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National Geographic History

National Geographic History July/August 2018

See how National Geographic History magazine inflames and quenches the curiosity of history buffs and informs and entertains anyone who appreciates that the truth indeed is stranger than fiction with a digital subscription today. And that history is not just about our forebears. It’s about us. It’s about you.

United States
National Geographic Society
6 期號


1 最少
the elusive isaiah, prophet of kings

HIS ORACLES shaped Jewish national history, and his assurance that “a virgin will conceive and bear a son” is claimed by Christians as the prophetic basis for their faith. But who was Isaiah? Scholars speculate that he was probably of noble birth; his forthright advice to King Hezekiah—portrayed as flawed but righteous—suggests steeliness in a time when the Jews found themselves caught between the might of Egypt to the west and Assyria to the east. Despite his wealthy origins, Isaiah faulted the ruling class for neglecting their duties to the poor, and his vision of justice and peace resonates now as much as it must have done centuries ago: “And he shall judge among the nations . . . and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears…

1 最少
ideas and adversaries

1126 Averroës is born in Córdoba into a respected family of qadis (religious jurists) and imams of the city’s Great Mosque. 1169 Appointed qadi of Seville, Averroës will become qadi of his native Córdoba two years later. 1182 He is appointed doctor to the Almohad caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf, who values Averroës’s philosophical learning and his medical expertise, while protecting him from powerful enemies 1194-97 Following a power shift, Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur strips Averroës of all his titles to appease theologians. 1198 After heeding the caliph’s summons to travel to Marrakech in North Africa, Averroës dies.…

6 最少
averroës, the philosopher who saved aristotle

Averroës devoted three decades of his life to writing and thinking about Aristotle. Aristotle is one of the best known ancient Greek philosophers, but there was a period, after the sixth century A.D., when his works had fallen out of favor and were almost lost to time. Through his writings, one 12th-century Muslim philosopher pulled Aristotle back from the brink and put him at the center of intellectual European thought. Theologian, scholar, and physician, Ibn Rushd—commonly recognized by the Latinized version of his name, Averroës devoted three decades of his life to writing and thinking about Aristotle. As he tried to understand and explain the philosopher’s original intent, Averroës was forced to defend his beliefs in spiritually and politically turbulent times. Son of Al-Andalus As part of the westward phase of the Muslim conquest…

4 最少
the jaguar: divine feline of the americas

Throughout time, inhabitants of Mesoamerica, the geographic region comprising Mexico and Central America, all worshipped Panthera onca, the jaguar. Apex carnivores with the strongest bite of all the big cats, they once roamed from the southern United States, through Mexico and Central America, and as far south as Argentina. Stealthy hunters with camouflaging coats and eyes that can see in the dark, they easily take down prey anywhere—up in the trees, down on the ground, or even swimming in rivers. To the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica, the jaguar was more than just an animal; it was divine. Almost every ancient Mesoamerican civilization revered the jaguar in some way. The Olmec (circa 1200-400 B.C.) heavily featured jaguars in their art and religion. Sculptures of cats were popular, as were depictions of deities…

3 最少
the shower: a blast from the past

The first mechanical shower was not invented until the 18th century, but getting clean from above has a history that goes back millennia. The earliest showers were generally enjoyed by the wealthy, who could pay for servants or slaves to pour water on them. In sixth-century B.C. Babylon bathrooms were common in residences, but bathtubs were not; their absence indicates that people probably bathed with water poured from above. Bathrooms were also common in Egypt going as far back as the Middle Kingdom. Wall paintings show how the wealthy were showered by their servants with water. Excavations of wealthy homes in Thebes, El Lahun, and Amarna found stone-lined chambers equipped with sloped floors that allowed water to drain. Ancient Greek inventors created indoor showers at gymnasiums through advances in plumbing and…

1 最少
a day at the roman races

THE TYPICAL EVENTS at the Hippodrome promised nonstop spectacle and excitement for the fans of chariot racing. The number of races might range from eight to 25 in the course of a day, giving viewers the chance to see many of their favorite racers risk their lives. In the quest for victory a charioteer faced plenty of hideous fates: crashing his vehicle, becoming tangled in the reins and being throttled or maimed; or falling out and being crushed under stampeding horses’ hooves. The number of laps varied, but a seven-lap race could last as long as 15 minutes. There were several categories of race, typically broken up by the age of the driver: teenagers, charioteers in their early 20s, and very experienced pilots ages mid-20s and older. Bets were placed…