A History of the Roman-Parthian Wars, 54 BCE – 217 CE

These battles were part of long-lasting conflict between the Roman Empire and the Persians. Introduction The Roman–Parthian Wars (54 BC – 217 AD) were a series of conflicts between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was the first series of conflicts in what would be 682 years of Roman–Persian Wars. Battles between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic began in 54 BC.[1] This first[…]

Julius Caesar versus Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia in 52 BCE

Victory at Alesia had come for Caesar but at a terrible cost. Introduction The Battle of Alesia was a decisive Roman victory in Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars in September 52 BCE. Roman commander Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) and his legions faced a united Gallic army under the command of Vercingetorix (82-46 BCE), chief of the Arverni, at the hilltop fort or oppidum of Alesia, in modern-day eastern[…]

The Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet and the Siloam Inscription

The inscription hence records the construction of the tunnel in ancient Jerusalem. Introduction The Siloam inscription or Shiloah inscripti, known as KAI 189, is a Hebrew inscription found in the Siloam tunnel which brings water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, located in the City of David in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shiloah or Silwan. The inscription records the construction of the tunnel, which has been dated to the 8th century[…]

A History of the Philistines in Ancient Canaan

Outside of pre-Maccabean Israelite religious literature, evidence for the name and the origins of the Philistines is less abundant and less consistent. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for[…]

The 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession

This was the generation of suffragists who challenged society’s expectations of what it meant to be a woman. Introduction “Miles of Fluttering Femininity Present Entrancing Suffrage Appeal” Washington Post, 1913 On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s presidential inauguration, thousands of women marched along Pennsylvania Avenue–the same route that the inaugural parade would[…]

The New York Shirtwaist Strike of 1909

During the early to mid-20th century, American textile workers of all categories were subjected to abysmal working conditions, Introduction The New York shirtwaist strike of 1909, also known as the Uprising of the 20,000, was a labour strike primarily involving Jewish women working in New York shirtwaist factories. It was the largest strike by female American workers up to that date. Led by Clara Lemlich and[…]

Demography of the Ancient Roman Empire

“Census” is a Latin word. The modern notion of a state counting the population is a direct legacy from the Roman Empire. Introduction Demographically, the Roman Empire was a typical premodern state. It had high infant mortality, a low marriage age, and high fertility within marriage. Perhaps half of Roman subjects died by the age of 5. Of those[…]

A Scientific Population History of Ancient Egypt

Scholars have reviewed the available skulls and skeletal evidence on the ancient Egyptians to draw some conclusions. Introduction Egypt has a long and involved demographic history. This is partly due to the territory’s geographical location at the crossroads of several major cultural areas: North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Egypt has experienced several invasions during its[…]

Gambling And The Middle Ages – The History

The history of gambling as a favourite pass-time runs back to the medieval ages. People from all social strata indulged in this intoxicating practice. Medieval gambling still sustains its allure amidst the crowd. The History Of Gambling While gambling was the downfall of many, it was a central part of medieval lives. The modern age[…]

Diogenes: Making a Virtue of Poverty in Ancient Greece

He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar, or pithos, in the marketplace. Introduction Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope, an Ionian colony on the Black Sea coast of modern-day Turkey,[1] in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.[2] Diogenes was a[…]

Why Do We Rebury Ancient Sites after Archaeological Digs and Study?

There are many scenarios where reburial is the best option for an excavated heritage site. Introduction When we bury something, it’s usually because it’s dead or we want to hide it. But what if burying something actually extended its life? It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes burying excavated ancient art and architecture is the best[…]

A 3,000-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ Discovered in Egypt

It has been called the most important discovery since tomb of Tutankhamun and a window into the ancient world. Archaeologists hailed the discovery of “the largest” ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since unearthing Tutankhamun’s tomb. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced[…]

Themes and Decorations of Ancient Celtic Pottery

The Celts themselves had no concept that they were part of a wider European Iron Age culture. Introduction The pottery of the ancient Celts, although produced over great distances in space and time, shares several common features no matter where it was made, illustrating that there was contact between people living as far apart as[…]

Ancient Celtic Art, Sculpture, and Pottery

Celtic art must be judged largely by examining only the art objects themselves and the contexts in which they have been rediscovered. Introduction Art, along with language, is perhaps the best way to see the connections between the ancient peoples we label as Celts who lived in Iron Age Europe. There were great variations across time and space but[…]

