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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.

Egyptian mummy. Credit: markrhhiggins / Adobe Stock

Nine Parts of the Human Soul According to the Ancient Egyptians

The idea of the human soul has fascinated humankind for thousands of years. Cultures around the world have sought to explain the soul or spirit in a wide and fascinating variety of ways. The soul is...
‘Ambroise Paré and the examination of a patient’ by James Bertrand. Source: Ji-Elle/ CC BY SA 3.0

9 Ancient Physicians and Legendary Healers that Changed Medicine Forever

Most people have heard of the eminent physician Hippocrates and his famous oath. But far fewer know of Shennong, Avicenna, and Andreas Vesalius – some of the lesser-known figures to have transformed...
Saint Columba converting King Brude of the Picts to Christianity by William Hole (1899) (Public Domain)

The End is Nigh, Scotland’s Magic Isle of Salvation

A curious Old Gaelic prophecy is listed in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology , January 1853, which originated in the west coast of Scotland or Ireland and its meaning has eluded explanation for over...
View of the 2019 construction site and the alignment of steles, standing stones. Source: © SBMA - ARIA SA.

Rare Stone Steles With Unknown Figures Found At Neolithic Site in Switzerland

A remarkable series of standing stones have been found near one of the most important Neolithic sites in Switzerland , and indeed in the entire Alpine region of Europe. The unearthed stones are...
The golden city of Paititi is hidden in the dense Peruvian jungle. Source: marmoset / Adobe stock

The Inkarri and the Golden City of Paititi: The Myths Born from Blood and Greed

On August 29, 1533, the Incan King Atahualpa , who only ruled for one single year, was ordered by Francisco Pizarro (1471-1541) to be strangled to death by a garrot. This single act martyred...
Crucifixion of Saint Peter by Luca Giordano, Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice (circa 1660) (Public Domain)

Sorcery at the Vatican: The Papacy’s Seven Deadly Sinners

Mention ‘ the Pope ’ today and the image it immediately summons up for many people is of a saintly old man standing on a balcony in Rome blessing the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square (technically...
Departure of the Israelites, by David Roberts (1829) (Public Domain)

Exodus: Which Way Did Moses Choose And Why?

The actuality of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt has probably generated the most discussion and argument among scholars of Biblical times. Various sources recount that the Israelites were settled...
Medieval knight. Credit: rudall30 / Adobe Stock

The Reign of Aethelwulf, King of Wessex: Between Realm and Religion

The early history of England includes all kinds of different cultures and remarkable figures. And one of the crucial parts of the history of this country belongs to the Anglo-Saxon era. Filled with...
Religion of the Aztecs: Keeping the Balance in an Unpredictable and Terrifying World

Religion of the Aztecs: Keeping the Balance in an Unpredictable and Terrifying World

The Aztec Empire was the largest and most successful Mesoamerican empire in terms of size and demographics. It stretched across highlands, coastal plains, valleys, and forests. It is not surprising,...
The Harrowing of Hell by Jacob van Swanenburgh  (1571–1638) (Public Domain)

Geographic Gateways to the Underworld

Ancient civilizations, including the Indian Hindu traditions, blended astronomical observations with religious and spiritual beliefs. The Orion constellation was where the vernal equinox was stated...
Memories of Childhood: Aesop’s Fables are as Relevant Today as They Were 2,600 Years Ago

Memories of Childhood: Aesop’s Fables are as Relevant Today as They Were 2,600 Years Ago

The Frog and the Mouse, The Fox and the Stork, The Boy Who Cried Wolf – these, and many other wonderful fables were a big part of childhood for many of us. But now that childhood is gone, did we stop...
 “The Victory of Joshua over the Amorites”

The Fierce Amorites and the First King of the Babylonian Empire

The Amorites, also called Amurru or Martu, were an ancient Semitic-speaking people who dominated the history of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine from about 2000 to 1600 BC. Tribal nomads who forced...
Tracing the Fall of Simon Magus to Ariccia, Rome

Tracing the Fall of Simon Magus to Ariccia, Rome

" O Simon the magician, o wretched followers That the things of God, that of goodness Do not be brides, and you birds of prey for gold and for silver, which are turned upside down, Now it's time for...
La Malinche (Young Girl of Yalala, Oaxaca).

The Controversial Role of La Malinche in the Fall of the Aztec Empire: Traitor or Hero?

La Malinche (meaning ‘ the captain’s woman’) , also known as ‘Malinalli’, ‘Malintzin’ or ‘ Doña Marina’, is an important figure in the history of Mexico, especially for the pivotal role she played in...
An Elite Class That Ruled Over the 99%. Sound Familiar? It All Began with the Patricians of Rome

An Elite Class That Ruled Over the 99%. Sound Familiar? It All Began with the Patricians of Rome

In ancient Rome, the patricians (from the Latin word patres , meaning ‘fathers’) were one of the main classes of Roman society. They were the ruling class, and enjoyed great prestige as well as...
The Fifth Plague of Egypt by J. M. W. Turner (1800) Indianapolis Museum of Art  (Public Domain)

Unpacking the Ten Plagues of Egypt: A Scientific Explanation

Could there be a scientific explanation and a sequence of natural disasters that caused the 10 Plagues of Egypt? Of all the characters in the Old Testament , Moses stands out, as a leader, as a...

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