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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.

Roman soldiers and their general by vukkostic (Adobe Stock)

Roman Mars vs Greek Ares as the God of War

In the ancient battle of Thurii in 282 BC, between Rome and the Greek colony of Tarentum, the Romans noticed a youth of extraordinary height marching in front of them and performing miracles of...
Close up of the monument to Crazy Horse. Source: Scott Lee / Public Domain.

Monument to Hero Crazy Horse Is Taking Shape After 70 Years

The famous Lakota were one of the three Sioux tribes of the plains. Throughout their history, which is both glorious and tragic, there have been many prominent heroes, braves, and chiefs. The one...
Herod the Great as depicted in a painting in the Chapel of Madonna and Child. Photo source: Jbribeiro1 / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Herod the Great: A Biblical Tyrant But An Able Protector of Judaea

Herod the Great was a Roman client king of Judaea (known also as the Herodian kingdom) who lived during the 1st century BC. He was also the founder of the Herodian dynasty, whose members, like Herod...
The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state that fought in the Syrian Wars to retain their empire. 	Source: Kings and Generals / YouTube.

The Rise and Demise of the Seleucid Empire

The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state that existed between the 4th and 1st centuries BC. It was established by Seleucus I Nicator (meaning ‘victor’ or ‘conqueror’), one of the diadochi, or...
Anatomy lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer by Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt (1617) (Public Domain)

Body Snatchers, the Cemetery Entrepreneurs of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Anatomists of the 18th and 19th centuries faced a dreadful predicament in that they lacked what would today be called ‘educational aids’. They needed cadavers to dissect. These circumstances created...
Saul and the Witch of Endor

The Biblical Witch of Endor: Contacting the Spirit of a Prophet

The Witch of Endor is also known as the biblical Medium of Endor. According to legend, she was a medium who apparently summoned the Prophet Samuel's spirit. She is known from the Old Testament but...
The island of Ischia seen from the sea, showing volcanic features. Colored etching by Pietro Fabris, (1776). (Wellcome Images/ Public Domain)

Pithekoussai: Ancient Greek Colony of Nestor’s Cup

Celebrated for its thermal springs and verdant landscapes, the volcanic island of Ischia, called Pithekoussai during its ancient Greek days —located in the Bay of Naples —harkens back to the...
The residents of San Miguel De Gualdape were overcome with sickness in the swampy environment. (NPS / Public Domain)

To the Shores of Distant Death: The Failed Colony of San Miguel De Gualdape

The year is 1526. Onto the wild and wooded lands of what is today Georgia in the United States, European feet had never permanently walked. These forests and river valleys, the wild rolling hills of...
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Philosopher-King of Ancient Rome: Marcus Aurelius' Imperium

Marcus Aurelius is famed for various accomplishments—his title as the last of the Five Good Emperors; his extensive study of and literary accomplishments in the field of Stoicism; and, last but not...
The Tai Hang fire dragon dance is performed in Hong Kong during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Explore the Legends and the Myths

Nearly everyone has heard of the Chinese New Year festival, but there is another festival that is very important in China and East Asia. This is the Mid-Autumn Festival , which is an enormous party...
Odysseus and the Sirens by Otto Greiner  (1869–1916) (Public Domain)

The Itinerary of Odysseus, an Ancient Treasure Map

Did Homer’s Odyssey contain a secret code, that would guide the Greeks to gain complete control over the Black Sea and the North Atlantic and access to the riches of precious metals and other...
Several of the ancient pigments were deadly. Photo source: Ezume Images / Adobe Stock.

Poisonous Pigments: History’s Deadliest Colors

Throughout history, ancient civilizations have been using all kinds of ingenious ways to create pigments for the coloring of clothing, objects and even buildings. While some of the pigments were...
The Death of Ravana by Fernand CORMON (1875) Musée des Augustins. (Public Domain)

Rakshasas: Taunting Demons Tainted with Human Emotions

According to Hindu mythology, Satya Yuga signals the era during which the gods and intrinsic goodness ruled humanity, and at the end of his labors, the creator god, Brahma, sleeps. But during his...
Noble bandit of the forest. Credit: Fotokvadrat / Adobe Stock

The Noble Bandit Fulk FitzWarin and His Fight for Whittington Castle

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of books is a thrilling portrayal of the lives and intrigues of medieval lords, and it gained notoriety for its realism and complexity. But do we...
They newly discovered distillery in China. Source: Ecns.cn

Massive 500-Year-Old Distillery Found in China is on Industrial Scale

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a massive distillery in China that dates to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The discovery is believed to be the largest of its kind ever made in China,...
Trio of musicians playing an aulos, cymbala, and tympanum (mosaic from Pompeii) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Orchestral Offerings on the Winds to the Gods

Ever since humans have been able to pull a blade of grass between their thumbs and blow into it, or tap two sticks on a third, our species has attempted to recreate the sounds of nature and over time...

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