And finally we come to what might be regarded as the archetypal form of spookiness: the spirits of the dead, returned to the world of the living. In ancient literature, ghosts are everywhere. Friendly, hostile, frightening or comforting, the souls of dead Greeks and Romans are shown popping back into the world all over the... Continue Reading →
Content note: Depictions of violence In this third look at the dark and spooky side of the ancient world, we'll be looking at demons. What do I mean by demon? The word demon is derived from the Greek daemon, which, for most Greek and Roman times, was a generic term for god or spirit, with no... Continue Reading →
Content note: Child death, cannibalism, animal death If vampire stories were few and far between in the ancient world, werewolves are pretty much everywhere. It was clear a pretty strong belief among the ancient Greeks and Romans that there were human beings who could transform themselves into wolves and prey on livestock and even other... Continue Reading →
Content note: Brief mentions of rape and child death As Halloween draws near, it seems a perfect time to look at some of the ancient equivalents of the various ghouls, ghosts and creatures of the night that have come to haunt the Western imagination. First off, the hungry, sinister, and sometimes sexy devourers of the... Continue Reading →
Just came across this video of Sir Derek Jacobi performing Socrates' final speech from Plato's Apology. Wish they'd used a slightly more up-to-date translation, but still a very powerful performance.
Just a quick post to plug a fairly new resource for Classicists (and especially for ancient history teachers): Attic Inscriptions Online. https://www.atticinscriptions.com/ Attic Inscriptions online is a collection of translations of translated inscriptions from ancient Athens, going from the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE (the bulk however are from the fifth and... Continue Reading →
(photo credit: William Unruh) Something is happening to the Sun. Though the sky is clear and cloudless, and the Sun far above the horizon, the light has been slowly dimming, until it seems as dark as a cloudy day in winter. The air is feeling wintry too - it's been getting steadily colder for a... Continue Reading →
Having given my blog a new name and style (what we hip media academics call 'rebranding') I realized it might be worth explaining what the new name means. Historiai is the plural of the word historiê (ἱστορίη); this is, of course, the term from which English 'history' is derived. And in Greek and Latin, from the fourth... Continue Reading →
I came across this video by the National Geographic, which explains the Lost Wax technique of creating ancient bronze sculpture. I found it riveting, and indeed it's the first time the process was explained in a way that made sense to me.