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Statue of lovers

How to Win Love and Ruin A Marriage in 5 Easy Steps: ‘Ars Amatoria’ by Ancient Love Guru, Ovid

Before Tinder and Plenty of Fish took over the dating world , men and women used to resort to meeting each other the old-fashioned way—in person, or not at all. Before the internet, dating advice...
Detail of ‘Solitude’ (circa 1890) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton.

Alone Need Not Be Lonely: What Joyous Solitude of Early Hermits Can Teach Us

Kim Haines-Eitzen / The Conversation In today’s world, loneliness seems to have reached epidemic proportions. Countless studies have highlighted the serious and negative impact that loneliness has on...
A bust of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Design by Anand Balaji.

Understanding the Monotheism of Akhenaten: Decay of a Dream and the Final Curtain Call–Part I

Pharaoh Akhenaten has been revered and reviled in equal measure for unleashing his religious policy of one god, the Aten sun disc. But, was the king a monotheist in letter and spirit – one who...
Aeneas and Turnus by Luca Giordano 17th century

History Versus Legend: In Search of Aeneas, the Trojan Refugee

Roman mythology designates Aeneas as the founder of the great nation of Rome and ancestor to its peoples. In fact, his story begins long before Rome came into existence. While the Romans lay claim to...
Zhang Heng's odometer, a mechanical carriage.

The Famous Ancient Chinese Inventions of Zhang Heng

Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) was a Chinese astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar from Nanyang, Henan Province, China. He is noted for...
Battle between the Xiongnu (Hun) and the Han Dynasty

Victory Over the Hun: Famous Lost Account of Han Dynasty Triumph Found Carved onto Mongolian Mountain

Archaeologists claim to have rediscovered a triumphant account of China’s ancient military which had been inscribed in cliff face. According to the experts, the inscription narrates how the Han...
Cloaked man; Deriv

Merlin: Warrior & Poet. Two Historical Figures that Inspired the Legend

It’s only a few weeks now until the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits the big screen. It will be particularly interesting to see how it portrays Merlin, the royal puppet master in the...
Giordano Bruno: What Led The Renowned Friar and Astrologer to a Burning Stake?

Giordano Bruno: What Led The Renowned Friar and Astrologer to a Burning Stake?

A monumental statue of Giordano Bruno stands in the heart of Rome as a reminder of the remorse of the people who accused him and sentenced him to death. Although he may look like a monk dressed in a...
Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna...
A painting depicting a scene from the Chinese classic, Journey to the West. The painting shows the four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing.

The Monk and the Poet: Meet the Rebels behind the Legendary “Journey to the West”

Hsi-yu chi , or Journey to the West, is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty. The novel adds elements from a bewildering array of Asian cultural lore, as well as...
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...
Solon, the wise lawgiver of Athens.

Solon: The Father of Western Law

Solon the Athenian was a great philosopher and one of the seven sages of ancient Greece. However, he’s mainly remembered for being the legislator who laid the foundation for Athenian democracy with...
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...