January 24, 2013

20 - King Solomon

" 'Your servant is in the midst of your chosen people, a great many too numerous to count. Give me a discerning heart to judge your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern your great people?'
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this and said unto him,
'Since you have asked for wisdom and not for long life or wealth or for the death your enemies I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart such as no one else has had or ever will!'"
1 Kings 3:6-12
It's a freakin King Solomon teddy bear! Look at his adorable scales!  It's like he's judging
whether to hug you or snuggle you!
(source: http://www.sunny-bears.com/inv/hermann+spielwaren/king-solomon-teddy-bear-19514-4.php)

Did you know that Solomon, known as Suleiman in the Quran, had a giant flying carpet, could communicate with animals, and knew how to control the djinn to do his bidding? THAT IS SO COOL. And so I present to you two Solomons. One proposes to chop babies in half to settle small court claims, the other flies around the Middle East essentially accompanied by genies. How many other world leaders can claim to be that awesome?

None. None leaders.

MP3 Download

Music Credits
Michael Levy - Shalom Chavarim


The many paintings of The Judgment of Solomon
Valentin de Boulogne
Rubens (love the anachronistic dress!)
Giorgione (holding court outside? eh, whatever)

The complete Kebra Nagast - Amazing!!
An incredible depiction of the inner sanctum of Solomon's temple - note they didn't include the purple veil though.
Solomon's temple from the side
3D viewpoint complete with surrounding wall and courtyard
Another viewpoint of the temple
I have to say, I have NO idea what any of this means...but it was so interesting to me that I had to include it.
Evidence of Solomon's wall?
Solomon's Throne

The Queen of Sheba
Surprised to see a white Queen of Sheba? Curious as to why artists throughout the ages would make an Ethiopian queen pretty darn pale? Don't read too much into it, anachronism is fairly rampant in early art. There's no malicious intentions here, just a very narrow world view.
Without knowing these two are Solomon and the Queen, one could be forgiven for assuming they're some English lord and lady. Again, in 1500 Strasbourg, Germany, I don't think they were deliberately imposing racism into their works. These people barely knew the value of soap, let alone the importance of ethnographic sensitivities.
Here we go! From an Ethiopian fresco, the Queen rides off with what is assumed to be St. George behind her. Note the clear Ethiopian/Southwest Arabian features. If you want to know what she probably looked like, here she is in all her stately beauty. Stunning!

January 21, 2013

TPHOOW and Spreadshirt.com team up to keep you clothed!

By now, you've probably been listening to the podcast and wondering, "why don't I own any officially licensed merchandise from my favorite history podcast, The Podcast History of Our World?"

I know. I'm sure everyone else has been asking that question too. Well worry no more dear listener! Because the TPHOOW store is live!  http://podcasthistoryofourworld.spreadshirt.com/ is the official shopping site where you can find shirts, hoodies, mugs, and more! Spreadshirt.com is the internet's best shopping experience for individual designers looking for a no-hassle way to reach their audience. I had a few options on where to set up shop, but ultimately this was the best way to do it, and I couldn't be more satisfied. They take care of shipping, returns, and payments, and I take care of the creative side.

If the store proves to be successful, you can be sure that I'll add new styles in the future, but right now I've got two designs for your shopping pleasure. The first, of course, is our beloved logo, touched up and smoothed so that it looks oh so nice on a shirt. Perfect for showing the world your favorite podcast!

The other design, by popular demand, is everyone's favorite Sumerian demigod - Gilgamesh! Good friend of the show Mady G. has once again created artwork that captures the essence of this podcast. Decked out in his majestic crown and mighty beard, Gilgamesh's visage is sure to protect you from any ferocious monster or amorous goddess!

By purchasing from the store you are supporting just one person - me! I don't have ads on the site, I don't use sponsors in the podcast, I don't even rely on donations! I do this solely because I have a deep passion for history and love creating this show. So if you like what I'm doing and are need of a new wardrobe, please consider visiting my store! One more time it's: http://podcasthistoryofourworld.spreadshirt.com/

(And Episode 20 will hopefully be out by the end of this week!)

January 19, 2013

Ancient civilization Facebook poll!

There's a poll up on the Facebook page about what ancient civilization you're most excited to learn about! Hopefully I included a bunch that I know we'll get to, but there's always the broad "others" category. If there's a group you reeeeally want to learn about, let me know! I'll see if I can work it into the narrative!

Come on over and check it out!


January 15, 2013

19 - King David

"David sang, 'The Lord is my rock, my fortress in whom I take refuge. I called to him and I was saved from my enemies. Waves of death engulfed me, rivers of destruction assailed me, the ropes of Sheol entangled me, (and) the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord and from his temple he heard my cry.'"
-2 Samuel 22:1-7
Who needs armor in battle when you've got a fancy new hat!
(source: Donatello's David)

David is the second of the Israelite kings and aside from an overly active libido, he's a LOT more stable than Saul, no offense big guy. Actually all things considered, David seems like a really fun guy to hang out with! Dancing, singing, drinking, he's the original party animal! It's a shame that so much stuff happens to him but such is the price famous historical people pay for being famous.

MP3 Download

Music Credits
Michael Levy - Hava Nagila

The Kingdom of Israel under David

January 12, 2013


Oh! I'm sorry! I thought you were circus midgets...
(source: Ren and Stimpy)
I don't know why my blog has been targeted by spammers or why they thought a history blog would be a good place to lure people into their traps but they have. If you're here, then you're probably an already intelligent person, who would not be tricked into clicking a misspelled link to BUY GIULD WAR2!!1!1!
But nevertheless, the morlocks of the internet have arrived and I've been forced to turn on comment moderation. It's not a really big deal, but I originally left it off to show everyone that you can leave criticism and I won't delete it.

So bottom line, please continue to post whatever thoughts you have.
And spammers?
It's time to pay the price.

January 7, 2013

18 - Samuel and Saul

"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold! To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams."
- 1 Samuel 15:22
Hey David, don't freak out...but there's a nasty spider on your back. I think I can get him!
source: Il Guercino Saul and David

You know, I kinda feel bad for Saul. The guy gets a bum rap in the Bible because he doesn't do things through the proper channels and behaves like...well, a king! Of course EVERYONE just loooves David, Mr. I'm so awesome with my Dennis the Menace slingshot, but does anyone ever thank Saul for his accomplishments? No! Guy sees one witch in Endor...yes the town was called Endor, and everyone hates you!
So from me to you Saul, I got your back man

MP3 Download

Music Credits
Michael Levy - Psalm 114 (Ancient Traditional Melody, c.2nd century CE)

Map of the Philistine Pentapolis
British Journal of Psychiatry: Diagnosing King Saul
David and Saul by Julius Kronberg
Samuel turning away from Saul...see how everyone's a jerk to him?