The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

Chinese Landscape Painting


Landscape painting came into itself during the 10th century in China and by the 11th century, the art form had inlaid deep roots into the Song Dynasty and Chinese culture as a whole. Painting academies were established and books were written about the philosophy and practice of landscape art. It was believed by the Chinese that to be Chinese was to be civilized and to be civilized was to paint. While Europe was in the depths of the Dark Ages, and the Mayan civilization in Central America was collapsing, the Chinese were trading in paper money and developing and using advanced technologies like gun powder. Perspective Chinese bureaucrats were expected to demonstrate artistic talent by taking and passing examinations in calligraphy before being able to serve in government roles

The First Novel Ever Written 


The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. The Tale of Genji is referred to as the world’s first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel, and the first novel still to be considered a classic