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”
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”
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.
Why is water clear? Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to eat broccoli? Why?Why?Why? Children love to use one of the most powerful tools of language to experience the world around them and engage in a sort of game with adults. It is a part of childhood, that special time when theContinue reading “What’s With WHY? Why is WHY important?”
The week following Christmas is arguably the best time of the year to get your hands on a lot of things that are well below their market value. Boxing Day, which always falls onDecember 26, is observed as an official public holiday in the UK and many European countries, as well as countries in theContinue reading “Boxing DAYS across the Commonwealth”