The Ruins of Troy

The Ruins of Troy

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit the ru...

Helen at the Globe

Helen at the Globe

Philippa Williams finds a fleet-footed new take on...

In Search of Cleopatra

In Search of Cleopatra

Cleopatra is something of an icon of our culture. ...

The Cloud that cheers

The Cloud that cheers

Philippa Williams receives a wild education in Blo...

Girton College Humanities Writing Competition

Girton College Humanities Writing Competition

Don’t forget to prepare your entries in good time ...

Who Knew? New Year

Who Knew? New Year

Happy New Year! As the days start to get longer ag...

An Iris lesson filmed by Classics Confidential


Eye to Eye: Polychrome in the Age of Augustus

To begin, I would like to introduce you to a statuette – or at least what is left of it: We know remarkably little about this piece of art.

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Animating Ancient Vases

Learning about ancient vases has just got more interesting.  For hundreds of years, people have been collecting and studying ancient vases, fascinated by the amazing and often beautiful images that decorate them.   Some people like the scenes of sport or combat, some people prefer the parties and musicians, there are those that like mythical scenes of gods and heroes, and some people like the everyday scenes of farming, weaving, or learning lessons.   Whatever the scene, people love these vase images, in which ancient Greeks look as if they are freeze-framed in the middle of what they’re doing.  

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Translation for Theatre

Would a rose by any other name sound as sweet? Emma Cole explains the issues and themes surrounding the translation of text for performance:






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Herodotus Earth: the ancient world in google

We live in exciting times. Digital technology is fast revolutionising the ways in which we are communicating with each other and how we are seeing the world – often quite literally. With the internet easily available on your Blackberry or iphone, including GIS web-mapping features, we seem now to have the whole world at our fingertips. But these applications aren’t restricted to the modern world: they can have a role too in bringing the ancient world to life.

Read more: Herodotus Earth: the ancient world in google

Sex Games: Power and the Birth of a Genre in Rome

Verona, Northern Italy, 84BCE saw the birth of the poet who was to give life to one of the most controversial genres of Latin poetry, erotic elegy, the genre more standardly associated with Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid. Catullus was born into a wealthy provincial family with connections to the aristocratic circles of Rome, not least to Julius Caesar himself. The family had enough money for this young Roman not to have to worry about petty things like earn a living and to be able to devote himself to poetry: passionate, provocative, derisive, sad, angry, political, and erotic in equal measure.

Read more: Sex Games: Power and the Birth of a Genre in Rome

Catullus: the most loved of love poets

Before the poet Catullus took up his stylus and poured his heart out onto wax and papyrus, men and women of the world fell in love with one another just as they do now and just as they will do until there cease to be men and women. But Catullus’ choice – for whatever reason – to write poetry and to write it as he did – proved to be a revolutionary event: this young man, writing in his twenties, effectively invented love poetry in Roman literature and thereby left his indelible mark on the poetry of his contemporaries and successors, not only in Ancient Rome but throughout the course of western – and even global – literature up to the present day. A single person can scarcely have a greater effect upon the world of poetry.

Read more: Catullus: the most loved of love poets

What Baron Pierre de Coubertin really thought about the Olympic Games

You are probably aware that the revival of the ancient Greek Olympic Games in 1896 is attributed to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French aristocrat.  If you didn’t know that, by the end of 2012 you definitely will!  You may also know that there are alternative stories about this enterprise. 

Read more: What Baron Pierre de Coubertin really thought about the Olympic Games