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Coriolanus and the Roman matrons by Pieter Lastman (1622) Trinity College, Dublin. (Public Domain)

Tragic Coriolanus, Roman Warrior Or Traitor

William Shakespeare’s Roman play Antony and Cleopatra impresses upon the audience a vast universe which includes Rome, Alexandria, and Athens. In contrast, his other Roman play, Coriolanus, is...
Emperor Theodosius II welcomes the relics of St. John Chrysostom. Holy Apostles Church (Early 11th century) (Public Domain)

The Byzantine Emperors 395 – 491 AD

The Byzantine Emperors witnessed the disintegration of the western Roman Empire which did not survive past the fifth century. Contrary to the latter, the Byzantine Empire would subsist the successive...
Death of Semele, caused by the Theophany of Zeus without a mortal disguise, by Peter Paul Rubens (1640) (Public Domain)

Ancient Greek Theophanies, Ghosts And Hallucinations

Gods and goddesses revealed themselves rather remarkably often to the privileged and chosen ancient Greeks, even if it was in disguise to hide their blinding brilliance. Like English, Greek did not...
Medieval Mass battle ( AIGen/ Adobe Stock)

Grand Alliances: The Anglo-French War 1294 – 1303

In 1294, after almost 30 years of peace, England and France went to war. This sowed the seeds of the conflict known as the Hundred Years War, the era of the longbow and the famous Battles of Crécy...
Henry VIII's first interview with Anne Boleyn. (Public Domain)

Unlawful Love - Queen Anne Boleyn – Witch or Not?

Queen Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife, was executed on 19 May 1536 on charges of adultery with five men, including her own brother, and plotting the King’s death. She was believed to have...
Kriemhild accuses Hagen of murdering Sigfrid after Sigfrid's wounds begin to bleed in Hagen's presence, by Emil Lauffer (1879) (Public Domain)

Nibelungs – Germanic Race Of Elves Or Giants?

The Nibelungs are one of the most mysterious peoples of the ancient world. Some scholars regard them as a race of dwarfs or elves. On the other hand, their close identification with giants suggests...
The Forge of Vulcan by Diego Velázquez (1630) (Public Domain)

Excalibur: Extracting Swords From Stone, Ancient Metallurgical Metaphors

The first mention of the famous ‘Sword in the Stone’ of the Arthurian tradition is found in Robert de Boron’s Merlin , a medieval French poem, part of the 13th-century Lancelot-Grail cycle of French...
Sekhmet at Rameses III’s temple at Mabinet Habu (abrilla / Adobe Stock)

The Enigma Of Egyptian Sekhmet And Leonine Deities

Typical of cats, the leonine goddesses of ancient Egypt, including Sekhmet are very elusive, despite countless research papers. A review of the attestations of the cult of feline deities in Egypt...
Homage of King Edward I (kneeling) to Philip IV (seated). As Duke of Aquitaine, Edward was a vassal to the French king, by Jean Fouquet (15th century) (Public Domain)

Clash Of Kings: England’s Edward Longshanks Versus France’s Philip The Fair

The Anglo-French war of 1294-1303 has not been the subject of a major study since the early 1900s. Recent histories tend to treat it as a sideshow compared to King Edward I’s wars in Wales and...
An artistic depiction of the Maritime Archaic culture, at the Port au Choix Archaeological Site. The Maritime Archaic peoples were the first to settle Newfoundland. (David W Enstrom / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Maritime Archaic Culture: The Red Paint People Of Newfoundland

About 5,000 years ago, when the Phoenicians dominated the Mediterranean trade routes and were, perhaps, beginning to venture out into the Atlantic as far west as North America, and when a mysterious...
Beware the Greeks bearing gifts, by Henry Paul Motte (19th century) (Public Domain)

The Iliad And The Odyssey: Lessons From Humanities

The Humanities are by definition concerned with humankind’s life-chances and life-fates, and mortality captures humanness from one essential viewpoint – all humans inevitably die. All human life, and...
The Assassination of Julius Caesar by William Holmes Sullivan (1888) (Public Domain)

