Author: Jan van der Crabben

Looking back at 2014

This last year was quite a ride for the team at Ancient History Encyclopedia. Like every company, we had highs and lows, but in the end everything worked out just fine and we’re in a much stronger position than when we started. Our biggest achievement is probably that this year, we became the world’s biggest ancient history website (more about that below). Even after five years, I’m still impressed by what we’ve achieved with almost no money! I personally want to thank our team of volunteer editors and authors, who made this all possible. Our core team has invested countless hours of their free time into making this project possible. Our many authors from across the globe (all volunteers) have provided us with excellent content, both writing and photography, to give to the world for free. Also, a big thanks to our partners and of course our audience, who have always supported us, given great feedback, and kept coming back. Thank you all!

Visit our Online Shop!

We’ve set up an online shop! It’s that time of the year when greeting cards are in order. If you’re tired of sending reindeer or Santa cards, our shop on Etsy is just for you. We’ve selected four of our best photos on Ancient History Encyclopedia and turned them into postcards. They’re not only beautiful photos, but the cards are also of highest quality, with a satin finish. Go and have a look!

AHE vs Top 10 Museums: 3rd place!

National Geographic maintains a list of what they consider to be the Top 10 Museums of the World. While that list is of course debatable, all of the museums on that list are very impressive heavyweights when it comes to museums. We wondered: How does Ancient History Encyclopedia compare to those museums when it comes to internet traffic to their websites? The surprising finding: We’re estimated to have more internet visitors than all but two of the world’s top ten museums! More than the British Museum in London or the Louvre in Paris, both of which have very prestigious and substantial websites. Only the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York get more traffic than us. WOW! This is mindblowing! Clearly, our readers (yes, that’s you) like what we’re doing, and support us by coming back and recommending us to their friends. We thank you very much for all your support… without it, our little group of less than 10 volunteers would never have achieved this in only five years.

Fifty Thousand!!!

This week, Ancient History Encyclopedia has for the first time in its history surpassed 50,000 visits in a single day. This is a huge milestone, of which we’re of course extremely proud. In the last two years, we went from around 150,000 visits a month to over 1,000,000 visits and 1.8 million pageviews per month. We strongly believe in creating unique and in-depth content and giving it to the world for free. Millions of students, teachers, and history enthusiasts have visited our site this year. It’s our mission to give the world what is otherwise only found in expensive textbooks, and it seems like it’s working. We thank you all for your continued support! If you want to help us with our mission, we’re always looking for more article submissions and donations (it costs us about $75 in books to create a definition). You can also simply subscribe to our newsletter, or share our page on social media.

Beauty in Ancient Greek Sculpture

Greek sculpture from 800 to 300 BCE took early inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art, and over centuries evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form. Greek artists would reach a peak of artistic excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and which was much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealised perfection of the human body, and their figures in stone and bronze have become some of the most recognisable pieces of art ever produced by any civilization. They created life-size and life-like sculpture which glorified the human and especially nude male form. Even more was achieved than this though. Marble turned out to be a wonderful medium for rendering what all sculptors strive for: that is to make the piece seem carved from the inside rather than chiselled from the outside. Quite simply, the sculptures no longer seemed to be sculptures but were figures instilled with life and verve. Crouching Aphrodite

The Tomb Chapel of Nebamun

The British Museum in London is rim-filled with treasures. Not only does its Mesopotamian section blow your mind, but you can continue and wander through time, enjoying the ancient Greeks and Romans. Almost hidden, at the back of the museum on the first floor, is the Egyptian section. It’s filled with the usual mummies and papyri, but my personal favourite of this section is the tomb chapel of Nebamun. Nebamun was an accountant in the Temple of Amun at Thebes (modern Karnak), living around 1350 BCE. He must have been good at what he was doing, as his family was so rich that he was buried in a richly-adorned tomb. The tomb is covered with beautiful wall paintings that show many facets of ancient Egyptian life… or at least how the wealthy classes in Egypt wanted to portray their life. These murals are an idealised view of how life was like in Egypt, but seeing it you can still imagine how things might have been. Hunting in the Egyptian Marshes

Find us in Public Libraries

Our Ancient Greece content is now available in three prestigious public libraries in the United States: the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Brimmer and May School Library. Through our publishing partnership with BiblioBoard, our eBook Greece, The Archaic and Classical Periods: An Ancient History Encyclopedia Collection is part of the Archives of the World module of BiblioBoard, a collection of various historical archives, articles, and publications, which is available to libraries across the world. More libraries are set to include our eBook in their catalogue soon. Everybody can get our eBook on the BiblioBoard app (available on iTunes, Google Play, and Kindle Fire), however. Simply download the BiblioBoard app, and search for “Ancient History Encyclopdia”. The eBook costs $7.99.

AHE on Flipboard, magazine-style

We’ve just put over 600 of our articles and definitions onto Flipboard, an app that allows you to read great web content in a magazine-style format. It’s perfect for browsing our ancient history content on your mobile phone or tablet, but you can also read Flipboard directly in your browser on the web. To make it easier to find your favourite content, we’ve divided our content into several “magazines”, all of which are centered around a specific subject area: Roman History Greek History Mesopotamian History Assyrian History Egyptian History Americas History Asian History North European History African History General History Topics Interviews Maps History Videos History Cartoons About AHE We hope you enjoy browsing AHE in this format! From now on, we’re going to continue adding to these magazines, so you can follow us on Flipboard, too.

NuSphere Sponsorship

The kind folks at NuSphere are now sponsoring us! They have provided our programming team with the latest version of their flagship product PhpED. This is going to help us greatly in programming our website and adding new features, so that our readers can enjoy an ever improving free ancient history website. Thank you very much!