Romantic scene from a mosaic (Villa at Centocelle, Rome,
20 BC–20 AD)
Sexuality. Exciting, erotic, passionate, heartbreaking. Perhaps no other human behavior is so fraught with identity, especially for men. In countless cultures throughout time, the sexual male has been idealized and his prowess pivotal in terms of his place in society. Of course, there were shifting sexual mores throughout the centuries, but male sexuality largely remained a highly prized trait regardless of culture, time or geography. Today, with the advent of modern science and psychology, we now realize that male sexuality is weighted with conflicting emotional and societal consequences. More jarring to the traditional paradigm is the fact that male sexuality and the entitlement it bestowed are now being challenged. We have the roles of heterosexual and LGBTQ men and women as well as non-gender conforming individuals evolving in the twenty-first century to inevitably create new paradigms of identity and new ways of relating to each other.
As we see below, however, some things haven’t changed, or at least make for interesting comparisons. Two poems, written thousands of years apart, speak to the anguish of a man facing the inescapable diminishing of years and the sexuality that defined him. Continue reading
This month in the Strata series we are looking at the making of a legend—or myth, or epic or saga. Cultures throughout time have used storytelling to record and dramatize their histories. “The Church of St. George at Akrefnio” depicts how the creative spark begins.
March the 15th, 1311. On a plain in central Greece, two armies are facing each other. On one side, Frankish knights from the Duchy of Athens. On the other side, their Catalan mercenaries of the Catalan Company demanding more benefits. The Frankish knights lose the battle and perish almost to the last. One of the few surviving knights, Anthony le Flamenc, prays to St. George for holy assistance in battle. In gratitude for his salvation, the knight orders a church built, dedicated to St. George, in Akrefnio, Boeotia. This is his story. Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Culture, Literature, Strata Curricula, War and Violence
Tagged ancient history, AntiquityNOW, free curriculum, free lesson plan, free teaching resources, St. George at Akrefnio, storytelling, Strata Portraits of Humanity
In Zombie Apocalypse, Part 1: The Lamentable History of Zombies we examined the backstory of zombies and how Haitian voodoo and African mythology contributed to their embedding in religious and cultural beliefs. Today we are exploring how the zombie became a pop culture phenomenon. Continue reading
Posted in Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Blog, Celebrities, Culture, Literature, Public Life, Science and Technology, Science Fiction
Tagged ancient history, ancient zombies, AntiquityNOW, George A. Romero, jiang shi, kyonshi, Martin Luther King, Night of the Living Dead, ro-langs, The Walking Dead, vetala, zombie, zombie apocalypse
It’s that time of year again that with frissons of delight we delve into the dark world of ghosts and goblins. And again we turn to author P J Hodge as he takes us on a tale of trauma and memory in the English countryside. His stories often draw from ancient themes that transcend time and culture, where the dimensions of existence blur between this world and what lies beyond. Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Culture, Engineering, Holidays, Literature, Public Life, Science Fiction
Tagged ancient history, AntiquityNOW, aqueduct, ghost stories, ghost story, Roman aqueducts, scary stories, scary story, viaduct
What words best describe Halloween? Spooky? Scary? Terrifying? Like many of us, you probably like to be scared. Well, this Halloween we’re giving you the chance to really strut your creative stuff. You get to write your own tale of terror. But we at AntiquityNOW are giving you a challenge. We’re providing you the beginnings and endings of stories, which means you pick one beginning and one ending to bookend your story. And—drum roll—you must include an element of ancient history in your story. Just look around at today’s books and movies. How many have to do with time travel to an ancient place, an artifact that has magical powers or a mystery that had its origins in Ancient Egypt or Rome or Mesopotamia? The distant past is filled with possibilities for storytelling. Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Culture, Kids Blog, Kids: Culture, Kids: Literature, Literature
Tagged ancient history, ancient scary stories, ancient writing, AntiquityNOW, education, Halloween, Halloween activity, scary story, storytelling activity, writing
A cuneiform tablet similar to the ones on display in the Bible Lands Museum.
Have you ever sat down at the end of a long day and written in your diary? Or maybe you just updated your Facebook status and shared what you ate for dinner or how you were feeling after a difficult day at school. What if ancient people from thousands of years ago had done the same thing? We could learn so much about the way people lived, how they felt, what they did. These are the kinds of things archaeologists get to study when they are lucky enough to find written records and testimonies from ancient times. Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Culture, Kids Blog, Kids: Communications, Kids: Culture, Kids: Literature, Kids: Public Life, Literature
Tagged ancient Babylon, ancient history, ancient Judeans, ancient tablets, AntiquityNOW, Babylonian captivity, cuneiform, history of Jerusalem, King Nebuchadnezzar
It’s the most romantic day of the year and you’re not quite sure how to show your one true love that you’ll love him or her for a thousand years…. We have the answer. Give a Valentine’s Day inspired by the ancient past and remind your one and only that no matter how many years pass, your love is as timeless as the Mona Lisa and as enduring as the pyramids. Continue reading
Posted in Art, Blog, Culinary, Culture, Holidays, Literature, Public Life
Tagged ancient food, ancient history, ancient love, AntiquityNOW, valentine's day