We are a group of ancient historians, archaeologists, and classicists who are passionate about the past. Our mission is to share engaging and well-researched information about the ancient world with our readers.
If it’s okay for modern protestors to topple statues commemorating dubious historical figures, some argue, why shouldn’t we wipe the monuments of ancient slave-owning societies like the Romans from the face of the Earth?
The ongoing protests against racism have seen protestors deface and destroy statues celebrating dubious historical figures. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has argued that “we need to tackle the substance of the problems, not the symbols.” But this underestimates the significance of material culture.
People studying the first half of antiquity, with free cities and omens and cuneiform, don’t always pay attention to the very end, with kingdoms and Christians and clumsy Latin. But the people studying the end of antiquity have some exciting stories to tell, and they face some of the same problems as people studying Early Greece.
The pediments of the Temple of Aphaia on Aegina were once said to represent the contrast between Archaic and Classical sculpture in their contrasting depictions of two sackings of Troy. But more recent excavation suggests that the situation is a lot more nuanced than that.