Phryne: The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

bake-your-heart-out-miss-athens-4th-centuryPhryne was the daughter of Epicles from Thespiae (Boeotia), but spent most of her life in Athens. Even though we don’t know the exact dates of her birth and death, various historians estimate that she was born around 371 BC, the year Thebes razed Thespiae not long after the battle of Leuctra and expelled its inhabitants. Thanks to her extraordinary beauty, she became a model posing for various painters and sculptors, including the great Praxiteles (who was also one of her clients)….READ MORE

12 Jaw-Droppingly Evil Torture Devices Used Throughout History

f1dbfd2ce928c304ec1b91b5b5e84358Humans are incredibly creative when it comes to torture and humiliation, as surviving artifacts of ancient cruelty attest. One of the most illustrious and creative civilizations of all time, the Greeks, produced one of the most famous ancient torture devices, the brazen bull. The Egyptians were similarly adept at brutal ancient torture, and the Romans used pain during interrogation in extremely effective ways.  During medieval times, a wide range of people, from common criminals to the mentally ill, those accused of witchcraft, and political adversaries, were tortured to death, in many cases unfairly….READ MORE

25 Intriguing Facts About Hollywood History

hollywood-sign-at-night_wallpprsNot many people will disagree that much of popular culture has been influenced (and continues to be influenced) by Hollywood history and its films (in both good and bad ways). In many instances, Hollywood has educated the younger generation and retold stories in colorful cinematic fashion that were either forgotten or only discussed in university-level history or literature courses, with 300 and the Battle of Thermopylae between the Persians and the Greeks being a somewhat recent example….READ MORE

Why Are Noses Missing From So Many Egyptian Statues?

egyptian-bust-largeOne of the most common questions you will hear within art history’s circles is “Why are the noses missing from so many ancient Egyptian statues?” Is it just a coincidence, or could it possibly be a conspiracy? Several archaeologists have suggested erosion could be one of the main reasons this happens to many ancient statues. Harsh winds, shifting mud and sand dunes, the flowing of water, and thousands of years of feet and hands pitter-pattering over relatively delicate materials such as marble and stone will most likely have a pretty damaging effect….READ MORE

Neolithic Romeo And Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

mantua1For 6,000 years, two young lovers had been locked in an eternal embrace, hidden from the eyes of the world. Despite their embrace lasting six millennia, the Lovers of Valdaro only became known ten years ago, when their tomb was discovered near Mantua, in the northern region of Lombardy. Digging in the village of Valdaro, a team of archaeologists led by Elena Maria Menotti found a double burial: a young man and woman considered to be about 20 years of age, huddled close together, face to face, their arms and legs entwined, as if they were embracing….READ MORE

11 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Seinfeld

thumb-1920-678649There have been many sitcoms after Seinfeld that have tried to do something new based on a similar formula, but never managed to achieve the incredible success of that show. But what made Seinfeld such a success? Its funny characters who never got old or stale throughout the series’ almost decade-long run? Was it because the show dared to touch “sensitive topics” such as masturbation and group sex in a bold manner during a period when our society was ready to change and progress? Nobody can answer these questions with any certainty, but the facts speak for themselves: Being voted the #1 comedy in TV history, surpassing iconic American shows such as I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners….READ MORE

14 Hardcore Ancient Olympic Athletes Who Would Easily Smoke Modern Athletes

pankratiasts-fightingWe like to think we’ve made a lot of social, scientific, and technological progress throughout the last few centuries, but that’s not always the case. Many studies have shown that our ancestors from various times were smarter, more practical, and tougher than we are. For example, many contemporary historians suggest that an unarmed battle between modern soldiers and the Spartans or Vikings of the past would result in a bloody mess for today’s fighters. When it comes to sports, we also believe our athletes are faster, stronger, and have more endurance than those who came before, but we tend to forget all the things (such as performance-enhancing drugs, advanced equipment, medical advances…READ MORE