The Golden Age of Ancient Athens in the Fifth Century BCE

The famous Greek playwrights, historians, and physicians familiar to us today lived in the fifth century. Introduction Fifth-century Athens is the Greek city-state of Athens in the time from 480 to 404 BC. Formerly known as the Golden Age of Athens, the later part being the Age of Pericles, it was buoyed by political hegemony,[…]

The Battle of Salamis: Opening the Door for Ancient Greece’s Golden Age

Salamis has come down to us as a key event in the early history of Western Civilization. Twenty-five hundred years ago in the Battle of Salamis (dated to September, 480 BC), the ancient Greeks defeated the invading Persians and paved the way for Greece’s Golden Age of the 5th century, BCE, a foundation period for Western[…]

Militia in Great Britain from the 17th to 19th Centuries

The Militia of Great Britain were the principal military reserve forces of the Kingdom of Great Britain. England Following the restoration of Charles II in 1660, parliament passed several acts empowering the Lord Lieutenant of each county to appoint officers and raise men for a militia force. Although the king commanded the forces, they were[…]

Fyrd: Militia in Early Medieval England

The fyrd consisted of a nucleus of experienced soldiers that would be supplemented by ordinary villagers and farmers from the shires. A fyrd was a type of early Anglo-Saxon army that was mobilized from freemen to defend their shire, or from selected representatives to join a royal expedition. Service in the fyrd was usually of[…]

The Walls of Ceide Fields: Stone Age Agriculture in Ireland

The fields cover the remains of hundreds of stone age farms. By Jenny SnookHistorian Overview The Ceide Fields, near Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, on the western coast of Ireland, are recognised as one of the oldest and largest Stone Age farming sites in the world, dating back to c. 3700 BCE. The walls that have been discovered so[…]

Medieval Stave Churches of Norway

The churches incorporated local ancient traditions of woodcarving and stone architecture more common on the European continent. Introduction Stave churches are the most famous medieval buildings in Norway and are admired for their unique architecture and beautiful decorations. They are named after the staves or masts that hold up the main structure of the church. Only 28 stave churches are[…]

Architecture of Great Churches and Cathedrals since Late Antiquity

The earliest large churches date from Late Antiquity. Different styles of architecture developed and their fashion spread. Introduction The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings’ large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in[…]

In the Image of Asherah: Iron Age Judaean Pillar Figurines

In households, they appear to have been used in conjunction with cultic assemblages. Introduction Judean pillar figurines are an interesting and specific form of female representation from the Iron Age kingdom of Judah. They fall into a broader category of pillar figurines, which have a pole-like lower body and have been found throughout the Near East[…]

Babylon Rising: The Art of an Ancient Middle Eastern City

In recent decades, the site of Babylon has suffered considerable damage from problematic reconstructions of ancient buildings. The city of Babylon lay on the River Euphrates in southern Mesopotamia, in what is today Iraq. Although it was not among the oldest cities in this part of the world (the earliest of which is normally considered[…]

Reconstruction and Insurrection in 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina

The violent overthrow of a duly elected government by a group of white supremacists. Introduction The Wilmington insurrection of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington coup of 1898, occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Thursday, November 10, 1898. It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics.[…]

The Crescent City ‘White League’ and Insurrection in 1874 New Orleans

The Battle of Liberty Place was an insurrection by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era state government. Introduction The Battle of Liberty Place, or Battle of Canal Street, was an attempted insurrection and coup d’etat by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era Louisiana Republican state government on September 14,[…]

The Battle of Corinth and the Rise of Roman Domination over Greece in 146 BCE

Corinth was utterly destroyed in this year by the victorious Roman army and all of her treasures and art plundered. Overview The Battle of Corinth was a battle fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek city-state of Corinth and its allies in the Achaean League in 146 BC, which resulted in the complete and[…]

The Siege and Fall of Ancient Tyre to Alexander the Great in 332 BCE

Alexander, unable to attack from the sea, built causeway stretching out to the island on a natural land bridge no more than two meters deep. Introduction The Siege of Tyre was orchestrated by Alexander the Great in 332 BC during his campaigns against the Persians. The Macedonian army was unable to capture the city, which[…]

A History of Athens since the Early Modern Period

Athens was chosen as the Greek capital for historical and sentimental reasons. Ottoman Athens The first Ottoman attack on Athens, which involved a short-lived occupation of the town, came in 1397, under the Ottoman generals Yaqub Pasha and Timurtash.[25] Finally, in 1458, Athens was captured by the Ottomans under the personal leadership of Sultan Mehmed[…]

