The Oval Forum and Cardo Maximus in ancient Jerash

Garshu, Gerasa, Jerash: the Everchanging City of the Ancient World

Today, Jerash is a relatively unimposing town in the modern-day country of Jordan but its expansive and majestic ancient ruins reveal its glorious past. Even beneath its existing ruins lies a history...
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Erotic Art of Ancient Greece and Rome

Craig Barker / The Conversation Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of...
A curse tablet wrapped around a chicken bone.

Ancient Sex Curse Revealed: May Your Penis Hurt When You Make Love!

Curse tablets in the ancient world are like Facebook posts today—they were everywhere, created by almost everyone, and can still be found in the strangest of places. They could be broadly vague or...
Right: Detail of a statue of a reclining Attis. The Shrine of Attis is situated to the east of the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia. Statue of Jesus Christ as a shepherd with a lamb.

The Pagan Attis and Christian Jesus: A Spurious Connection?

Recently, it has been popular to suggest in some circles that Christianity was influenced, or even derived from, the ancient Roman mystery religions – religions often known to have orgiastic rituals...
The first ever Roman boxing gloves found in Britain are now on display at Vindolanda.

Heavy Hitters: 2,000-Year-Old Boxing Gloves Suggest Roman Soldiers Used to Duke It Out

Still molded to the form of their former owner’s knuckles, boxing gloves found at the Roman site of Vindolanda in Northumberland, England hint at tales of soldiers increasing their battle skills,...
Representational image of broken Roman statues. The statues here were found before the current discovery and are housed in the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, Turkey.

Corporate Terrorists Strike Roman Temple in Turkey

A storm in the Black Sea has washed up ancient Roman pillars and artifacts in Turkey's Amasra district. According to Hurriyet Daily News “locals found the ruins lying among the rocks on the beach and...
These Roman dice are not the sum of opposite sides of seven and are not symmetrical.

It's not how you play the game, but how the dice were made

Whether at a casino playing craps or engaging with family in a simple board game at home, rolling the dice introduces a bit of chance or "luck" into every game. We expect dice to be fair, where every...
A Pompeii brothel mural.

Paying for Services: Illicit Brothel Coins of Pompeii Show What’s on The Menu

Today, there is a strong, negative stigma surrounding the occupation of prostitution. It is often looked upon as “sinful”, “detestable”, and “shameful”—both for the prostitute and the participant. In...
The Lycurgus Cup.

Romans Mastered Nanotechnology and Used it for Eye Catching Decoration

A strange chalice made its way into the British Museum’s collection in the 1950s. It is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman artifact called the Lycurgus Cup. The image on the chalice is an iconic scene...
Inbuilt rock house of Monsanto, Portugal.

Monsanto: The Thriving Medieval Town Built Around Giant Boulders

In most parts of Europe, the medieval period ended around the fourteenth century, right around the time Giotto introduced perspective into the art of pre-Renaissance Italy. Yet for the twelfth...
Zoe Wanamaker in TV series ‘Britannia’.

Britannia, Druids and the Surprisingly Modern Origins of Myths

The new TV series Britannia, which has won plaudits as heralding a new generation of British folk-horror, is clearly not intended to be strictly historical. Instead director Jez Butterworth gives us...
‘Lucretia’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Lucretia’s suicide is a well-known example of suicide in ancient Rome.

Petitioning for Death: Did Ancient Romans Really Ask for Permission to Commit Suicide?

Cases of suicide are known to have occurred in ancient Rome, as they have been recorded by ancient writers. But there are many questions surrounding this subject that have yet to be fully answered. A...
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...
Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.

An Unbreakable Story: The Lost Roman Invention of Flexible Glass

Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a...
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...
Some of the ancient artifacts seized from the home of Michael H. Steinhardt.

Billionaire Accused of Illegally Owning Stolen Antique Artworks

New York’s Authorities that go after illegally obtained antique artworks have searched the Manhattan residence and office of notable billionaire Michael Steinhardt, who is suspected of illegally...


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Myths & Legends

The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods
One of the oldest goddesses in Egyptian mythology is Nut, the goddess of the sky (nut means ‘sky’ in the ancient Egyptian language). It was believed that that the sky is, in fact, a star-covered nude woman arched over the earth in a plank or perhaps down-dog position.

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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)
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