What modern day item could you take back in time…

…that would make ancient peoples believe you were a God?

I found this over at ‘I Always Wondered’ and thought it was fun!


If you could travel back in time (sidebar: you can’t), and take with you one modern-day item, what item would you take in order to make the people you might encounter during, say, the renaissance, believe you were God.

Please remember, the people in power during this time were fickle. Heads were rolling left and right. Literally. A stranger coming into their land, wearing strage clothes, and speaking in a strage tongue, telling them not to eat where the rats poop because of the teeny tiny germs that will make them sick is a good way to end up on burning at the stake, thrown into a cold dark asylum, or beheaded. Bringing a printed version of Wikipedia, could help propel yourelf into the top ranks of the Kingdom, you could do some good things, but ultimately, at some point, you will be expendable. Your goal is to become a God in the eyes of ALL of the people.  This is the only way to ensure that your head will stay firmly attached to your neck.

Special note: playing off their particular religious views could go both ways for you, so it’s simply best to leave it alone. Being labeled a heretic in these times will make you wish you were being beheaded. You’ve been warned.

ONE ITEM. Some things to consider:

  1. It should be something simple that does something amazing. Taking a brand new iPhone 4 would be cool, but when your battery dies after 3 hours of demoing Angry Birds to all of the Kingdom, it’s going to lose it’s luster. This item needs to last as long as you do. The minute it stops being amazing, you’ll be beheaded.
  2. Speaking of batteries, You might want to reconsider taking anything electronic. Even if the item is solar powered, something on it is bound to break, and then you’ll be beheaded.
  3. Something that is capable of putting on a show for the people, flashy lights, crazy sounds, smoke, etc. is a plus. You’re less likely to be beheaded if you can scare the shit out of them with ‘magic’. Which brings me to the next thing to consider:
  4. Something you can lie about is also good. For instance telling the Kingdom that pointing this laser pen at them will capture their souls, which you will then keep in your pocket next to some change and an old Starbucks receipt will surely grant you a seat at the King’s table. No way you’ll be beheaded.
  5. Something that only a modern day person would know how to operate would be helpful. That way, when the King’s men, in a beautiful fit of heroism storm into your new castle, past your Harem (of course), and manage to take the item from you, they cannot replicate its functionality.
  6. In that same vein something that couldn’t, with all of the King’s resources and every peasant working it, be reversed engineered. So toss that rape whistle or spork in the bin next to the Time Machine before you get in.
  7. Something that could be extremely helpful to the Kingdom, that would increase overall quality of life, would also let them know you’re a God who doesn’t JUST loves Harems and Mead, but also the people. There could be a tradeoff though, say if you bring medicine for the plague, which you eradicate, you’ve become a one trick pony  who will inevitably lose his head for something.


The suggestions in the comments are hi-la-ri-ous! From Zippo lighters, to guns, to hypnotism, to a microscope.

So the question is: What would you bring?

I think I would bring a history book, or a book of facts to predict events. Not the type of event which would alter history, but the type that would make you God-like and awe-inspiring.

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