The Ten Thousand Immortals were the elite force of the Persian army of the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE). They formed the king’s personal bodyguard and were also considered the shock troops of the infantry in Persian warfare. Their...
Battle of Thermopylae
Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE. Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks...
Ancient Persian Warfare
The ancient Persian military evolved from the earlier armed forces of the Medes which, in turn, developed from the warrior class of the indigenous people of the Iranian Plateau, the Aryan migrants (including the Persians) who later settled...
Inventions & Innovations of Ancient Persia
Ancient Persian culture contributed many of the aspects of the modern world which people simply take for granted as having always existed. The designation “Persia” comes from the Greeks – primarily standardized by the historian...
Gods and Places in Etruscan Religion
The ancient Romans took every precaution in their prayers or rituals to ensure that their deities were addressed by name or generically as a divine spirit, or numen. In many matters of ritual and tradition they acknowledged their dependence...
Elite Warriors in History
Winning battles and forging empires was not just about numbers but also the quality of the troops at any commander's disposal. The best-trained, best-equipped and most experienced fighters could be moulded into devastating units that...
Ranks of Immortals
Ranks of the Louvre Museum melophores (immortal Persian guard) from the famous glazed bricks friezes found in the Apadana (Darius the Great's palace) in Susa by archeologist Marcel Dieulafoy and brought to Paris. Such polychromic friezes...
Map of the Levant circa 830 BCE
A map of Palestine circa 830 BC, showing the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, as well as the surrounding kingdoms and tribes.
Roman Temple - Augusta Raurica
On the Schönbühl hill in Augusta Raurica, in Switzerland, you are in the middle of a religious district. It existed in the early days of the city. Here stood around 50 AD, several small temples. The buildings are typical of the Gallo-Roman...
Hesiod on the Birth of the Gods
The Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) is most famous for his works Theogony and Works and Days. In this passage from Theogony, Hesiod relates the birth of the gods from cosmic Chaos and follows the lineage through the great Zeus, King of the...