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Relics of St. Valentine of Terni at the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin.

The ‘Real’ St. Valentine Was No Patron of Love

By Lisa Bitel / The Conversation On Feb. 14, sweethearts of all ages will exchange cards, flowers, candy, and more lavish gifts in the name of St. Valentine. But as a historian of Christianity, I can...
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
The Marriage of St. Ursula and Prince Conan, 1522

Marriage: Is the Sacred Bond a Result of Social Evolution or Deliberate Design?

Getting married is an age-old celebration, which commemorates the joining of two individuals together in matrimony. For many in today’s society it represents picking out invitations, dresses,...
Research Suggests that Monogamy Took Hold Due to Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Research Suggests that Monogamy Took Hold Due to Sexually Transmitted Diseases

In the animal world, monogamy refers to a pair that have an exclusive sexual relationship during the period of breeding and rearing of offspring. With respect to humans, it is a model of affective-...
The Women of Darius's Family before Alexander the Great. (c. 1517) by Il Sodoma.

The Influential Women that Surrounded and Aided Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was lucky to have very supportive women at his side throughout his life. Historical records show that he was well-protected by them and that they were his secret source of power...