Additional excerpts from this series will be displayed here soon.

Mediterranean Travels:

Spain

Book 10: Exploring Central Europe

Excerpt from Book 16, Section 1

Translation of commentary on the back of this 1908 Liebig card
God’s judgment used to play an important role in the Malagasy system of justice. The Hova applied two types of “trial by ordeal,” a poison test and a crocodile test. During the latter procedure, the accused was led to a river, the judge addressed the crocodiles, and then demanded that the accused swim across the river and back. If he succeeded, his innocence was considered proven. As a result of political changes and especially due to the introduction of Christianity, these cruel trials by ordeal have ceased. Originally, the people of Madagascar were fetishists, they also practiced astrology. The generally held belief in the continued life of souls has brought forth very complicated burial ceremonies, but the old custom of surrounding graves with poles for votive offerings, and to hang thereon the heads of oxen eaten during the funeral meal, is now in decline.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools, and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Trial by ordeal was an ancient judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused was determined by subjecting them to a painful, or at least an unpleasant, usually dangerous experience. The test was one of life or death and the proof of innocence was survival. In some cases, the accused was considered innocent if they escaped injury or if their injuries healed.

A votive offering is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, in a sacred place for broadly religious purposes. Such items are a feature of modern and ancient societies and are generally made in order to gain favor with supernatural forces. (Tossing coins in a wishing well is a modern remnant of the practice.)

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, however, readers may wish to follow these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_ordeal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Votive_offering

Excerpt from Book 10, Section 3

Translation of commentary at the back of this Liebig card:
After the death of Muhammad, it was declared that fighting the infidels was one of the cardinal duties of Islam. Those who died in this fight were promised paradise as a reward. Islam can thank this alluring expectation for its triumphant advance. A mere 20 years after the death of Mohammad in 632, and starting from Arabia, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Persia had succumbed to the new religion; later it advanced further to the Balkans, Southern Russia, India, and even China. In India, we have an Islamic University at Delhi in the Punjab province, the “Mosque of all Mosques” Jama Masjid (meaning Friday Mosque). Shah Jahan, who newly founded Delhi in place of the ancient city, also laid the foundation stone for this most important mosque of the Orient. It was erected in marble on top of a base of sandstone ashlar blocks and crowned by three marble cupolas At each end of the front side stands a 148 feet tall minaret.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (World-reflecting Mosque), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 and features three great gates, four towers and two high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets.


To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jama_Masjid,_Delhi

Towing a Chain of Barges on the Rhine
(Horses versus Steamboat)

Lapps Milking Reindeer

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1912 Liebig card:
In the beautiful Hallingdal [Halling Valley], which for a few years now is crossed by the Christiana to Bergen railroad, colorful costumes and old lifestyle habits have been preserved pretty well until now, the same is true of legends, folk songs, and most importantly of spring dances, which require extraordinary strength and perseverance. The structure seen on the right side of our picture is the famous old church at Gol, a Stavekirke (a church made from wood), which has now been moved to the outdoor museum at Bygdøy near Christiania. Quite a number of such old wooden churches exist in Norway; all of them are several centuries old.


Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet and learn much more by googling the title words of our picture or, more directly, following these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallingdal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gol,_Norway
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gol_Stave_ChurchType your paragraph here.

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1907 Liebig card:
This sculpture of the goddess Uma, situated in the primeval forest, is a remnant from the golden age of the Empire of Cambodia (from about the time of Christ’s birth). The very same virgin forest contains the complete ruins of the old capital of Angkor of the aforementioned empire. Nowadays, wild fruit trees are standing in this swampy soil, twining plants are growing rampant across the ruins and fallen tree trunks and the Victoria Regia spreads its giant leaves on top of pools of water. Wild peacocks, who were considered sacred to Indian gods even in ancient times, enliven the rainforest also today.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Annam was a French protectorate encompassing the central region of Vietnam. Before the protectorate's establishment, the name Annam was used in the West to refer to Vietnam as a whole and Vietnamese were referred to as "Annamites." In 1887, the protectorate of Annam became in a part of French Indochina. Two other Vietnamese regions, Cochinchina (Nam Kỳ) in the South and Tonkin (Bắc Kỳ) in the North, were also units of French Indochina. In 1948, the protectorate was merged into the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, which was replaced the next year by the newly established State of Vietnam. The region was divided between communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam under the terms of the Geneva Accord of 1954.

Uma, also called Parvati, is the Hindu goddess of fertility, love and devotion; as well as of divine strength and power. She is the mother goddess in Hinduism and has many attributes and aspects. Each of her aspects is expressed with a different name, giving her over 100 names in regional Hindu stories of India. Along with Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and learning), she forms the trinity of Hindu goddesses.

Cambodia or Kampuchea is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

Angkor was the capital city of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. The temples of the Angkor area number over one thousand, ranging in scale from nondescript piles of brick rubble scattered through rice fields to the Angkor Wat, said to be the world's largest single religious monument. Many of the temples at Angkor have been restored, and together, they comprise the most significant site of Khmer architecture. Visitors approach two million annually, and the entire expanse is collectively protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.

The Victoria Regia or Victoria amazonica is a species of flowering plant, the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. [The story of the Victoria Regia and other night-blooming plants is discussed in Section 8 of Book 3, Unusual Plants, in this series. Visit www.surfingamagicalinternet.com
 or check out Amazon at
 https://www.amazon.com/Unusual-Plants-SURFING-MAGICAL-INTERNET-ebook/dp/B0106GB9SY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1501789656&sr=1-1&keywords=Unusual+Plants]

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annam_(French_protectorate)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indochina
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parvati
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_amazonica

Historic Alpine Crossings:
Hannibal, 218 B.C.

Book 16: Exploring EasternAsia

Transcaucasia: Azerbaijan
The Holy Fires of Baku 2000 Years Ago


Translation of commentary on the back of this 1907 Liebig card:
In China, the umbrella serves not only as protection from rain and sun, it is also a symbol of nobility. Depending on the social standing of its owner, umbrellas have two, three or four levels; those with four levels may only be used by members of the Imperial House. It is similar in Japan and Siam. In Japan, the paper umbrella plays a big role during the dance of the geisha.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:


Geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses. Their skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games, and conversation, traditionally to entertain male customers, but also female customers today.


