The Pushyabhuti Dynasty of Early Medieval India

The most notable ruler of this dynasty was its last ruler, Emperor Harshavardhana (or Harsha). Introduction The Pushyabhuti Dynasty (c. 500 CE – 647 CE) rose after the downfall of the Gupta Empire (3rd century CE – 6th century CE) in the 6th century CE in northern India. Also known as the Vardhana or Pushpabhuti[…]

Images of Enlightenment: Aniconic vs. Iconic Depictions of the Buddha in India

One of the most important moments in the story of Prince Siddhartha is when he reached spiritual enlightenment—a state of infinite knowledge. Depicting the Divine Representing divine figures has long been a thorny issue. After all, depicting the divine in human form would seem to define and limit the divine in a manner which seems to contradict the idea[…]

Southern Africans and the Advent of Colonialism

History in South Africa from the Stone Age to the Mid-19th century This essay provides a summary of the most important historical events and processes relating to the peoples of southern Africa. The essay also explains the social and political context of the sub-continent from the Stone Age through to the mid-nineteenth century, when Livingstone[…]

The Gold Trade of Ancient and Medieval West Africa

The trade of gold in West Africa goes back to antiquity. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction West Africa was one of the world’s greatest producers of gold in the Middle Ages. Trade in the metal went back to antiquity but when the camel caravans of the Sahara linked North Africa to the savannah interior, the trade[…]

The Mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Ancient Babylon

Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean king, is supposed to have had the gardens built in about 600 BC as a consolation to his Median wife. By Danielle A. Garza In 225 B.C.E., the Greek writer Philo of Byzantium wrote On The Seven Wonders, and this early literary work highlighted the greatest man-made entities at the time. Most of the seven ancient[…]

“There We Sat Down and Wept”: A History of Ancient Babylon

The city of Babylon was given hegemony over Mesopotamia by their sixth ruler, Hammurabi. Introduction Babylonia, named for the city of Babylon, was an ancient state in Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. Its capital was Babylon. The earliest mention of Babylon can be found in a tablet of the reign of Sargon of[…]