Interior page of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. (Image: By The Internet Archive/Public Domain)
Ancient History

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

April 3, 2017

For all its renown as a work of style, elegance, wit, and insight, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by the Enlightenment historian Edward Gibbon can be quite intimidating for the armchair historian. Yet even today, centuries after its original publication, Gibbon’s historical chronicle demands to be read and understood. […]

Image of a historical book and magnifying glass to illustrate searching historical information.
Ancient History

Can We Truly Know The Lives of Historical Figures?

March 28, 2017

We have a problem in everyday language when we want to talk about “what happened” in the lives of historical figures. What happened is surprisingly complicated, even when we wish to explain an event that occurred earlier today, much less the actions of a person living 2,500 years ago […]

Ancient History

The Dramatic History of Islamic Medicine

March 7, 2017

Al-Razi was known as the father of Islamic medicine — in fact, many of his medical texts became classics that were still consulted in the Middle East and Europe hundreds of years after his death. Examine the life and work of al-Razi, and explore the development of hospitals across the Greater Middle East, and reviews the contributions of another great medical mind, Ibn Sina. […]

(Image: El Greco 1973/Shutterstock)
Ancient History

The Mask of Tutankhamun

February 21, 2017

“One thought and only one was possible. There before us lay the sealed door, and with its opening we were to blot out the centuries and stand in the presence of a king who had reigned 3,000 years ago. My own feelings as I mounted the platform were a strange mixture, and with trembling hand I struck the first blow…” […]

Ancient History

The Sack of Rome, 410 A.D

December 21, 2016

Almost as soon as it occurred, the Sack of Rome left the space of history and entered the realm of myth. […]

Picture of a Cuneiform tablet from Sumer
Ancient History

Cuneiform: The Invention of Writing

December 14, 2016

By Kenneth W. Harl, Ph.D., Tulane University There’s a great deal of debate over the origins of writing but, with Cuneiform in Sumer, we have […]

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