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The stunning magic of ancient Roman nano-alchemy: a technology 1,700 years ahead of its time but completely lost in history?

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NEW!

THE LOST TECHNOLOGIES OF
LYCURGUS CUP

The Romans left us countless engineering marvels, however, it is one seemingly humble little glass cup that holds the greatest secret of all lost Roman technologies. The Lycurgus Cup is a Roman glass cup that can change color with different lighting conditions: green under natural light and red when light source is put inside. Why does this bizarre optical phenomenon stand testimony to the stunning magic of ancient Roman nano-alchemy 1,700 years ahead of its time but completely lost in history?

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SILK IN ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME

Silk is perhaps one of the most valuable luxurious commodity in the Classical World. In ancient Greece and Rome, silk was insanely expensive, exotic, and rare. Almost all of Rome's silk was imported, creating a huge trade imbalance that worried Roman scholars and government. This leaves us an impression that ancient Greece and Rome did not produce their own silk, some even claim that the ancient Mediterranean people did not know where silk came from. But is this a historical fact?

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JOSEPHUS AND THE GREAT JEWISH REVOLT

Despite being known as a historian, Josephus was once a Roman prisoner-of-war captured by Vespasian, facing the bleak prospect of torture and execution. How did his fortune take a 180 degrees turn and ended up adopting the Roman Imperial surname "Flavius"? How was he able to compose volumes of valuable first-hand eyewitness account of the Jewish War?

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EMPIRES OF IRON AND STEEL

Roman long swords (Spatha) discovered in the Nydam bog, Denmark were not just the best Roman swords discovered, but some of the finest in the entire ancient world. They are collectively called "The Nydam Swords". But how did such a huge collection of fine Roman swords ended up in Denmark, which has never been under Roman rule?

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HOT!

THE WORST PANDEMIC IN HITTITE HISTORY

Arnuwanda’s war on Egypt defeated the latter’s positions in Syria, but the Egyptian prisoners of war also brought with them a mysterious infectious disease that ravaged Hittite homeland for 20 years to come. The economic loss and loss of human lives were difficult to estimate, but must be tremendous. Could Muršili II save his country from destruction?

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EMPEROR TRAJAN AND HIS DANUBE BRIDGE

During Trajan's Dacian campaign, a Greek architect from Syria designed and constructed one of the most impressive engineering feat in the Early Empire period: the Trajan's Bridge. The Trajan's Bridge was the first permanent-structure bridge in history to surpass 1km in length and stood as a testimony of Roman engineering excellence.

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THE AGORA

Your online portal to Classical Mediterranean and Ancient Near Eastern history

From the rise of Uruk to the fall of Constantinople, from the city states of Sumer and Greece to the Great Empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians and Romans. Follow us on our journey to some of the most fascinating chapters in world history.