Valentine’s Day: A watered-down pagan Lupercalia

Romans didn't do festivals half-way.

Image source: Public Domain / Wikimedia
  • Modern Valentine's Day is a far more restrained version of the pagan holiday it replaced.
  • During Lupercalia, Romans got naked, drunk, and there was whipping involved.
  • Romantic cards? How about simulated penetration?
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Culture & Religion

3 pieces of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ

Was Jesus a real historical figure? Here's what we know.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Photo: Getty Images.
  • Jesus's historical existence is generally accepted among scholars.
  • The evidence for the reality of Jesus Christ includes writings by historians, artifacts and eyewitness accounts.
  • The spiritual and miraculous nature of Jesus is a different story.
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Culture & Religion

DNA analysis may have finally revealed what killed 15 million Aztecs

15 million Aztecs were probably killed by a form of salmonella the Spanish brought from Europe.

Aztec gladiators fight each other on a raised stone plinth. Image source: Rischgitz / Getty Images
  • When Europeans arrived in North America, they brought pathogens that natives were not immune to.
  • Smallpox wiped out 5-8 million Aztecs shortly after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1519.
  • But a different disease entirely is now suspected to have killed 15 million Aztecs, ending their society.
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Gulp. Is that you, Santa?

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Culture & Religion

Scientists Discover First DNA Evidence of Female Viking Warriors

A recent DNA analysis shows that a skeleton found in a famous Viking grace belonged to a female warrior.

Katheryn Winnick from History's "Vikings"

The site of Birka, a Viking-era city whose remains lie about 20 miles east of Stockholm, has long been a treasure trove for scholars and archaeologists. Buried here are more than 3,000 Viking graves, all under what was once a central outpost in a complex trading network built during the Early Middle Ages. In the 10th century, for reasons researchers don't fully understand, it was abandoned

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