Archive of Uncategorized

Find us in Public Libraries

by Jan van der Crabben August 28, 2014 Uncategorized 0 Comments

WebBanner_AncientHistory_Consumer_300x250Our 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.

New: Videos, Links, and Book Reviews on AHE

contributeWe are excited to announce that we’ve redesigned our contribute page! Now users and volunteers can submit videos in addition to articles, definitions, book reviews, and web links.

If you know of great content you would like to share with us, go ahead and submit it! Anyone with knowledge of ancient history can submit content to Ancient History Encyclopedia. All submissions are reviewed by our editorial team before publication, to ensure we only have the highest quality of content on our site.

This project depends on users like you to help give all things ancient for free to the teachers, students, and enthusiasts of the world. Thank you so much for your continued support!

We’re on Tumblr, too!

img_logotype_bluebg_2xWe are excited to announce that we now have our own ancient history blog on TumblrFounded in 2007, Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking hybrid platform that houses more than 132 million blogs. It is also among the top 15 websites in the United States of America. We’re excited to share new and reviewed education articles directly to our audience on Tumblr. This further compliments Ancient History Encyclopedia’s other social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. With nearly 300,000 social media followers and 1.3 million monthly page views, Ancient History Encyclopedia is proud to function as the web’s nexus of “all things ancient.”

AHE on Flipboard, magazine-style

by Jan van der Crabben July 08, 2014 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Screenshot_2014-07-08-08-38-26We’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:

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.

Byzantine Beauty in Berlin

We are happy to welcome back Jaunting Jen to AHEtc!

Surprise! Byzantine at the Bode

church-of-san-michele-in-africisco-mosiac-from-ravenna-in-bode-museum-berlin-detailOne would never guess that the main attraction of the Bode Museum in Berlin is a mosaic from Ravenna, Italy. The Bode Museum, on Museum Island, houses a unique collection of Byzantine art, and I went there specifically for their Byzantine collection. I had no idea that a mosaic from Ravenna was waiting for me at the end of the exhibition hall. Ravenna holds a special place in my heart because it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. I have not yet been to Turkey to visit the Byzantine splendors there, but I’ve been to Ravenna and the Torcello Church in Venice, and there is just something special about those places and that time period.

The Ravenna Mosaic at the Bode Museum came from the Church of San Michele in Africisco in Ravenna, was dedicated by church-of-san-michele-in-africisco-mosiac-from-ravenna-in-berlinBishop Vittore in May 545 CE, and was consecrated by Archbishop Maximianus in 547 CE.  The mosaic depicts Christ in the center with the Archangels Gabriel and Michael on either side. The frieze of vine and doves is supposed to represent the twelve apostles. The basilica was paid for by a banker, Giuliano Argentario, and was originally intended as an offering to the Archangel Michael. The church survived until the time of Napoleon, when it was dismantled and sold to fill one of his requisitions. The bronze horses of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice suffered a similar fate, but they were eventually returned to the cathedral. The Ravenna Mosaic would never again return to its place of origin.

The fact that this mosaic survives at all is a miracle. The Church of San Michele in Africisco is not one of Ravenna’s Byzantine beauties or even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in ruin today and used as a shopping area. If the mosaic had not been dismantled and sold in the early 19th century CE, it may have crumbled into ruin with the church. Somehow it managed to survive. In 1843 CE the King of Prussia, Frederick William IV, saw something special in the mosaic when he purchased it and had it brought to Germany. 160 years later, it stands as a monument to the Byzantine past at the Bode Museum.

Part of the mystery of the Ravenna Mosaic in Berlin is what happened to the two saints on either side. Saints Damian and Cosmus (physicians) were depicted on either side of the mosaic, but their images have been completely removed. I’d like to think they were saved and sit on the wall of someone’s private collection today.

