Is it true that many great ancient warriors were vegan?

This video states that. And also, most interesting - it states that Alexander's the Great army was vegan.

So officially, would carry wheat and barley but they ate whatever they could find,

Armies back then were principally fed with wheat, the soldiers would have likely ate plain whole wheat bread loaves. They would supplement this with whatever they could forage, wild animals, fruits, vegetables etc.

assessment that ancient soldiers required an ideal minimum of 3,000 calories per day to function properly in battle. Different breads, biscuits, and porridge provided the soldier with grains, which comprised for 2/3 of his caloric requirements. If meat was available, it took the form of pork, beef, or mutton and provided between 200-400 calories. Vegetables such as beans, lentils, herbs, and others, supplied the soldier with an adequate amount of vitamins while dairy products including milk and cheese offered 90-160 more calories. Finally, wine and beer, which were frequently the only source of liquids, supplied the remaining 350 calories Analysis of Ancient Soldier Stomach

So to answer your question, they ate whatever they could. If food was scarce they turned to wheat and barley but would forage for meat when they could. This idea that they were vegan/vegetarian by choice is false.

Additional Information:

The concept that people got to choose what they ate is a relatively new concept especially when it involved Army's. Even during the civil war, the Confederacy had most of the cattle and pig farms and they still couldn't get meat to their soldiers.

Confederate soldiers were also faced with inadequate food rations, especially as the war progressed. There was plenty of meat in the Confederacy. The unsolvable problem was shipping it to the armies, especially when Lee's army in Virginia was at the end of a long, tenuous supply line. Union victory at Vicksburg in 1863 shut off supplies from Texas and the west.

-Vandiver, Frank E. (1944). "Texas and the Confederate Army's Meat Problem"

To feed an army with meat you need industrial farming, curing and canning techniques and transportation to bring the meat from home or recently conquered area to the front lines. Problems that weren't solved until modern times (WWI and WWII) Interestingly enough, look up why Spam is so popular in Hawaii.

True Origins of Battle of Himera Warriors Dispute Greek Accounts

According to ancient historians such as Herodotus, the Battle of Himera was fought in 480 BC. Supposedly this battle was fought on the same day as the Battle of Salamis, and allegedly both battles were fought at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae. Now, a team of researchers using modern evidence has taken to task these questionable claims and found them wanting. They feel that they have successfully demonstrated how Ancient Greek historians not so much bent, but sometimes destroyed the truth in their accounts of battles.

Is it true that many great ancient warriors were vegan? - History

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

How to eat, exercise, and die a violent death

The Café Westend, just across the street from Vienna's main train station, is a city landmark. Its green felt-lined booths and weary waiters in wrinkled black suits have seen a lot over the years. But when he agreed to meet me here instead of in his lab on the edge of town, Karl Grossschmidt, a paleo-pathologist at the Medical University of Vienna, promised to show me something new even to this century-old coffeehouse. Pushing aside empty cappuccino cups and the remains of a dry croissant, Grossschmidt takes a quick look over his shoulder to see if our waiter is out of sight. Coast clear, he reaches into a plastic grocery bag and pulls out a white cardboard box. Inside, padded with crumpled paper towels, is a jawless skull. Grossschmidt lifts it gently and passes it to me. "Don't drop it--it's real," he says.

The three holes in this skull are evidence of death by trident for one Ephesus gladiator. A computer-generated image shows how the weapon would have entered the skull. (Courtesy Karl Grossschmidt)

Reaching out with both hands, I take the skull of a Roman gladiator who lived, fought, and died more than 1,800 years ago in Ephesus, in what is now western Turkey. Together with more than 60 of his young comrades, he was buried in a 200-square-foot plot along the road that led from the city center to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The recent study of the bones from the world's only known gladiator graveyard is filling gaps in the literary sources and archaeological record concerning how gladiators died. But the biggest revelation to come out of the Ephesus cemetery is what kept the gladiators alive--a vegetarian diet rich in carbohydrates, with the occasional calcium supplement.

Contemporary accounts of gladiator life sometimes refer to the warriors as hordearii--literally, "barley men." Grossschmidt and collaborator Fabian Kanz subjected bits of the bone to isotopic analysis, a technique that measures trace chemical elements such as calcium, strontium, and zinc, to see if they could find out why. They turned up some surprising results. Compared to the average inhabitant of Ephesus, gladiators ate more plants and very little animal protein. The vegetarian diet had nothing to do with poverty or animal rights. Gladiators, it seems, were fat. Consuming a lot of simple carbohydrates, such as barley, and legumes, like beans, was designed for survival in the arena. Packing in the carbs also packed on the pounds. "Gladiators needed subcutaneous fat," Grossschmidt explains. "A fat cushion protects you from cut wounds and shields nerves and blood vessels in a fight." Not only would a lean gladiator have been dead meat, he would have made for a bad show. Surface wounds "look more spectacular," says Grossschmidt. "If I get wounded but just in the fatty layer, I can fight on," he adds. "It doesn't hurt much, and it looks great for the spectators."

