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Sappho and Alcaeus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1881)

Gender Equality in the Ancient World?

In discussions about gender in the ancient world, women seldom seemed to be portrayed in a good light. In Ancient Greece, women were described as dogs, demons and degenerates. Semonides of Amorgos (...
The ‘mourning scene’ on the East wall in the Royal Tomb at El-Amarna (TA 26B - Chamber gamma). Akhenaten is shown leading the royal family in grieving the death of Princess Meketaten, their second daughter, who stands inside a pavilion associated with childbirth. Julian Tuffs.

Challenges of Infant Mortality in Ancient Egypt: Amulets, Spells and the Divine—Part II

Among all the perils that the ancient Egyptians battled through their use of religion and magic, none came close to the poignant and desperate prayers they made to save the lives of their offspring...
Mother Love: Detail from a relief shows Pharaoh Seti I as a child sitting on the lap of goddess Isis. Her right arm is resting on his back while she gently caresses his face with her left hand. This scene can be found on the western wall of the Second Hypostyle Hall. Temple of Seti I, Abydos.

Challenges of Infant Mortality in Ancient Egypt: Disease, Death and Deliverance - Part I

Family came first in ancient Egypt. Be it the royal household or the commoner on the street, the bond between parents and their children was considered sacred. Right through the Old Kingdom period...
Arctic Ocean Sea Water.

Did Pytheas, Ancient Navigator, Geographer and Astronomer Discover Mysterious Thule?

About 600 years BC, Greek merchants sailed west the length of the Mediterranean Sea and founded a city named Massilia. Now it's called Marseilles, France. The purpose of the new port was to control...
Belisarius by Francois-Andre Vincent 1776

Did Antonina Use Witchcraft to Enslave the Mighty Byzantine General Belisarius?

Flavius Belisarius (500 - 565 AD) personified the perfect example of what a general of a powerful empire ought to have been. He was almost invincible in battle as he restored the influence of the...
Knights of the Holy Ghost embarking on the crusades. After a miniature in a manuscript of the XIVth Century in the museum of the Louvre.

The Seven Most Deadly Weapons of the Crusades, or Were There Eight?

By Cam Rea / Classical Wisdom Any weapon can be deadly when properly used, so by no means is this list all inclusive. The timeline of the Crusades spans from 1096 AD to 1272 AD, with the 9th Crusade...
Image from the Shahnameh of the Simurgh (benevolent Persian mythological creature) carrying Zal (held in her claws) to her nest.

Simurgh, the Mysterious Giant Healing Bird in Iranian Mythology

The image of the serpent is widely acknowledged in western culture to symbolize medicine. One of the most recognizable symbols for medicine today is the rod of Aesculapius with its entwined single...
Bronze statuette of the funerary deity, Wepwawet; design by Anand Balaji

Wepwawet, Lord of Abydos and Champion of Royalty: Jubilees, Worship and Resurrection—Part II

From being a god with militaristic overtones, in time, Wepwawet was hailed as the ‘Lord of the Necropolis’, a role he acquired from Osiris, at his cult centers in Abydos and later Asyut too. A...
Coffin lid dating from the Late Period flanked by two depictions of Wepwawet; design by Anand Balaji

Wepwawet, Lord of Abydos and Champion of Royalty: Origin, Myth and Divinity—Part I

The ancient Egyptians not only worshipped animals they admired but also those that they feared greatly. As a result, their pantheon consisted of innumerable feathered and furry creatures – each a...
The view across a battlefield undergoing heavy bombardment by Paul Nash 1918 commissioned by the Ministry of Information

The Cost of War: Supply and Demand – Part II

Once loans had been secured and granted, the World War I monster had an appetite that could not be satiated. The American banking firms, munitions industries, industries and agriculture worked hand-...
John Singer Sargent's Gassed presents a classical frieze of soldiers being led from the battlefield - alive, but changed forever by individual encounters with deadly hazard in war.