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Images: Byzantine mosaics from the Church of San Michele in Africisco in Ravenna, Italy, now in the Bode Museum, Berlin. Photos by Jennifer Brown, licensed under a Creative Commons – Attribution-Non-Commerical-ShareAlike 3.o license.

All images and videos featured in this post have been properly attributed to their respective owners. Unauthorized reproduction of text and images is prohibited. Ms. Karen Barrett-Wilt and Mr. James Blake Wiener were responsible for the editorial process. The views presented here are not necessarily those of the Ancient History Encyclopedia. Original blog post can be found at http://jauntingjen.com/2013/12/30/the-byzantine-beauty-in-berlin/

 

Paint It Black? Understanding Black Figure Pottery

Welcome to our third post on AHEtc! This week we welcome Ancient History Encyclopedia Editor Ms. Karen Barrett-Wilt. Karen is a freelance editor, writer, and blogger who loves to tap into her inner history nerd at AHE.  She holds a BA in English, an MA in the History of Art (focusing on Medieval and Islamic Art), and her current obsession is the art and architectural history of Turkey, particularly Istanbul. In the following blog post, she traces the path that she followed to finally really understand how black figure pottery was made by the ancient Greeks. Enjoy!

So how is black figure pottery created, anyway?

Read more…

The Horses of St. Mark’s

Welcome to the second post on our new blog AHEtc! This time we welcome Ms. Jennifer Brown (Jaunting Jen) of the blog Jaunting Jen. Jen is an Army veteran, archaeologist, photographer, and historian working on her MA in ancient and classical history. We hope you enjoy her post as much as we do!

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Beauty Reigns Eternally

Beauty. The four horses at St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, can only be described with one word: beauty. They are called the bronze horses, but they are actually almost pure copper. If you stare at them long enough, they almost seem real. The two horses pictured above are looking at each other like they are sharing a secret, and we are left in the dark. It’s a miracle of history, time, and circumstance that these horses exist today. We are able to stand and admire their craftsmanship because of a long history of looting, theft, and historic preservation.

The history of the four horses stretches the imagination. They may have been created by a very famous sculptor, Lyssippos, in the fourth century BCE. However, recent studies suggest that the horses have a Roman origin. If the antiquity of the horses is not enough to produce a feeling of awe, then the story of how they made their way from Constantinople to Venice will surely amaze. From at least the ninth century CE, and possibly much earlier, the horses stood on top of the Hippodrome in Constantinople. In 1204 CE, Constantinople was sacked by Crusaders, and many of the treasures, including the four horses, were shipped to western Europe.

From 1204 CE, these four beautiful horses grace the terrace at St. Mark’s Basilica. In 1797 CE, Napoleon decided that he wanted horses and carried them off to Paris. They were returned to Venice a short time later in 1815 CE. There they stood on the terrace until the 1980s, when they were moved inside to save them from pollution. Today on the terrace you can view the replicas, but the real treasure is located inside. The horses stand guard just inside the entrance and look like they are in motion, prancing towards the visitors to greet them. There they will stand for future generations to admire their beauty and realism. Photography is not allowed, but I won’t tell if you won’t!

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Both images: Horse sculptures, St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy. Photos by Jennifer Brown, licensed under a Creative Commons – Attribution-Non-Commerical-ShareAlike 3.o license.

All images and videos featured in this post have been properly attributed to their respective owners. Unauthorized reproduction of text and images is prohibited. Ms. Karen Barrett-Wilt and Mr. James Blake Wiener were responsible for the editorial process. The views presented here are not necessarily those of the Ancient History Encyclopedia. Original blog post can be found at http://jauntingjen.com/2013/12/01/the-horses-of-st-mark/.

 

Scota: Mother of the Scottish People

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Ms. Susan Abernethy, manager of The Freelance History Writer, to Ancient History Encyclopedia as our first guest blogger. AHE’s “AHEtc. blog” will function as a place where ideas and experiences can be shared casually by those interested in all things “ancient.” We hope you enjoy it!