The existence of the four-pointed dagger (replica pictured here) was known from inscriptions, but its function was a mystery until this crippling quadruple knee wound was identified. (Courtesy Karl Grossschmidt)

But a diet of barley and vegetables would have left the fighters with a serious calcium deficit. To keep their bones strong, historical accounts say, they downed vile brews of charred wood or bone ash, both of which are rich in calcium. Whatever the exact formula, the stuff worked. Grossschmidt says that the calcium levels in the gladiator bones were "exorbitant" compared to the general population. "Many athletes today have to take calcium supplements," he says. "They knew that then, too."

That's not to say life--or death--as a gladiator was pleasant. Many of the men Grossschmidt's team studied died only after surviving multiple blows to the head. "The proportion of wounds to the skull was surprising, since all gladiatorial types but one wore helmets," says Harvard's Coleman. Gladiators usually fought one-on-one, with their armor and weaponry designed to give opposite advantages. For example, a nimble, lightly armored and helmetless retiarus with a net and trident would be pitted against a plodding murmillo wearing a massive helmet with tiny eye slits and carrying a thick, long shield. Three of the Ephesus skulls had been punctured by tridents, weapons used only by gladiators. Ten had been bashed in with blunt objects, perhaps mercy blows with a hammer. Other injuries illustrate the gladiator's ideal death, finally accepting the coup de grâce. Cut marks on four of the men were evidence of a dramatic end. "When they lost and were lying on their stomachs, their opponent stabbed them through the shoulder blade into the heart," Grossschmidt says. "We also found vertebrae with cut marks. They would have been from a downward stabbing sword wound through the throat into the heart."


The Vegan Society was founded in November 1944 and we’ve made tremendous progress since.

Early vegans

The Vegan Society may have been established 75 years ago but veganism has been around much longer. Evidence of people choosing to avoid animal products can be traced back over 2,000 years. As early as 500 BCE, Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras promoted benevolence among all species and followed what could be described as a vegetarian diet. Around the same time, Siddhārtha Gautama (better known as the Buddha) was discussing vegetarian diets with his followers.

Fast forward to 1806 CE and the earliest concepts of veganism are just starting to take shape, with Dr William Lambe and Percy Bysshe Shelley amongst the first Europeans to publicly object to eggs and dairy on ethical grounds.

The first modern-day vegans

In November 1944, Donald Watson (right and below) called a meeting with five other non-dairy vegetarians, including Elsie Shrigley, to discuss non-dairy vegetarian diets and lifestyles. Though many held similar views at the time, these six pioneers were the first to actively found a new movement - despite opposition. The group felt a new word was required to describe them something more concise than ‘non-dairy vegetarians’. Rejected words included ‘dairyban’, ‘vitan’, and ‘benevore’. They settled on ‘vegan’, a word that Donald Watson later described as containing the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian’. In the words of Donald Watson, it marked “the beginning and end of vegetarian”. The word vegan was coined by Donald Watson from a suggestion by early members Mr George A. Henderson and his wife Fay K. Henderson that the society should be called Allvega and the magazine Allvegan.

Although the vegan diet was defined early on it was as late as 1949 before Leslie J Cross pointed out that the society lacked a definition of veganism and he suggested “[t]he principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”. This is later clarified as “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man”.

The society was first registered as a charity in August 1964 but its assets were later transferred to a new charity when it also became limited company in December 1979. The definition of veganism and the charitable objects of the society were amended and refined over the years. By winter 1988 this definition was in use - although the phrasing has changed slightly over the years - and remains so today:

[…] a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

Delving into Vegan Society archives

Our researcher-in-residence, Dr Sam Calvert, has been hard at work delving into our archives at Vegan Society HQ, discovering how The Vegan Society began and how we have grown over the decades. Her findings are published as a pdf entitled Ripened by Human Determination: Seventy Years of The Vegan Society. It is available to download here.

A transcript of an interview with Donald Watson from 2002 is available here and his 2005 obituary, from the archives, can be found here.

The story continues

The Vegan Society continues to hold true to the vision of our founding members as we work towards a world in which humans do not exploit other animals. We’re as determined as ever to promote vegan lifestyles for the benefit of animals, people and the environment.

What Made The Vikings Superior?

The Vikings were perceived as barbaric by the English people and were scared of them.

Fear ruled over the people because they could have been attacked at any time.

The Vikings held the element of surprise. Because of the poor organization from the Englishman, the fast-moving ships of the Vikings meant a village could be raided and claimed in less than a day.

Due to the surprise attacks, the Norseman never fought a fair battle against the other Kingdoms.

If they fought a fair battle how good would they really be?

10 Real Ancient Wizards From History

It’s assumed that ancient wizards are only a myth and that there aren’t any in the real world, however the existence and achievements of many of these wizards are indisputable, which leaves you wondering whether magic might actually be real. Many of these wizards are also scientists, and scholars, who made great contributions to science. In the past wizards were either highly respected and sought after, or hunted down and burned.

