Oribasius: Ancient Physician to Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate

Oribasius was considered as one of the most illustrious representatives of intellectual circles. Introduction Oribasius (c. 320-400/403 CE) was the physician and political advisor of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate (r. 361-363 CE). A native of Pergamon, a rich and powerful Greek city in Mysia, he studied medicine and oratory and belonged to the[…]

Anonymus Londinensis: Ancient Greek Physician and Author

His work is the most important surviving medical papyrus and provides information about the history of Greek medical thought. ‘On Medicine’ Overview While only fragments survive of some portions of the text, the papyrus containing the work of Anonymus Londinensis is exceptionally well preserved, with 3.5 meters of the roll largely intact, containing almost 2,000[…]

Celtic Warriors, the ‘Barbarians’ of Antiquity

Our best view of the Celts in terms of written sources is the works of Greek and Roman writers. Introduction The warriors of Celtic Europe were amongst the most distinctive of any fighters in the ancient world. With their great height, long hair and moustaches, frequent nakedness, painted and tattooed bodies, and fondness for collecting[…]

The Ancient Assyrian Empire and What Made Them a Superpower

Back in the times of the early bronze era or approximately 2000 BCE (long before things such as cars, telephones, internet, video games, Intertops Casino bonus) was the empire known as Assyria. The Assyrian Empire was the largest empire of its time and lasted for almost fourteen hundred years. All in all, a long time to[…]

Ancient Trees Show When the Earth’s Magnetic Field Last Flipped Out

The Earth is a giant magnet because its core is solid iron, and swirling around it is an ocean of molten metal. An ancient, well-preserved tree that was alive the last time the Earth’s magnetic poles flipped has helped scientists pin down more precise timing of that event, which occurred about 42,000 years ago. This[…]

Palmyra: The Fight to Preserve an Ancient Homeland in Syria

History and identity come together to tell the story of Palmyra. Introduction Born and raised in Palmyra, Syria, Waleed Khaled al-As’ad can trace his family’s lineage in the city back five generations. Now a refugee in France, he hopes to someday return to Palmyra, an important world heritage site that suffered widespread destruction by ISIS[…]

The Interaction between ‘History’ and ‘Story’ in Roman Historiography

Facts or fiction? Post-truth in the Roman historians. Introduction This essay examines the way in which ancient historiography makes use of rhetorical and even fictional devices (dramatic poetry as well as the novel) to dramatize in writing down events which the historians obviously consider as being important for their judgement, ideologically or otherwise biased, of[…]

Time, Tense, and Temporality in Ancient Greek Historiography

An approach to Greek historiography that establishes a new angle by tackling the relationship between historiography and time. Introduction One of the most important trends in recent scholarship on ancient historiography is to explore how historical meaning is constructed through the form of narrative. This essay argues that the narratives of ancient historians can and[…]

Censors in Ancient Rome

The censor’s regulation of public morality is the origin of the modern meaning of the words censor and censorship. Introduction The censor (at any time, there were two) was a magistrate in ancient Rome who was responsible for maintaining the census, supervising public morality, and overseeing certain aspects of the government’s finances.[1] The power of[…]

‘Pontifex Maximus’ and the Soul of Ancient Rome

A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized. Introduction The pontifex maximus (Latin, “greatest priest”[1][2][3]) was the chief high priest of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian[…]

The College of Pontiffs: Priests in Ancient Rome

Membership in the various colleges of priests was usually an honor offered to members of politically powerful or wealthy families. Introduction The College of Pontiffs was a body of the ancient Roman state whose members were the highest-ranking priests of the state religion. The college consisted of the Pontifex Maximus and the other pontifices, the[…]

The Salt Trade of Ancient West Africa

When exactly salt became a trade commodity is unknown, but the exchange of salt for cereals dates back to prehistory. Introduction Salt from the Sahara desert was one of the major trade goods of ancient West Africa where very little naturally occurring deposits of the mineral could be found. Transported via camel caravans and by[…]

Keeping Warm in Ancient Rome

Hot drinks and early bedtimes were key to a comfortable winter. Images of Italy and the Mediterranean generally include bright sun shining on sparkling water and dusty groves of olive trees. In fact, according to Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, who wrote a 10-volume treatise on architecture in the first century, “Divine providence has so ordered it that[…]

A Trail in the Moselle Valley, Ancient Roman Wine Country

The Moselle River owes its name to the Romans, who called it Mosella or ‘little Meuse’. Introduction The Moselle Valley is Germany’s oldest winegrowing region. The Romans brought viticulture to this area and planted vines along the Moselle River 2000 years ago. After settling the region c. 50 BCE and establishing the city of Trier (Augusta Treverorum) in[…]

