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Magic into Myth: Avalon, Mystical Isle of Medieval Arthurian Literature

The Isle of Apples, Isle of the Blessed, and the Otherworld. These titles have long been associated with the magical resting place of the early medieval king, Arthur Pendragon. A realm imbued with...
Marvel Hi-Res Black Panther Image Revealed.

Becoming Beast: Marvel’s New Black Panther Movie Has a Surprising Medieval Connection

Lydia Zeldenrust / The Conversation Black Panther looks to be another hit for Marvel . The film has been highly anticipated, not least because it is a milestone in cinema with a black lead superhero...
A Frog underwater with a crown.

An Ambiguous Amphibian: The Everchanging Frog Symbol in World Myth

Frogs and toads played a wide variety of roles in ancient cultures. Although there are some differences, they generally represented female creation energy. Frogs appear in ancient stories, myths,...
An illustration of Vasilisa the Beautiful, by Ivan Bilibin.

A Freaky Fairy Tale of Ancient Folklore: Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga

“[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead...
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...
'Patasola.’

Patasola: The Destructive Femme Fatale of the South American Jungle

Ancient civilizations who navigated the unforgiving coastlines of the North Atlantic, like the Vikings, feared, worshiped, and mythologized a pantheon of unforgiving sea creatures with origins half...
Illustrations to Dante's "Divine Comedy" - "Minos" by William Blake.

In Search of the Mythical King Minos, Did the Legendary Ruler Really Exist?

When we think of Minos, two images immediately come to mind: (1) the legendary and cruel tyrant of Crete who demanded the tribute of Athenian youths to feed to the Minotaur in the Labyrinth and (2) a...
Lemminkäinen and the black swan.

Lemminkäinen: Resurrection of the Handsome, Yet Frivolous Finnish Epic Hero

Thus became a mighty hero, In his veins the blood of ages, Read erect and form commanding, Growth of mind and body perfect But alas! he had his failings, Bad indeed his heart and morals, Roaming in...
The Fomorians as depicted by John Duncan, 1912.

The Fomorians: Destructive Giants of Irish Legend

Bloodthirsty, warrior giants which came from far across the sea? Or was it the underworld? Perhaps they were more like monsters with a single leg, arm, and eye? No, it was heads of goats they had…or...
'The End of the Song’ – a depiction of the lovers Tristan and Isolde.

Ancient Lovers: Five Touching and Sometimes Tragic Love Stories Before Romeo and Juliet

Do you believe in true love? Are you a romantic in constant search of the one thing that so many novels, poems, and films have been dedicated to, or are you one of those people who doesn’t have much...
A depiction of Peter using his sword to strike Malchus (circa 1520, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon).

Is the Sword of St. Peter in Poland The Real Deal?

The Sword of St. Peter is an artifact believed to have once been in the possession of St. Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Bible stories say the right ear of one of the high priest’...
The rear wall of the coffin chamber in née Wu's tomb. Image: Chinese Cultural Relics

Inscriptions on Song Dynasty Tombs Narrate the Captivating Tale of an Ancient Chinese Couple

Archaeologists have announced the discovery of two 800-year-old tombs that narrate the story of an ancient Chinese couple. The tombs were found in a construction site in Qingyuan County, in China's...
“Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf in the forest” (1881) by Carl Larsson.

Humans Traveled Far and Wide Before Little Red Riding Hood Ever Made It Through the Woods

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairytale most children have heard. But if you’re not familiar, it tells the story of a young girl who wears a red velvet hood and cape and travels alone through a...
King Haraldr hárfagri receives the kingdom out of his father's hands. From the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

Icelander Sagas May Have More Truth to Them than You Think

Myths and legends – purely the creation of creative and imaginative minds, right? Not necessarily. Numerous stories, sagas, and texts from the ancient past have been proven to hold facts. For example...
A depiction of Quetzalcoatl as a feathered serpent in Teotihuacan

The Rise of Quetzalcoatl: From Plumed Serpent to Creator God

Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods in the ancient Mesoamerican pantheon. Its iconic appearance is identified in the name of this god. Quetzalcoatl is a combination of two Nahuatl (the...
Hashihime.

Demonic Dames: Watch out for the Vengeful Women of Japanese Legends

Japan has had stories about oni (demons or ogres) and yuurei (ghosts) for hundreds of years. As time passes, new vengeful spirits continue to appear and their stories are told even in the present day...

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