poem

The codex, opened to a page of Beowulf

A Literary Treasure: The Oldest Surviving English Poem - Beowulf and His Epic Battles

Perhaps the oldest surviving long poem in Old English, Beowulf is commonly seen as one of the most important works of Old English Literature. While the date of the poem’s composition is still debated...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
A Dream Destination for Egyptologists: The Amazing Amarna Necropolis

A Dream Destination for Egyptologists: The Amazing Amarna Necropolis

Amarna is a dream destination for many Egyptologists. The temples, tombs, and houses left by the people who lived in the area thousands of years ago make up one of the most impressive discoveries in...
The "Disk of Enheduanna" at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

The Poetry of Gods by Enheduanna - The First Known Female Writer

It is not always easy to read the stories of real people from the artifacts they left behind. This is especially true if they lived 5,000 years ago. However, the story of a remarkable woman from that...
A color composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey. Credit: NASA/ESA/AURA/Caltech. Inset: Sappho fresco

Scientists Use Advanced Astronomical Software to Date 2,500-Year-Old Lyric Poem

Physicists and astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington have used advanced astronomical software to accurately date lyric poet Sappho's "Midnight Poem," which describes the night sky...
The Story of Mulan.

The Ballad of Hua Mulan: The Legendary Warrior Woman Who Brought Hope to China

Hua Mulan is one of the most legendary women of ancient China. Her story was originally described in a poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. There is no archaeological proof that she was a real person,...
This clay tablet in inscribed with one part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It was most likely stolen from a historical site before it was sold to a museum in Iraq

Previously Unknown Lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered in Stolen Cuneiform Tablet

An Assyriologist at the University of London (UCL) has discovered that a stolen clay tablet inscribed with ancient cuneiform text that was recently acquired by a museum in Iraq, contains 20...
Dante holding open a copy of the Divine Comedy while gazing towards Mount Purgatory (1530), Agnolo Bronzino

A Pilgrimage of Thought: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages...
Fresco of Dante and the Divine Comedy (1465), Domenico di Michelino, Florence cathedral, Italy

A Pilgrimage of Thought: the Politician, Poet, and Pilgrim called Dante Alighieri

Born in Florence in the late thirteenth century, Dante Alighieri would grow up to become one of the most famed and well-read authors of the Italian Middle Ages. The scope of his political and...
Siegfried's Death

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge – Part 2

Like many ancient poems and epic tales, the 13 th century saga of The Nibelungenlied, or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is based on both myth and history. Written by an unknown author, the tale remains...
Painting illustrating The Nibelungenlied: Hagen orders servants to sink the hoard in the Rhine river

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge

The Nibelungenlied , or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is a Middle High German epic poem first written sometime in the thirteenth century. Though its author is unknown, The Nibelungenlied remains one...
Rostam the hero fighting the Dragon in the Seven Quests of Rostam. Iranian miniature illustration from Shahnameh

The Longest Poem Ever Written: Shahnameh – The Epic Book of Kings

In 977 AD, a Persian poet named Ferdowsi began on a grandiose poetic journey that would take him 33 years to complete. He used ancient Persian tales which had been told from generation to generation...
The entrance to the tomb found in Datong, China

1,000-year-old Chinese tomb contains spectacular murals, touching poems, and ceiling of star constellations

Time tells that bamboo can endure cold weather. Live as long as the spirits of the crane and turtle. These are the poetic words beautifully painted on the wall of an ancient tomb discovered in a near...
Ancient Sumerian Love Poem

The 4,000-Year-Old Sumerian Love Poem and the Sacred Ritual of Marriage

'Bridegroom, dear to my heart; goodly is your beauty, honeysweet; lion, dear to my heart'. These are the passionate words of a lover to a king, from more than 4,000 years ago, in the oldest known...

Earliest surviving copy of epic poem, The Brus, brought back to life

One of the two oldest surviving copies of 'The Brus' – a medieval poem famous for its vivid, early description of the Battle of Bannockburn – has been restored in time for the battle’s 700th...

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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.

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