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It Pays to Know your History

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past”.

Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794) an English historian and Member of Parliament.

History is a story about the past which is significant and true. Our view of history shapes the way we view the present and judge the future. History plays an important part in our daily life.  Almost all the things we use in our day to day life, or all the activities that we do, have history behind them. One of the main functions of history is to bring about awareness of the world and of the things around us and help see them in perspective. When one understands history, one can understand the basic concepts and ideas behind them.

From something as glamorous as an American wedding to something as mundane as automobile insurance, everything has a history behind it. Similarly there is a history associated behind the handbags that ladies carry, to the bikinis that one adorns at a beach. Even something as mundane as shoes has an interesting history behind it. For instance, while so many women adorn high heels and simply cannot do without them, how many have actually given a thought to the history behind high heels? It may therefore come as a surprise that during the Middle Ages, it was common for both men and women to wear something known as pattens, or wooden soles, that were clearly a precursor to the high heel one sees today. However the formal invention of high heels as a fashion can be traced back to the 1500’s where Catherine de Medici was engaged to be married to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later the King of France. To overcome her rather short stature she donned high heels to give her a taller look.

Again, who doesn’t like chocolates? From young children to old, rich to poor, chocolate has been a major source of temptation for all. Young men often woo their ladylove with chocolates on Valentine’s day, birthday, or other such occasions. Whether it is in the form of a hot creamy, frothy beverage or as individually shaped bar, chocolate is just as endearing to all. But how many have even given a thought to the history behind this wonderful thing? The history of chocolate is indeed intriguing and enthralling. The word cacao, which is the key ingredient in chocolates, is believed to be a loan word from the Maya, from a family of languages called Mixe-Zoquean, the history of which can be traced back to Mesoameric. It is also believed that cacao was used by the Maya as a currency and in religious functions in addition to its culinary applications.

History is of particular relevance in this e-age, where the young live in a make-believe virtual world. A world so different from the reality one has to face, when he or she graduates from young to adult. If the history associated with different customs, institutions and rituals, such as the institution of marriage, they would be respected for what they are and the purpose they serve. is a website dedicated to history lovers. Specially created by history enthusiasts, this site provides the Web's best selection of history on various topics. The site also has some interesting and fascinating facts on random topics. From food to pregnancy, dolphins to horses, this site carries the history on various topics. One can even request the history behind a topic of interest.

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