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Susanna and the Elders, by Artemisia Gentileschi in 1610. Source: Public domain

Artemisia Gentileschi Used Art To Avenge Her Rape

Since the 1970s, the work of Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi has seen a surge in popularity due to her unique perspective as a female artist of the 17th century. Artemisia Gentileschi...
A female prehistoric hunter stands before a mammoth. Source: nsit0108 / Adobe Stock.

Men Hunted, Women Gathered… Or Did They?

Prehistoric men hunted; prehistoric women gathered. At least this is the standard narrative written by and about men to the exclusion of women. The idea of “Man the Hunter” runs deep within...
Ancient Egyptian woman. Source: Denis / Adobe Stock.

What Hieroglyphics Say About the Women of Ancient Egypt (Video)

In the midst of Karnak's grandeur and prosperity, there's a revelation that challenges conventional wisdom. Images etched on tomb walls unveil a remarkable narrative of female influence in ancient...
Some of Japan’s fiercest Samurai were women. Source: Abdulcell / Adobe Stock.

Some of Japan’s Fiercest Samurai Were Women (Video)

In ancient Japan , where the art of battle was predominantly a male domain, a remarkable shift in tradition unfolded, highlighting the tenacity of women in the face of adversity. Takeko Nakano and...
Chinese female warriors in the Shang Dynasty. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Smithsonian Channel.

The All-Female Shang-Era Troops Led by Queen Fu Hao (Video)

In ancient times, during the Shang Dynasty , there existed an extraordinary force led by the remarkable Queen Fu Hao . This troop, composed primarily of skilled soldiers, occasionally reinforced by...
A Chinese physician with a pregnant woman. Wellcome collection / CC by SA 4.0.  By

Weirdest Ancient Chinese Pregnancy and Birth Traditions (Video)

In ancient China, pregnancy and childbirth were influenced by traditions and superstitions. The Chinese valued the balance of Yin and Yang , representing feminine darkness and masculine brightness...
Genghis Khan has many wives. Source: Hui / Adobe Stock.

The Sad Truth about Genghis Khan's Wives (Video)

Genghis Khan , the famed Mongol leader, is known not only for his vast empire but also for his unique approach to marriage. In an era where alliances and politics played a crucial role, Khan's...
Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of ancient wine jars in Queen Merneith’s tomb. Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

5,000-Year-Old Wine Jars Unearthed at Queen Merneith's Tomb

An important discovery at Umm Al-Qaab in Abydos, promises to add to the story of Queen Merneith, an Egyptian consort and regent, who could have also been the first or second queen of Egypt. A joint...
Medieval Queen. Source: aicandy / Adobe Stock.

History's 10 Most Ruthless Queens and Brutal Rulers (Video)

Throughout history, powerful women have wielded authority with determination. Countess Elizabeth Bathory had a dark obsession, enjoying the torture of the lower classes. Empress Wu Zetian , China's...
Wife-carrying. Source: Алина Битта / Adobe Stock.

In Finland, Carrying One's Wife is More than Affection – It's a Sport!

In the tapestry of ancient sports and traditions, some activities are surprisingly unconventional. One such sport that has captured global fascination, emerging from the picturesque landscapes of...
Lady and duenna, wearing their tapada limeña, going to church, by Pancho Fierro. Source: Public domain

Peruvian Women Once Wore Burka-Like Attire as Cloaks of Rebellion

In an era where the term “ burka ” evokes images of oppressive regimes, notably Afghanistan's coercive imposition on women, it may come as a surprise that the tapada limeña (meaning “the covered one...
Millions of postcards made a mockery of Leap Day traditions which gave women the opportunity to propose to men once every four years on the 29th February. Source: Public domain

Women Have Been Proposing Marriage to Men on Leap Day for Centuries

In the age of viral marriage proposals, the persistence of outdated traditions whereby men inevitably go down on one knee to pop the question—often after asking permission from their girl’s father—...
CGI of a prehistoric woman hunting big game. Source: nsit0108/Adobe Stock

