Recently, a dear friend was kind enough to take me to see the remains of an 8th century BC settlement at Emporio, Chios. For as long as I can remember, I have been going to the harbor and beach there with my family. Many times, I’d noticed a placard identifying it as the site ofContinue reading “Perspective through place”
Ariadne Unraveled is a retelling of the myth of Ariadne and Dionysus. The novel opens with Ariadne waking up on the shores of Naxos realizing that Theseus has abandoned her, then goes back in time to tell the story of what brought here there and follows her forward through the aftermath of Theseus’ flight backContinue reading “Book Review: Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil”
James Romm’s The Sacred Band (thank you, NetGalley, for the review copy) is an engaging blend of 4th century BC Greek military history and anecdotes about notable public figures. The content revolves around the rivalries among Athens, Sparta, and Thebes (which has tended to be overlooked in favor of its flashier siblings) as they jockeyContinue reading “Book review: “The Sacred Band” by James Romm”
A genre of ancient Greek literature that I have most struggled to appreciate is Old Comedy, via Aristophanes. The sheer abundance of scatalogical humor can be a bit much, but I don’t think that is the biggest challenge to appreciating his plays. It’s that Aristophanes’ texts are so saturated with wordplay that can’t be translatedContinue reading “Knights at Epidaurus”
Daughters of Sparta, which I received from NetGalley for review, purports to tell the stories of Helen and Klytemnestra, daughters of king Tyndareos and queen Leda of Sparta. Dual alternating third person narrators follow the sisters chronologically from childhood through the end of the Trojan war, including their marriages, experiences with childbirth and motherhood, andContinue reading “Book Review: Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood”
The newest addition to my collection of English translations of the Iliad is Robert Graves’ The Anger of Achilles: The Iliad. I have been wanting to find this translation! I carried it around with me all weekend hoping to get through a few books, but it was a busy holiday weekend, and I only managedContinue reading “What differentiates Homer?”
Lately, I have been reading about the web of associations among weaving, oral poetry, and rituals (festival and funeral) in ancient Greece, as traced across vase images, Homeric narrative, and the structure of language. These associations are so intricate that it has been a struggle to wrap my head around it, to be honest. ItContinue reading “What is Penelope wondering about?”
Set in the mythical past, Daughter of Sparta, which I received from NetGalley for review, draws loosely on the story of Daphne and Apollo. Andrews does not rehash the ancient story in modern language or setting; rather, she plays with timelines, figures, and myths to tell her own story, drawing on Olympian gods, heroes, andContinue reading “Book Review: Daughter of Sparta by Clare M. Andrews”
How do you feel about Achilles? I’ve been surprised to notice how much animosity exists towards the ancient Greek hero Achilles. I’ve been trying to understand the source of it. Are people reacting to Homer’s Achilles, or are Roman and Hellenistic portrayals a contributing factor? Is it the way Achilles has been portrayed in popularContinue reading “Achilles’ Choice”
The irony of my title above is that it puts collaboration and competition in, well, competition. I’m sharing it as a helpful reminder, to myself especially, of how very, very hard it is to actualize our ideals and to suggest that we be gentle with ourselves and each other. Perhaps it is helpful to thinkContinue reading “Collaboration > competition”
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