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History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the 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.

Golden Celestial Nymph of Majapahit (CC BY-SA 3.0), and carved relief of a bulging-eyed figure on a temple in Trowulan, suggested site of the capital city of the Majapahit Empire (CC BY-SA 3.0), Deriv.

The Hidden Mastermind and Warrior Queen Behind an Empire’s Golden Age

The Majapahit Empire was a vast empire on the island of Java from 1293 to 1527 CE, which later became part of modern Indonesia. It was an empire of 98 tributaries, stretching from the island of...
How a Javanese King Defeated One of the Most Powerful Rulers of the Mongolian Empire

How a Javanese King Defeated One of the Most Powerful Rulers of the Mongolian Empire

Raden Wijaya (known also as Nararya Sangramawijaya) was the founder of the Majapahit Empire. Apart from being remembered as the man who established the Majapahit Empire, Raden Wijaya is also known...
Using Sacred Numbers to Make Money - Secret Kabbalist Practices for Conquering Chance

Using Sacred Numbers to Make Money - Secret Kabbalist Practices for Conquering Chance

An unusual pentagonal diagram with numbers and letters is found in some old texts. The oldest extant version is in a French book published in 1754, but the image and explanation that accompanies it...
Detail of the hand section of the jade burial suit of Liu Sui, Prince of Liang, of Western Han

Fit for a King: Royals of Ancient China Buried in Jade Ceremonial Suits

Perceptions of the afterlife have inspired thousands of weird ideas for burial rituals around the world. One example comes in form of the remarkably beautiful and fascinating ceremonial suits created...
Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Picture a group of the dead passing down the street next to your house. They sing out deathly stories and spread a creepy energy that makes you feel your skin crawl. You want to escape, but you can’t...
The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

It may come as a shock to learn that ancient peoples enjoyed making lists of greats as much as we do. Just as websites make Top 10 lists about topical items today, so too did the Hellenistic Greeks...
Mavia: A Powerful Warrior Queen Who Struck Fear in the Hearts of Ancient Male Rulers

Mavia: A Powerful Warrior Queen Who Struck Fear in the Hearts of Ancient Male Rulers

A woman whose life isn't confirmed by any archaeological evidence is recognized as one of the most famous ancient Arab queens. Next to Zenobia of Palmyra, Queen Mavia is one of the heroines from the...
Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

The “Lovers of Valdaro” are a pair of human skeletons that were discovered in 2007 by a team of archaeologists at a Neolithic tomb in Italy. The two skeletons appear to have died while they were...
The Mother of all Gods: The Phrygian Cybele

The Mother of all Gods: The Phrygian Cybele

A goddess of ecstatic and chthonic reproductive mysteries, Cybele was the primary mother goddess of ancient Anatolia, and Phrygia's only known goddess thus far. She was a "Mistress of Animals", "...
How to Rule Peacefully through Trading: The Rise and Fall of the Forgotten Maritime Empire, Srivijaya

How to Rule Peacefully through Trading: The Rise and Fall of the Forgotten Maritime Empire, Srivijaya

Since the Bronze Age, the state or empire with the most defined territories and the greatest military prowess makes the decisions. This has been the method of survival of empires for countless...
Mythbusting Ancient Rome – The Truth About the Vomitorium

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – The Truth About the Vomitorium

After gorging on a feast of sausages, blood pudding, young sow’s udder, sea bream, lobster, mullet, Attic honey, and Syrian dates, all washed down with a few glasses Falernian wine, it is little...
Why Isn’t This Map in the History Books?

Why Isn’t This Map in the History Books?

By the age of 10, most children in the United States have been taught all 50 states that make up the country. But centuries ago, the land that is now the United States was a very different place...
Bluetooth: Why Modern Tech is Named After Powerful King of Denmark and Norway

Bluetooth: Why Modern Tech is Named After Powerful King of Denmark and Norway

Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson was a King of Denmark and Norway who lived during the 10th century AD. He was responsible for the unification of Denmark. Following this feat, Harald set his sights beyond...
: The 14 columns of the The Colonnade of Amenhotep III - Luxor Temple and Statue of the Pharaoh

Dazzling Nebmaatre: Sunset in Waset—Part III

The efflorescent era of Amenhotep III ushered in a period of unsurpassed prosperity for Egypt. During this time, the country grew economically and militarily powerful. But the Sun was bound to set on...
Unravelling the Mystery of the Maronite Mummies: Why Were Medieval Mummies Hidden in a Cave?

Unravelling the Mystery of the Maronite Mummies: Why Were Medieval Mummies Hidden in a Cave?

When archaeologists found a cache of medieval mummies in a Lebanese cave, the amazing discovery took their breath away. The remarkably well-preserved bodies of eight people who were buried in Qadisha...
Revealing the Identify of the First Female Ruler of Egypt. Hint: It Was NOT Hatshepsut

Revealing the Identify of the First Female Ruler of Egypt. Hint: It Was NOT Hatshepsut

Today it is known that women appeared on the throne in ancient Egypt more often than many people believed just decades ago. The first known influential queens appeared with the first kings. This was...
Theagenes of Thasos: From Legendary Olympic Fighter to God-Healer

Theagenes of Thasos: From Legendary Olympic Fighter to God-Healer

Theagenes was born in Thasos around 500 BC (or 505 BC according to some sources) and was meant to become one of the most dominant and famous competitive fighters that ever lived. His impact while...
Fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo of Rachel sitting on the idols.

The Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, Entwining Faiths and Generations

The tomb of the Biblical matriarch Rachel became the basis for many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim stories. The remarkable chamber located in Bethlehem is not only a part of cultural and historical...
Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Grand Duke to Caesar – Part II

Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Grand Duke to Caesar – Part II

Military adventurer and mercenary for hire, Roger de Flor was as shrewd a businessman as he was a skillful sailor and fighter. Through his rich services to kings and the elite, he established a...
An olive tree in Israel. Image credit: Doreen/Adobe Stock

A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

People In many countries around the world cannot imagine their cuisine without olive oil. Apart from gastronomy, the gift of oil from the magnificent olive tree is also used today for other purposes...
Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha was a regent of the Ostrogoths who lived during the Late Antique period, i.e. the 6th century AD. This was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when Italy was under the...
Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I

Roger de Flor was a swashbuckling military adventurer and condottiere (mercenary) leader of the Catalan Company. He was born in the city of Brindisi, Italy, which at the time of his birth was a part...
Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

The magical traditions of ancient Greece encompassed spells, curse tablets, drugs, potions, poisons, amulets, and talismans. For many cultures of the past, there was a very fine line between magic,...
The Heroic Story of Roland: A Valiant Knight With an Unbreakable Sword

The Heroic Story of Roland: A Valiant Knight With an Unbreakable Sword

Roland (Hruodland in Frankish) also called "Roland the Valiant," was born in 736 AD and died in 778 at Roncevaux. He was a Frankish knight, Earl of March of Brittany, responsible for defending the...

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