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Judaism may be broadly understood as the religious history centered on the deity Yahweh. In terms of ancient history, Judaism, as a broad category of religious history and traditions, describes its life from the emergence of an identity associated with Judaism in the Iron Age up to the formation of the Talmud within Rabbinic Judaism. Throughout time and space... [continue reading
In Lords of Asian Minor, Annick Payne and Jorit Wintjes provide a wonderfully clear and accessible introduction to the Lydians. Through the succinct exploration and presentation of five major aspects of ancient Lydia, the reader is left with a solid, introductory knowledge of Lydia’s history as a minor regional power, then major regional power, and... [continue reading
The Kauravas are the 100 sons of the King of Hastinapur, Dhritarashtra, and his wife Gandhari who played a significant role in the legendary Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Hastinapur is assumed to be the current modern state of Haryana, and Gandhar, to where Gandhari belonged, is assumed to be the current city of Kandahar in Afghanistan. In the Mahabharata... [continue reading
Filled with ancient, simplified recipes as well as photographs and essays, Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia and the Caucasus, written by journalists Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford, is a love letter to the region and the peoples who left their imprint on its varied cuisine: Turks, Jews, Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Persians, Afghans,Â Uzbeks... [continue reading
Wine was the most popular manufactured drink in the ancient Mediterranean. With a rich mythology, everyday consumption, and important role in rituals wine would spread via the colonization process to regions all around the Mediterranean coastal areas and beyond. The Greeks institutionalised wine-drinking in their famous symposia drinking parties, and the... [continue reading
The Roman theatre of ancient Arausio (modern day Orange in southern France) is one of the best-preserved examples from antiquity. Built in the 1st century CE, it once had capacity for 9,000 spectators and is dominated by its massive stage wall with an ornate façade decorated with columns, doorways, and niches. The theatre was listed as a UNESCO World... [continue reading
The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic where the main story revolves around two branches of a family - the Pandavas and Kauravas - who, in the Kurukshetra War, battle for the throne of Hastinapura. Interwoven into this narrative are several smaller stories about people dead or living, and philosophical discourses. Krishna-Dwaipayan Vyasa, himself... [continue reading
In the 2nd year of the Peloponnesian War, 430 BCE, an outbreak of plague erupted in Athens. The illness would persist throughout scattered parts of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean until finally dying out in 426 BCE. The origin of the epidemic occurred in sub-Saharan Africa just south of Ethiopia. The disease swept north and west through Egypt and Libya... [continue reading
The Roman Barbarian Wars: The Era of Roman Conquest by Ludwig Heinrich Dyck is not a historical novel, but an exhaustive study on one of the most interesting topics of the Roman Era: the Roman conquests. And, in particular, the Barbarian wars. At the beginning, Dyck uses the first pages to introduce the term “barbarian” and explain who were those “Barbarians&rdquo... [continue reading
On a recent trip to southern Spain, I travelled along the Roman Baetica Route and visited many of the archaeological sites and museums that Andalusia has to offer. Among the plethora of ancient treasures to be found in the region, I was particularly impressed by the incredibleÂ mosaicsÂ I came across. This installment of the series will focus on Italica... [continue reading