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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.

A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

The Sami People: Reindeer Herding and Cultural Survival in the Far North

The Sámi are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. For thousands of years they have lived in an area called Sápmi - the northern sectors of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula...
An artist's depiction Sunni Ali Ber, African warrior king of the Songhai empire.

Ten of Africa’s Most Powerful Kings, Queens, Warriors and Legends

Africa is a region with a long and glorious history, with hundreds of distinct cultures and traditions. From the Egyptians to the Zulus each culture has produced some of the greatest warriors and...
American Indian legend with wolf and eagle

Mysterious Medicine Wheels of the American West

A hundred stone constructions dotting the landscape of the American north-west, called ‘Medicine Wheels’ by the ignorant, may be pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids to 5,000 years ago. At first glance...
Woman of the Harem

Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire Served the Sultan in More Ways Than One

The imperial harem of the Ottoman era was the collection of wives, servants and concubines of the Sultan, who sometimes numbered in the hundreds. Some were mere playthings or used for the production...
A Tale of Two Brigids: a Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

A Tale of Two Brigids: A Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

St Brigid is one of the patron saints of Ireland. But the virgin nun has roots that go back to the days when the land’s pagan deities received prayers instead. It seems the Celtic goddess Brigid...
At the Monastery Gate by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1846)

The Plight of the Poor: Monastic Charity and Almonries in Medieval England

Until recently, it was believed that monasteries were lax and inefficient in distributing alms to the poor, but Dr. Neil Rushton ’s research indicates that monastic almonries in medieval England were...
Emperor Caligula

The Madness of Caligula: Rome’s Cruelest Emperor?

Caligula was Rome’s most tyrannical emperor. His reign from 37-41 AD is filled with murder and debauchery, to levels even his infamous nephew Nero could not reach. The great-great grandson of Julius...
The engraving of the gods depicted on the kudurru were arranged in a particular order.

Signs of a Civilization? The Sacred Boundary Stones of Babylonia

A kudurru (meaning ‘boundary’ or ‘frontier’ in Akkadian ) is a type of stone document used in ancient Mesopotamia . While stone monuments have been used at various times in ancient Mesopotamia, it is...
The Witch Trial  by William Powell Frith (1848)

The Controversy Surrounding Witches’ Familiars and Religious Judgement

How come religions glorified certain Biblical characters’ - such as Jesus and Mary - communication with spirits or angelic entities, yet it condemned witches’ conferring with familiars, to the point...
Ancient assassin at the sea.

10 Killer Tactics From the Secret World of Ancient Assassins

The game series Assassin’s Creed is a wildly successful franchise following a secret order of assassins who have existed for thousands of years. The games are known for their historical accuracy and...
The Hay Harvest (1565), National Museum (Prague), Lobkowicz family collection in Lobkowicz Palace  by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Divination: Art, Luck or Whim of the Gods?

Marrying a reliable partner to depend on to help eke out a living in harsh circumstances and predicting the weather crucial to a successful harvest, were two of the most vital factors in the lives of...
During the early 17th century the English common law was introduced to Ireland replacing ancient Irish law.

Ancient Irish Law: Collective Responsibility Sometimes Had a Sting in its Tail

During the early 17 th century the English completed their conquest of Ireland and English common law was introduced on the island. Prior to this, a set of native laws was used to for the island’s...
The Israeli Druze are a religious minority in Israel who live in the north of the country.

Who are the Druze and How Might the Shroud of Turin Relate Them to Jesus Christ?

The Druze are a secretive surviving Gnostic community in the Middle East today who publicly claim homogeneity with Islam due to a historical fear of persecution. In truth, they have nothing in common...
Representation of the Winged Hussars

The Winged Hussars: An Eerie and Flamboyant Cavalry That Devasted Their Enemies

The Winged Hussars (known also as the Polish Hussars) were a type of shock cavalry used by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . The Winged Hussars were formed during the 16 th century and were used...
Ivar the Boneless

Ivar the Boneless: Viking Warrior, Ruler and Raider

One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of...
Left - Alfred the Great, painting in the Bodleian Gallery. Right - Alfred the Great at the Battle of Ashdown.

Why was Alfred the Great One of Only Two Kings Named ‘Great’ in English History?

Alfred the Great was the first king of the Anglo-Saxons and one of only two English rulers to have been given the epithet ‘the Great’. He may have earned this title in part by defending his kingdom...

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