Ancient History Encyclopedia


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published on 24 January 2017
Enlil (also known as Ellil and Nunamnir) was the Sumerian god of the air in the Mesopotamian Pantheon but was more powerful than any other elemental deities and eventually was worshiped as King of the Gods. He was the son of the god of the heavens Anu (also known as An) and, with Anu and Enki (god of wisdom), formed a triad which governed the heavens, earth... [continue reading]
published on 23 January 2017
Nisaba (also Naga, Se-Naga, Nissaba, Nidaba, and associated with Nanibgal) is the Sumerian goddess of writing, accounts, and scribe of the gods. Although her name is commonly given as Nidaba, noted scholar Jeremy Black points out that "the name Nisaba (or Nissaba) seems more correct than Nidaba" (Gods, 143). She was originally a grain goddess worshiped... [continue reading]
published on 23 January 2017
Veii (modern name: Isola Farnese, in Etruscan: Vei), was an important Etruscan town located near the west coast of central Italy. Lying just 16 km north of Rome, it was the most southerly of the major Etrurian settlements. The prosperity of Veii in the 6th and 5th century BCE is attested by the construction of a sizeable Etruscan temple, the Portonaccio Temple... [continue reading]
published on 20 January 2017
Anu (also known as An) is an early Mesopotamian sky god who was later viewed as the Father of the Gods and ruler of the heavens, a position which then passed to his son Enlil. He is the son of the couple Anshar and Kishar (heaven and earth, respectively) who were the second-born of the primordial couple Apsu and Tiamat at the beginning of the world. He was originally... [continue reading]
published on 20 January 2017
Bucchero wares are a shiny dark grey to black pottery produced by the Etruscans of central Italy from the 7th to 4th century BCE. Used for everyday purposes and as funerary and votive objects, bucchero incorporates many forms from simple jugs to highly decorative pieces of sculpture. Evolution In the 8th century BCE, the Etruscans were already producing... [continue reading]
published on 19 January 2017
The Merovingian kingdoms were arguably the most important polities to emerge after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, blending Gallo-Roman art and culture with Germanic Frankish customs. In a new landmark exhibition at the Musée de Cluny in Paris, France -- Merovingian Times: Three Centuries of Art and Culture -- the grandeur, power, and artistic... [continue reading]
published on 19 January 2017
The Pax Romana, or Roman Peace, was the idea that the lands governed by the Empire enjoyed long-term stability and prospered because of their submission to Rome. Armies were sent to the frontiers to protect against the invasion of barbarians, whilst those inside the border happily donned the toga and quaffed wine by the gallon. This is the popular vision... [continue reading]
published on 19 January 2017
Cerveteri (Etruscan name: Cisra or Caisra, Greek: Agylla, Roman: Caere) was an important Etruscan town which flourished between the 7th and 4th century BCE. Located near the western coast of central Italy, around 50 km north of Rome, Cerveteri is today most famous for its thousands of rock-cut tombs which were rich in artefacts and wall paintings depicting... [continue reading]
published on 18 January 2017
Homo erectus, or ‘upright man’, is an extinct species of human that occupies an intriguing spot within the human evolutionary lineage. These prehistoric hunter-gatherers were highly successful in adapting to vastly different habitats across the Old World, as fossils connected with this species have been found ranging from Africa all the way to Southeast... [continue reading]


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