A History of Ancient and Medieval Athens

Athens has been inhabited from Neolithic times, possibly from the end of the fourth millennium BCE, or over 5,000 years. Introduction Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for perhaps 5,000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first[…]

Classical Archaeology and Ancient Greek Mythology

Despite the scientific rigor of archaeology today, archaeological exploration is still an art and an adventure of the human mind. Introduction to Classical Archaeology Classical Archaeology is the study of past societies in the Mediterranean region on the basis of surviving material evidence. What this means, for all practical purposes, is that classical archaeologists –[…]

An Historical Overview of Ancient Greek Mythology

Greek myths were initially propagated in an oral-poetic tradition by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BCE. Introduction Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and[…]

Lots over Votes: Elections in Ancient Greece and Rome

Expressions of popular will were still constrained by an essentially oligarchic and aristocratic system. As a Classicist, I am acutely aware of the dangers of idealizing Athenian democracy or the Roman Republic.  It is an oft-repeated point that the Athenians did not allow citizen women, slaves or resident non-Athenians (‘metics’) to vote on policy or[…]

Ostracism: Selection and De-Selection in Ancient Greek Elections

Ancient Greek democracy had a number of practices which made it very different from modern democratic systems. Introduction One of the very first things that a citizen of a modern western liberal democracy instantly thinks of, when she or he does think about modern western liberal democracy at all, is voting: voting in ‘free and[…]

Thucydides: Ancient Greek Historian, ‘Father of the School of Political Realism’

His works continued to be studied by professionals in international relations, political theorists, historians, and students of the classics. Introduction Thucydides (460 – c.  400 BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed[…]

How Did the Ancient School of Writing Develop?

Writing is the most important invention because it makes all the other innovations possible. While researching a 99papers review, I started to think about the craft itself and how it developed. With all living things, every generation is a blank slate. When an elephant or a wolf dies, everything he experienced, all that he learned,[…]

Salvatore Maranzano: ‘Boss of All Bosses’ in the Early American Mafia

He briefly became the Mafia’s capo di tutti capi (“boss of all bosses”) and formed the Five Families in New York City. Introduction Salvatore Maranzano July 31, 1886 – September 10, 1931 was an organized crime figure from the town of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, and an early Cosa Nostra boss who led what later[…]

A History of the American Mafia

The first published account of what became the Mafia in the United States dates to the spring of 1869. Introduction The American Mafia, commonly referred to in North America as “the Mafia” or sometimes “the Mob”, or the Italian-American Mafia,[3][4][5] is a highly organized Italian-American criminal society and criminal organization. The organization is often referred[…]

Art of the Viking Age

Interacting with many cultures and settling in many regions, the Norse were more cosmopolitan than they receive credit for. Introduction Modern representations of the Vikings can be fun, but are often limited to sensationalized depictions of violent, raiding warriors. In reality, Vikings were a small group of a larger community of people called the Norse[…]

The Ara Pacis Augustae: State Religious Ritual in Ancient Rome

The Ara Pacis is, at its simplest, an open-air altar for blood sacrifice associated with the Roman state religion. The Roman State Religion in a Microcosm The festivities of the Roman state religion were steeped in tradition and ritual symbolism. Sacred offerings to the gods, consultations with priests and diviners, ritual formulae, communal feasting—were all[…]

A Public Right to Know: Woodrow Wilson’s Hidden Stroke of 1919

Examining Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, the historical implications of his health decline, and its impact on United States foreign policy. Introduction World War I catapulted the United States from traditional isolationism to international involvement in a major European conflict. Woodrow Wilson envisaged a permanent American imprint on democracy in world affairs through participation in the League[…]

A History of Presidents Hiding Health Problems since Grover Cleveland

How U.S. presidents and their administrations have handled information about presidential health problems. At a press briefing in 1893, President Grover Cleveland’s secretary of war told inquiring journalists that their speculations about the president having surgery were wrong. The nation was in a recession, and Cleveland feared that his economic plan would be doomed if[…]

Long Live the Queen: The The Wilcox Rebellion of 1895 in Hawai’i

Because of its brevity and lack of casualties, this conflict is largely forgotten. Introduction The 1895 Wilcox rebellion was a brief war from January 6 to January 9, 1895, that consisted of three battles on the island of Oʻahu, Republic of Hawaii. It was the last major military operation by royalists who opposed the overthrow[…]