A marble pillar or stele that has been preserved in the British Museum for 150 years bears a cuneiform inscription, deciphered in late 2018, and which has turned out to be the first known record of a border dispute. It also mentions, for the first time, the term no-man’s-land. The pillar is Mesopotamian and about…Continue readingA 4,500-year-old Mesopotamian pillar contains the first deciphered inscription about border disputes
In the Iraqi desert, some 30 kilometres west of Baghdad, stands an impressive mound that, at first sight, looks like a simple rock eroded by the wind over the centuries. But nothing could be further from truth, for it is made of bricks and what is left of it was once the core of a…Continue readingThe Dur-Kurigalzu ziggurat that medieval travelers mistook for the Tower of Babel
If we were to ask about a metal alloy used since the beginning of history, the unanimous answer would surely be bronze. And, in fact, this combination of copper and tin gives its name to a whole period of prehistory, so that we could perhaps consider it the most important until the appearance of others.…Continue readingElectrum, the natural gold and silver alloy used to mint the first metal coins
Assyria is the ancient region of northern Mesopotamia around the city of Assur, founded around 2600 BC on the banks of the Tigris (today its ruins are in northern Iraq). It was part of the Akkadian Empire of Sargon of Akkad until 2154 BC, which united all the Mesopotamian cities. And from the second millennium…Continue readingThe Assyrians, the people who built an empire in Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago, still exist
On April 19, 531 A.D., two fairly evenly matched forces (about 20,000 men on each side) clashed on the banks of the Euphrates near present-day Raqqah in Syria. On one side were the Byzantine troops under the command of Belisarius, and on the other those of the Sassanian Empire led by Azarethes.Continue readingHow did the Persians count their battle casualties?
Human progress is measured in many ways. One of them are the laws and rules, which since ancient times flourished in the most advanced civilizations as a means of guaranteeing coexistence and politically organizing the territory. If we find similarities in many of them, there is also no lack of somewhat special, not to say…Continue reading10 of the weirdest laws from ancient times
Throughout History, men have not had enough of tearing each other apart in an endless number of wars, but they have incorporated all kinds of animals into the slaughters, from the most orthodox such as horses, mules, elephants and dogs to other rarer ones, such as pigeons wrapped in fire, birds in flames to burn…Continue readingPelusium, the battle the Persians won over the Egyptians by throwing cats at them.
The great Library of Alexandria was founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC by Ptolemy I Soter. At its peak it housed an impressive 900,000 manuscripts. It was not only a storehouse of books, but also an entire research and teaching center that brought together numerous scholars from different centers of classical culture.…Continue readingWhere did the books from the Great Library of Alexandria come from?
Historically, the year 476 A.D. is considered to be the end of the Western Roman Empire, its last emperor being Romulus Augustulus. It was not something that happened suddenly but as a result of an evolutionary process initiated centuries ago, along which Rome suffered a progressive weakening for many reasons, some external and others internal,…Continue readingThe 5 Great Last Battles of the Western Roman Empire
The breakthrough of the Huns in Europe shook the foundations of the Roman Empire, which did not hesitate to nickname its chief the Scourge of God for the audacity of trying to conquer Constantinople and Rome itself. The irony is that, since the Hun people were fundamentally nomadic, the primary sources for knowing those facts…Continue readingPriscus of Panium, the Roman historian who attended a banquet with Attila