September 12, 1940 Lascaux Caves – Today in History

Entering via a long tunnel, the boys discovered what turned out to be a cave complex, its walls covered with depictions of animals.  Hundreds of them.  Four teenagers in Nazi occupied France, had d…

Source: September 12, 1940 Lascaux Caves – Today in History

Magic and Robots: Medieval Automatons – just history posts

The design for the Peacock fountain from The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.

When people think of the medieval or early modern period, often it conjures images of the witch trials across the western world. These people are considered a superstitious bunch, deeply religious,…

Source: Magic and Robots: Medieval Automatons – just history posts

The Pros and Cons of Ancient War Elephants

Elephants are generally peaceful and majestic creatures but throughout history their size and power were used with devastating results on the battlefield. With the adoption of gunpowder elephants faded from the front lines (though they were used in vital logistical roles as late as WWII). In the ancient period with spears and arrows, however, war elephants were a fearsome force to be reckoned with, though not without some serious disadvantages. First, a look at some of the pros of utilizing elephants in battle:

Elephants were absolutely huge compared to anything else in the known world. Considering that the average height of people in the ancient period was several inches shorter than today and horses were not especially large by this time, elephants were quite simply towering imposing figures akin to…

Source: The Pros and Cons of Ancient War Elephants

The Great Persecution – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

The first truly organised persecution of Christians came after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD under the Emperor Nero. Looking for a scapegoat in the devastating aftermath of the fire, he found it in the Christians. He would blame them for the fire because of their apocalyptic belief that Rome and the world would end by fire. This led to an active and organised campaign against them. The second and third centuries sporadically saw more of the same prosecutions, especially under the reign of Emperors Decius and Valerian. The last and truly terrible persecution of Christians occurred at the beginning of the fourth century. A general edict of persecution, under the authority of Emperor Diocletian, was published on February 24th, 303 AD. Interestingly, on the day before the edict was published, Diocletian ordered…

Source: The Great Persecution – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

The Momentous Discovery of Agnes and Margaret Smith | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

Originally posted  on Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt by Berthold Werner (source)

In St. Catherine’s monastery at Mount Sinai, there is a special decorated box with an outer wooden cover and an inner glass cover. Inside the box, carefully wrapped in silk is a manuscript which is the oldest extant copy of the four canonical gospels in Syriac. This manuscript was first discovered and photographed by Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson, two middle-aged ladies who undertook the journey by camel to the monastery in the late 19th century.

This wasn’t the first journey they had taken. Agnes and Margaret Smith, identical twins, were raised by their father who had a love of travel. Their mother died soon after their birth on  January 11,1843, and he decided to raise them on his own. This included educating them “as though they were boys.” At some point he discovered that the girls had a talent for languages and told them that when they learned a language, he would take them to the country where it was spoken. With this incentive, they learned French, Spanish, German, and Italian and were rewarded with wonderful travels.

Irvin in the early 19th century, about 30 miles southwest of Glasgow where the sisters grew up (source)

John Smith was a self-made man, a solicitor with a client base that gave him a respectable income. All of this changed when one of his clients, John Ferguson, died leaving what was at the time, the largest estate to be settled in the courts of Scotland. Ferguson was the recipient of the fortunes of four unmarried uncles who died intestate. He was also a distant relative of John Smith. This event made two great changes of the lives of the sisters. First, on the death of their father, they would become very wealthy, and second their father had to go to America to settle much of the estate. The girls were put into a boarding school, Birkenhead, near Liverpool, having to leave…

via The Momentous Discovery of Agnes and Margaret Smith | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts.

Jezebel and Asherah: Controlling a Culture by Slut Shaming the Queen | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts

Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth’s Vineyard by Sir Frank Dicksee (source)

Jezebel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth’s Vineyard by Sir Frank Dicksee (source)

Jezebel, the Painted Queen, is one of the most notorious women to have ever lived. Her name has come to literally mean a woman who uses sex to corrupt men and tempt them into sin. She is the ultimate trollop and has been slut shamed longer and more fiercely than any other woman in history. But why? Did she really lead her husband, King Ahab, astray from the paths of righteousness? Did she really use her womanly wiles as a weapon to destroy God’s chosen prophets? History and archeology suggest not. It seems as if Jezebel’s real “crime” was to embrace the Hebrew religion a little too well. Could she have been maligned not for turning Ahab away from Yahweh, but for keeping him loyal to Yahweh’s feminine side?

Most people don’t know it but Yahweh (AKA Jehovah or God or Allah) had a goddess consort named Asherah for thousands of years. In fact, Asherah may have been more than a consort. Just as a coin has two sides but is a single object, or like the Holy Trinity represents a single deity, Asherah may have been God’s female ‘face’ — the female hypostasis of God. This means that to venerate Asherah was not necessarily a distinct form of worship, but rather would have been an official part of the Hebrew religion itself.

Asherah disappeared from official Judeo-Christian dogma roughly three thousand years ago, but archeological evidence shows…

Read more: Jezebel and Asherah: Controlling a Culture by Slut Shaming the Queen | Saints, Sisters, and Sluts.