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Provocative scenes from the medieval poem, ‘Roman de La Rose’, have been discovered. Source: Dmitry Pichugin / Adobe Stock.

Does This Explicit Medieval Poem Hold Dark Undertones?

Fragments from a popular sexually explicit medieval French book have been discovered describing what journalists are calling a “hot-encounter" and “ X-rated language ”, but is this text a much more...
Satan – the lead character in the poem ‘Paradise Lost’. Source: Jesse-lee Lang / Adobe Stock

350 Year Old Code Found In Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’

Has an undergraduate student discovered a secret message in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost ? Miranda Phaal, an undergraduate from Tufts University in Massachusetts, discovered what is being...
Medieval woman. Credit:  grape_vein / Adobe Stock

The World’s Oldest Talking Vagina is Discovered…in an Austrian Abbey!

The Vagina Monologues is a play written by Eve Ensler which featured on an Off-Broadway run in 1996 at Westside Theatre exploring consensual and nonconsensual sex, body image, genital mutilation, and...
Chinese Warrior Woman

The Dramatic True Story Behind Disney's Mulan

Hua Mulan is one of the most legendary women of ancient China. Her heroic actions were first recorded in ancient texts, retold in the famous poem Ballad of Mulan , and later popularized in the 1998...
Agastyar, Father and Chairman of first Tamil Sangams, Madurai, Pandiya Kingdom. (CC BY SA 2.5) Detail of ancient Tamil script found on the temple walls of the Tanjore Bragadeeshwara temple.

Sangam Literature: These Tantalizing Tales Offer a Window into Ancient Tamil Life

“In their antiquity and in their contemporaneity, there is not much else in any Indian literature equal to these quiet and dramatic Tamil poems. In their values and stances, they represent a mature...
Gladiators fighting.

The Gladiators Priscus and Verus: Equal they Fought, Equal they Yielded

“As Priscus and Verus each drew out the contest and the struggle between the pair long stood equal, shouts loud and often sought discharge for the combatants. But Titus obeyed his own law (the law...
The codex, opened to a page of Beowulf

A Literary Treasure: The Oldest Surviving English Poem - Beowulf and His Epic Battles

Perhaps the oldest surviving long poem in Old English, Beowulf is commonly seen as one of the most important works of Old English Literature. While the date of the poem’s composition is still debated...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
A Dream Destination for Egyptologists: The Amazing Amarna Necropolis

A Dream Destination for Egyptologists: The Amazing Amarna Necropolis

Amarna is a dream destination for many Egyptologists. The temples, tombs, and houses left by the people who lived in the area thousands of years ago make up one of the most impressive discoveries in...
The "Disk of Enheduanna" at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

The Poetry of Gods by Enheduanna - The First Known Female Writer

It is not always easy to read the stories of real people from the artifacts they left behind. This is especially true if they lived 5,000 years ago. However, the story of a remarkable woman from that...
A color composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey. Credit: NASA/ESA/AURA/Caltech. Inset: Sappho fresco

Scientists Use Advanced Astronomical Software to Date 2,500-Year-Old Lyric Poem

Physicists and astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington have used advanced astronomical software to accurately date lyric poet Sappho's "Midnight Poem," which describes the night sky...
This clay tablet in inscribed with one part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It was most likely stolen from a historical site before it was sold to a museum in Iraq

Previously Unknown Lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered in Stolen Cuneiform Tablet

An Assyriologist at the University of London (UCL) has discovered that a stolen clay tablet inscribed with ancient cuneiform text that was recently acquired by a museum in Iraq, contains 20...
Dante holding open a copy of the Divine Comedy while gazing towards Mount Purgatory (1530), Agnolo Bronzino

A Pilgrimage of Thought: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages...
Fresco of Dante and the Divine Comedy (1465), Domenico di Michelino, Florence cathedral, Italy

A Pilgrimage of Thought: the Politician, Poet, and Pilgrim called Dante Alighieri

Born in Florence in the late thirteenth century, Dante Alighieri would grow up to become one of the most famed and well-read authors of the Italian Middle Ages. The scope of his political and...
Siegfried's Death

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge – Part 2

Like many ancient poems and epic tales, the 13 th century saga of The Nibelungenlied, or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is based on both myth and history. Written by an unknown author, the tale remains...

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