martyr

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...
Image from ‘Vikings’, a medieval drama series airing on The History Channel.

Vikings Beheaded English King and Patron Saint Edmund, but What Happened to his Body?

It’s a 9th century tale involving Vikings, their beheading of a famous English king, and upheaval that led to the burial and reburial of the king’s remains in an unknown spot. And the story is still...
Silver reliquary with skull purportedly Saint Agnes' - Santa Agnese in Agone Church at Piazza Navona in Rome.

The Fascinating Catacomb of Saint Agnes, a Young Christian Martyr Who Died for her Beliefs

Beneath the city of Rome, among its ancient remains, lie many complexes of catacombs. One of the oldest of these is the one dedicated to Saint Agnes. Agnes (or Agatha) was a beautiful young woman who...
Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

The cult of St Columba is connected to France, where she died. She was beheaded in Sens - the major center of her cult now. However, while French religious people pray to the historical figure as an...
Jeweled Skeleton.

The Macabre, Bejeweled Skeletons of the Catacomb Saints

In 1578, the Roman catacombs near Via Salaria were discovered by curious vineyard workers and later fully uncovered by archeologists, revealing a vast unearthly spectacle. Between 500,000 and 750,000...
The Famous Egyptian Martyr Saint Menas and His Shrine at Abu Mina

The Famous Egyptian Martyr Saint Menas and His Shrine at Abu Mina

Saint Menas (spelled variously as Minas, Mina, Mena and Mennas) is an Egyptian saint and martyr, and has the epithets of the Wonder-worker and the Martyr . St. Menas was one of the most well-known...
The holy well or sacred spring of the Great Basilica in Pliska

Tomb of Christian Bulgarian prince martyred by his brother excavated in Pliska

The grave of a prince who was to become the khan of Bulgaria but refused to deny Christ and was then martyred for it by his brother in the year 833, has been excavated in Pliska, Bulgaria. St. Boyan...
The Miracle of the Slave

Researchers chart thousands of miracle stories recorded about saints of the British Isles

A conference which took place in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge saw the launch of a project to categorise and chart the thousands of miracle stories...

Top New Stories

Some of the Mitla mosaics.
Unique and curious designs plaster the walls of the most popular Zapotec archaeological site in Mexico. They are called the Mitla mosaics and are unrivalled in their precision and quality of workmanship. But a mystery surrounds the carved symbols as some researchers suggest they contain a coded language just waiting to be deciphered.

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Ancient Places

Some of the Mitla mosaics.
Unique and curious designs plaster the walls of the most popular Zapotec archaeological site in Mexico. They are called the Mitla mosaics and are unrivalled in their precision and quality of workmanship. But a mystery surrounds the carved symbols as some researchers suggest they contain a coded language just waiting to be deciphered.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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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)