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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.

Solon and King Creso. Source: Public Domain

Solon of Athens: The Grandfather of Democracy (Video)

Solon , a luminary among the seven sages of ancient Greece, was born in Athens around 640 or 638 BC. Hailing from a distinguished family with roots in Salamis, Solon embarked on maritime expeditions...
The Gaul Littavicus betraying the Roman cause and fleeing to support Vercingétorix during the Gallic Wars, in a painting by Théodore Chassériau citca 1838. Source: Public domain

Caesar’s Gambit: Reliving the Drama of the Gallic Wars

One of the principal aspects of growing empires is war. Throughout history, great kingdoms and realms were born at the expense of neighbors who were weaker and ripe for plunder. That is what happened...
Representation of Erik the Red. Source: Gelpi/Adobe Stock

From Exile to Exploration: The Saga of Erik the Red

Erik the Red is one of the most interesting figures in Norse history. Epitomizing the Viking spirit of adventure and conquest, Erik is widely (and mistakenly) remembered as the first European to...
The village and citadel at Thula have their roots in the Himyarite kingdom. Source: fotoember/ Adobe Stock

Himyarite Kingdom: The Forgotten Empire (Video)

The Himyarite Kingdom , spanning from the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD, stands as a testament to Yemen's rich history beyond contemporary turmoil. Situated strategically along the Maritime...
Reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman, flanked by the tattoo experiment which is believed to replicate how the originals were created. Source: Deter-Wolf et al., Exarc, 2022; Mannivu / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Does Ötzi the Iceman Have History’s Oldest Hand-Poked Tattoos?

Over five millennia have passed since Ötzi the Iceman was struck down by an arrow from an unknown assailant in the frigid northern regions of the Alps. But still the ancient frozen body has secrets...
An 1845 painting of a group of people from the Sioux tribe by Charles Deas. Source: Public domain

The Ancient Sioux Tribe, A Ghost Dance, and a Savior That Never Came

“ In the old, old days, before Columbus ‘discovered’ us, as they say, we [the people of the Sioux tribe] were even closer to the animals than we are now. Many people could understand the animal...

How Confucianism Shaped Chinese Culture and Legacy (Video)

Confucianism, originating during the Zhou dynasty , emerged as a philosophy emphasizing moral principles and societal harmony, devoid of the supernatural elements common in many other religious...
Man and woman sketch in the style of Leonardo da Vinci Source: vitanovski/Adobe Stock

What Makes Us Human? How Ancient Thinkers Saw the Human-Animal Divide

Julia Kindt /The Conversation What makes us human? What (if anything) sets us apart from all other creatures? Ever since Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the answer to these questions has...
A late 19th-century painting of Act IV, Scene 15 of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra: Cleopatra holds Antony as he dies. Source: Alexandre Bida/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Battle of Alexandria 30 BC - The End of Antony and Cleopatra (Video)

In 30 BC, the Battle of Alexandria marked the culmination of Antony and Cleopatra's struggle against Octavian's forces. Following their defeat at Actium , Antony's remaining troops faced challenges,...
Representational image of Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax. Source: JUSTIN / Adobe Stock

Maximinus Thrax's Turbulent Rule: Rome's Unsuccessful Giant Soldier-Emperor

The history of the vast and powerful Roman Empire was defined by its many rulers. After all, talented emperors were responsible for maintaining that venerable and very complex social machine. However...
Giulia Tofana was a 17th century leader of a poison cartel responsible for over 600 deaths thanks to her trademark poison Aqua Tofana. The Love Potion by Evelyn De Morgan.	Source: Public Domain

Giulia Tofana: The Woman Who Poisoned 600 Men with Her Makeup (Video)

Giulia Tofana's notoriety stemmed from her cunning manipulation of Renaissance society's fascination with poisons and cosmetics. Born into an era where women lacked agency in matters of marriage and...
A mummified body of the Gebelein man in the British Museum. Source: Jack1956/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Gebelein Man, an Ancient Tattooed Murder Victim (Video)

Delving into the story of the Gebelein Man unravels a fascinating tapestry of ancient lore. Discovered in Luxor in 1896, this remarkably preserved mummy stands as a testament to the enduring...
Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, oil on canvas, 1810. By Antoine-Jean Gros; design by Anand Balaji.	Source: Public Domain

