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Posts Tagged / Ancient Greece

  • Nov 21 / 2017
  • 0
Ancient World

Classical Interviews: Homer

“Homer and His Guide” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

I first got the idea for these made-up interviews from the novel Gog by the Italian writer Giovanni Papini, though his “interviews” were with people a bit more contemporary. Today I will be interviewing one of the greatest poets in the history of mankind. His epic poems will be forever remembered as universal masterpieces. That’s right! I’m talking about Homer. The problem is that our guest didn’t feel comfortable talking much about his personal life, so I can’t solve the “Homeric question”. Sorry, folks! Continue Reading

  • Jul 27 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Plato, Phones, and That Embarrassing Silence…
Ancient Greek

Plato, Phones, and That Embarrassing Silence…

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael


By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Imagine Plato, the famous philosopher, and Socrates, his teacher, going out for a drink. After half an hour they are already running short of things to say (very difficult to imagine, but nevertheless let’s try) and an awkward silence descends over the conversation. Continue Reading

  • Jun 08 / 2017
  • 2
Ancient Greek

The Ethics of Tragedy

Antigone in front of the dead Polynices by Nikiphoros Lytras


By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Do we really need tragedy in our lives? At first the answer seems ridiculously easy. No, thank you.

Yet it seems to me that only tragedy can successfully nurture our inner ethical compass and our sense of empathetic compassion for others and for ourselves. Continue Reading

  • Jun 06 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Heinrich Schliemann: Archaeologist or Fraud?
Ancient Greek

Heinrich Schliemann: Archaeologist or Fraud?

A picture of Henirich Schliemann


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB


Most Classics teachers and students have heard of the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann and many see him as a great scholar who set an example for generations to come. Still, his reputation has been under attack for years, and many people now believe he was nothing but a fraud. In this article I’ll be discussing Schliemann and the controversy that surrounds him. Continue Reading

  • May 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Crimes and Murders: the Tragedy of Agamemnon’s Family
Ancient Greek

Crimes and Murders: the Tragedy of Agamemnon’s Family

The Mask of Agamemnon which was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB


Every student of the classics is no doubt familiar with the Greek hero Agamemnon, who commanded the Greek expedition against the Trojans and was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra. But are you aware of the dark side of this famous character? Sources such as the Bibliotheca by Pseudo-Apollodorus and Greek playwrights like Euripides mention hideous crimes committed by Agamemnon and his ancestors, including murder, treachery and cannibalism. The stories I’m about to tell you are so risqué that Homer considered them too hot for the Iliad! Continue Reading

  • Feb 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Alcestis and Admetus: Hoping to Rise Again
Ancient Greek

Alcestis and Admetus: Hoping to Rise Again

The Farewell of Admetus and Alcestis. Etruscan red-figure amphora found in Vulci


By Susi Ferrarello, Ph.D.

Let’s talk about marriage.

How often does it happen that partners decide to put the couple before themselves as individuals? How often does one or even both of them willingly decide to “die”, metaphorically speaking, for a higher good in their relationship? It might be for the sake of their children, or the status quo, or for the sake of an uncertain future. Continue Reading

  • Jan 24 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Comparative Mythology: Cosmic Wars
Ancient World

Comparative Mythology: Cosmic Wars

Zeus and Thetis by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Comparative mythology is the fascinating examination of myths from different cultures. One of the best aspects of analyzing the ancient Greeks, Hindus, and Nordic peoples is that they have many legends in common. Today we will discuss a myth which is present in three different cultures: cosmic wars! Continue Reading

  • Jan 03 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Virgil’s Death of Laocoön
Ancient Greek

Virgil’s Death of Laocoön

“Laocoön and His Sons”, Vatican Museum, Vatican City


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today we’ll be looking at the events that took place a few days before the fall of Troy. When the Trojans found the wooden horse, they were not sure whether they should keep it or burn it. That is when a wise priest of Apollo named Laocoön tried to warn them about the danger of keeping the Greek “gift”. The Olympian gods, however, had already decided that Troy had to be destroyed, and they would not hesitate to kill any mortal who would dare warn the Trojans about the Greek trap. Continue Reading

  • Dec 29 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Nestor: The Conciliator
Ancient Greek

Nestor: The Conciliator

“Achilles Giving Nestor the Price of Wisdom”, by Raymond Monvoisin


By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Today’s topic is one of Homer’s favorite characters from his Iliad: Nestor, king of Pylos. He was once a brave man who participated in the quest for the Golden Fleece and also on the hunt for the Caledonian Boar. However, when the Trojan War took place, Nestor was already an elderly man and, therefore, unable to do much fighting. Nevertheless, he plays an important role as the wise man who tried to conciliate Agamemnon and Achilles. Continue Reading