10 Dirty History Facts That Got Skipped In Class

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8. Cocaine Tampons

Historically, humans don’t have a stellar record when it comes to treating female-specific ailments. As far back as ancient Greece, vaginal pains were relieved using tampons soaked in opium and belladonna. And while you might expect this to be just another absurd ancient medical practice, similar techniques survived well into the 19th century.

When cocaine began being used as a surgical anesthetic in the mid-1800s, it often came in the form of an antiseptic tampon that was applied to bullet wounds. Toward the end of the century, cocaine was regarded as a valid treatment for gynecological illnesses, so women were prescribed cocaine tampons. Soon enough, cocaine absorbed vaginally became a panacea that could treat a wide range of ailments. These included inflammations, uterine diseases, cervical endometritis, painful childbirth, and even sore nipples.

7. Desecration Of Constantinople

The Latin Empire of Constantinople is not well known today because it only lasted for about 50 years. After the Fourth Crusade, many crusaders led by Baldwin of Flanders mutinied against the Byzantine Empire, laid siege on Constantinople, and sacked the city in 1204. Baldwin proclaimed himself Emperor Baldwin I and declared his new Latin Empire as the true descendant of Rome.

The sacking of the city was recorded by Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. He wrote how the crusaders plundered every religious artifact they found. They stole reliquaries, vessels, and utensils made of precious metals while breaking everything that wasn’t of monetary value. The sacred altar in the Hagia Sophia was broken down into small bits and distributed among the soldiers. Even so, Choniates considered the greatest desecration when the crusaders placed a naked prostitute on the patriarchal throne and had her sing and dance for entertainment.

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