Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Examination of a Witch (1853) by T. H. Matteson, inspired by the Salem trials, which have been finally “closed” by the exoneration of the last Salem witch, Elizabeth Johnson. Source: Peabody Essex Museum / Public domain

Last Salem Witch Has Been Exonerated Posthumously By Boston Court

It’s not just something one can bury in the recesses of history because even today many cultures across the world accuse women of practicing black magic and witchcraft. And women accused of this...
Statue of Hercules

A Herculean Effort: Can You Name the 12 Labors of Hercules?

Classical mythology is full of heroes, but Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles ) is undoubtedly the most celebrated of them all. Although his heroic life was packed with daring escapades from...
A 17th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water.

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of...
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: Grindelwald, Dark Fantasies and Secret Societies

At the end of the Harry Potter fantasy prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them , we find out about the dark wizard Grindelwald as well as his plan to expose the magical community to the...
Venus and Mars, c 1485. Tempera and oil on poplar panel, National Gallery, London.

Trial by Public Performance: The Impotence Trials of Pre-Revolutionary France

The impotence trials of prerevolutionary France sound a bit like a political joke. France had mostly squelched the ability for couples to divorce, and it was in the wake of this that the impotence...
Heracles wrestling the Mares of Diomedes.

Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes: Greek Hero VS Man-Eating Beasts

By now, you’re probably aware that the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) had to complete twelve arduous labors as retribution for killing his wife and kids in a divinely-induced rage. The eighth...
Old engraving depicting a coven.

The Zugarramurdi Witch Trials: Welcome to the Spanish Salem

On the border with France, embraced by a vast green pasture on which the cows calmly graze, lies the village of Zugarramurdi. Located in the Navarre region of Xareta this tiny village currently has...
Jason and the Argonauts and the golden Fleece

Did ancient gold mining methods create REAL Golden Fleece and inspire legend of Jason and the Argonauts?

The mythical Golden Fleece is best known for featuring in the ancient legend of Greek hero Jason and his band of sailors, the Argonauts. Geologists have theorized from investigations that the Golden...