A Subterranean Odyssey

Do you detest sparkling sunlight and fresh air? Would it be too onerous to visit beautiful, exotic lands? Would it bore you to tears to travel through time or touch a piece of history? If the answer to any (or all) of these questions is no, then you may be a perfect candidate to […]

The Birth of Kingship
From Democracy to Monarchy in Sumer By Jacob Klein

If you read later Sumerian literature, you will think that Sumer was always a monarchy ruled by a king. That is what these later kings wanted you to believe. But this is not necessarily so. How monarchy came to Sumer is in fact a fascinating, if somewhat obscure, historical development. Sumer was an early […]

Europe Confronts Assyrian Art
One civilization comes in contact with another By Mogens Trolle Larsen

One morning in February 1846, a little over 150 years ago, the young Englishman Austen Henry Layard was returning to work after visiting his friend Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, the head of a local Arab tribe. Layard had been in northern Mesopotamia for only three months, where he had begun to excavate a large mound called […]

Vestal Virgins
Chaste keepers of the flame By Melissa Barden Dowling

In the waning years of the first century A.D., one of the six Vestal virgins who guarded Rome’s sacred flame was accused of breaking her vow of chastity. Sentenced to death by the emperor Domitian (81–96 A.D.), she was dragged to an underground chamber just inside the city walls and buried alive. Her alleged […]


Origins: …And by the People
Democracy we associate with the modern West and ancient Athens, but little in between. By James Sickinger
Past Perfect: In Undiscovered Country
An English Romantic travels a thousand miles up the Nile
Ancient Life: Comic Relief?
Sword swallowers, acrobats and public festivals in the time of the Hittites
The Forum
Our readers let loose on traveling to Baalbek and Pompeian porn!