love

Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii.

Shave Your Armpits and Don’t Smell Like a Billy-Goat: Ovid’s Art of Love, Relationships and Adultery

Born a year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Ovid’s first works appeared in the early days of the Augustan principate. Ovid wrote various works throughout his long career, but none so...
The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

Solomon and Sheba: Were a Famous Pharaoh and Queen the Real Protagonists in this Love Story?

The story of Solomon and Sheba is well known as one of love. But it is only when we learn their true identities that we see how much affection and adoration Solomon had for his favorite Queen. He...
A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Claddagh rings are hugely popular both as fashion accessories and as symbolic gestures. The Claddagh design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland, particularly...
Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Love sure does hurt, as the Everly Brothers knew very well. And while it is often romanticised or made sentimental, the brutal reality is that many of us experience fairly unpleasant symptoms when in...
Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Dylan Foster Evans / The Conversation February 14 is the day marked for lovers in many countries around the world, but in Wales there is another date traditionally associated with romance: St Dwynwen...
Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Friedrich Paul Thumann, (1834-1908), "Cupid (Eros) and Psyche."

Four Ways to Love: How the Ancient Greeks Used Magic to Fulfil Hopes, Dreams, and Desires

For the ancient Greeks, 'love' was categorized into distinct words, each representing a different kind of infatuation; which is considerably different from our ideas of generalizing all aspects and...
Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

The “Lovers of Valdaro” are a pair of human skeletons that were discovered in 2007 by a team of archaeologists at a Neolithic tomb in Italy. The two skeletons appear to have died while they were...
A Heart as Cold as Ice? The Japanese Legend of Yuki-onna, the Beautiful Yet Dangerous Snow Woman

A Heart as Cold as Ice? The Japanese Legend of Yuki-onna, the Beautiful Yet Dangerous Snow Woman

The legend of Yuki-onna (the snow woman) comes from The Land of the Rising Sun. This beautiful but dangerous character may be a personification of death in a severe snow storm. Japanese legends do...
Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine is often remembered as a Celtic goddess of love. But she was also a deity of wealth, sovereignty, and the summer. Her sensitive and joyful personality brought her many followers in the Celtic...
More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, has a very distinctive image in classical arts. In 458 BCE, the playwright Aeschylus, in his play Agamemnon , used the name of Aphrodite to denote “beauty, charm...
Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl: A Tragic Romance of Aztec Legend

Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl: A Tragic Romance of Aztec Legend

Mexican natural structures are the topic of many legends and mythical stories connected with pre-Columbian tribes like the Aztecs and Mayas. Two of the many volcanoes in Mexico became the symbols of...
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, 18th Century Miniature based on Holbein's Sketch.

Intelligence and Witchcraft – What Caused the Downfall of Anne Boleyn?

Heartless propaganda made people believe that Anne Boleyn was a witch - a woman who manipulated the king and put spells on him to reach her goals. She was obviously a very intelligent woman, but her...
Pinudjem II as Theban High Priest of Amun. From his Book of the Dead.

The Alternative Lifestyle and Loves of Pinudjem II

Pinudjem II was one of the most famous rulers of southern Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period. He gave the world an important pharaoh and also a scandalous love story. He was a High Priest of...
Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversations with God, by Matejko. In background: Frombork Cathedral.

Trying to Align Forbidden Love, God, and Science: The Secret Relationship of Nicolaus Copernicus and Anna Schilling

Nicolaus Copernicus is one of the most famous astronomers in history. As a man of the Renaissance, his life and work were never focused on just one discipline. However, a secret relationship also led...

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Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist
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 modern Albania to Pakistan. As much as we know of his achievements as a fearsome general, we still have no conclusive cause of his untimely and unexpected death.

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