Draper was a 16th century wizard, and inn keeper who was arrest for sorcery and thrown into the tower of London where he would be executed for his crimes. He claimed that that he was only interested in magic, and had burnt al of his alchemy books. Unfortunately they didn’t believe him and locked him up anyway. Draper bided his time in prison but he wasn’t going to be stuck there for long. He carved a strange astrological marking into the wall, with the date May 30th written on it. Later he suddenly disappeared, he didn’t escape, he didn’t die, he was just gone. The day he disappeared was May 30th.


“The blood of the just will be demanded of London, burnt by fire in the year 󈨆. The ancient Lady will fall from her high place, and many of the same sect will be killed.” This is one of Nostradamus’s many predictions, many claim this accurately predicts the great fire of London, since it happened in 1666. Nostradamus also predicted the rise of Hitler, Napoleon, and the Atomic bomb. Nostradamus is probably the most famous oracle in the western world right now. Nobody knows how he made these predictions, although we know he was involved in Jewish Black Magic, and astrology.

Grigori Rapsutin was a famous healing wizard, who used his sorcery to treat the Tsar and his wife, many times. Even when Rapsutin was young people knew he was different, “His limbs jerked, he shuffled his feet and always kept his hands occupied. Despite physical tics, he commanded attention.” As Rasputin grew up he became a famous holy man, with a unique take on religious texts that intrigued people. Rasputin was eventually introduced to the Tsar, and his wife. The Tsar’s son was suffering from an illness that doctors deemed incurable. The Tsar asked Rasputin to heal his son, and even though the doctors said he would surely die that day, he showed great signs of recovery and eventually got over his illness.

Abe No Seimei

The existence of this sorcerer is almost certain. He lived an incredibly long life, and served six different generations of emperors as a mystic. Abe was the offspring of a human and a fox spirit, which is where he gained his spiritual powers. Death was common at an early age in the 10th century yet Abe lived to 84 and never succumbed to illness, this and his ability to predict the future are two of the main reasons he is believed to have magic powers. His celestial observation allowed him to predict the abdication of Emperor Kazan which gained him credibility, other than predictions Abe would also ward off evil spirits, perform exorcism, and advise the emperor on how deal with issues in the spiritually correct way.

Nicolas Flamel

You probably know Flamel as the alchemist who created the philosophers stone from from the harry potter series, however he wasn’t actually just a fictional character, Nicolas Flamel really existed. He was made famous in the 17th century for being the alchemist to succeed, in creating the philosophers stone, and the elixir of life. The philosophers stone has the ability to turn anything into gold, and the elixir of life turns anyone who drinks it into an immortal. Flamel worked in a book shop where he learnt to read and write, eventually a man came and sold a mysterious book to Flamel, which he had seen in his dreams the night before. A mysterious language he couldn’t understand is all he found inside the book, but after taking it to a sage, he and his wife eventually managed to decipher it, and inside he found the secret to the Philosophers Stone and the Elixir of Life. After finding this book people noted that Flamel mysteriously became very rich very quickly.

Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel

Also known as the Maharal of Prague, was an old Jewish mystic, and philosopher. He supposedly created a clay Golem to protect his community from anti-semetic attack, and blood Libel. Blood Libel was an accusation that Jewish communities captured children and used their blood in rituals. The Golem would patrol the streets, and guard the community, it even had the ability to raise the dead. It’s said that the Golem went on a rampage and started attacking the community itself, the rabbi stopped it from changing the characters drawn on it’s head to one of death.

Michael Scot

Michael Scot was a famous magician, and scholar of the thirteenth century. He was the popes tutor, and astrologer to the Holy Roman Empire. Scot had many achievements that left him remembered as a great wizard, he cured the emperor of any illnesses, correctly predicted the outcome of the war with the Lombard League, he changed the course of the river Tweed, turned sand into rope, and turned the Eildon Hills of Scotland into three separate clothes. Although some say that there is no proof he did any of this, and that the main reason he was believed to be a wizard is because he dressed in an Arab gown.

Papus was his wizard name, his real name was Gerard Encausse. Papus started his own occultist group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. He was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Papus spent a lot of time in Russia, and served under Tsar Nicholas II, and his wife Tsarina Alexandra. Papus summoned the ghost of Alexander III, the Tsar’s father, who warned them of a revolution that would be his downfall. Papus told them he could hold off the revolution as long as he lived which he did, in fact the revolution happened soon after Papus died Before he died he warned the Tsar not to let Rasputin influence them too much, and clearly didn’t trust the other wizard.

Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk

Falk was a Kabbalist, alchemist, and a doctor. He narrowly escaped being burnt at the stake by the Westphalia authorities, after accusations of wizardry. Luckily he was protected by a count who gave hims shelter. In return he displayed magic to the count and his friends. Falk would regularly use his magical powers which gained him the title Baal Shem of London, Falk moved objects with is mind, saved a synagogue from a fire by writing a few incantations on it, and could teleport objects. Falk could enchant objects and gave a magical ring to the Duke of Orleans that would make sure that the successor to the throne would be one of his family members. The ring was handed down to the Dukes son who went on to become King Louis Philippe.

