The Byzantine Empire essentially was a continuation of the eastern portion of the Roman Empire. Its capital Constantiple was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 324 AD. Throughout its existence after the Western Roman Empire fell, the borders of Byzantine grew and shrunk until 1453 when the Ottoman Turks struck its final blow by defeating the Byzantine forces and conquering its city. To more than millennia is no small feat for any empire in history. In its history, it had to face off against the Goths, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Slaves, Bulgars, Vikings, and at one point from the Crusaders. But the Byzantine Empire did eventually fall.
If you have ever committed a crime, be thankful that you only get to sit in perpetual time out for it.
During the International Bronze Age two distinctive civilizations appeared on the eastern Mediterranean and left a significant mark on history. They are known in history as the Minoans and Mycenaeans.
Throughout grade school, high school and on into college I learned that science and technology sprang into being in late medieval Europe and really took off during the Renaissance. You probably did too. Having been a Contrarian from early childhood though, I suspected this was not true. And sure...
How a piece of broken stone from the rubble of an old fort became a vital key to reading Egyptian hieroglyphics.
This article examines banking and money-lending in ancient Greece, including loans made to famous Greeks from the temple banks of Athens and Ephesus, the financing of overseas mercantile voyages, the bankers of the Temple of Apollo on the Aegean island of Delos, and the ancient Greek story of two "barbarian" slaves who were emancipated and went on to become some of the wealthiest merchant bankers in ancient Greece.
This article examines the struggle between the Persian Empire and its golden archer coins, and the Athenians and their silver owl coinage. Greek silver money struck from the Laurion mines played a key role in financing the Athenian fleet deployed in the decisive Battle of Salamis, which forced the conquering Persians to retreat to Asia. Later, however, the Athenian silver was unable to win the day against the militaristic Spartans, who were said to have banned coinage entirely, and allowed only the use of iron money to circulate among their own people.
This article examines the introduction and spread of money, commercial markets, and banking in Ancient Greece. Following the introduction of Lydian gold and silver coinage, the Greeks developed prospering monetary economies that played a major role in their cultural and political development. Many aspects of their economic legacy spread throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, and was eventually expanded by the imperialistic ambitions of Macedonia and Rome.
This article examines the legendary origins of the rich Lydian "white gold" (electrum), which King Croesus the Rich later melted down and minted into one of the West's first pure gold and silver system coinage systems. According to legend, the Lydian gold was the legacy of King Midas, who washed away the cursed golden enchantment at the headwaters of the Pactolus River. The rich kingdom of Lydia was conquered by foes, but the legacy of its coinage spread throughout Greece and Asia Minor, and became a central pillar in the development of most Western monetary systems in later eras.
This article examines the Ancient Egyptian grain-banking system, and its centralization at Alexandria in Ptolemaic Egypt. Grains have often been used as early forms of commodity money, but the Egyptians were notable for developing a system of grain money into a complex and sophisticated banking system. The centralized grain-banking system, at its apex, was said to have been so extensive that the size of its operations were comparable to those of the large banks of the modern era.
This article examines the origins of money and banking in Ancient Mesopotamia, including the origin of the Akkadian shekel based on the use of grains as commodity money, the temple bankers of Babylon, the ancient Code of Hammurabi and its provisions on bankers and money-lenders of the ancient world, and the legacies of two ancient Babylonian business dynasties: The Grandsons of Egibi, and the Sons of Maraschu.
Two distinctive civilizations appeared on the eastern Mediterranean during the International Bronze Age. The Minoans called the island of Crete home, while the Mycenaeans resided on mainland Greece while the Minoans called the island of Crete home. Both societies were quite dynamic for their time.
River valleys were important to ancient civilizations, and water was essential to the development and growth of societies. Early civilizations were dependent on river valleys for survival in many respects, as these bodies of water played a pivotal role in the revolution of food production, population and economic growth...
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, engulfed the entire Midterrian Sea. It was one of the most powerful economic, cultural, military forces in the world. At its height it covered over five million square feet in kilometers and over a population of about 70 million. They were the founders of many modern cities and built long roads to connect them across the empire. But every empire that has its time in the sun also has to see the sun set. Some argue the Roman Empire fell in 476 AD when the last emperor was removed from power, but almost everyone agrees the final decline happened around the late 5th century. The gradual decline began over a course of a few centuries. Here are 4 main reasons why the Empire faded into the history books
Wishing wells are everywhere. You find them in malls, in parks, and even in restaurants and hotel lobbies. What you might not know is that wishing wells have been around for thousands of years, and that ancient Romans tossed in almost the same pennies that we do today. Where did wishing wells come from, and why do we love them so much?
We have a lot of words in our modern-day lexicon for practitioners of magic. Wizards, witches, warlocks, and other words that don't begin with the letter "W". Words like sorcerer. Each of these terms, though we might use them interchangeably today, have very specific meanings that make each term unique and different from the others.
Sophonisba--the beautiful and beguiling daughter of Carthage--made kingdoms and broke hearts in her struggle to save Carthage from destruction by Rome. Sired by a general, betrothed to a prince, married to a king and dying by her own hand, Sophonisba has continued to captivate writers, poets and artists for over two thousand years. She remains a femme fatale for the ages.