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History of Christianity – World Religions

By |2018-04-09T23:07:26+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

One of the earliest images of Jesus, from St. Callisto catacomb in Rome (ca. 250 AD) Around the time of the beginning of the Roman Empire, a new religion began among the Jews living in Israel: Christianity. People seem to have felt that these new governments - these big empires - needed bigger, more organized religions to stand up [...]

The Abbasids – Medieval Islamic history

By |2018-04-18T23:33:46+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Minaret at Samarra, 847 AD In 750 AD, the Abbasid caliphs murdered all of the surviving Umayyad men but one. They took over ruling the Islamic Empire. The Abbasids were less interested in the Mediterranean coast than the Umayyads had been. So the Abbasids concentrated more on the plains of Iraq and Iran, and less on the coast: Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, [...]

Pandya Empire – history of India

By |2018-09-07T10:42:25+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Gate of Sri Ranganathaswami temple at Srirangam, built by Pandya king Jatavarman Sundara in the 1200s AD The Pandya Empire takes over After the Chola Empire collapsed in the 1200s AD, their old enemies, the Pandyas, took over control of south India. Both the Cholas and the Pandyas spoke Tamil. Mostly they're the same culture, though [...]

Indian architecture – Ancient India – History of Architecture

By |2018-04-18T23:55:58+00:00July 19th, 2017|Architecture, India|

Early Indian architecture: Rock-cut temples at Ajanta, India The Stone Age and the Bronze Age The earliest buildings anyone knows of from India are from Mehrgahr, from about 7000 BC. But the first real stone architecture dates to about 2500 BC, in the Harappan period in northern India (modern Pakistan). The Harappans built big cities, with walls around them [...]

Government in Ancient China – Emperors

By |2018-12-13T06:47:43+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, Government|

Chinese government: Empress Wu of the T'ang Dynasty The first emperors of China During the Stone Age, people in China lived in small villages and had big men in charge, and then chieftains. But by the time of the Shang Dynasty, about 1800 BC, China was united into an empire. What is an [...]

Khitan – History of Central Asia

By |2017-05-31T15:12:14+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Khitan woman, ca. 1000 AD (Musee Guimet, Paris) The Khitan are part of the big group of Turkic and Altaic language speakers from Central Asia who gradually got more and more power during the Middle Ages. By 300 AD, the Khitan were already living in the eastern part of Central Asia, north of [...]