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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Famous People

In this section, we shed light on some of the most famous and infamous people known throughout history, from powerful pharaohs, to emperors and empresses, acclaimed military leaders, or just regular civilians who’ve been thrown into the spotlight for great crimes or for heroic actions, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Benjamin Hornigold and the Republic of Pirates

Benjamin Hornigold and the Republic of Pirates

Benjamin Hornigold was an English pirate from the early 18 th century who operated in the waters of the Caribbean , specifically in the Bahamas. Best remembered for establishing the ‘Republic of...
The five female Olympians of the Ancient Greek Pantheon. Source: local_doctor / Adobe Stock

Five Female Olympians of Ancient Greece: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Greek Mythology consists of numerous gods and goddesses, although the Greek pantheon itself is comprised of just twelve main gods ruling Mount Olympus. Among the twelve, there are five female rulers...
Queen Ranavalona: Ruthless Ruler of Madagascar

Queen Ranavalona: Ruthless Ruler of Madagascar

Ranavalona was the 19th-century ruler of the Kingdom of Madagascar. She lived during a time when there was increasing contact between the island kingdom and Europeans. Ranavalona, however, pursued a...
The story of Reynard Beck, known as “The Floating Wonder,” sounds like science fiction. Source

The Floating Wonder of Reynard Beck: Hoax or Miracle of Nature?

This world is full of mysteries - that much is true. The story of Reynard Beck is little known, but once heard it never stops to tickle the fancy. It is a story that trickled through time, from the...
Ancient Greek warrior. Source: breakermaximus / Adobe Stock

Agamemnon: Greek King, Trojan War Leader and Man of Power

Agamemnon is a major figure in Greek mythology. He was a king of Mycenae, and the supreme commander of the Greeks during the Trojan War. Therefore, he plays a significant role in Homer’s Iliad . As a...
How Agnes Bowker Gave Birth to a Cat and the Wild Trial

How Agnes Bowker Gave Birth to a Cat and the Wild Trial

On January 17 th , 1569, the simple, unwed house servant Agnes Bowker of Market Harborough, England, was in the throes of giving birth to a secret child. By her side were the midwives Margaret Roose...
Aethelthryth: The Extraordinary Medieval Virgin Queen and Saint

Aethelthryth: The Extraordinary Medieval Virgin Queen and Saint

It’s a name most people have never heard of and even fewer can pronounce, but St Aethelthryth of Ely is one of England’s most fascinating saints whose name has survived throughout the centuries and...
The House of Borgia is depicted here as “A glass of wine with Cesare Borgia,” a painting that clearly shows the wealth and power (church power) of this illustrious and infamous family.

The House of Borgia: Family Of Great Renown, Wealth And Corruption

The House of Borgia was a noble family that rose to prominence during the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Originally from Spain, the family established itself in Italy, where they played an important role...
Anna Hyatt Huntington's El Cid statue at Audubon Terrace in front of the Hispanic Society Library in New York City. Source: Brocken Inaglory / CC BY-SA 3.0

El Cid: Christian Champion or Mercenary for the Moors?

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, more commonly known as El Cid, was an 11 th century Spanish knight, military leader and mercenary. This larger-than-life-figure is celebrated as a champion of Christianity...
Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Homer’s epic Illiad tells the mythical story of the legendary 10-year Trojan War between the Trojans and the Greeks, which erupted after the beautiful Helen, wife of King Menelaus, was taken by Paris...
The Great Inca Emperor Pachacuti: The Famous “Earth Shaker” Of Peru

The Great Inca Emperor Pachacuti: The Famous “Earth Shaker” Of Peru

Embarking on the journey of establishing your very own empire is without a doubt a hefty and daunting task. But for the famous Inca ruler Pachacuti, it was a fated endeavor. Through ruthless conquest...
The Afro-Bolivians And Their Monarchy In Bolivia: An Enigmatic Kingdom

