Ancient History

Young Men at War

Stephen Houston— A grievous feature of our age is the use of young men in combat. A recent film was made about this ongoing tragedy: Beasts of No Nation, based on the book of the same title by Uzodinma Iweala, and winner of numerous awards including the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the

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Ep. 50 – The Art of Libation in Classical Athens

Explore the prevalence and the significance of images of liquids being poured from vessels in the fascinating and beautiful artworks of 5th century Athens. Yale associate professor Milette Gaifman, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and History of Art, is perfectly situated to discuss what it is the

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Exploring the Great Pyramid with Cosmic Rays

James Owen Weatherall— The Great Pyramid of Giza is more than forty-five centuries old.  It has been broken into, explored, and looted by countless civilizations, ancient and modern.  But it seems the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still has some secrets left.  And while aliens may

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What is Religion?

Richard Holloway— As with many useful words, symbol comes from Greek. It means to bring together things that had come apart, the way you might glue the bits of a broken plate together. Then a symbol became an object that stood for or represented something else. It still had the idea of

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The Paleo Diet in Ancient Civilization

James C. Scott— I am neither an advocate nor a practitioner of the Paleo diet. I love bread, pasta, butter, and yogurt far too much to forsake them altogether. On the other hand, I have made an effort to understand the dietary consequences of “civilization,” of the food ways typical

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The Limits of Tolerance

Emily Katz Anhalt— The ancient Greeks were open-minded without being tolerant. They didn’t devise the world’s first-ever democracy by tolerating everything. Their unprecedented transition from tribalism to civil society derived from their eagerness to ask questions and their determination to judge others and themselves critically. Open-mindedness and the desire to

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Pride Month Bookshelf: LGBTQIA+ History, Cultural Studies, and Literature Beyond June

Presenting our Yale University Press Pride Month reading list—because celebrating #Pride2017, learning from the history of the movement, championing stories and contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and working each day to insist on equal and fair treatment of queer communities should extend far beyond June. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World by Gregory

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A Maya Child’s Tale: The Origin of the Sun

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos— In his field diary entry of October 30, 1960, ethnographer Marcelo Díaz de Salas wrote down a brief story that he’d been told by Miguelito, a young boy about 11 years old, in the Tzotzil Maya village of Venustiano Carranza (located in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico):

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Immortal Oracle: the Berlin Painter Speaks: An Interview with J. Michael Padgett by David Ebony

David Ebony — In dark times of social turmoil, political upset, and the seemingly perpetual war and violence that define our present era, it helps to consider the art of the far distant past for some solace, and a bit of elucidation, perhaps. Today, democracy seems as fragile as it

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Was There a Spartan Mirage?

Paul A. Rahe— It has always been hard for outsiders to get their minds around classical Lacedaemon, or Sparta as it is more commonly called today. Even in antiquity—as a glance at Xenophon’s Regime of the Lacedaemonians, at Plato’s Republic and Laws, and at Aristotle’s Politics will make clear—the Spartans

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