Why is Herodotus called “The Father of History”?

Herodotus was a Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–c. 425 BC), a contemporary of Thucydides, Socrates, and Euripides. He is often referred to as “The Father of History”, a title first conferred by Cicero; he was the first historian known to have broken from Homeric tradition to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials systematically and critically, and then arranging them into a historiographic narrative.

“2,500 years ago, the writing of history as we know it didn’t exist. The past was recorded as a list of events, with little explanation for their causes beyond accepting things as the will of the gods. Herodotus wanted a deeper understanding, so he took a new approach: looking at events from both sides to understand the reasons for them. Mark Robinson explains how “history” came into being.”

The Histories is the only work which he is known to have produced, a record of his “inquiry” on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars; it primarily deals with the lives of Croesus, Cyrus, Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius, and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale; however, its many cultural, ethnographical, geographical, historiographical, and other digressions form a defining and essential part of the Histories and contain a wealth of information. Some of his stories are fanciful and others inaccurate; yet he states that he is reporting only what he was told; a sizable portion of the information he provided was later confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Despite Herodotus’s historical significance, little is known of his personal life. -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodotus

The true and unknown origin of Thanks Giving?

” Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germanyand Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.

In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious services became important during the English Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52 Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and sometimes pay for expensive celebrations. The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting. Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plagues in 1604 and 1622. Days of Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705. An unusual annual Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day on November 5. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

What Does Pachamama mean?

“Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. She is also known as the earth/time mother. In Inca mythology, Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting, embodies the mountains, and causes earthquakes. She is also an ever-present and independent deity who has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth. Her shrines are hallowed rocks, or the boles of legendary trees, and her artists envision her as an adult female bearing harvests of potatoes and coca leaves. The four cosmological Quechua principles – Water, Earth, Sun, and Moon – claim Pachamama as their prime origin, and priests sacrifice llamas, cuy (guinea pigs), and elaborate, miniature, burned garments to her. After the conquest by Spain, which forced conversion to Roman Catholicism, the figure of the Virgin Mary became united with that of the Pachamama for many of the indigenous people. In pre-Hispanic culture, Pachamama is often a cruel goddess eager to collect her sacrifices. As Andes cultures form modern nations, Pachamama remains benevolent, giving, and a local name for Mother Nature. Thus, many in South America believe that problems arise when people take too much from nature because they are taking too much from Pachamama.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachamama

What is Atlantis?

“Atlantis (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, “island of Atlas”) is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubrisof nations in Plato’s works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges “Ancient Athens”, the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato’s ideal state (see The Republic). In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack unlike any other nation of the (western) known world, supposedly giving testament to the superiority of Plato’s concept of a state. The story concludes with Atlantis falling out of favor with the deities and submerging into the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite its minor importance in Plato’s work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature. The allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and Thomas More’s UtopiaOn the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato’s narrative as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato’s vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time—and the alleged location of Atlantis—”beyond the Pillars of Hercules”—has led to much pseudoscientific speculation. As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.

While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story’s fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. The fact that Plato borrowed some of his other allegories and metaphors—most notably the story of Gyges from older traditions has caused a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War. Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato created an entirely fictional nation as his example, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events such as the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis

What are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

” The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a term given to it by ancient Hellenic culture. The Hanging Gardens were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. The gardens were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

The Hanging Gardens is the only one of the seven ancient wonders for which the location has not been definitively established. Traditionally they were said to have been built in the ancient city of Babylon, near present-day Hillah, Babil province, in Iraq. The Babylonian priest Berossus, writing in about 290 BC and quoted later by Josephus, attributed the gardens to Neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC. There are no extant Babylonian texts which mention the gardens, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon.

Because no physical evidence for the Hanging Gardens has been found at Babylon, two theories have been suggested. One is that they were purely mythical, and the descriptions found in ancient Greek and Roman writers including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius Rufus represent a romantic ideal of an eastern garden. If it did indeed exist, it was destroyed sometime after the first century AD. The other theory is that they were actually in the city of Nineveh, constructed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib.

According to one legend, Nebuchadnezzar II built the Hanging Gardens for his Median wife, Queen Amytis, because she missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland. He also built a grand palace that came to be known as “The Marvel of the Mankind”. Stephanie Dalley suggests that the original garden may have been a well-documented one that Assyrian King Sennacherib (704–681 BC) built in his capital city of Nineveh on the River Tigris, near the modern city of Mosul.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon

 

Who was Merlin?

