Tag Archives: bce


Makeup: From Kohl to Cosmeceuticals

Cosmetics have been used for millennia to simulate or enhance the appearance of youthfulness, health, and beauty—eye makeup and scented creams were used by the ancient Egyptians as early as the 4th millennium BCE—but they have not always been viewed favorably. In the 19th century, for example, Queen Victoria publicly declared the use of makeup by anyone other than actors to be improper and vulgar. Today, however, the cosmetics industry is thriving. How much is spent on cosmetics each year? More…Discuss

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Japan National Foundation Day (660 BCE)

The Japanese holiday known as Kenkoku Kinen-no-Hi, or National Foundation Day, commemorates the accession to the throne of Jimmu Tenno, the legendary first human emperor of Japan—believed to be a direct descendant of the gods—and founder of the imperial dynasty. In 1872, when the holiday was originally proclaimed, it was called Empire Day. It only came to be known as National Foundation Day when it was brought back in 1966 after having been abandoned for about two decades for what reason? More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: NATALIE CLIFFORD BARNEY (1876)

Natalie Clifford Barney (1876)

Though she was a writer for all of her adult life, Barney is not widely known today for her poetry, plays, novels, or epigrams. Instead, she is remembered for her strong support of female writers and for her openness about her homosexuality. For more than 60 years, she hosted an international salon at her Paris home. The well-attended gatherings frequently featured women’s works. She also wrote proudly about her love of women in a way that few, if any, had since what 6th-century BCE Greek poet?More…


This Day in the Yesteryear: THE AGE OF KALI YUGA BEGINS (3102 BCE)

The Age of Kali Yuga Begins (3102 BCE)

In Hindu scripture, the age of Kali Yuga is the last of the four cyclic stages of the world and is currently ongoing. It is thought to have begun on the same day that Krishna left the Earth and is said to be marked by greed and murder. The scriptures predict that during Kali Yuga, unreasonable rulers will impose burdensome taxes and people will migrate to wheat-producing countries, become addicted to alcohol, and exhibit flexible morals. How long is the age expected to last? More…Discuss



The Panchatantra is a collection of fables that are among the most widely-known animal stories in the world. The original Sanskrit work, now lost, may have been written down in India as early as 100 BCE. It then spread throughout the ancient world. A textbook created for instructing the three sons of a king, it contains morals that glorify shrewdness over altruism. One story concerns a war between crows and owls. When a crow defects to join the owls and is accepted by them, what happens? More… Discuss


The Hittites

The Hittites were an ancient Indo-European people who flourished from 1600 to 1200 BCE in what is today Turkey and Syria. They either displaced or absorbed the previous inhabitants of the region, the Hattians, whose culture had a strong influence on that of the Hittites. For several hundred years, the Hittite Empire was the chief cultural and political force in West Asia. The loose confederation of the empire was eventually broken up by invaders, and its remnants were conquered by whom? More… Discuss

‘Hattusa’ (URU”Ḫa-at-tu-ša” ; ”Ḫattuša”) was the capital of the Hittite Empire. The site is located near the modern-day town and district center of Boğazkale (), formerly named Boğazköy, in Çorum Province in north-east Central Anatolia, Turkey, at a distance of 90 km from the province seat of Çorum. The region is set in a loop of the Kızıl River (”Marashantiya” in Hittite sources and Halys in Classical Antiquity) in central Anatolia, about 200 km (125 miles) east of Ankara.

Hattusa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986.



English: Battle of Gaugamela (Arbela)

English: Battle of Gaugamela (Arbela) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A caltrop is a metal device with four projecting spikes arranged so that when any three spikes are on the ground, the fourth points upward. It can be used to damage feet, hooves, and—more commonly nowadays—tires. The earliest recorded use of caltrops was in the 331 BCE Battle of Gaugamela. Even in the 20th century, when mechanized warfare became the norm and horses were replaced with wheeled vehicles, caltrops retained their usefulness on the battlefield. How have they been used outside of war? More… Discuss


Mayan Long Count Calendar Begins (3114 BCE)

The Long Count is one of the various ancient Mayan calendars that maintained complicated, cyclical measurements of time. It was intended to provide an accurate record of historical events and counts the days elapsed from a fixed starting point—calculated as August 11, 3114 BCE, the date of creation according to the Maya. Some believe that the calendar predicts the world’s end on December 21, 2012, but scholars have widely rejected this claim. What was the significance of that date to the Maya? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Alexander The Great (356BCE)

Alexander the Great (356 BCE)

The son of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle and became king at 20. One of the greatest generals in ancient history, he conquered much of Greece and Persia before his troops mutinied at the prospect of having to sack India as well. At the age of 33, he died of a fever on his way home after more than a decade of conquest. His empire was the greatest that had existed until that time and spread Hellenism far and wide. What city did Alexander name after his horse? More… Discuss



Nefertari was the favorite wife of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, who reigned for 67 years in the 13th century BCE. Though little is known about Nefertari’s origins, it is assumed she was of noble descent. As the mother of Ramesses’ heir, she most likely enjoyed a high status. Ramesses honored her with a temple of her own next to his and built her the largest, most spectacular tomb in the Valley of the Queens. She is depicted in numerous paintings and statues, often playing what instrument? More… Discuss