North Africa

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Islamic North Africa – caravans across the Sahara

By |2018-02-22T09:23:58+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Islamic North Africa: Kairouan mosque (ca. 800 AD) The Eastern Roman reconquest of North Africa in the 530s AD ended the Vandal kingdom there. But trade declined until the Islamic invasions of North Africa in the 600s AD and the establishment of the Umayyad, and then the Fatimid dynasties. Fatimids Under Islamic rule, North Africa became part of a [...]

First Punic War – Carthage and Rome

By |2018-04-25T10:04:35+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History, Romans|

Sicily seen from space (the tip of Italy is on the right) (Most of what we know about this war comes from either Polybius or Livy): By 274 BC, the Romans had taken over all of Italy. Then a Greek city that was NOT in Italy asked the Romans to help it out in a war. This city was in Sicily, [...]

Gnostics – Early Christianity – Roman religion

By |2017-08-21T22:51:25+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Books of Roman Gnostic writings from Nag Hammadi in Egypt (300s AD) About the time of Jesus, about 100 BC-100 AD, people living in the Eastern Mediterranean and West Asia were gradually beginning to think more about the afterlife than they had before. What happened to you after you died? Did you go to Heaven? How could you make [...]

Donatists – Christianity – history of religion

By |2017-08-21T21:55:20+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman emperor Constantine - the first Christian emperor Almost as soon as Constantine had won the battle of the Milvian Bridge and been converted to Christianity, in the winter of 313 AD, he began to get letters from Africa about the Donatists. This was a fight between Christians which had started during the Great Persecution of Diocletian. The [...]

Cyprian and the Decian Persecution – Christianity

By |2018-04-24T15:50:52+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Sacrifice certificate on papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, in Egypt, dating to the Decian persecution (about 3 inches wide) About 249 AD, the situation of the Christians took a sharp turn for the worse. The year 247 AD marked 1000 years since the founding of the city of Rome: the Millennium. A lot of people were frightened and thought this might mean the end of [...]

Early Middle Ages – Dark Age Europe

By |2017-08-02T16:40:06+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Interior of Hagia Sophia The Early Middle Ages comes after the fall of Rome, about 400 AD. But all the way through the Early Middle Ages, European people still thought of themselves as living in the Roman Empire and being Romans. Even armies who had invaded by force thought they were Romans. Even armies who [...]

The Vandals – Early Middle Ages

By |2017-09-03T15:11:45+00:00August 2nd, 2017|Africa, History, Medieval|

The Rhine river, frozen over The Vandals first entered the collapsing Roman Empire from Germany in the winter of 409 AD. They crossed the frozen Rhine river with a group of Alans and Sueves. The Vandals were taking advantage of a rebellion within the Empire that kept the Romans from defending themselves well. The Vandals (with the Alans and [...]

History of pigs, pork, and bacon

By |2018-04-09T23:27:52+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy, Food|

History of pigs: A wild boar Where do pigs come from? The first pigs evolved in Southeast Asia from earlier, smaller mammals, about two million years ago, and spread out from there all over Eurasia and Africa. Wild pigs live in forests, especially where there are oak trees that make acorns, because pigs [...]

African Economy Learning Activity

By |2018-04-09T10:31:08+00:00May 22nd, 2017|Africa, Crafts, Economy|

African salt caravan To have a chance to think about what these economic trades would have meant to African people, imagine you are one of these people (if you're in a class, a group of kids can be each person). Think about what you might buy from the other people, and what you [...]