Christian

Urmes Stave Church, Norway

Urnes Stave Church: A Final Vestige of Viking Innovation

At the edge of the world lies the last trace of Viking Christianity. Urnes Stave Church (c. 1130 AD) stands tall in Sognefjord in the west of Norway, yet it represents as much of an end as it does a...
Detail of ‘The Martyrdom of St. Andrew’ (1646-1647) by Charles Le Brun.

The Violent Birth of ‘Martyrdom’ – How the Ancient Concept Informs Modern Religious Violence

Gervase Phillips / The Conversation The word “ martyr ” has evolved into one of the most emotive terms in the English language. The faithful venerate their memories, celebrate their feast days, name...
A red devil.

Supreme Court Judge: Of Course I Believe in the Devil! ...Do You?

For Christians, the Devil is God’s opponent. He tricked Adam and Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit, causing humanity to lose its place in the Garden of Eden. In Christianity, this being is the cause of...
Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/CC BY-SA 2.0), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent

The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway

Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code, inspired by Henry Lincoln and his two co-authors’ The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail . The Norwegian researcher Harald Boehlke was inspired by the same book. Lincoln...
Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Beer may have been invented by the ancient Egyptians, but it was perfected in medieval monasteries, which gave us modern brewing as we know it. They also pioneered and improved several methods of...
The Katskhi Pillar in Georgia.

Monk Lives Life of Solitude on This 131-Foot-Tall Rock with a 2,000 Year History

The Katskhi Pillar is the name given to a natural limestone column located in Georgia. On the top of this monolith is a monastery, which was built during the 1990s. Today, a solitary monk by the name...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its...
Saint Margaret and Olybrius. Margaret herds sheep when Olybrius arrives by Fouquet 15th Century.

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch

St. Margaret of Antioch is a Christian saint venerated in both the Churches of the West and of the East. In the latter, she is known as Saint Marina the Great Martyr. Little is known for certain...
The Byzantine coins found near Jerusalem have been dated to around the time of a 614 siege.

1,400-Year-Old Coins are the Forgotten Remnants of a Terrifying Siege on Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of a hoard of rare Byzantine bronze coins from a site dating back to 614 AD. The coins were discovered during excavations for the widening of the...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
Women Without Virtue Need Not Apply! The Medieval Nine Worthy Women

Women Without Virtue Need Not Apply! The Medieval Nine Worthy Women

In the 14th century, the nine worthies were a list of nine men who were identified as paragons of chivalrous behavior, which included courage and honor in battle. The nine worthies consisted of a...
Living Remnants of Early Christianity: The Mar Saba Monastery

Living Remnants of Early Christianity: The Mar Saba Monastery

Today, the predominant religion in the Middle East is Islam. Christianity, however, has also played an important role in the history of the Middle East and at one point was the largest religion in...
Bodies of Ancient Monks Found in Sudan Were Stripped of Their Flesh Before Burial

Bodies of Ancient Monks Found in Sudan Were Stripped of Their Flesh Before Burial

More than 100 sets of ancient human remains have been excavated from four cemeteries near the ruins of a medieval Christian monastery in Sudan. Researchers were surprised to find that many of the...
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...
The Devil Walks Among Us: The Myth of The Jersey Devil

The Devil Walks Among Us: The Myth of The Jersey Devil

Inhabiting the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, United States, is a creature known as the Jersey Devil. This legendary being has been described as a kangaroo-like creature with the head of a goat...

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Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)