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Life in ancient Africa – gender and class history

By |2018-04-13T01:37:34+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, People|

African daily life: Mary and Jesus, from Ethiopia (ca. 1500 AD) (Now in the J. Paul Getty Museum) Inequality in African society Ancient African society didn't have the huge differences between rich and poor people that plagued Europe and Asia. North Africa, being part of the Mediterranean community, was an exception. But south of the Sahara [...]

Ancient Roman people – who lived in the Roman Empire?

By |2018-04-25T10:24:36+00:00September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A barmaid brings a drink to two men sitting on chairs. The words show the men arguing about whose drink it is. (Caupona of Salvius, Pompeii, 79 AD) The Roman Empire was so big that there were a lot of different people with different cultures living in it. So you can't really say there was one [...]

Roman families – children and households in ancient Rome

By |2018-04-25T10:21:33+00:00September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman family on a tombstone The Roman idea of family included not just a husband and wife and their children, but also their slaves (if they had any), so that it meant something more like a family-owned business with the employees. Because of this, Roman men had more power within the family than Roman women did - they [...]

What is a dowry? History of marriage

By |2018-04-24T11:07:33+00:00August 16th, 2017|Economy|

Peleus, future father of Achilles, greets the guests at his wedding; the bride Thetis waits inside the house (Sophilos; British Museum, ca. 580 BC) Beginning about as far back as there are any written records, about 3000 BC, people exchanged money as part of a marriage. The custom is probably much older than that, even. [...]

American people – family, education, slavery

By |2018-04-24T11:03:47+00:00August 14th, 2017|Native American, North America, People|

A Pueblo family with a donkey in 1885 (Detroit Publishing Company) Since 1500 AD North American people's relationships to one another have seen big changes. In the 1500s, most kids lived in small villages with their families. Many kids grew up in longhouses or pueblos, with their cousins and aunts and uncles sharing their house. Nobody went to [...]

Medieval people – Life in medieval Europe

By |2018-04-24T11:23:07+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, People|

Madonna and child (Donatello) The way people thought about each other in the Middle Ages, everyone was involved in complicated systems of relationships with each other. The first relationships people had were with their own families. In medieval European families, most kids lived with their father and mother and brothers and sisters. Because people died [...]

Medieval Islamic people

By |2018-04-18T23:33:48+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

A plate from the Fatimid period (1000s AD), Egypt Children in the Islamic Empire generally did what their parents did (as many people still do today). Girls never went to school. They worked at home taking care of their brothers and sisters and cooking. Girls carried water from the well, and they went out to look for [...]