‘Secret Knowledge’: A History of Christian Gnosticism in the Ancient World

Gnostics promoted concepts of radical dualism that govern the universe. Introduction Gnosticism is the belief that human beings contain a piece of God (the highest good or a divine spark) within themselves, which has fallen from the immaterial world into the bodies of humans. All physical matter is subject to decay, rotting, and death. Those bodies and[…]

666: Christianity, Revelation, and Gematria in Ancient Rome

Why the biblical reference in Revelation should be considered in its first-century context. By Dr. Eric M. Vanden EykelAssociate Professor of ReligionFerrum College Introduction The mark of the beast – a cryptic mark in Revelation which indicates allegiance to Satan – has been invoked by fringe Christian figures throughout the pandemic in reference to what[…]

Religion and State: The Influence of the Tokugawa in Japan, 1600-1868

Buddhism, Shintoism, and Neo-Confucianism and how the Tokugawa state used these religions to their advantage. The Tokugawa period in Japan began in 1600 and lasted until 1868, and was an era of peace throughout the realm. Before this time, Japan had experienced years of warfare between the different provinces, with various daimyo, or lords, fighting[…]

Francis Xavier and the Arrival of Christianity in Japan in 1549

In July 1549, Francis Xavier arrived in Japan, hoping to find success converting the Japanese to Christianity. A Discovery in Takatsuki In 1920, researchers from the Kyoto Imperial University in Japan made a miraculous discovery. They found a locked chest—seemingly unopened for centuries—tied to a beam in the ceiling of an old house. When they[…]

Moundville: A Native American Mississippian Culture Site

Moundville is the second largest “mound builder” site preserved in the USA after Cahokia in Illinois. By Dr. Joshua J. MarkProfessor of PhilosophyMarist College Introduction Moundville is an archaeological site and park in Hale County, Alabama, USA on the Black Warrior River enclosing a Native American site dated to c. 1100 – c. 1450 CE. The[…]

Exploring Cahokia, the Largest Pre-Columbian City in North America

It is thought that the Mississippian peoples built their mounds to focus spiritual power in a central location in their communities. Introduction Cahokia is a modern-day historical park in Collinsville, Illinois, enclosing the site of the largest pre-Columbian city on the continent of North America. The original name of this city has been lost – Cahokia is a[…]

Medieval People in Town and Country: New Perspectives from Demography and Bioarchaeology

Examining the contrasts and interplay of rural and urban medieval societies. By Dr. Maryanne KowaleskiJoseph Fitzpatrick S.J. Distinguished Professor of HistoryFordham University Introduction Medievalists, especially medievalists in North America, pay far too little attention to the medieval 90 percent, above all the peasants, who vastly outnumbered the kings, popes, poets, mystics, preachers, and artists that[…]

The Curious Whispers of Shakespeare’s Musings on Religion

Scholars have scoured the works of the great playwright for clues about his faith. A scholar of theology and Shakespeare’s works says it isn’t as simple as that. By Dr. Anthony D. BakerProfessor of Systematic TheologySeminary of the Southwest Introduction William Shakespeare’s role as a religious guide is not an obvious one. While the work[…]

The Role of Magic in the Development of Early Christianity

Although many modern people tend to see ‘magic’ and ‘religion’ as separate, magic was actually integral to the development of Christianity. By Dr. Shaily Shashikant PatelAssistant Professor of Early ChristianityVirginia Tech Introduction Americans are fascinated by magic. TV shows like “WandaVision” and “The Witcher,” books like the Harry Potter series, plus comics, movies and games about[…]

What Is Modern Architecture, Anyway?

Five things to look for, and how these design features changed the world. The development of Modern architecture revolutionized our cities and workplaces, and its design principles not only reflected progress in science, health, and social equality but were also intended to help these ideals thrive. Today, Modern design principles help connect society and are[…]

Benvenuto Cellini’s Salt Cellar Renaissance Sculpture

This was an intellectual conversation starter—filled with meanings waiting to be decoded by an elite, art-literate audience. Introduction When a thief broke into the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in 2003, one object in particular caught his attention. The gallery lights glinted off an intricately worked gold and enamel surface—this was the famous salt cellar by[…]

A History of the University of Cambridge since the 13th Century

In 1209, scholars taking refuge from hostile townsmen in Oxford migrated to Cambridge and settled there. Early Records When we first come across Cambridge in written records, it was already a considerable town. The bridge across the River Cam or Granta, from which the town took its name, had existed since at least 875. The[…]