Corruption in Ancient Rome

An equestrian statue of a Julio-Claudian prince, originally identified as Caligula / British Museum, Creative Commons Looking, with late Italian historian Guglielmo Ferrero, at the facts cited by the ancients as examples of corruption in the Roman Empire. By Dr. Guglielmo Ferrero (1909) Early 20th-Century Historian Two years ago in Paris, while giving a course of lectures[…]

Christian Persecution in Ancient Rome – On Again Off Again

Was persecution a consistent imperial policy, and what types of punishments were inflicted on Christians? The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)/Wikimedia Commons The image of cowering Christians being thrown to the lions by Roman emperors is a grisly staple of popular culture. But how accurate is it?    By Dr. Shushma Malik and Dr. Caillan Davenport / 11.21.2016 Malik: Lecturer in[…]

Elements of Environmental Ethics in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Athens city walls / Photo by GreeceGuy, Wikimedia Commons Critically examining elements of both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmentalism in ancient Greek thinking. By Dr. Munamato Chemhuru Professor of Philosophy University of Johannesburg Abstract In this article, I consider how ancient Greek philosophical thinking might be approached differently if the environmental ethical import that is salient in[…]

Volcanic Eruptions Could Have Spurred Revolts in Ancient Egypt

Harvest scene from the Ptolemaic tomb of Petosiris A study comparing eruptions and uprisings looks at how volcanoes meddle with annual Nile floods. By Jason Daley / 10.19.2017 ome of the most well-known characters in ancient Egyptian history were actually Macedonian. In particular, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, a dynasty founded after the death of Alexander the Great[…]

The Role of Ma’at in the Emergence of Law in Ancient Egypt

Examining the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat. By Dr. N.J. van Blerk Lecturer in Ancient Studies University of South Africa (UNISA) Abstract In this article, the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat is discussed, as well as the[…]

How Punitive, Omniscient Gods May Have Encouraged the Expansion of Human Society

With moralistic gods watching, it’s easier to be fair and cooperative. Olivier, CC BY-NC-ND For human groups to grow from small, intimate communities to the huge interconnected societies we know now, people needed to be willing to cooperate with strangers. Religion might have played a big role. By Dr. Benjamin Grant Purzycki / 02.10.2016 Senior Researcher, Department of Behavior, Ecology, and Culture Max[…]

Xenophon’s Virtue Personified

Exploring Xenophon’s ideas of virtue in leadership, excellence, and happiness. By Dr. Nili Alon Amit / 12.31.2016 Humanities Department Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts Some elements in man’s nature make for friendship. […] For thanks to their virtue (διὰ γὰρ τὴν ἀρετήν) these prize the untroubled security of moderate possessions above sovereignty won by[…]

Xenophon’s Anabasis: Historical Context

  A brief historical context of Xenophon’s Anabasis By Ian Joseph BA Cultural Anthropology, The University of Chicago MBA Pepperdine University The Anabasis by the Athenian soldier, historian and philosopher Xenophon, also known as The Anabasis of Cyrus, The March of the Ten Thousand and The March Up-Country, describes the events of 401 BCE when ten thousand Greek mercenaries joined the army[…]

The Long Walls of Ancient Athens

Part of Themistocles’s wall in Kerameikos / Wikimedia Commons Built in several phases, they provided a secure connection to the sea even during times of siege. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.08.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Although long walls were built at several locations in ancient Greece, notably Corinth and Megara,[1] the term Long Walls (Greek: Μακρὰ Τείχη) generally refers to[…]

Immigration and Empire in the Ancient Graeco-Roman World

Ancient Athens practically invented Western culture, but xenophobia led to the collapse of the Empire. Flickr/SantiMB The ancients knew that the key to a successful state was extending citizenship to those who need it. By Dr. Alastair Blanshard / 06.15.2011 Senior Lecture in Classics and Ancient History University of Sydney In the short period of its[…]

Goop: A Classicist’s Take on the ‘Power’ of Ancient Remedies

In Ancient Greek texts, the king Lycaon is punished for misdeeds by being turned into a wolf. / Wikimedia Commons Tapping into ancient knowledge can help us feel connected to our ancestors – but that doesn’t mean we should take their advice. By Adam Parker / 10.31.2018 PhD Candidate in Classical Studies The Open University Lifestyle company Goop –[…]

Asylum for Sanctuary Seekers in the Ancient World

Anglican Dean of Brisbane Dr Peter Catt is leading a sanctuary offer to asylum-seekers facing deportation to Nauru. AAP Image/Dan Peled Examining ancient notions of how we should treat people in need of protection. By Dr. Sean Winter / 02.04.2016 Academic Dean, Coordinator of New Testament Studies, Associate Professor Pilgrim Theological College In response to the High Court[…]

Metics and Immigration in Ancient Athens

‘Metics’ in ancient Athens could also refer to immigrants invited by citizens and admitted on an otherwise non-discretionary basis, subject to a special poll tax. By Dr. Nathan Smith / 07.03.2012 Professor of Economics Fresno Pacific University Did ancient Greece have open borders? Yes, I think, in the limited sense that there was no passport regime.[…]

