Friends of Terpsichore Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all...Aristotle

Friends of Terpsichore

A Finnish sniper during the Winter War against Stalin; it started on 30 November 1939 till 1940. Apparently Simo Hayha would fire his rifle in the sitting position; he managed 25 kills a day with an over all 500 kills throughout the war. Hayha would be wearing a white mask like the one you see; he would fill his mouth with snow to hide the steam from his breath and didn't use scopes because the light reflection would give away his position.

Simo hayha honorary rifle.jpg
By Simo_hayha_honorary_rifle.png: Finnish Military Archives
derivative work: Materialscientist - This file was derived from: Simo hayha honorary rifle.png, Public Domain, Link



August Browne: The Nigeria-born man who joined the Polish resistance

Cameroon born Sam Sandi, fought with the French, a was ferocious fighter during WW1 in Europe (article in French)
The story of how a 19th-century Cameroonian man became a Polish insurgent after WWI

Josef Diak (From Sudan)



By G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection - Library of Congress, G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, Public Domain, Link

What was the importance of Haile Selassie I to the Re-africanization of Ethiopia in the 20th century

Marshal Mustafa Kemal Pasha.jpg
Public Domain, Link

MUSTAFA KEMAL - ATATURK…he liberated Turkish women.

Atatürk's Reforms Empowered Turkish Women and Set an Example for the Developing World - Ataturk Society of America - Ataturk Society of America - (Ataturk - Father of the Turks, Documentary)

Trabzon Yunan Okulu.JPG
By Unknown - Επιτροπή Ποντιακών Μελετών, Public Domain, Link

More details
Pontian Greek Girl students of Trebizond (modern Trabzon). Upright second left: Valentini Theofylaktou.

Hatı Çırpan.jpg
By Unknown - Album of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Vol. 1, p. 241., Public Domain, Link

Hatı Çırpan, 1935 One of the first female muhtars and MPs of Turkey

Safiye Ali.jpg
By Unknown - Image in the official website of TRT World, Public Domain, Link

Safiye Ali, the first Turkish female doctor.


Juan Peron con banda de presidente.jpg
By Unknown - Original from the then "Secretaría de Prensa y Difusión" (now "Secretaría de Medios de Comunicación") of the Argentinian Government. Published 1947., Public Domain, Link

Juan Peron

Juan Peron with his second wife Eva (Evita)

We think the late Argentinian President Juan Peron got this right: In 1971, from his exile in Madrid, he would remember: “(…) See, it is no secret to anyone that when World War II ended in 1945, Yankee imperialism and Soviet imperialism met in Yalta … They make the talks (…) and divided the world… They draw the lines and said: from here to there it’s yours, from here to there is for us… the lines where Soviet imperialism should govern, and the others for the Yankee imperialism. Both drew the lines for avoiding jurisdictional conflicts (…). “
His thought is not usually studied in deep by the Argentinean scholarship. But General Perón elaborated a complex doctrine, with a deep humanistic vision, endowed with a great understanding of the national and the international, which has not yet been fully dimensioned and implemented. He forecasted at the same time the fall of the USSR and the crisis of capitalism.

Persepolis was the most magnificent city in the Ancient World, and it was destroyed by Alexander of Macedon

The Iranians regarded him as "The Father"; Babylonian as "The Liberator, Hellenes as 'Law-Giver'; and the Jews as 'The Anointed of the Lord.

Cyrus portrait.jpg
By Charles F. Horne - Charles F. Horne, ed., The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, (New York: Parke, Austin, & Lipscomb, 1917), Vol. I: Babylonia and Assyria, pp. 460-462; The Bible (Douai-Rheims Version), (Baltimore: John Murphy Co., 1914), Public Domain, Link

Cyrus the Great,(for some reason many people prefer more authoritarian than democratic regimes, but authoritarian ones can only work if the autocrat is wise, tolerant and incorruptible; Cyrus the Great - audiobook).
Ancient History Persian Empire Documentary
……"From Babylon, the idea of human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome. There the concept of “natural law” arose, in observation of the fact that people tended to follow certain unwritten laws in the course of life, and Roman law was based on rational ideas derived from the nature of things…..”
“….Cyrus built his empire by first conquering the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire, and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire. ... Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations…..”

