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14 09, 2017

From Xerxes to Alexander – the later Persian Empire

By |2019-09-05T05:38:55-07:00September 14th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

The Persian shah, Xerxes, from the 400s BC. Death of Xerxes and revolt 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, [...]

16 08, 2017

What is a midwife? History of childbirth

By |2019-09-13T06:57:39-07:00August 16th, 2017|Science|13 Comments

A Roman carving of a midwife at a birth (Isola Della Sacra, Ostia, 1st century AD) Who delivered babies in the ancient world? A midwife is a woman who helps other women give birth to their babies. In ancient and medieval times, doctors didn't usually have anything to do with women having babies - that was the [...]

1 08, 2017

Constans II – Byzantine history

By |2017-08-01T17:45:13-07:00August 1st, 2017|History, Medieval|0 Comments

Mu'awiya on a Sassanian-style coin When Heraclius died in 641 AD, his sons Heraclonas and Heraclius Constantine took over as Byzantine emperors, ruling together. They only lasted a few years. Heraclius Constantine died within the year. His son Constantine (usually called Constans II) succeeded him, even though he was only 11 years old. Soon afterwards [...]

1 08, 2017

Comneni Dynasty – Byzantine history

By |2019-04-21T11:45:07-07:00August 1st, 2017|History, Medieval|0 Comments

Alexios I Comneni, the Byzantine emperor (1081 AD) The Battle of Manzikert The Battle of Manzikert in 1071 was the end of Basil's Armenian Dynasty. The Byzantines had lost Armenia to Alp Arslan and the Seljuk Turks, and Alp Arslan took the Roman Emperor prisoner. Battle of Manzikert Who was Alp Arslan? All our medieval Europe articles [...]

25 07, 2017

The Mamluks – Medieval Islamic history

By |2019-09-19T18:40:12-07:00July 25th, 2017|Islam|16 Comments

Mamluks: A Mamluk inn for merchants in Cairo Mamluks were enslaved soldiers The Mamluks were originally enslaved bodyguards of the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire (the word "mamluk" just means "slave" in Arabic). Starting around 850 AD, the Abbasid caliphs captured or bought young boys who were not Muslims as slaves. Who were the Abbasids? Sunni and Shiite History of [...]

12 06, 2017

History of cats – Where did cats come from?

By |2019-10-10T11:17:32-07:00June 12th, 2017|Egypt|0 Comments

History of cats: Sumerian clay head of a cat (Iraq, ca. 3000-2000 BC) Evolution of cats Wildcats first evolved from earlier mammals in Europe during the late Tertiary period, about four million years ago. By around 50,000 years ago, wildcats had spread into West Asia, and by around 40,000 BC, there were cats [...]