Page 227. " it becomes a desert cat. Very Egyptian "
Desert Cat
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDesert Cat - Credit: Sonelle

The African wildcat,  also known as the Desert Cat, is a subspecies of the Wildcat. Some individuals were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, and are the ancestors of the Domestic Cat.  

Bronze cat in the form of the goddess Bastet
Public DomainBronze cat in the form of the goddess Bastet - Credit: Jon Bodsworth

 Cats, known in Ancient Egypt as the mau, played a role in ancient Egyptian society. Praised for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise. The cat goddess Bast (also known as Bastet) represented protection, fertility, and motherhood. As a revered animal and one important to Egyptian society and religion, some cats got the same mummification after death as humans. Mummified cats were given in offering to Bast.  The respect that cats received after death mirrored the respect they were treated with in everyday life.

 

Page 228. " Were you at Angkor Thom? "

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom
Creative Commons AttributionBayon Temple, Angkor Thom - Credit: David Sim
Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII. It covers an area of 9 km², within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.
Angkor Thom, East Gate
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAngkor Thom, East Gate - Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

The last temple known to have been constructed in Angkor Thom was Mangalartha, which was dedicated in 1295. In the following centuries Angkor Thom remained the capital of a kingdom in decline until it was abandoned some time prior to 1609.  It is believed to have sustained a population of 80,000-150,000 people. The city lies on the right bank of the Siem Reap River, a tributary of Tonle Sap, about a quarter of a mile from the river.

Page 228. " You know, the Khmer Empire "
Ta Prohm Temple, built by king Jayavarman VII
Creative Commons AttributionTa Prohm Temple, built by king Jayavarman VII - Credit: Allie Caulfield

The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful civilisations in Southeast Asia. Located in what is now Cambodia, it flourished from the 9th to the 15th century. The empire ruled over or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of its capital city. Angkor bears testimony to the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth, as well as the variety of belief systems that it held. 

Page 228. " when they conquered Thailand "
The Grand Palace of Thailand, Bangkok
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Grand Palace of Thailand, Bangkok - Credit: Tevaprapas Makklay

 Thailand lies at the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Formerly known as Siam, Thailand came under the control of the Khmer Empire around the tenth century AD.

Google Map
Page 230. " This time to a scarab beetle "

Scarab Beetle, painting in Egyptian tomb
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeScarab Beetle, painting in Egyptian tomb - Credit: Hajor

Scarab beetle may refer to either a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae, or to the dung beetle, especially the Scarabaeus sacer worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as an embodiment of the god Khepri.

Dung beetle (Scarabaeus laticollis)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDung beetle (Scarabaeus laticollis) - Credit: Rafael Brix

 

Page 236. " Yes! And laurel...and St John's Wort "

Laurel
Creative Commons AttributionLaurel - Credit: Gary Houston
 Laurel is a Mediterranean evergreen tree (Laurus nobilis) having aromatic, simple leaves and small blackish berries. Also called bay, bay laurel, sweet bay. Laurel was the source of the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, and therefore the expression of "resting on one's laurels". In the Bible, the sweet-bay is often an emblem of prosperity and fame. In Christianity, it symbolizes the Resurrection of Christ and the triumph of Humanity thereby.
St John's Wort
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSt John's Wort - Credit: Rasbak

 St John’s Wort refers to any of numerous plants of the genus Hypericum having yellow flowers and transparently dotted leaves; it was traditionally gathered on St John's eve to ward off evil. St John's wort is widely known as a herbal treatment for depression.

Page 238. " I see Faust's Compendium "

Faust - Etching by Rembrandt
Public DomainFaust - Etching by Rembrandt - Credit: Rembrandt
Faust or Faustus (Latin for "auspicious" or "lucky", but also German for "fist") is the protagonist of a classic German legend who makes a deal with the Devil to exchange his soul for knowledge. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works. Faust, and the adjective Faustian, are often used to describe an unsavoury, ultimately self-destructive arrangement, the proverbial "deal with the devil". The terms can also refer to an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

A compendium is a concise, yet comprehensive compilation of a body of knowledge. A compendium may summarize a larger work.

Page 243. " with the Union Jack flying "

Union Flag
Creative Commons AttributionUnion Flag - Credit: Martin H.
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.