Paracelsus, The Wizard Doctor

Paracelsus was a sorcerer and a physician, he is famous not only for his occultism but also for naming zinc, being the first to realise that some diseases are rooted in psychological conditions, and revolutionarily tried to utilize observations of nature instead of ancient texts. He always used alchemy when treating his patients, and believed that humans could only be healthy when they were in harmony with nature. He developed a magical alphabet called the “Alphabet of the Magi”, the alphabet has the ability to call upon spirits to help in the process of healing patients.

The Hwarang Boys Academy

Later on, the king of Silla wanted to strengthen his country, and hence decided to form another organization like the Wonhwa. This time, however, members of this institution were chosen from boys of aristocratic birth and who were of good morals. Thus, the hwarang came into existence. It has been suggested that the hwarang was established so that the most talented youths of the aristocracy could be selected, and trained up in order to serve in the state apparatus later on. It has been pointed out that many well-known generals and political figures had been hwarang during the earlier part of their lives. As for the reputation they had for being beautiful, they were reported to take great care with their appearance, in what might be termed in moderity as a metro-sexual fashion, wearing both cosmetics and fine clothes. They were also said to burn incense, thus creating a fine fragrance as they traveled their adventurous path.

Damyeom-ripbon-wang-heedo ( 唐閻立本王會圖). 6th century, China. Envoys visiting the Tang Emperor. From left to right: Wa (Japan), Silla (center) ambassadors (Public Domain )

The sources state that the hwarang often met in places of great natural beauty, especially sacred mountains and rivers, to sing and dance. Another important activity of the hwarang was religious studies . This was a combination of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, as well as (possibly) some elements of shamanism that has been practised in the Korean peninsula long before the coming of the other three. Moreover, the hwarang were required to train in the art of war, thus preparing them to serve as warriors when it was needed. The renowned Silla general, Kim Yushin, for instance, had been a hwarang. His military campaigns aided Silla in its endeavour to unify Korea, and is best known for successfully leading the campaign against Baekje (also spelled as Paekche), a rival kingdom.

A statue of General Kim Yusin at Hwangseong Park in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Great Clans of Scotland

Each year almost 50,000 people from at least 40 countries across the world meet in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, to celebrate Scottish culture, heritage and family history. At the annual Clan Gathering, thousands of people line the Royal Mile to watch the Great Clans of Scotland proudly parading through the ancient streets of the nation’s capital with pipes sounding and drums beating the march. Many of the clans represented have a rich history, such as those featured in our listing below.

Baird: From the 13th century this surname has been associated with Lanarkshire and also with the Aberdeen and Banff regions. Important families of that name appear from the 14th century. The Bairds have long been prominent in the legal profession as well as in national affairs. John Baird was appointed Lord of Session with the title Lord Newbyth in the 17th century. General Sir David Baird (1737 – 1829) entered the Army in 1772 and served in India from 1780 he was severely wounded and taken prisoner by Hyder Ali. He captured Pondicherry in 1793 and Seringapatam in 1799 and made a famous march across the desert from the Red Sea to the River Nile in 1801. He commanded an expedition to the Cape of Good Hope in 1805. Family motto – Dominus fecit (God Made).

Bruce: The Bruces are descended from a Norman Knight who arrived in England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The name Bruce derives from an area of land in Normandy, France, now called Brix. The Bruces held important lordships in the north of England and a branch of the family settled in Annandale in the 12th century. King Robert the Bruce (1274 – 1329), was crowned King of Scotland in 1306. In that same year he was defeated at Methven, and took refuge in Rathlin. From 1307 he was actively engaged harrying the English, and in 1314 won a decisive victory over Edward II at Bannockburn. Bruce consolidated his kingdom and the war with England was closed by the Treaty of Northampton in 1328. Bruce died at Cardross the following year. Family motto – Fuimus (We have been).

Cockburn: The Cockburns are a Border Clan. The surname derives from a place name near Duns, in Berwickshire. Sir Alexander Cockburn de Langton became Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland in 1390. Sir Alexander’s son, also Sir Alexander, was created Great Usher in the Scots Parliament. The Cockburns were staunch supporters of Mary Queen of Scots, and in 1568 lost their castle at Skirling, in Midlothian as a consequence of this. Sir Alex J E Cockburn, the eminent Judge, was appointed Solicitor-General in 1850, Chief Justice in 1858 and Lord Chief Justice of England in 1859. He presided over many of the most important and notorious trials in Victorian England, including the famous Tichborne trial in 1873. Family motto – Accendit cantu (He excites us with song).

