The earliest warships, and their historical context

I’ve been reading a really interesting book recently, called The Sea and Civilization, by Lincoln Paine. One of the things that I have learnt in reading it is that the Phoenicians were the first to use specialist warships. This is, I suppose, hardly surprising, given their reputation as the leading merchants and seafarers of the […]

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Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!

My reading of world history tells me that the saying, “Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!”, can be as true for nations as it is for individuals. Britain against France The British comprehensively defeated the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). In US history this is known as the […]

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Whatever happened to the Ancient Mesopotamians?

By time of fall of the Babylonian empire to the Persians, in 539 BC, the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia had lasted for some three thousand years. It can be divided into different periods, the major ones being the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian. Some historians view these as distinct civilizations, but there was such […]

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One civilization, or many?

Now here’s a question – what exactly is a civilization? This is a harder question than you might think, and I’ve tackled it before, both in a blog post and an encyclopedia article. However, my answers there do not take into account a further question I sometimes mull. Look at this map of Europe in […]

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