Ecce Homo - The Julius Caesar Murder Mystery

Julius Caesar’s assassination is the best-documented account of any murder committed in the ancient world, and the Ides of March, the day of his murder, is the only day in Roman antiquity that can be...
Library of Ashurbanipal Mesopotamia 1500-539 BC Gallery, British Museum, London, England (Gary Todd / CC0)

The World’s First Collectors, Museums And Libraries Of Antiquity

People have collected objects, scripts, fossils, specimens, precious stones, artifacts and memorabilia since the dawn of mankind’s memory, for different reasons. Many possible motives come into play...
Incredible orange sunrise at the temple of Philae, a Graeco-Roman construction seen from the Nile river, a temple dedicated to Isis, goddess of love. (unai/Adobe Stock)

The Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt (332-14 BC)

Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC and after his death, his empire was divided. In 305 BC Egypt fell to his general Ptolemy I Soter . The Ptolemaic Dynasty was a powerful Hellenistic state...
Catullo and Clodia, by Giulio Aristide Sartorio (Public Domain)

Cicero Versus Clodia: Stereotyped Roman Character Assassination

Due to the growing independence and complexity of society, the greatest families in Rome met their downfalls. However, the heiresses of those great houses took up the chance to reclaim the power that...
A hunter returning with his kill (fotogurmespb / Adobe Stock)

Living Close To The Bone – A Day In The Life Of A Hunter-Gatherer

At the beginning of Herodotus’ Histories, the Athenian lawgiver Solon, one of the seven sages of ancient Greece, points out to his interlocutor Croesus, King of Lydia, that if a person lives to be 70...
Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius on 28 October 312 AD by Giulio Romano ( 1520-24). Vatican City (Public Domain)

The Constantinian Dynasty - Five Successors, One Victorious Emperor

The Tetrarchy, inaugurated in 285 AD by Emperor Diocletian, had been instituted mainly with the intent of mitigating successions tribulations such as those that had plagued the third century. But the...
A Medieval Mass Battle ( AIGen/ Adobe Stock)

The Anarchy: England’s War Of The Two Matildas

Few periods in history have brought women to the fore, to the centre of events, as the Anarchy did in England. From 1135 to 1154, conflict raged when Stephen of Blois usurped the throne that...
King Charles I as a victorious and chivalrous Saint George in an English landscape, by Peter Paul Rubens (1629–30) (Public Domain)

Changing England’s History: Sudden Death Of The Heirs Apparent

The English crown is hereditary. Over the centuries, the succession has been largely determined by both blood and the accidents of birth. This has given rise to some glorious reigns, such as that of...
Seth God Statue (Catmando / Adobe Stock)

The Rise And Fall Of Seth, Egyptian God Of Volcanism

Numerous papers have been written about the Egyptian god Seth in recent years, but his essential identity seems to have evaded modern commentators. Seth's role is pivotal in determining the...
Vespasian, Founder of the Flavian dynasty built the Colosseum in Rome (  rpbmedia/ Adobe Stock)

Legacy Of Vespasian Founder Of The Roman Flavian Dynasty

The death of Emperor Nero in 68 AD ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman Emperors. It also initiated a succession crisis which degenerated into a short but deadly civil war. This was the first...
Twelfth Night Revelries: Myrrh, Mirth And Making Merry, 5 – 6 January

Twelfth Night Revelries: Myrrh, Mirth And Making Merry, 5 – 6 January

In the Christian church, January 6 is commemorated as the feast of Epiphany, the day on which the three wise men, or three kings, arrived at the stable in Bethlehem to visit the newborn baby Jesus...
Virgil reading the Aeneid to Emperor Augustus, his wife Livia and fainting sister Octavia by Antonio Zucchi (1767) (Public Domain)

Remarkable Early Life Of Livia, Destined To Become Empress And Deified Augusta

In 29 AD, Livia, the Empress of Rome and the widow of Emperor Augustus, died at the age of 86. Although she was the mother of Tiberius, the current Emperor of Rome , and an Empress through her own...
The Siege of the Acropolis, by Georg Perlberg (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Ancient Origins Of Modern Greece

Nationhood is a figment of the collective imagination, actualized by a cluster of symbols and ideas – flags, anthems, sports teams, traditional dress (sometimes), a common religion (often), shared...

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