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AO Magazine October November 2021
AO Magazine October November 2021

Everyone can name at least a few ancient kingdoms that they learned about in school, read about in a popular book, or watched someone discuss on a tv special or in a film. These are often stories about ancient Rome, Egypt, or Greece. But there are many other fascinating kingdoms that don’t receive the attention they deserve.

The lost kingdoms that we showcase in this issue are either kingdoms that don’t exist anymore, imaginary realms people once believed to be real, or forgotten empires that are often overlooked in the pages of history. For many of these kingdoms, all that is left today are their names, legends, and sometimes archaeological sites.

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The Secret Substance Soma

The Secret Substance Soma

Soma is both the name of a god and a substance in Hindu mythology. As a deity, Soma is one of the most important gods in the Rigveda.

The Medical Alchemist by Franz Christoph Janneck, 18th century (Public Domain)
Artifacts & Tech

What Could Your Urine Tell a Medieval Doctor?

In modern medicine, urine samples are routinely examined in laboratories to obtain clinical information about a patient. This procedure, known as urinalysis, developed from an ancient medical process called uroscopy. Urology was greatly aided during this period by the development of the urine wheel. 
Detail from the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary. (Public Domain)
Culture & Tradition

Medieval Monsters Taught Morals in a Book of Beasts

During the Middle Ages the phoenix rose from its ashes to be reborn, dangerous dragons battled elephants to the death, and the pelican tore out its own breast to feed its young with its life’s blood – in bestiaries, that is.

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