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Who were the Moche? South American history

By |2018-04-19T15:03:12+00:00September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Moche portrait of a blind man, 400-500 AD (thanks to Oberlin College) The collapse of the Chavin state in Peru, about 250 BC, seems to have opened the way for the Moche and the Nazca to develop states of their own. The Moche started up around 100 AD along the Pacific coast of South America, in what is now northern Peru. The [...]

Challenges and disabilities in the ancient world

By |2018-04-24T11:07:10+00:00August 16th, 2017|Medieval, Romans, Science|

(Bosch, the Ship of Fools) In the ancient and medieval worlds, many more people were physically and mentally challenged than there are in the United States, or practically anywhere, today. There were no operations to fix club feet, or cleft palates, or heart murmurs. There were no antidepressants or antipsychotics for people who heard [...]

Who was Homer? Greek epic literature

By |2018-04-23T09:02:17+00:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Cup by Sophilos, showing a race from the Iliad (as the inscription says - Athens, ca. 570 BC) To the classical Greeks, Homer's epics played very much the same role that the Bible plays for a lot of people today. People memorized big chunks of Homer's writings in school, and they repeated bits [...]

Epic of Koroglu – Central Asian stories

By |2017-05-31T22:25:56+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Literature|

In this story, Koca Yusuf was a poor man who worked in the horse stables of the powerful Bey of Bolu. One day, Koca Yusuf saw a young filly (a girl horse). This horse had not had enough food and was very skinny and didn't look like anything special. But Koca Yusef knew horses, and [...]