Ancient Greece, part 3 – Pericles and the Athenian Empire

The Delian League With the final defeat of the Persians, mainland Greece was safe from invasion. But now a most extraordinary thing happened. In the winter of...

Ancient Greece, part 2 – Herodotus and the Persian Wars

At the beginning of the fifth century BC, the Achaemenid Persian Empire was the most powerful state in the Ancient Near East. The term ‘Achaemenid’...

Ancient Greece, part 1 – The Origins of Athens

Up to the middle of the twentieth century, students of Ancient History had always been taught that the Greeks were actually ‘Aryan’ invaders from...
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The Origins of Thumbs Up or Down: Life or Death

Thumbs up in some cultures is a sign of approval, while in others, it is a sign of disrespect. Where did it come from? The...

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Papyrus is an Egyptian water plant that has enabled man to preserve from oblivion the records of dynasties long since passed into history. The...

Qanats: Ancient Underground Aqueducts

Approximately 3000 years ago, clever technicians in the Middle East developed a method for moving water that was reliable, ecologically sound, pollution-free, long-lasting and...