Who were the most legendary ancient rulers of all time?

From Ramses II to Alexander the Great, these leaders helped shaped the world we know today.

Karl Oderich, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • We often dismiss ancient history and the people in it as too long past to be noteworthy.
  • Some early rulers were so iconic that their names and works passed into legend and influenced others for centuries.
  • Every person on this list contributed to the world you live in today.
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A brand-new blue may be the most eye-popping blue yet

Meet a spectacular new blue—the first inorganic new blue in some time.

Credit: Oregon State University
  • Combine yttrium, indium, and manganese, then heat and serve.
  • The new blue was synthesized by chemists at Oregon State University.
  • YInMn Blue is the latest character in the weird history of the color blue.
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    Researchers use CT scans to digitally peek at ancient Egyptian mummies

    All the fun of opening up a mummy, without the fear of unleashing a plague.

    Zesch et al., PLOS One, 2020
    • Three long dead Egyptians recently had their CT images taken.
    • The scans revealed what was, and was not, done during their mummification.
    • The finds shed more light on how the Egyptians were inspired by the Greeks and Romans.
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    Back to back excavations unearth two dozen Egyptian mummies

    Well preserved coffins hint towards more discoveries in a famed necropolis.

    • Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered more than two dozen sarcophagi in the last month.
    • Experts predict more discoveries in the coming weeks.
    • Their discovery is another credit to Saqqara, the necropolis of the old capital of Memphis.
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    The pagan origins of three Catholic practices

    A few traditions in the Roman Catholic Church can be traced back to pagan cults, rites, and deities.

    Photo by Josh Applegate / Unsplash
    • The Catholic rite of Holy Communion parallels pre-Christian Greco-Roman and Egyptian rituals that involved eating the body and blood of a god.
    • A number of Catholic holidays and myths, such as Christmas, Easter, and Mardi Gras, graph onto the timeline of pre-Christian fertility festivals.
    • The Catholic practice of praying to saints has been called "de-facto idolatry" and even a relic of goddess worship.
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