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Great African Empires, Part 6: The Tattooed Lords of the Desert

Meet the nomad warriors who conquered Egypt, battled Rome, and ruled Spain. If you grew up watching Star Wars (like I did), you probably dreamed of visiting Tatooine, the desert planet where Luke Skywalker gazed up at the twin suns and imagined becoming a Jedi. Like a surprising number of people and places in sci-fi […]

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A (Somewhat) NSFW History of Dirty Jokes

The best naughty one-liners, setups and punchlines, from the Bronze Age all the way to the 20th century. So a Sumerian walks into a bar. Doesn’t really have to be a Sumerian, actually. A guy. Any guy. Guy walks into a bar, orders a drink, tries to join in on the conversation. But none of the […]

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Across the Aegean

A tale of a time when East met West When Aristagoras, Greek sea-trader of Piraeus, first laid eyes upon the treasures amassed by his distant cousins in the Asian provinces of Lydia and Ionia, more than just his avarice was awakened. When he studied the layers of gold inlay on an earring crafted on the shores […]

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Alexander: The Great Who Wasn’t (Quite) Greek

Ayesha Talib Wissanji asked this excellent question the other day: “I always get confused about the Greeks and Macedonians in this time era. It has not become clear to me. Alexander was Macedonian, but was not he schooled by the great Greek philosophers? Did Alexander become Greek?” Heres your answer, Ayesha.

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There Is No Yesterday

An interactive experience in speaking with people from the past Certain photos demand your attention: vintage mugshots of Australian criminals; portraits of soon-to-be victims of Stalin’s Great Purge, or of nomads in the desert or the steppe. You stare into these peoples’ eyes and wonder what they were thinking about, what their days were like, how their […]

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