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Phoenician architecture is typified by large temples with double-columned facades approached by a short staircase, enclosed sacred spaces containing cube-like and open-fronted shrines, and such large-scale engineering projects as dams and artificial harbours. High fortification walls included square towers and gates, and were built of mud-bricks... [continue reading
The First Punic War was fought between Carthage and Rome between 264 and 241 BCE, largely over control of Sicily. The longest continuous war in history up to that time was fought on the island, at sea, and in north Africa with both sides enjoying victories and suffering near-catastrophic defeats. The Romans, with seemingly inexhaustible resources, adapted... [continue reading
Emperor Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE) accomplished much during his time on the Roman throne, far more than many of his successors. According to historian Mary Beard in her book SPQR, he transformed the structures of Roman Empire, including its politics and army as well as the appearance of the city itself. Unlike many... [continue reading
During the early years of Christianity, many of the church leaders or "Fathers" wrote down admonishments and instruction on what it meant to be a follower of Jesus as well as what liturgical ceremonies should be followed as a believer in these early Christian communities. One of these apostolic fathers, whose identity is unknown, wrote such... [continue reading
Agesilaus II (c. 445 – 359 BCE) was a Spartan king who won victories in Anatolia and the Corinthian Wars but who would ultimately bring total defeat to his city through his policies against Thebes. When Sparta lost the crucial battle of Leuctra in 371 BCE, it brought an end to the city’s long-held dominance of the Peloponnese. Agesilaus was... [continue reading
Thugga (also Dougga) was a town in North Africa which was first a Numidian and then a Carthaginian settlement before being incorporated into the Roman Empire. The town was built on a strategically favourable limestone hilltop overlooking the fertile Wadi Khaled Valley (modern Tunisia) and particularly flourished during the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE. The archaeological... [continue reading
There are two Paleolithic caves in Iraqi Kurdistan (the northeast area of the Republic of Iraq): Hazar Merd and Shanidar. Iraq, the cradle of civilization, has become a dangerous destination for tourists. Instead of discussing their deep archaeological details, I will you take onÂ a cyber-tour to see these caves. Hazar Merd Group of Caves Hazar Merd... [continue reading
The warfare of the Inca civilization was characterised by a high degree of mobility, large-scale engagements of hand-to-hand combat, and the establishment of a network of fortresses to protect an empire of over 10 million subjects. Conquest gave the Incas access to vast new resources and gained prestige for both rulers and those warriors who displayed courage... [continue reading
Enjoying a privileged and bucolic position on the eastern slopes of Mount Olympus, the ancient Greek city of Dion prospered for thousands of years as a sacred center for the cult of Zeus and as the gateway to Macedonia. Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus, now on show at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York, N.Y., examines the development... [continue reading
Timoleon (c. 411 - c. 337 BCE) was a Corinthian statesman and general who famously defeated the tyrant of Syracuse Dionysius II and an army of Carthage against the odds. Permanently settling on the island, he re-organized the governments of many Sicilian city-states by giving them political freedom and so set the foundations for a period of sustained prosperity thereafter... [continue reading