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What is typhus? History of diseases

By |2017-09-07T10:30:32+00:00September 7th, 2017|Science|

A woman with typhus Nobody seems to have caught typhus before about 1450 AD, so the disease probably didn't exist until then. Typhus is an infection caused by tiny germs (bacteria) that live inside animal cells, and most people caught the germs from lice, when the lice bit them (the lice die of typhus too). [...]

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 [...]

Thomas Aquinas – Dominican monk

By |2018-04-24T09:23:15+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Philosophy|

Naples, with Mount Vesuvius in the background Like Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas was a great thinke who tried to figure out the relationship between science and religion. But unlike Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Aquinas was a Christian. Thomas Aquinas was born in southern Italy, at his father's castle, in 1224 or 1225 AD. It was just after the death of Francis [...]

Medieval universities in Europe

By |2017-08-04T09:21:20+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval|

Medieval university With the fall of Rome, the universities of northern Europe closed too. The end of Mediterranean trade meant that nobody could afford to get an advanced education anymore. In Europe, there were only small schools run by the Catholic church. Or independent scholars gave public lectures and tutored private students. Or there [...]

Boccaccio – Decameron – Medieval literature

By |2018-04-24T09:23:18+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Florence, Italy Most of the people who knew how to write in the early Middle Ages were monks. So most of them wrote about serious things like God and Heaven and Hell. Even writers who weren't monks, like Dante, usually wrote about Christian ideas. But Boccaccio was different. Boccaccio wrote about real people and their real lives. Some [...]

Sixth Crusade – Medieval History

By |2017-08-03T15:08:20+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor Soon after the failure of the Fifth Crusade, Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, decided he would try his luck on Crusade, since he hadn't been allowed to go on the last one. Frederick marched on Acre, in Syria. Acre was under the control of the Islamic Mamluks. But not everyone [...]

Late medieval Italy – Guelfs and Ghibellines

By |2018-09-27T12:27:25+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Constance of Sicily (late 1100s AD) North Italy's republics All through the later middle ages, Northern Italy was still divided into lots of small independent city-states. The most important city-states were Milan, Florence, Genoa, Pisa, Siena, and Venice. Florence and the Medici The port of Genoa Venice and the Ottomans But the Holy Roman Emperors often attacked these city-states and tried [...]