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West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By | 2017-09-13T17:12:18+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

Ancient diseases and doctors – History of medicine

By | 2017-09-06T17:47:19+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Egypt, Science|

Greek doctor letting blood out of a patient because he believes in the four humors Ancient doctors tried to cure everyone who was sick, but they did better with some diseases than with others. Let's look at some common diseases and see what Egyptian, Roman, or Islamic doctors were able to do about them: 1) the common cold virus: [...]

Roman food – rich and poor

By | 2017-10-13T15:30:35+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Roti bread made with millet Although the first people who came to the Mediterranean were probably following along the coast, and ate mainly fish, shellfish, seaweed, and wild figs, by the time the Roman Republic got started, there were far too many people in the Mediterranean to be able to live entirely from the ocean, and although people kept [...]

Mediterranean Food in the Roman Empire

By | 2017-09-01T16:17:16+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Woman baking bread Poor people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea had to eat food that would grow in very dry areas, with light and not very fertile soil. Mostly they ate what archaeologists call the "Mediterranean triad" or three things: wheat and barley (made into beer or porridge or flatbread or soup), olive oil (soaked into the bread, or on vegetables), [...]

Roman restaurants – going out to eat in ancient Rome

By | 2017-08-31T22:39:33+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Economy, Food, Romans|

A carving of a fast food restaurant in northern Europe Many people in bigger towns in ancient Rome lived in just one room and didn't have kitchens in their apartments. They ate most of their meals in fast food restaurants like this one in the picture. You can see that one guy is sitting at a booth while [...]

What is Christian communion? History of religion

By | 2017-08-21T18:22:28+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Maybe our earliest image of the Last Supper - from the Catacombs of Domitilla, 100s AD At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine. Then shortly after he was crucified, he appeared to Peter and again gave him bread and wine. Jesus told Peter that whenever he ate bread during the Mass, it would turn into the [...]

Brigham Young – Mormon religion

By | 2017-08-14T15:29:54+00:00 August 14th, 2017|History|

Brigham Young in the 1840s After a mob killed Joseph Smith, the Mormons chose a new leader, Brigham Young (BRIG-am yung) and wisely left Illinois. In 1847, Brigham Young decided that the Mormons should move way out west to Utah, where the Ute and Paiute people lived. Utah was part of Mexico at this time. In the next year, though, [...]

Medieval economy – Europe

By | 2017-08-01T09:57:13+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

A medieval carpenter works in his shop. After the fall of Rome, people used money less than they had before. Instead they mostly lived on what they could produce themselves. Rich people lived on what they could make other people give them because they were landlords or landladies. Still even poor people in the countryside kept on [...]

History of Indian medicine

By | 2017-10-17T13:22:45+00:00 July 22nd, 2017|India, Science|

Atharva Veda manuscript: an Indian medical book Medicine got an early start in India. Even in the Stone Age, about 5000 BC, dentists at Mehrgahr were drilling people's teeth. They tried to fix people's cavities. That's in the Indus River Valley (now in Pakistan). About 1000 BC, doctors in northern India wrote the Atharva veda, a medical textbook explaining how to [...]

Ancient Greek medicine – Asclepius to Hippocrates

By | 2017-07-18T15:41:15+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Sacrificing a sheep to Asclepius Disease was a very serious problem for the Greeks, as for all other people in the ancient and medieval worlds. One out of three babies died before they were a year old. Half of all children died before they were ten. And even most people who grew up died in [...]