Despite the fact that we study people who lived and died over a thousand years ago, their influence is still profound on our society even today, and not just in our legal codes and practices, but in popular culture. The Avengers are rife with medieval imagery, and movies Gladiator and shows like Rome demonstrate how transfixed we are by images of the ancient world. Youtube has added a really intriguing element to this by letting people produce their material, giving a more colloquial perspective on ancient history. Today, since I’m just coming back from vacation, you can enjoy a few these, presented in my favourite medium, song. 

First up is Viva Roma no. V, by the History Teachers, who have a whole series of hilarious, nerdy, and educational parodies of popular songs. Some of their topics include the Black Death, Mary, Queen of Scots, and ancient Greek philosophy. You can check out their channel on Youtube or tweet them at @HistoryTeacherz.

Another video series that occasionally presents images of ancient figures is the Epic Rap Battles of History by NicePeter and EpicLloyd. Featuring crazy mashups of characters, the ERBH pit them against one and other in a vicious rap battle, with the victor decided by the audience. I had thought about including the one that features Cleopatra vs. Marilyn Monroe, but I ran across this gem, and couldn’t resist.

We’ll be back on Friday with another tale of the adventures of Phillip, See you then!

Jim Tigwell is a freelance writer currently pursuing his Master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Waterloo, specializing in philosophy of social media, games, and professional ethics. He is the creator of Concept Crucible, a blog focusing on applying philosophy to everyday life. You can find him on Twitter as @ConceptCrucible, or on Steam.

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