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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

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World History

A group about World History so that I do not end up spamming my USA and Non USA News Group

Location: #culture
Members: 17
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

How the British Divided Up the Arab World

Started by Hope. Last reply by Chris Oct 15, 2016. 7 Replies

How the British Divided Up the Arab WorldThe development of the modern nation states throughout the Arab world is a fascinating and heartbreaking process. 100 years ago, most Arabs were part of the…Continue

Tags: Arab, World, Up, Divided, the

History Snippets

Started by Doone. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Oct 12, 2016. 3 Replies

AN AMERICAN CREATION STORYby Akim ReinhardtThere is scientific evidence indicating that Asiatic peoples migrated…Continue

Tags: Snippets, History

Old Time Religion and Buildings

Started by Doone. Last reply by Onyango Makagutu Nov 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Tatev Monastery - Tatev, ArmeniaThe Tatev monastery once played a notable role in the advancement of medieval Armenian culture when it housed the University of Tatev in the 14th and 15th…Continue

Tags: Buildings, and, Religion, Time, Old

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE RISE OF ISLAM

Started by Doone. Last reply by Doone Jul 11, 2012. 2 Replies

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE RISE OF ISLAMTom Holland in The Guardian:Whenever modern civilisations…Continue

Tags: AND, RISE, ISLAM, EMPIRE, ROMAN

Comment Wall

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Comment by Doone on November 27, 2012 at 8:43am

The Perils Of Ancient Motherhood

Emily Wilson reviews a spate of books on motherhood, among them Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome:

Even male authors of antiquity were aware that motherhood was a very dangerous business, for women as well as for men and babies. Those who survived to adulthood must have been conscious that their mothers could have died giving birth to them; men must have been aware that fathering children on their wives could, and quite likely would, kill them. Orestes, who kills his mother in adulthood, is supposedly justified in his action, because he is avenging his father – and the Oresteia itself can be read as, among other things, an attempt to justify matricide and fatherhood (which are, revealingly, linked together). But the cultural background of the play includes the awareness that children very often "kill" their mothers, simply by being born; and husbands often "kill" their wives by making them pregnant.

Comment by Doone on November 23, 2012 at 7:42pm

The Dark History Of Cranberries

Madeleine Johnson investigates the mysterious epidemic that wiped out 90% of the Indian population around Plymouth:

The symptoms were a yellowing of the skin, pain and cramping, and profuse bleeding, especially from the nose. A recent analysis concludes the culprit was a disease called leptospirosis, caused by leptospira bacteria. Spread by rat urine.... According to the hypothesis, infected ship rats landed in the New World and excreted leptospira, infecting raccoons, mink, and muskrats whose urine further contaminated any standing fresh water.

Johnson explains why the European colonists remained largely untouched by the plague:

Wampanoag have long had seasonal feasts of thanksgiving, one of which celebrates the cranberry harvest. There is some evidence that cranberries were also used medicinally - raw, ground into a poultice, and applied to open wounds. Although modern research suggests that cranberries can be a potent antimicrobial, that might not have been enough to slay the spirochete. The more leptospira that initially invade the bloodstream (possibly via direct contact with berries), the more likely the disease is to be fatal.

Comment by Doone on November 22, 2012 at 3:43pm

THANKSGIVING GUILT TRIP: HOW WARLIKE WERE NATIVE AMERICANS BEFORE EUROPEANS ARRIVED?

John Horgan in Scientific American:

Thanks003-004-300x190The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding over recent scientific portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes. When I was in grade school, my classmates and I wore paper Indian headdresses and Pilgrim hats and reenacted the “first Thanksgiving,” in which supposedly friendly Native Americans joined Pilgrims for a fall feast of turkey, venison, squash and corn. This episode seemed to support the view—often (apparently erroneously) attributed to the 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau—of Native Americans and other pre-state people as peaceful “noble savages.”

Many prominent scientists now deride depictions of pre-state people as peaceful. In his 2011 book The Better Angels of Our Nature (which I reviewed last fall), Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker mocked the idea that “war is a recent invention, and that fighting among native peoples was ritualistic and harmless until they encountered European colonialists.” According to Pinker, pre-state societies were on average far more violent than even the most brutal modern states. Native Americans definitely waged war long before Europeans showed up. The evidence is especially strong in the American Southwest, where archaeologists have found numerous skeletons with projectile points embedded in them and other marks of violence; war seems to have surged during periods of drought. But scientists such as Pinker, Keeley and LeBlanc have replaced the myth of the noble savage with the myth of the savage savage.

More here.

