Category Archives: HISTORY

The rise of Athens

The rise of Athens


It was only in the 6th century BC that Athens began the startling development that was to carry it to the centre of the european stage in social reform, industry and art.  There is a suggestion that the enterprising island of Aegina, just offshore in the Saronic Gulf, had actually blocked trade from Athens. But the city had no colonies until, in 620 BC, there were set up in the Dardanelles. These were later to give her control over the important trade timber, grain and metals from the Black Sea.

Black gold: The triumph of oil

Black gold: The triumph of oil

Yet within the single lifetime of some of its oldest inhabitants today, Europe has undergone an astonishing transformation, a transformation largely wrought by a different resource – oil. The vagaries of supply of that resource from inside and outside Europe have literally changed the history of the world.

Forest, deer parks and hunting in the time of chivalry

Forest, deer parks and hunting in the time of chivalry

Like the inclusion of crenellations, the creation of a deer park required a license from the Crown. The ownership of hunting land or the right to hunt within it was as much a symbol of noble status as the fortified dwelling or heraldic arms. Vast tracts of land, by the late 12th century maybe as much as a third of southern England, were set aside for hunting.

Olmecs: Early civilisations in Central America

Olmecs: Early civilisations in Central America

Fundamental features of Central American civilisation first appeared between 1200 and 150 BC: stelae and monuments commemorating rulers and their reighn, the hieroglyphic writing system, a complex notation of calendrical calculations, and the ritual ball game, were all established.

Saints, relics and heretics (c. 325 – 1434)

Saints, relics and heretics (c. 325 – 1434)

The saints honoured by the Christian faithful during the medieval centuries were a specific group within the wider category of souls who had been admitted to heaven. When alive, the venerated saints had demonstrated exceptional holiness, and miraculous events that had occurred before and after their deaths were attributed to them.