General Knowledge

last update: 14 May 2020

Many trivia topics are specific, e.g. Greek gods or US national parks, and each will find its place on a specific webpage (eventually…).

This webpage is dedicated to those trivia topics that don't easily fall into a well defined subject domain. The first topic is a case in point.

Major Religions Festivals

Paradises, Utopias, Heavens, Hells, and Mythical Places

Home of the Gods
Asgard - a mystical place that is home to the gods in Norse mythology. Valhalla is Odin's afterlife hall for those slain on the battlefield, which was located in Asgard.
Heaven - or the heavens, is a common religious cosmological, or transcendent supernatural place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live.
Kunlun - is a mountain or mountain range in Chinese mythology, and an important symbol representing the axis mundi and divinity. It is the dwelling place of various gods and goddesses, where fabled plants and mythical creatures may also be found.
Mount Olympus - the home of the Greek gods was on the Mytikas peak.
Takamagahara - in Shinto it is the dwelling place of the heavenly gods.
Vaikuntha - is the celestial dwelling of Vishnu who is the principal deity of the Universes and known to be the supreme being in Vedic, Hinduism, and its Vaishnavism traditions.

Utopias - utopias are imaginary societies with a near perfect quality of life for it's citizens
A Modern Utopia - H. G. Wells (1866-1946) describes an imaginary, progressive utopia on a planetary scale in which the social and technological environment are in continuous improvement, a world state owns all land and power sources, positive compulsion and physical labour have been all but eliminated, general freedom is assured, and an open, voluntary order of "samurai" rules.
Arcadia - a mythical Greek vision of idyllic pastoralism and harmony with unspoilt nature, and associated with the ancient region of Arcadia. Takes its name from Arcas, the mythological king of Arcadia, remembered for teaching the arts of weaving and baking bread. It was the home of the Pan, the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, rustic music, and the companion of nymphs.
Atlantis - a fictional island mentioned by Plato, who justified the superiority of his concept of a state because Atlantis had failed to conquer Athens. Later Atlantis fell out of favour with the deities and it sunk into the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantis was taken up as an example of a utopia by Renaissance writers such as Francis Bacon and Thomas More.
Cloud Cuckoo Land - Aristophanes (ca. 446-386 BC), a Greek playwright, wrote in and directed in ca. 414 BC a drama The Birds, describing a state of absurdly, over-optimistic fantasy or an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect.
Erewhon - Samuel Butler described a fictional country (the title is 'nowhere' backwards) as a satire on Victorian society.
Island - Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) created the fictional utopian society on an island called Pala.
Islandia - where Austin Tappan Wright (1993-1931) described an imaginary island containing many Arcadian elements, including a policy of isolation from the outside world and a rejection of industrialism.
Islands of the Sun - is a utopian novel by Iambulus sometime between 165 and 50 BC. It chronicles the journey of the eponymous character Iambulus who discovers a seemingly perfect island nation.
New Atlantis - an incomplete utopian novel by Francis Bacon (1561-1626), depicting the creation of a utopian land where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit" are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants.
News from Nowhere - William Morris (1843-1896) described 'Nowhere' as a place without politics, a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production.
Oceana - described by James Harrington in 1656 as a constitutionalist utopian republic in which a balanced allocation of land ensured a balanced government.
Paititi - a legendary Inca lost city or utopian rich land, allegedly lying East of the Andes.
Panchaia - an island, first mentioned by ancient Greek philosopher Euhemerus in the late 4th century BC, and home to a society made up of a number of different ethnic tribes. Described by Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 260-340 AD) as a rational island paradise located in the Indian Ocean.
Shangri-La - mystical, harmonious earthly paradise, isolated from the world, a kind of Himalayan utopia.
Utopia - about how things should be in the new island 'Utopia' written by Thomas More (1478–1535).
Walden Two - B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) described a community in which every aspect of living is put to rigorous scientific testing.

