Ancient History

Reconstructing Seapower

Andrew Lambert— In the late 1880s, American strategist and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan coined the term “sea power” by purposefully splitting the word “seapower,” a direct translation of the Greek thalassokratia, to sustain his agenda. The Greek word had been used by Herodotus and Thucydides to describe states which were

Continue reading…

The Many Gods of Ancient Monotheism

Paula Fredriksen— How is the ancient Jew—and, later, the ancient Christian—distinguished from his contemporary neighbor, the pagan? Biblical communities were monotheist, many people will answer; pagan communities were polytheist. For majority culture, many divinities populated the heavens. Biblical religions, more austere, clung to belief in a single god. Belief that

Continue reading…

Against the “Ascent of Man”

James C. Scott— Historical humankind has been mesmerized by the narrative of progress and civilization as codified by the first great agrarian kingdoms. As new and powerful societies, they were determined to distinguish themselves as sharply as possible from the populations from which they sprang and that still beckoned and

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

  • 1 2 5