Whatever Happened to the Spartans?

Who doesn’t love the Spartans?  Those wacky, ripped super-men of few words and huge enslaved underclass that built an entire society around warfare and preservation of their way of life.  Laconophilia, or a love of Sparta and Spartan culture (named after Lacedaemon Λακεδαίμων, an alternate name of Sparta), has been an underlying current of the WesternContinue reading “Whatever Happened to the Spartans?”

The Hellenistic World: Ancient Greece on a Wider Scale

When most people think of Ancient Greece, they think of ancient Athens with its democracy and philosophers, or Sparta with its militaristic culture.1 But Greece was a much larger and more complex culture, and no where is this more evident than in the Hellenistic Period. The Hellenistic Period, covers a broad period from the deathContinue reading “The Hellenistic World: Ancient Greece on a Wider Scale”

Medieval Japanese Tax-Evading Oligarchs

Recently, I saw this post on Twitter: https://twitter.com/winter/status/1160576494160228357?s=21 I chuckled at this a little bit because the issue with tax-evading oligarchs that wield disproportionate power is not a new phenomenon, and it’s not limited to the Western world. Back in the Nara and Heian Periods of Japan (7th through 12th centuries), the government had institutedContinue reading “Medieval Japanese Tax-Evading Oligarchs”

Gauls in the Roman Senate: A Cautionary Tale

Recently, I was reminded of an anecdotal tale from the early Roman Empire about the introduction of Gauls to the Roman Senate.  The anecdote is also frequently alluded to in Professor Mary Beard’s excellent overview of Roman History titled SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. In 48 CE, Emperor Claudius was trying to convince theContinue reading “Gauls in the Roman Senate: A Cautionary Tale”

Liberals and Conservatives: Roman Style!

While enjoying the awesome Youtube series Historia Civilis and its coverage of the last days of the Roman Republic, I picked up a terrific book on the history of Rome, its politics and how people lived.  I’ve been fascinated by the political and social struggles of the Roman Republic because there are interesting parallels toContinue reading “Liberals and Conservatives: Roman Style!”

Agamemnon Was A Total Dick

As my studies of Ancient Greek continue, thanks to the Greek 101 course available at The Great Courses, I have been translating small sections of ancient text, The Iliad, as part of the homework.  You can see my crazy chicken-scratch above for lines 17-27 in the first book.  For today’s post, I wanted to drawContinue reading “Agamemnon Was A Total Dick”

Roman Politics in a Nutshell

Lately, I’ve been watching some fascinating videos by Historia Civilis on Youtube (Patreon page here) about politics in the days of the Roman Republic and the transition to an empire. This video is an overview of how the Roman consulship worked: The fact that Rome had two leaders, or consuls, and a Senate is prettyContinue reading “Roman Politics in a Nutshell”