Mythical Places
The Fields of Aaru is a heavenly paradise where Osiris ruled. Those souls who passed the Weighing of the Heart were allowed to start a long and perilous journey to the Field of Reeds, where they will exist in pleasure for all eternity.
Amaravati is a sacred city in Hindu mythology located inside the celestial realm known as Indraloka. The heaven of Lord Indra is a region for the virtuous alone with celestial gardens called Nandana.
Avalon - the legendary King Arthur was taken there on a black boat to recover from his wounds after fighting Mordred at the Battle of Camlann. The place was where "the ladies live who know all the magic of the world", and it was also where the Excalibur was forged.
Axis mundi - the Earth's axis, representing the connection between Heaven and Earth.
Brahmaloka - Located on Mount Meru, in Buddhist tradition this is the highest of the joyful worlds a person might attain. In Hindu mythology Brahmaloka is the abode Lord Brahma, the creator god. Brahmaloka is a garden filled with all kind of flowers.
Camelot - mythical castle and court of the legendary King Arthur.
El Dorado - a mythical place in Colombia where an abundance of precious stones and gold coins were to be found. It was thought to be located on Lake Parime, beyond the mountain on the left bank of the Orinoco River.
Elysian Fields - in Ancient Greece this was a paradise where the righteous and heroic remained after death.
Fortunate Isles - or Isles of the Blessed were semi-legendary islands in the Atlantic Ocean, variously treated as a simple geographical location and as a winterless earthly paradise inhabited by the heroes of Greek mythology.
Garden of Eden - a paradise described in the Book of Genesis, and home of Adam and Eve.
Garden of the Hesperides - in Greek mythology this was the garden of the nymphs of evening and sunset.
Mictlān - the underworld of Aztec mythology and where most people who die would go. There are nine levels, and the dead must pass many challenges to go from the first to the ninth level.
Mount Meru is the sacred five-peaked mountain of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the centre of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. In Hindu mythology Mount Meru is also the location of Brahmaloka, the abode Lord Brahma, the creator god.
Nirvāṇa - is not a place but is commonly associated with Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and represents its ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra. All Indian religions assert it to be a state of perfect quietude, freedom, highest happiness as well as the liberation from or ending of samsāra, the repeating cycle of birth, life and death.
Swarga is one of the seven higher esoteric plane in Hindu cosmology. Swarga is a set of heavenly worlds located on and above Mount Meru where the righteous live in paradise waiting their next incarnation.
Tlālōcān - is described in several Aztec codices as a paradise, ruled over by the rain deity Tlaloc. It welcomes those who died through drowning or lightning, or as a consequence of diseases associated with the rain deity.
Valhalla - Odin's enormous afterlife hall for those slain on the battlefield, which was located in Asgard. Half of those slain went to Valhalla, and half went to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr.

Duat - in Egyptian mythology those souls who did not pass the Weighing of the Heart fell into the crocodilian jaws of the demon Ammit. After this 'second death', the soul was doomed to restlessness in Duat.
Diyu - is the realm of the dead or 'hell' in Chinese mythology.
Hel - in Norse mythology it is a location that shares a name with Hel, a being who rules over the location. It is said to be place for those who have died of sickness and old age (in opposition to Valhalla).
Hell - an afterlife location in which evil souls are subjected to punitive suffering, often torture as eternal punishment after death.
Irkalla - an ancient Mesopotamian underworld that was a dark, dreary cavern located deep below the ground, and where inhabitants were believed to continue 'a shadowy version of life on earth'.
Naraka - the realm of hell in Indian religions, and according to some schools of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, it is a place of torment.
Purgatory - an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification.
Xibalba - a 'place of fear' or underworld in Maya mythology, ruled by the Maya death gods and their helpers.
Yomi - is the Japanese word for the land of the dead (World of Darkness), and according to Shinto mythology is related in Kojiki, the place where the dead go in the afterlife.