The Afro-Bolivians And Their Monarchy In Bolivia: An Enigmatic Kingdom

Bolivia is a land full of wonders and little-known facts. The majestic nature of the mountainous Andes and the adjacent tropical forests, and the illustrious capital city of La Paz, nestled high...
Rome’s African Emperor: Septimius Severus and the Scottish Invasion

Rome’s African Emperor: Septimius Severus and the Scottish Invasion

The Libyan-born Septimius Severus has gone down in history as the first African Emperor of Rome . With a thirst for power, he ruled the Roman Empire almost 2,000 years ago, declaring himself Emperor...
Tokugawa Ieyasu was the epitome of the rags to riches possibilities for Japanese samurai.    Source: Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock

Tokugawa Ieyasu: Most Powerful Shogun and Great Unifier of Japan

Throughout the medieval history of Japan, it was the shoguns that held the real power in the country. As powerful military dictators, they were the de facto rulers of Japan, subordinate only to the...
Romanos IV Diogenes: An Ambitious Byzantine Emperor Unjustly Deposed?

Romanos IV Diogenes: An Ambitious Byzantine Emperor Unjustly Deposed?

Opportunism, ambition, intrigues - these were aspects that were always present at the courts of great empires. Rulers rose to power following these rules of the game, and they were often the reasons...
Cassander: Ruthless Macedon King in the Shadow of Alexander the Great

Cassander: Ruthless Macedon King in the Shadow of Alexander the Great

Cassander was a King of Macedon who lived during the 4 th century BC. He was a son of Antipater, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. During Alexander’s campaign against the Achaemenids in the East...
Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

True leadership knows no gender and despite societal condemnation or restrictions of the gods, powerful women have risen to the challenge and stepped up to take the reins of governance firmly in...
The prison cell of Al Capone at Eastern State Penitentiary

The Final Insanity of Al Capone: Was Notorious Gangster Haunted by a Hapless Victim?

Al Capone was a notorious American gangster whose multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling dominated the organized crime scene for nearly a decade. At the...
Though the followers of Peisistratus, including his sons, managed to rule Athens for a long time as “tyrants,” in the end they fell to the Spartans and democracy was born!	 Source: Massimo Todaro / Adobe Stock

Peisistratus And The Peisistratids: Tyrants Of Athens Before Democracy

Peisistratus was a ruler of Athens during the 6 th century BC. Peisistratus was an absolute ruler, and seized power in Athens through trickery and force. Therefore, he is considered to be a “tyrant...
Zeb-un-Nisa: Mughal Princess and Rebel Poetess

Princess Zeb-un-Nisa: Rebel Sufi Poetess and her Gilded Garden Prison

Sitting alone in her quiet gardens, reciting verses of poetry and waiting for the end to come. This is how Princess Zeb-un-Nisa spent the final years of her life. Zeb-un-Nisa means “jewel among women...
Armenia’s Greatest Military Leader: Vardan Mamikonian And His Dynasty

Armenia’s Greatest Military Leader: Vardan Mamikonian And His Dynasty

Vardan Mamikonian was an Armenian military leader who lived between the 4 th and 5 th centuries AD. He is best-known for leading the Armenians against the Sassanians at the Battle of Avarayr in 451...
Locustra testing Poison by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre

Top 10 Infamous Serial Killers from Ancient History

Serial killers are not a new phenomenon. Before Jack the Ripper began his legendary killing spree in London in the 1800s, there is a long list of infamous serial killers active throughout history...
A Bitter Brotherly Feud: Henry I And His Turbulent Rise To The Throne

A Bitter Brotherly Feud: Henry I And His Turbulent Rise To The Throne

After his dazzlingly fast conquest of England, William the Conqueror became one of the most powerful rulers in Europe. Just, decisive, and unyielding, he certainly left a big task for all his...
Odo of Bayeux: Sharing the Spoils Under William the Conqueror

Odo of Bayeux: Sharing the Spoils Under William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror was without a doubt one of history’s most important leaders. His conquest of Anglo-Saxon England set in motion events that would change the future of the world for many. However...

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