Study Shows Prehistoric “Man Hunter, Woman Gatherer” View Is Grossly Inaccurate

For a long time, it has been believed that prehistoric men played the role of hunters while women took on the role of gatherers. However, a recent study uncovers that both men and women in hunter-...
British woman drinking tea. Source: Masson/Adobe Stock

By Giving Up Sugar in Their Tea, British Women Helped End Slavery

Believe it or not, but by the 1700s, deciding whether or not to take sugar with your tea had become a political statement. While sugar-free diets are now all the rage, the motivations behind this...
Detail of a painting of a mother and child, in this case Andromache and Astyanax by Pierre Paul Prud’hon. Source: Public domain

Mothers’ Lives in Ancient Greece Were Not Easy – But Celebrations of Their Love Have Survived Across the Centuries

By Joel Christensen / The Conversation As a father of three and the husband of an amazing woman, I know that one day a year is far too little to recognize everything mothers do. But my work as a...
Medieval noble woman getting dressed. Source: Andrey Kiselev / Adobe Stock.

Getting Dressed in the 14th Century (Video)

The process of getting dressed in 14th century England was a complex and time-consuming affair. Medieval women first put on their linen undergarments, followed by layers of wool clothing, which...
Women have been banned from the paradisiacal Mount Athos for over 1,000 years. Source: Alexey Achepovsky / Adobe Stock

For 1,000 Years, Monks of Mt Athos Have Banned Women and Female Animals!

Believe it or not, but beside men’s toilets, gentlemen’s clubs and certain temples, there is actually an entire peninsula in northern Greece, now a semiautonomous republic of Eastern Orthodox monks,...
The hiring of professional mourners seems to have been a worldwide tradition in the ancient world, from Rome to Egypt to China. The Mourners, painting by Evelyn De Morgan, circa 1915. Source: National Trust / Public Domain

The Cost of Grief: Professional Mourners of the Ancient World

Funerals can be difficult to get through. The pain of loss can simply be too much for many. So why would anyone ever need to pay people to cry at their funeral? This didn’t just happen occasionally...
The Sarcophagus of the Spouses is an exquisite example of Etruscan art, and commentary on their society. Source: Sailko / CC BY SA 4.0

The Etruscan Sarcophagus of the Spouses: A Feast for the Dead

The Sarcophagus of the Spouses is considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of Etruscan art. The Etruscans, who originated in Italy between the Arno and Tiber rivers, are well known for their...
A woman wearing a veil, a tradition which has taken many different fomes throughout time and place.	Source: eugenepartyzan / Adobe Stock

Wearing of the Veil Traditions Throughout History

There is perhaps no piece of clothing in history that has caused more controversy than the veil. Currently, protests to raise awareness of the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, a lady who died after being...
Composite image of French men’s shoes dating back to circa 1690 with image of a Persian ambassador, wearing high heels on visit to Poland in 1605, in the background. Source: Public domain & Public domain

High Heels Were Originally Worn By Men

A lifetime critic of the self-inflicted pain of high heels, I’ve never understood why anyone would wear them when the risks involved are so well known. From ingrown toenails, back problems or...
The Urdubegis were female warriors tasked with protecting the Mughal emperor and his harem. Representational image. Source: Public domain

Urdubegis: The Forgotten Female Fighters of the Mughal Empire

When we think of the empowerment of women, we usually think about Western culture. Nevertheless, the East has had its fair share of female role models. While Islam has historically given men the role...
Painting ‘Combate de Mujeres’ by José de Ribera showing a female duel. Source: Public Domain

Women Scrapping with Swords and Pistols: Famous Female Duels

The use of private duels as a way of settling questions of honor spread through Europe from Italy in the end of the 15th century, though the institutional practice was much older. These encounters...
Composite image of the Trung sisters. Source: warmtail / Adobe Stock

Hell Hath No Fury Like the Freedom Fighting Trung Sisters

Throughout history, Vietnamese women have been instrumental in resisting foreign domination. The most well-known of these heroines are the Trung sisters, who led the first national uprising against...

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