Cunningham: The family takes its name from the district of Cunningham in Ayrshire. The name derives from the Saxon “cuinneag” meaning “milk pail” along with “ham” meaning “village”. In the 12th century, the lands of Kilmaurs in Ayrshire were granted to a Norman named Warnebald, whose descendants adopted the territorial name Cunningham. The Cunninghams received additional lands thanks to their support of Robert the Bruce. It was King James III that granted Sir William Cunningham the titles of Lord Kilmaurs in 1462 and later earl of Glencairn in 1488. In 1653, the 9th Earl of Glencairn raised an army in support of Charles II. After the Restoration in 1660, Charles II appointed him Lord Chancellor.Family motto – Over Fork Over.

Dalziel: The family takes its name from Dalziel in Lanarkshire. Thomas de Dalziel swore allegiance to King Edward I of England in 1296, but later, appears to have changed sides and fought alongside King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. It was a Robert Dalziel who was created Lord Dalzell in 1628. Gen. Sir Thomas Dalzell fought for Charles I during the Civil War. After the Battle of Worcester in 1651, he was captured and sent to the Tower of London. He escaped the following year and subsequently traveled to Russia, where he served the Tsar as a general of cavalry against the Turks and Poles. He returned in 1666, when he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Scotland by Charles II. He was the first Colonel of the Scots Greys, the regiment that defeated the Covenanters at the Battle of Rullion Green. Family motto – I Dare.

Douglas: One of the most powerful families in Scotland, the first documented Douglas was a William de Douglas in the 12th century in Morayshire. Although a much earlier origin of the name is thought to derive from the Gaelic dubhghlais meaning ‘black water’. In 1330 “Good Sir James Douglas” was killed in Spain, attempting to take Robert the Bruce’s heart on a crusade to the Holy Land. In the 14th century the Earldom of Douglas was created, and William, the first holder was also Earl of Mar. From his son were descended the Earls of Angus and the Queensbury branch. James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton succeeded to the title and estates in 1553. He was prominent in the assignation of Rizzio, and joined forces against Mary Queen of Scots. In 1572 he was elected Regent of Scotland, but in 1581 was beheaded for his alleged part in the Darnley Conspiracy. Family motto – Jamais arrière (Never behind).

Elliot: The Elliots are one of the great ‘riding clans’ of the Scottish Borders. Their arrival in Teviotdale can be traced back to the reign of Robert the Bruce. James the 15th Chief was killed with James IV at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. From 1565, a bloody clan feud developed between the Elliots and the Scotts, after Scott of Buccleugh executed four Elliots for stealing cattle. The Elliot family held the lands of Reheugh, Larriston, Arkleton and Stobs. From the Stobs branch were descended Lord Heathfield, and Gilbert Elliot who was Governor-General of India. George Armstrong Eliott was appointed Governor of Gibraltar in 1775, and his four years’ defence of the Rock (1779 – 1783) is one of the most glorious achievements in British history. In 1787 he was created Lord Heathfield and Baron Gibraltar. Family motto – Fortiter et recte (With strength and right).

Erskine: The family takes its name from the lands of Erskine in Renfrewshire, just south of the River Clyde, which was held by Henry de Erskine in the reign of Alexander II. The Erskines were supporters of Robert the Bruce, and it was Bruce’s son, David II, that appointed Sir Robert de Erskine Keeper of Stirling Castle. Robert later became Lord Great Chamberlain of Scotland 1350 – 1357. His grandson was created Lord Erskine and from this branch was descended the Earls of Kellie. The 6th Lord Erskine was granted the Earldom of Mar in 1565, known as “Bobbing John” for his regular switching of loyalties after raising an army of over ten thousand for James VIII, he led the Jacobite Rising of 1715. Family motto – Je Pense Plus (I think more).

Fletcher: The name originates from the French fleche meaning arrow. Families of that name are found all over Scotland as they followed the clan for whom they made the arrows, so we find them associated in Argyllshire with the Campbells and the Stewarts, and in Perthshire with the MacGregors. The famous Scottish patriot Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653 – 1716), strongly opposed the Act of Union which in 1707 dissolved the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, of which he was a member, and merged it with the English Parliament at Westminster. During the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, Fletchers fought on both sides. In the early 1800’s, hundreds of Fletcher clansmen and women were cleared from the Scottish Highlands by the Campbells of Breadalbane to make way for sheep grazing with many emigrating overseas. Family motto – Dieu pour nous (God for us)

Gow: The name Gow derives from the Gaelic gobha, meaning armourer or blacksmith, and the son of the smith would therefore be Mac gobhann, known today as MacGowan. The Gows are a part of the Clan Chattan. At the Clan Battle fought on the North Inch of Perth in 1396, the hero of the fight was the Gobha Chrom – the crooked smith – said to be “small in stature, bandy legged, but fierce” he together with nine members of the Clan Chattan were all that remained alive when the battle was over. Neil Gow, the Prince of Scottish Fiddlers, was born at the Perthshire town of Inver in 1727. He was a born musician and his services were in great demand for the fashionable gatherings throughout Scotland and England. He was especially renowned for his reels and strathspeys and many of his own compositions remain popular to the present day. Family motto – Touch not the cat bot a glove.

