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‘The Fall of the Titans’ (1588-1590) by Cornelis van Haarlem.

Homosexuality in Ancient Greece - One Big Lie?

You may have heard that homosexuality was celebrated in ancient Greece more than any other place and time. Some scholars have even called ancient Athens a gay paradise, where same-sex romance...
Hammurabi Code of Laws

Hammurabi and his God Given Code of Laws

At that time, the gods Anu and Enlil, for the enhancement of the well-being of the people, named me by my name: Hammurabi, the pious prince, who venerates the gods, to make justice prevail in the...
The City of Refuge: Ancient Hawaiian Sanctuary Protected Law Breakers from Death Sentence

The City of Refuge: Ancient Hawaiian Sanctuary Protected Law Breakers from Death Sentence

For the ancient people living on the Hawaiian Islands, kapu was a major factor in their day-to-day lives. Kapu was a system of laws that governed political and religious affairs as well as lifestyle...
The Egyptian Judicial System: Robust Pillar of Empire

The Egyptian Judicial System: Robust Pillar of Empire

Down the millennia, right from the hoary Narmer Palette to the grand reliefs on the walls of the magnificent temples of Ramesses II and that of later rulers; Egyptian artistic canon depicted the...
Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Throughout history, the rich and powerful have attempted to control access to items considered luxurious or status symbols. Today, this is done through marketing and price setting (a prominent...
Left, Sisters Charlotte and Susan Cushman in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 1846. Right, Male Kabuki actor in Japan

Ancient History of Cross-Dressing: From Ancient Religions to the Theaters

Ephippus, in a surviving fragment of his lost pamphlet depicting the court of Alexander the Great in 324-323 BC, alleges that Alexander liked to cross-dress as the Greek archer-goddess Artemis...
Solon, the wise lawgiver of Athens.

Solon: The Father of Western Law

Solon the Athenian was a great philosopher and one of the seven sages of ancient Greece. However, he’s mainly remembered for being the legislator who laid the foundation for Athenian democracy with...
15th century the basement of a "market house" used as a prison

Prisons and Imprisonment in the Ancient World: Punishments Used to Maintain Public Order

One of the most well-known forms of punishment today is imprisonment. One could argue that for any society to function properly, public order has to be maintained. This is an important function of...
A carving of Draco in the US Supreme Court Library

The brutal Draconian laws of ancient Greece

Athens is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of democracy. One of the cornerstones for the establishment of Athenian democracy was the introduction of a written law code that could only be...