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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 [...]

Married women in West Asia

By | 2017-09-15T16:26:06+00:00 September 15th, 2017|People, West Asia|

Grindstone from Syria, about 1500 BC (Louvre Museum) Most married women in West Asia lived with their husband's family, so young married women took orders from their husband's mother. Sometimes the two women got along well; other times they fought the way many teenagers fight with their parents. Some families hit or starved [...]

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 [...]

Inheritance in West Asia – Mesopotamia and Iran

By | 2017-09-15T15:39:51+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Akkadian will (in the Louvre museum, Paris) This is the will of a man named Baal-Karad from Syria, who lived about 1300 BC, in the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt and the Trojan War in Greece. The scribe wrote Baal-Karad's will in cuneiform letters on a clay tablet. Baal-Karad said that when he died all his stuff should be divided [...]

West Asian people – families, schools, slavery

By | 2017-09-15T14:13:10+00:00 September 15th, 2017|People, West Asia|

Ur-Nanshe, the king's chief musician in Mari, 2400s BC What we notice most about the way people lived in West Asia is the widespread oppression of women. As compared to their neighbors in Sudan, Egypt, Central Asia, the Roman Empire, or even India, West Asian women were much less likely to become rulers. [...]

Who were the Moche? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T17:01:01+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Moche portrait of a blind man, 400-500 AD (thanks to Oberlin College) The collapse of the Chavin state in Peru, about 250 BC, seems to have opened the way for the Moche and the Nazca to develop states of their own. The Moche started up around 100 AD along the Pacific coast of South America, in what is now northern Peru. The [...]

Who were the Guarani? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T08:55:29+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Guarani people performing a dance in the 1800s When the first Tupi people expanded their territory from Central America to reach the coast of Brazil about 900 BC, some of them kept on moving south along the Atlantic coast. About a thousand years later, maybe about 1 AD, some of those Tupi people moved inland, abandoning their [...]

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 [...]

Agrippina the Younger – history of Rome

By | 2017-09-02T17:20:37+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|History, Romans|

Agrippina the Younger. 49-50 AD. Now in Milan, in the Civic Archaeological Museum Agrippina the Younger was Caligula's oldest sister, so like him she was the daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, and she was a great-granddaughter of Augustus. Agrippina was born at Colonia Agrippinae (modern Cologne) in 15 AD. So she was three [...]