Genghis Khan, but you can’t

The Mongol Horde and the Silk Road His name is synonymous with brutality and ruthlessness. He was responsible for more deaths than Stalin and Hitler combined. His military campaigns sometimes involved eliminating an entire civilian population. 40 million people died because of him. Over two decades, that’s one person killed every twenty seconds. He hardly […]

From Gladiator to Game of Thrones

The Hollywood of Morocco It’s one of the most iconic images from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Daenerys Targaryen, ‘Khaleesi’, being lauded by the slaves she has freed outside the gates of the fictional city of Yunkai. But after the production crew and digital enhancers went home, it remained a real place. Built entirely from reddish-brown […]

Xanadu. Fact or Fable?

Golden Horde

Last stop on the Silk Road ‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree…’ The opening lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem Kubla Khan have led some to believe that Xanadu was an imaginary place, like Hogwarts or Gotham City. Coleridge himself said that the poem was composed one night after he experienced […]

The Harem: a deadly game of thrones

You love. You rule. Or you die. She never wanted to be the most powerful woman in the empire. She has grown up as a nomad on the wild steppes north of the Caucasus. The only walls she has ever known are the animal hides of her family’s tent. All that is about to change. […]

The Rise and Rise of the Roman Empire

Fight Club meets The West Wing ‘There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realised.’ You might remember these as the last words spoken by Russell Crowe when he lay dying in the sands of the Colosseum in Ridley Scott’s classic Roman epic, Gladiator. Crowe was playing the part of gladiator and disgraced […]