To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow this link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geisha


Translation of commentary at the back of this 1912 Liebig card
If the houses didn’t give such a southern impression, the picturesque little town of San Julia de Loria could be mistaken for a typical Swiss village. It is located at the exit point of the broad valley basin that constitutes the Republic of Andorra, right where the Valira River crosses into Spanish territory. Postal connections with Seo de Urgel, seat of the Bishop of Urgel, are taken care of by the mailman shown in our inset. He carries the relatively few letters between this remote little land and the rest of the world on his trusted donkey, along and across steep mountain paths.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks had this to say on the subject:


Sant Julià de Lòria is one of the parishes of Andorra, in the far south of that country.


La Seu d'Urgell is a town located in the Catalan Pyrenees in Spain. La Seu d'Urgell is also the seat of the Bishop of Urgell, one of the Andorra co-princes.

The Diocese of Urgell is a Roman Catholic diocese in Catalonia, Spain, and Andorra. Important is the diocese's patronage of Andorra, with the bishop holding the role of ex officio Co-Prince of the Pyrenean Catalan-speaking nation jointly with the President of the French Republic (and formerly, the King of France).

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet to learn even more about this story by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant_Juli%C3%A0_de_L%C3%B2ria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Seu_d%27Urgell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Urgell

Contents

Foreword
1. Morocco

2. Algeria
3. Tunisia
4. Libya

5. Egypt
6. Ethiopia

7. Eastern Africa

8. Madagascar

9. Southern Africa

10. Central Africa

11. Western Africa



Contents

Foreword
1. United Kingdom
2. The Netherlands
3. Belgium
4. France
5. Andorra
6. Portugal

Excerpt from Book 12, Section 5

Contents
Foreword
1. Making Fire
2. Harnessing Flammable Gases
3. Making Electricity
4. Lighting Up the Night
5. Using Fire in Manufacturing
6. The Plow
7. Weights and Measures
8. The Clock
9. Money
10. Writing and Reading
11. Writing, Printing, Papermaking
12. Bells and the Telegraph
13. The Art of Healing
14. Musical Instruments
15. Steam Engine, Steamships, Railways

16. Automobiles

17. Balloons, Airships, Airplanes

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1904 Liebig card:
Ramadan is Arabic, Ramazan is the Turkish name for the ninth month of the Mohammedan lunar year. During Ramadan, so orders the Quran, from early morning to sunset, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, smoke, bathe, and even breathe in pleasant scents. After sunset begins a merry life, almost through the whole night. Our picture shows dervishes who dance to the people’s amusement.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:


Turkey is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. As the map on the previous page shows, Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; Iraq and Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia. Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial center.

Ramadan, also Romanized as Ramazan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.

The Five Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. They are summarized in the famous Hadith of Gabriel.

In Sunni Islam, the Hadith of Gabriel is the single most important report on the words and actions of Muhammad. Its narrative contains the best summary of the core of Islam: the "Five Pillars of Islam", the "Six Articles of Faith", and Ihsan, or "doing what is beautiful". The hadith is said to express the religion of Islam in a nutshell. Muslim scholars named this hadith the Hadith of Gabriel, because Archangel Gabriel assumed human form and manifested himself before not only Muhammad but also his companions.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Pillars_of_Islam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Gabriel

Excerpt from Book 14, Section 1

This Liebig card was issued in 1900 without any commentary.


Several decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks noted that the Blue Grotto is a sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri, southern Italy. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. The cave extends some 164 feet into the cliff at the surface, and is almost 500 feet deep, with a sandy bottom.

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet and learn much more by googling the title words of our picture or, more directly, following this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Grotto_%28Capri%29

 

Blue Grotto on Capri
(Italy)

Excerpt from Book 5, Section 5

This Liebig card was issued in 1895 without any commentary. The lighthouse of Alexandria is pictured on the left; the pyramids of Giza appear on the right.

Several decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks noted that the Lighthouse of Alexandria was built between 280 and 247 B.C., was 450 feet tall, and was one of the tallest man-made structures for many centuries.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was said to be the largest of three pyramids near what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the only one of the ancient world’s seven wonders to remain largely intact. It was built as a tomb over a 20-year period ending around 2560 B.C. At a height of 481 feet it was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 3,800 years.

 Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet and learn much more by googling the title words of our picture or, more directly, following these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_World
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_of_Alexandria
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

Translation of the 1913 description.  The stick insect or ghost insect lives in South America and the Sunda Islands. It has a thin lean body, short upper body and relatively long, delicate tentacles. It is able to take on the color of plants on which it finds itself, while its limbs can mimic the plant’s stems so deceptively that they can hardly be distinguished from them.

Comment: Modern dictionaries describe the stick insect as any of several insects of the family Phasmidae, as the walking stick, that resemble sticks or twigs.

[According to the Wikipedia, the Phasmidae, commonly known as leaf insects, ghost insects, phasmids, stick bugs, stick insects and walking sticks, derive their name from the Greek phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom and refering to the resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves. Their natural camouflage can make them extremely difficult to spot. They can be found all over the world in warmer zones, especially the tropics and subtropics. The greatest diversity is found in Southeast Asia and South America, followed by Australia. Phasmids also have a considerable presence in the continental United States, mainly in the Southeast.

Phasmids can be relatively large, ranging from 0.6 inches to over 12 inches in length. Females of the genus Phobaeticus are the world's longest insects, measuring over 22 inches in total length. The body is often modified to resemble vegetation, with ridges resembling leaf veins, bark-like tubercles and other forms of camouflage. A few species are even able to change their pigmentation to match their surroundings. Most phasmids are known for effectively replicating the forms of sticks and leaves and the bodies of some species are even covered in mossy or lichenous outgrowths that supplement their disguise. In a further behavioral adaptation to supplement crypsis, a number of species perform a rocking motion where the body is swayed from side to side; this is thought to mimic the movement of leaves or twigs swaying in the breeze. Another method by which stick insects avoid predation and resemble twigs is by feigning death, where the insect enters a motionless state that can be maintained for a long period.

