Tag Archive | ancient history

Topics of Discussion: Adding the Legendary Women of World History to Your Lesson Plan

Can you believe it’s been SIX YEARS since the start of the Legendary Women of World History series first went live?  Designed to improve history literacy towards women’s accomplishments, the series has grown to ten biographies with an eleventh biography outside the series in the form of Godiva Award winning “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu.”

Each of these books are perfect for classroom use, continuing education (both within and outside a university setting), home schooling, and summer reading, in addition to simply great books to read because you are interested in learning about the specific biography subject.

With lesson planning often being topical in nature, it can be hard from reading the biography book description to know which books fit best with which units.  Here then is a topical breakdown of all eleven books (plus American Poverty which is classified as American History by Audible) to guide your lesson planning.  Though these lists are extensive, they are by no means completely comprehensive:

General Eras

Ancient History:  Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh; Boudicca, Britain’s Queen of the Iceni; Hypatia of Alexandria

Medieval History: Empress Wu Zetian; Margaret of Wessex: Mother, Saint, and Queen of Scots; Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, the Warrior Princess of Deheubarth; Empress Matilda of England

Renaissance Europe: Catherine de Valois: French Princess, Tudor Matriarch; Mary Queen of the Scots: the Forgotten Reign; Queen Elizabeth Tudor: Journey to Gloriana

Modern History: His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu; American Poverty

Topics by Book

America Poverty Audio cover 72 ppi

American Poverty: American History; Occupy Wall Street; economics; American culture; 21st century.

His Red Eminence, Armand – Jean du Plessis de Richelieu: modern history; statesmen; French history; Louis XIII; Marie de Medici; Alexandre Dumas; “The Three Musketeers”; Bourbon dynasty; 17th century Europe.

Boudicca, Britain’s Queen of the Iceni: Roman Empire; Roman Britain; Celtic Britain; national heroines, warrior queens; Colchester; Londonium; 1st century Europe.

Catherine de Valois: French Princess, Tudor Matriarch: Henry V of England; Hundred Years War; War of the Roses; House Valois; French history; Battle of Agincourt; Shakespeare; Welsh history; matriarchs; 15th century Europe.

Mary Queen of the Scots

Queen Mary Stuart: the Forgotten Reign: Scottish history; Scottish Reformation; Protestant Reformation; Stewart dynasty; Stuart dynasty; Marie de Guise; Edinburgh; Earl of Moray; James Stewart; John Knox; Queen Elizabeth Tudor; House Valois; Auld Alliance; King James VI/I; French dances; French music; bransles; 16th century Europe.

Queen Elizabeth Tudor

Queen Elizabeth Tudor: the Forgotten Reign: English history; Tudor dynasty; Tudor England; English country dancing; Queen Mary Stuart; Robert Dudley; Princess Elizabeth; Queen Mary Tudor; King Edward VI of England; Tower of London; Tide Letter; second person; 16th century Europe.

 

Empress Wu Zetian audio

Empress Wu Zetian: Chinese history; Tang dynasty;  female emperors; concubines; cai ren; Chinese empresses; Li Xian; Li Taizong; Rui zong emperor; Luoyang; Chang An; education for women; women intellectuals; women authors; sovereign queens; Confucianism; 7th century China.

 

f559b-gwenllian2bferch2bgruffydd2bweb

Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd: the Warrior Princess of Deheubarth: Welsh history; medieval Wales; Gwynedd; Powys; Ceredigion; Welsh maid Marion; national heroines; Nest ferch Rhys; Henry Fitzhenry; Dinefwr; Pembrokeshire; Saint David’s Day; Aberffraw; Anglesey; north Wales; King Henry I of England; Maurice de Londres; Norman Conquest; Welsh common law; Norman Conquest of Wales; matriarchs; 12th century Europe.

empress-matilda-of-england-web

Empress Matilda of England: Angevin dynasty; medieval England; 12th century England; Salian dynasty; Empire of the Romans; Kaiser Heinrich V; Kaiserin Matilda; imperatrix; Plantagenet dynasty; The Anarchy; Stephen de Blois; civil war; King Henry I of England; King Henry II of England; Welsh common law; royal miscarriage; matriarchs; Thomas Becket; Witan; Margaret of Wessex; Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd; 12th century Europe.

Hypatia of Alexandria paperback cs

Hypatia of Alexandria: Egypt; Alexandria; late Roman Empire; Eastern Roman Empire; librarians; mathematicians; astronomers; Greek astronomy; Christianity; early Church history; Council of Nicaea; Emperor Constantine; Alexandrine Jewry; Jewish religion; Jewish culture; Passover; Hanukkah; Saturnalia; Library at Alexandria; Serapeum; Caesarium; pagan; Greek philosophy; Neo-Platonism; Athens; education for women; women intellectuals; patriarch of Alexandria; Synesius of Cyrene; Orestes; Roman government; 5th century.

Cleopatra VII web

Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh: Roman Republic; Gaius Julius Caesar; Ptolemaic dynasty; civil war; Alexandria; Egypt; Caesar Augustus; Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus; Marcus Antonius; Roman women; education for women; women intellectuals; Greek women; women authors; sovereign queens; Tarsus; Battle of Actium; Rome; ancient Rome; ancient Alexandria.

