Herodotus

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Ships and sailing in ancient Africa – early boats

By |2018-04-26T13:31:11+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Economy, Science|

Early boats: A person in a boat (Barramiya, Upper Egypt, ca. 4000 BC) Early boats: When did people invent boats? African sailing has a long history. People were probably using boats before the first people left Africa. At Blombos Cave in South Africa, people were fishing about 70,000 BC, and by the time people got [...]

Who were the Persians? Persian Empire – Iran – history

By |2018-10-30T07:40:22+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

The Persians came from the Central Asian steppe The Persians and the Medes Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. Who were the Indo-Europeans? More Central Asia articles More West Asia (Middle East) articles Nomads and cattle-herders in Central Asia The Persians [...]

Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

By |2018-04-24T11:39:59+00:00September 14th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

Scythian history: A Scythian milking a sheep (Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, Ukraine, 400 BC) Scythians lived in Central Asia The Scythians were a large group of loosely connected people who lived in Russia. They also lived further south around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.  Like the Hittites, the Greeks and the Germans, they were Indo-Europeans. Powerful in the Iron Age We [...]

Who were the Etruscans? History of Italy

By |2018-10-02T12:06:39+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Etruscan tomb sculpture: the Etruscans liked fancy tombs From Villanovans to Etruscans Around 700 BC, the Bronze Age people we call the Villanovans started to get ideas from the Greeks and Phoenicians who were sailing around the Mediterranean. They started to do things the way the Greeks and the Carthaginians did them. Historians call these people the Etruscans (ee-TRUSS-kins). Who were the [...]

Medieval Islamic historians

By |2018-04-09T10:31:10+00:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam, Literature|

A page from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, from Herat, Afghanistan, about 1444 AD. Now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Islamic historians began by translating Greek historians like Herodotus and Thucydides into Arabic. But soon historians wrote in Arabic about the history of the Islamic Empire.  One example is the huge history written by al-Tabari about 900 AD. Al-Tabari had done a lot of [...]

Who was Thales of Miletus? Greek Astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:20:25+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Thales of Miletus might have watched plays in this theater at Miletus (before it had stone seats) Biography of Thales Thales was born in what's now Turkey, in the city of Miletus, about 630 BC, during the Archaic period. At that time, Miletus was a city where people spoke Greek, though it may have paid taxes or [...]

The earth in Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:08:58+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

The earth in Greek astronomy: The Greeks never saw this view of the earth from space! Gaia and the Earth Early Greeks thought of the Earth as the goddess Gaia, the mother of everything. Like a mother, the Earth gave food to people. By the time of Homer's Odyssey, Greek sailors knew the outline of the Mediterranean and [...]

Kleobis and Biton – Greek mythology

By |2017-07-15T04:38:45+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Stone statues of Kleobis and Biton The Greek historian Herodotus tells a story about two boys named Kleobis and Biton (KLEE-oh-biss and BYE-ton) who lived near Delphi about 600 BC. In Herodotus, the Greek wise man Solon tells their story as an example of people who lived the happiest possible lives. Read their story and see whether this would be [...]

Arion and the dolphins – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T10:10:38+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Arion and the dolphins: a lyre player and his slave (Greece, about 680 BC, now in the Getty Museum) Arion was a great singer Herodotus tells us that in the time of Periander the tyrant of Corinth (which would be about 625 BC), there was a great singer whose name was Arion. Arion sailed from Corinth to Sicily to sing in [...]

Who are the Amazons? Scythian women

By |2018-04-23T10:06:36+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

A Greek depiction of an Amazon (Athens, ca. 420 BC; Wikimedia) The Amazons, in Greek mythology, were a group of warriors who were all women and girls. There were no men among them. One famous Greek story about the Amazons is the story of Penthesileia. According to the Greeks, the Amazons lived to the north of Greece, [...]