From Game of Thrones to Steven Pinker: Just how Lawless Were the Middle Ages?

Castillo de Zafra / Photo by Borjaanimal, Wikimedia Commons Medieval men and women were caught up in a Hobbesian pre-state society where violence was unrestrained and regularly went unpunished. Just how accurate is this perception? By Dr. Sara M. Butler / 08.15.2017 Professor and King George III Chair in British History The Ohio State University NOTE: This[…]

Ancient Trade Connections between West Africa and the Wider World

The archaeological evidence is clear, but the mechanisms of diffusion are still not entirely understood. By Dr. Sonja Magnavita Research Associate Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), Bonn, Germany Abstract The long-standing, more mythical than fact-based assumptions about ancient trade contacts between West Africa and the wider world prior to the Arab conquest[…]

Trade in the Ancient Phoenician World

A Phoenician-Punic ship from a relief carving on a 2nd century CE sarcophagus / Photo by NMB, Wikimedia Commons The Phoenicians established themselves as one of the greatest trading powers in the ancient world. By Mark Cartwright / 04.01.2016 Historian Introduction The Phoenicians, based on a narrow coastal strip of the Levant, put their excellent seafaring skills to good[…]

The Rise and Fall of Ur in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ruins in the Town of Ur, Southern Iraq / Photo by M.Lubinski, Flickr, Creative Commons Ur was an established city by 3800 BCE continually inhabited until 450 BCE. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 04.28.2011 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction Ur was a city in the region of Sumer, southern Mesopotamia, in what is modern-day Iraq. According to biblical tradition, the[…]

The Fertile Crescent: The ‘Cradle of Civilization’

A map illustrating the various political states within the Fertile Crescent c. 1450 BCE / Image by Свифт/Svift, Wikimedia Commons Virtually every area of human knowledge was advanced by these people. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 03.28.2018 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction The Fertile Crescent, often called the “Cradle of Civilization”, is the region in the Middle East[…]