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Ancient history

  • Thirteen years after the assassination of Julius Caesar, the Battle of Actium put an end to a long period of internal strife in the Roman Republic. It involved some of the most famous leaders in history: Octavius, who went on to become the first Roman emperor, Mark Antony, a firm supporter of Julius Caesar, and his lover Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. The...
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  • The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC brought the first Greco-Persian War to a close and put a stop to the Persian king Darius I's attempt to extend his hegemony to the Aegean Sea and mainland Greece. Thanks to the courage and fighting skills of the Greek hoplites, who risked their lives to defend their land and maintain their independence, the Persian...
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  • The Battle of Thermopylae pitted the Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against the mighty Persian Empire under Xerxes I as Xerxes' army attempted to invade mainland Greece. Although the battle ended in victory for the Persians, the heroic resistance of Leonidas' 300 Spartans as they fought to the death to defend their land captured the European imagination and...
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  • In 79 AD, the Italian city of Pompeii was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This remains one of the largest volcanic eruptions in European history, and claimed between 10 000 and 20 000 victims. However, this tragedy has also provided archaeologists and researchers with an incredibly valuable historical source: the ash which covered Pompeii preserved organic matter that...
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  • The Trojan War was a legendary period of fighting which took place in Greece and Asia Minor. It was the largest military campaign ever led by the Greeks against Troy, and began after the Queen of Sparta, Helen, was kidnapped by Paris, the son of the King of Troy. This event has been told through many different works of Greek...
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