Baal Cultic Complex Discovered in Israel

This is a pretty big find, and the connection to Baal seems likely: A massive cult complex, dating back about 3,300 years, has been discovered at the site of Tel Burna in Israel. While archaeologists have not fully excavated the cult complex, they can tell it was quite large, as the courtyard alone was 52 [Read More...]

Remarkable Digital Reconstruction of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II

The Metropolitan Museum of Art created this video flythrough of the spectacular Northwest Palace of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned: 883 to 859 BC) in the city alternately known as Numrud, Kalhu, and, in the Bible, Calah. The ruins are about 20 miles south of Mosul, Iraq. The palace walls were covered n reliefs (many of them [Read More...]

Ghostly Visions in the Early Church

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The early church fathers were acquainted with ghosts and ghostly visions, as the previous entries on ghosts in Old and New Testaments make clear. Two notable examples of ghosts in the literature of the early church show how they tended to function and be regarded. It’s important at this point to note that visions of [Read More...]

Richard III Was A Heavy Drinker

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Not only do we now know that Richard III did, indeed, have a twisted spine, but a study of his remains indicates that the last years of his life showed a marked increase in consumption of wine and exotics foods such as “swan, crane, heron and egret.” The study appears in The Journal of Archaeological [Read More...]

Vox: Pope Francis Calls For New Crusade

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Max Fisher wrote the dumbest thing I’ve read in ages. Even for something appearing on Vox, it’s Epic Stupid Level 5000 Plus Bonus Troll Points. Here it is: So, Max is going with the whole “Pope Calls For New Crusade” angle. (My response to that is “If only…”) Sure, the writing is laughably bad, the [Read More...]

After 1600 Years, Monks Ejected From Mar Behnam by Islamists

The Mar Behnam Monastery (The Monastery of the Martyrs Saint Behnam and his Sister Sarah) was built in the 4th century as an act of penance by Sennacherib II. The Assyrian king had Behnam and Sarah, his son and daughter, executed for converting to Christianity, but later converted and repented. From that time until this month, the [Read More...]

How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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H/T Boydell & Brewer For those who don’t get #5.  [Read more...]

Incredibly Beautiful: The Prayer Book of Claude de France

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The Morgan Library has put up a digital facsimile of this tiny prayer book, along with an excellent illustrated lecture on its significance. The book is a companion to the Book of Hours, and is less than 3″x2.5″  in size with dazzling illuminations.  The Morgan describes this recent aquisition as a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that [Read More...]


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