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Steven Darian

I am a retired professor of Linguistics at Rutgers (the State U. of New Jersey). I’ve also lived & worked & studied in 9-10 countries around the world; 3 of them as a Fulbright scholar. I’ve have written 13 books: scholarly & popular–– nonfiction & fiction. Relevant ones include: A Ganges of the Mind: A Journey on the River of Dreams ,   The Ganges in Myth & History , The Illuminator (an “Islamic” novel set in Samarkand at the time of Tamerlane––early 15th century), The Wanderer: Travels & Adventures Beyond the Pale. And The Heretic’s Book of Death & Laughter: The Role of Religion in Just About Everything , that goes into greater depth about the topics discussed in the article. And peripherally: Understanding the Language of Science (University of Texas Press). Website. My website is: Contains writing samples from two books of mine.


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Depiction of Anubis supervising mummification from a sarcophagus painting dating back to 400 BC. Source: André / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Healing Arts and Spiritual Mumbo-Jumbo in the Ancient World

The history of medicine is an amazing tale. Not only that, but a peek beneath the covers can hopefully help us understand some of the bizarre worldviews confronting us today in the realm of...
Les Cathares, painting by Bernard Romain. Source: Public Domain

The Medieval Crushing of the Cathars and Sexualizing of Witches

Many Christian writers identified the gods and lesser spirits of the Greek and Roman world with demons. This ushered in the Christian practice of demonizing those they perceived as their opponents...