I’m an avid lover of history, especially anything ancient culture related. Today I want to share three cool history resources from wikipedia and books to a podcast. These are things that have kept me busy many an hour and acted as great reference and inspiration.
I love reading about life from thousands of years ago: about how advanced, rich, and complicated human societies were even then.
As humans who always concentrate on their modern day-to-day lives, we can easily forget what has been before us, what wonders people had built, and how damn cool they were. Hopefully, today’s list of three awesome things from Ancient History will help battle that!
But before I get there, let me just give you a quick update on Daughters of the Witch Queen. Part 3 is coming along great, it’s about 30% longer than part 2; our planning skills when its come to scoping out this project have been abysmal. But the good news is that we’re sticking our deadlines, we’ve just become faster and more confident. If you’d like to be one of the first people to find out when it’s coming out and receive a free advance reader copy, then make sure to be signed on to our newsletter! We try not to spam, but sometimes we get a little excited and maybe overdo it. Then again, maybe we don’t spam enough at all, you let us know.
So back to three fantastic things I’d love to share concerning Ancient History: today I’ll go through something from Sumeria, Egypt, and of course – the Romans.
1. Ancient Sumerian kings
Since the whole Sumerian culture lasted well over a millennium, it’s no wonder that it’s full of kings and rulers. Surprisingly for their time, Sumerians had a fairly decent habit of tracking and writing down these people who ruled over them; just check out this wikipedia-article on Sumerian kings – it’s fantastic! And while there’s some exaggerations, it seems accurate enough, at least to the best of our knowledge…
With names like Ishme-Dagan and Naram-Sim, it’s like they were ripped from a fantasy book, and when I read about them – I feel like I’m going through a crafted sequence of events for a back-story of a world I want to explore. I love this page on wikipedia that shows the historical timeline of Sumerian kings: how they came to rule, how long they stayed, and if there were any particular reasons they were dethroned.
As a reminder, Ancient Sumeria was a culture that flourished during the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia (Iraq). It’s one of the earliest human civilizations on record with a fantastic contribution to law, art, and architecture. For a 10-minute crash course on the subject, John Green’s got your back, and if you want to go deeper, there’s always more on Wikipedia.
My favorite King was a gardener (Enlil-bani) who was put on the throne as a substitute king to take blame for the previous king – but instead he ended up holding the throne for the next 24-years. How’s that for a story.
I also love digging up pictures of ancient art and infrastructure so I could image the life there. Sometimes I wish there was a time machine that’d let us have a realistic glance at how things really were.
2. An art book about Ancient Egypt
The Discovery of Ancient Egypt is a fantastic book for history and art enthusiasts, but even more for world-builders and storytellers. It’s full of illustrations and drawings from the European 19th century delegations to Egypt, who made extensive studies of the ruins hidden in the sand and recorded it all with the photographs of the day – drawings.
The book is huge – ginormous – and full of little details: from people who visited Egypt, to the origin of the tombs, temples, and gods who once lived there, and about how the 19th century Europeans viewed this from their perspective. As a child, I used to have this children’s illustrated encyclopedia, that I kept reading over and over. It was about everything from water pumps, to evolution, and to how tanks work. Reading this book makes me feel exactly the same, and I love it.
For the curious, you can get the book on Amazon. And those who need more convincing, here’s some pictures:
3. History of Rome – the podcast
Now, if you don’t have time for all this reading shit, but still are intrigued about the times before, then I will gladly move you towards this podcast about the full history of ancient Rome, from its creation to its ultimate fall, narrated by Mike Duncan.
Each episode concentrates on one or two main topics. Each is about 15 minutes long and there’s 190 of them. I was especially fascinated about the early history of Rome, of its time as a republic, before the really famous emperors and the glory days. Rome truly wasn’t build in a day, nor did it just take over the known world without a struggle, but somehow it managed to succumb and withstand all of it’s enemies, be it barbarians or economic troubles.
One of my favorite part of the republican Rome was that during a time of crisis, the senate elected a tyrant who would have unlimited power for a limited amount of time. This allowed him to cut through all the red-tape and just get things done without a hassle or consequence, and then when the crisis was averted, return the power back to the senate who could continue its in-fighting, politics, and corruption in peace.
TLDR: Listen to the history of Rome here for free.
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And so – on that note – I hope to have made your day a history filled fun-day; full of education, fascination, and intrigue.