Saturday, November 23, 2013

Encyclopedia definitions of Tehran and Tunkers, circa 1882

Back in August 2011, I wrote about Volume XIV of the 1882 edition of The American Universal Cyclopædia. It was a book that was in bad shape, but still held more than 800 pages of 19th century knowledge, from Strangulation to Vegetable.

It's a book that keeps giving for lifelong learners, and so I want to share a couple of entries this afternoon. These are images of the actual entries, so you will probably have to click on them to make them larger and more easily readable.

To me, it's fascinating stuff from 131 years ago, though I'll admit it's a bit on the obscure end of the educational scale. But, then again, I like obscure.

The entry about the capital of Iran mentions mud-built villages, the Elburz mountains, shoemaking, and the construction of telegraph lines. Most jaw-droppingly, though, it states that the population of Tehran varies between 80,000 and 120,000, depending on the season.

Tehran's population today is 8.2 million in the city proper and nearly 14 million in the metropolitan area.

The Tunkers are known today as Old German Baptist Brethren. Other names they have been indentified with over the years include Dunkers, Dunkards, and Täufer. (Tunken is a German word meaning, "to dip," which relates to the group's practice of baptism by immersion.)

They are also known at the Harmless people, according to this article.

Read more about Tunkers on Wikipedia and in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

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