The Agorē in Epic and Archaeology

Ruins of the agora at Troy / UNESCO World Heritage Centre By Dr. Jim Marks / 11.30.2012 01.01.2012 Introduction Descriptions of communities in the early Greek epics—like descriptions of places, people and things in general—tend to be cursory and formulaic. One of the features that does recur in the descriptions of communities is a collective[…]

The Industrial Revolution and the Railway System

Photograph of a nineteenth-century locomotive / From Immigration, Railroads, and the West / Harvard University Library Edited by Dr. Robert Schwartz E. Nevius Rodman Professor of History Mount Holyoke College The Evolving Relationship between Nature and Industry as Documented in Art By Jennifer Carson, Elysia Lindfield, and Megan Vandehey There are multiple ways of interpreting[…]

Mycenaean Tholos Tombs and Early Mycenaean Settlements

Interior of the tholos tomb at the Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae, 13th century BCE / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Definition of the Mycenaean Form of Tholos Tomb Tholos tomb cutaway illustration / Brown University, Creative Commons The Mycenaean[…]

African Art, Ancient to Modern

The Songhai (also Songhay or Sonrai) people of West Africa / Photo by Maria Magdalena Ruiz O’Farrill By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist Introduction The motives which guide the hands of the sculptors and architects of Black Africa, the strait jacket of ritual and symbolism in which the work of art is confined,[…]

Petra: The Rose-Red City of the Nabataeans

So-called Treasury (Khazneh), Petra (Jordan), 2nd century C.E. (photo: Colin Tsoi) By Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis / 08.08.2015 Assistant Professor Liberal Studies, Graduate Center, City University of New York Governing Board, Archaeological Institute of America Introduction There is only one true way to experience Petra—the greatest city of the Nabataeans, a people who occupied the area[…]

The Historical Collections at Guildhall Library: Including the Curious Tale of 10,000 Cookery Books

  [LEFT]: The Guildhall complex in c.1805. The buildings on the left and right have not survived. / Wikimedia Commons [RIGHT]: The façade of Guildhall today. / Photo by Diego Detso, Wikimedia Commons Lecture by Dr. Peter Ross at the Museum of London / 10.24.2012 Principal Librarian Guildhall Library, London It is the intention of[…]

Neopalatial Minoa and Its Influence in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Worlds

One of the east storage magazines in the palace at Malia / Photo by Ian Swindale, MinoanCrete.com By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College The Beginning of the Neopalatial Period on Crete (ca. 1750/1720 B.C.?) In MM IIIA, new palaces were built at[…]

Native American Pottery

Navajo pottery / Dallas Museum of Art By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist The graphic design of the native American pottery is original and almost always symbolic . Technically, all known Pre-Colombian American pottery was made entirely by hand and there is no evidence that a native American potter ever invented the potter’s[…]

The Middle and Late Cycladic Periods in the Central Aegean Islands

Reconstruction of a late Cycladic Ship with a hypothetical visualization of the eruption on the Pre-Kameni Island of Santorini (Thera) / Timothy Finch, flickr By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College The Late Bronze Age Eruption of the Santorini Volcano Aerial view of[…]

Art of the Ancient Near East

The Standard of Ur War Panel, 2600 BCE / British Museum, London Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.04.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Mesopotamia The Mesopotamian Cultures Sumer was an ancient civilization in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages. Although the historical records in the region do not go back much further[…]

Kaymakli and Derinkuyu: Two Ancient Underground Cities in Turkey

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.04.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Kaymakli A large room several floors down into the city. / Wikimedia Commons Kaymakli Underground City is contained within the citadel of Kaymakli in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. First opened to tourists in 1964, the village is about 19 km from Nevşehir, on the Nevşehir-Niğde[…]

Patterns of Desire in Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts and Books

These four volumes of German poetry are wrapped in manuscript waste materials written in Hebrew. / J. Paul Getty Museum By Dr. Kathryn M. Rudy / 09.19.2016 Senior Lecturer in Art History and Medieval Studies University of St. Andrews From Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized their Manuscripts Introduction Manuscripts could have useful careers[…]

Mithraism and the Medieval Introduction of Tarot Cards

The graphic design artist who created this magnificent Tarot deck was Gioseppe Maria Mitelli (1634-1718) from Bologna, Italy. Etcher, painter and sculptor, and son of Agostino Mitelli, a painter of the Baroque period; best known as a fresco painter of quadratura, Gioseppe studied with several prominent Bolognese painters. He has created over 500 etched prints[…]

An Introduction to Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph

1:10 Hill and Adamson, “Newhaven Fishermen.” By Thomas Annan, 1845. Salted paper print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937, Accession Number: 37.98.1.78. ©Metropolitan Museum. By Dr. Lionel Gossman / 05.28.2015 M. Taylore Pyne Professor of Romance Languages Princeton University From Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph Victorian Scotland was[…]

Dying like a Woman: Euripides’ Polyxena as Exemplum between Philo and Clement of Alexandria

The sacrifice of Polyxena by the triumphant Greeks (Attic black-figure Tyrrhenian amphora, c.570-550 BCE) / British Museum, London By Dr. Courtney J.P. Friesen Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Classics The University of Arizona Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 56 (2016), 623-645 Introduction Emperor Marcus Aurelius observed that the rational soul must be prepared for[…]

Ancient to Medieval East Asian Calligraphy

From the biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiangru, by Huang Tingjian, c.1095 / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist Calligraphy (in Chinese, Shufa 書法, in Japanese Shodō 書道, in Korean, Seoyae 書藝, all meaning “the way of writing”) has been a defining manifastaton of Asian art[…]

Late Minoan Painting, Frescoes, Pottery, and Other Representational Art

Original of one of the Taureador frescos, probably ceremonial, from Knossos Palace, Crete, c.1450 BCE / Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Crete By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Late Minoan Pottery Introduction The transition from Middle Minoan (MM) to Late Minoan (LM) is[…]

Changes in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts and Books that Required Rebinding

Leiden, University Library, BPL MS 2778, photo: Giulio Menna By Dr. Kathryn M. Rudy / 09.19.2016 Senior Lecturer in Art History and Medieval Studies University of St. Andrews From Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized their Manuscripts Introduction Some augmentations did not require a medieval book owner to take the book apart. Owners and users simply[…]

A Guide to ‘Persians’ by Aeschylus, the Western World’s Oldest Surviving Play

The Western world’s oldest surviving play is also one of its most sorrowful. Here’s a brief summary. By Shelby Brown / 08.12.2014 Education Specialist for Academic and Adult Audiences J. Paul Getty Museum An opulent drama told through the voices of Persian courtiers, Aeschylus’s Persians combines visual spectacle with powerful, lyrical storytelling. The play is[…]