Damaging a mirror was believed to invite the wrath of the gods in ancient cultures.
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In both ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, reflected images were thought to hold mysterious powers. Damaging a mirror was believed to invite the wrath of the gods.
New technology mapped the buried ancient Roman site of Falerii Novi. Now archaeologists have started targeted excavation and soil testing to reveal details of life from more than 2,000 years ago.
Sixth-century mosaic depicting Jesus before Roman governor Pontius Pilate washing his hands, at Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy.
The expression to “wash one’s hands of responsibility” comes from Christian scripture and has been part of a toxic legacy of blaming Jews for Jesus’s death.
The Christmas we celebrate today around the world, whether in northern winter or southern summer, has its roots in many cultures and traditions.
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in Oct. 12 for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Leah Millis/Pool via AP
Taking oath is an important tradition before assuming charge of a public office. It entails a commitment to the future. What is the history of oath-taking?
Apostle Paul and his followers collected aid, likely for early Christians.
Giovanni Paolo Panini /Hermitage Museum via Wikimedia Commons
In the late second century, some Christian groups in Rome began directing financial aid toward people living in another city, who were going through a crisis. That act of giving has lessons for today.
Magic was an every day part of life in the Graeco-Roman empire.
John William Waterhouse
Across the Graeco-Roman Empire, the romantically challenged turned to magic to improve their chances
Your calendar dates back to Babylonian times.
The Babylonians’ calendar was passed down from civilization to civilization.
Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch humanist and theologian.
Martin Luther is credited with initiating the split in Christianity that came to be called the Protestant Reformation. But don’t count out Erasmus, an early proponent of similarly radical ideas.
Tapping into ancient knowledge can help us feel connected to our ancestors – but that doesn’t mean we should take their advice.
Roman mosaic from the Villa del Cicerone in Pompeii.
How Romans overcame their fear of witches by finding them funny.
What was behind early depictions of hell?
Hell-themed Halloween attractions play on people’s fears. The early depictions of hell were meant to use fear as a moral guide to help others.
What happens next?
Destruction from The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole, 1836, via Wikimedia.
Once Britain slipped away from the Roman Empire in the early 5th century, signs of Roman life began to disappear.
© Museum of London
New research has rubbished perceptions of Roman Britain as a region inhabited solely by white Europeans.
Kelly Reilly as the Briton warrior Kerra in Britannia.
The new TV show Britannia dramatises the second Roman invasion of Britain. It captures the core elements of the story (despite inaccuracies) but recent archaeological finds offer thrilling insights into this time.
Wellcome Trust/Wikimedia Commons
At Ebbsfleet, in northeast Kent, archaeologists have finally uncovered the site where Julius Caesar’s fleet landed in 54BC.
Walter Dendy Sadler via Wikimedia Commons
For those wondering whether it is sinful to drink, even moderately, a scholar goes into the history of alcohol and its distillation to show how early monks and priests contributed to it.
Halloween parade in New York.
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Everything you need to know about the history of Halloween.
A window on the past: the ruins of Lindisfarne priory off the Northumberland coast.
From the fall of the Romans to the Middle Ages, Britain was more prosperous when it fostered a relationship with Europe.
When Britain went it alone.
Centuries ago Britain attempted to sever ties with the continent – and it ended in murder.