"He changed the small country of Persia to a powerful empire in a vast territory. No other government had reached this level of authority in the world till then.
His ethical values had made him a well-behaved emperor with humble policies and favorable method by which he treated the conquered nations…….
"The world was dominated by brutal arrogant rulers who didn’t care about their nations’ rights. In fact, they oppressed everyone with sheer rigidness to put awe in their hearts. Cyrus changed all such mannerism. When the final years of Medes’ domination were accompanied by oppressing people and treating them unfairly, the level of injustice was so high and suppression so severe that Median people had no choice but to wait for someone to save them from their brutal ruler. Cyrus turned to be this savior character. When he came to power, the new situation couldn’t corrupt him and make another monster out of him. Instead, he won lots of hearts and gained many nations’ respect for his mannerism. Cyrus united Medes with Persians...……Cyrus allowed the nations under the Persian Empire to keep their religions, traditions, dress code, language, etc. He didn’t force the ideas, rituals, and beliefs of Persians to the rest of the world. However, today we see that there are lots of powerful influences of Persian culture outside the present boundaries of Iran in a vast area…; The mighty rulers before him…..created heaps of corpses to demonstrate their power to the subject nations. They burned the people alive in the fire, gouged their eyes, cut their tongues and boasted of the number of young girls and women imprisoned and taken away by their brutal soldiers. On the contrary, he didn’t carry out bloodshed, plunder, brutality, etc to prove his power. He established a government that tried hard to found unity and peaceful coexistence among nations from India to the Mediterranean Sea. To win people’s support, he used a different policy: He supported their rights, promoted justice and worked for their prosperity. Rahman Mehraby "
The Importance of Cyrus the Great in Iranian History
The Cyrus Cylinder and the ancient proclamation of human rights

Ashoka the Great

Started off as a tyrant but eventually after Kalinga (Kalinga ancient region, India) he stopped his warmongering and ruled peacefully and well.

Ashoka's Queen,

Asoka's Queen.jpg
By <a href="" class="extiw" title="w:en:Abanindranath Tagore">Abanindranath Tagore</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href=""></a>, Public Domain, Link

Research resources on Pre-Columbian Studies and Byzantine studies, Dumbarton Oaks:
Dumbarton Oaks ( - History of Jewish Khazars, Khazar Turk, Khazarian Jews )

The Hidden History - The Khazar Empire - YouTube

The Khazars were raided by the Kievan Rus (Varangians /Vikings):
Varangians - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Varangians guard.jpg
By Unknown -, Public Domain, Link

The Varangians of Byzantium - Google Book Search

The body of Leo V is dragged to the Hippodrome through the Skyla Gate.jpg
Public Domain, Link

Viking Answer Lady Webpage - Vikings in the East: Rus and Varangians

Relics Of The Varangians

A Thracesian woman kills a Varangian.jpg
By Unknown, 13th-century author - History of John Skylitzes (Skyllitzes Matritensis (Biblioteca Nacional de España)), Public Domain, Link

Documentary on the Varangian Guard:


Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Varangian routes.png
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Medieval Scandinavian trade centres:

Birka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hedeby - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Visby - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See Scottish novelist/poet, Sir Walter Scott's (1771 - 1832) classic fiction on the Varangians:
Waverley Volume 12, 'Count Robert of Paris'



Tyrant Ji Jinping:
(Ji offers promises and threats as he calls China’s unification with Taiwan inevitable)

TAIWAN (Online News):
Taiwan News
Taipei News
Radio Free Asia
The Next China Threat: An Invasion of Taiwan?

Journalists Imprisoned in China
Shen Yun seems like a kitsch dance troupe. But Beijing sees it as the propaganda wing of the Falun Gong movement, and a threat to their rule – and hounds the dancers from city to city, trying to sabotage their shows. By Nicholas Hune-Brown

China Is Buying Land in Africa and South America to Ensure Its Food Supply

The large numbers of Falun Gong prisoners in custody has led researchers to identify them as a likely source for organs. According to Gutmann's research, other marginalized prisoner groups may also have been targeted, including ethnic Tibetans and Uyghurs who reside predominantly in China's western regions.” Wikipedia

No escape: The fearful life of China's exiled dissidents
List of Chinese dissidents

Ji Jinping's ego knows no bounds: Han Dynasty - Ancient History Encyclopedia

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)


QUEEN VICTORIA AND THE CRIPPLED KAISER (The Kaiser, fraught with psychological problems, led his country (and Europe) to a disastrous mess).
Did the Germans purposefully arrange to send Lenin to Russia to start a revolution?

