The Tragic Story of the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

Nothing sparks the human imagination quite like the question, what came before? Philosophers, theologians, and countless religions have spent millennia pontificating on what came before humanity as we know it today. It can be argued that few archaeological sites have done as much as the Peking Man Site, also known as Zhoukoudian, in helping us […]

Piecing Together the Lost Mitanni Empire

The Mitanni Empire was established in 1475 BC and was disestablished in 1260 BC. It was one of the biggest and most powerful nations of its time, and its influence spread far and wide. Yet you’ve probably never heard of it. The Mitanni Empire is a truly lost kingdom. Despite its incredible power at the […]

The History of Kung Fu: A Modern Name for an Ancient Art

Martial arts have become increasingly popular over the last few decades. Out of all the martial arts, kung fu, popularized by stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, has become the most well-known. However, kung fu as we think of it today is surprisingly young, only being used to refer to martial arts from the […]

Midgard: Norse Mythology’s Realm of the Humans

The Viking universe was a complicated one. It was made up of nine different realms. Different realms were home to different races, and each had different themes. Of all the races, humans were the feeblest and in need of protection but also the most beloved of the gods. In Norse mythology, Midgard was the realm […]

Jotunheim: Outsized Tales from the Norse Land of the Giants

In Norse mythology, the cosmos consisted of nine realms. Some realms we know a lot about, others remain largely a mystery. Jotunheim, the land of the frost giants, is one of the better-recorded realms. Not only is it an interesting setting in its own right, but it served as the setting for several high-profile Norse […]

Typhon and Echidna: Monster Makers of Greek Mythology

Greek mythology is full of terrible monsters. Although it is difficult to choose the worst or most terrible of the Greek monsters, Typhon and Echidna are strong contenders. Both were giant behemoths responsible for birthing a vast number of additional monsters together. As a team, they were so powerful, they even challenged Zeus for supremacy […]

The Battleground Origins of Jujutsu

It’s likely that if you’ve ever seen a Hollywood action film you’ve probably heard of jujutsu. Thanks to films like The Matrix and the John Wick franchise, jujutsu is more in the public eye than ever before. But what most people don’t know is that jujutsu’s origins go back to the 8th century Japanese warrior […]

Why Was Gout The Kingliest of Ailments?

When we think of historically significant diseases we tend to think of diseases like the bubonic plague, cholera, tuberculosis, or more recently, COVID-19. These are all diseases that have had almost unimaginable death tolls. However, sometimes it isn’t how many a disease kills but who it kills that makes it a concern. Gout, an incredibly […]

Da Vinci’s Deadly Designs: The Wildest Weapons of the Renaissance Man

Although Leonardo da Vinci is predominantly remembered as a great artist, he was also a remarkable scientist and inventor. Many of his inventions were weird, some were wonderful, and more than a few were deadly. It is popular knowledge that Da Vinci designed some of the earliest flying machines; however, it is less well-known that […]

Medieval Divorce by Combat: Guaranteeing ‘til Death do us Part’

Divorce is a subject that has provided endless material for drama and comedy writers through the ages, from Euripides to Shakespeare to today’s New York Times bestseller list. When Kenneth Hodges, a Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, discovered a medieval German manuscript laying out the rules for a “divorce by combat”, social […]