The city of Alexandria and the lighthouse.
Ancient History

How Alexander Built Alexandria—The Myth and Legend

December 1, 2017

The Alexandrians were not really interested at all in anything to do with Egypt. They saw their city as a sort of divine foundation of the Greeks. Plutarch tells us that when Alexander came to Egypt, he left behind a large and populous Greek city that would bear his name: Alexandria. […]

Image of Mosaic Floor found at Villa Torre de Palma
Ancient History

Discovering an Ancient Roman Villa: Torre de Palma

December 1, 2017

Torre de Palma, the “Tower of the Palm,” is a Roman latifundia, or villa, way out in the westernmost province of the mainland of the Roman Empire, in modern-day Portugal. It was discovered in 1947 in a special way that is emblematic of certain kinds of discoveries. […]

Earth (Image: Triff/Shutterstock)
Ancient History

The Eight Fundamental Thresholds of Big History

December 1, 2017

David Christian structures his groundbreaking Big History course around eight fundamental thresholds. Each of them is associated with new forms of complexity, and each of which has new emergent properties. Here we will take a high-level look at the eight fundamental thresholds of Big History and the material covered within each. […]

image of scroll with Egyptian hieroglyphs
Ancient History

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs

June 30, 2017

Ancient Egyptian civilization is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating chapters in human history. While remnants of the culture like temples, obelisks, and sarcophagi continue to mystify us, you can unlock their true meaning if you know how to read hieroglyphs. […]

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. […]

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