A find in June in Bulgaria was the latest in weird vampire archaeology discoveries that have happened in the 21st century. That’s right. Vampires. From the looks of things, not the brooding, sparkly stalkers of teenage girls who are currently the stars of stage and screen, but blood-drinking sociopaths, terrifying in life and unstoppable in death. Or so they thought.  Continue reading

The Adventures of Phillip Part 1

I dozed lightly on the deck as I heard the boatman call that we were coming into dock. At last, a real vacation. Anything to get away from the farm, really. Let me tell you, the farm may be small, but the work is large. But a few weeks in sunny Heliopolis would definitely leave me refreshed. I enjoyed the heat of the sun, inhaling the cool, salty Mediterranean air as we pulled into the harbour. I do use the word harbour in the loosest sense though, because this rickety dock and smattering of huts couldn’t be mighty Heliopolis. I stepped onto the shore, eager to savour the pleasures of the city which no doubt lay just down the road, but instead of having the porters disembark my luggage, the boatman began to pull away.  Continue reading

My relationship with Latin had not been going well. We often fought and many times it would leave the room screaming “You don’t know me!” and I would sit utterly defeated because it was true: I didn’t know Latin. I tried though, but things were barely working. I kept telling myself that I did take our relationship seriously, but maybe the reality was that I didn’t. And so when I met with Greek for the first time I was nervous. Continue reading

When learning a new language, I find that it’s always good to get to know it first. Find out what it’s about, the kinds of expectations it has, and how much work it’s going to be. After all, it takes a person who likes a certain kind of challenge to surmount the terrifying idioms of a language like English, or the ten thousand characters of Mandarin. But it’s not just about difficulty, it’s also about usability. Esperanto is really easy to learn, but unfortunately it only allows you to speak with nerds. So when I saw Latin making eyes at me from the course catalogue, I was a bit nervous. I’d never been into older languages, though I knew some people who had a real thing for them. Still, I was fascinated by some of its speakers, and decided to try it out.  Continue reading

Movie Review

I must admit, I was leery when I first saw the cover of Agora on Netflix. It showed the back of a young man with an unsheathed gladius dripping blood. I was immediately reminded of the many recent disappointments in terms of historical movies or TV series set in antiquity, namely Centurion, Clash of the Titans, and STARZ’s Spartacus series – plenty of nudity, violence, and gore, but not much beyond that. Continue reading

The Spear Carrier, by Doryphoros

I graduated a year ago with a minor in classical studies, but I like to stay involved with UW’s Classical Studies community, so I write here, and tweet as well. This isn’t just because the people involved in that department, both students and faculty, are great people who have had an incredible effect on my development as a human being, but because all of us place a great deal of value in the things we can learn from the past. It’s a shrinking field in some places though, and I think that’s to our detriment as a species, though a lot of people question the merits of studying dead languages and reconstructing the affairs of long dead people whose heritage is barely shared by western scholars. And those people are wrong. Continue reading