|King Jehu of Israel bows before Shalmaneser III of Assyria, 825 BC|
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Present day Iraq, known in classical antiquity as Mesopotamia, was home to the oldest civilizations in the world, with a cultural history of over 10,000 years, hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. Mesopotamia, as part of the larger Fertile Crescent, was a significant part of the Ancient Near East throughout the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
Arabs have been the majority of Iraq's population since Sassanid times. Iraq was ruled by the indigenous empires, Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and also by foreign empires; Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanian empires during the Iron Age and Classical Antiquity, before Iraq was conquered by the Muslim Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century, and became a center of the Islamic Golden Age during the medieval Abbasid Caliphate. After a series of invasions and conquest by the Mongols and Turks, Iraq fell under Ottoman rule in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Iranian Safavid and Mamluk control.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Mesopotamia: Return to Eden, full documentary, Bible, and Torah (Pentateuch), Biblical archeological findings
|The god Marduk and his dragon Mušḫuššu, from a Babylonian cylinder seal.|
The story of Eden echoes the Mesopotamian myth of a king, as a primordial man, who is placed in a divine garden to guard the tree of life. In the Hebrew Bible, Adam and Eve are depicted as walking around the Garden of Eden naked due to their innocence. Eden and its rivers may signify the real Jerusalem, the Temple of Solomon, or the Promised Land. It may also represent the divine garden on Zion, and the mountain of God, which was also Jerusalem. The imagery of the Garden, with its serpent and cherubs, has been compared to the images of the Solomonic Temple with its copper serpent, the nehushtan, and guardian cherubs.
Mesopotamian polytheism was the only religion in ancient Mesopotamia for thousands of years before entering a period of gradual decline beginning between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE. This decline happened in the face of the introduction of a distinctive native Eastern Rite (Syriac Christianity such as the Assyrian Church of the East and Syriac Orthodox Church), as well as Judaism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism, and continued for approximately three to four centuries, until most of the original religious traditions of the area died out, with the final traces existing among some remote Assyrian communities until the 10th century CE.
As with most dead religions, many aspects of the common practices and intricacies of the doctrine have been lost and forgotten over time. Fortunately, much of the information and knowledge has survived, and great work has been done by historians and scientists, with the help of religious scholars and translators, to re-construct a working knowledge of the religious history, customs, and the role these beliefs played in everyday life in Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia during this time. Mesopotamian religion is thought to have been a major influence on subsequent religions throughout the world, including Canaanite, Aramean, ancient Greek, and Phoenician religions, and also monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Mandeanism and Islam.
It is known that the god Ashur, among others, was still worshipped in Assyria as late as the 4th century CE. Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic, worshipping over 2,100 different deities, many of which were associated with a specific city or state within Mesopotamia such as Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Assur, Nineveh, Ur, Uruk, Mari and Babylon. Some of the most significant of these deities were Anu, Ea, Enlil, Ishtar (Astarte), Ashur, Shamash, Shulmanu, Tammuz, Adad/Hadad, Sin (Nanna), Kur, Dagan, Ninurta, Nisroch, Nergal, Tiamat, Bel and Marduk.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
The Mound Builders: The First American Civilization built by Native Americans. Full documentary: the Mound Builders
|Monks Mound, built c. 950-1100 CE and located at the Cahokia Mounds UNESCO World Heritage Site near Collinsville, Illinois, is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica.|
The varying cultures collectively called Mound Builders were inhabitants of North America who, during a 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for religious and ceremonial, burial, and elite residential purposes. These included the Pre-Columbian cultures of the Archaic period; Woodland period (Adena and Hopewell cultures); and Mississippian period; dating from roughly 3400 BCE to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters. Beginning with the construction of Watson Brake about 3400 BCE in present-day Louisiana, nomadic indigenous peoples started building earthwork mounds in North America nearly 1,000 years before the pyramids were constructed in Egypt.
Since the 19th century, the prevailing scholarly consensus has been that the mounds were constructed by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers made contact with natives living in a number of later Mississippian cities, described their cultures, and left artifacts. By the time of United States westward expansion two hundred years later, Native Americans were generally not knowledgeable about the civilizations that produced the mounds. Research and study of these cultures and peoples has been based mostly on archaeology and anthropology.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
The Real Story of Christmas and Christmas Traditions, Full Documentary.
Bruegel the Elder, 1565 Oil on wood panel, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
The Hunters in the Snow (Dutch: Jagers in de Sneeuw), also known as The Return of the Hunters.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
|Mask reliquary of Charlemagne, located at Cathedral Treasury in Aachen|
Charlemagne (2 April 742/747/748 – 28 January 814), also known as Charles the Great (Latin: Carolus or Karolus Magnus, French: Charles Le Grand or Charlemagne, German: Karl der Große, Italian: Carlo Magno or Carlomagno) or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of Italy from 774, and from 800 the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.
The oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, Charlemagne became king in 768 following the death of his father. He was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Charlemagne continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "emperor" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter's Basilica.
Called the "Father of Europe" (pater Europae), Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural and intellectual activity within the Catholic Church. Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire.
Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for just over thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in what is today Germany. His son Louis the Pious succeeded him.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Islam: Empire of Faith. Prophet Muhammad and rise of Islam and the Ottoman Empire (Full Documentary)
|Kaaba at night. The Kaaba, in Mecca, Hejaz region, today's Saudi Arabia, is the center of Islam. Muslims from all over the world gather there to pray in unity.|
Below is the full documentary. Episode one is about the Rasool Muhammad and the rise of Islam after its early turbulent history. Episode two relates Awakening of the world under Islam - the advancements and discoveries credited to Islam as a system that ran society. The third and last episode narrates the feats of the Ottomans and the Ottoman empire.
Friday, December 19, 2014
|Emblem of North Korea.|
North Korea , officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK: 조선민주주의인민공화국; Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from Goryeo (or Koryo), a name used by ancient and medieval kingdoms. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang.
Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. In 1945, when Japan was defeated in World War II, Korea was divided into two occupied zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south by the United States. Negotiations on unification failed, and in 1948 two separate governments were formed: the Democratic PeopleNorth Korea (About this sound listen), officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK; Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선민주주의인민공화국; Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The name Korea is derived from Goryeo (or Koryo), a name used by ancient and medieval kingdoms. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang. North Korea shares a land border with China to the north and north-west, along the Amnok (Yalu) and Tumen rivers. A small section of the Tumen River also forms North Korea's short border with Russia to the northeast. The Korean Demilitarized Zone marks the boundary between North Korea and South Korea. The legitimacy of this border is not accepted by either side, as both states claim to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula.
Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. In 1945, when Japan was defeated in World War II, Korea was divided into two occupied zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south by the United States. Negotiations on unification failed, and in 1948 two separate governments were formed: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the Republic of Korea in the south. The conflicting claims of sovereignty led to the Korean War in 1950. An armistice in 1953 committed both to a cease-fire, but the two countries remain officially at war because a formal peace treaty was never signed. Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991.
The DPRK holds elections and describes itself as a self-reliant socialist state, but it is widely considered a dictatorship and has been described as totalitarian and Stalinist with an elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family. Human rights violations in North Korea are in a category of their own with no parallel in the contemporary world as assessed by international human rights organizations. The Workers' Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be a member.
Over time North Korea has gradually distanced itself from the world Communist movement. Juche, an ideology of self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution as a "creative application of Marxism–Leninism" in 1972. In 2009, the constitution was amended again, quietly removing the brief references to communism (Chosŏn'gŭl: 공산주의).
DPRK: The Land Of Whispers (North Korea Travel Documentary) (2013)