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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.

The practice of Onmyōdō. Source: Epiximages / Adobe Stock.

The Oriental Magical Practice of Onmyōdō and Its Checkered History

The practice of Onmyōdō has a contentious history in Japan and, for reasons that will become clear, was outlawed for some time along with its close cousin, Shugendō (修験道). Onmyōdō, means literally, ‘...
Cincinnatus Receiving Deputies of the Senate.

The Roman Dictator Cincinnatus: Model of an Honest Politician?

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus is a figure from the Early Republican period of Rome’s history. Cincinnatus (a nickname given to him due to his curly hair) was an aristocrat who belonged to the...
The tomb of Philip II of Macedon at the Museum of the Royal Tombs in Macedonian Aigai, Vergina     . Source: Public Domain

Does the Greatest Macedonian Rest In the Royal Necropolis at Aigai?

Aigai (known today as Vergina) is an archaeological site situated in northern Greece, not far from the city of Thessaloniki . This was the first capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon . No doubt,...
Glastonbury Abbey, legend or King Arthur  (BMDstudio / Adobe Stock)

Psychic Archaeology Uncovers Lost Structures at Glastonbury

‘The Company of Avalon’ was a group of monks who allegedly directed excavations at Glastonbury Abbey from behind the scenes, so far behind the scenes in fact from the ‘other side’. In the early 1900’...
Phoenician stone sculpture (disq / Adobe Stock)

The Phoenicians: Mysterious Merchant Mariners Whose Inventions Impacted the World Forever

The Phoenicians were an ancient people who once ruled the Mediterranean. Despite little being known about them as very few of their inscriptions have survived, their legacy has had an enormous impact...
Maat, goddess of truth and justice

Maat: Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of...
Cleaned skulls stacked under a tree in the cemetery as per tradition on Skull Island, Trunyan, Bali. Source: dani3315 / Adobe Stock.

The Decomposing Bodies of Skull Island: The Unique Funerary Custom of Trunyan

Trunyan (also spelled as Terunyan) is a village located on the Indonesian island of Bali. This village is known colloquially as the ‘Skull Island’, due to its unique funerary practice , known as...
Malta, Shrouded in Megalithic Mystery

Malta, Shrouded in Megalithic Mystery

The crowd waited expectantly at Malta’s ancient Mnajdra Temple for the spring equinox sun to peek out from behind a nearby hill. Suddenly the sun broke through the low-lying morning mist. Warmed by...
The Yamnaya came to Europe from modern-day western Russia or the Ukraine. Source: katiekk2 / Adobe Stock.

How A Handful of Yamnaya Culture Nomads Became the Fathers of Europe

The origins of modern Europeans are shrouded in mystery and wracked by controversy. Archaeologists and linguists have long debated the origins of the Indo-European language family as well as the...
Antikythera Mechanism -  National Archaeological Museum, Athens by Joy of Museum (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Antikythera Mechanism: Who Designed the World’s Oldest Astronomical Computer?

Since its discovery in a shipwreck near Greece in 1900, an ancient metallic astronomical clock, called the ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ still baffles scientists. Research articles on the clock offer loose...
Pirate ship on the open sea at sunset. Representative image of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Blackbeard and his Infamous Pirate Ship, Queen Anne's Revenge

“So our Heroe, Captain Teach, assumed the Cognomen of Black-beard, from that large Quantity of Hair, which, like a frightful Meteor, covered his whole Face, and frightened America more than any Comet...
An 1811 wood engraving depicts the coronation of King Henry. Source: Fine Art America

The Kingdom of Hayti and the Slave that Pronounced Himself King

By Marlene Daut / The Conversation Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther,” which recently became the first superhero drama to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, takes place in the secret...
Pope Formoso and Stephen VI by Jean-Paul Laurens (1870) (Public Domain)

Synodus Horrenda: The Macabre Trial of the Corpse of Pope Formoso

In AD 897 the holy space of the Basilica of St John of Lateran, Rome , was violated by a truly sinister event inside the dark walls of the house of God. In the august presence of the Emperor Lamberto...
Burning scroll

Who Destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria?

The destruction of the great library of Alexandria has been lamented as one of the biggest losses of the ancient world. Nearly one million documents from across Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India...
A pair of wooden shiziguo type lions decorated with gilt and polychrome.  The female has a cub, symbolizing a happy family.  Chinese, early Ching Dynasty (Image: © Walther G. von Krenner)

Chinese Lion Kings: Winged Lions, Foo Dogs and Gaimei

The King of the Beasts triumphs in Chinese mythology, albeit in many shapes and forms. Chinese artists combined different creatures’ attributes to create a composite beast, which they called pixiu (...
Representation of Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland

Grace O'Malley was Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the O Maille clan, a rebel , seafarer, and fearless leader who challenged the turbulent politics of 16th century England and Ireland. While Irish...

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