Category Cultural Issues

The Paradise Book

Bologna is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy which, as with much of Italy, is full of points of historical interest. For better or worse the city is often overlooked by the millions of tourists that flock to Italy every year, however, this should not detract from Bologna’s importance. The city is home […]

Egill’s Saga: A Viking’s Legend

The Icelandic Sagas are some of the greatest works of literature ever devised. They tell the stories of the first Viking settlers on Iceland, based on real people, and written in the manner of Lord of the Rings (Tolkien in fact used the sagas as inspiration for his writings). One of my favorite of the […]

The Last Order of the First Crusade

The Knights of the Order of Saint John, also known as the Knights Hospitaller or the Knights of Malta (officially known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta) are one of the oldest institutions in the world. This Order was born out of a sense of […]

The perplexing world of Archaeological Artifacts: visiting Neanderthals and Vikings

Our knowledge of the past comes from 2 main resources: archaeology and historical documents (including oral records). However, neither gives us absolutes.  Historical documents comes from the hands of people, some of whom may have a bias about what they are writing upon.  If they are sincere and trying their best to be accurate and […]

The Cults of Isis and the Virgin Mary

In Roman Catholicism the veneration of the Virgin Mary has become a central tenet of the faith. She is honoured as the Theotokos, the mother of God and the ultimate symbol of motherly devotion. However, this cult of the Virgin has its roots in a tradition far older than Christianity. The veneration of this motherly figure […]

Kissing the bride and the cult of Adonis

The ancient mystery cult of Adonis, was prevalent in the region of Byblos and the surrounding mountainous area of North Lebanon. So popular was the myth of Adonis, that the Greeks fully endorsed it and t became almost more synonymous with ancient Greece than its origins which were very much in Lebanon. Adonis was the […]

The Lost Tribes, Nestorians and Christ in Japan.

In 2005 Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar recognized the Kuki-Mizo, a Tibeto-Burmese people in northern India, as one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. Since then there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the issuing of visas by Israel to these people but on Christmas eve 2012 the Israeli government decided to let them emigrate. These […]

The Mausoleum of China’s First Emperor

In 1974 some farmers from Xi’an (in Shaanxi province, China) uncovered ancient statues of soldiers made out of terracotta. Each soldier was individual in height and facial features suggesting they were modeled on real people and not just made from a caste. Archaeologists would go on to discover that buried in the same area was a terracotta replica of an […]

Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius

Catharism, as talked about in previous articles (See The Last Cathar and The Real Cup of Christ?), was a Gnostic Christian sect which flourished in southern France until the 14th century when the last Cathar Parfait was executed. It has been theorised that this sect came to France by way of trade with the Byzantine Empire […]

The Kabbalist who tried to convert the Pope

Before the end of the Reconquista and the expulsion of the Sephardi Jews along with the Muslims, Spain had been a center of the Jewish world. The Jewish community had given Spain some of the best doctors, theologians, adventurers and administrators in the world. A surprisingly large amount of these came from the Jewish enclave in Tudela, in […]