Historiography endeavours to decipher and test the veracity of textual and epigraphic evidence, which may report on the unfolding of events from antiquity. There is also archaeological evidence which can provide broader timelines and pointers, as to where events occurred. It is fascinating to learn things about our beginnings and how their influences still remain in our languages, political systems and human relations.
Questions like why did the Roman Empire discard centuries of polytheistic belief to suddenly put its weight behind an obscure Jewish cult, which became Christianity, loom large in history. The shift to monotheism appears to have been a universal cultural development in this part of the world.
Figures like Alexander the Great, Augustus and Yahweh have made mega sized footprints on our development as human beings. It is stimulating to ponder on their motivations and in the latter case their very existence.
I hope you enjoy these modest attempts at understanding just a few of the strands of ancient history’s tapestry.
Essays on Ancient History. If history is your thing and you enjoy reading about the events and identities that have shaped our civilisation then this collection of thirty essays and articles could be just the ticket. Discover information about Alexander the Great and his invasion of Persia that you may not have known. Ever wondered just why the greatest empire on the planet, the Roman Empire, discarded centuries of pagan belief to champion an obscure Jewish cult called Christianity?
Journey to the beginning of the Olympic Games, nearly three thousand years ago and find out just how dangerous the competitive events actually were; one champion was crowned the winner despite being already dead. Meet Epicurus the Greek philosopher who predated Plato and can cure your fear of death. Did you know that the Jewish people in Palestine resisted the might of the Roman Empire; revolting on three occasions? Read about the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they had to say. Meet the intellectuals who were responsible for the ideas that became Christianity, on both sides of the debate. If you can understand the roots of something you will be able to see it now in a new light.
Essays on Ancient History comes complete with references and bibliography, so that you can explore issues and topics further. Finding the ancient sources and identifying their bias is a large part of what historiography is all about. Nobody tells the truth in this world, they tell their version of the truth, and putting that in context goes a long way to understanding what it all means. There are explanations about Greek and Roman mythology; introductions to Greek philosophy in may of its forms; and lots more.
The Old Testament of the Christian Bible is a rich source from which our Western Christo-Judaic culture emerged. It tells the stories of creation and exodus, Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt and these are the narratives which underpin who we are as a society today. It does not really matter whether you believe them or not, stories are not ostensibly about truth, their power comes through being told. These stories were the bedrock upon which our ancestors built their lives and the lives of their children. Religions are stories woven through the fabric of the culture of the people who believe in them. Meet some of the prophets and kings of Israel and Judah, two separate kingdoms.