” Merlin (Welsh: Myrddin) is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in Arthurian legend and medieval Welsh poetry. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. Geoffrey combined existing stories of Myrddin Wyllt (Merlinus Caledonensis), a North Brythonic prophet and madman with no connection to King Arthur, with tales of the Romano-British war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus to form the composite figure he called Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys). He is allegedly buried in the Broceliande forest, near Paimpont in Brittany.

Geoffrey’s rendering of the character was immediately popular, especially in Wales. Later writers expanded the account to produce a fuller image of the wizard. Merlin’s traditional biography casts him as a cambion: born of a mortal woman, sired by an incubus, the non-human from whom he inherits his supernatural powers and abilities. Merlin matures to an ascendant sagehood and engineers the birth of Arthur through magic and intrigue. Later authors have Merlin serve as the king’s advisor until he is bewitched and imprisoned by the Lady of the Lake.”

What was Excalibur?

“Excalibur, or Caliburn, is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes also attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain. Sometimes Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur’s lineage) are said to be the same weapon, but in most versions, they are considered separate. Excalibur was associated with the Arthurian legend very early. In Welsh, it is called Caledfwlch; in Cornish, Calesvol; in Breton, Kaledvoulc’h; and in Latin, Caliburnus.

In Arthurian romance, a number of explanations are given for Arthur’s possession of Excalibur. In Robert de Boron’s Merlin, the first tale to mention the “sword in the stone” motif, Arthur obtained the British throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve. In this account, the act could not be performed except by “the true king,” meaning the divinely appointed king or true heir of Uther Pendragon. As Malory’s writes: “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born.” This sword is thought by many to be the famous Excalibur, and its identity is made explicit in the later Prose Merlin, part of the Lancelot-Grail cycle. The challenge of drawing a sword from a stone also appears in the Arthurian legends of Galahad, whose achievement of the task indicates that he is destined to find the Holy Grail.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excalibur

Who was Hippolyta?

” In Classical Greek mythology, Hippolyta (/hɪˈpɒlɪˌtə/; Greek: Ἱππολύτη Hippolyte) was the Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle that was given to her by her father, Ares, the god of war. The girdle was a waist belt that signified her authority as queen of the Amazons. She figures prominently in the myths of both Heracles and Theseus. The myths about her are therefore varied enough that they may be about several different women.

In the myth of Heracles, Hippolyta’s girdle (ζωστὴρ Ἱππολύτης) was the object of his ninth labor. He was sent to retrieve it for Admete, the daughter of King Eurystheus. Most versions of the myth indicate that Hippolyta was so impressed with Heracles that she gave him the girdle without argument, perhaps while visiting him on his ship. Then (according to Pseudo-Apollodorus), the goddess Hera, making herself appear as one of the Amazons, spread a rumor among them that Heracles and his crew were abducting their queen, so the Amazons attacked the ship. In the fray that followed, Heracles slew Hippolyta, stripped her of the belt, fought off the attackers, and sailed away.” taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippolyta

Who was Achilles?

” In Greek mythology, Achilles (/əˈkɪlz/uh-KILL-eez; Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς [a.kʰil.le͜ús]) was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad. His mother was the immortal nereid Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons.

Achilles’ most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius in the 1st century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx as an infant, she held him by his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term “Achilles heel” has come to mean a point of weakness, especially in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles

 

Who was Heracles?

” Heracles (/ˈhɛrəklz/ HERR-ə-kleez; Ancient Greek: ἩρακλῆςHēraklēs, from Hēra, “Hera”), born Alcaeus (ἈλκαῖοςAlkaios) or Alcides (ἈλκείδηςAlkeidēs), was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson and half-brother (as they are both sired by the god Zeus) of Perseus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae (Ἡρακλεῖδαι), and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular, Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and work essentially unchanged, but added an anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracles

Who is Zeus?

” Zeus (/ˈzjs/; Greek: Ζεύς Zeús [zdeǔ̯s]) is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Indra, Jupiter, Perun, Thor, and Odin.

Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus’s stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses.