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (The Tzar’s Sister; lived her last days in Ontario Canada)
The Queen's Mother in Law (Prince Philip’s mother)

Queen Victoria's Last Love (Abdul Karim)


Three Brits who made their names away from home; tragically all three died young:
Sir Alexander Burnes who was Scottish (Afghanistan)

Sir Alexander Burnes.jpg
By [illegible]; Photograph by Christine Smers - Contact us/Photo submission, Public Domain, Link

Afghanistan: the Great Game (Part I)
Afghanistan: the Great Game (Part II)

Sikunder Burns: Master of the Great Game
Craig Murray

Sir Isaac Brock (Canada)

Isaac Brock portrait 1, from The Story of Isaac Brock (1908)-2.png
By Isaac_Brock_portrait_1,_from_The_Story_of_Isaac_Brock_(1908).jpg: Portrait was made long before actual book, authored by Walter R. Nursey (1847-1927)
derivative work: Muckapedia (talk) - Isaac_Brock_portrait_1,_IMG_0150.PNG_The_Story_of_Isaac_Brock_(1908).jpg, Public Domain, Link

Portrait, from The Story of Isaac Brock (1908) by Walter R. Nursey


By unknown,[2][3]
attributed to Owen Staples[1] (1866–1949)[5] - Toronto Public Library?[3][1], Public Domain, Link

A version of Lossing's engraving (in wood) of Shawnee chief Tecumseh with water colors on platinum print after a pencil sketch by French trader Pierre Le Dru at Vincennes, taken from life about 1808.[1] For origins and likeness, see the Commons description of Lossing's work.

Isaac Brock and Tecumseh


Summer 1812: British General Isaac Brock and Shawnee Leader Tecumseh form an alliance
The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813
Pierre Berton

Laura Secord
Secord led through the woods by Mohawk warriors (Henry Sandham, c.1910)

Francis Cromie (Imperial Russia) Biography of Francis Cromie by Roy Bainton: Honoured by Strangers: Captain Cromie’s Extraordinary First World War

British Royal Navy Captain Francis Newton Cromie (1882-1918) - Naval Attaché.jpg
By Unknown - 17 April 2014 (original upload date) by Nightsturm including original description.
Photograph (author unknown), which was made available to the public (e.g. by publication or display at an exhibition) more than 70 years ago (before 1 January 1944) in the publication: Hoare, Sir Samuel (1930) "XIII. A BRITISH AND A RUSSIAN HERO - CROMIE" in The Fourth Seal, London: William Heinemann Limited, p. 277, Public Domain, Link

World War 1’s Hidden Hero The Submarine Massacre of 1915
E-19 – Submarine Massacre
At the same time E18 was out on her patrol E19, (Francis Cromie) was also prowling the Baltic on his first patrol. On the 3rd October the German merchant vessel, S.S Livonia/Sviona [4] (depending on your source) was shelled by E19. The merchant ships crew manage to beach the Livonia north of Sassnitz. Seven days later, between the 10th and 11th October, E19, was to go onto sink four ore ladened ships and damaged a fifth ship.
On the stormy morning of the 11 October E19 was patrolling the northern area of the Baltic Sea, south of the Swedish island Öland. E19’s haul for the day started with the sighting of the German steamer Walther Leonhardt, loaded with iron ore from Sweden.The crew was ordered into the lifeboats and to approach the submarine. Having examined the ship papers, commander Cromie had the steamer sunk by an explosive charge placed in the hold. Once the ship had been abandoned E19 stopped a passing Swedish freighter and asked them to take the German crew on board.
Her next victim was the Germania, also carrying iron ore from Sweden. Having witnessed the earlier sinking, the 3000 ton Germania tried to escape. But E19 gave chase at full surface speed, 15 knots, while firing her the deck gun. After an hour, the steamer ran aground near the Swedish coast and the submarine crew boarded her. Attempts were made to tow her off, but finally a dynamite charge was used to try and destroy the ship, but it failed to sink her. The steamer was later to be salvaged and repaired.
With it yet to be midday, now came the turn of the Gutrune, south of Öland. The Gutrune was bound from Lulea tor Hamburg also carrying a cargo of iron ore. Cromie ordered the ship to hove to and dispatch a boarding party to inspect the ship papers. Once the Gutrune’s crew were safely in the lifeboat, the ship was sunk by opening the bottom valves and circulation pumps. The ship took her time to sink, but E19 had to hurry off towards another ship that had been sighted. This time it was a Swedish Nyland freighter headed for Holland, so she was allowed to pass unharmed.Later on in the 11th E19 sighted and ordered the SS Director Reppenhagen ore to hove too or to be torpedoed. Once the crew of were safely in the ships boats, the ship was sunk,by scuttling. The crew were transfered to a passing neutral ship.
E19’s next victim on the 11th at 17:30,was the Nicomedia with yet another cargo of ore from Sweden.After a short chase the German steamer stopped and a boarding party was sent over to inspect her papers. In the politeness of the time, the boarding party asked of their prizes captain, “Excuse me, sir, can we sink his ship?” During the inspection, invited the E-19 boarding party to a glass of beer (it was a different world and time then!) and sent a barrel of German beer over to the the submarine [5]. Having enjoyed the beer, the German crew took to the lifeboats and their ship was sunk south of Oland, Sweden, using charges.
The 11th October 1915, was to a day when E19 sank five ships without the use of one single torpedo and single human life [6].Between the 18th and 19th October 1915 E9 was to have a similar period if success as her sister, when she intercepted four German steamers. Each ship was hailed in international waters. After inspection a decision was made to sink her, the crew was given time to enter the lifeboats.

