Category Archives: The Ancient World

Oedipus Rex, Oedipus Tyrannus

Some interesting tidbits about Sophocles’ Oedipus plays: The Greek title of the first play is “Oedipus Tyrannos,” or “Oedipus the Tyrant,” while in Latin it is “Oedipus Rex,” or “Oedipus the King.” What is the difference between a tyrant and … Continue reading

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Notes on the Traditional Roman Account of Roman History

The traditional account of Roman history to the third century B.C. exhibits different standards of historiography than does our own, and carries different historical importance. In what follows I will discuss three major factors which informed and shaped the traditional … Continue reading

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The Minotaur

I’m not particularly keen on scholarly attempts to demythologize the Ancient World (since such attempts are nearly always excessively rationalistic), but I have to say I found the following possible explanation for the myth of the Minotaur to be intriguing. … Continue reading

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Voegelin on Greek “Revelatory” Culture

I’m going to quote this from a secondary source for now, until I have time to find the primary and get a more detailed reference. Writing of the slur that the Ancient Greeks proceeded only by means of autonomous human … Continue reading

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The Real Story of the Trojan War?

It’s been a long time since I read Herodotus, and I had not remembered that in Book II of his Histories (112-120) he gives an alternative story, told to him by Egyptians who allegedly spoke with Helen’s husband Menelaus, about … Continue reading

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Hesiod

I took some time the other day to read a couple of works by Hesiod, a contemporary of Homer, thinking they might be useful for filling in some gaps in my knowledge of Archaic Greece. I read the Works and … Continue reading

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Homeric Psychology, Anthropology, and Questions of Justice

Eric Voegelin helpfully discusses the rather rudimentary anthropology of the Homeric epics as a window through which to view the Archaic Greek understanding of divine causality / human responsibility, human psychology / anthropology, and social order / disorder.:”(“Order and Disorder,” … Continue reading

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Cholos and the Destruction of Mycenaean Greece

Historically speaking we know that there were real events behind the Homeric story of the Trojan War. We know that Mycenaean Greece dramatically fell at some point in the 13th century B.C., and that a “dark age” of some four … Continue reading

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Poetry and Reality

I admit that I never have been a “poetic” soul, or understood much about poetry. In fact, most poetry (especially when I actually had to read large quantities of it several years ago for the Literature colloquium at New St. … Continue reading

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Fides, Diffidatio, and Tyranny

This is interesting. In my original B.A. thesis work on conciliarism (some of which is as yet unpublished), I developed the idea of multiple streams of thought about authority in Western Christendom throughout the Middle Ages. The sources I had … Continue reading

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