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The Cloud Messenger  


Sometimes described as the Shakespeare of India, Kālidāsa mastered various literary genres in his lifetime and continued to thrive, even in Western translations, into modern times. He ... More

The Code of Manu  


The Code of Manu deals with many different features of Hindu life, such as the proper behavior of different castes and methods for ritual purification. The “Manu” referred to in the title ... More

From the Hanshu: Han Chinese Descriptions Of The Xiongnu  


The Chinese had to deal with nomadic neighbors on their northwestern frontier from an early date, and many of the patterns of that relationship were established, or at least explored, under ... More

The Gold Mines of Nubia  

Agatharcides of Cnidus

The societies and trade networks that flourished along the Red Sea (or “Erythraean Sea” as the Greeks called it) in antiquity were well documented by writers of many different cultures. ... More

Graffiti From The Walls of Pompeii  


This is a small sample of the array of painted, scratched, and scribbled graffiti archaeologists have discovered on the walls of the city of Pompeii, which was sealed in ash after the ... More

Han Shu (History Of The Former Han Dynasty)  

Ban Biao and Ban Gu

This dynastic history was a continuation of the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), originally compiled by Sima Qian (ca. 145–86 BCE), and it repeats many of the phrases and situations ... More

History of Rome  

Titus Livy

Titus Livy was born in the last century BCE (either 59 or 64 BCE) in northern Italy. Livy was a Roman patriot, and his history reflected his pride in Rome’s accomplishments. Unfortunately, ... More

Image of Draupadi and the Pandava, from the Dashavatara Temple, Deogarh, India  


This is an inscribed rendering of some of the major male and female characters of the Mahabharata. According to this legend, a king surrenders power to his blind brother and has five sons ... More

Lessons For Women (Nujie)  

Ban Zhao

Ban Zhao (45–ca. 116 CE) was by far the most educated woman of her day, and she trained many important male scholars. The Han Shu (the continuation of Sima Qian’s Shiji) was originally ... More

The Murder of the Philosopher Hypatia, Alexandria, Egypt  


Born around 360 CE and instructed by her father, Theon, a mathematician and the last librarian of the famous Library of Alexandria, Hypatia directed the Platonic school in the city, ... More