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The Forbidden city of China

The Forgotten History of Beijing’s First Forbidden City

Jonathan Dugdale / The Conversation An ancient site rooted in the heart of modern Beijing, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous attractions. Completed in 1420, the city served as the...
Chinese concubines in a harem

20,000 Women and 100,000 Castrated Men to Serve the Emperor: The Imperial Harem of China

In Imperial China, one of the important tasks that the emperor needed to do was to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, which was achieved by the production of a male heir. For this purpose, the...
Divine, Forbidden and Dangerous? Magic Apples in Ancient Mythology

Divine, Forbidden and Dangerous? Magic Apples in Ancient Mythology

Apples have a prominent place in world mythology, and are often associated with paradise, magic, knowledge and sensual experience. Legendary magician Merlin was said to carry a silver bough from an...
A Quadriga, with woman riding in a triumphal chariot. France.

Worshipers, Rule-Breakers and Champions: Women and the Ancient Greek Olympics

One of the aspects of culture regarded as distinctive to the ancient Greeks was their pursuit of sport. Apart from its function as the act of worship to Zeus, athletic competition, particularly at...