In a seemingly opposite method of defense, many species seek to startle the encroaching predator by flashing bright colors that are normally hidden and making a loud noise. When disturbed on a branch or foliage, some species, while dropping to the undergrowth to escape, will open their wings momentarily during free fall to display bright colors that disappear when the insect lands. Some accompany the visual display with noise made by rubbing together parts of the wings or antennae. A number of species are equipped with a pair of glands that enables the insect to release defensive secretions, including chemical compounds of varying effect: from the production of distinct odors to the causing of a stinging, burning sensation in the eyes and mouth of a predator. Stick insects, like their distant relative the grasshopper, can also discharge the contents of their stomachs through vomiting when harassed, a fluid considered inedible by some predators.]

Stick Insects

Excerpt from Book 4, Section 10

Book 4: Remarkable Animals

Book 3: Unusual Plants

Contents

Foreword

1. Birds of Prey

2. Magnificent Bird’s Nests

3. Pheasants

4. Carrier Pigeons

5. Chickadees

6. Poultry

7. Aquatic Birds

8. Birds in History

9. Birds Migrating

10. Birds That Don’t Fly

11. Birds Among Flowers

12. Birds Inspire Poetry

13. Birds As Symbols

14. A Bird’s Eye View

15. Birds Having Fun

Appendix: The Origin of Liebig Cards

             Alphabetical Listing of Birds Discussed

Book 1: Extraordinary Birds

The bearded vulture (Gypaëtus barbatus), shown in the upper left here and also known as the Lämmergeier, is a species of birds of prey that represents the transition from vultures to eagles. It lives in many places, including the high mountains of southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, India, and Tibet. The bird is up to 50 inches long and can have a wingspan of more than 9 feet. Its slit-like nostrils are covered with stiff forward-looking bristles; at the bottom of the lower jaw sits a tuft of feather-bristles, called the beard. The bearded vulture has dull claws and a thin beak; it is therefore not capable of killing live game and is satisfied with feeding on the remains of dead animals, known as carrion.


[According to the Wikipedia, the bird has figured out a fascinating way of cracking bones that are too large to be swallowed. It carries them in flight to a height of up to 500 feet and then drops them onto rocks below, which smashes them into smaller pieces and exposes the nutritious marrow. And there is a fascinating legend, too. The Greek playwright Aeschylus was said to have been killed around 455 B.C. by what probably was a bearded vulture who mistook the writer’s bald head for a stone and dropped a tortoise on it!]



Excerpts from Book 1, Section 4.
Carrier Pigeons


The carrier pigeon, also called homing pigeon or messenger pigeon, is a domesticated rock pigeon (Columba livia) which is especially trained to carry messages. Even when transported to a far-away place in a closed basket, a wonderful instinct guides the carrier pigeon right back in a straight line to the place where it is used to living. Humans make use of this characteristic in order to use the bird as letter carrier. A small letter placed inside a quill is attached to one of the bird’s wing feathers and a person waiting at its home base for the return of the feathered messenger accepts the message. Here is its story as told by Liebig pictures, followed by modern-day comments.


                                                       Attaching the dispatch at the station     The dispatch

SAMPLE A BOOK

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1908 Liebig card:
The art of making fire was certainly one of the most important achievements of early humans because many places on earth were cold and inhospitable. The observation that heat is created when two objects are rubbed together has probably prompted them to create a flame by vigorously rubbing two pieces of wood together. This made it possible to work on a whole range of materials and make them ready for use. As discoveries from prehistoric times indicate, fire was used to hollow out tree trunks to make canoes and to make pyrographic designs on wood and bones. [Pyrography refers to the art of producing designs with the help of heated tools or a fine flame.] One also used fire in the preparation of meals; one can even find remnants of a bread-like bakery product among the remains of pile structures. A few people, such as the Fiji islanders, continue to make fire by rubbing objects together even today.

Comment:
Several decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks noted that the ability to control fire was a dramatic change in the habits of early humans. Making fire to generate heat and light made it possible for people to cook food, increasing the variety and availability of nutrients. The heat produced also helped people stay warm in cold weather, enabling them to live in cooler climates. Making fire also allowed the expansion of human activity into the dark and colder hours of the night and provided protection from predators and insects.
Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet to confirm the above and learn even more by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firelighting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire

Excerpt from Book 15, Section 6

Pictures of China
Japanese Geisha Dance
before a Chinese Imperial Prince

Translation of commentary on the front of this 1894 Liebig card:
Alhambra. Alcalá Street. Royal Palace. Madrid.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks had this to say on the subject:


The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 A.D. on the remains of Roman fortifications and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls.

The Calle de Alcalá is the longest street in Madrid and one of the oldest. It starts at the Puerta del Sol and goes on for almost 7 miles to the northeastern outskirts of the city. It is flanked by numerous famous buildings.

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, but is only used for state ceremonies. The Royal Family does not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.


Madrid is the capital of Spain, and the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin.
Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet and learn even more by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calle_de_Alcal%C3%A1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Palace_of_Madrid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid

Excerpt from Book 12, Section 1

Old Norwegian Costumes:
Spring Dance in the Hallingdal,
Old Wooden Church (Stavekirke)

Elizabethan London

 Contents 

 Foreword
1. India
2. Pakistan
3. Sri Lanka
4. Myanmar
5. Thailand
6. Vietnam and Cambodia
7. Indonesia


Book 7: Exploring Northern Europe

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1921 Liebig card:
Ancient people already knew that there were flammable, yet invisible materials in nature, such as those we now call gases. It was known that air escaping from a swamp could under some circumstances ignite and one feared especially burning vapors in ore mines. Since time immemorial, one was also aware of natural sources of gas, such as those on the island of Absheron in the Caspian Sea, which were probably ignited by accident and then considered a sanctuary by fire worshipers and surrounded by special temple facilities.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:
 
The Absheron Peninsula (rather than island) is situated in Azerbaijan and host to Baku, the biggest and the most populous city of the country. It extends 37 miles eastward into the Caspian Sea and reaches a maximum width of 19 miles. Though technically the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, the landscape is only mildly hilly, a gently undulating plain that ends in a long spit of sand dunes known as Shah Dili, and is now declared the Absheron National Park.
 