Napoleon in Egypt: Battle of the Pyramids (Video)

In May 1798, General Napoleon Bonaparte led a monumental French expedition to Egypt, aiming to disrupt British trade routes and extend French influence. With a fleet of over 300 ships, including the...
Some of the skeletons found in the Black Death Mass Graves in Nuremberg, Germany. Source: In Terra Veritas

Largest Mass Grave in Europe Discovered in Nuremberg, Germany

An unexpected discovery in the heart of Nuremberg has cast new light on the city’s traumatic history. Archaeologists, initially set to inspect an area for new apartment construction in the Franconian...
Representational image of a Chinese naval battle. Source: Public domain

The Battle of Lake Poyang and Its Pivotal Impact on China

The Battle of Lake Poyang stands as one of the largest naval engagements in recorded history, showcasing the might and strategic prowess of warring factions during the tumultuous period of the rise...
Lao Phonsavan Plain of Jars. Source: flu4022/Adobe Stock

Five Unique Burial Sites of the Ancient World (Video)

Across the ancient world, a mosaic of burial practices unveils the diversity of human cultures and their beliefs. Chambered cairns , scattered throughout the UK, intrigue scholars with their...
This decorative belt buckle is of a nomad horseman spearing a boar. The rider wears the steppe dress, his hair is tied into a hair bun characteristic of the oriental steppes, and his horse has characteristically Xiongnu horse trappings. Dated to the 2nd-1st century BC.	Source: Public Domain

Five Most Influential Monarchies in Ancient Asia (Video)

The ancient monarchies of Asia left an indelible mark on history, shaping economies, cultures, and trade routes that endured for centuries. Among these, the Han Dynasty of China stands as a towering...
Did drugs fuel Viking social gatherings and make them formidable and fearless warriors? Source: ContentHub / Adobe Stock.

Viking Drug Use: From Riotous Parties to Berserker Fury

The Vikings stand as legendary figures, their exploits on the seas and battlefields shrouded in myth and mystery. Yet beyond their tales of conquest and exploration lies a lesser-known aspect of...
Left; A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Right; Ripe cacao ready to pick.	Source: Left, Public Domain, Right, Pantira/Adobe Stock

Scientists Map the Genetic Evolution of Cacao to Chocolate

Researchers have mapped the ancient dispersal of the cacao or cocoa plant from South America to Central America. Not only did they discover the plant was a central commodity in ancient trading, but...
Women spinning and socializing. From Augustine’s La Cité de Dieu. Source: Museum Meermanno/The Conversation

The Hidden Healers: Women's Secret Medieval Health Networks

Pragya Agarwal /The Conversation In the medieval period, medical science was still dominated by the ancient writings of Hippocrates from the fifth century and Galen of Pergamon from the second...
Image representing pirate in suit with gun and saber sitting on barrel. Source: Fotokvadrat/Adobe Stock

What the Media Gets Right About Pirates (Video)

Within the realm of pirate lore depicted in media, there exists a delicate balance between fiction and historical accuracy. Notably, Howard Pyle's evocative paintings stand as vivid portrayals of the...
The top of the Merneptah Stele includes a carving of Merneptah receiving a sword from the god Amun, but it is the text of the stele which is most fascinating. Source: Alyssa Bivins / CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Merneptah Stele: Proof Ancient Egypt Knew of the Israelites

The Merneptah Stele, also known as the Israel Stele or Victory Stele of Merneptah, in considered to be one of the most significant archaeological artifacts ever discovered in ancient Egypt. Carved...
Illustration of an ancient Mayan village. Source: jdross75/Adobe Stock

What Life Was Really Like for the Maya (Video)

Ancient Mayan life was a complex tapestry of ritual, innovation, and occasional brutality. Spanning Central America, their society thrived on advanced practices, from sophisticated dental care to...
The fragment of bread retrieved from an oven in Çatalhöyük. Source: Erbakan

World’s Oldest Fermented Bread, Dated to 6,600 BC, Found at Çatalhöyük

During excavations two years ago at the famous ancient Anatolian city of Çatalhöyük , archaeologists uncovered a large furnace-like structure that would have been used as a communal oven. They also...

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