All  

History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus Valley, to the fearsome yet sophisticated society of the Vikings, the ancient world was a surprising and challenging place. Here we feature some of the most seminal and influential events and people throughout history, that have helped shape the world we know today.

Vikings on a ship.

Hastein: A Notoriously Vicious Viking Raider…Not So Good At Navigation

Described as “fierce, mightily cruel, and savage, pestilent, hostile, sombre, truculent, given to outrage, pestilent and untrustworthy, fickle and lawless” by his contemporaries, Hastein was one of...
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate

The Ancient History of Chocolate, Gift of the Gods

In today’s society, chocolate is a commonly available food product, and comes in many forms, including blocks, paste and powder. Several centuries ago, however, chocolate was considered a luxury item...
Remains of the Hypostyle Hall in the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu; design by Anand Balaji

Ramesses III and the Harem Conspiracy: Diabolic Plot to Kill the Living Horus Unfolds – Part I

The collapse of the Late Bronze Age world brought chaos to the shores of ancient Egypt. Vibrant trade and tributes from Near Eastern lands had all but ceased after the Sea Peoples decimated those...
Archimedes pouring over his work by Fetti, 1620

Archimedes: An Ancient Greek Genius Ahead of His Time

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician, scientist, mechanical engineer and inventor who is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world. The father of simple machines, he...
Modern representation of Sargon of Akkad.

Sargon of Akkad: Familiar and Legendary Tales of a Famous Mesopotamian King

Sargon of Akkad was the founder of the Akkadian Empire, the first ancient Semitic-speaking empire of Mesopotamia. The empire was created through conquest, and Sargon’s rule was not limited to only...
Angel entering heaven

Stairway to Heaven: Ancient Concepts About Heaven and the Afterlife

We recognize heaven as a place to which we will go after our deaths if we have led a good or virtuous life. It is a paradise accessible by earthly beings depending on their standards of faith or...
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...
Thunderbird Shaman. (Deriv Liz Leafloor)

The Coming of the Thunder People: Denisovan Hybrids, Shamanism and the American Genesis

In 2010 the existence of a previously unknown archaic human population was revealed following the DNA sequencing of a finger bone over 41,000 years old. It was discovered in 2008 in the Denisova Cave...
The Statue of Socrates at the Academy of Athens. Work of Leonidas Drosis (d. 1880). (C messier/CC BY SA 4.0) Background: This NASA image shows Earth from space. The image is a combination of data from two satellites.

Was Socrates in Space? A Question of Ancient Spaceflight

The ancient Greeks are credited with having made many early advancements in science and mathematics which influenced later western civilization. Aristarchus of Samos proposed an essentially...
New Persian dynasty ruler, Ismail declares himself "Shah" by entering Tabriz; his troops in front of Arg of Tabriz, painter Chingiz Mehbaliyev.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part II - Persian Dynasties and a New Breed of Rulers Arise

[Read Part I Here] Following the conquest of Persia by the Arabs, the region lost its significance as the center of an empire, it was now a mere province in the larger Islamic Empire. The decline of...
Illustration of Paleo-Indians hunting a glyptodont by Heinrich Harder (1858-1935)

The Great American Origins Debate: Clovis First vs Pre-Clovis

The standard school curriculum teaches that Native Americans descended from a small band of Paleo-Indian people from north-east Asia who walked across the now-vanished Beringia land-bridge between...
Faravahar, one of the best-known symbols of ancient Iran (Persia). Relief in Persepolis.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part I – The Achaemenids to the Sassanians

The land of Persia (also known as Iran) has been the center of several important empires throughout history. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, this was the land from which the mighty Achaemenids...
The August 7, 2018 Ibn Sina Google Doodle.

Who Was Ibn Sina and Why is He a Google Doodle?

A surprising Google Doodle has greeted users of the search engine in the UK. The image celebrates the 1038th birthday of Persian polymath Ibn Sina. For many in the West, this may be the first...
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...
‘Yorinda and Yoringel’ by John Duncan (1909)

Once Upon A Time: Concepts of Afterlife and Altered Consciousness Concealed in Faerie Folklore

Once upon a Time, they all lived happily ever-after. In the 1891 publication The Science of Fairy Tales , the folklorist Edwin Sidney Hartland devoted three chapters to ponder over ‘The Supernatural...
 "Israel in Egypt" by Edward Poynter, 1867

Pharaoh Ramses’ Anti-Israelite Policy Now Explained

Why were the Jews enslaved in Egypt? New evidence from a French Egyptologist, Alain Zivie, now points to an Egyptian suspect: Pharaoh’s vizier ‘Abdiel, whose Semitic name means ‘a servant of [the god...

Pages