Designer Reimagines the Roads of the Roman Empire as a Subway Map

To better comprehend the scale of the ancient Roman Empire, look at its roadways. In 125 CE, its routes stretched from northern Europe to the Middle East, and a designer has found a way to present this sprawling network in a package modern audiences are familiar with. As Creators reports, Alexandr Sasha Trubetskoy’s latest maps depict the hypothetical subway system of a 1000-year-old empire.

When designing his maps, Trubetskoy referred to geographical data from Stanford's ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary, a centuries-old series of records that document the Roman Empire's road names. The map isn’t 100 percent accurate (he took artistic license combining routes that overlapped and giving names to roads that didn’t have them), but all the most prolific roads and cities from the period are represented.

The roads of Italy during the Roman Empire imagines as a subway map.

The roads of Spain during the Roman Empire imagines as a subway map.

Trubetskoy is currently majoring in statistics and economics at the University of Chicago, but he enjoys making offbeat maps when he’s not studying. You can see more of his projects on his website.

[h/t Creators]

All images courtesy of Alexandr Sasha Trubetskoy.

A Ring Containing a Lock of Charlotte Brontë’s Hair Found Its Way to Antiques Roadshow

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A ring that “very likely” contains a lock of Charlotte Brontë’s hair appeared on a recent episode of the Antiques Roadshow that was filmed in northern Wales, according to The Guardian. The jewelry itself isn’t especially valuable; the TV show's appraiser, jewelry specialist Geoffrey Munn, said he would have priced it at £25, or about $32.

However, an inscription of the Jane Eyre author’s name as well as the year she died (1855) raises the value to an estimated £20,000 ($26,000). That isn’t too shabby, considering that the owner found the ring among her late father-in-law’s belongings in the attic.

A section of the ring comes unhinged to reveal a thin strand of hair inside—but did it really belong to one of the famous Brontë sisters? Munn seems to think so, explaining that it was not uncommon for hair to be incorporated into jewelry in the 19th century.

“There was a terror of not being able to remember the face and character of the person who had died,” he said. “Hair wreaths” and other pieces of "hair work" were popular ways of paying tribute to deceased loved ones in England and America from the 17th century to the early 20th century.

In this case, the hair inside the ring was finely braided. Munn went on to add, “It echoes a bracelet Charlotte wore of her two sisters’ hair … So it’s absolutely the focus of the mid- to late 19th century and also the focus of Charlotte Brontë.”

The Brontë Society & Brontë Parsonage Museum, which has locks of Brontë’s hair in its collection, said that it had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the ring.

[h/t The Guardian]

From Cocaine to Chloroform: 28 Old-Timey Medical Cures


Is your asthma acting up? Try eating only boiled carrots for a fortnight. Or smoke a cigarette. Have you got a toothache? Electrotherapy might help (and could also take care of that pesky impotence problem). When it comes to our understanding of medicine and illnesses, we’ve come a long way in the past few centuries. Still, it’s always fascinating to take a look back into the past and remember a time when cocaine was a common way to treat everything from hay fever to hemorrhoids.

In this week's all-new edition of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is highlighting all sorts of bizarre, old-timey medical cures. You can watch the full episode below.

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