Hamilton: This family is said to be descended from Walter Fitz Gilbert, who was granted the lands of Cadzow by Robert the Bruce. James of Cadstow was created Lord Hamilton in 1445, and married Princess Mary, the daughter of James II in 1474.Their son was created Earl of Arran in 1503, and stood next in line to the crown of Scotland. The 4th Earl of Arran became the keeper of both Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, and was created a Marquess in 1599. For his support of King Charles I, the third Marquess was created a Duke in 1643. In 1648 the Duke led a Scottish Army into England, but was defeated at the Battle of Preston by the troops of Oliver Cromwell. Together with his king he was beheaded in London in 1649. Family motto – Through.

Hay: The family of Hay has many branches through Scotland, and can trace their history back to the Norman princes de La Haye who were part of William the Conqueror’s army that swept into England in 1066. Sir William Hay was created Earl of Errol in 1453, and this branch held the office of Hereditary Constable of Scotland from the time of King Robert the Bruce. The family still retains that title, giving them precedence in Scotland second only to the royal family. In the 15th century, Sir Gilbert Hay fought alongside Joan of Arc in France. On returning to Scotland, Sir Gilbert was killed alongside King James IV and many other Scots at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Supporters of Mary Queen of Scots, the Hays rejected the Reformation. In 1806 Charles Hay, son of John Hay of Cocklaw, was raised to the Bench with the title of Lord Newton. Family motto – Serva jugum (Keep the yoke).

Henderson and Mackendrick: The name Henderson is in Gaelic mac Eanruig (son of Henry), sometimes anglicised to McHenry, Henryson, Mackendrick, etc. The clan claim descent from the Pictish prince Big Henry, son of King Nechtan, who arrived in Kinlochleven, just north of Glencoe around 900AD. Renowned for their size and strength, the Hendersons became the personal body guards of the chief of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe and suffered the consequences of this in 1692 at the bloody Massacre of Glencoe. Alexander Henderson was the most prominent Presbyterian divine of his time, drafting the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643. He later became Moderator of the Church of Scotland and is buried in Greyfriar’s churchyard, Edinburgh. Family motto – Sola virtus nobilitat (Virtue alone enobles).

Johnstone: There are several “John’s towns” in Scotland, however the earliest record of it being used as a surname is in 1174 by one John of Johnstone in Annadale, Dumfrieshire. Later in 1296, Sir John of Johnstone of Dumfries pledged allegiance to King Edward I of England. Although at that time Perth was known as St Johnston and an area of East Lothian was called Jonystoun it was the fighting Johnstons of the Western Borders who would become the most powerful group of Johnstons in Scotland. During the Civil War, the Clan Johnstone supported the Royalist cause of King Charles. In 1633, King Charles I rewarded this loyalty by granting the title of lordship to the Johnstone chief. By the 1700’s the Clan Chief of the Johnstones had been elevated even further, from the rank of Lord to Earl of Annadale and Secretary of State. Family motto – Nunquam non paratus (Never unprepared).

Lennox: Lennox was one of the ancient divisions of Scotland, and comprised the present county of Dumbarton, with portions of Stirling, Perth and Renfrew. The Sheriffdom of the district was granted to Mathew, Earl of Lennox in 1511. Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545 – 1567) was the second son of the Earl of Lennox. He was created Duke of Albany and in 1565 he married Queen Mary, who had him proclaimed King of Scotland. The marriage was an unhappy one, and his part in the murder of Rizzio estranged him from the Queen. He was on the point of leaving the country when he was murdered at the Kirk-o’-Field in 1567. He was the father of the future King James VI and I. Family motto – I’ll defend.

Leslie: The clan takes its name from Leslie in Aberdeenshire where it was firmly established by the 12th century. George Leslie of Leslie was created Earl of Rothes in 1447. Later Leslies took up the career of professional soldiering, fighting in Germany, France and Sweden. Alex Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, served in the Swedish Army for 30 years. He was knighted by King Gustavus Adolphos of Sweden in 1606, and appointed Field Marshall some years later. Returning to Scotland he commanded the Covenanting Army but was defeated by Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. After the restoration of the monarchy he was created Lord Newark. In 1680 the 7th Earl of Rothes became Lord Chancellor of Scotland. Family motto – Grip fast.

MacDonell or MacDonald of Clanranald: The largest of the Highland clans, the Norse-Gaelic Clan Ranald was descended from Ranald, son of John, Lord of the Isles. The Lord of the Isles had its own parliament and at one time was powerful enough to challenge the kings of Scotland. Their territory was principally along Scotland’s northwest coast. In the Wars of Scottish Independence the MacDonalds fought alongside Robert the Bruce. Following the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, King Robert the Bruce proclaimed that Clan Donald would always occupy the honoured position on the right wing of the Scottish army. The MacDonalds were involved in both the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite Uprisings. Bonnie Prince Charlie even landed in Clanranald territory in 1745, and it was Flora MacDonald who helped him escape to Skye after his crushing defeat at the Battle of Culloden the following year. Family motto – Per mare per terras (By sea and by land), also My hope is constant in thee.

