Diogenes

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Cynic philosophy – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-24T11:41:36+00:00August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Diogenes the Cynic with his lamp (Roman sculpture, once in the Villa Albani) One of Socrates' students, Antisthenes, started his own group of philosophers called the Cynics in the late 400s BC, arguing - like Buddhists in India a little earlier - that a simple life without possessions was the path to happiness. Antisthenes' most famous successor [...]

Zoe and Theodora – Byzantine History

By |2017-08-02T12:43:56+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

The Empress Zoe (from the church of Hagia Irene) Although he lived a long time and ruled nearly fifty years, Basil II never had any sons. When he died in 1025, his brother Constantine VIII succeeded. He, too, had no sons, so he left the throne to his fifty-year-old daughter Zoe and her husband Romanus III. [...]

Seljuk Dynasty – Medieval Islamic history

By |2017-07-25T09:04:58+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

The Seljuks defeat the Persians (1040 AD) The Seljuks were Turkic nomads from Turkmenistan. They were related to the Uighurs. They entered the Abbasid empire around 950 AD and gradually converted to Sunni Islam. By 1030 AD the Seljuks were beginning to try to get power for themselves. They soon conquered the Ghaznavids (who were also Turkic) and controlled most of Iran. The [...]