Margaret of Wessex - English

Margaret of Wessex: Norman Conquest; 1066; Battle of Hastings; Battle of Stamford Bridge; Northumbria; House Wessex; Empress Matilda of England; Edith Matilda of Scotland; Edward the Confessor; Harold Godwinson; William the Conqueror; Malcolm III Canmore; Máel Coluim mac Donnchadh Ceann Mhor; Scottish clans; Dunkeld dynasty; Scottish history; Alba; medieval Scotland; Norwegian; Danish; Norman; viking; York; Witan; Jorvik; Dunfermline; Edinburgh; Yorkminster; Westminster; London; Harrying of the North; Winchester; Anglo-Saxon; England; Principality of Hungary; matriarchs; 11th century Europe.

 

Introducing History Profiles

I am pleased to announce a new column is coming to this blog:  history profiles.

On a regular basis you will be treated to a short (200-500 word) profile exploring the life of a single person from history — female or male — from across world history.

So who would you like to see me profile?  Leave your suggests in the comment box below and I will endeavour to fulfill your request and answer whatever questions I am able to.

Character Profile: Queen Boudicca

Today’s historical person is Boudicca:  Queen of the Iceni.

Boudicca:  Britain's Queen of the Iceni

Series Name:  The Legendary Women of World History

Character name: Boudicca

Date of Birth: Circa 30 CE

Place of Birth: Gaul — Aedui Tribe

Reigned: 1st century of the common era

Died: 61 CE

Book appearing in: Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni in kindle and audio edition narrated by Richard Mann

Profile:   Born in slavery among the Aedui in Gaul just decades after Julius Caesar conquered her people, Boudicca escaped to Britannia in pursuit of freedom.  Finding true love in King Prasutagus of the Iceni, she co-ruled the religiously devout Iceni until Roman atrocities across Britannia forced her into one of the most famous confrontations in ancient history.

Ideal actress to play in a film adaptation: Amy Adams would make a powerful Boudicca.

 

Connect with author-historian Laurel A. Rockefeller on twitter.

Not so innocent: Israel, genocide, and the myth of the “chosen people”

Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska and attending Temple Baptist Church, I grew up with the same beliefs that many Evangelical Christians hold towards Israel:  Israel is the promised land of the descendants of Abraham.  When I read in the books of Joshua and Judges about the legendary conquest of Palestine by the Hebrews after their 40 years wandering in the wilderness, no one seemed to even notice that these military campaigns of conquest amounted to GENOCIDE where civilians, including and especially women and children, were put to the sword so the Hebrews could come in and take their land.  This was GOD’S WILL and therefore it was okay.  If God wants it, the killing is moral and just, right?

In my 20 years in the Church, no one ever questioned this doctrine.  No one ever said “hey, wait, these are war crimes.”  Instead since it was divinely mandated, it must be right — and historically true, of course.

This sentiment is echoed in temples, both reform and orthodox, especially at Hanukkah and Passover.  Israel belongs to the Jews as a right forged in an ancient covenant with God.  Jews are the Chosen People.

Being the “Chosen People” of God carries a lot of weight.  Being chosen means you are granted a measure of special grace from God, the right to do certain things without consequences.  You can kill as you please because God wants you to.

Now before anyone gets in a huff and calls me anti-Jewish, let me be very clear:  I love Jewish culture, food, tradition, and especially my many Jewish friends and acquaintances.  I lived for over four years in a orthodox Jewish neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York as not only a gentile, but one of the Old Religion of Britain and Ireland who strives to honour and embrace the British-Irish part of my heritage in my day-t0-day life.

As a historian who often favours being the outsider because of the objectivity this offers me for learning and study, I was able to listen, learn, and observe without the social-psychological chains that often blurs most people’s perspective.  I have no agenda except discovering the truth.  This is why my writing is so powerful and my books are to be believed.  I’m not a slick politician or sales person trying to sell something to you; just an honest researcher looking for truth.

The Bible of course covers ancient history — legendary or literal is a matter of debate.  Yet in Christian churches and in many Jewish congregations as well this doctrine that Israel is the God-given promised land of the Hebrews/Jews persists.

This Zionist idea that Israel rightfully belongs to Jews transcends denominational differences and enters the realm of politics.  Israel has certain rights to behave in whatever is perceived as its own interests.  To gainsay Israel’s decisions is to be anti-Jewish.  I am here to say that nothing could be further from the truth.

Last week I found the above video in a facebook feed exploring the modern state of Israel’s history.  In it and you discover that Israel is hardly this innocent and moral God-blessed nation who can do no wrong.  Far from it.  Objectively speaking, the Israelis are guilty of genocide and war crimes such as the West typically condemns when done by any other nation — except Israel.

Indeed anyone from any country who even remotely questions what Israel does is quickly labelled as anti-Jewish, especially politicians.  It would seem that to be pro-Jewish means not noticing Israel’s faults — or its war crimes.

 

I stand here asking you to now question that dogma.  Take a step back towards objectivity. When Iraqis do this to its peoples, when Syrians do this in its civil war, when Russia treats a minority group this way, DO WE NOT CALL THEM WAR CRIMES and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

 

Perhaps it is time to abolish this whole “chosen people” propaganda and instead look at all human beings as humans.  No one is expendable.  Life is life!  Every single human in this world deserves a decent and safe home, clean and nourishing food and water, the best possible education, decent clothing, safety from harm, and the chance to live a satisfying life.  Anyone who steals any of these things from anyone else needs to be sanctioned and dealt with.  Everyone has the right to live.  Everyone.