If you take a good look on the world today, you will see that it’s easier than ever for people to get their 15 minutes of fame, thanks to the wonders of the internet and social media. But centuries ago, when we had no smartphones with internet connection and no quality games at the euro palace mobile casino in our pockets, celebrities still existed. Perhaps the slower speed at which their fame reached various parts of the continent made them remembered even to this day.
1. Count of St. Germain (1712 – 1784)
The Count of St. Germain was considered by many a Renaissance man (meaning a man with expertise in more than one areas). He was a courtier, a scientist and an artist. His name and deeds are the subject of a series of literary works created ever since, from Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades” to the SyFy TV series Warehouse 13.
According to records, he contributed to a successful opera called L’incostanza delusa while in England in 1745. The same year he was being arrested in London under suspicion of espionage. He spoke English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and he understood Polish. He was a diplomat in France between 1748 and 1749, during which time he was described by the famous Casanova as a “celebrated and learned impostor”. “This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of ten or twelve small diamonds, one large one of the finest water without any loss of weight. All this, he said, was a mere trifle to him.”
2. Grigori Rasputin (1869 – 1916)
Rasputin was a Russian peasant, faith healer and friend to the family of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia. He has become famous for his influence on the Russian royal family, which made him a mote in many eyes, ultimately leading to his downfall. Perhaps the best known story about him was the time of him being murdered. First he was poisoned, but that had close to no effect on him. He was shot in the back, but he refused to die again. He was again shot in the back and in the head, but he was still alive. Then he was beaten and thrown into the frozen Niva – but evidence shows that he tried to claw his way out from under the ice.
3. Elizabeth Báthory (1560 – 1614)
A royal figure with a gruesome record: she is remembered as the most prolific female serial killer in history. The exact number of her victims is still debated, but one thing is for sure: she has killed hundreds of young women between 1585 and 1610. According to her trial records, initially she lured young peasant girls to her castle in Csejte by offering them work as maidservants. Later she started killing the daughters of the lesser gentry, sent to her to learn courtly etiquette. The court records speak of her biting, beating, freezing, starving and mutilating the girls, but the popular legend claims that she has bathed in their blood to preserve her youth and beauty.
Article Submitted By Community Writer