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Ancient Traditions

Ancient Origins brings you articles related to Ancient Traditions from all over the world. Find related articles in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends.

Statue of Rollo, Duke of Normandy in Ålesund, Norway. The Clameur de Haro is traditionally believed to have been a plea towards this ruler.

Clameur de Haro: Feudal Law Brings Construction Project To a Standstill

Rosie Henderson, from Guernsey, activated the ancient Norman rite of Clameur de Haro in protest of “the narrowing of a road” which she claims “would endanger pedestrians and motorists,” according to...
The Secret Strategic Plans of Darius the Great

The Secret Strategic Plans of Darius the Great

To the north of the Persian Empire, around both sides of Caucasus Mountain, various Scythian (Palaeo-Slavian / Staroslavianskje) tribes lived. They were nomadic, i.e. not yet permanently settled in...
A man marrying a deceased woman in China

Ghost Marriages: Love For the Living and the Deceased

The tradition of the ghost marriage is one that supposedly stretches back to the first imperial dynasty of China: the Qin Dynasty, dating from the years 221 BC – 206 BC. The most comprehensive early...
Jousting demonstration/show/competition at the Renaissance Festival, Holly, Michigan, 2007

From Jousting to Football: The Ideal Man Hasn’t Changed Much Since Medieval Times

Anyone with a moderate interest in history will know that in the later years of his reign, Henry VIII seemed to have an identity crisis. His personality change from a generous and virtuous prince...
Medieval Knights are viewed as moral do-gooders.

Medieval Chivalry Wasn’t Just Knights and Valor

By Kathleen McGarvey / University of Rochester Our popular ideas of the chivalric world are off base, according to historian Richard Kaeuper. The gallant knights on horseback and banners unfurling...
Youth playing the aulos, detail of a banquet scene. Tondo of an Attic red-figure cup, ca. 460 BC–450 BC.

So Now We Know What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like

Armand D'Angour / The Conversation In 1932, the musicologist Wilfrid Perrett reported to an audience at the Royal Musical Association in London the words of an unnamed professor of Greek with musical...
Aztec Calendar Sun Stone, used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico and Central America

Nahuatl, The Language of the Aztec Nation

Today, Spanish is the dominant language of Mexico and most central and South American countries. There was a time, however, when Nahuatl, a language spoken by the indigenous inhabitants of the Valley...
Tragic Comic Masks Hadrian's Villa mosaic

Ancient Greek Theater: Is it a Man’s World?

By Ben Potter / Classical Wisdom The two major Athenian theatrical festivals, The Lenaia and The City Dionysia were held in honor of the god Dionysus . Calling them theatrical, whilst not misleading...
Ancient human remains.

Nine Weird and Wonderful Facts about Death and Funeral Practices

It might not be something you want to think about very often, but it turns out that the way we treat our dead in the modern age is heavily influenced by the way our ancestors treated theirs. When you...
A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

A Window into the Traditional Sami Culture: Reindeer and a Worldview

The Sámi are an indigenous people with a rich cultural history. They have lived in northern Europe for thousands of years. The area they live in, Sápmi, includes the northern sectors of Norway,...
Ancient Egyptian men undergoing circumcision.

The Cutting Truth about Circumcision: It Was All About Rites and Religion

When was circumcision first practiced? How did it evolve? Why was it practiced? The earliest literary evidence of the practice of circumcision goes back to ancient Egypt. There are many hypotheses...
The Golfers by Charles Lee

Ancient Pedigree of the Open Championship: Golf’s Long History and Hidden Beginnings

The Open Championship may be the oldest tournament in golf, but it is a very recent addition to the sport’s long and colorful history. Golf is a sport with ancient origins that has endured into our...
Barter, Bills and Banknotes: The 5,000 Year History of Money

From Barter to Bitcoins: The 5,000 Year History of Money

Money has come a long way in 5,000 years. While people once bartered for the items they desired, today people are buying and trading in cryptocurrencies like the bitcoin. In ancient times, people did...
Amiternum funerary procession relief.

Mimes, Paid Grievers, and Masks: The Insane Theatrics of Ancient Roman Funerals

Two thousand years ago, funerals weren’t the quiet, somber affairs we have today. They were loud, boisterous shows that started with a massive procession of people parading down the streets, pounding...
Medea with her children. The children became the focus of a hero cult in ancient Greece.

Baby, Baby, Baby: Why Did the Ancient Greeks Turn Dead Children into Heroes?

When we use the term “hero” today while discussing Greek mythological figures, it usually designates a man whose superhuman exploits and semi-divine parentage make him a person of legend. But in real...
Henry Wallis – Poet Thomas Chatterton’s death by arsenic.

Death by Wallpaper: When Arsenic in the Walls Was Killing Children

Wallpaper isn’t as popular as it once was, and perhaps the reason for this falling out of fashion was its ability to kill! In 1778, a Swedish Chemist named Carl Scheele created a brilliant green...

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