The Fascinating History of Mansa Musa and Ancient Timbuktu
Mansa Musa was the king of the Mali empire. In his reign, Mali became an African powerhouse and included the countries of Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Ivory Coast. Africa's legendary, fabled gold city under Mansa was his capital Timbuktu.
10 Great Inventions That Changed the World
Scientific discoveries and technological advances have radically transformed the world we live in. Compared to the long period of human history, most great inventions were made relatively recently. This is a list of ten inventions that have profoundly transformed society and our lives.
Elizabethan Makeup: Death by Cosmetics
The pursuit of beauty is an age-old preoccupation with humans. The Elizabethans used ingredients in cosmetics that they didn't realise harmed and killed them. Poisons included white lead, mercury and belladonna, staples in their makeup kit.
5 Factors That Contributed to the Bronze Age Collapse
In the second millennium BC, ancient civilisation was at its apex, but then a series of invasions, earthquakes and epidemics brought it all crashing down. Here are five factors that contributed to the Bronze Age collapse.
3 Ways of Judging the Accused in the Dark Ages
Imagine being forced to burn your own hand, then being declared guilty because the burn didn't heal quickly enough. Here are some medieval methods of determining guilt or innocence that were so cruel, the accused would admit guilt simply to avoid the ordeal.
The Hero's Journey: An Eternal Tale of Trial and Transformation
The hero myth is ancient and pervasive. It features in mythical traditions throughout the world, and wherever it appears, it seems to follow the same basic formula. Here is an overview of what Joseph Campbell called "The Hero's Journey."
Vlad the Impaler: Transylvanian Tyrant
"Vlad the Impaler" was born in Transylvania. As Vlad III Dracula he ruled the Principality of Wallachia and waged war against the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and rivals to his rule. He was a barbaric medieval warrior who inspired Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.
Battle of Bicocca: The End of the Swiss Military Dominance
Learn all about the Battle of Bicocca, an important historical battle that brought an end to a period of Swiss military dominance.
The Lambert Simnel Rebellion of 1487
Lambert Simnel was crowned King Edward VI in Dublin in May 1487 after claiming to be the English Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick. Lambert had been training to pretend that he was one of the lost Princes in the Tower. Who was he and what did King Henry VII do with this challenger to his throne?
Woodstock Palace: Once a Royal Residence and Jail
Woodstock Manor, later Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire, England was a royal hunting lodge, a hideaway for a mistress, the birthplace of princes and a jail for Elizabeth Tudor before she became Queen Elizabeth I. Today Blenheim Palace's grounds cover its location.
Why the Confederacy Was Doomed Even If It Won the Civil War
The Confederate states' commitment to state sovereignty would soon have torn them apart.
How Prince Albert Lost His Mother Aged 5
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's childhood was marked by the unnecessary loss of his mother in 1824 when he was just 5 years old. In a spectacular display of double standards by his father Ernst, mama was banished for having an affair and banned from having a relationship with her children.
Queen Victoria and the Lady Flora Hastings Scandal
The Lady Flora Hastings scandal exposed Queen Victoria's personal prejudices and her poor judgement. Flora was a lady-in-waiting to Victoria's mother the Duchess of Kent. When Flora's abdomen swelled accusations flew around court about her being pregnant. Victoria soon regretted vilifying Flora.
The Sticky Story of the Penny Black Stamp
Long before we could email, text or tweet our news to family and friends there was post, snail mail. During the British reforms of the 1830s, the postal system was revolutionised. The first prepaid adhesive stamp in the world was invented: The Penny Black. Did you know that it was quickly abandoned?
The Wars of the Roses: Medieval England's Climactic Conflict
Matthew's interests include writing, gaming, movies, and pretending to be Irish despite only having one Irish Great Grandparent.
Early Roman Warfare, by Jeremy Armstrong, a Review
A review of Early Roman Warfare, by Jeremy Armstrong, a book detailing a revised model of development for the early Roman armies.
Project Acoustic Kitty Lets the Spy Cat Out of the Bag
In the 1960s, the CIA thought it could train cats to spy on its enemies. Project Acoustic Kitty was born.
Lincoln and Douglas History in Winchester, Illinois
The town of Winchester, Illinois, was once home to Stephen A. Douglas and the site of an important speech by Abraham Lincoln. A number of buildings of historic and architectural significance remain there as well.
Timeline of the Scientific Revolution
From the 15th through the 18th centuries, scientific thought underwent a revolution. The Aristotelian view of nature that had dominated science for almost 2,000 years was cast out. The Scientific Revolution brought forth a more rigorous method of scientific exploration.
Medieval Food: What Did People in England Eat During the Middle Ages?
Fine dining in the feudal era was reserved for the rich, while the poor made do with bread and stew. Here is an overview of what people from various classes of medieval society depended on for their daily sustenance.