Alexander the Great

Photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows an ancient gymnasium dating back about 2,300

First Ever Greek-Style Gymnasium Unearthed in Egypt

A team of German and Egyptian archaeologists has unearthed the first Hellenistic gymnasium ever found in Egypt. Experts suggest that the gymnasium was used during the Ptolemaic period for training...
Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist

The Cold Case of Alexander the Great: Have Toxicologists Finally Explained His Untimely Death?

It might be a surprise to learn that Alexander the Great was only 32 when he died in Babylon in June 323 BC. In a short period of 12 years as ruler he managed to create an empire stretching from...
What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

Anaxarchus and Pyrrho. These are two names which are not as well known to the general public as those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Yet these men are no less important. While the latter three...
Payava's tomb from Xanthos, now in the British Museum.

Culturally Mixed Messages in the Tomb of Payava: Is it Greek or Persian?

The Tomb of Payava is a decorative rectangular tomb that was transported in the 19th century from a site in Turkey to England is one of the most remarkable artifacts related to Lycian culture...
Remains of the Apadana, the Audience Palace

Alexander the Great’s Capital Punishment? The Building of Persepolis and its Flaming Demise

Persepolis is an ancient city that once served as the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis is the Greek name for ‘Parsa’, and both these names mean ‘Persian City’ or ‘City of the...
Pasargadae Tomb in Shiraz, Iran.

Was the Magnificent Monumental Tomb of Pasargadae Really Built for Cyrus the Great?

The tomb of Cyrus the Great is the name given to a monument located in the ancient Persian city of Pasargadae. This city was founded by Cyrus, and served as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire until...
Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Zoroaster was a prophet of ancient Persia, whose teachings laid the foundation for the religion known as Zoroastrianism, which largely dominated the land of Iran until the arrival of Islam after the...
“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

Would kings, dictators and statesmen have used Wills in the ancient Greek world to assure successions, pass down estates and document their last wishes? ‘All will be well but in case anything should...
Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

When Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony closed their eyes for the last time, passing through to their longed-for afterlife, among the successors were their three orphans: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra...
Relief carving of Alexander the Great.

The Romance of Alexander the Great: Are the Legends Really True?

The real-life history of Alexander the Great is a fascinating story. The legends associated with his exploits have gripped people’s imagination for centuries. From Spain to India, from Scotland to...
In Search of The Lost Testament of Alexander the Great: Excavating Homeric Heroes

In Search of The Lost Testament of Alexander the Great: Excavating Homeric Heroes

The ancient city of Aegae in Greece, where the royal tombs are located, dates back to the 7th century BCE; it became Macedonia’s first capital after it was conglomerated from a collection of villages...
The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

It may come as a shock to learn that ancient peoples enjoyed making lists of greats as much as we do. Just as websites make Top 10 lists about topical items today, so too did the Hellenistic Greeks...
Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great abruptly ended the reign of Darius III, and with it he saw the demise of the Achaemenid kings. However, while conquering new lands Alexander gained not only territory, but also...
Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Cleopatra of Macedon stood in the shadow of her more famous brother, Alexander the Great. In fact, she was one of his three known sisters, apart from Cynane and Thessalonica. However, Cleopatra was...
The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

Lions are often said to be the kings of all animals. They are also a symbol of power and popular archetypes for influential rulers. Most civilizations have depicted these regal animals in their...
Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was apparently fascinated with everything that could be seen as a symbol of power. Stories about his interest in animals are well known too. He was probably intrigued by other...

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Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.
Few visitors recognize that there is a forgotten world below the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The ancient maze of tunnels and quarries date back to the very beginning of this famous city. Locals, on the other hand, remember the existence of the underground pathways every time one of the ancient tunnels collapses, damaging the structures above. Hundreds of buildings and streets have fallen victim to the decaying tunnels.

Myths & Legends

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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