Ancient History Encyclopedia

Ireland’s Exquisite Insular Art

<em>The Book of Kells</em> completed in Ireland, c. 800 CE. This folio shows the lavishly decorated text that opens the Gospel of John.

The Book of Kells completed in Ireland, c. 800 CE. This folio shows the lavishly decorated text that opens the Gospel of John.

While much of Europe was consumed by social disarray in the centuries following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE, a remarkable golden age of scholasticism and artistic achievement began in Ireland. Untouched by centuries of Roman rule, Ireland retained an ancient cohesive society characterized by rural monastic settlements rather than urban centers. From c. 400-1000 CE — an era more popularly known as the “Age of Saints and Scholars” — Irish missionaries spread Christianity, bringing monastery schools to Scotland, England, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. In doing so, they also transmitted a new, effervescent style of art throughout western Europe: Insular art.

In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Dr. Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk, Associate Professor of Art History at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about the astonishing history of Insular art.

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Visiting the Burrell Collection in Glasgow

One day before my fellowship admission ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, I was sitting in my room and surfing the net. I found that a museum in Glasgow, the Burrell Collection, houses some artifacts from Mesopotamia.

That’s great! I hired a taxi and went there. I arrived at 10:30 AM. It lies within Pollok Country Park, about 5 kilometers south of the Glasgow city center. In the year 1944 CE, Sir William Burrell, a Scottish philanthropist, art collector, and shipping merchant donated this magnificent collection of a multitude of artifacts to the city of Glasgow. The building is L-shaped and was opened in 1983 CE.

The Burrell Collection within the Pollock Country Park, Glasgow, UK.

The Burrell Collection within the Pollock Country Park, Glasgow, UK.

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10 Ancient Gold Jewellery Pieces

by Mark Cartwright October 27, 2014 Photos 0 Comments

Malleable, lustrous, resistant to corrosion, and high in value, gold has always been a favourite material for jewellers going back to earliest antiquity. The following jewellery pieces are all from the ancient Mediterranean and have nothing more in common than their excellent craftsmanship and striking designs. For more on the history of ancient gold see Ancient History Encyclopedia’s definition on gold in antiquity.

Gold Bead

A gold bead from the dolmen d'Er Roh, La Trinite Sur Mer (France). 2200-2000 BCE. (Vannes Archaeological Museum, France)

A gold bead from the dolmen d’Er Roh, La Trinite Sur Mer (France). 2200-2000 BCE. Vannes Archaeological Museum, France.

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Ancient History Encyclopedia & Chickasaw.tv Partnership

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2014

Ancient History Encyclopedia Announces Partnership with Chickasaw.tv

New collaboration expands online educational resources about the ancient world

LONDON — Ancient History Encyclopedia, a nonprofit, digital humanities website focused on ancient history, today announced that they have begun a strategic content sharing agreement with the Chickasaw Nation Video Network. The collaborative agreement will make digital content on Chickasaw.tv, the official video network of the Chickasaw Nation, available to Ancient History Encyclopedia readers. Chickasaw.tv is the first video network to provide Ancient History Encyclopedia with educational multimedia content about the ancient Native American civilizations of North America and the history of the Chickasaw people. This collaboration coincides with the recent addition of videos to the Ancient History Encyclopedia website, and Chickasaw.tv’s contribution has played a significant role in unveiling this new feature.

Since launching in 2009, over 7 million people have visited the Ancient History Encyclopedia website. The content on Ancient History Encyclopedia has made it a trusted research and homework tool for students worldwide and is progressively being integrated into educator lesson plans. According to the latest data, teachers and students are increasingly relying on video content to demonstrate relationships between historical events. In 2013, the nation’s leading education nonprofit organization, Project Tomorrow, conducted a survey of over 400,000 students, teachers and librarians, parents, district administrators and community members from over 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts across the United States. According to the recently released survey, 46 percent of teachers use videos in the classroom, over one-third of students access online videos to assist with their homework, and 23 percent of students are accessing videos created by their teachers.

“Adding video to Ancient History Encyclopedia was the next logical step for us,” said Jan van der Crabben, CEO & founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia. “Over a third of our website visitors are students, and by adding video we can reach and educate more students. We want to provide free, helpful content for all learning styles, and video is becoming more and more important for the internet generation.”

