 liters of wine. The Count declared that if anyone could drink it all in one go, he would spare the city. The mayor succeeded, and Tilly left.

    [Editor's Note: Just a fun fact, this event is celebrated by the town every year during the Whitesuntide, and with a play called Der Meistertrunk, or "The Master Gulp."]

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  • 2

    England's Edward I Pulled Off A Clever Escape From Simon de Montfort

    From Redditor u/spark8000:

    TIL Before Edward I was king of England, he was a prisoner of Simon de Montfort. One day, he asked if he could ride the guards horses and raced them one by one. When he got to the last horse, he rode off to freedom, and all the other horses were too tired to give chase.

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  • 3

    Judges In 12th Century China Used Quartz Glasses To Mask Their Facial Expressions

    From Redditor u/Big_JR80:

    TIL that, in 12th century China, sunglasses with lenses made from smoky quartz were used by court judges to mask their facial expressions and appear impartial.

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  • 4

    A 9,000-Year-Old Skeleton Has A Living Relative In Cheddar, England

    From Redditor u/hatelunch2:

    TIL a 9,000 year old skeleton found inside a cave in Cheddar, England, has a living relative that was teaching history only a half mile away, tracing back nearly 300 generations.

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