September 14th, 2005

stimulants pre-coffee popularity

Okay, am pondering. What stimulants did people commonly use pre- the discovery of caffeine? (tea, coffee, etc) I know coffee was discovered in Ethiopia eons ago, and had been around Arabia for a long time, but it didn't really spread to Europe and beyond until at least Tudor times, and by Regency/Georgian times it was mostly known as something drunk by the middle-classes, since coffeehouses were where merchants and speculators discussed business and share-trading, and the more popular ones became the stockmarket trading floors. (Lloyds of London, etc)

Anyway. What I want to know is what did people use as a mild stimulant (for waking up/staying awake purposes) pre-coffee popularity? (and yes, I know tea has more caffeine, but no-one uses tea as a stimulant. Besides, it came from the East much later than coffee.) And I want common ones available to the unwashed masses - guarine, taurine and so on have only really gained popularity in the last couple of decades.

Google only turns up medical stimulants and research into caffeine itself.
  • Current Mood: curious
  • Current Music: Anything Goes overture

Use of m'lady/Milady

So, I've looked, and even asked a few people.

Here's the odd question:

What is the proper usage of "m'lady" and "milady?"

I've heard that one ("m'lady") is the commoner version; while "milady" is what a nobleman would use for someone higher ranked, or from a Court servant.

I want to be sure I have it right.

It's a very minor detail, but I don't want to get it wrong.

Thanks!
  • Current Mood: confused

Hecate's hounds

I cannot, for the life of me, find the names of the two hounds often represented as accompanying the goddess, Hecate. Does anyone here know?

Not Cerberus or Kerebos, that would be only one hound. In myth, everything is named, I need to know the names of the pair of large black hounds.

Egyptian Book of the Dead

Can anyone give me some examples of the trials a newly-deceased soul would have to face in the underworld, as discribed by the Egyptian Book of the Dead (and any related Egyptian texts)? Specifically, I'd like episodes with demons and other nasty things, as I am going to have a character go through these trials and I'd like her ordeal to be dramatic (not to mention traumatic). I've been searching around, but I've only been able to find vague references to the exsistance of said trials and things about the weighing of the soul, which isn't really what I'm looking for.

Thanks for any help in advance!
  • Current Mood: confused