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The Wild East, Part 2: Last Stand at Kazan

They carved out an empire from the ashes of Mongol conquest – then died defending their home. Meet the Kazan Tatars, who taught the Russian steppe about Persian elegance. The army surrounding the fortress were a kaleidoscope of cultures and centuries. Red-coated Muscovite infantry primed their muskets next to engineers trained at faraway European universities. […]

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The Wild East, Part 1: A Mirror Frontier

They battled for centuries over thousands of miles of perilous wilderness. Meet the heroes and villains of the Eastern frontier. The native warriors nervously eyed the colonial army on the far side of the river. Proud and fearless though they were, and intimately familiar with this forest and prairie, they recognized in these European invaders […]

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Mysteries of Primeval China, Part 4: Chieftains of the Eastern Bay

They colonized the Pacific, raised labyrinthine temples, and laid the foundations of imperial rule. Meet the Hemudu culture — China’s first great sea power. As the people dragged their long canoes up onto the beach, they gazed up at the mountainous jungles of what seemed an untouched paradise. The sky was bright blue, and birds […]

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Mysteries of Primeval China, Part 3: Bronze Kingdom of the West

They forged mighty weapons and traded across the Eurasian steppe — yet their true identity remains a mystery. Meet the progenitors of China’s Bronze Age. Sometime around 4000 BCE — when Egypt and Sumer were just beginning to build their first cities — a few hundred nomads gathered on the banks of China’s northwest Yellow […]

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Mysteries of Primeval China, Part 2: Who Killed the Gods?

Gods and monsters are surprisingly scarce in China’s earliest recorded legends. Who killed them off — and why? To understand the heart of a civilization, we have to start with its myths. How did the world get to be the way it is? Where did people come from? What are we doing here, and what’s […]

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Mysteries of Primeval China, Part 1: Into the Labyrinth

They wove silk, carved jade, and raised great walls — all without meeting one another! Meet the inventors of Chinese civilization. In the 6600s BCE — a full three thousand years before construction began on Egypt’s Great Pyramid — the people of China’s Yellow Riverplain had already developed a taste for the finer things in […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 4: The White Walkers

They rose from their graves to confront the living — and we still haven’t put them to rest. Meet the REAL Army of the Dead. The dead are gathering. By the millions, they clamber forth from their graves and stand like a legion of silent sentinels, waiting for the signal to sweep over the countryside […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 3: Slaver's Bay

Their slaves built towering pyramids and served in ruthless armies — until a conqueror came to set them free. Meet the REAL masters of Slaver’s Bay. Although the merchants of the city are fabulously wealthy, their legions of slaves labor in misery. While the masters bask in luxury, it is slaves who build their ornate […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 2: The Dothraki

They rode wild and free across an entire continent — and made emperors tremble in their beds. Meet the REAL Dothraki. The howling riders thundered over the horizon. They appeared infinite in number — pouring across the plains, swinging swords and firing arrows, crushing well-trained armies beneath their horses’ hooves. To those who glimpsed them […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 1: Dorne

They ruled North Africa, conquered Spain, and transformed European culture forever. Meet the REAL Kingdom of Dorne. The empire is at war. The southern king retreats to his seaside palace, where he cautiously plots revenge amid sumptuous gardens — with his beloved queen always at his side. Meanwhile, on the mainland, armies of knights clash […]

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