He was respected as an all father who was chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: “Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence.” He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe “That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men”. Zeus’ symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical “cloud-gatherer” (Greek: ΝεφεληγερέταNephelēgereta) also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus

Who was Goddess Venus?

” Venus (/ˈvnəs/, Classical Latin: /ˈwɛnʊs/) is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity, and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality.

Venus embodies sex, love, beauty, enticement, seduction, and persuasive female charm among the community of immortal gods; in Latin orthography, her name is indistinguishable from the Latin noun venus (“sexual love” and “sexual desire”), from which it derives. It has connections to venerari (“to honour, to try to please”) and venia (“grace, favour”) through a possible common root in an Indo-European *wenes- or *u̯enis (“friend”). Their common Proto-Indo-European root is assumed as *wen- or *u̯en- “to strive for, wish for, desire, love”). 

Bronze figurine of Venus, Lyon (Roman Lugdunum)

Venus has been described as perhaps “the most original creation of the Roman pantheon”, and “an ill-defined and assimilative” native goddess, combined “with a strange and exotic Aphrodite”. Her cults may represent the religiously legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mortals, in contrast to the formal, contractual relations between most members of Rome’s official pantheon and the state, and the unofficial, illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic. The ambivalence of her persuasive functions has been perceived in the relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum (poison), in the sense of “a charm, magic philtre”.

In myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam. Roman theology presents Venus as the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and balance of life. Her male counterparts in the Roman pantheon, Vulcan, and Mars are active and fiery. Venus absorbs and tempers the male essence, uniting the opposites of male and female in mutual affection. She is essentially assimilative and benign and embraces several otherwise quite disparate functions. She can give military victory, sexual success, good fortune, and prosperity. In one context, she is a goddess of prostitutes; in another, she turns the hearts of men and women from sexual vice to virtue.

Images of Venus have been found in domestic murals, mosaics and household shrines (lararia). Petronius, in his Satyricon, places an image of Venus among the Lares (household gods) of the freedman Trimalchio’s lararium. Prospective brides offered Venus a gift “before the wedding”; the nature of the gift and its timing are unknown. Some Roman sources say that girls who come of age offer their toys to Venus; it is unclear where the offering is made, and others say this gift is to the Lares. In dice-games, a popular pastime among Romans of all classes, the luckiest, best possible role was known as “Venus”.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_(mythology)

Who was Poseidon?

” He was the god of the Sea and other waters; of earthquakes; and of horses. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Pylos and Thebes. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, and of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer’s Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon’s fury by blinding his son the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, and a ten-year delay. Poseidon is also the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato’s Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon’s domain. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.

The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων (Poseidaōn) and Ποσειδάϝονος (Poseidawonos) in Mycenean Greek; in Homeric Greek it appears as Ποσειδάων (Poseidaōn); in Aeolicas Ποτειδάων (Poteidaōn); and in Doric as Ποτειδάν (Poteidan), Ποτειδάων (Poteidaōn), and Ποτειδᾶς (Poteidas). The form Ποτειδάϝων(Poteidawon) appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, “Earth-shaker”, an epithet which is also identified in Linear B, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his later epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.

The origins of the name “Poseidon” are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning “husband” or “lord” (Greek πόσις (posis), from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning “earth” (δᾶ (da), Doric for γῆ ()), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, “Earth-mother”. Walter Burkert finds that “the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous” and finds a “husband of Earth” reading “quite impossible to prove”.

Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, “water”; this would make *Posei-dawōn into the master of waters. There is also the possibility that the word has a Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a “foot-bond” (ποσίδεσμον), or he “knew many things”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poseidon

Who was King Tutankamon?

” Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty(ruled c. 1332–1323 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom or sometimes the New Empire Period. He has, since his discovery, been colloquially referred to as King Tut. His original name, Tutankhaten, means “Living Image of Aten”, while Tutankhamun means “Living Image of Amun”. In hieroglyphs, the name Tutankhamun was typically written Amen-tut-ankh, because of a scribal custom that placed a divine name at the beginning of a phrase to show appropriate reverence. He is possibly also the Nibhurrereya of the Amarna letters, and likely the 18th dynasty king Rathotis who, according to Manetho, an ancient historian, had reigned for nine years—a figure that conforms with Flavius Josephus’s version of Manetho’s Epitome.

