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Mercenaries and military history

By | 2017-09-20T08:20:10+00:00 September 20th, 2017|War|

Nubian archers in the Middle Kingdom (from the Nubian museum in Aswan, Egypt). About 2000 BC. Mercenaries (MURR-sinn-air-eez) are paid volunteer soldiers: they are soldiers who are fighting as a job, not in order to save their country or for the glory of God. They only fight if they are paid, or for the [...]

What is steel? Ancient and medieval steel

By | 2017-09-08T09:39:35+00:00 September 8th, 2017|India, Science|

Damascus steel sword from the 1200s AD Soon after 300 BC, with the rise of the Silk Road, people were all looking for new ideas for things they could sell. Thanks to Buddhist monks, there were big universities in Mauryan India, where people came from all over Asia to study and work, and they, or someone else in India, [...]

Tuniit history – Native Americans

By | 2017-08-10T09:13:34+00:00 August 10th, 2017|History, Native American|

Pre-Dorset fish hook Several thousand years after the first people crossed the Bering Land Bridge into North America, other people came to North America by boats, crossing from Siberia across the Arctic Ocean to Alaska. This was about 7000-5000 BC. Archaeologists call these people the pre-Dorset Culture. These people seem to have begun to leave Alaska about 4500 BC, when a warming [...]

Mississippian period – Native Americans

By | 2017-08-09T10:04:05+00:00 August 9th, 2017|History, Native American|

Cahokia mound in Illinois, where a Mississippian city was After 800 AD the Mississippian culture developed all along the Mississippi and the Missouri valleys, replacing the earlier Woodland culture. Now many people lived in towns. They built temples and palaces on top of big earth mounds. They had wooden fortification walls around their towns, with [...]

Inuit history – Native Americans

By | 2017-08-09T02:11:35+00:00 August 9th, 2017|History|

Inuit carving of a sea lion The Inuit lived along the eastern coast of Siberia and in Alaska, on both sides of the Bering Strait. (Some people call them the Eskimo, but that's an insulting Algonquin word for them). The Inuit fished and hunted seals and walruses and caribou. About 1 AD, in the time [...]

Beowulf and Grendel – Medieval Epic

By | 2017-08-03T21:34:21+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

The only surviving manuscript of Beowulf Beowulf is a long poem that somebody wrote down around 1000 AD. The poem is in Old English, so whoever wrote it probably lived in England. It's one of the oldest poems written in English (but not the oldest). But the poem tells a story about things that [...]

Norman Conquest of England – Medieval Europe

By | 2017-08-03T07:57:06+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Outer walls of Caen castle, Normandy, France Around 1000 AD, some of the Vikings who had been raiding France got permission from the French king to settle down and live in France instead. They were supposed to help protect France against other Vikings (as the Visigoths had done before). As part of the deal, these Vikings also converted from their German gods to Catholicism. [...]

Italy in the High Middle Ages

By | 2017-08-03T00:09:39+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Matilda of Canossa (ca. 1100 AD) By about 900 AD, the Holy Roman Emperors started to lose power over Northern Italy. The Counts of Canossa controlled most of Northern Italy: Florence, Pisa, Siena, Genoa. Around the year 1000 AD, a new city called Venice, in Northern Italy near Greece, became very rich by trading along the Silk Road. Venice was supposedly under the [...]

Early Middle Ages – Dark Age Europe

By | 2017-08-02T16:40:06+00:00 August 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 [...]