epic

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15 09, 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh – Mesopotamian writing

By |2019-09-04T08:13:45-07:00September 15th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu fight the monster Humbaba, on an Assyrian cylinder seal from the 600s BC The real king Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story about a Sumerian king (Gilgamesh) who seems to have lived around 2500 BC, in Mesopotamia. Who were the Sumerians? And the Assyrians? West Asian literature [...]

3 08, 2017

Medieval literature – Europe

By |2019-09-11T11:21:51-07:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|0 Comments

Medieval Book (Cluny Museum, Paris) In the Early Middle Ages, as the Roman Empire was collapsing, the new power of Christianity inspired Augustine, in North Africa, and Pope Gregory the Great in Italy. They both wrote new books in Latin about Christian philosophy. In Constantinople, Procopius wrote in Greek about Justinian's conquests. And about the same time, Cassiodorus in Italy [...]

26 07, 2017

Shahnameh – Islamic Literature

By |2017-07-26T09:31:51-07:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Literature|0 Comments

Death of Iskandar (Alexander), from the Great Mongol Shahnameh (Iran, 1330s AD) In the 900s AD, Central Asia was the most civilized part of the world. The universities and libraries of Iran and Afghanistan were famous for a thousand miles in every direction. The Iranian Al-Tabari had recently finished writing his huge Islamic History. Here, in [...]

10 07, 2017

Odyssey – Homer – Summary

By |2018-04-23T08:56:36-07:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|0 Comments

Odysseus and his men put out the eye of the Cyclops, Polyphemos (ca. 660 BC) Homer wrote the Odyssey The Greek poet Homer wrote down the Odyssey around 700 BC, although the story itself is probably much older. It is the story of King Odysseus' return from the Trojan War to his kingdom [...]

10 07, 2017

Who was Homer? Greek epic literature

By |2019-08-18T18:38:35-07:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|0 Comments

Cup by Sophilos, showing a race from the Iliad by Homer (as the inscription says - Athens, ca. 570 BC) Why is Homer important? To the classical Greeks, Homer's epics played very much the same role that the Bible plays for a lot of people today. People memorized big chunks of the Iliad [...]

10 07, 2017

Greek literature – ancient Greece

By |2019-07-20T07:57:22-07:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|0 Comments

Greek literature: the poet Sappho There's a lot of it The Greeks wrote a great deal, and a surprising amount of what they wrote is still available to us today, 2500 years later. The alphabet comes to Greece All our ancient Greece articles We traditionally divide Greek literature into types: 1) the epic [...]