MacDougal or MacDougall: The Clan MacDougal is descended from the eldest son Dougal or Dugald, of the princely House of Somerled, King of the Hedbrides. As eldest son, Dougal inherited his father’s lands in Argyll and Lorn, as well as the islands of Mull, Jura, Tiree and Lismore. Through marriage the MacDougalls were related to the Clan Comyn, so when Robert the Bruce murdered the Red Comyn in his bid to become king, a bloody feud erupted. In the 17th century during the Civil War the clan supported the Royalist cause, which led to them losing much of their lands these were subsequently returned when the Stuart monarchy was restored. The MacDougalls built Ardchattan Priory near to Oban in Argyll, and the clan chiefs were buried there until the early 1700’s. Family motto – Buaidh no bas (To conquer or die).

MacQuarrie: The ancestral home of the Clan MacQuarrie is the tiny Inner Hebridean island of Ulva, off Scotland’s northwest coast. The first recorded Clan Chief was John Macquarrie of Ulva, who died in 1473. In 1651 the clan suffered heavily at the Battle of Inverkeithing. Supporters of King Charles II of England, the Scots Royalist forces were decimated by the well disciplined Parliamentarian New Model Army of the English. Allan Macquarrie of Ulva, chief of the Clan MacQuarrie and most of his followers were killed in the battle. Maj-Gen Lachlan MacQuarrie joined the Black Watch in 1777, and after serving in North America, India and Egypt was appointed Governor of the convict settlement of New South Wales. The colony was in a critical condition when he arrived, but under his wise government the colony prospered. Known as the Father of Australia, he laid out Sydney, but in 1821 was forced to return to Britain due to ill health. Family motto – Turris fortis mihi Deus (God is to me a tower of strength).

Maclean: Tradition tells that this powerful clan was descended from Gilleain-nan-Tuagh (Gillian of the Battle Axe), a descendant of the Kings of Dalriada. Gillian fought against King Haakon of Norway at the Battle of Largs in 1263. The first recorded mention of the Macleans of Duart is in a Papal Dispensation of 1367, which allowed the Maclean Clan Chief to marry Mary MacDonald, the daughter of the Lord of the Isles. The Isle of Mull off Scotland’s northwest coast was the principal home of the clan, with the MacDonald dowry supplying the funds to purchase substantial parcels of the island. The Macleans supported King Charles I against the Parliamentarians. Sir Hector Ruadh Maclean and five hundred of his clansmen were slain at the Battle of Inverkeithing in 1651 by Cromwell’s New Model Army. In 1876 Sir Harry Maclean resigned his commission in the British Army to join the army of the Sultan of Morocco. He enjoyed a romantic career and became military leader and personal advisor to the Sultan. Family motto – Virtue Mine Honour.

Malcolm: The family of Malcolm had settled in the counties of Stirling, Dumbarton and Argyll by the 14th century. The name however, derives from a much earlier date, to the followers of the Irish Saint Columba who established the first monastery on the Scottish Isle of Iona. ‘Maol’ derives from the gaelic meaning ‘shaven head’ or ‘monk’, and so ‘Maol Chalum’ is a monk, or disciple of Columba. In the 18th century the chief of the Clan MacCallum, Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch adopted the name Malcolm. It is unclear why Dugald did this, but it could be that he considered the two names interchangeable, perhaps through distant ancestral links. Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm entered the Royal Navy in 1778, and in 1798 captured three Spanish gunboats in Manila Bay. While Commander-in-Chief of the St.Helena Station, 1816-17, he won the ‘warm regard’ of Napoleon. Family motto – In ardua petit (He aims at difficult things).

Napier: Tradition says the Napiers were descended from the old Celtic Earls of Lennox. It is thought that the name derives from the occupational name of “naperer”, one who looked after the linen in the royal household. John de Napier is first named in a land charter of 1280.These lands at Kilmahew in Dunbartonshire were subsequently held by Napiers for 18 generations, before finally being sold in 1820. John assisted in the defence of Stirling Castle in 1303, and a descendent went on to become Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1401. The 7th Laird of Merchsiton, John Napier, (1550-1617) is famous for inventing a hydraulic screw for clearing coal pits of water, a calculating machine, a battle tank or two, and the system of logarithms that so revolutionised mathematics. His son Archibald accompanied James VI to London in 1603 when he became king of England. Family motto – Sans tache (Without stain).

Robertson: The Robertsons, or Clan Donnachaidh (children of Duncan), were descended from the Celtic Earls of Atholl, who in turn were from a line of the kings of Dalriada. ‘Stout Duncan’ was a minor land-owner and clan chief in Highland Perthshire in the early 1300’s. Although the clan appears to have been loyal to the Bruce and Stewart royal dynasties, they also earned a reputation as raiders and feuders in medieval Scotland. The change of name can be dated to the fourth chief of Clann Dhonnchaidh, Robert Riabhach (Grizzled) Duncanson. It was Robert who tracked down, and brought to justice, the murderers of King James I in 1437. The Robertsons were involved in both the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite Uprisings. During the 18th and early 19th centuries the Robertson Chiefs refused to ‘clear’ their fellow clansmen in favour of the more profitable sheep. Family motto – Garg ‘n uair dhuisgear (fierce when roused).