The above happened in October 10th - 11th, 1915
The Lusitania was sunk on May 7th 1915

Pyotr Wrangel 1920, painting.jpg
Public Domain, Link

Pyotr Nikolaievich Wrangel
General Peter Wrangel, a dashing figure who fought the Bolsheviks during Russia’s civil war, symbolizes in many ways a Russia that might have been. A legend surrounds Wrangel, the White commander who in 1920 sailed away across the Black Sea with the last of the anti-communist forces for a life of exile. His aura of courage, charisma, and incorruptibility was only enhanced by the mystery of his untimely death in 1928, shortly after his memoirs were published. For many exiled Russians, his death shattered the last hope of returning to the Motherland. He became the emblem of a lost cause. (It is believed Wrangel was poisoned at Stalin’s orders).

Pyotr Wrangel, portrait medium.jpg
Public Domain, Link

ALWAYS WITH HONOUR/Pyotr Nikolaievich Wrangel (Memoirs)

Allied Intervention In the Russian Civil War

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (If Mannerheim turned to Hitler during WW2 it was to protect Finland from the Soviets, otherwise he did not like Hitler at all. The Allies did the opposite by siding with the murderer Stalin which makes them no better. The Putin regime is trying to whitewash Stalin’s deeds and calls Mannerheim a Nazi; maybe there’s anger because the Finns put up a damn good fight even when being out gunned and out manned (sisu a uniquely Finnish quality; the word used to typify the Finnish spirit; 11 Insane Facts About Simo Hayha, The Deadliest Sniper In World History. Had not Stalin so stupidly executed some of his best officers and commanders during the 1930s Great Terror the Soviet Union may not have been so humiliated).

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim 1940.jpg
By sa-kuva -, Public Domain, Link

Battlefield Scandinavia the Forgotten Front Finnish Winter War
Fire And Ice the Winter War of Finland and Russia Original
Fire and Ice - The Winter War of Finland and Russia (Long Version)
Finnish Sniper • Simo Hayha • The White Death

Simo Hayha.jpg
By Finnish Military Archives - Tapio A.M. Saarelainen: "Simo Häyhä : the sniper", Tampere : Apali, 2008, ISBN 978-952-5026-74-0. page 34, Public Domain, Link

How "White Death" Simo Hayha Became The Deadliest Sniper In History
Winter War and Simo Hayha (film clip)

Simo hayha second lieutenant 1940.png
By Finnish Military Archives - Tapio A.M. Saarelainen: "Simo Häyhä : the sniper", Tampere : Apali, 2008, ISBN 978-952-5026-74-0. page 7, Public Domain, Link

Hayha after the war; disfigured from a bullet

"Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper."

