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Predjama Castle.

Predjama Castle: The Castle in a Cave that Housed a Slovenian Robin Hood

Once home to the Slovenian Robin Hood, Predjama Castle is a site rich in history. It is built into the mouth of a cave high up on a cliff and has a commanding view over the landscape. That position...
Window with a portrait of Harald in Lerwick Town Hall, Shetland

A Military Life for Clever King Harald: Serving the Empire and Stopping the Pirates – Part I

In 1015, Harald Sigurdsson was born. He was the youngest of three sons born to Sigurd Syr, who ruled over a petty kingdom in Ringerike, located in the region of Buskerud. Harald’s upbringing is not...
Assyrian attack on a town with archers and a wheeled battering ram, 865–860 BC.

Were the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Ever Lost?

When examining the mysteries of the 8th century BC, all one has to do is look in the Bible or an ancient history book to realize that Assyria had no outside threats. The Hittites and Egyptians were a...
Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.

Ragnar Lothbrok: The Ferocious Viking Hero that Became a Myth

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—...
Detail; The entry of Sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929)

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and...
Modern painting of Mehmed and the Ottoman Army approaching Constantinople with a giant bombard, by Fausto Zonaro

Orban: The Man Whose Cannon Brought Down the Walls of Constantinople – Part I

For 53 days, starting on Friday, 6 April, the forces of the Ottoman Empire shook what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire (known as Byzantium, or the Byzantine Empire) until they were able to breach...
The Byzantine coins found near Jerusalem have been dated to around the time of a 614 siege.

1,400-Year-Old Coins are the Forgotten Remnants of a Terrifying Siege on Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of a hoard of rare Byzantine bronze coins from a site dating back to 614 AD. The coins were discovered during excavations for the widening of the...
Crusader Shipwreck Yields Coins and Other Artifacts from the Final Years of a Holy Land Fortress

Crusader Shipwreck Yields Coins and Other Artifacts from the Final Years of a Holy Land Fortress

Marine archaeologists have discovered some intriguing artifacts in the wreck of a ship belonging to the Crusaders in Acre, Israel. It dates to the time of the valiant last stand by the few remaining...
Thutmosis III statue and Ancient Egyptian military in battle

What Was in Store for the Citizens of the Besieged City? The Battle of Megiddo—Part II

Pharaoh Thutmose III pushed his 12,000-strong army towards the banks of the Orontes River. His scribe, Tjaneni, kept a daily journal in order to have the Pharaoh’s military exploits inscribed by his...
Archaeologists to Explore Mysterious Underground Structure at the Desert Fortress of Masada

Archaeologists to Explore Mysterious Underground Structure at the Desert Fortress of Masada

A team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have returned to Masada in Israel, after a 11-year hiatus, in order to excavate previously unexplored areas of the desert mountain fortress,...
Assyrian relief of a horseman from Nimrud, now in the British Museum

The Iron Army: Assyria - Deadly and Effective Siege Machine - Part II

Assyrian sappers (soldiers for building, demolitions, general construction) would approach the walls possibly under the cover of shield bears, the same type that protected the archers one could...
The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

Before the famed Persian Empire, whose borders spanned from India to Thrace, there was another empire—the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire, while much smaller than the future Persian Empire to come,...
The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian war machine made empires beforehand look miniature. The Persians were able to take the best from all over the Near East and turn it into a force that could not be defeated for many...
The Persian War Machine: Organization and Command – Part I

The Persian War Machine: Organization and Command – Part I

The Persian war machine made empires beforehand look miniature. The Persians were able to take the best from all over the Near East and turn it into a force that could not be defeated for many...
Mural of siege warfare, Genghis Khan Exhibit in San Jose, California, US

Palms Over Baghdad: Tumbling to Dust during the Mongol Invasion – Part II

The Fall of Bagdad Hulegu sent messages to his commanders informing them to muster their forces and move on Baghdad. Baiju moved his forces from Rum via Mosul to cover the western side. Ked-Buka...
Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258.

Palms Over Baghdad: Riches and Fear during the Mongol Invasion – Part I

In 1253 CE, a breeze began to blow into Baghdad from the east. Unbeknownst to Al-Musta'sim, the Abbasid Caliph, this breeze would soon turn into a violent shamal (wind). This shamal was gaining...

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