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History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus Valley, to the fearsome yet sophisticated society of the Vikings, the ancient world was a surprising and challenging place. Here we feature some of the most seminal and influential events and people throughout history, that have helped shape the world we know today.

Saint Daniel’s rock hewn house, Putna

15th Century Monk Built This Stone House to Find Solitude

St. Daniel was completely devoted in his quest to contemplate spiritual and religious issues through a life of solitary contemplation. He really did not want to be disturbed in this endeavour and...
Top image: A woman in traditional Chinese dress. Source: CC0

When Concubines Fought Back: The Plot to Eliminate a Mad and Sadistic Emperor

The Renyin Plot was an assassination attempt carried out on the sadistically violent Jiajing Emperor, who was the ruler of China’s Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. The assassins almost succeeded...
Detail from Venus and Mars, Botticelli, tempera on panel

Explainer: The Gods Behind the Days of the Week

The Roman weekday ‘dies Veneris’ was named after the planet Venus, which in turn took its name from Venus, goddess of love. The origins of our days of the week lie with the Romans. The Romans named...
A depiction of a tree of life or axis mundi.

The Axis Mundi: Sacred Sites Where Heaven Meets Earth

What do Mount Fuji in Japanese culture, the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, Mecca in Islam, and the Black Hills for the Sioux all have in common? They are all examples of a belief in the axis...
A Viking offers a slave girl to a Persian merchant.

Torment of the Sea Nomads. Viking Sea States of Merchants - Part I

In the late 8th century, a group of Scandinavian sea nomads took to the sea and tormented Europe and Asia through their terrible acts of piracy. Thankfully, by the early 9th century, their piracy...
Face of the coffin in which the mummy of Ramesses II was found. (Credit: Petra Lether, designed by Anand Balaji)

Living God in a Wooden Box: In Whose Coffin was Ramesses II Buried?

Usermaatre Setepenre Ramesses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was one of ancient Egypt’s longest-reigning monarchs. In an astonishing sixty-seven regnal years – the glory days of...
King Arthur monument in Tintagel, Cornwall.(left), Excalibur in Brocéliande Forest, Brittany, France.(right)

Has the King Arthur Gene Been Traced?

If stories of King Arthur and his knights are based on real people their DNA markers should still be with us today. New DNA research has perhaps found the King Arthur gene. The Genetic Lead R1b-L513...
Bust of Akhenaten

The Silence of Akhenaten: Was the Pharaoh Mute, Blind or Cultic?

The enigma of Pharaoh Akhenaten has captured the imagination of the world ever since Napoleon’s savants brought him to light. Today, every scholar holds steadfast to his or her theory about the...
Mosaic with the months of the year, starting with the Roman first month March.

Where do the names of our months come from?

Our lives run on Roman time. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and public holidays are regulated by Pope Gregory XIII’s Gregorian Calendar , which is itself a modification of Julius Caesar’s calendar...
These Norwegian children have traveled back to the Viking Age and practice archery.

Born for Valhalla: How Viking Children Learned the Art of War

By ThorNews We know from the sagas that Viking boys were trained in the art of war. The Viking’s success in killing and oppressing everyone who stood in their way was no accident: The warrior...
Remains of an ancient Roman salt fish factory and garum factory in the archaeological underground ruins at Plaça del Rei.

Decoding Barcelona’s Enigma of an Ancient Musical Roman Temple

While the world’s recent attention has been focused on Barcelona, as some of its people rally for Catalonian independence from Spain, few people are aware that the city is home to one of European...
This is a comparison graph comparing the height of a 1.8-meter-tall human male with Gigantopithecus species. This graph is based on orangutan proportions in a bipedal stance. It is most likely that Gigantopithecus would have spent most of its time in a quadrupedal stance on all fours.

The REAL Bigfoot: Gigantopithecus Would Have Been Terrifying to our Ancient Ancestors

From legends of Bigfoot to films like Mighty Joe Young, humans seem to have a fascination with giant ape-like creatures. This leads to the question of whether stories about giant apes have a basis in...
Panning for gold in Kildonan. (slains-castle) Alluvial gold from Kildonan Burn, Helmsdale, Suth-erland.

A Highland Gold Rush: The Scottish Search for Semen of the Sun

Gold was referred to by the Pre-Columbian ancient South American cultures as ‘Semen of the Sun’ and ‘Sweat of the Sun’ but in that continent, where it was so abundantly available, it held no...
Frédégonde armant les meurtriers de Sigebert (Fredegund and the assassins of Sigebert) by Emmanuel Herman Joseph Wallet

The Violent Life of Fredegund: Was She a Queen, a Murderess or a Woman Intent on Survival?

Fredegund (545 - 597 CE), the queen consort of Chilperic I - the Merovingian Frankish king of Soissons, has a reputation of being one of the most bloodthirsty and sadistic women in history. Accounts...
Venus and Mars, c 1485. Tempera and oil on poplar panel, National Gallery, London.

Trial by Public Performance: The Impotence Trials of Pre-Revolutionary France

The impotence trials of prerevolutionary France sound a bit like a political joke. France had mostly squelched the ability for couples to divorce, and it was in the wake of this that the impotence...
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...

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