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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 chariot-racing – Circus games in Ancient Rome

By |2018-01-14T14:06:37+00:00September 1st, 2017|Games, Romans|

Roman circus games: Roman chariot-racing mosaic from Vienne, France Chariot-racing and gambling In addition to gladiatorial games, people in ancient Rome also really loved chariot-racing.  Both men and women went to the races all the time. They bet on which horses would win. Chariot races were actually even more popular than the gladiatorial games. Roman [...]

Races and racism – Skin color and history

By |2018-04-24T11:41:04+00:00August 16th, 2017|People, Science|

An Egyptian portrait of two brothers (Roman period, about 150 AD) Biologically, there is no such thing as race. Sure, people come in a lot of different skin and hair colors. But there is no sharp division between them, only a gradual blending. And the color of your skin and your hair doesn't [...]

What games did people play in ancient India?

By |2017-07-20T09:49:31+00:00July 20th, 2017|Games, India|

A die found in excavations at a Harappan period site. Note that the six is not opposite the one. People brought the idea of throwing the knucklebones of sheep or pigs to tell the future, or to play a game of skill like jacks, when they first came from Africa to India about 40,000 BC. But people in India may have been [...]

Pelops’ chariot race – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T08:13:20+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Poseidon in love with Pelops (Athens, 400s BC) Pelops was the son of Tantalus, and so he was Zeus' grandson. When Pelops was still young, Tantalus murdered Pelops and served him to the gods as a stew. Luckily for Pelops, the gods figured this out before they ate him, except for Demeter ate a piece of Pelops' shoulder. After [...]

Atalanta and the golden apples – Greek myth

By |2018-04-23T10:11:30+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Atalanta (see her name misspelled on the vase?) Atalanta was a woman who was very good at all kinds of sports (in the story; this is a story). She was a fast runner and a sharp-shooter and a strong wrestler and a great huntress. An oracle told Atalanta that she would be ruined if she got married, so she didn't [...]

Bicycle races – Central Asia projects

By |2017-06-11T17:09:53+00:00June 11th, 2017|Central Asia, Games, West Asia|

Kids having a bike race In ancient Central Asia, people loved to ride horses and often raced their horses for fun. You probably don't have horses you can race (though that would be a great activity if you do!) but you might be able to race bicycles instead. Can you organize a bicycle race [...]