Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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AI portrait of fearless powerful warrior Viking man with blood marks. Source: Asiri/Adobe Stock

The Vikings Had a Justice System Based On Blood Feuds (Video)

The Icelandic Vikings of the Middle Ages had a justice system centered on blood feuds , in stark contrast to modern legal proceedings. Unlike today's courtroom dramas with attorneys and evidence,...
Aokigahara Forest, a.k.a. Suicide Forest, in Japan. Source: Satoshi881 / Adobe Stock

Japan's Aokigahara Forest Struggles to Shed Historic Suicide Infamy

In the shadow of Japan’s Mount Fuji, lies the sprawling Aokigahara Forest, also known as Jukai , or the Sea of Trees, because its rustling branches reportedly resemble the sound of the sea. The...
Painting ‘Combate de Mujeres’ by José de Ribera showing a female duel. Source: Public Domain

Women Scrapping with Swords and Pistols: Famous Female Duels

The use of private duels as a way of settling questions of honor spread through Europe from Italy in the end of the 15th century, though the institutional practice was much older. These encounters...
Anglo-Saxon warriors lived by their Anglo-Saxon honor code. Source: warmtail / Adobe Stock

Honor, Loyalty, and Worth: The Anglo-Saxon Warrior Code

Every culture and society on Earth, both past and present, has their own ideas of what makes a person honorable or worthy. This is particularly true when it comes to warriors and their actions both...
The Holmgang was formalized but could still be deadly. Source: Alex_marina / Adobe Stock.

Fight For Your Honor! The Holmgang And Viking Law

Throughout their history, the Vikings were known as ferocious fighters, seafarers, raiders, and traders. The popular image depicts them as somewhat rambunctious and lawless - but that is far from the...
A Samurai Preparing for Seppuku

The Honorable Death: Samurai and Seppuku in Feudal Japan

While martial suicide is a practice found in a lot of cultures, the act of seppuku , or ritual self-disembowelment, is peculiar to Japan. The earliest known acts of seppuku were the deaths of samurai...
Samurai armor is both brutal and delicate.

The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

The Samurai class was officially dissolved over 150 years ago. Nonetheless, the warriors’ elaborate armor is still recognized globally as an iconic emblem of Japanese military strength and virtue...
Lucretia And Tarquin, 17th century painting

The Rape of Lucretia: A History of the Ancient Wife Who Changed the Destiny of Rome

Sextus Tarquinius was the son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome who was engaged in the siege of Ardea at the time. One day, Sextus invited his friends for supper and drinks at his...
A Māori warrior.

Mokomokai: Preservation of the Tattooed Maori Heads of New Zealand

Mokomokai are preserved heads that are produced by the Māoris of New Zealand. These are not just any heads, but heads that have been decorated by moko. Moko is a traditional art form practiced by the...
Painting of María Pita (1987) by Fernández Cersa

Maria Pita: The Woman Who Saved a Galician Town from the British

At the end of 16th century the fleet of Queen Elizabeth wanted to take control of the waterways from England to Portugal. The group of galleons headed by Sir Francis Drake were the dread of the ports...