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The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, City of London, UK. Credit: KittyKat / Adobe Stock

Brexit Bill Threat Continues England’s Ancient History of Debt Defaults

Boris Johnson’s threat to withhold payment of the UK’s £39 billion Brexit divorce bill until the EU gives Britain better exit terms has been the source of much debate over whether or not it...
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Pharaoh Akhenaten: An Alternative View of the Heretic King

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a...
Lottery in China from 1910.

From Dividing Biblical Lands to Avoiding Execution In Rome, Public Life Has a Long History of Lotteries

On the 19th of November 1994, the first draw of the UK’s National Lottery took place. The jackpot was worth £5.8 million and was shared between seven ticket holders. The history of lotteries, however...
Detail of Mughal Emperor Jahangir weighing Prince Khurram (later crowned Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire). Page from Tuzk-e-Jahangiri. 1610-1615, British Museum, London.

The Mughal Empire: Tolerance, Taxes, Addiction, Art, and Other Acts of Genghis Khan’s Relatives in India

Mongols, Mughals, are they the same? No, but there is a link between the Medieval / Early Modern empire that ruled over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and the powerful Khan force that hailed...
Fast Money: The Egyptian Economy, Monetary System, and Horrendous Taxes

Fast Money: The Egyptian Economy, Monetary System, and Horrendous Taxes

The ancient Egyptians created a sophisticated economic system thousands of years ago. Although they may seem far removed from modern life, their inventions in the monetary realm provided the basis...
The Untold Story Behind Sardinian Banditry

The Untold Story Behind Sardinian Banditry

Sardinian banditry is a phenomenon associated with the island of Sardinia located in the Mediterranean. Part of Italy today, this island is generally believed to have taken its name from the Latin...
A low-altitude aerial view of a section of the holes.

Were the Mysterious Band of Holes in Peru Used for Inca Tax Collection?

A new hypothesis has come forward to try to explain the mysterious band of shallow holes found in the Pisco Valley in southern Peru. Researchers have been stumped for years by their purpose and their...
Reconstruction drawing of the communal latrines at Housesteads Roman fort (Vercovicium) on Hadrian's Wall. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).

Money Does Not Stink: The Urine Tax of Ancient Rome

The ancient Romans have passed many traditions on to modern day society, but they certainly had a different perspective on urine. It was seen as much more useful than today. They used it as a...