Democracy and Mob Rule: The Problem of Freedom in Ancient Athens

Democracies and Republics, the best of all political structures, have a way of destroying themselves if not cherished and properly governed. By Aris Teon After World War II democracy began to be viewed in the West as the best possible form of government. However, a history of democratic states shows that freedom is not something[…]

‘Passionate Desire’: Cupid in Classical Mythology

Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion. Introduction In classical mythology, Cupid, meaning “passionate desire”, is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the god of war Mars. He is also known in[…]

Rome’s Venus Was Not Your Regular Greek Aphrodite

Ancient Rome’s Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite. By Brittany Garcia Introduction In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite; she was a goddess of victory, fertility, and even[…]

I’m Your Venus: Examining the Ancient Roman Goddess of Love

Venus has been described as perhaps “the most original creation of the Roman pantheon”. Introduction Venus is a Roman goddess, whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to[…]

Parthian-Scythian Relations in the Ancient Eastern World

Using Scythian military tactics, they eventually took over the Seleucid Empire. Introduction While little is written about Parthian-Scythian relations, not only did the Parthians share origins with the Scythians and cooperated militarily, social, cultural, and commercial interactions were likely as well. Essentially leading a nomadic way of life – riding horses, tending cattle, and living in covered[…]

A History of the Ancient Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization is now often compared with the far more famous cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Introduction The Indus Valley Civilization was a cultural and political entity which flourished in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent between c. 7000 – c. 600 BCE. Its modern name derives from its location in the valley of[…]

Gender and the Ancient Parthenon

Exploring the Parthenon and its sculptural program from the perspective of gender. Introduction Few monuments can claim such a central role in Western Civilization as the Parthenon. Constructed between 447 and 432 BCE, the Parthenon was created as a symbol of the status of Athens in the Greek world. The temple dedicated to Athena was[…]

The Ancient Amazon Women: Is There Any Truth Behind the Myth?

Strong and brave, the Amazons were a force to be reckoned with in Greek mythology – but did the fierce female warriors really exist? By Amanda Foreman I loved watching the “Wonder Woman” TV series when I was a girl. I never wanted to dress like her—the idea of wearing a gold lamé bustier and[…]

A Brief History of Ancient Dog Collars

The basic design of the collar has not changed since the time of ancient Mesopotamia but variations reflect different cultures. Introduction The dog collar, so often taken for granted, has a long and illustrious history. Anyone fortunate enough to share their life with a dog in the present day is participating in an ancient tradition[…]

The Phrygian and Thracian Cult of Sabazios in Ancient Greece

The Macedonians were also noted horsemen, horse-breeders, and horse-worshipers up to the time of Philip II. Introduction Sabazios (alternatively, Sabadios[3]) is the horseman and sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians. In Indo-European languages, such as Phrygian, the -zios element in his name derives from dyeus, the common precursor of Latin deus (‘god’) and[…]

The Ancient Greek Cabeiri Cult

The name of the Cabeiri recalls Mount Kabeiros, a mountain in the region of Berekyntia in Asia Minor. Introduction In Greek mythology, the “Kabeiri” Cabeiri or Cabiri /kəbaɪraɪ/ (Ancient Greek: Κάβειροι, Kábeiroi), also transliterated Kabiri /kəˈbɪəriː/,[1] were a group of enigmatic chthonic deities. They were worshiped in a mystery cult closely associated with that of[…]

Early Judaism, 6000 BCE to the Fall of the Second Temple

The destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE challenged traditional notions about the inviolability of Jerusalem. Introduction During the period of early Judaism (6th century BCE – 70 CE), Judean religion began to develop ideas which diverged significantly from 10th-to-7th-centuries BCE Israelite and Judean religion. In particular, this period marks a significant[…]

The Bronze Age Origins and Iron Age Growth of Judaism

Later, during the Iron Age, the Israelite religion became distinct from the Canaanite polytheism out of which it evolved. Introduction The origins of Judaism according to the current historical view, lie in the Bronze Age amidst polytheistic ancient Semitic religions, specifically evolving out of Ancient Canaanite polytheism, then co-existing with Babylonian religion, and syncretizing elements[…]

Ancient Egyptian Coptic Textiles

The dry conditions of Egypt helped preserve these delicate fabrics. What Is Coptic? The modern term “Copt” derives from a corruption of the ancient Greek aigyptos via Arabic qibt, meaning “Egyptian.” This is a reference to native Egyptians as opposed to Greek and Roman settlers. The Coptic period (or Byzantine period) began with the division[…]

Ancient Egyptian Metallurgy

The main metals used in ancient Egypt were copper, gold, silver, and iron. Metallurgy is the science of separating metals from their ores, and it developed quite recently, considering the length of human history. Ancient Egyptians were neither the inventors of metallurgy, nor the most innovative in its development.[1] Yet metals, especially gold, had a[…]