Athenian Agora Excavations: an Interactive Guide

The city of Athens flourished in the 400s and 300s BCE, setting the course for modern European civilization and eventually for democracy's re-emergence. Even when her power waned, Athens remained the cultural and educational center of the Mediterranean until the 500s CE. And the agora, or marketplace, was the center of city life throughout this time. In it was built beautiful and functional public buildings, first by proud city citizens, then as gifts from Greek kings and eventually Roman emperors.
Since the 1930s, modern excavations have been underway to study where the agora once stood. And they have an excellent website, with an interactive map of what has been recovered and discovered, so far, of the ancient Athenian agora. 

An Animated History of Ukraine

Really, really good history! Since I know next to nothing about Ukraine's national history, I particularly appreciated the accessibility -- the vlogger assumed we had been born yesterday, and it worked.

The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus, who lived from about 460 to 370 BCE, was the first known person to theorize that the Milky Way is made of stars.

Around 400 BCE, the Assyrians used carotid compression to produce brief unconsciousness before circumcision or cataract surgery. Basically -- they knocked them out by cutting off blood flow to the brain, then performed surgery. Ancient Egyptians used the same technique for eye surgery.

The "nine familial exterminations" or "nine kinship exterminations" was the most extreme punishment someone could receive in ancient China. Our first record of this punishment comes from a history of the Shang Dynasty and Zhou Dynasty. Apparently it was common for military officers to threaten before battle that if a subordinate disobeyed orders, all their family would be killed.

This eventually evolved into an elaborate, and legal, method of punishment. The nine familial exterminations varied by dynasty, and how often it was used varied as well. Generally, those to be executed included:

  • the criminal's living parents
  • their living grandparents
  • all children over a certain age (which varied) and all their children's spouses
  • all grandchildren over a certain age, and all their grandchildren's spouses
  • siblings and their sibling's spouses
  • the criminal's uncles and aunts, as well as their spouses
  • cousins (in Korea, this could go to second and third cousins)
  • nieces and nephews, and their spouses
  • the criminal's spouse
  • the criminal's spouse's living parents
  • the criminal

from the “Tomba dei Leopardi,” in Tarquinia, Italy, these colorful frescos are an excellent example of how the Etruscans were influenced by Greek art. Circa 400s BCE.

Today, Celts are the ancient ancestors of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany. But their ancestors never called themselves that. In fact, the modern usage of Celt started in the 1800s. So where did it come from?

The word “Celt” was originally Greek -- the historian Herodotus called Gauls and pretty much all western Europeans “Keltoi.”

The ancient Greek Acropolis is believed to have crumbled more in the last 40 years than it has in the previous 2,500 due to acid rain.

  A tomb in northern Iraq, first exposed by construction workers in 2013, concealed the remains of at least six individuals. Along with dozens of ceramic vessels, a bracelet decorated with snake heads was found among the burials and helps date the tomb to the end of the Achaemenid Empire, or just after it. So somewhere between 400 and 550 BCE. Sometime later, between 700 and 1600 CE, the tomb was reused and five more people were buried on top of the ancient skeletons.   Yes, you read that right -- people reused a 1,100 to 2,000 year-old tomb!

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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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