To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absheron_Peninsula
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absheron_National_Park


Book 12: Exploring Southeastern Europe

Contents

Foreword
1. Finland
2. Sweden
3. Norway
4. Denmark
5. Iceland
6. Norse Mythology

Pictures of Madagascar:
The Crocodile Test
Hova Burial Site


Contents

Foreword
1. Asiatic Turkey

Appendix: European Turkey
2. Cyprus
3. Syria and Lebanon
4. Iraq
5. Iran

6. Arabian Peninsula

7. Israel and Palestine


Excerpt from Book 6, Section 1

                                                       Published without commentary in 1898

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools, and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein) is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886.

Hohenschwangau is a village in the municipality of Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, however, readers may wish to follow these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenschwangau

Annam, Land and People:
Old Statue of the Goddess Uma
in the Primeval Forest

Excerpt from Book 9, Section 6

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1907 Liebig card
London’s days of glory have often been considered to be those of the rule of Queen Elizabeth of England. London’s prosperity came about as trade flourished, commercial relations were opened with Moscow merchants, the American colonies were created, the East India Company came into being, and another company began trade with the Levant [countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean from Turkey to Egypt]. The seafarer Francis Drake, in particular, contributed mightily to the expansion of England’s commercial ties through his exploratory voyages to South America. Queen Elizabeth valued him so much that on April 4, 1681 she personally went to Deptford, the mooring place of ships coming to London, where Drake had anchored, and knighted him in a solemn ceremony.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks had this to say on the subject:

Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. He carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580. With his incursion into the Pacific he inaugurated an era of privateering and piracy in the western coast of the Americas—an area that had previously been free of piracy. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a k knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in 1596 after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico. His exploits made him a hero to the English, but a pirate to the Spaniard to whom he was known as El Draque.

Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, the childless Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet to learn even more about this story by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_I_of_England

Book 8: Exploring Western Europe

Pictures from Serbia:

A Harvest Custom

Unique Writings:

Assyrian/Babylonian Cuneiform Tablet

Popular Festivals in Turkey:

Ramadan

Excerpt from Book 14, Section 4

Excerpt from Book 8, Section 5

Book 13: Exploring Russia and Central Asia

Contents

Foreword
1. Germany
2. Poland
3. Czech Republic
4. Switzerland

5. Austria
6. Hungary



Excerpt from Book 6, Section 15

Bavarian Royal Palaces:
Neuschwanstein Castle

Translation of the original 1921 description on the back of the Liebig picture:
Luminescent marine animals and plants: The deep sea is home to fishes and crabs with the strangest and most fanciful shapes. Very often the secretions they emit are far from harmless, acidic and can have severe consequences for humans.
1) Stoplight loosejaw (Malacosteus) is a rather large fish with luminous head and luminous eyes, labeled #1 at top right.
2) Elongated Bristlemouth Fish (Gonostoma polyphos), labeled #2 in the center, is a large animal with an underside full of luminescent organs.
3) Deep-sea Shrimp (Acanthephyra debilis), the red creature labeled #3 below, has luminescent points on the entire body and very long tentacles.
4) Deep-sea Bamboo Coral (Mopsea), labeled #4 in the upper left, known as leuchtende Rindenkoralle in German.

Comment:  Modern dictionaries describe stoplight loosejaws as small, deep-sea dragonfishes of the genus Malacosteus, containing two species, M. niger and M. australis, also known as northern and southern stoplight loosejaws, respectively. The elongated bristlemouth fish, nowadays called Gonostoma elongatum, is one of 32 deep-water marine species in the family Gonostomatidae. The deep-sea shrimp belongs to the Acanthephyridae family, consisting of bioluminescent crustaceans, characterized by an exoskeleton (a hard outer structure that provides protection or support), jointed appendages and a segmented body. Mopsea is a genus of deep-sea bamboo coral of the Isididae family.


[According to the Wikipedia,  stoplight loosejaws are the only fishes that produce red bioluminescence, which presumably accounts for the stoplight part of their common name. (The scientific name Malacosteus is derived from the Greek malakos meaning “soft” and osteon meaning “bone”.) Another common name for these fishes is rat-trap fish, from the unusual open structure of their jaws.
As most of their prey organisms are not capable of perceiving light at red wavelengths, this allows Malacosteus to hunt with an essentially invisible beam of light. Furthermore, Malacosteus is unique amongst animals in using a chlorophyll derivative to perceive red light.These fishes have a wide distribution. M. niger is found between 66° N and 33° S, except for the Mediterranean Sea, while M. australis is found in the southern transition zone between 25° to 45° S. Both species are usually found below a depth of 1,600 feet.


Malacosteus has an elongated body with short, blunt snouts and large eyes that face forward, granting binocular vision. Relative to its size, Malacosteus has one of the widest gapes of any fish, with a lower jaw measuring one-quarter of the fish's length. There are several large, fang-like teeth in the front of the jaws, followed by many small barbed teeth. There are three bioluminescent photophores near the eyes: beneath the eye is a large, teardrop-shaped suborbital photophore that emits red light. Behind it is an ovoid postorbital photophore that emits green light; this photophore is larger in males than females. These red and green photophores are evocative of traffic lights, hence the fish's common name. The third is tiny and round, located between the eye and the large red photophore. Several rows and clusters of blue photophores are present on the sides and belly. In addition, there are small photophores and accessory areas of white luminous tissue scattered over the head and body. Malacosteus is thought to use its suborbital photophores like searchlights to find prey.

Because long (red) wavelengths of light do not reach the deep sea from the surface, many deep-sea organisms are insensitive to red wavelengths and so to these creatures red-colored objects appear black. The red photophore of Malacosteus thus allows it to illuminate prey without being detected.

The elongated bristlemouth fish, also known as elongated fangjaw, elongated portholefish, lightfish and longtooth anglemouth, as the name indicates, has an elongated body up to 12 inches in length. It has a number of green or red light-producing photophores aligned along the underside of its head or body. Its chief common name, bristlemouth, comes from its odd, equally sized and bristle-like teeth. Due to the depths at which it lives, where very little light penetrates, the fish is typically colored black so as to hide from prey.

The deep-sea shrimp Acanthephyra debilis is a luminescent decapod marine animal with discrete photophores that discharge a luminous cloud. (In contrast, other marine animals achieve luminescence differently, as by squeezing forth a pre-formed secretion through muscular contraction or by exposing a continuously luminescent organ through rotation or by movement of shutters.) Females incumbate fertilised eggs which remain attached to the swimming legs (pleopods) until hatching. The animal has 10 feet, the carapace is fused to all thoracic segments, it has stalked eyes, 19 segments (5 cephalic, 8 thoracic and 6 abdominal), thoracic limbs are jointed and used for swimming or walking.

