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Life in ancient Africa – gender, slavery, food, clothing

By | 2017-10-02T12:29:29+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Africa, People|

Mary and Jesus, from Ethiopia (ca. 1500 AD) (Now in the J. Paul Getty Museum) 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 even kings and queens were not so much richer [...]

West Asian mathematics – history of math

By | 2017-09-16T12:05:41+00:00 September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

Sumerian multiplication table (2700 BC) Once people in West Asia figured out how to write down numbers, about 3500 BC, they quickly began to want to use cuneiform to write down other mathematical ideas. The earliest example of this that we have is from about 2700 BC. It shows a multiplication table to help people figure out the area of a space by multiplying width [...]

Girls and young women in West Asia

By | 2017-09-15T15:52:13+00:00 September 15th, 2017|People, West Asia|

An enslaved woman stands behind a free Elamite woman who is spinning (600s BC) In West Asia, even more than in most other state societies all over the world, men did not allow women to do all the things that men did. People valued women less than men. In Hammurabi's Code, from 1700 BC, there's a lower penalty [...]

Roman schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:20:52+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman teacher home-schooling, about 200 AD Most Roman kids did not go to school. Like their parents, they worked in the fields hoeing and weeding and plowing as soon as they were old enough. Their parents needed them to work, to get enough to eat. They did not learn to read or write or do math. Some rich boys, [...]

Women in ancient Rome – gender and power

By | 2017-09-04T10:15:54+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

Roman woman, about 50 AD. The sculptor has made her look silly on purpose to make fun of old women Roman women lived under many restrictions that did not apply to Roman men. Roman women knew that men were treating them unfairly, and they did not like living under special rules. We can [...]

Ancient Roman people – who lived in the Roman Empire?

By | 2017-09-04T09:25:00+00:00 September 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 high schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T08:56:00+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A fragment of Homer's Iliad on papyrus Only the richest and smartest Roman boys went on from elementary school to high school. Girls generally couldn't go to high school, but sometimes they could be homeschooled. Most towns didn't have a high school, so in order to go to high school you had to leave home [...]

Roman basilicas – Architecture in ancient Rome

By | 2017-08-25T17:01:17+00:00 August 25th, 2017|Architecture, Government, Romans|

Basilica Aemilia, Rome When the Romans had any activity they wanted to do in groups, but inside, out of the weather, they generally met in a basilica (ba-SILL-uh-ka). A basilica is a long hall with two or more rows of columns running down the long way to help hold the roof up, like [...]