Historians debate the origins of April Fool’s Day, with three possible explanations. Which of the following are real; which three are actual theories for the holiday’s origin? In 1582, France switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March to January. People who still celebrated in March were mocked
This week in 41 CE, a faction Roman leaders assassinated their emperor, Caligula. The emperor had oppressed the nobles and the Senate (though not necessarily the common people), so this was not the first plot against his rule. The trigger for this final and successful conspiracy isn’t entirely clear, but Caligula had recently announced plans
This week in 537, eastern Roman emperor Justinian I completed the Hagia Sophia: the great cathedral of his capital, Constantinople. Upon completion and for centuries thereafter, it was the largest building in the world. Justinian’s realm was the eastern half of the original Roman Empire, and the Hagia Sophia became the central cathedral of the
This week in 534 BCE, Thespis of Icaria became the first person we know of to portray a character on stage in ancient Greece. He sang about myths to an audience in Athens. But rather than just narrating by song, he played the various characters in the story, using masks to differentiate them. Thespis also
On this day in 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta Stone, twenty-three years after its discovery. The Rosetta Stone records a 196 BC decree from the reign of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt, and it’s written in 3 different languages. That made it the key to translating ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs,
During this week in 30 BC, Roman strongman Octavian completed his invasion of Egypt. He ordered the execution of Marcus Antyllus, eldest son of his defeated rival, Marc Anthony, who’d committed suicide. He also executed Caesarion, teenage son of his great uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar. Caesarion’s mother was Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and lover
The Jericho River just got a wonderful review/endorsement from Ancient History Encyclopedia! To read it, just click the headline or the image below … Get Your Kids Interested in World History!
I’m delighted to announce that School Library Connection has recommended The Jericho River! The review appears in the In the August/September issue. Here’s an excerpt: I really enjoyed this book. I loved the history and the strange creatures Jason meets and befriends along the way. Another great thing about the book is its relevancy to
We’ve posted our first lesson plan for middle school classes — related to The Jericho River! You can see it at our Resources for Teachers page. Just scroll down to “DESIGN A LUMIN LESSON PLAN … Middle School Version” (next to the blue-gold picture of Jason and Zidu). The plan was written by Lisa Meyers,
The ancient Greeks believed an island empire ruled the sea in the distant past. The lords of Atlantis built a mighty civilization, but their pride eventually angered the gods, who destroyed their island with earthquakes and fire, sending it beneath the sea. Atlantis in Comic Books, Fantasy … and History? The Atlantis myth has fascinated
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