Relatively little is known about the deep-sea bamboo coral. The skeletons of bamboo coral are made up of calcium carbonate in the form of tree-like branches alternating with joint-like nodes or axes composed of gorgonin protein. The alternation of the bony structures with the smaller gorgonin parts give the bamboo coral a finger-like appearance similar to that of the bamboo plant on land. Bamboo coral was reported in 2005 to have been found on a dozen seamounts in the Pacific Ocean between Santa Barbara, California and Kodiak, Alaska. Although the ages and growth rates for most deep water coral are not yet available, specimens of bamboo coral found in the Gulf of Alaska have been estimated to have a life span of from 75 to 126 years, based on radiocarbon-based growth rate and age data.

Deep sea bamboo coral provides the ecosystems to support deep sea life and also may be among the first organisms to display the effects of changes in ocean acidification caused by excess carbon dioxide, since they produce growth rings similar to those of a tree and can provide a view of changes in the condition in the deep sea over time. Some bamboo coral can be especially long-lived; coral specimens as old as 4,000 years have been found.]

Stoplight Loosejaw       Elongated Bristlemouth Fish
Deep-sea Shrimp     Deep-sea Bamboo Coral

Excerpt from Book 4, Section 3

Excerpt from Book 2, Section 1


1. Solve the Riddle

Here is the first of 24 pictures that poses a riddle. Can you solve it?  Don’t rush; take your time. An answer is always provided on the following page, just before the next riddle.

The Ferryman’s Dilemma

Contents


Foreword


1. Solve the Riddle


2. Name the Proverb


3. Find What's Hidden


4. Invent a Title


Appendix: How Liebig Pictures Were Made

Book 2: Brainteasers

The carrier pigeon must be let out in good weather at a place that allows a good overview of the terrain. The bird must be given drink, but not food, shortly before the departure. In order to transport it, a dispatch is copied in micro-photographic manner unto a thin collodion sheet and placed inside a quill. Closed with a waxen cork, it is then tied to a tail feather of the pigeon.


[According to the Wikipedia, historically, pigeons carried messages only one way, to their home. They had to be transported manually before another flight. However, by placing their food at one location and their home at another location, pigeons have been trained to fly back and forth up to twice a day reliably, covering round-trip flights up to 100 miles. Their reliability has lent itself to occasional use on mail routes, such as the Great Barrier Pigeongram Service established between Auckland, New Zealand and Great Barrier Island in November 1897.


With training, pigeons can now actually carry up to 75 grams (2.5 ounces) on their backs. The German pharmacist Julius Neubronner used carrier pigeons to deliver urgent medication. And in 1977, a similar carrier pigeon service was set up for the transport of laboratory specimens between two English hospitals. Every morning, a basket with pigeons was taken from Plymouth General Hospital to Devonport Hospital. The birds then delivered unbreakable vials back to Plymouth as needed. In the 1980s, a similar system existed between two French hospitals located in Granville and Avranche.


Before the advent of radio (and satellite phones!) carrier pigeons were frequently used on the battlefield as a means for a mobile force to communicate with a stationary headquarters. In the 6th century B.C., Cyrus, king of Persia, used carrier pigeons to communicate with various parts of his empire. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), besieged Parisians used carrier pigeons to transmit messages outside the city; in response, the besieging German Army employed hawks to hunt the pigeons! Carrier pigeons were also used to carry messages in both World War I and World War II. A carrier pigeon's job was dangerous. Nearby enemy soldiers often tried to shoot down pigeons, knowing that released birds were carrying important messages. Some of these pigeons became quite famous among the infantrymen they worked for. One pigeon, named The Mocker, flew 52 missions before it was wounded. Another, named Cher Ami, was injured in the last week of World War I. Though she lost her foot and one eye, her message got through, saving a large group of surrounded American infantrymen. For thus “saving the lost battalion of the 77th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Argonne,” the pigeon was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal with Palm Oak Leaf Cluster and when she died, she was mounted and became part of the permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution.]


Note: Information translated from original Liebig cards appears as regular text; information gleaned from Wikipedia is set between square brackets.


Translation of commentary at the back of this 1905 Liebig card:
This 12,300-feet-high volcano, the highest and most famous mountain of Japan, which, according to Japanese records, is said to have been active even in the 14th century, is situated about 70 miles from Tokyo. It can be climbed fairly easily and, because the Japanese consider it to be sacred, it is visited every year by large crowds of pilgrims. The high adoration that it enjoys is also illustrated by the frequency with which the mountain appears in the works of Japanese artists. The famous painter Hokusai even created the series “One hundred Views of Fujiyama.” It consists of a hundred pictures of Japanese nature and people for which the sacred mountain provides the background mood every time.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Mount Fuji, located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 feet. An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08. Mount Fuji can be seen from Tokyo on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped for about 5 months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers. It was added to the UN World Heritage List as a Cultural Site in 2013.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) was a Japanese artist, painter and printmaker. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the 1831 woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, which differs from the number of 100 given above.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Fuji
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokusai

Pictures from Morocco:
A Caravan Departing Fes

Excerpt from Book 7, Section 1

Contents

Foreword
1.
Serbia and Montenegro
2. Romania
3. Bulgaria
4. Greece

5. European Turkey

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1911 Liebig card:
About 12 miles northeast from the entrance to the Hellespont, at the point where it is only 1.2 miles wide, sits the highly picturesque old castle of Kilid-ül Bahr (“Ocean Lock”), built by Mehmed II right after the conquest of Constantinople. It is usually called the old Castle of Roumeli. Since 1867, a number of coastal batteries have been built here; to wit Namasigja to the south and Degirmen and Tscham to the north of Kilid-ül Bahr.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

The Roumeli Hissar Castle is a fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosporus. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452.

