Phenomenology & Archaeology: What are Beings???*

If you could ask yourself just one question in this life, what would it be? In a series of lectures at the University of Freiburg, Heidegger defined the “leading question of philosophy” as something posed by Aristotle in his Metaphysics: “This question of philosophy asks what beings are, just in respect of the fact that…

Beyond Sight: Applying Sensory Studies to The Classical World.

What was it like to live in ancient times? Can ancient texts really help us feel what life was like? Does archaeology bring to life the fragments of buildings which it reconstructs? Are there other methodologies we can use to add further to our understanding of bygone eras? Sensory studies is an emerging academic discipline…

Empurias: Welcome to Graeco-Roman Hispania. 

Where are the best places to see Greek and Roman ruins? An obvious answer may be to say in Greece and Rome themselves, yet both civilisations colonised and conquered widely around the Mediterranean Sea. Spain, in particular, has many well preserved archaeological sights and one of the most beautiful is to be found on the…

Whose culture is it anyway?

Francis Fukuyama (2018), writing recently about what comes after his much hyped “End of History” concluded: Identity politics. His End of History, it seems, was neither a final Hegelian synthesis nor any Johnian Αποκάλυψις, but merely the end of the big ideological squabbles that have plagued us down through the ages and the start of…

How to Develop a Classical Hexis.

The past is mysterious to us. We are cut off from it without any direct access. We can investigate it by different means, yet any exact experience of it remains beyond us. It is therefore easy to glorify, with the common notions that things were better in the past or at least simpler. This misses…

Isocrates & Thucydides on Greek Memeology.

Much has been made of the ethnic origins of the ancient Greeks and today’s issues around identity politics are just as polemical on the subject as ever. Greece is a symbol for all sorts of different reasons to many different people whether they identify as being “Greek” or not. It is even important to some…

Delos: The Sacred Island

A few thoughts on the recent conference lectures run by Barcino Colonia Romae at the Joan Pelagrí School, Hostafrancs, Barcelona (2nd – 3rd June 2018). The first talk was given by Albert Anglès i Minguell on the Aegean island of Delos. He is also an excavator at Vindolandia (UK). The talk draws attention to Delos’ centrality…

Euripides’ Troiades Review

Here are a few reflections on the current Spanish production of Euripides’ Trojan Women, which I saw on the 24th February at the Teatre Auditori de Sant Cugat. It has been doing the rounds, having been performed at last year’s Teatre Grec festival in Barcelona and various other theatres across the country. The stage set…

Sartre: Les Troyennes VIII

Adaptation de Jean-Paul Sartre. Collection du Théâtre National Populaire 1965. SCENE VIII Les mêmes, Talthybios. TALTHYBIOS (va à Andromaque) Ne me hais pas. ANDROMAQUE Quoi? TALTHYBIOS Je ne suis qu’un messager. Je te communique à regret les nouvelles décisions de mes maîtres. ANDROMAQUE Sois clair. On dirait que tu as peur de parler. TALTHYBIOS Ton…

Troiades Vocab 740-779

Studying this famous scene from Euripides’ play ‘Troiades’ (please forgive my iota subscript) for a classics assignment. It’s the one where Andromache gives her heartfelt farewell to her son Astuanax, who is about to be killed by the Greeks fearing that he may one day realise his name’s destiny and refound the city of Troy….

Herodotus Vocab 1.131-133

Back to my comfort zone of Greek lit, starting on Herodotus’ sections about Persian customs, which contain some fascinating info about the supposed “bad guys” and anyone who has watched 300 should read these bits to get a more balanced view of their lifestyle and habits. These sections are also well worth reading just for…