The AHE team is excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Planet Knowledge, a company that you will certainly be interested in. They are a free to watch documentary video on demand channel, available on smartphones and tablets (iOS & Android), Samsung SmartTVs, and even FreeviewHD in the UK and Ireland.
They don’t just cover history, but also nature, culture, science & technology, travel, and children’s documentaries… and their selection is growing every month! Most videos are free and supported through advertising, but similarly to AHE, you can pay a small monthly fee to watch ad-free.
To start this partnership, we’ve published two full-length documentaries on Ancient History Encyclopedia:
Expect more to come in the future, and watch out for AHE content on Planet Knowledge in early 2016!
The recent developments in the Middle East have drawn the attention of the world to the magnificent ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra. Its impressive remains were brought to light by travellers, first in 1678, and by archaeologists in more recent times. Equally impressive are the numerous representations of the inhabitants of the city in the form of funerary sculptures in the distinctive Palmyrene style.
From the 1st century BC the city grew in both wealth and population with the name Palmyra (city of palms) coming to replace the older Tadmor. It flourished as a caravan oasis on the trade route linking the Mediterranean with the West and Central Asia (the Silk Road). It was incorporated into the Roman Empire in the early years of Tiberius’ reign and became a metropolis with “free” status (civitas libera) under Hadrian, who visited the city in 129 AD and renamed it “Hadriana Palmyra”. Caracalla declared Palmyra a Roman colony in 212 AD and exempted the city from paying taxes on luxury items.
Palmyra on Vici.org
This post is part of a series of image posts Ancient History et cetera will be putting together each month. Todays post is all about ancient Mesopotamian Relief!
Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning ‘between two rivers’) was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean. Surrounded in the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and in the southeast by the Arabian Plateau. Ancient Mesopotamia corresponds to today’s Iraq and parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. Mesopotamia was a collection of varied cultures whose only real bonds were their script, gods and attitude toward women.
A relief is a sculptural technique. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background material. Like many ancient cultures Mesopotamians also produced artistic relief’s featuring events, places and people of importance.
This bas-relief is part of a series of reliefs which depict the formation and transport of a colossal winged-bull (Lamassu) for the palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. In this relief, the king stands in a rickshaw (a royal chariot which pulled by two servants) and he watches the progress of the work. A servant fans the king and another one holds a sunshade over the king’s head. From court VI, probably panel 60 of the South-West palace at Nineveh (modern Mosul Governorate, Iraq), northern Mesopotamia. Neo-Assyrian period, 700-692 BCE. (The British Museum, London). Photo © Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)
The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus is regarded one of the most famous monuments of the ancient city of Ephesus. It lies on the south side of Curates Street, one of Ephesus’ main arteries connecting the Gate of Hercules with the Library of Celsus.
The Temple of Hadrian on Curetes Street, Ephesus, Turkey
I want to tell you about Mainz, Germany. Not just Mainz, but the secret Roman history of Mainz. Like most cities I’ve traveled to in Europe, Mainz has many well-hidden secrets. Although Mainz has a lot to offer for a day-trip, I wouldn’t consider it a touristy area. Most people go to see the Cathedral or the first Gutenberg Bible at the Gutenberg Museum. I have seen those things in 2008, when I first visited Mainz for a few hours. This time I spent the entire day exploring the city and found a few things that I missed the last time. This trip I found lead curse scrolls in the underground Sanctuary of Isis and Mater Magna, a house with four roofs, a Roman theater bisected by the railway, and a monument to a long-dead Roman General.
Theodor Heuss Bridge Mainz
I fondly remember the first release of Medieval 2: Total War with its grand campaign leading the iron-fisted Holy Roman Empire, crushing the fortified Italian Nation-states of Milan and Venice whilst keeping the might of France, Denmark and Poland at bay. Few games have come close in scale and excitement to witnessing an army of Imperial Knights charging down a wavering foe. Nine years later, a plethora of patches, an expansion and a number of outstanding fan-made mods and conversions, the game manages to still capture my imagination. Released in 2006, Medieval 2 built on the success and game engine of Rome: Total War, but through the years it has continued to hold up as a solid and entertaining game in its own right.
In game screenshot: Imperial Knights scale the walls of a French fortification
The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. In addition to Renaissance masterpieces including works from Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi houses one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Roman and Greek statues. The Medicis’ interest in ancient art started with the founder of the family Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574) and grew over nearly four decades. The antiquities were stored and displayed in several rooms in Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti where they could be admired by the visitors to the court. The antiquities were later transferred to the Uffizi.
Most of the ancient statues and busts are displayed on the u-shaped second floor of the museum. The wide corridors are filled with numerous portraits of the members of the different imperial dynasties including those of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.
Nerva (ruled 96 – 98 A.D.)
Bust of Emperor Nerva in lorica military cloak and paludamentum, Greek marble, 96 – 98 AD. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The Great Tomb at Hili, near Al Ain, is not only impressive but around 5,000 years old. © David Millar 2015.
“Dubai tries so hard to promote this image of an ultra-modern city that they almost seem to suppress its past.”
Dubai is a city that elicits sharp opinions. While its shopping malls, glittering lights, luxury hotels and villas, and iconic futuristic architecture continue to attract large numbers of tourists and business investors, many others simply avoid Dubai, convinced that it is nothing more than yet another mirage in the vast Arabian desert. In this exclusive interview with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE), Dr. David Millar, author of Beyond Dubai: Seeking Lost Cities in the Emirates, discusses why he wrote a book about the United Arab Emirates’ ancient, hidden treasures and where one can find them.
Today we have another contribution from Timeless Travels Magazine in which Dr Christine Winzor writes about the colossal stone heads at Nemrut Dağ, Turkey.
Head of Zeus Ahuramazda with head of Antiochus I behind. Photo © Alkans Tours, Nicholas Kropacek
The colossal stone heads at Nemrut Dağ, with their distinctive array of crowns and caps, are among the most iconic images of Turkey. Many guidebooks and tour agencies stress the importance of visiting this monument – sometimes referred to as the Throne of the Gods – at either sunrise or sunset to appreciate fully the spectacular illumination and reflection of the sun’s rays on the sculptures and tumulus. Others specifically advise against visiting at these times on the grounds that inevitably you will share this impressive event with a large crowd of other spectators, thereby spoiling the sense of majestic isolation.