Monthly Archives: January 2015

The tiger and the trugeranos

As I went to London Zoo today, I thought I’d have a quote on one of the animals in the zoo. Although I m not aware of any ancient zoos, unusual animals were put on display. Athenaeus includes a quote … Continue reading

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The scented robe

Homer composed his epics in – well who knows? Many academics have earned their crust by debating this question – but one thing is certain that there are places where he refers back to times centuries before his poems were … Continue reading

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The snake and the eagle

In my last post I talked about the Ashmolean cast gallery and the reconstructions of how sculptures looked when painted. Here’s one with a shield with a picture that seems to illustrate this passage from the Iliad -except the snake … Continue reading

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A weakness in the Greek armour

I visited the Ashmolean museum in Oxford today. One of their rooms is devoted to casts of Greek and Roman sculptures. Now when we see ancient sculpture today it is invariably unpainted because although time has preserved the shape the … Continue reading

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Athenian women

To our eyes the position of women in classical Athens seems incredibly repressive. To quote Oswyn Murray in the Oxford History of the Classical World, women who were Athenian citizens “could not enter into any transaction worth more than one … Continue reading

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Bribing gods and God

It is a tenet of most modern religions that you cannot bribe God or persuade him with gifts. Moreover you are limited in what you can pray for – for example you cannot pray for the humiliation of an individual … Continue reading

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Greek mathematics

In the introduction to the Loeb Greek Mathematics, Ivor Thomas writing in 1939 laments the fact that people no longer took joint classics and mathematics degrees. As he points out the achievement of Greeks in mathematics was remarkable and that … Continue reading

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