Render Unto Caesar: The Conquest of Gaul and the Battle of Alesia

Vercingetorix, atop his horse, surrenders to Julius Caesar. Painting by Lionel Royer. | Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons Caesar’s conquest of Gaul was a prelude to the start of the Second Roman Civil War, marking the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic. By Peter Coons / 10.21.2018 In 58 BCE, Roman proconsul Julius Caesar,[…]

Suppression and Punishment by Sortition: Decimation in the Ancient Roman Military

Decimation in Beaver’s Roman Military Punishments, by William Hogarth, c.1725 / Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons Punishment by lot for soldiers in ancient Rome. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.04.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Decimation (Latin: decimatio; decem = “ten”) was a form of military discipline used by senior commanders in the Roman Army to punish units or large groups guilty of[…]

Voting and Civic Participation in Ancient Athens

The Acropolis of Athens. Dominating the acropolis is the Parthenon, built between 447 and 432 BCE in the Age of Pericles, and dedicated to the city’s patron deity Athena. / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons Ancient Athenians actively served in the institutions that governed them, and so they directly controlled all parts of the political process. By Mark Cartwright / 04.03.2018 Historian[…]

A Brief Overview of Law and Courts in Ancient Athens

The Athens Acropolis as seen from the Court of Cassation (Areopagus, i.e. the “Stone, or Hill, of Ares”) / Photo by Tilemahos Efthimiadis, Wikimedia Commons Focusing on Athenian law in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. Introduction When we investigate how the law and the courts of Classical Greece worked, the law of ancient Athens provides most of[…]

Carausius and the Decade of ‘Brexit’ in the Ancient Roman Empire

When Britain went it alone. Shutterstock Centuries ago Britain attempted to sever ties with the continent – and it ended in murder. By Dr. Adam Rogers / 03.23.2017 Teaching Fellow, School of Archaeology and Ancient History University of Leicester From the first to the fifth centuries AD, Britain – though not officially Scotland, which lay beyond the frontier at Hadrian’s Wall – was[…]

The Agricultural Revolution: Positive Progress or Biggest Blunder in History?

A neolithic farm in Scotland that may be the oldest in northern Europe. / Photo by Drewcorser, Wikimedia Commons Twelve thousand years ago everybody lived as hunters and gatherers. But by 5,000 years ago most people lived as farmers. By Dr. Darren Curnoe / 10.18.2017 Associate Professor Biological Anthropology and Archaeological Science UNSW Australia Twelve thousand years ago[…]

The Art of Healing: Five Medicinal Plants Used by Aboriginal Australians

Balgo artists: Miriam Baadjo (b. 1957),Tossie Baadjo (b. 1958), Jane Gimme (b. 1958), Gracie Mosquito (b. 1955), Helen Nagomara (b. 1953), Ann Frances Nowee (b. 1964) and Imelda Yukenbarri (b. 1954). Bush medicine: a collaborative work by women from Wirrimanu (Balgo), 2018, acrylic on linen, 120×180cm, MHM2018.32, © Warlayirti Artists; Medical History Museum, Author provided At least[…]

Conflict, Violence, and Conflict Resolution in Hunting and Gathering Societies

April 1562, The Timucua, an indigenous tribe in Florida, shoot burning arrows into the village of a rival tribe. The huts, made of dry palm branches, burn quickly and the attackers could escape unpursued. Original Artwork: After an engraving by Jacques Le Moyne. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images) Conflicts prior to the development of agriculture which[…]

Structure and Characteristics of Prehistoric to Modern Hunter-Gatherers

Photo by Arizona State University Archaeological evidence to date suggests that all human beings were hunter-gatherers prior to twelve thousand years ago. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.02.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Hunter-gatherer is an anthropological term used to describe human beings who obtain their food from the bounty of nature, hunting animals and gathering wild plants. It[…]

Petra: Wonder in the Desert

Petra, Jordan: The rock of Fassade and of “ed-Deir.” Andreas Voegelin, Antikenmuseum Basel. How a mysterious kingdom of former nomads created a luxurious, urban oasis in an inhospitable climate.    Interview of Laurent Gorgerat (right) by James Blake Wiener (left) / 05.07.2013 Wiener: Communications Director, Ancient History Encyclopedia Gorgerat: Curator, Antikenmuseum Basel Few places on earth have captivated humanity[…]

Dogs in Ancient Greece

Photo by japiot, Wikimedia Commons Examining a few references in the Homeric epics and Herodotus. Kosmos Society Center for Hellenic Studies [1] Anger [mēnis], goddess, sing it, of Achilles, son of Peleus— 2disastrous [oulomenē] anger that made countless pains [algea] for the Achaeans, 3 and many steadfast lives [psūkhai] it drove down to Hādēs, 4 heroes’ lives, but their bodies[…]

The Palaikastro Octopus Vase of Ancient Minoa – An Enduring Influence

Octopus vase from Palaikastro, c. 1500 B.C.E., 27 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, photo: Wolfgang Sauber, CC BY-SA 3.0) The style was imitated by potters on the Greek mainland as well as the islands of Melos. By Dr. Senta German / 08.15.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford Ceramics for[…]