The Fuss About Ephesus

The Fuss About Ephesus

Ephesus stands about three miles outside the small t...

Knossus: A Minor Tour

Knossus: A Minor Tour

When considering Knossos it’s easy to be led astra...

Pride Before The Fall

Pride Before The Fall

Following a well-received run at the Manchester Ro...

The Polyglot Parliamentarian

The Polyglot Parliamentarian

Iris Online meets Jenny Willot MP.

Peruse the CV of...

Top Ten Greek Astronomers

Top Ten Greek Astronomers

Alongside democracy and running around in circles ...

Plum: Comedy and Tragedy

Plum: Comedy and Tragedy

”Sir Jasper Finch-Farrowmere?” Said Wilfred.     ...

An Iris lesson filmed by Classics Confidential


How To Win An Election In The Roman Republic


The UK is deep in the grip of election fever. Party leaders are touring the country in battle-buses, shaking hands, announcing policies, and chasing photo opportunitiesall in the hope of winning over voters. But what did aspiring politicians need to do to get elected in ancient Rome? To answer this question we first need to understand some of the differences between the Roman political system and our own. While some aspects of campaigning persist across the ages, different systems reward different behaviours. In other words, it took different tactics to win a Roman election than it does a British one.

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Written in the Stars

It may seem strange to modern readers, but one of the great literary sensations of the ancient world was the astronomical poetry of the Hellenistic author Aratus (c 315-before 240). His Phaenomena, a 1154-line poem, describes the constellations and the heavenly spheres, before moving on to the topic of weather signs.

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Percy Jackson and the Sea of Corrections

With Camp Half-Blood in serious danger, Annabeth soon realises that the Golden Fleece is the only entity that can save the poisoned tree of Thalia and protect the demi-gods’ homeland. As the daughter of Athena, goddess of Wisdom, Annabeth’s forethought comes as no surprise, but Percy Jackson’s wits are not nearly as sharp: “you do know the story of Jason and the Argonauts?”, Annabeth asks cautiously. Percy’s response confirms her doubts: “‘Yeah,’ [he] said, ‘that old movie with the clay skeletons’” (SOM, 82).

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Plum: Comedy and Tragedy

”Sir Jasper Finch-Farrowmere?” Said Wilfred.                                                                                                            “ffinch-farrowmere,” Corrected the visitor, his sensitive ear detecting the capitals.’

 When I was about eight, my mother, in an attempt to wean me away from my obsession with detective fiction introduced me to the world of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, creator of the Bertie Wooster and Blandings Castle novels (amongst others). It was rather like, as the man himself might put it, trying to cure an alcoholic by introducing him to brandy.

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Imitation, Imagery and Alexander Pope

On the title page of William Mason’s 1747  “Musaeus, a Monody on the Death of Mr. Pope” is an engraving that neatly encapsulates both the accompanying poem and the high regard with which Alexander Pope’s body of work was, and still is, held: the goddess Diana holds Pope’s expiring body, her left arm melodramatically raised to the skies in mourning, while a triumvirate of English poets - Milton, Chaucer, and Spencer - bewail his death and prepare to welcome their equal into heaven.

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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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