History of the Zoo

Crowds watching Obaysch, London Zoo’s first hippopotamus in 1852. / Wikimedia Commons According to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, there are over 10,000 zoos around the world and each year they attract millions of visitors. But as historian Dan Vandersommers discusses this month, zoos have long been much more than simply places to spend[…]

Washed Ashore: Marine Mammals from Medieval Times to Today

Pilot whales stranded on Farewell Spit, 2015. By Dr. Ellen F. Arnold / 03.09.2016 Associate Professor of History Ohio Wesleyan University On 13 February 2015, 198 pilot whales stranded in Golden Bay on the northern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Hundreds of volunteers were mobilized by New Zealand’s Conservation Agency, racing against time and tides to save[…]

Roman Funeral Rituals and Social Status: The Amiternum Tomb and the Tomb of the Haterii

Tombs along the Via Appia, Rome Author does not wish to be identified To say that the ancient Romans thought a lot about funerary ritual and post-mortem commemoration is an understatement. Abundant textual evidence records complex, performative rituals surrounding death and burial in ancient Rome while significant expenditures on visual commemoration—elaborate tombs, funerary portraits—defined Roman[…]

The Forum Romanum (Roman Forum) and Imperial Fora

View of the Forum from the slope of the Capitoline to the Palatine Hill By Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker / 12.09.2015 Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Binghamton University Forum Romanum (Roman Forum) In his play Curculio, the Latin playwright Plautus offers perhaps one of the most comprehensive and insightful descriptions of the Forum Romanum ever written (ll. 466-482).[…]

Ancient Greece and the Garden: The Ideal Homeric Polis

Ancient Greek garden / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Annette Lucia Giesecke Chair, Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures Elias Ahuja Professor of Classics University of Delaware It is at dawn, the time of new beginnings, that the Phaiakian ship, with Odysseus onboard, draws near to the island of Ithaka. There the spectacular harbor of Phorkys,[…]

Heroic Aberration in the Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Mask of Agamemnon, from shaft grave V, grave circle A, c.1550-1500 B.C.E., gold, 12 inches / 35 cm (National Archaeological Museum, Athens) By Dr. Gregory Nagy Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature Professor of Comparative Literature Director, Center for Hellenic Studies Harvard University The meaning of atē The key word here is atē, the meaning of which can[…]