If the modern understanding of democracy is ‘a torch that shines for a time before burning you’ – think of the great city state of Athens and Renaissance city republics – it feels as if the very social fabric that most democratic institutions are founded on are beginning to go through stress tests, but theContinue reading “History & Democracy”
The majority of the world’s population has also found in religion a core belief system fulfills the innate human need for meaning and purpose, acting as a shield against existential angst and moral dilemmas. Additionally, it can be argued that religion establishes a common-belief system which fosters cooperation and understanding between members, thus making society less susceptible to friction. In fact, the use of religion as a social tool may largely explain its staying power and cross-cultural ubiquity.
Human societies have indeed found in religion a solution to induce individuals to be nicer to each other as it outsources social and moral monitoring to a supernatural force that is all-seeing and omnipresent.
When the majestic Mount Vesuvius decided to erupt on 24th August 79 CE, it sent shock waves throughout the region of the devastation it wreaked on the people of the small cities underneath its shadow. It didn’t occur to the Romans that Mount Vesuvius was still an active volcano and that it might erupt anyContinue reading “Pompeii for Plebs: A Brief on the Smoking City”
The Mediterranean Basin has been the cradle of world civilizations since the first settlements in Jericho thousands of years ago. Known in English and the romance languages as the sea “between the lands,” the Mediterranean has shaped the cultures and identities of many nations and civilizations over the course of history. No other such basinContinue reading “The Collapse of Carthage and Rise of Rome”
One of the most enduring symbols of the Ming dynasty’s eagerness to extend international relations under the emperor Yongle, is the seven sea voyages of admiral Zheng He. Yongle’s predecessors had been cautious to the point of isolationism when it came to foreign relations, especially after the recent Mongol invasion which saw China being ruledContinue reading “Admiral Zheng He and China’s Golden Age”
“The people who once gave out military commands, made magistrates, and summoned legions – the people who did everything – now content themselves and wait anxiously for two things – bread and circuses.” – Juvenal, Satire The Roman satirist Juvenal observed that the people, who once held some serious political clout, gave up whatever influenceContinue reading “Give Us Our Daily Bread; Or We Won’t Vote For You!”
On the night of the 21st of February, 1978, on a residential street in the middle of Mexico City, a group of workmen were digging through the hard asphalt of the road. They were working for the Mexican City electric company and their job was to run cables across the street and through the wholeContinue reading “The Fall of Pax Azteca: The Greatest American Empire”
The fight for the richest man in the world will surely wage on for the next couple of years between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla genius Elon Musk, both with a combined net worth of $250 billion. But by no means are they the richest men in history. That title is believed to belongContinue reading “The Richest Man in History and The History of The Richest Man”
Around the years 1200-1100 BC, right at the end of the Bronze Age a wave of destruction razed across the region. It wiped whole civilizations off the map and discriminated against none. Ancient civilization like the Ugarit, Minoans, and Mycenaean Greeks disappeared altogether, completely disappearing from the records and leaving fragmented pieces of evidence behind. Some parts of the region took almost a 1000 years to fully recover from the disaster and its effects can still be seen to this day. What happened in the region stands to be one of humanity’s most hotly debated mysteries.
As they progress in life, names are often changed and family and society award the new names, which provide the individual with a strong social bond to community as well as family.
For example, the name Dancing Wind sounds beautiful to the contemporary ear, but Native Americans know that the dancing wind is symbolism for a tornado.
It serves as a warning to others as well as an incentive to Dancing Wind to earn a new name. If an individual accomplishes great things, a new name like “Eagle Eye” may be given to recognize and signify that the individual’s clear-sighted perception as well as a special connection between heaven and earth.