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classics


  • More War Crimes Will Follow in Ukraine

    by Fred Zilian

    To those who believed that war and war crimes in Europe in the 21st century had become unthinkable, Thucydides offers us a simple yet powerful statement: “War is a violent teacher.”



  • Sampling the Epic in Kendrick Lamar's "Mortal Man"

    by Justine McConnell

    Remembering the essential orality of classical epics can help to understand them as works that have been sampled and remixed, and to place contemporary popular culture in dialogue with that tradition. 



  • A Descent into Textual Paranoia

    by Christopher S. Celenza

    "Doing one's own research" in an environment of proliferating information and few gatekeepers isn't new to the internet age. 


  • What if Hannibal Had Won?

    by Philip Freeman

    Historians' dependence on the accounts of Roman historians has distorted modern understanding of Hannibal, the Carthaginians, and the different possibilities for the world if he had succeeded in defeating Rome.



  • Mapping Black Antiquity

    by Sarah Derbew

    Ancient Greek literature is full of depictions of African people that affirm their participation in classical antiquity. Why have these been submerged? 



  • Boris Johnson’s Roman Fantasies

    by Mateusz Fafinsky

    Boris Johnson's recent statements that the collapse of Rome was caused by open borders are well out of step with historical understanding of the fragmenting of the Roman empire, but in line with a long legacy of political misappropriation of Rome as an allegory for the danger of immigrants.



  • Why a Liberal Education is Worth Defending

    by Steve Mintz

    Roosevelt Montas’s forthcoming "Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation" makes a powerful case for engagment with the Great Books as a way to subvert hierarchies and promote equity. 



  • Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (Thursday, 9/23)

    Nancy Sherman addresses the Washington History Seminar to discuss the maladaptation of Stoicism to the modern self-help industry and a fuller understanding of the lessons of the school. Zoom, September 23, 4:00 EDT. 


  • The Legacy of Same-Sex Love in Ancient Thebes

    by James Romm

    The story of the Sacred Band of Thebes – a fighting force of pairs of male lovers – was discovered in time to provide inspiration to gay rights struggles from the Victorian era to the present. James Romm's new book tells the story. 



  • Mary Beard Keeps History on the Move

    "I spent part of my career lamenting that there weren’t more female authors in the ancient world. Well, you can mourn the lack of those authors forever, but you’re not very likely to find more. But you can engage with how gender is defined."



  • Howard University’s Removal of Classics is a Spiritual Catastrophe

    by Cornel West and Jeremy Tate

    Despite some contemporary multicultural critiques, the literary and intellectual traditions of the West can and must be separated from "the crimes of the West." If Frederick Douglass and MLK drew on these traditions in struggles for freedom, then Howard University must continue to teach them. 


  • The Original Storming of the Capitol

    by Stephen Dando-Collins

    The January 6, 2021 siege of the Capitol in Washington DC has eerie parallels with a much earlier event, the AD 69 siege of the Capitoline Mount in Rome.