In the ancient world, the Greek world encompassed a far larger area than that currently occupied by the modern country of Greece. In the first half of the first millennium BC, they spread to the western coast of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Spain, southern France, and the coast of the Black Sea. By the fourth century BC, the Athenian philosopher Plato was able to state that the Greeks had spread around the Mediterranean Sea “like frogs around a pond” (Phaedo 109b).
One of the most dynamic heroes of the Trojan Cycle is Aeneas, whose depiction can be found throughout Italy before Rome usurped him as a national icon.
The stories of the ancient Greeks are a mess, as this look at (the various people called) Pallas demonstrates. We should embrace the chaos.
Classics in Extremis (2019), edited by Edmund Richardson, looks to the “margins” to better understand classical receptions.
All good things must come to an end. I wrap up this series on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey with a look at the associated books.
Few Greek vases have spawned as much discussion as one found in Cerveteri and dating to the seventh century BC.
We finish up our chores in Phocis, talk to Herodotus at Thermopylae, and then head over to Athens, the greatest city in Greece.
Were the Spartans really so great in war? What are the roots of their image as invincible super-soldiers? A deep dive into their history and institutions shows that there is some truth, but also a great deal of distortion.
One of the plaster casts currently in the Allard Pierson in Amsterdam is of a relief that depicts a group of warriors engaged in a dance.
The last king of Egypt’s New Kingdom managed to stave off threats from without before being brought down by a conspiracy from within.
Many ancient Greek and Roman epics were left either unfinished or had enough loose strings to warrant continuation by later writers.