Posted by Azra Raza at 07:58 AM | Permalink

Comment by Doone on November 17, 2012 at 9:10am

FROM HERODOTUS TO GLOBALISATION

201_arts_mazower

The basic intellectual problem is this: once you have defined the central issue of politics as the preservation of liberty within a political community, absolutism, fascism and religious fundamentalism can easily present themselves as phenomena of essentially negative interest. Yet fascism, for example, produced, in the writings of Carl Schmitt, a theorist of considerable power who provided a searing critique of parliamentary democracy. His definition of politics saw liberty as a distraction and revolved instead around the friend/foe distinction. One may disagree with this, but one has to take it seriously. Yet Ryan’s treatment of fascism and Nazism remains trapped within an older historiography that sees the most important thing about these movements as their irrationalism. Today most historians would regard their challenge to interwar liberalism as much more serious than this “irrationalism thesis” acknowledges. And as a result it seems downright odd to have a history of political thought that does not engage more fully with some of Schmitt’s ideas.

more from Mark Mazower at Prospect Magazine here.

Posted by Morgan Meis at 10:30 AM | Permalink

Comment by Doone on November 17, 2012 at 9:09am

THE SCIENCE OF SIZZLE

From The New York Times:

Fork“Which comes first, the stir-fry or the wok?” It may sound like a bad joke, but the answer holds the key to one of the world’s great cuisines. Bee Wilson’s supple, sometimes playful style in “Consider the Fork,” a history of the tools and techniques humans have invented to feed themselves, cleverly disguises her erudition in fields from archaeology and anthropology to food science. Only when you find yourself rattling off statistics at the dinner table will you realize how much information you’ve effortlessly absorbed. Wilson, an award-winning British food journalist and historian who contributes the “Kitchen Thinker” column to The Sunday Telegraph, is also, incidentally, the daughter of the biographer and novelist A. N. Wilson. Her fourth book (following histories of beekeeping, food scandals and the sandwich) proves she belongs in the company of Jane Grigson, one of the grandes dames of English food writing. Like Grigson’s, Wilson’s insouciant scholarship and companionable voice convince you she would be great fun to spend time with in the kitchen.

So, which does come first, the stir-fry or the wok? Wilson’s answer is, “Neither.” To solve the riddle, we have to take a step back and contemplate cooking fuel: firewood was scarce, and with a wok you could cook more quickly after chopping food into bite-size morsels with a tou, or Chinese cleaver. Chopsticks were also part of this “symbiosis.”

More here.

Posted by Azra Raza at 06:34 AM | Permalink

Comment by Davy on November 12, 2012 at 3:55pm

Here is a link that Gives an account of some of the laws from the Code of Hummurabi.

 Hummurabi Codex

Here is a link to a PDF for the Hummurabi Codex 

PDF of the Codex

Comment by Chris on November 12, 2012 at 3:32pm

Code of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis)[1] as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.[2]

Nearly one-half of the Code deals with matters of contract, establishing for example the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity and sexual behavior. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official; this provision establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently.[3] A handful of provisions address issues related to military service.

One nearly complete example of the Code survives today, on a diorite stele in the shape of a huge index finger,[4] 2.25-metre (7.4 ft) tall (see images at right). The Code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele. It is currently on display in The Louvre, with exact replicas in the Oriental Institute in the University of Chicago, the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches (Dutch: Theologische Universiteit Kampen voor de Gereformeerde Kerken) in The Netherlands and the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.

Comment by Doone on November 12, 2012 at 8:40am

Who Was The World's First Blogger?

• Sei Shōnagon, b. 966: "Her writings were eventually collected and published inThe Pillow Book (public library) in 1002. An archive of pictures and illustrations, records of interesting events in court, and daily personal thoughts, many in list-form, this was arguably the world’s first 'blog' by conceptual format and Shōnagon the world's first blogger."

• Michel de Montaigne, b. 1533: "It's been said—by Bakewell, with reservations, and others—that Montaigne was the first blogger. His favorite subject, as he often remarked, was himself ('I would rather be an expert on me than on Cicero'), and he meant to leave nothing out ('I am loath even to have thoughts which I cannot publish')."

• William Shakespeare, b. 1564: "Shakespeare writing the first blog ever created."

• Samuel Pepys, b. 1633: "When chocolate spread to London, renowned diarist Samuel Pepys (history’s first blogger) drank hot chocolate as his hangover cure after Charles II’s coronation." READ MORE

Comment by Doone on November 12, 2012 at 7:34am

Number of people who have ever been alive on Earth

Comment by Doone on September 16, 2012 at 9:19pm
 

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