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Achilles The hero of the Trojan War, leader of the Myrmidons, slayer of Hector and Greece's greatest warrior, who sadly came unstuck when Paris sent a flying arrow guided by Apollo, which caught him in his only weak spot, his heel. Adonis The impossibly handsome youth whom Aphrodite fell in love with. The goddess... [continue reading
Nergal (also known as Erra and Irra) is the Mesopotamian god of death, war, and destruction. He began as a regional, probably agricultural, god of the Babylonian city of Kutha in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2900-2700 BCE). As his temple was known as E-meslam, he was known as Meslamtaea ('he who comes forth from Meslam'). He was still associated with... [continue reading
Vulci (Velch) was an Etruscan city located 12 km from the western coast of central Italy by the banks of the Fiora River. Flourishing as a trading port between the 6th and 4th century BCE, it was an important member of the Etruscan League. The archaeological site has yielded many bronze works and a vast quantity of fine pottery, which has filled museums worldwide... [continue reading
Enki is a god of Sumerian mythology and, later in time, known as Ea in Babylonian mythology. He was the deity of sweet water, crafts, creation, intelligence, the god of wisdom and of all magic, and was the patron god of the city of Eridu before his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia. He is the son of Nammu and father of Inanna and is the third of... [continue reading
Many times when a reader picks up a book pertaining to a certain event or object in history, it is from one point of view that has either been influenced or created from other ideas to form one concise thought. It is only in other books from different authors does the reader get multiple opinions on that subject and even then, the books can suffer from different... [continue reading
The Chimera of Arezzo is a bronze statue sculpted by the Etruscans of northern and central Italy during the 5th-4th century BCE. The creature is the fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology which has the head of a lion, tail of a snake, and a goat's head protruding from its back. The menacing statue was discovered in Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy and... [continue reading
The Six Dynasties period from the third to sixth centuries CE was one of the most dynamic periods in Chinese art history, akin to the European Renaissance in the impact it had on artistic creativity and the celebration of individual expression. Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd-6th Centuries, now on show at the China Institute... [continue reading
In 612 BCE the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell to the invading forces of Babylonians, Persians, Medes, and Scythians. The empire had been expanding in every direction since the reign of Adad Nirari II (c. 912-891 BCE) and grew more powerful under great kings such as Tiglath Pileser III (745-727 BCE), Shalmaneser V (727-722 BCE), Sargon II (722-705 BCE), Sennacherib... [continue reading
In 253 CE an elderly Roman military commander and experienced former senator was proclaimed emperor by his troops - a very common occurrence at the time. As emperor Publius Lucinius Valerianus - commonly referred to as Valerian - would battle repeated incursions from the north and east, rarely stepping foot in Rome. Eventually, however, he would meet his unfortunate... [continue reading
Ereshkigal (also known as Irkalla and Allatu) is the Mesopotamian Queen of the Dead who rules the underworld. Her name translates as 'Queen of the Great Below' or 'Lady of the Great Place.' The word 'great' should be understood as 'vast,' not 'exceptional' and referred to the land of the dead which was thought to... [continue reading