The deadliest sniper of WWI was (Canadian) Francis Pegahmagabow, an Ojibwa (1st Nations) soldier

Francis Pegahmagabow in Uniform.jpg
By Canadian government -, Public Domain, Link


Siemiginowski Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna.jpg
By Jerzy Siemiginowski-Eleuter -, Public Domain, Link

The Polish King Jan III Sobieski (1629-16). Jan Sobieski: The Polish King Who Saved Europe
King Jan III drove back the Ottoman Turks (the Siege of Vienna, 1683) (The Siege of Vienna/John Stoye [free download]) (The Siege of Vienna/Madame Pichler, free download) thus preventing them from entering Western Europe; I wonder if Hitler and his Nazis knew that part of their history; if not then perhaps they may not have hated the Poles so much

Polish codebreakers 'cracked Enigma before Alan Turing'
Why did we humiliate the Polish aces after their Battle of Britain heroics? How an ungrateful nation wanted to deport the men our women fell for and Hitler feared

The Secret Betrayal
The European Atrocity You Never Heard About : In the largest episode of forced migration in history, millions of German-speaking civilians were sent to Germany from Czechoslovakia (above) and other European countries after World War II by order of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union.

Britain’s Cossack Betrayal
Victims of Yalta: The Secret Betrayal of the Allies, 1944–1947 by Nikolai Tolstoy

Nadezhda Durova.jpg
By The original uploader was Alex Bakharev at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, Link

Nadezhda Durova: Ukrainian/Russian Cavalry Maiden in the Napoleonic Wars
Н.А. Дурова «Кавалерист-девица». Часть первая. Детские лета мои.

Ann Zingha.jpg
By Achille Devéria. Posteriormente coloreado a mano por un autor desconocido -, Public Domain, Link

Queen Nzinga: A Ruler who Set her People Free

Trung Sisters Of Vietnam: National Heroines That Stood Against Cruel Chinese Occupation Of Their Country
Trung Sisters Rebellion History of Ancient Vietnam

Vasili Arkhipov - Russian who stopped WW3 - “Thank you Vasili Arkhipov” by Edward Wilson

Vasili Arkhipov young.jpg
By Olga Arkhipova - Olga Arkhipova, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Stanislav Petrov - The man who may have saved the world

By Queery-54 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link


A Turkish official, tormenting starving Armenian children with a piece of bread. (Wikipedia)

Eight Armenian Professors:

Armenian genocide heads.jpg
By Amēnun taretsʻuytsʻě : zbōsali u pitani. 1921 -, Public Domain, Link

The Armenian Genocide
The books by Taner Akcam (Picture below)- a courageous man - are particularly interesting to me because he is Turkish: the Turkish Government denies the Armenian Genocide, and Nazi Germany used this concept against all the people they thought expendable….

Taner Akçam.PNG
By Janbazian - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Aykan Erdemir (below) (Foundation for Defense of Democracies) Dr. Erdemir was awarded the Stefanus Prize for Religious Freedom in recognition of his advocacy for minority rights and religious freedoms.

Aykan Erdemir 2015 (cropped). Who is European? TheNexusInstitute.JPG
By TheNexusInstitute (youtube) - Who is European? (at 3min 30s), CC BY 3.0, Link

King Leopold II of Belgium
Genocide in Soviet Karelia
Stalin's Terror and the Finns of Soviet Karelia
- Stalin's Famine-Genocide in Ukraine
Stalin's Murders
- Goodreads
East Timor: Media Turned Their Backs on Genocide
Italian Fascists in Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Red Terror Survivor to Document Atrocities Online
Jasenovac-Serbian Holocaust
Mao's Famine Literature about Pol Pot Hitler's Genocide
Deportation of Crimean Tatars ordered by Stalin

Putin Resurrects Stalinist Policy Towards Crimean Tatars

Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People

Massacres during the Greek War of Independence

The following examples show how Orthodox countries in the Near East largely helped protect European Western Christianity:
The Battle of Famagusta (Cyprus)
The Chios Massacre of 1822 (The West did not learn from this; decades later was the Armenian Genocide. Again, Western Europe hardly reacted)

Smyrna was both a Christian and Muslim cosmopolitan city, vibrant and wealthy; this is an example of multiculturalism which, although fragile, is far more productive and interesting than bland homogeneity:
Occupation of Smyrna
Great Fire of Smyrna
Teaser trailer for the animated short Tokei Maru, animated and directed by Zachos Samoladas

The Jihad Against the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christians

