Magic - as opposed to religion, personal or otherwise - is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down. In ancient Greece, "magic was not distinct from religion, rather an unwelcome, improper expression of it." In other words, it's important not to think of it as a different definition of magic but to instead understand how the ancient Greeks believed certain aspects of magic functioned in their world.
The 17th century was marked by multiple pro-democratic revolutions exploding in both hemispheres. In Europe and its neighbors to the east, border-changing wars were fought incessantly. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the underlying premises of political, governmental and social structures within several European and Asian states were shaken to the core after centuries of royalty and one-family rule.
The story of the ancient Israelites in Egypt is one of the most famous stories in the world, and one of the most contentious from a historical standpoint. Today, most people know about the relationship between the ancient Israelites and the Egyptians from the Old Testament book of Exodus, and the numerous feature films that often depict the dealings between the two peoples in contentious ways.
T.E. Lawrence, more popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a seminal figure in the shaping and reshaping of the politics of Arabia in the early 20th century, serving as an expert in Arab affairs in the British military and playing a key role in the Great Arab Revolt of 1916-1918.
In December 2010, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor's self-immolation triggered protests that spread from his hometown in Sidi Bouzid to cities across the country. The next month, on January 14, the country's autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country. This would be the start of what became known as the "Arab Spring", which ultimately saw anti-government protests responded to with violence, reform, or both in countries across the Middle East.
The discovery of rich dark pools of oil residing in the pockets beneath humanity's feet remains one of the most pivotal revelations in all of history. Crude oil, a type of fossil fuel, is found swimming near the surface in tar sands and in the cracks of sedimentary rocks. These underground jackpots are used to create petroleum products across the globe, from gasoline and different fuels to heating oils, lubricating oils, and asphalt.
"good to know"
In the early Roman Empire, as Christianity struggled to gain a foothold and survive in the polytheistic pool of Roman theology, its greatest rivals weren't the Caesars or the Roman aristocracy but rather the faith and devotion of the common Roman legionary. The faith of these men was centered on the god Mithras, who, they believed, led them to victory upon the field of battle and had done so for nearly four centuries.
Like other totalitarian leaders, Adolf Hitler kept an iron grip on power in part by making sure nobody else could attain too much of it, leading to purges of high-ranking officials in the Nazi party. Of these purges, the most notorious was the Night of the Long Knives, a purge in the summer of 1934 that came about when Hitler ordered the surprise executions of several dozen leaders of the SA.
This book tells the story of the 99 men who were serving on the USS Scorpion on May 22, 1968, the fateful day the submarine is believed to have sank. It appears that the crew members died quickly, but however it happened, the grief experienced by their family members dragged on for decades, exacerbated both by the Navy's lack of information about the submarine's final moments and the government's unwillingness to share what little knowledge it had.
In southern Iraq, a crushing silence hangs over the dunes. For nearly 5,000 years, the sands of the Iraqi desert have held the remains of the oldest known civilization: the Sumerians. When American archaeologists discovered a collection of cuneiform tablets in Iraq in the late 19th century, they were confronted with a language and a people who were at the time only scarcely known to even the most knowledgeable scholars.
At the conclusion of World War I, a once promised unified Arab state, which was to include the modern Hejaz, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Jordan and Iraq, did not materialize. Instead, the territories were divided between the French and British, but the British did reward the Hashemites by putting local leaders on the thrones of Iraq and Jordan....
"Dry, but satisfactory as an introduction"
The first aircraft to appear in the skies over the battlefields of World War I showed few signs of the dominant future of airplanes in warfare. Small, fragile, and slow, they provided no hint of the sleek jet fighters that would one day slash across the skies of Earth faster than sound to unleash the lethal blast and fire of sophisticated missiles, or the bombers able to level an entire city with one nuclear bomb. That said, they did not represent a complete novelty in warfare either, at least not during the early months of World War I.
Recently, the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has become a major source of news because the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has embarked on a campaign to destroy the temples and art of the pre-Islamic city. For many people throughout the world, ISIS's campaign was the first time they heard about the city, but Palmyra's importance and history can be traced back to well before the Roman Empire. In fact, Palmyra was unique among the many important cities of the ancient world.
Beyond the legend, Abraham is inescapably human, reliving the gauntlet of tragedy and abuse that should have consumed him, exposing his private reasons for standing firm on the brink of war.
Before Zorro hit it big, McCulley tried out dozens of different heroes and antiheroes: Black Star, the Avenging Twins, the Man in Purple, the Green Ghost, the Mongoose, Richard Hughes-Railroad Detective, the Spider, the Thunderbolt, the Crimson Clown...the list goes on and on. And it includes a good-hearted pickpocket with a lisp named "Thubway Tham," pursued by Detective Craddock of the New York Police Department.
Claypot Dreamstance wanders the streets of Portland, Oregon, drawing chalk portraits on walls and sidewalks. His only question: Why did God take away his young daughter? A broken man in a cruel world, Claypot lives in crippling grief on the verge of perpetual despair and searches for a way back to sanity. His only tool: his incredible artistic talent. His constant fear: nothing can save him from eternal sorrow and a downward spiral to oblivion. A tale of one man's search for meaning in a meaningless world.