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Visiting the Pergamon Museum in Berlin

Processional Street

August 11, 2014. It was a partly cloudy day. I arrived at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin around 10 AM. I found a long queue . . . Average waiting time: two hours! I asked a guard about this. He said, ”This line is for holders of priority pass tickets and pre-booked tickets.” I said, “OK, where I can buy this priority pass ticket?” The answer was, “You have to join this long queue, and once you enter into the museum’s main reception, you can buy this type of ticket.” The ticket costs 24 Euros; it is valid for three consecutive days, and you can use it to enter the other museums at “the Museum Island in Berlin” and other museums within the city of Berlin. It’s an excellent deal!

Finally, I went upstairs and found myself within the Processional Way of ancient Babylon. What a feeling I had! The Ishtar Gate faces the Processional Way. I walked back and forth, through the gate and the street, maybe ten times. I said to myself, “Nebuchadnezzar and his army walked through this gate!” Read more…

Hilda of Whitby – A Ray of Light in the “Dark Ages”

St_Aidan_visits_St_HildaIn this special guest post, Ms. Susan Abernethy of The Freelance History Writer introduces Ancient History et cetera readers to the compelling life and achievements of St. Hilda of Whitby. Renown for her piety and learning, Hilda is one of the most appealing and yet elusive figures from the Early Middle Ages (or Late Antiquity). Thanks to her vigorous activities, Hilda’s religious and political influence ensured that northern England remained Christian, while many, including The Venerable Bede, attested to her reputation for intellectual brilliance. In 2014, we celebrate the 1400th anniversary of her birth.

Whenever I hear the term the “Dark Ages” I cringe a little bit. This term has fallen out of use, but you still hear it occasionally. The more I’ve studied medieval history, the more I see this era of history wasn’t “dark” at all. There are some “rays of light” that appear to us, even with the non-existent to scant documentation we have. One of them is St. Hilda of Whitby (c. 614-680 CE).

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Real History in Total War: Attila

TWA_Battle_Saxon_AttacksIn this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Janos Gaspar, Lead Designer of Total War: Attila, about Creative Assembly’s newest historical video game.

JW: What provided the impetus for Creative Assembly to make Total War: Attila? Why create a computer game about the Hunnic invasions of Europe (c. 370-469 CE) and the decline of the Roman Empire given the popularity of the Roman Total War series?

JS: In Rome II, we told the story of Rome becoming the world’s first superpower — from its first steps outside of Italy to the major body of its conquests; from a small republic to a vast empire. This time, we jumped almost 400 years into the future — right to the brink of the so-called “Dark Ages” — in order to recreate the last moments of this glorious empire and the birth of the new Europe. One of the major catalysts for such profound change is Attila himself. Overall, we thought it would be a fascinating era to cover.

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EAGLE 2014 International Conference in Paris

egl_paris

EAGLE 2014 International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World

September 29-30 and October 1, 2014

 École Normale Supérieure and Collège de France Chaire Religion, institutions et société de la Rome antique

Paris, France

EAGLE 2014 International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World is the second in a series of international events planned by EAGLE – Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy. The conference will be held September 29-30 and October 1, 2014, in Paris. The event will consist of a number of lectures, panels and selected papers organized into several sessions. It is expected that the conference proceedings will be published with a major European scientific editor. The conference will also provide space for demonstrations and product display.

Keynote lectures will be delivered by Susan Hazan (The Israel Museum) and Tom Elliott (New York University).

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Seja Majeed – The Forgotten Tale of Larsa

sejamajeed_forgottentaleoflarsa_fbcover

Born in Algeria to Iraqi refugees, Ms. Seja Majeed grew up in the United Kingdom, where her family claimed asylum. Impassioned by history, archaeology, and especially Iraqi culture, Seja yearned to be a writer. In her début novel for young adults, The Forgotten Tale of Larsa, Seja explores the themes of love, loss, change, and exile in an ancient Near Eastern setting. In this conversation with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia, Seja relates the joys and struggles one faces in writing the “young adult novel,” in addition to her thoughts on the current perils facing Iraqi cultural patrimony.

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