It is shocking that from the people who invented the alphabet and by extension taught the world to write, the Phoenicians, nothing of their literature has reached us except three fragments of papyrus. It is true that some 10,000 inscriptions in stone and fragments of ceramics are preserved, but no literary, historical or other work…Continue readingHow a fourth-century bishop preserved the most extensive text on Phoenician religion that has survived to this day
One of the best-known legends of antiquity is that of the Phrygian king Midas, who turned everything he touched into gold. According to Aristotle, he died of starvation when it was impossible to touch any food without transforming it into the precious metal. The problem is that there are at least three kings with that…Continue readingHow archaeologists found the origin of the legend of King Midas, who turned everything he touched into gold
When he speaks of Laconia in the third book of his Description of Greece Pausanias comments that the inhabitants of Acriae boasted of having the oldest temple of the Mother Goddess in the Peloponnese. But immediately afterwards he mentions that the oldest image of that goddess is elsewhere: The people of Acriae say that this is the…Continue readingThe monumental rock relief excavated by the Hittites on Mount Sipylus more than 3,000 years ago
Listing the most important archaeological discoveries of the last decade is complicated, no matter which country, region or place in the world you choose. But especially in Greece, due to the abundance and proliferation of finds, from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. Therefore, what better way than to turn to the Greeks themselves to find…Continue reading12 most important Greek archaeological discoveries in the last decade
The Epic Cycle, also called the Trojan Cycle because it narrates events related to the Trojan War, is a collection of eight poems composed in dactylic hexameter, the traditional type of verse of the Greco-Latin epic. The two most famous, for having been preserved complete, are The Iliad and The Odyssey, both attributed to Homer.…Continue readingThe Iliad and the Odyssey are just two of the eight poems from the Epic Cycle that narrate the Trojan War.
Today we are going to discover an almost unknown individual, a good representative from other times, who may have been the first to decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs almost nine centuries earlier than is believed. We are referring to the Arab scholar Ibn Wahshiyya. In mid-September 1822, Jean-François Champollion managed to finish off the work…Continue readingIbn Wahshiyya, the Nabataean who could have translated Egyptian hieroglyphs before Champollion.
Throughout history, books have been a highly prized commodity. Their trade goes back many centuries to the invention of materials such as papyrus and parchment, and the creation of libraries by accumulating and copying books gave rise to collections as famous as that of Alexandria. Unfortunately, many libraries were lost due to various circumstances. Others…Continue readingHow Aristotle’s personal library arrived in Rome, almost 300 years after his death
Within the enigmatic and unknown that, in most cases, the history of China is already for us, there are some weird episodes in which it is difficult to establish where reality ends and where the myth begins, just as it also happens with some Roman emperors, whose strange behaviour is now being called into doubt.…Continue readingThe prank that caused the losing of the throne and the end of his dynasty to the Chinese king You
One of the most curious, interesting and controversial archaeological pieces preserved in the British Museum is the so-called Kurkh Monolith. It is a fairly large Assyrian stele with inscribed descriptions of King Shalmaneser III. The information provided is essential to know the military campaigns of the sovereign but is also important because it contains the…Continue readingKurkh Monolith, the first documentary reference to Israel and the Arabs
It is not the only case, there are news throughout history of islands vanished by natural causes and catastrophes, also ghost islands placed on maps by jealous cartographers to unmask plagiarism and unfair competition. However, the case we are dealing with here has certain connotations that make it uniquely attractive. Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek-Egyptian…Continue readingThe huge island mentioned by Herodotus that disappeared from maps in the 15th century