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From Thor to Jesus: A Gradual Change in beliefs and Power

From Thor to Jesus: A Gradual Change in beliefs and Power

Vikings are actually Christians.

Interesting isn’t it? That the group of people who created Norse mythology are practising Christians. Well, to be accurate they first believed in Norse mythology. However, the Vikings slowly converted to Christianity and their belief in Norse mythology dwindled.

BOMBASTIC BRILLIANT BYZANTINE BOYAGE

BOMBASTIC BRILLIANT BYZANTINE BOYAGE

Author’s Notes: The story recounts the interactions between a girl living on Mars in 2075 and the sassy AI developed by her grandmother. Danielle Gryce, the girl, had made a drunken promise that she would experience the Byzantine Empire simulation designed by her grandmother. Virginia, an old-school artificial intelligence who exists only as a voice, had locked up some of Danielle’s programs to coerce her into abiding by her promise. Through this adventure, Danielle will learn about how Byzantine art and architecture served as vessels through which religion and political messages were expressed. She will also realize how relatable an ancient civilization can be to Martian society.

Ancient Roman Baths and Toilets

Ancient Roman Baths and Toilets

Would you bathe or do your business together with strangers? Well probably not, but back then it seems that the Romans totally would and totally did. Public baths and toilets today are available for use to the general public, separate cubicles for privacy, but for the Romans, “public” was in its literal sense, open with no privacy at all.

Mithras is Our True Crown

Mithraism was a mystery religion that existed in the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th century CE. This mystery religion revolved around the deity Mithras, and had seven degrees of initiation within its cults. As the notion of ‘mystery religion’ might suggest, the cult of Mithras is, well, mysterious, and very little is actually known about it. However, we offer a glimpse into this secretive cult as our story follows the journey of an unnamed Mithraic priest recalling his initiation into the cult of Mithras. We invite any readers to read through our tale, and render mystery a little less mysterious.

MAGIC, AMULETS & SPELLS: THE UNKNOWN

We’ve long witnessed the grandeur and glory of Ancient Egypt as portrayed in movies such as Gods of Egypt, The Scorpion King and The Mummy. There are vast plains, monumental structures and even some scenes of magic (amulets, rituals, incantations), all of which leave us in awe and wonder. Being able to travel to Egypt today, we still get to admire the plains and pyramids. However, do you ever catch yourself wondering: how exactly did the Egyptians live and why were these magical rites so important to them?

More often than not, all we catch on-screen are glimpses of a reality for the Egyptians. This is also true for their magic. As we take a deeper dive into their world, we start learning that magic, also known as Heka, was inherently tied to their belief of an afterlife and communal living. For the Egyptians, Heka served as an essential tool to bless, protect and transmit one’s soul in the afterlife as well as for women and their children before, during and after childbirth.

Check out our Buzzfeed article as we bring you these interesting insights in bite-sized proportions!

References

Ancient Egypt Society; Shabti, Shawabti and Ushabti. (2017).

BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Ancient Egyptian Magic. (n.d.).

Budge, EA Wallis. (1901). Egyptian magic (Vol. 2). Courier Corporation.

Bunson, Margaret. (2012). Encyclopedia of ancient Egypt. New York: Facts on File, 72.

Mark, J.Joshua 2017). Magic in Ancient Egypt. Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Mark, J.Joshua (2017). Egyptian Book of the Dead. Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Rose, C. (2016). CHILDBIRTH MAGIC. Expedition, 58(3), 38-45.

Roth, A., & Roehrig, C. (2002). Magical Bricks and the Bricks of Birth. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 88, 121-139. doi:10.2307/3822340

Waraksa, Elizabeth. (2008). Female Figurines (Pharaonic Period). UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, 1(1). UCLA: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. nelc_uee_7915. 

Media References

Pic 1 (Heka)Ka statue of Hor Awibra, (n.d) Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Public domain.

Pic 2 (Mummification): Andre. (19 June 2009)  Nederlands: Kist uit de 27-31e dynastie (525-332 v. Chr.) CC BY-SA 2.0

Pic 3 (Heart Amulets): Walters Art Museum, (n.d).  Public domain, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pic 4 (Shabti Dolls):  Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin, (16 June 2016). Shabti box illustration. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Pic 5 (Book of the dead): Mark Cartwright, (7 March 2015). Book of the Dead of Tayesnakht. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Pic 6 (Magic Wand): Magic wands in ancient Egypt, (16 November 2014). CC BY-SA 4.0

Pic 7 (Birth Bricks): Birth Bricks (n.d). University of Pennsylvania Museum E2914.

Pic 8 (Model Women): Female Fertility Figure, (n.d). Walters Art Museum. CC BY-SA 3.0

Video 1:Experience Ancient Egypt, (6 Aug 2015). Ancient Egyptian Magic - Methods & Symbols.

 

Mom! I met Kublai Khan from the past!

Giorgiomonteforti,  Eight of 15 Great Khagans of the Mongolian Empire , Nov 2008, Public Domain.

Giorgiomonteforti, Eight of 15 Great Khagans of the Mongolian Empire, Nov 2008, Public Domain.

Here are 8 of the 15 Great Khans that ever ruled the Mongols!

Can you guess who we will be talking about today?

Anige of Nepal,  Kublai Khan , 1294, Public Domain. 

Anige of Nepal, Kublai Khan, 1294, Public Domain. 

