Category Archives: Ancient

Gods—They’re Just Like Us! (Apollo’s Vacation and the Boozy House-sitter)

The gods in antiquity often came under fire for their human-like behaviour. Jealousy, lust, revenge—these are just a few of the traits that were criticized as being less than divine. Xenophanes famously said that if horses could depict their gods, … Continue reading

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Vampires, Ghosts, and the Legacy of Antiquity

Next month, I’ll be talking at the ASE about Eastern European vampires. This is a big topic, and while my paper will focus on the vampire’s literary and rhetorical implications, many other issues have been discussed by scholars in relation … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient, Vampires | 3 Comments

Fumed-Out Pythiai and Altered States of Consciousness

The Oracle of Apollo in Delphi is often pointed to as the example of divination in the ancient world. Consisting of a large temple complex, persons from all over the Mediterranean would travel to Delphi to hear the God’s pronouncements … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient, Divination | 4 Comments

How Did Hermes Get the Caduceus?

It is difficult to imagine Hermes, the messenger of the gods, without his usual accoutrements: wings on his feet, a stylish chapeau, and carrying a winged staff encircled by snakes. The Homeric Hymns, poems written in the Homeric style that … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient, Greek

Promoting Classical Languages at York University

Last December I received an email from the Classical Studies department chair, Anne-Marie Lewis, asking if I’d be interested in doing a video to promote the department’s language program. York University, like many other schools, has been very proactive in … Continue reading

Posted in Academic, Ancient, Greek

On the Arbitrary Appellation of Magic in Antiquity

ar·bi·trary adjective \ˈär-bə-ˌtrer-ē, -ˌtre-rē\ 1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law 2 a: not restrained or limited in the exercise of power; ruling by absolute authority b: marked by or resulting from the … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient, Magic, Philosophy | 2 Comments

The Misfortunes That Befall Men Who Sleep With Goddesses

Sex. Birds do it. Bees do it. Some claim it’s a biological imperative, or that it should only take place in certain contexts (between a woman and a man, or within the bounds of marriage, or if you are in … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient, Feminist Theory, Greek | 6 Comments