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Pope Gregory the Great – Early medieval Christianity

By |2018-04-13T11:21:23+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Pope Gregory the Great writing, carved near Strasbourg, about 875 AD. That's under Charlemagne's grandchildren. The Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) sits on his shoulder and dictates to him. The elephant ivory is probably from Kenya. (Now in Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum) Gregory was Pope in Rome beginning in 590 AD. That's just after [...]

What is a bishop? Christianity – Religion

By |2017-08-21T17:56:08+00:00August 21st, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

A bishop from medieval Iceland (in the form of a chess piece). Now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York A bishop was a man who was in charge of the Christians of a certain city. All big cities in the ancient Roman Empire and Sassanian Empire and medieval Europe had bishops. The earliest bishops appeared soon after the crucifixion of Jesus, about [...]

Augustine of Hippo – Christianity and the fall of Rome

By |2017-08-21T15:41:56+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman theater at Thagaste (Souk Ahras), in Algeria, where Augustine grew up. Augustine was born in a small town in North Africa in the mid-300s AD. His parents were not poor, so when he got older and it seemed that he was very smart, they sent him to a bigger city to go [...]

Quakers – Society of Friends – Religion

By |2017-08-14T23:37:27+00:00August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Quaker wedding (1800s in England) In 1648 AD, some people in England felt unhappy with the way Puritan Christians were praying to God. So they started to do things their own way. One early Quaker was a man named George Fox. But generally the Quakers (who call themselves the Friends) had no leaders, priests, or ministers. [...]

Christmas Trees – American holidays

By |2017-08-14T14:26:19+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Northern Europe, Religion|

Christmas Tree in Germany (late 1700s, by Joseph Keller) Because Christmas is related to old celebrations of the winter solstice, evergreen trees have always been popular decorations in northern countries at Christmastime. They're green when everything else is dead and white. In the time of the Roman Empire, people sometimes hung small bits of metal from trees at this [...]

Restoration England – British history

By |2018-04-24T10:40:56+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

Mississippians and American history

By |2018-11-20T10:05:20+00:00August 13th, 2017|History, Native American|

Excavation of a house at Joara The Little Ice Age The people who lived in the lower Mississippi valley (modern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) were not doing so well around 1500 AD. The Little Ice Age of the 1400s, or some other crisis, had weakened their economic and political system. But they were farming corn and beans and [...]

Algonquin tribe during European colonization

By |2018-04-09T15:49:40+00:00August 12th, 2017|History, Native American|

People of the Algonquin tribe in the 1700s AD Algonquin people sold beaver furs to European traders When European traders began to buy huge amounts of North American furs to sell in Europe and China, Algonquin hunters began to trap and hunt lots of animals, especially beaver, to get their fur to sell to the European traders. The [...]

Modern European religion

By |2018-04-09T23:07:35+00:00August 7th, 2017|History, Modern Europe, Religion|

A Catholic bishop marries Napoleon and Josephine Even though by 1802 Napoleon had opened up the Catholic churches again, French people kept their freedom of religion, and the Catholic Church had much less power in France. Soon Catholics and Protestants lost power in other European countries too. In 1803, the Catholic Church lost its land [...]