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Sinbad the Sailor – Arabian Nights

By |2017-07-26T09:40:30+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

An island turned out to be a whale Sinbad was (as Sheherazade told the story) a trader from Baghdad. He sailed his trading ships all around the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, carrying cotton cloth and gold and cinnamon and sugar and rugs and steel from one place to another. But he [...]

Xenia – guests and hosts in ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T10:13:16+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, People|

Kidnapping Helen of Troy (from Pompeii) In ancient Greece, xenia meant "the way you treat strangers or foreigners". It comes from a very old Proto-Indo-European (Yamnaya) word that means "stranger" but also "guest" and "host" and "foreigner" and sometimes "enemy". Do those words all seem very different to you? That's the point they're [...]