Book Review: “Daphnis and Chloe” by Longus

“When I was hunting in Lesbos, I saw, in a wood sacred to the Nymphs, the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen—a painting that told a love-story.” So begins the ancient Greek prose narrative of Daphnis and Chloe, attributed to Longus, who goes on to describe the beautiful painting that provoked “a longingContinue reading “Book Review: “Daphnis and Chloe” by Longus”

Book Review: “The Ingenious Language” by Andrea Marcolongo

“I am certain, however, that studying Greek helps you develop a talent for life, love, and hard work, for choosing to take responsibility for your successes and failures. It also helps you take pleasure in things, even when things aren’t all that perfect.” “The life of a language resides in the human beings who useContinue reading “Book Review: “The Ingenious Language” by Andrea Marcolongo”

Book Review: “Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature” by Paul Woodruff

One of my current work projects is this collection of selected passages from Thucydides, summarized and translated by Woodruff. It is not a scholarly work in the traditional sense, featuring a stated thesis, supported by analysis of evidence. The scholarship lies in the curation and translations, which present an argument about what Thucydides’ preoccupations andContinue reading “Book Review: “Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature” by Paul Woodruff”

Book Review: Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy

Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy, which I received from NetGalley for review, is an illustrated introduction to the Olympian pantheon and a few of the most enduring narratives and heroes associated with it. I enjoyed the strong lines and bold colors of the illustrations and found the content to be fluidly organized, effectivelyContinue reading “Book Review: Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy”

Book Review: Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

Ideally, novels can function as empathy exercises, putting us—readers and writers—into the minds and hearts of people who we are not and helping us better understand them. For this to happen, of course, we have to be willing to step outside of our own thought-boxes and listen without judgment. I tend to think, as withContinue reading “Book Review: Wolf Den by Elodie Harper”

Book Review: Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil

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”

Iphigenia’s heroic moment

κλέος γὰρ οὔ σε μὴ λίπῃIphigenia at Aulis, line 1505 When we read anthologized exploits of ancient Greek heroes, the stories typically revolve around male warriors, such that the concept of “heroic exchange” seems to be defined primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of physical skill. Heroes are often portrayed as warriors who excel onContinue reading “Iphigenia’s heroic moment”

Why do we remember?

“For Mnemosyne, who rules over the hillsof Eleutherai, bore the Muses, in Pieria, after sleeping with the sonof Kronos, to be a respite from evil and a cessation of sorrow.”—Theogony by Hesiod, translated by Barry Powell I love this conceptualization of memory’s children as a balm for human sorrows, the idea that memory can inspireContinue reading “Why do we remember?”

Fate and Choice in the Theban Plays

“Apollo, friends, Apollo—he ordained my agonies—these, my pains on pains!But the hand that struck my eyes was mine,mine alone—no one else—I did it all myself!” —Oedipus Tyrannus 1467-71, trans. Robert Fagles Who (if any) is your favorite ancient playwright? I’ve tended to favor Euripides and overlook Sophocles, possibly because of a traumatic elementary school memoryContinue reading “Fate and Choice in the Theban Plays”