One of my favorite stories.
To see the eclipse, some people would go outdoors, but most will read about it on the Internet. Maybe somebody will post an image.
“He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.”
Ah Columbus... a masterful politician... lying, lying, lying to get what he wanted...
To bad Bobby didn’t have an almanac on that fateful canoe trip down the Cahulawassee...
You see, it was the eclipse.
It came into my mind in the nick of time, how Columbus,
or Cortez, or one of those people, played an eclipse as
a saving trump once, on some savages, and I saw my chance.
I could play it myself, now, and it wouldn’t be any
plagiarism, either, because I should get it in nearly
a thousand years ahead of those parties.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Imagine if some guy said “Tomorrow the sun (or moon) will be covered with a shadow; it will be an omen that the world will end. But don’t worry. I know what to do. You need to appease the angry gods with much gold and your virgin daughters (delivered to the intermediary to the Gods...ME!). Once the gold and virgins are delivered I will ask the Gods for intercession and the shadow will be removed from the sun (or moon).”
You might think he is full of it at first. But loe and behold the shadow comes, you give him what he wants, he does his mumbo jumbo and the shadow is removed. -
Another eclipse with historical significance was the lunar eclipse of August 27, 413 B.C., during the Peloponnesian War. The Athenians had been about to abandon their siege of Syracuse, but the eclipse led their superstitious general Nicias to consult the soothsayers, who told him they must wait 27 days before moving. The Syracusans forced a battle before the 27 days were up, but the delay may have made the difference in the final outcome of the campaign—the Athenian forces were all killed or captured...a total disaster.
Sorry, couldn't resist
Note: this topic is from February 19, 2008.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
This trick would not have worked on the Mayans or Aztecs since they had the lunar eclipse already predicted in their almanacs.