Iran’s Dramatic History Shapes Current Events

In light of international crises involving Iran, History Today, a monthly magazine based in London, zooms out over centuries and offers readers access to its archived articles on Iranian history. Among them: Return of the Ayatollah: Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became a lightning rod for the mass protests which overthrew the shah of Iran in 1979, … Continue reading Iran’s Dramatic History Shapes Current Events

The European, German and Greek Origin of Christmas Traditions

One of my most shocking experiences while living in Turkey -- Asia Minor -- was talking to Muslim students completely unaware of Christmas, not even aware that Saint Nicholas (270-343 A.D.) lived in what is now Turkey during the Roman Empire. Granted, he was not part of their tradition, indeed a cultural icon of Turkey's … Continue reading The European, German and Greek Origin of Christmas Traditions

History of Christmas in the Roman Empire, and Israel Today

"If Joseph and Mary set off from Nazareth to Bethlehem today, they would have to cross 11 Israeli checkpoints, a conflict zone, several security checks, and a 30 foot high wall. They would never have made it." -- Dr. Norman Finkelstein. Bethlehem Nativity Church is the oldest church in the Holy Land still in use. It … Continue reading History of Christmas in the Roman Empire, and Israel Today

Byzantium: Greco-Roman Eastern Empire for 1100 Years, Was Lost 560 Years Ago, But Traces Remain

Traces of Byzantium, the Greco-Roman Eastern Empire that dominated for a thousand years, can still be found in Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, as this documentary illustrates. It was overtaken by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantin...//Empire, from 395–1453 A.D. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...Emperors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantin...Architecture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_...Orthodox Church.

St. Patrick and His Day: Who He Was and Why He Is Celebrated

jeremiahwarren.com: "St. Patrick was born, not in Ireland, but in Britain around AD 386. Well, actually, he wasn't called St. Patrick at the time, or even Patrick, but was referred to as Maewyn Succat. Good thing he changed his name later, St. Maewyn's Day doesn't have the same ring. We'll stick with Patrick just in … Continue reading St. Patrick and His Day: Who He Was and Why He Is Celebrated

0 to 500 AD: Ancient Empires. 9 Short What If Videos

Studying ancient empires and discovering their relevance for today is not an easy task. Cody Franklin’s "What if" video series does a pretty good job of making them relevant by speculating on how the world might have changed if the victors were different, or if, for example, the Roman Empire never fell. Ancient History What … Continue reading 0 to 500 AD: Ancient Empires. 9 Short What If Videos

What If Christianity Did Not Replace Paganism As Official Religion of Roman Empire?

Julian the Apostate, who ruled for just two years, from 361 to 363, was known as the last pagan emperor of Rome. He believed himself to be Alexander the Great "in another body" via transmigration of souls, "in accordance with the teachings of Pythagoras and Plato." He was a member of the Constantine dynasty -- his grandfather Constantine the Great famously stopped the persecution of … Continue reading What If Christianity Did Not Replace Paganism As Official Religion of Roman Empire?

20 ‘What If’ Questions About the Classical World

Many 'What If" questions come up when studying the classical world, among them: What if Classical Greece conquered the world and controlled it to this day? Could Greek City-States Have United to form a Hellenic Republic? What if Alexander the Great Had Not Died at 32 in 323? What if India's Mauryan Empire (spanned from 322 … Continue reading 20 ‘What If’ Questions About the Classical World

Easter Was Not Officially Observed Until 300 Years After Jesus’ Crucifixion

Easter in the West would not be observed or celebrated if not for the many seminal events of the fourth century, from around 311 to 410 A.D., and especially the decision of the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. to set the dates for Easter. Dr. Barry Ferst of Carroll College in Montana created this … Continue reading Easter Was Not Officially Observed Until 300 Years After Jesus’ Crucifixion

What If Roman Emperor Constantine Hadn’t Made Christianity the State Religion?

Gavin Bowen: "Emperor Constantine loses the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (in 312) and is killed. Maxentius goes on to become the Emperor of a united Roman Empire. How would this affect Roman history? Would Christianity still have become the state religion of the Empire?" Discussion on Facebook. Many of us in the West do not … Continue reading What If Roman Emperor Constantine Hadn’t Made Christianity the State Religion?