The Foundation of Carthage

Carthage was initially founded by Phoenicians from the city-state of Tyre in the 800s BCE. They named it Qart-hadasht, which simply means “new town.” Situated in today's Tunisia, the settlement was one of many Tyrian colonies dotted around the Mediterranean basin, which brought new materials and goods back to Phoenicia and strengthened and expanded Phoenicia's trading network. Eventually the new town gained its independence around 650 BCE, and became a prosperous trade-based city-state with colonies of its own.

Tattoos Are For The Ladies

While designs that apparently represent tattoos are seen on paintings of both men and women in Egyptian art and statues, all the tattooed Egyptian mummies discovered to date are female.

The Face of a 2,000-Year-Old Woman

This is Meritamun. Her name means "beloved of Amun," the great Egyptian creator/sun god. She lived in ancient Egypt, sometime between 1500 BCE and 331 BCE, and was likely high status judging by the quality of the linens she was mummified with. Meritamun was between 18 and 25 when she died.

What was this?

This is an ancient Etruscan bronze mirror! Though its not very reflective anymore. Said to be from an Etruscan tomb, 465-450 BCE.

Athletes in ancient Greece smeared olive oil on their bodies before a competition. The oil made their skin more supple and made them appear, as classical writers described, "like gleaming statues of the gods."

The Scientist Who Denied The Gods

Anaxagoras was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist from the late 6th and early 5th centuries BCE. He deduced that the moon was a rock which reflected light from the sun, another burning rock. Anaxagoras was not the first to posit this. But he went a step further than those who had gone before, and used his theory to explain lunar phases eclipses, and predict that the moon's surface would have mountains and valleys.

Anaxagoras was (probably correctly) labeled by ancient Athenian society as a denier of the sun and moon gods. Unfortunately for him, Anaxagoras was a teacher and friend of the influential statesman Pericles. Unable to directly strike at the very-popular Pericles, his political enemies began attacking his friends. Anaxagoras was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death, ostensibly for breaking impiety laws while promoting his ideas about the moon and sun. Pericles was able to use his influence to get the sentence commuted to exile. Anaxagoras was an early martyr for scientific truth. And a crater on the moon was named after him


"I once spent all day thinking without taking food and all night thinking without going to bed, but I found that I gained nothing from it. It would have been better for me to have spent the time in learning."

Confucius

How Were Ancient Greek Women Educated?

Historians generally believe that ancient Greek girls did not have as much access to education as ancient Greek boys. But they must have had some, sometimes. Recorded history remembers a number of educated women such as Sappho of Lesbos, a famous poet, and Diotima, a philosopher and contemporary of Socrates. The lack of documentation on women's lives in classical Greece makes it difficult to determine exactly how much education girls received, however. Were these educated women rare? Or relatively common?

In addition to famous educated women, evidence also comes from art historians. A handful of artworks depict females studying! A kylix from the 400s BCE depict a female student carrying a tablet and stylus, used to write notes during a teacher's lectures. A vase from the same century shows a woman reading from a papyrus (above), meaning she had been taught how to read. A water vessel from the 500s BCE show two young girls being taught to dance by a female teacher. Such limited and fragmentary evidence is all historians have to attempt to understand how girls and women were educated in ancient Greece.

Etruscan wolf's head helmet (possibly), dating to the 500s or 400s BCE. Its exact original usage is unknown. Hence the uncertainty as to whether to classify the object as a "helmet." Whatever it was originally made for, it sure looks neat!

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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