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Content written by Caleb Strom

Melpomene in a painting ‘Hesiod and the Muse’ (1891) by Gustave Moreau.

Melpomene: A Tragic Mother of Sirens or a Misunderstood Muse?

The term muse is now almost synonymous with inspiration. This is because the Muses were originally the goddesses of the arts which often lead to inspiration. The Muses were daughters of Zeus who were...
Abaqa On Horse, Arghun Standing, Ghazan As A Child. Mongol rulers Arghun and Abaqa were Buddhists. From the 14th century Universal History by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani.

Adapting Buddhism: Ancient Disciples of Siddhartha Gautama in Afghanistan and Iran

Buddhism, in the first few centuries following the death of the Buddha, spread from India mainly to China, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. One place where its presence is less studied, in some ways...
The one-eyed Odin with his ravens Hugin and Munin and his weapons. An illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.

The Saga of Gestumblindi and Odin’s Riddles

In mythology, riddles are used to test the intelligence and wisdom of mortals. They can contain elements of everyday life, but they can also contain elements from lore that would only be known by...
Valhalla

Denizens of Valhalla and the Transient Afterlife of Norse Myth

The ancient Norse were one of the few cultures to create a mythology that did not necessarily promise eternal life of any kind for the souls of the deceased. The world was believed to be heading...
Artist’s representation of Ragnar Lothbrok.

Ragnar Lothbrok: Legendary Hero or Historical Figure?

According to legend, Ragnar Lothbrok was a king of Denmark who succeeded Sigurd Hring in 804 AD. Some historians identify him with Reginherus, a Norse chieftain who was responsible for the siege of...
Alchemical illustration of a Homunculus in a vial

Alchemical Recipe for a Homunculus: Sperm + Rotting Meat = Mini Artificial Human

The question of how to create life does not just go back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, when the eponymous character used forbidden science to create life. Humans have been interested in creating...

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