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Western Civilization is forever indebted to the people of ancient Greece and Rome. Among the numerous contributions these societies made are in the fields of art, literature and philosophy; however, perhaps their greatest gift to future generations was the modern perception of government. The contemporary idea of democracy, while borne out of the political... [continue reading
The Syracusia was an ancient sailing vessel designed by Archimedes in the 3rd century BCE. She was fabled as being one of the largest ships ever built in antiquity and as having a sumptuous decor of exotic woods and marble along with towers, statues, a gymnasium, a library, and even a temple. A New Approach Ancient seafaring is usually perceived... [continue reading
Cynane (c. 357- 323 BCE, pronounced `Keenahnay') was the daughter of the Illyrian Princess Audata and King Philip II of Macedon, making her the half-sister of Alexander the Great. Following the Illyrian tradition of women as warriors, her mother raised her in the martial arts and the belief that she was the equal of any man. Cynane lived this belief and instilled... [continue reading
Cylinder Seals were impression stamps used by the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Known as kishib in Sumerian and kunukku in Akkadian, the seals were used by everyone, from royals to slaves, as a means of authenticating identity in correspondence. They originated in the Late Neolithic Period c. 7600-6000 BCE in the region known today as Syria (though, according... [continue reading
Sarasvati (also Saraswati) is the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and aesthetics. She is also known as Bharati (eloquence), Shatarupa (existence), Vedamata ('mother of the Vedas'), Brahmi, Sarada, Vagisvari, and Putkari. As Vac, she is the goddess of speech. Sarasvati first appears in the Rigveda and, in later religious texts, she is identified... [continue reading
Aztec society was hierarchical and divided into clearly defined classes. The nobility dominated the key positions in the military, state administration, judiciary, and priesthood. While traders could become extremely wealthy and powerful, even their prosperity was based on their class, and most citizens remained simple farmers. There was a limited opportunity... [continue reading
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, constructed 532-537 CE, continues to be revered as one of the most important structures in the world. Hagia Sophia (Greek Ἁγία Σοφία, for ‘Holy Wisdom') was designed to be the major basilica of the Byzantine Empire and held the record for the largest dome in the world until... [continue reading
The original and traditional source of historical knowledge is the written text. However, the concept of what a historical source is has undergone transformation and redefinition over the centuries. This has happened as new mediums of communication, record keeping, and non-textual data in the form of material remains have emerged. New disciplines... [continue reading
The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus is regarded one of the most famous monuments of the ancient city of Ephesus. It lies on the south side of Curates Street, one of Ephesus main arteries connecting the Gate of Hercules with the Library of Celsus. The remains of the Temple were unearthed in 1956 during excavations carried out by the Austrian Archaeological... [continue reading
The Pentecontaetia (Pentekontætia, πεντηκονταετία) or “the account of the fifty years” is a term first used by Thucydides to describe, in Book 1, Sections 89 to 117 (1.89-117) of his History of the Peloponnesian War, the period between the Battle of Plataea in... [continue reading