Alexander the Great

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From Xerxes to Alexander – the later Persian Empire

By | 2017-09-14T17:18:32+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The Persian shah, Xerxes, from the 400s BC. King Xerxes was killed in 465 BC. His assassin may have been his son Ardashir I (Artaxerxes in Greek), who succeeded him. Ardashir was a weak king, and a lot of the conquered countries revolted while Ardashir was king. By this time, the rest of West Asia [...]

Who were the Persians? Iran – West Asian history

By | 2017-11-01T22:57:18+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

Central Asian steppe Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. The Persians and the Medes were distantly related to the Scythians, the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans, and they spoke a related language. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Central Asia [...]

What is typhoid fever? History of diseases

By | 2017-09-07T10:18:02+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Science|

A person with typhoid rash (Iran) Typhoid fever isn't the same thing as typhus at all. You catch typhus from being bit by lice that have bitten people with typhoid, and you catch typhoid from drinking water with traces of human poop in it. (You can't catch typhoid from animals.) The germs that cause typhoid are a kind of salmonella, [...]

What is malaria? History of diseases and medicine

By | 2017-09-07T08:22:43+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Africa, Science|

A baby with malaria (from World Health Organization) You catch malaria by being bitten by a mosquito that has malaria parasites living inside it. (Female mosquitoes bite people to get blood. That gives them enough energy to make baby mosquitoes.) When the mosquito bites you, the malaria parasites go from the mosquito's mouth into your blood. [...]

Maccabees – Jewish history

By | 2017-10-09T17:20:27+00:00 August 24th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Alexander the Great Under the Persians the Jews did very well. They were able to worship their own God, and even to travel around the Persian Empire converting people to Judaism. But in 331 BC Alexander the Great, who was from Macedon, conquered the Persian Empire and "liberated" (as he called it) the Jews from Persian rule. [...]

Medieval Islamic art history

By | 2017-07-23T15:13:04+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|Art, Islam|

Mosaic from the Great Mosque in Damascus (about 710 AD) As soon as the Islamic Empire formed, under the Umayyad dynasty, artists began exploring the new ideas of Islam and what they meant for art. The first big difference between Roman art and Islamic art was that the followers of Islam, like the Jews, took seriously the commandment that you should not [...]

Alexander the Great in India

By | 2017-07-27T22:34:17+00:00 July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Alexander the Great In 326 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian part of northern India. Alexander was a Macedonian (and therefore an Indo-European) king. Alexander was conquering the whole Persian Empire, and he conquered northern India (modern Pakistan) as part of that - this land had already been part of the Persian Empire. It must have been exciting for [...]

War in ancient Greece

By | 2017-07-19T06:22:52+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek hoplite soldiers (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) Wars were very common in ancient Greece. The Greeks lived in little city-states, each one like a small town in the United States today, with no more than about 100,000 people in each city-state. These city-states - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes - were always fighting each other over their borders. Often [...]