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.
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...
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.
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
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.
Bog bodies are fascinating naturally mummified bodies found in northern Europe. They give insight into the lives and deaths of the individuals, and of their society at large. The bog body preservation process is discussed. Details on the lives and deaths of famous bog bodies is also covered.
Ancient Grecian fashion has influenced fashion throughout the decades with its simplicity and elegance. The clothing styles of men and women at the time are discussed, along with the differences in clothing amongst various Grecians.
The thunder god of Germanic mythology, Thor wielded a weapon worthy of his title: an indestructible thunderbolt with power to wage war and raise the dead. This mythic weapon was prized by the gods and represented their sole effective defense against powerful enemies.
Many of the gods and goddesses of mythology wield powerful items capable of inflicting unimaginable destruction. These relics often have a story tied to their manufacture, discovery, recovery, or irresponsible use. Let me introduce you to one of these weapons: Gungnir, the indestructible, unerring spear wielded by Odin, father of the Norse pantheon.
A short biography of an ancient king who kept the Romans at bay for 30 years.
Friday the 13th came and went again just a few days ago, and chances are a good few of you stayed indoors (if your jobs allowed you the day off) for fear of incurring its wrath. The date has become a bit of a superstition over the centuries,...
What objects, processes and strategies did the Olmec culture use to influence or dominate virtually all of Mexico? The Pre-classic is a time defined when farming based on maize, beans, and squash was an effective way of living for the local Olmec culture. A stable diet helped the growth of the culture and the ability to store food for use during times of drought and the off-season helped...