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Who were the Trojans? – West Asian history

By |2018-04-07T17:04:51+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A reconstruction of what Troy VI might have looked like. For thousands of years, people read Homer's Iliad and learned the story of the Trojan War. But nobody knew if it had really happened, or if there really even was a city of Troy. In the 1800s, a German man named Heinrich Schliemann decided to look for [...]

Roman high schools – education in ancient Rome

By |2017-09-04T08:56:00+00:00September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A fragment of Homer's Iliad on papyrus Only the richest and smartest Roman boys went on from elementary school to high school. Girls generally couldn't go to high school, but sometimes they could be homeschooled. Most towns didn't have a high school, so in order to go to high school you had to leave home [...]

Nero’s Golden House – Domus Aurea – Rome

By |2018-04-24T23:35:24+00:00August 26th, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

The inside of Nero's Gold en House: it's very dark! After the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD, the Roman Emperor Nero took advantage of the space where many buildings had burned down to build himself a new palace right in the middle of downtown Rome, which he called the Golden House ( in Latin, that's the Domus [...]

Anna Comnena’s Alexiad – Byzantine literature

By |2017-08-03T21:02:22+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Anna Comnena, author of the Alexiad Anna Comnena was born a princess in 1083 AD, the oldest child of the Byzantine emperor Alexios. She was named for her grandmother, the powerful empress Anna, who ruled the Empire whenever Alexios was away fighting wars. This Anna raised her granddaughter, little Anna, with the hope that she would [...]

Trojan Horse Story – Greek mythology

By |2017-12-27T12:09:25+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Earliest picture of the Trojan Horse story, on a  Greek vase ca. 670 BC The end of the Trojan War After the events of the Iliad and the death of Hector, the Trojan War still wasn't over. Neither the Greeks nor the Trojans seemed to be able to win, until one of the Greek kings, Odysseus of [...]

Who was Homer? Greek epic literature

By |2018-04-23T09:02:17+00:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Cup by Sophilos, showing a race from the Iliad (as the inscription says - Athens, ca. 570 BC) 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 Homer's writings in school, and they repeated bits [...]