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Who were the Lydians? West Asian history

By |2018-09-17T15:26:42-07:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A Lydian gold coin King Gyges About 687 BC, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, King Gyges started the new country of Lydia (LID-ee-ah), in modern Turkey where the Hittites had ruled before the Dark Age. Who were the Hittites? When was Herodotus writing? Now that the Assyrian Empire had collapsed, and the Neo-Babylonians were not very strong, it was pretty [...]

Late medieval Florence – the Medici

By |2018-04-10T22:50:25-07:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lorenzo de' Medici In the early 1400s AD, a few rich families ruled the city-state of Florence in northern Italy. With the Holy Roman Empire very weak, these families ran Florence as an independent country. But most people in Florence had lost the political power they used to have, and they were angry about it. The Medici family, who owned a successful bank, [...]

Arion and the dolphins – Greek mythology

By |2019-02-03T11:02:11-07:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Arion and the dolphins: a lyre player and his helper (probably enslaved)  (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 [...]