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Roman Religion
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Roman Religion

In many societies, ancient and modern, religion has performed a major role in their development, and the Roman Empire was no different. From the beginning Roman religion was polytheistic. From an initial array of gods and spirits, Rome added...
Ancient Persia
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persia

Persia (roughly modern-day Iran) is among the oldest inhabited regions in the world. Archaeological sites in the country have established human habitation dating back 100,000 years to the Paleolithic Age with semi-permanent settlements (most...
Pax Romana
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Pax Romana

The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) was a period of relative peace and stability across the Roman Empire which lasted for over 200 years, beginning with the reign of Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE). The aim of Augustus and his successors was to guarantee...
Peloponnesian War
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies came in two stages: from c. 460 to 446 and from 431 to 404 BCE. With battles at home and abroad, the long and complex conflict was damaging to both sides. Sparta...
Shinto
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Shinto

Shinto, meaning 'way of the gods,' is the oldest religion in Japan. The faith has neither a founder or prophets and there is no major text which outlines its principal beliefs. The resulting flexibility in definition may well be one of the...
Attila the Hun
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Attila the Hun

Attila the Hun (r. 434-453 CE) was the leader of the ancient nomadic people known as the Huns and ruler of the Hunnic Empire, which he established. His name means "Little Father" and, according to some historians, may not have been...
Wu Zetian
Definitionby Emily Mark

Wu Zetian

Empress Wu Zetian (Empress Consort Wu, Wu Hou, Wu Mei Niang, Mei-Niang, and Wu Zhao, l. 624-705 CE, r. 690-704 CE) was the only female emperor of Imperial China. She reigned during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and was one of the most effective...
Protestant Reformation
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation (1517-1648) refers to the widespread religious, cultural, and social upheaval of 16th-century Europe that broke the hold of the medieval Church, allowing for the development of personal interpretations of the Christian...
Herodotus
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Herodotus

Herodotus (c. 484 – 425/413 BCE) was a Greek writer who invented the field of study known today as `history'. He was called `The Father of History' by the Roman writer and orator Cicero for his famous work The Histories but has also been...
Fourth Crusade
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204 CE) was called by Pope Innocent III (r. 1198-1216 CE) to retake Jerusalem from its current Muslim overlords. However, in a bizarre combination of cock-ups, financial constraints, and Venetian trading ambitions...
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