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John Wycliffe
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe (l. 1330-1384, also John Wyclif) was an English theologian, priest, and scholar, recognized as a forerunner to the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Wycliffe condemned the practices of the medieval Church, citing many of the...
The Egyptian Amulet: Pious Symbols of Spiritual Life
Articleby P. Joseph D.

The Egyptian Amulet: Pious Symbols of Spiritual Life

Material Objects & Cultures Material objects convey volumes about the people who possessed them. Cultures and societies in every generation are in part classified - either correctly or incorrectly - by the objects or symbols they...
Medieval Hygiene
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Hygiene

People in the Middle Ages have acquired something of a bad reputation when it comes to cleanliness, especially the peasantry. However, despite the general lack of running water and other modern amenities, there were common expectations of...
St. Anthony's Fire
Definitionby John Horgan

St. Anthony's Fire

St. Anthony's Fire (SAF) is an illness brought on by the ingestion of fungus-contaminated rye grain causing ergot poisoning (ergotism). The disease's common name derives from the medieval Benedictine monks dedicated to that saint who offered...
Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Persia
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Persia

A vision of the afterlife is articulated by every culture, ancient or modern, in an effort to answer the question of what happens after death. Ancient Persia had the same interest in this as any culture of the past or in the present day and...
Justinian's Plague (541-542 CE)
Articleby John Horgan

Justinian's Plague (541-542 CE)

During the reign of the emperor Justinian I (527-565 CE), one of the worst outbreaks of the plague took place, claiming the lives of millions of people. The plague arrived in Constantinople in 542 CE, almost a year after the disease first...
The Plague at Athens, 430-427 BCE
Articleby John Horgan

The Plague at Athens, 430-427 BCE

In the second year of the Peloponnesian War, 430 BCE, an outbreak of plague erupted in Athens. The illness would persist throughout scattered parts of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean until finally dying out in 426 BCE. The origin of...
The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

The Pyramid Texts: Guide to the Afterlife

The Pyramid Texts are the oldest religious writings in the world and make up the principal funerary literature of ancient Egypt. They comprise the texts which were inscribed on the sarcophogi and walls of the pyramids at Saqqara in the 5th...
Shabti Dolls: The Workforce in the Afterlife
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Shabti Dolls: The Workforce in the Afterlife

The Egyptians believed the afterlife was a mirror-image of life on earth. When a person died their individual journey did not end but was merely translated from the earthly plane to the eternal. The soul stood in judgement in the Hall of...
The After-Life In Ancient Greece
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

The After-Life In Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece the continued existence of the dead depended on their constant remembrance by the living. The after-life, for the ancient Greeks, consisted of a grey and dreary world in the time of Homer (8th century BCE) and, most famously...
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