Seventeenth century letters read at last

The suitcase with seventeenth century letters

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Unopened mail from 17th century read at last

Today, 13:06

Scientists will at last read a collection of hundreds of never-opened letters from the seventeenth century and study them. The mail was in a trunk of a seventeenth-century postmaster from The Hague. This suitcase was last summer rediscovered in the archives of the The Hague Museum for Communication.

There were more than 2600 items of mail in it, including about 600 sealed letters. With modern scanning techniques such letters can be read without breaking the seals. The research is led by scientists from the Universities of Groningen and Leiden, and they get help from the universities of Oxford and Yale, among others.


By reading the letters, the researchers hope to learn more about everyday life in the seventeenth century. “The letters are from all walks of life,” said David van der Linden of the University of Groningen. “There’s mail by doctors and spies, but also by people who could barely write.”

The postmaster whose suitcase this was led postal transport between the southern Netherlands and France. According to Van der Linden the letters may tell much about the migration between the Netherlands and France in those years.

Uzbekistan dictatorship bans political science

Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan map

Weekly The Observer in Britain writes today that the bloody dictatorship in Uzbekistan has banned political science:

In a decree issued on 24 August and later made public, higher education minister Alisher Vakhabov ordered that the words “political science” be dropped from the name of the last remaining course in the subject widely taught in the country, which will now be called The Theory and Practice of Building a Democratic Society in Uzbekistan. It also required universities to move all literature relating to political science from the “general fund to a special fund”, which means students and academics will need permission to access it.

So, in Uzbekistan, the dictator calls his dictatorship ‘democracy’.

Tony Blair, George W Bush, Hillary Clinton and other NATO country politicians seem to agree with this, eagerly wooing the Uzbek dictatorship as a ‘friend’ and a military ally.

I bet the dictatorship’s higher education minister Alisher Vakhabov would be willing to make an exemption about this new rule for at least one political science professor: Herfried Münkler from Germany. Like the Uzbek tyranny, Herr Münkler supports war. Like the Uzbek tyranny, Herr Münkler supports national chauvinism. Like the Uzbek tyranny, Herr Münkler supports dictatorship. Like the Uzbek tyranny, Herr Münkler hates refugees.