The Cost of War: Democracy Comes at a Price – Part 1

A Serbian by the name of Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on 28 June 1914. The action of Princip would lead the world...
Horace, the Misunderstood Soldier turned Poet and Creator of “Carpe Diem”

Horace, the Misunderstood Soldier turned Poet and Creator of “Carpe Diem”

The literary works of Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 - 68 BC), or Horace, spans an extraordinarily wide range, making him one of the central authors in Latin literature. Horace seemed to be just as...
Native copper nugget from glacial drift, Ontonagon County, Michigan. An example of the raw material worked by the people of the Old Copper Complex

The Cult of the Dead in Prehistoric America

Long ago, a type of ritualized worldview spread throughout a broad expanse of north-eastern America, described in the archaeological literature as the ancient ‘Cult of the Dead’ or the ‘Eastern...
The Mapungubwe Gold Rhinoceros

South Africa’s National Gold Treasures Just Got Rarer

Gold has been prominent in human thought and history for over 6,000 years. Considered by some, to be one of earth’s rarest and most valued precious metals, it has gained a peculiar, and indeed, an...
Head from a red granite statue of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt found at Karnak; side panel of one of the Colossi of Memnon shows a relief of Hapy, the Nile god, and a sculpture of Queen Tiye; design by Anand Balaji

Amenhotep III, The Man and his Monuments: Age of Empire and Architecture –Part II

With the empire witnessing an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, Amenhotep III embarked on a grand building project that spanned the length and breadth of Egypt. The monuments he commissioned...
Golden Hill of Mapungubwe (Copyright University of Pretoria)

Archaeozoology at Mapungubwe: Let the Bones Speak

Ever since Creation, mankind has had an interdependent relationship with the animal kingdom. Mapungubwe (circa 1220 to 1290 AD) on the northern border of South Africa, is an Iron Age settlement and...
 Matabele land and the Victoria Falls: a naturalist's wanderings in the interior of South Africa, from the letters and journals of the late Frank Oates / edited by C.G. Oates. 1881

The Masebe Mountains in Africa Speak Their Ancient Names

Africa is a continent where its people are in spiritual communication with the soul of the land, as typically illustrated in the Masebe Nature Reserve in the Limpopo province of South Africa...
Alexander the Great Refuses to Take Water by Giuseppe Cades (1792)

Alexander the Great: Veterans and Settlers – Part III

Watching the fast-evolving state of affairs following Alexander’s death, the Athenian demagogue Demades compared the Macedonian army to the: “Cyclops after his one eye had been burned out, seeing its...
Alexander the Great trust to physician Phillip by Henryk Siemiradzky (1870)

Alexander the Great: Bleeding Asia Dry – Part II

A famous Roman aphorism was used well by Tacitus: “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal; this they falsely name Empire, and when they create a desert, then they call it peace”. It is a...
The Great Sun Court of Amenhotep III at Luxor Temple; and detail of a calcite statue shows Amenhotep III with a solar form of the crocodile god Sobek, likely Sobek-Horus; design by Anand Balaji

Amenhotep III, the Man and his Monuments: Sparkling Glories of the Magnificent One – Part I

Few pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history could hold a candle to the stupendous achievements of Amenhotep III in various spheres. Everything that this daring king touched turned to gold. Be it...
A painting by Charles Le Brun (1673) depicting Alexander and Porus (Puru) during the Battle of the Hydaspes

Alexander the Great: The Economics of Upheaval – Part I

Alexander the Great has been termed a maverick whose 13-year meteoric reign was an aberration in the history of the age. He was a mythopoeic conqueror who simultaneously lived by the tenets of the...
Varangian Guard .Chronicle of John Skylitzes 13th Century

The Varangian Guard: Elite Byzantine Warrior Merchants

The Varangians were an elite guard that once served as the personal bodyguards of Byzantine emperors. When not protecting the emperor, they served at the frontlines in times of war to protect and...
Wewelsburg Caste

Teutonic Knights’ Castle Turned into Nazi Cult Site?

The word ‘crusader’ conjures up images of scarlet-cross Knights Templar. Although these heroes of the 12th century may dominate popular culture, their Order was rivalled by the black-cross Order of...
Witches' Sabbath, 1819-1823 by  Francisco Goya

Killing with Curses: Obscure 17th Century Muggletonian Sect

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. One of the debates among fans of the ‘Potterverse’ – the fictional universe that is the setting for the Harry Potter-related novels and movies – is where did...

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