Category: Ancient History Encyclopedia

WE are proud to partner with the informative…

WE are proud to partner with the informative and fascinating The History of Vikings podcast! 

You can find their episodes here: http://thehistoryofvikings.com/historical-worship-of-the-norse-gods-with-dr-terry-gunnell/

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Perseph…

LEARN all about the myth and legend of Persephone! Kelly Macquire tells the story of the goddess of grain and the queen of the underworld in Greek Mythology, Persephone.

THE WORLD OF PARSI COOKING: INTERVIEW WITH NIL…

THE WORLD OF PARSI COOKING: INTERVIEW WITH NILOUFER MAVALVALA: 

IN this exclusive interview, Niloufer Mavalvala, author of The Art of Parsi Cooking: Reviving an Ancient Cuisine, speaks to James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) once again about the joys of Parsi cuisine and her new title: The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders.

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APOLLO: APOLLO was a major Greek god who was a…

APOLLO: 

APOLLO was a major Greek god who was associated with the bow, music, and divination. The epitome of youth and beauty, source of life and healing, patron of the civilized arts, and as bright and powerful as the sun itself, Apollo was, arguably, the most loved of all the Greek gods. He was particularly worshipped at Delphi and Delos, amongst the most famous of all religious sanctuaries in the Greek world.

Son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis, Apollo was born on the island of Delos (in Hesiod’s Theogony he is clutching a golden sword). His mother, fearful of revenge from Zeus’ wife Hera, had chosen barren Delos as the safest retreat she could find. At his first taste of ambrosia, he was said to have immediately transformed from babe to man. Apollo was then given his bow, made by the master craftsman of Mount Olympus, Hephaestus.

As with the other major divinities, Apollo had many children; perhaps the most famous are Orpheus (who inherited his father’s musical skills and became a virtuoso with the lyre or kithara), Asclepius (to whom he gave his knowledge of healing and medicine) and, according to the 5th-century BCE tragedian Euripides, the hero Ion.

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CILICIA: CILICIA is the ancient Roman name for…

CILICIA: 

CILICIA is the ancient Roman name for the southeastern region of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It is referenced in the biblical books of Acts and Galatians, was the birthplace of Saint Paul, and the site of his early evangelical missions. The territory was first inhabited in the Neolithic Periodc. 8th millennium BCE and was under Hittite control by the 2nd millennium BCE before passing to the Assyrians, gaining its independence after the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE, and was then taken by the Persians before the conquest of Alexander the Great in 333 BCE. After Alexander, the region became Hellenized and politically aligned with Syria which is why some major Cilician cities such as Tarsus are often identified as Syrian in ancient texts.

After Alexander’s death, the region was divided between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires. As the Seleucids began to lose power and influence over their part of the territory c. 110 BCE, the famous Cilician pirates emerged to fill the vacuum and exerted ever increasing control until c. 78-74 BCE when Rome intervened, conquering western Cilicia. Pompey the Great defeated and resettled the Cilician pirates by 67 BCE, and the region remained a province of the Roman Republic, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire until the early 8th century CE when it was taken by invading Muslim forces. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia flourished in the region between 1080-1375 CE before it fell to the Mamluks and was later incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1453 CE.

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GREEK TEMPLES OF SICILY: THERE are at least a …

GREEK TEMPLES OF SICILY: 

THERE are at least a thousand reasons to visit Sicily, the great island – indeed the largest in the Mediterranean – that forms the triangular football to the boot that is the Italian peninsula. They are all very good reasons, including amazing landscapes, a uniquely complex and delicious cuisine, a history that is diverse and multifaceted beyond belief, excellent wines, a vast array of archaeological sites, an even vaster one of historical towns and villages. But one key reason to visit the island is missing from the list above: Greek temples!

Greek temples are one of the earliest well-defined expressions of what we now recognise as the Western tradition in architecture, and one of the most influential ones by a vast margin to this day. They go back to the 8th or 7th centuries BCE, and, as the name entails, they are indeed a key achievement of the Archaic Greeks. They originated in what is the south of modern Greece, namely the Peloponnese and Central Greece, where Greek temple architecture appears to have its main roots, probably derived from local wooden predecessors.

The Greek mainland’s architectural style is the Doric one, considered to be the most austere and ‘male’ in character. The eastern Aegean and Asia Minor were famous for their own development, the more elegant and ‘female’ Ionic style, conceived about a century after the Doric one. Its most prominent examples at Samos, Ephesus, and Didyma (much better preserved than the other two) are also marked by their vast monumental size. What is so remarkable about the Greek temples of Sicily then?

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YAZIDISMYAZIDISM is a syncretic, monotheistic …

YAZIDISM

YAZIDISM is a syncretic, monotheistic religion practiced by the Yazidis, an ethnoreligious group which resides primarily in northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey. Yazidism is considered by its adherents to be the oldest religion in the world and the first truly monotheistic faith. The Yazidi calendar states that the religion, as well as the universe, is almost 7,000 years old, which is 5,000 years older than the Gregorian Calendar and 1,000 years older than the Jewish calendar. Yazidism has had a rich history of syncretic development. For thousands of years, Yazidism incorporated elements of Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which coalesced from 1162 CE to the 15th century CE. Ultimately, this process created Yazidi culture and ethnic identity. However, to understand Yazidism, its history must first be explained.

Almost nothing is recorded about the history of the first Yazidis. The etymology of the word ‘Yazidi’ is uncertain. Scholars debate whether or not it comes from the Middle Persian and Kurdish Yazad, which means ‘God.’ Other scholars believe that the Yazidis originated in the Zoroastrian city of Yazd in Iran. Another theory is that the Yazidis are descended from the Umayyad caliph Yazid ibn Mu’awiya, who reigned from 680 to 683 CE and killed the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein ibn ‘Ali. After the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate in 750 CE, descendants of the royal family and other Umayyad sympathizers fled into the Kurdish mountains from the rival Abbasid Caliphate. There, they were welcomed by the Kurds, who remained loyal to them. The theory concludes that the Umayyad refugees intermarried with the Yazidis, passing along their admiration for Yazid ibn Mua’wiyah, their ancestor and former ruler.

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