Category Archives: Ancient

Associations in the Greco-Roman World, a Sourcebook

I wanted to bring your attention to a book that may be of some interest to readers of this blog. It’s by a professor I’ve worked with at York, Philip Harland, and since I was hired as a research assistant … Continue reading

Posted in Academic, Ancient, Greek, The Mysteries | Leave a comment

Horny Satyrs and Sleeping Maenads: Themes in the Mysteries of Dionysus

The Greek wine-god Dionysus was a popular figure, both in public religion as well as in more private settings, such as with his mysteries. Scholars look to many sources to understand his mysteries, with artistic evidence—such as that found on … Continue reading

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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