Category Archives: Literature

Strata, Portraits of Humanity, Episode 17, “Church of St. George at Akrefnio”

StrataImage-webThis 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

Top Picks Named for 2015 Children and Young Adult Books on Middle East

meocEach year the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) selects children’s and young adult books that best promote understanding of the Middle East. Shirley K. Gazsi, president of AntiquityNOW, serves on the selection committee. According to Gazsi, research is revealing how storytelling has an enormous effect on children’s world views and attitudes.

“Studies are continuing to show how reading fiction enables us to put ourselves in others’ shoes, and actually shapes the way we see individuals and the diversity of their cultures and times. This is particularly influential during childhood,” she said. “MEOC’s book selections are powerful tools in bringing the rich expanse of cultural heritage in the Middle East to children and young adults, and in seeding a commitment to multiculturalism for generations to come.” Continue reading

Zombie Apocalypse, Part 2: Zombies and Pop Culture

Night of the Living DeadIn 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

Author PJ Hodge Presents “The Viaduct (A Ghost Story)”

viaductIt’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

KIDS’ BLOG! Write Your Own Tale of Terror!

book-758978_640What 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

KIDS’ BLOG! Take a Glimpse into the Lives of the Ancient Judeans and Make Your Own Piece of History

A cuneiform tablet similar to the ones on display in the Bible Lands Museum.

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

5 Ways to Celebrate an Ancient Valentine’s Day, Courtesy of AntiquityNOW

BigPinkHeartIt’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

KIDS’ BLOG! Proverbs II: Timeless Words and the Soul of a People

An ancient Viking rune symbolizing fertility and new beginnings. In modern times, it is often used as a symbol for the saying "Where there's a will, there's a way."

An ancient Viking rune symbolizing fertility and new beginnings. In modern times, it is often used as a symbol for the saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

In Part I, we discovered how proverbs, sayings that carry a message or truth, seem to be a part of every culture going back millennia. In the oral tradition, before writing could delve deeply into the world of ideas, societies needed ways to instruct people as to how they had to behave. Proverbs arose as an effective way to do just that. Their wise and often witty words and images embodied the values of a culture. And while cultural values can be quite complex, proverbs were popular because they conveyed that idea, that value, that moral in a distinctive and memorable way. Continue reading

KIDS’ BLOG! Proverbs I: Timeless Words and the Soul of a People

Book of French Proverbs from 1845.

Book of French proverbs published in 1845.

Every culture has a story to tell, and that story is told in many ways. Artifacts, legal records, letters, journals, art, music, dress, even the detritus of daily life uncover the ways of a people. Values and mores are realized through rituals, religions, oral and written histories, monuments and palaces, and many more touchstones of culture. In particular, language and the expressive arts have produced some remarkable observations of lives lived long ago. Continue reading

2014 Recipes With a Past and the Art of Being Human

Recipes 2104 Ebook FINALAntiquityNOW is pleased to announce the launch of the 2014 Recipes With a Past, a compendium of dishes derived from our weekly Bon Appetit Wednesday! blog posts.  Embracing more than 25 countries and cuisines, this e-book has two new designations for this year’s menus:  gluten-free and vegan. Meals in Recipes With a Past are taken from historical recipes or are modern repasts that include ingredients with roots in antiquity. Continue reading