Rose: The chief branch of the clan was the Roses of Kilravock who are recorded in Inverness in the 13th century, and the charter confirming the possession of the Barony on Kilravock is dated 1293. The family is Norman in origin, and settled in Scotland after a brief period in England. The Roses were supporters of Robert the Bruce, and it was Sir William Rose in 1306 that captured Invernairn Castle for him during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Kilravock Castle was built by Hugh Rose, the 7th Laird in 1460. During the Jacobite Uprising the Clan Rose supported the British government. Sir Hugh Rose (1803-1885) was in command of the Central Field Force during the Indian Mutiny, where he fought many successful actions, capturing 150 pieces of artillery, taking 20 forts, capturing Ratghur, Shanghur, Chundehree, Jhansi and Calpese. His skill and daring were largely responsible for saving Britain’s Indian Empire. Family motto – Constant and true.

Wallace: The Wallace family originates from the Scottish Lowland area of Strathclyde, near to Glasgow. Family members can also be traced across Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. Like other Lowland families it appears that they had taken to the new Norman fashion of adopting a surname. The first recorded use of the name can be dated to the signing of a land charter by Richard Walensis in 1160. The most famous son of the family is of course Scotland’s patriotic and romantic leader, Sir William Wallace, “the Hero of Scotland”, who was born at Elderslie in 1274. In 1297 he led the Scots patriotic forces against King Edward I of England. He won the Battle of Stirling Bridge and drove the English garrisons out of Scotland, but was defeated at Falkirk in 1298. He kept up a guerrilla war until 1305 when he was captured by treachery and executed. Family motto – Pro Libertate (For liberty).

Ancient Legends And Myths That Were Later Proven True By Science

Who doesn’t love a good story? When the world is in a bit of a state, it’s good to retreat to the comforting fiction of books, movies, and video games. It’s worth remembering, though, that plenty of fantastical fiction has been inspired by real-life events, both small and gargantuan.

Better yet, some myths and legends have turned out to be true, and in many cases, the reality has outmatched the stories. Last year, we delved into six ancient tales that were based on real events – so, for 2017, here are six more epics that science has found to have actually taken place.

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Head over to southern France, and you may find yourself near the Chauvet-Pont D’Arc cave, one that was once inhabited by our ancestors 37,000 years ago. At this point in time, humanity had yet to engender any sort of advanced civilization – we were largely nomadic, and our cousins, the Neanderthals, had just died out.

This cave wall is an archaeological and anthropological treasure trove. Its walls are adorned with pigmented artwork depicting a plethora of wildlife. From giant deer and bears to lions and even wooly rhinoceroses, these animals are surrounded by images of people going about their vagabond lives. Thanks to this, this site is sometimes referred to as the cave of forgotten dreams.

The mysterious "spray" feature inside the cave, along with overlaid charcoal paintings and traces to emphasize the detail. Genty/Fruglio/Baffier/CC BY 4.0

In 1994, a rather unusual mural was found on one of the cavernous walls, one that was partially overlapping a few of those giant deer. It’s hard to describe, but it looks a lot like a spray of something rising up into the sky. For several decades, most thought this was an abstract image, but this was long thought to be unusual – the imagery in the cave mostly depicted literal things.

A team of researchers stumbled on a marvelous thought. What if it depicted a volcanic eruption? As it so happens, the remnants of a powerful eruption just 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) down the road were found in the Bas-Vivarais volcanic field.

Dating techniques revealed it to have taken place around the time these cave drawings were made – and it would have been so explosive that the people living back then would have certainly been inspired to etch it into stone for all to remember.

Cave paintings are rare insights in the culture and beliefs of our distant ancestors. Tory Kallman/Shutterstock

While specialized medicine existed in Ancient Egypt, and historical accounts mention doctors trained in many medical fields, there were no dentists. Their oral hygiene was so poor, in the young as in the old, that they often suffered from tooth decay which resulted in foul breath. To mask this, Ancient Egyptians invented the first mints: a combination of frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon boiled with honey and shaped into pills.

Credit: Shutterstock image by tan_tan

For all Ancient people, the world was a mystery. Because much of what they experienced was unclear, they worshiped thousands of different gods and goddesses, to gain an understanding of their everyday life and death. Some deities were considered more important than others, often representing a specific region, role, or ritual and remain well-known even to this day. The goddess Isis, for example, the mother of all pharaohs, became one of the most important divinities of the Ancient times, transcending civilizations. Her worship was widespread from the Roman Empire all the way to England and Afghanistan, she is still revered in pagan religious rituals across the world.