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Ben Thomas
Ben Thomas
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Great Empires of North America, Part 1: The Old World

They built astronomical observatories and innovative farming systems — and we don’t even know their names. Meet the first great civilizations of Native American history. Nearly four thousand years ago — as the city of Babylon was first growing into a metropolis and Egypt’s Middle Kingdom was in full swing — a group of hunters […]

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Great Empires of Central Asia, Part 5: The Eastern Renaissance

Their realm was the heart of civilization — until the apocalypse came. Meet the Persians: enlightened lords of Central Asia’s final golden age. If I ask you to picture “Arabian culture,” what images come to mind? Towering citadels, perhaps; adorned with domes and minarets. Flowing robes of many colors, and turbans and embroidered veils. Gardens […]

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Great Empires of Central Asia, Part 4: Lords of the Silk Road

They brought together the best of Asia—then improved on it. Meet the Sogdians: merchant princes of the ancient Asian steppe. In the year 36 BCE, a Han Chinese expedition marched west across the Jaxartes River, in what’s now Kazakhstan — more than 4,000 miles west of their home in China, in the heart of the […]

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Great Empires of Central Asia, Part 3: Pirates on a Sea of Grass

They drank, smoked, plundered, raided and traded their way across ancient Asia. Meet the Scythians — the deadliest crew you’ve ever wanted to party with. I’ve experienced some surprisingly intimate moments at archaeological museums around the world. When I gaze into the lifelike eyes of a statue like that of Ebih-Il, or stumble upon a […]

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The Giant-Kidnapping Prussian Emperor

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The Concubine Who Conquered China

She seduced princes, seized the imperial throne, and partied with a harem of hunky men. Meet the most powerful woman in Chinese history. An ancient Confucian saying held that a woman on the throne was as unnatural as “a hen crowing like a rooster.” And although talented women rose, at various points in China’s four-thousand-year […]

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Great Empires of Central Asia, Part 2: Thunder on the Steppe

Long before the Huns, or the Mongols, or the Aryans, a different people ruled the Eurasian plains. Meet the Andronovo people — inventors of thunderbolt-hurling sky gods. Imagine, if you can, a time long before Asia’s vast interior was crossed by railroads or telephone lines. Thousands of years before anyone dreamed of the Silk Route; […]

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Get Your Copy of "The Cradle and the Sword!"

Read Chapter 1 right nowfor FREE. A historical opera of sweeping proportions, The Cradle and the Sword hurtles the reader from the classical ages of Greece and Persia back into the mists of prehistory, chronicling the wars, intrigues, discoveries and triumphs of the world’s first great civilizations. A web of tales brings together an unforgettable […]

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The God Enki and the Ocean of Everywhen

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Some Old Worlds Never Die

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