July 2017

Antony's Parthian War: Politics and Bloodshed between Empires of the Ancient World

After the crushing defeat of Marcus Licinius Crassus and the Roman army at the Battle of Carrhae, a campaign was planned by Roman leaders such as statesman Julius Caesar and General Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) to drive east, conquer, and secure the Parthian Empire once and for all.

Mark Antony was a Roman politician and general, who was a member of the Second Triumvirate. Like Crassus, before, Antony was enticed by the riches of the Far East and the potential glory it could bring through military conquest. This became known as Antony's Parthian War.

In 37 BC,...Read more

How to Shrink a Head: The Shuar Creation of Tsantsa

The Spaniards invaded the New World seeking riches. They tortured and maimed, and the religiously inclined Christians did everything they could to stamp out indigenous faiths. They burned shrines and holy places, huacas (sacred places), and mummified ancestral kings, which played an important role in many tribes’ religious practices. The conquistadors (which means conquerors in Spanish) demanded gold, and when some smaller tribes could not supply it or had already turned over what they had, the Spaniards killed or severely injured them. In this way, many of the smaller tribes disappeared,...Read more

The Fierce Mythical Unicorn Travelled the World and Through Cultures, Killing and Healing

Legend speaks of a powerful creature, a wild beast that is both an unpredictable, deadly foe and a gentle and innocent spirit. The unicorn, a creature with a single, spiraling horn centered on its forehead has become one of the most popular and enduring of mythological creatures. Like dragons, they are unique legendary figures with an image that is instantly recognizable all over the globe, with tales reaching back through ancient epochs.

Stemming from text mistranslations and misunderstood travelers’ tales, stories of the elusive creatures cemented their place in ancient record...Read more

The Legends of the Panchakanya - The Five Virgins of Ancient India

The Panchakanya (the five virgins) are female characters in the two great epics of India, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Each of them is described as extraordinarily beautiful and virtuous. The literal meaning of 'kanya' means ‘girl’, ‘maiden’ or 'virgin'. Although the five women are all married, sometimes with multiple men, this was the word chosen to depict them instead of the word nari (woman) or sati (chaste wife), which was then questioned by scholars. However, the word was chosen because tradition says that the purity of their characters are so strong,...Read more

Was the Garden of Eden a Real Place?

Mention the Garden of Eden to a group of friends and you are likely to get as many suggestions on its true location as people you ask, plus a fair number who will deny that it was ever a real place at all. Places that have been claimed as the true whereabouts of mankind’s original home include numerous sites in Iraq and around the Persian Gulf, Bahrain, Iran, Anatolia, Armenia, Turkey, Jerusalem, east Africa – and even the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and Jackson County, Missouri. And those are just the better known claims; there are literally hundreds.

Will we ever know for sure where...Read more

The Truth behind Christian Miraculous Preservation: How Mummies Become Incorruptible Saints

The Roman Catholic Church has given the title “saint” to thousands of real and legendary people, and even to some non-human entities, such as St. Michael the Archangel.  The most comprehensive listing of saints is the Bibliotheca Sanctorum, which has eighteen volumes and lists more than 10,000 saints.  However, there are many more than this in the Roman Catholic tradition; most of their names are now lost.  And although the term initially referenced all baptized believers (hagioi in Greek), in modern times sainthood is an elaborate and expensive process, sometimes costing...Read more