Mehmed II (1432-1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was an Ottoman sultan who, at the age of 21, conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the Eastern Roman Empire. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. Mehmed is considered a hero in modern-day Turkey and parts of the wider Muslim world.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumelihisar%C4%B1


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmed_the_Conqueror

Pictures of Japan:
Mount Fujiyama

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1921 Liebig card:
Shipping on large rivers often encounters difficulties as a result of strong currents. In the old days, ships on the Rhine, for example, had to be pulled upstream with horses and the team of animals had to be replaced frequently. This changed with the introduction of towing steamships which made it possible to move several ships upstream simultaneously and their number and size is growing continuously with ever stronger machines. Our picture illustrates a tugboat which is pulling seven coal-filled barges upstream at a speed that horses could never have achieved. Thus the river’s current ceases to be a hindrance anymore right up to Basel and even the once greatly feared Bingen Hole, which is shown in our picture, has become quite harmless.


Comment:
Several decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks noted that a steamboat is a boat in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels. As opposed to ocean-going steamships, the term steamboat is used to refer to smaller, insular, steam-powered boats working on lakes and rivers.


A tugboat is a boat that maneuvers vessels by pushing or towing them. Tugs move vessels that either should not move themselves, such as ships in a crowded harbor or a narrow canal, or those that cannot move by themselves, such as barges, disabled ships, log rafts, or oil platforms. Tugboats are powerful for their size and strongly built, and some are ocean-going. Some tugboats serve as icebreakers or salvage boats. Early tugboats had steam engines, as shown in our picture, but today most have diesel engines.

The Bingen Hole used to be the most difficult narrow on the Rhine. It is situated near the famous Mouse Tower, discussed in Chapter 14 of Book 1, Extraordinary Birds, in this series. During the Middle Ages, most ships could not pass the rocky reefs at the Bingen narrows. Loads had to be unloaded and carried further on land. In the 1830s, however, Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia, had the reefs blown up and thus widened the river to 210 feet. A statue memorializes the creation of the “hole”.

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet to confirm the above and learn even more by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tugboat

Excerpt from Book 3, Section 1

1. Medicinal Plants 
Here we meet a number of plants that have long been utilized in the field of medicine, not always for good scientific reasons.

Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum Camphora)


































The camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) is a large evergreen tree growing wild in China and Japan. It grows panicles (or branched clusters) of blossoms and fruits, as shown in the picture here. The tree can reach over 30 feet in height and can form thick forests. Genuine camphor is extracted from its chipped wood by treating it with steam and catching and concentrating the resultant camphor vapors in appropriate vessels. Eventually the process creates a colorless, crystalline, grainy substance that excites the nervous system and also acts as a preservative. It is used in medicine to alleviate cramps and as an absorptive substance. The picture illustrates camphor preparation in Japan.  


Comment:  The above is a translation of the original 1909 description found on the back of the Liebig picture. Modern dictionaries describe camphor as an aromatic crystalline compound (C10 H16 O) that is obtained naturally from the wood or leaves of the camphor tree, but can also be synthesized. It is used as an insect repellent, in the manufacture of film, plastics, explosives and fireworks, and in medicine chiefly in external preparations to relieve mild pain and itching.  


[According to the Wikipedia, camphor is a waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aromatic odor. It is used for a great variety of purposes—as a repellent and preservative, as an ingredient in cooking, in religious ceremonies, and for medicinal purposes.  


For example, camphor’s strong odor is believed to deter cockroaches, moths, and even snakes. Like mothballs, it is said to preserve clothes that are only used on special occasions and festivals. Solid camphor releases fumes that form a rust-preventative coating and is therefore stored in tool chests to protect tools against rust. It is also an ingredient in embalming fluid.  


An early international trade made camphor widely known throughout Arabia in pre-Islamic times and it is mentioned in the Quran as a flavoring for drinks. By the 13th century, it was used in recipes everywhere in the Muslim world, ranging from main dishes such as tharid and stew to desserts. In ancient and medieval Europe, camphor was used as an ingredient in sweets. Nowadays, it is widely used in cooking, mainly for dessert dishes in India. 


Hindus worship a holy flame by burning camphor, which forms an important part of many religious ceremonies. Camphor is used in the Mahashivratri celebrations of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and (re)creation. As a natural pitch substance, it burns cool without leaving an ash residue, which symbolizes consciousness. Most temples in southern India have stopped lighting camphor in the main Sanctum Sanctorum because of the heavy carbon deposits it produces; however, open areas still burn it.


Then there are the medicinal uses. Camphor has been used in ancient Sumatra to treat sprains, swellings, and inflammation. Camphor is a component of paregoric, an opium/camphor tincture from the 18th century. Also in the 18th century, camphor was used in the treatment of mania. Allegedly, dissolved in alcohol, it was used successfully to treat the 1854-55 cholera epidemic in Naples. Nowadays, camphor crystals are used as a cough suppressant. Camphor is readily absorbed through the skin, produces a feeling of cooling similar to that of menthol, and acts as a local anesthetic and antimicrobial substance. It is found in baby oil as well as anti-itch gels and cooling gels. Along with menthol, camphor is also an active ingredient in vapor-steam products, such as Vicks VapoRub.


Camphor was the original compound used in the development of convulsive therapies for psychiatric illness, which revealed that camphor is poisonous and even lethal in large doses. Its numerous side effects include abdominal cramps, anxiety, disorientation, excitability, inability to breathe, irritability, lethargy, muscle spasms, nausea, tachycardia, and vomiting  In high doses, it causes amnesia, confusion, convulsions, panic, epileptic attacks, and death. In 1980, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration set a limit of 11% allowable camphor in consumer products, and totally banned products labeled as camphorated oil, camphor oil, camphor liniment, and camphorated liniment. Since alternative treatments exist, medicinal use of camphor is discouraged by the FDA, except for skin-related uses, such as medicated powders, which contain only small amounts of camphor.]  


Excerpt from Book 3, Section 8


8. Night-Blooming Plants

Here we meet a variety of plants that only bloom at night.

Victoria Regia
































This aquatic plant is native to tropical South America. The leaves are very large and circular, when fully developed over 6 feet in diameter; their prickly underside is purple. The blossom consists of numerous white petals and can have a diameter of up to 16 inches. The bud opens slowly between 5 and 6 P.M. and then stay open until about 8 A.M. On the second day, it opens again and more fully, at which time the innermost pink, purple, red petals unfurl. They have a very strong aroma. The seeds ripen under water after the pollinated blossom submerges. In Europe, one grows these plants in special greenhouses.