The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb, funded by Lord Carnarvon, received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun’s mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that he was the son of the mummy found in the tomb KV55, believed by some to be Akhenaten. His mother was his father’s sister and wife, whose name is unknown but whose remains are positively identified as “The Younger Lady” mummy found in KV35. The “mysterious” deaths of a few of those who excavated Tutankhamun’s tomb has been popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutankhamun

Who was Cleopatra?

” Cleopatra VII Philopator known to history simply as Cleopatra was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, briefly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the recently established Roman Empire.

Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek family of Macedonian origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period. The Ptolemies spoke Greek throughout their dynasty and refused to speak Late Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek, as well as Egyptian, were used on official court documents such as the Rosetta Stone. By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes, and later with her brothers Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As queen, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated Caesarion, her son with Caesar, to co-ruler in name.

After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and son Ptolemy Philadelphus (her unions with her brothers had produced no children). Antony committed suicide after losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian’s forces, and Cleopatra followed suit. According to a popular belief, she killed herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. She was outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh by his supporters, but he was soon killed on Octavian’s orders. Egypt then became the Roman province of Aegyptus.

Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and many dramatizations of incidents from her life in literature and other media, such as William Shakespeare’s tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, George Frideric Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare, George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet’s opera Cléopâtre, and the films Cleopatra (1934) and Cleopatra (1963).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra

Who was Queen Nefertiti?

“Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (c. 1370 – c. 1330 BC) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband’s death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate.

Nefertiti had many titles including Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t); Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt); Lady of Grace (nbt-im3t), Sweet of Love (bnrt-mrwt); Lady of The Two Lands (nbt-t3wy); Main King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-‘3t meryt.f); Great King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-wrt meryt.f), Lady of all Women (hnwt-hmwt-nbwt); and Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt (hnwt-Shm’w-mhw).

She was made famous by her bust, now in Berlin’s Neues Museum, shown to the right. The bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. It was attributed to the sculptor Thutmose, and it was found in his workshop. The bust is notable for exemplifying the understanding Ancient Egyptians had regarding realistic facial proportions.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nefertiti

Ancient Mesopotamia

“Mesopotamia was a historic region situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq plus Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish-Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.

The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD 226, the eastern part of it fell to the Sassanid Persians. Division of Mesopotamia between Roman (Byzantine from AD 395) and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene, Osroene, and Hatra.

Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. It has been identified as having “inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops and the development of the cursive script, mathematics, astronomy, and agriculture.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia

Ancient Egypt

“Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. It is one of six historic civilizations to arise independently. Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3150 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred in a series of stable Kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, during the Ramesside period, where it rivaled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire, and Mitanni Empire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers, such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of Egypt. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egypt

Floods in the Ancient Near East Myths

Many ancient civilizations have myths that include floods, this is attributed to some temporary phenomenon that occurred in some villages. The story of Noah and The Ark from the bible has a flood included but this just one of the many stories that include them. The Nile River, for example, flooded constantly the valley leaving a rich fertile layer in which Egyptians planted their crops. Egyptians believed that Sobek the crocodile God was responsible for this floods that gave them rich, fertile soil.

Another idea of why water is always being mentioned in myths is that all life came from primordial waters. One thing is for sure in myths that if water can bring life it can also bring death. Watch this interesting video and learn more about ancient myths in Mesopotamian culture.

What are the Scariest Folk Stories?

Urban legends are true or false we will never know. The truth is that we really enjoy hearing about them, let’s keep reading about this interesting legends.

Aka Manto (The Red Cape)
In Japan, the bathroom is a terrifying place to be. There are tons of urban legends of bad things that can happen to you inside a public restroom. Aka Manto is said to be an extremely handsome spirit who was so attractive in life that he would cover his face with a mask to avoid unwanted advances. He now hides in the last stall of school bathrooms and when you enter he comes out and asks ” Which do you prefer, a red cape or a blue cape?” Uh oh.
If you say red he will slit your throat and your blood will flow down making it look like you’re wearing a red cape. If you say blue he will choke you until you turn blue. If you ask for another color he will drag you down to hell. So hopefully you have a good imagination and can come up with an answer quickly to avoid these scenarios. Like “No thank you, I don’t really need a cape” or maybe you can distract him by asking him a question, like “where did you get your cape?” The important thing is to stay calm, and Never to go to a public bathroom by yourself. This legend may have originated around 1935 when there were rumors of a man in a red cape who was hiding in an elementary school basement. In the 1980’s there were Stories of girls who were kidnapped in bathrooms inspiring all kinds of scary stories of the Red Cape.
Another version of this story is Red Paper, Blue Paper. Girls who go into the bathroom hear a man in the next stall ask them, “Do you want red paper or blue paper?”. If you answer red, he will skin you alive and wear your skin like a cloak. If you answer blue, he will drain all of the blood from your body leaving you to suffocate. If you ask for yellow, he will drown you in the toilet. Hopefully, by saying “no paper” he will leave you alone, but….

