In the 1,600 years since Saint Patrick preached his way across the Emerald Isle, the legends and folk stories surrounding his life have become ever more ingrained in the Irish culture. He is credited with expelling all snakes from Ireland and using a shamrock – a three-leaf clover – to explain the Holy Trinity to the Pagan Irish.
Murky, elusive and undefined, the religion of the pre-Christian Vikings has long been subject to debate. Contemporary texts of their spiritual worship do not survive, and the later records that do survive stem from Christian authors. Thus, they are tainted with a Christian worldview and anti-pagan opinions. The magic of the Vikings, however, is somewhat a secondary field of interest.
Aeschylus, widely regarded as the “Father of Tragedy,” was one of the first of classical Athens’ great dramatists. He raised the emerging art of tragedy to new heights of poetry and theatrical power. The legendary playwright wrote more than 90 plays and won with half of them at Athenian festivals of Greek drama. For all his skills in theater, however, he’s trending within the circles of modern pop culture thanks to his very bizarre death.
Grace O'Malley was Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the O Maille clan, a rebel, seafarer, and fearless leader, who challenged the turbulent politics of 16th century England and Ireland.
Dogs have been used as powerful weapons of war for at least the last 3,000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Sarmatians, Britons, and Romans are all known to have used dogs in combat, or for scouts, sentries, trackers, or executioners. But the Spanish conquistadors employed war dogs on a scale that had rarely been seen before, and with devastating effect.
In 1897, archaeologists uncovered a stunning artifact on a private estate at L'Alcúdia in Valencia, Spain. This find was a statue – a polychrome bust of a woman’s head. Believed to date back to the 4th Century BC, the bust features a woman wearing an elaborate headdress. Now seen as one of Spain’s most famous icons, the bust is known as the Lady of Elche.
On a windswept hilltop located six miles from Şanlıurfa– known in ancient times as Edessa – an American team, in collaboration with Istanbul University, carried out a survey in the early 1960s. They were examining sites across south-east Turkey to investigate the transition from hunting and gathering to the beginnings of farming.
It is probably not possible to tell when humans first began to wonder about the stars, the sun, and the moon or tried to understand their motion, though there is evidence of a lunar calendar being used by hunter-gatherers during the Upper Paleolithic in Europe around 32,000 BC.
Hy-Brasil: The Legendary Phantom Island
Hy-Brasil is a legendary island that appeared roughly 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland on old maps. Hy-Brasil is derived from the name Breasal, associated with High Kings in Celtic history.
The Tara Brooch is a sensational artifact that was discovered on a beach in Bettystown, County Meath, Ireland in 1850. Today, it is considered one of the greatest surviving masterpieces of Celtic metalwork.