World History

A European depiction of Hasan Sabbah, an 11th-century leader of the Nizari Ismailis, and his followers in a garden paradise

Based on a True Story

The Medieval Sect That Inspired the Video Game 'Assassin's Creed'

The Order of Assassins is loosely based on the Nizari Ismailis, who formed a Shiite Muslim state that relied on political assassination to achieve its goal

Taíno cacique Francisco Ramírez Rojas beats a palm frond to drive away bad spirits at a seaside ceremony of thanksgiving. A three-sided idol known as La Muñequina is thought to represent the Taíno belief that spirits of the dead are present among the living.

Who Were the Taíno, the Original Inhabitants of Columbus’ Island Colonies?

The Native people of Hispaniola were long believed to have died out. But a journalist's search for their descendants turned up surprising results

Boatmen off North Sentinel Island in 1998

A Century Before the Residents of a Remote Island Killed a Christian Missionary, Their Predecessors Resisted the British Empire

When a white clergyman tried to punish captive Andamanese for their supposed misdeeds, they slapped him back

Patrons at the Eldorado, a popular LGBTQ cabaret in Berlin during the Weimar years

New Research Reveals How the Nazis Targeted Transgender People

Last year, a German court acknowledged the possibility that trans people were persecuted by the Nazis

A German general ordered his troops to “destroy Viannos and promptly execute all males beyond the age of 16, as well as everyone who was arrested in the countryside, irrespective of age or gender.”

When the Nazis Massacred Greek Civilians to Send a Warning to Those Who Resisted

Eighty years ago, German soldiers killed an estimated 500 Cretans in Viannos and Ierapetra in retaliation for an attack by local partisans

Austin West visits Kindred Spirits, a monument to the Choctaw in County Cork. The 20-foot-high steel feathers symbolize those used in Choctaw ceremonies.

The Unlikely, Enduring Friendship Between Ireland and the Choctaw Nation

One act of generosity during the Great Famine forged a bond that transcends generations

One ancient graffiti artist carved this creature at the Philae temple complex—most likely a horse.

Archaeologists Are Using Modern Tools to Learn About Visitors to an Ancient Egyptian Temple

Pilgrims who left behind ancient graffiti are the subject of new research in the middle of the Nile

The fishing village and beach resort of Agua Amarga, in Almería, is part of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, the largest protected coastal area in Andalusia.

From Fabled Palaces to Ancient Medinas, a Journey Through Spain's Islamic History

Amid snowcapped mountains, sandy dunes, a wild seacoast and more, the legacy of the country's Moorish past can still be explored across the peninsula

The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are the world’s first attempt to model prehistoric animals at full scale.

How a Victorian Dinosaur Park Became a Time Capsule of Early Paleontology

A new sculpture and an upcoming restoration are breathing life into the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, one of 19th-century Britain’s most curious creations

Primary image: Sleeping Quarters, by Czech Jewish prisoner Bedřich Fritta, depicts gruesome conditions. After the SS discovered Fritta’s work, they detained him and sent him to Auschwitz, where he died. Background (detail): A musical score by Viktor Ullmann, which was created at Terezin.

Amid the Horrors of the Holocaust, Jewish Musicians Composed Songs of Survival

At the Terezin concentration camp, some of Europe's top artists found solace in creating new work. Today one musician is determined to give them an encore

A psalter owned by Henry VIII offers something that fans of the Tudors have craved for centuries: a window into the mind of the tyrannical English ruler.

Henry VIII’s Book of Psalms Reflects His Quest for Legitimacy—and His Fear of Death

Handwritten annotations in the Tudor king's psalter show how he looked to scripture to justify his break from Rome and the annulment of his first marriage

Baklava consists of fine layers of pastry dough, often filled with nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey.

The Sticky History of Baklava

The sweet dessert is an important part of the culinary identity of so many places that people sometimes dispute claims to its origins

In its second installment, “AeroEspacial” tells the story of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which housed the world’s largest radio telescope for over 50 years.

An In-Depth Look at Latino History Among the Stars and Skies

This summer, a podcast series from the National Air and Space Museum discusses Operation Pedro Pan, Latino Futurism and “Star Wars”

The "1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions" exhibition is on display at the National Portrait Gallery through February 25, 2024.

How the War of 1898 Changed History Forever—in the United States and Beyond

When the nascent naval power invaded Puerto Rico, three artists captured the moment, each explaining its significance in their own way

The Englishman’s life speaks to the interconnected nature of the medieval world, demonstrating how the rise of the Mongol Empire set travelers in motion, compelling them to cover great distances and explore lands and cultures beyond Europe’s borders.

How an English Exile Ended Up at the Court of Genghis Khan's Grandson

After leaving his home country in the early 13th century, the Englishman traveled to the Crusader states and served as an envoy of the Mongol Empire

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's new film

Based on a True Story

The Real History Behind Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer'

The "father of the atomic bomb" has long been misunderstood. Will the new film finally get J. Robert Oppenheimer right?

Johann Baptist Schmitt, The Hermit in Flottbeck, 1795

Ornamental Hermits Were 18th-Century England's Must-Have Garden Accessory

Wealthy landowners hired men who agreed to live in isolation on their estates for as long as seven years

Natufian artworks, such as this figurine, became common around 15,000 years ago. Few artworks predating that period have been found in the Levant.

When Did Humans Start Settling Down?

In Israel, new discoveries at one of the world's oldest villages are upending the debate about when we stopped wandering

Just because history is the most dangerous place to visit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. It’s also the most interesting. You just need a guide.

Could You Survive the Black Death, the Sack of Rome and Other Historical Catastrophes?

A new book advises readers how to successfully navigate deadly disasters of the past

Spam musubi, a Japanese-American dish created in Hawaii, is made of Spam, rice and seaweed.

How Spam Became a Staple of Asian Cuisine

When American G.I.s fought abroad in wars in the 20th century, they left behind an unlikely legacy: canned meat

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