The Deadly Hairdo
A stylish teenager in the 1960s was Tired of always teasing and spraying her hair to achieve the perfect beehive hairdo. She washed her hair in sugar water to get it to harden in place so she would never have to do it again. At night she would Wrap the beehive tightly in a towel to keep its shape and sleep on a special pillow that prevented her from knocking the shape out. Whenever it became itchy she would simply Spray it with more hairspray instead of actually washing it. One day her mother called her down to breakfast and when she didn’t respond, she went upstairs and found her daughter had died during the night. When she removed the towel Hundreds of tiny spiders began crawling out from her hair. As she looked closer she saw that the spiders had been gnawing away at the girl’s skull and had Eaten right into her brain, which was fully exposed and rotting.
Another version of this story is that there is a Guy with dreadlocks who goes into a barbershop to get them shaved off. As the barber starts cutting his hair, he feels something stinging his scalp. He thinks the barber is cutting his scalp and He gets angry and leaves. His girlfriend finds him the next day, suffering from multiple spider bites to the skull. Hygiene over vanity my friends, please wash your hair.

The Pishtaco
The Pishtaco is a South American Vampire who hunts people to steal their body fat. Stories of the Pishtaco began around the 1500’s when the Spaniards arrived in Peru. In the Andes region, in particular, Body fat represents strength and vitality and they made regular sacred fast offerings to their gods. When the Spanish came, the local people observed them using body fat for unusual purposes like Oiling their armor and dressing battle wounds. This along with the plunder and diseases they brought to the area created the Pishtaco.
The Pishtaco is usually pale and a stranger with tall boots and a beard, Wielding curved blades and human skin lassos. With their inferior body fat, the European monsters would ingest the stolen fat to benefit from better health and prosperity- sucking it from their victims or, in later times, taking it with a syringe.

Where Did Chocolate Come From?

Do you ever wonder how the Chocolate Chip Cookies in your Ben and Jerry’s ice cream came to be? When you give your girlfriend little Hershey Kisses on Valentines Day, are you wondering about the other side of the story? When you look up the recipe for that big dark chocolate cake, do you wanna know the secret behind this delicious invention?

The history of chocolate is a delicious tale of discovery, invention, and exploration.
For thousands of years chocolate was prepared as a bitter and spicy drink and had nothing to do with the chocolate Nestle bars and sweet cocoa we think of today.
The word chocolate originates from the Nahuatl or Aztec word Xocólatl which means “bitter water” (which gives you an indication of what it tasted like. Hint: NOT like a Snickers bar!). The Mayans and the Aztecs believed that cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility. Cacao or xocólat was considered the “food of the gods” that gave humans wisdom and power. As you can imagine it was pretty secret, powerful stuff! Mesoamerican cultures did not use factory sugar so they would mix the cocoa paste with hot chili peppers and corn meal, and transfer the mixture repeatedly between pots until the top was covered with a thick foam. That’s just how I want to have it, bitter and spicy, bleghh!
The Aztecs could not cultivate their own cocoa trees in the dry plains (no rain) so as they began to expand, all of the areas conquered by the Aztecs were forced to pay them a side tax in cocoa beans. The beans were also used as a currency and since they now dominated the areas where the cocoa tree could be grown, they could literally grow money!
At the time 100 beans equaled a canoe of fresh water, or a slave. Yes, I said canoe, it was a good way to measure things back then, and it had the same value as a slave. 10 beans equaled spending the night with a woman- we all know what that means. 4 beans equaled 1 rabbit, and 1 bean equaled an avocado, a tomato, or a tamale.