Comment:  The above is a translation of the original 1908 description found on the back of the Liebig picture. Modern dictionaries describe the water lily or pond lily as any of various cosmopolitan aquatic herbs, having floating leaves and showy, variously colored flowers with fragrant, many-petaled white or pinkish flowers.


[According to the Wikipedia, the species was once called Victoria regia after Britain’s Queen Victoria (who reigned from 1837-1901), but is now called Victoria amazonica. It is the largest member of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies and has leaves of up to 10 feet in diameter. They float on the water's surface on a submerged stalk, which is up to 26 feet in length. The species is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. It is depicted in the Guyanese coat of arms. The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. They are pollinated by beetles.]













































































































Book 11: Exploring Africa

Book 9: Exploring Southwestern Europe

 Contents 

Foreword
1. China
Appendix: Tibet
2. Korea
3. Japan
4. The Philippines



Translation of commentary on the back of this 1906 Liebig card
Fes is one of two major cities, has 150,000 inhabitants, but had 400,000 of them during the Middle Ages. Its trade with the hinterland is carried out mainly with the help of caravans. Even nowadays, camels in this part of North Africa are called “ships of the desert.” Without their help, it would be practically impossible to move large quantities of goods from place to place across the pathless desert.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools, and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

A camel train or caravan is a series of camels carrying passengers and/or goods on a regular or semi-regular service between points. Although they rarely travelled faster than the walking speed of a man, camels' ability to withstand harsh conditions made them ideal for communication and trade in the desert areas of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for centuries, though they could only travel on routes with sufficient sources of food and water.

Fez is the second largest city of Morocco, with a population of 1.1 million in 2014. Fez was the capital city of modern Morocco until 1925. The city has two old medina quarters, is listed as a World Heritage Site, and is believed to be one of the world's largest urban pedestrian zones (car-free areas). The University of Al Quaraouiyine, founded in 859, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the world.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, however, readers may wish to follow these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_train
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fez,_Morocco

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1904 Liebig card:
As soon as the last sheaf of grain has been bound, the male and female reapers go to the yard of the peasant for whom they work. In their midst is the youngest servant, who carries on his head a large wreath of flowers from which two branches protrude like horns, pointing upward and forward. In front of the house, where the master is waiting for them, the top servant wishes the house well-being and blessings. At the end, a maid pours a tub of water over the head of the reaper with the wreath, given that it is the belief there that this will impress the water spirits. After loud applause, the harvest festival begins with drink and dance.

Book 14: Exploring Western Asia

Famous Mosques:
The Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi

Excerpt from Book 16, Section 3

Firelighting by Friction in Ancient Times

Translation of commentary at the front of this 1892 Liebig card:
I am Sardanapalus, King of the Legions, King of Assyria; Nabu and Tashmetu gave him the gift of big ears and opened his eyes.


Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Sardanapalus, according to Greek legend, was the last king of Assyria, although in actuality Ashur-uballit II (612-605 B.C.) holds that distinction. Sardanapalus is portrayed as a decadent figure who spends his life in self-indulgence and dies in an orgy of destruction. However, the name Sardanapalus is probably a corruption of Ashurbanipal who in fact was a militarily powerful, highly efficient and scholarly ruler, presiding over the largest empire the world had yet seen.

Ashurbanipal (668-627 B.C.) was the last strong king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (934–609 B.C.). He is famed for amassing a significant collection of cuneiform documents for his royal palace at Nineveh.

Nabu is the ancient Mesopotamian patron god of literacy, the rational arts, scribes and wisdom. Nabu was worshipped by the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Nabu's symbol was a stylus resting on a tablet. Clay tablets with especial calligraphic skill were used as offerings at Nabu's temple. His wife was the goddess Tashmetu.

Tashmetu is a goddess, the consort of the god Nabu. She is called upon to listen to prayers and to grant requests. Tashmetum and Nabu both shared a temple in the city of Borsippa, in which they were patron deities.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardanapalus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashmetum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuneiform

Book 13: Exploring Russia and Central Asia

Excerpt from Book 9, Section 2

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1904 Liebig card:
Near the city of Krasnoyarsk, in the governorate Yeniseisk, one of the main stations, the railway crosses the Yenisei River on an iron bridge some 2,940 feet long, the largest one of the entire line. The Yeniseisk governorate is one of the most inhospitable regions of Siberia, mostly covered by forests and tundras (steppes), where Samoyeds and Yakuts move about. Most of the Samoyeds are nomads who live partly by breeding reindeer, partly by hunting. However, there are also some Samoyeds who have settled down and are engaged in fishing. Their dwellings consist of tents in the summer, of yurts in winter, the latter being put together with wooden boards and tree bark. With respect to religion, they embrace Shamanism. Apart from the reindeer, their most useful domesticated animal is the sled dog.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:

Krasnoyarsk is a city in Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia after Novosibirsk and Omsk. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city is notable for its nature landscapes; the author Anton Chekhov judged Krasnoyarsk to be the most beautiful city in Siberia.

The Yenisei is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob and the Lena).

The Samoyedic people are part of the Uralic family. They are a linguistic, ethnic and cultural grouping.

Yakuts are Turkic people who mainly inhabit the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The Yakuts are divided into two basic groups based on geography and economics. Yakuts in the north are historically semi-nomadic hunters, fishermen, reindeer breeders, while southern Yakuts engage in animal husbandry focusing on horses and cattle.

Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

Sled dogs were important for transportation in arctic areas, hauling supplies in areas that were inaccessible by other methods. They were used with varying success in the explorations of both poles.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, readers may wish to follow these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krasnoyarsk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yenisei_River
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samoyedic_peoples
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakuts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sled_dog


Excerpt from Book 13, Section 1

Excerpt from Book 5, Section 1

 The Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Contents
Foreword
1. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
2. Natural Wonders of the World
3. Famous Rock Formations
4. Strange Natural Bridges
5. Famous Caves
6. Magnificent Waterfalls
7. European Waterways
8. Non-European Waterways
9. Picturesque Fjords
10. Mountain Passes
11. Mountain Roads and Tunnels
12. Colossal Statues
13. Lost Cities
14. Lost Civilizations
15. Lights in the Sky

Book 5: Wonders of the World

Contents

Foreword
1. Medicinal Plants
2. Poisonous Plants
3. Plants Used for Colors
4. Plants in Art
5. Spice Plants
6. Carnivorous Plants
7. Sacred Plants
8. Night-blooming Plants
9. Nightshade Plants
10. Remarkable Trees
11. Exotic Food Plants
12. Desert Plants
13. High Mountain Flora
14. Useful Reeds and Cane Plants
15. Industrial Plants
Alphabetical Listing of Plants Discussed

Copyright 2014-2017 by Heinz Kohler

Contents
Foreword
1. From Antediluvian Times
2. From Different Geological Eras
3. Creatures of the Sea
4. Animals in Art
5. Sacred Animals
6. Famous Individuals
7. Mammals without Teeth
8. Useful Insects
9. Insects and Flowers
10. Camouflaging Insects
11. Butterflies, Birds and Flowers
12. Butterflies of the Day
13. Butterflies of the Night
14. Poisonous Snakes
15. High Mountain Dwellers
16. Beasts of Burden
17. Creatures of the Zodiac
18. Animals Having Fun
Alphabetical Listing of Animals Discussed



Solution to the previous question: Wrong. Look at the green-headed person on his hands and knees in the lower right, dressed in brown and crouching in front of the tree and rose bush.
 
A man who runs a ferry across a river, but his small boat can only accommodate one item or passenger at a time. At the end of the day, he wants to go home to that pretty little house on the other side, next to the church. He has a goat, a wolf, and a cabbage and wants to take them home as well. Clearly, he has to make three separate crossings from here to the opposite shore, but how can he keep the three alive and in good shape? If he takes the wolf first and leaves the goat behind, the goat will eat the cabbage. If he takes the cabbage first and leaves the two animals behind, the wolf will eat the goat. If he takes the goat first and then comes back to get the cabbage, the goat will eat it the moment he turns his back to fetch the wolf. And if he takes the goat first and then comes back to get the wolf, the wolf will eat the goat when he goes back to get the cabbage! What is the poor guy to do?


Solution:

He takes the goat first; the wolf won’t touch the cabbage in the meantime. Then he comes back empty to get the cabbage and deposits it on the opposite shore. But he takes the goat along for the return trip. He lets out the goat and picks up the wolf to join the cabbage. Finally, he goes back empty to get the goat. Now they are all on the other shore and, as in the beginning, nobody hurts anybody or anything as long as he is around!


Excerpt from Book 2, Section 3


3. Find What’s Hidden

Here is the first of 78 pictures in which something is hidden. Can you find it? In each case, a solution is given on the next page.

Surely No One Is Listening In?

Excerpts from Book 1, Section 1
Birds of Prey

Birds of prey or raptors are among the most beautiful birds on earth.
Here we meet some of the best known ones from around the world.


       Bearded vulture       Egyptian vulture       Condor

Excerpt from Book 7, Section 3

Excerpt from Book 15, Section 1

Excerpt from Book 11, Section 8

Excerpt from Book 10, Section 1

San Julia de Loria
Mailman from Seo de Urgele

Excerpt from Book 13, Section 4

Excerpt from Book 11, Section 1

Book 6: The World's Greatest Inventions

Pictures from Serbia:

A Harvest Custom

On the Trans-Siberian Railway:
The Yenisei Bridge at Krasnoyarsk
Samoyeds in the Tundra

Translation of commentary on the front of this 1894 Liebig card:
Rome St. Peter’s Basilica and Forum
Venice
Naples and Mount Vesuvius

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schoolbooks had this to say on the subject:

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

The Roman Forum is a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world and in all history.

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 117 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. These are located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers.

Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan.

Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in A.D. 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and several other settlements. That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash, and fumes to a height of over 20 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing.

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet and learn even more by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Basilica
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Forum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naples
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius

Mediterranean Travels:

Italy

Translation of commentary at the back of this 1907 Liebig card:
Lapps live in the extreme northeastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. They are a nomadic people of Finnish origin and let their reindeer herds graze on the moss-covered slopes of mountains. They dress themselves exclusively with home-made clothes woven from the hair of reindeer and spruce up their sacklike garments with colorful banding. Naturally, reindeer pelts are also utilized as clothing, mainly because they are best suited to repel rain due to the high fat content of the individual hairs. Belts and straps are made from reindeer leather, but shoes from fur with leather edgings. In the winter, Lapps, like all Scandinavians, wear snowshoes in the utilization of which they are masterful.

Nowadays, we can, of course, also turn to the real internet to learn even more about Finland by googling the title of our picture or, more directly, following these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapland_%28Finland%29
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer

Excerpt from Book 8, Section 1

Contents

Foreword
1. Gibraltar
2. Spain
3. Southern France
4. Monaco

5. Malta
6. Italy
7. San Marino



Translation of commentary on the back of this 1912 Liebig card:

In ancient times, crossing the Alps was considered a dangerous risk and given the primitive means of transport of those days, it certainly was. Of historic importance was the Alpine crossing of Hannibal, the Carthaginian commander who moved against the Romans in 218 B.C. It took him 15 days to cross the mighty mountains. He had started out with 90,000 men on foot, 12,000 on horseback, and 37 elephants, but half of this army fell victim to the effort.

Comment
Many decades later, the author’s German schools, and then the real internet, provided additional information on the subject, which is briefly sampled here:


Hannibal (247- about 181 B.C.), fully Hannibal Barca, was a Punic military commander from Carthage, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history.

Hannibal's crossing of the Alps in 218 B.C. was one of the major events of the Second Punic War, and one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare. Bypassing Roman and allied land garrisons and Roman naval dominance, Hannibal managed to lead his Carthaginian army over the Alps and into Italy to take the war directly to the Roman Republic.

To learn considerably more and view great photographs of the subject matter, however, readers may wish to follow these links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal%27s_crossing_of_the_Alps

The Dardanelles:
Roumeli Hissar
Kilid-ül-Bahr Castle
Musician Beggar


Contents

Foreword
1. Russia
2. Georgia
3. Armenia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Mongolia

6. Tibet

7. Uzbekistan

8. Turkmenistan

9. Kazakhstan
10. Afghanistan