We'll be talking about Kublai Khan! 

In our previous blog post, we went into how the Mongols were not just a purely violent empire solely bent on territorial domination, but how they also had economic merits and positively influenced trade in Eurasia. One of the great Khans who kept their legacy alive was... Kublai Khan! 

Kublai Khan’s administrative rule marked the turning point in Mongol history as he created a stationary society, the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), which vastly differed from the traditional nomadic nature of Mongolians. Furthermore, he unified China and merged it with his Mongol Empire, creating an interdependent relationship between the two. This helped to create international awareness about the Mongol Empire. He was instrumental to many significant ideas and led a huge, powerful and stable empire, and now deservedly has his name down in history. 

We chose to go a different route with our second blog - who wants to read academic papers all the time, anyway? So we made an immersive adventure-based Role Playing Game (RPG) for you to explore the Yuan Dynasty! Step into the shoes of an explorer making his way through the Yuan Dynasty through our game and witness the rule of Kublai Khan, in political, economic and social aspects. 

Here's a few important game controls:

Use your arrow Keys to move

Press “Z” or “Enter” to accept/interact with other characters.

Press “X” to  cancel

Also, take a look at the full script of the gameplay if you missed out any information while playing.

To play the game...

Click on the links below to be directed to another website to play the game. However, the game will load pretty slow online, so please be patient! 

Else, we would recommend you to download the game for a smoother and better game experience. (refer to "Here's how to download the game!)

Windows users click here.

Mac users click here

Here's how to download the game! 

Step 1: Download the game files from the links below!

Windows users click here.

Mac users click here.

FOR WINDOWS:

Step 2: Unzip the folder! It'll then ask to extract game data- choose somewhere to extract the data (Desktop, Downloads, Documents, etc.) 

Step 3: Click on the file called "Game". It's file type would be "Application".

Step 4: The game will run and enjoy!

FOR MAC:

Step 2: Unzip the folder! It'll then ask to extract game data- choose somewhere to extract the data (Desktop, Downloads, Documents, etc.) 

Step 3: Click on the file called "Game" and the game will run!

Alternatively, if Step 3 doesn't work...

Step 4: Download the files from the Windows link instead.

Step 5: Download WINE and follow the instructions on this site. Looks complicated but once you download WINE it gets simple, trust me!  

(Download WINE even if you're not playing our game, it's a great addition to a mac in general because it enables you to open any windows applications on your mac for free!)

References

Atwood, C. (2004). Encyclopedia of mongolia and the mongol empire. 

Chinese History - Yuan Empire Government, Administration, and Law

Cowley, R., Parker, G. (Eds.). (1996). The Reader's Companion to Military History. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Donald Ostrowski. From Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier. Accessed 23 March 2017.

Hays, J. (2008). Marriage and Weddings in Mongolia. From facts and details. Accessed 23 April 2017. 

Jean Johnson. The Mongol Dynasty when Kublai Khan Ruled China. From Asia Society Org. Accessed 24 March 2017.

Kublai Khan Biography.com. From Biography. Accessed 22 April 2017.

Khubilai Khan’s Approach to Ruling China. From Columbia Edu.Accessed 23 March 2017.

Lamb, H. (1928). Genghis Khan The Emperor Of All Men. London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd.

Merchants Associations Alleviate the Perils of Caravan Trade. From Columbia Edu.Accessed 20 March 2017.

Mongols: The Gatekeepers of the Silk Road. From helloworldciv.com. Accessed 23 April 2017.

Mongols Support Trade, Facilitating East West Contacts. From Columbia Edu. Accessed 21 April 2017. 

Morris Rossabi. Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. From Google Books. Accessed 24 March 2017.

Morris Rossabi. Kublai Khan. From Academic Onefile. Accessed 24 March 2017.

Simon Fan. Culture,Institution and Development in China:The Economics of National Character. From Google Books. Accessed 25 March 2017.

The Status of Merchants Improved under Mongol Rule. From Columbia Edu. Accessed 20 March 2017.                  

The Mongols in World History. From Columbia Edu. Accessed 23 April 2017.

Tongzhi tiaoge 通制條格, the Yuan Code. (2010, July 3). From ChinaKnowledge.de. Accessed 23 April 2017.

Applications Used

RPG Maker VX Ace

RPG Maker MV

Web Hosting Platform: 000webhost.com 

 

Ancient Egypt's Sacred XXX

Ancient Egypt's Sacred XXX

Sex has always been of significant importance in our lives, and this was no different in ancient Egypt. It played a crucial role in every aspect, starting from birth to death, and even in the afterlife; it was key to the creation of life. Yet, even though it was the females who bore children, the males were seen as the symbol of fertility.

“Amber D'Alessio made out with a hot dog” We don’t write that in a book. We write that in a tablet. (REVISED)

“Amber D'Alessio made out with a hot dog”  We don’t write that in a book. We write that in a tablet. (REVISED)

“She's such a b**tch!” You silently curse at that two-faced girl who snatched your boyfriend behind your back. Ever wondered how this situation would be dealt with in ancient times? Well, it’s simple. You know the burn book in “Mean Girls”?

The Maid of Orléans

The Maid of Orléans

Hi everyone! We wrote a song about Joan of Arc and her life. The music was written with multiple movements in mind, depicting Joan's bipolar disorder, as well as the different significant events in her life (or death). Hope you guys enjoy it!