Tom Sapsford discusses the “kinaidos”: a type of person noted in ancient literature for his effeminacy and untoward sexual behaviour. Some scholars think he was perhaps an imaginary figure, but Sapsford looks into financial records, letters, and temples that complicate our understanding of this figure.
What does atheism mean to you? Is logic ancient history? How is Calvinism changing the world? Put your thinking cap on, earbuds in, and get listening to our curated collection of Very Short Introduction podcast episodes for thinkers.
In enlightenment definitions, anthropological hierarchies, and early modern and modern capitalist exploitations of the natural world, European thought about the human remains indebted to Classical concepts.
To commemorate the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall, here’s a selection of titles exploring its history, ancient Rome’s influence on British identity, the new approaches being developed in Roman archaeology, and more.
What did it mean to be “saved” in antiquity? In a polytheistic system where multiple gods and goddesses reigned, which ones did the ancient Greeks turn to as their “saviour” and how could the gods be persuaded to “save”? Theodora Jim investigates how the Greeks imagine, solicit, and experience divine saving as they confronted the unknown and unknowable, and how their hopes of “salvation” differ from that in Christianity.
A look at the process of reconstructing Claudius’ Arch in Rome and how it was informed by the latest research in archaeology and classical studies to provide a better understanding of the significance of the Roman Invasion of Britain.
Popular culture often romanticizes Zenobia of Palmyra as a warrior queen. But the ancient evidence doesn’t support that she fought in battles. Instead, we should remember Zenobia as a skilled political tactician. She became ruler without being dominated by the men of her court.
With a history spanning back over 2,000 years, coins are much more than just money. They are also a means of storing and communicating information, resembling tiny discs of information technology that convey images and text across vast swatches of time and territory. Coins are the first world wide web linking us together. While they […]
Charlie Chaplin was certainly the greatest mime, probably the greatest actor, and arguably the greatest artist in any medium in the twentieth century. As self-transformations go, his personal rags-to riches story is hard to match. But the theme of metamorphosis also permeates his movies.
Usually considered as the first French Symbolist painter, Moreau rejected the dominant artistic trends of his time in order to explore his own anxieties and longings by returning to the Greek myths.
From its origins as an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the end of the harvest, over time Halloween has evolved into a day of trick-or-treating, scary films, costumes, and carving pumpkins.
According to the early Greek poet Hesiod (ca. 700 BC), the primordial human community consisted only of men, who lived lives of health and ease, enjoying a neighborly relationship with the gods. That relationship soured, however, after Prometheus deceived the Olympian gods for the benefit of mankind. In retaliation, Zeus schemed to punish men by […]
Romans sometimes worried that you couldn’t tell enslaved and free people apart. By the second century CE, many senators were descended from Gauls and Iberians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Syrians—the very peoples Romans had conquered as they extended their empire. So, was the Roman empire unusually inclusive? Or even a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic civilization? None of that seems very likely.
When planning a trip to Italy, the major cities of Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice are usually on the must-see list. Yet many people also yearn to find the “undiscovered hidden gem” waiting to be explored. For the latter group, Molise is waiting. This region is so underrated that Italians have a running joke: “Il Molise non esiste” (“Molise doesn’t exist”).
The SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy) initiative advocates for the value of the social sciences, humanities, and arts subject areas in helping us to understand the world in which we live and find solutions to global issues. As societies around the world respond to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, research from SHAPE disciplines has the potential to illuminate how societies process and recover from various social crises.
In the modern West, we take it for granted that reality is an objectively knowable material world. From a young age, we are taught to visualize it as a vast abstract space full of free-standing objects that all obey timeless universal laws of science and nature. But a very different picture of reality is now emerging from new currents of thought in fields like history, anthropology, and sociology.