Cultural Genocide of Tibet Canada Tibet Committee Bystanders to the Holocaust: A Re-evaluation/David Cesarani Genocide Book Lists - Goodreads Popular Genocide Books - Goodreads End Genocides
Some Pogroms:
Kristallnacht of Constantinople ( Shocking Images of Infamous 1955 Anti-Greek Riots in Istanbul )

Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire,
The Turkish Kristallnacht, by Aykan Erdemir

Trials Of Henry Kissinger (youtube)

The Gurkhas

Indigenous Australians during WW1 and WW2

List: Australian Aboriginal Soldiers in WWI and WWII

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies

28 (Maori) Battalion - Greece and Crete (WW2)
The Māori infantrymen earned a fearsome reputation for their skill with the bayonet.
C Company haka party meet the King of Greece in June 1941 at their camp in Helwan, Egypt

Māori Battalion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
28th Maori Battalion (Home)
28 (Maori) Battalion | NZETC (ebook)
28 (Maori) Battalion - Greece and Crete
75(nz)squadron (New Zealand)
Aboriginals and the Canadian Military
First Nations contributions to WW I and WW II: Lest we forget (Canada)
The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan | Details
Aboriginal Veterans Tribute homepage
First Nations Veterans Memorial - Committee

HD Historic Archival Stock Footage WWII - Paratroop Mascots Make First Jumps 1943
Warrior Cats Compilation
Dogs Parachute Solo [HD]. The first lot of paratroop dogs are training for an Arctic Rescue in Canada. The second clip is of a dog called 'Chips' - who is carrying medical supplies and is likely to be in training for WW2.
West Point Mascots Documentary
The little-told story of the massive WWII pet cull
Remembering the British 'pet holocaust': WW2's slaughtered cats and dogs
How cats played a key wartime role
...Aside from doing rodent patrol, cats were also used to detect gas. (This was, after all, the first war that saw the large-scale use of chemical warfare.) The Brits “drafted” 500 felines for this particular duty; it was a canary-in-a-coal-mine mission, as cats succumbed much more quickly to the fumes than humans did….

A victim of the French Revolution:
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (French), considered the father of modern chemistry:
Antoine Lavoisier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lavoisier was guillotined during the French revolution (the judge said: The Republic needs neither scientists nor chemists.....);
No. 728: Death of Lavoisier
This is one example of how Lavoisier dealt with fraud:
Adulteration of tobacco
The Farmers General held a monopoly of the production, import and sale of tobacco in France, and the taxes they levied on tobacco brought revenues of 30 million livres a year. However this revenue began to fall because of a growing black market in tobacco that was smuggled and adulterated, most commonly with ash and water. Lavoisier devised a method of checking whether ash had been mixed in with tobacco: "When a spirit of vitriol, aqua fortisor some other acid solution is poured on ash, there is an immediate very intense effervescent reaction, accompanied by an easily detected noise." Lavoisier also noticed that the addition of a small amount of ash improved the flavour of tobacco. Of one vendor selling adulterated goods he wrote "His tobacco enjoys a very good reputation in the province... the very small proportion of ash that is added gives it a particularly pungent flavour that consumers look for. Perhaps the Farm could gain some advantage by adding a bit of this liquid mixture when the tobacco is fabricated." Lavoisier also found that while adding a lot of water to bulk the tobacco up would cause it to ferment and smell bad, the addition of a very small amount improved the product. Thereafter the factories of the Farmers General added, as he recommended, a consistent 6.3% of water by volume to the tobacco they processed.[18] To allow for this addition, the Farmers General delivered to retailers seventeen ounces of tobacco while only charging for sixteen.[19] To ensure that only these authorised amounts were added, and to exclude the black market, Lavoisier saw to it that a watertight system of checks, accounts, supervision and testing made it very difficult for retailers to source contraband tobacco or to improve their profits by bulking it up. He was energetic and rigorous in implementing this, and the systems he introduced were deeply unpopular with the tobacco retailers across the country. This unpopularity was to have consequences for him during the French Revolution.[20]
…...The French Revolution had taken at least some direction from the American Revolution, and as such offered the opportunity for tremendous reform of society for the benefit of the common people, but the fervor that characterized the Revolution had turned into fanaticism and parochial, selfish tendencies, resulting in the mass slaughter of innocent people swept up in the hysteria, including Antoine Lavoisier, the Father of Modern Chemistry.

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Explore Byzantium
Featured Book: The Birth of the Hospital in the Byzantine Empire
Meet the People: Byzantine Women
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