Scota: Mother of the Scottish People

ScotavoyageAn ardent, lifelong passion for history compelled me recently to start researching and writing on various historical topics. Curiosity, along with the presence of certain books in my library, led me to look into the history of Scotland. Scottish history is chock full of fascinating stories and quaint legends. Surprisingly, I discovered that the founding, mythical ancestor of the Scottish people was a woman named Scota, daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh and wife of a Greek prince, whose story may be based on actual events as borne out by DNA evidence.

Read more…

1 Million Mark Surpassed!

We are pleased to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia regularly receives over one million page views per month! This is truly a momentous occasion and we are eager to see what awaits us as we come closer to 2014. At this time, AHE’s staff would like to extend a warm message of thanks to our financial donors, volunteer contributors, virtual visitors, social media followers, and past interviewees for helping us enter into the record books! Your kind words and messages of enthusiasm are a source of pride and inspiration. We would not be where we are today without your continued support and interest.

We thought that we should use this occasion not only to celebrate an important milestone, but also take the time to assemble some statistics about Ancient History Encyclopedia:

  • 1 million page views per month.
  • 500,000 unique visitors per month (compared to 100,000 this time last year).
  • Over 2.2 million visitors in 2013 so far.
  • 66% visitors from the US; 4% in the UK, Canada, and Australia (each).
  • We have spent £830 ($1330) on books to help write our 547 definitions and 350 articles.
  • Record number of social media followers: 90,000+ on Facebook; 4,000+ on Twitter; 2,000+ on Google+.
  • Google has ranked us up in their last “Hummingbird” search engine update.

AHE strives to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free. We combine different media, subjects, and periods in interactive ways that will help the public appreciate the complexity and richness of the ancient world. Editorial review remains a key component in our process to ensure highest quality. We are an open education resource listed in the OER Commons and we also share our data through the academic Pelagios Network, side by side with institutions such as The British Museum and King’s College London. Committed to the digital humanities movement, AHE’s original content is available under a Creative Commons license that enables teachers to freely distribute it in class, as it allows anyone to re-use our content in a non-commercial context.

Please consider donating to help us reach even more students, teachers, and enthusiasts around the world! You can also share your knowledge by submitting an article, or you can simply recommend us to your friends and colleagues. Thank you very much!

AHE Recommended by Tijdschrift Origine

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It gives us great pleasure to announce that the Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) was recently profiled and recommended by the prominent Dutch fine arts magazine, Tijdschrift Origine (Nummer 3 2012, Jaargang 21). Based in Haarlem, Tijdschrift Origine provides independent, expert analyses on the international art sector, covering antiques, design, art history, and the protection of cultural patrimony. We applaud and thank them for helping bring increased public attention to the fine and applied arts, worldwide.

Here is part of the review in Dutch:

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“On the internet is a new virtual encyclopedia for old (art) history: the Ancient History Encyclopedia. The English language site is fully independent and relies primarily on volunteers and voluntary contributions. Within the site are many articles as well as encyclopedic entries about classical antiquity. AHE also provides historical maps on their site. [The Ancient History Encyclopedia's] search engine provides several specific searches by topic, time period, architecture, wars and battles. In preparing this [précis], ORIGINE counted 381 articles and more than 2,000 images. Of course, that number is rapidly growing. Furthermore, there are several bloggers and reviewers to read. The Ancient History Encyclopedia is partnered with the Kunstpedia Foundation.”

AHE and Tijdschrift Origine share a similar, fundamental aim: to stimulate interest in the past through quality publishing and the promotion of academic research. Moreover, both of our organizations are committed to the cultivation of an understanding of the “big picture” and the minute detail. AHE strives to provide the best ancient history information on the internet for free. We combine different media, subjects, and periods in interactive ways that will help the public appreciate the complexity and richness of the “ancient world.” Editorial review remains a key component in our process to ensure highest quality.