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A painting depicting a debate between Socrates and Aspasia, by Nicolas André Monsiaux, circa 1800.

Elite Companions, Flute Girls and Child Slaves: Sex Work in Ancient Athens

Marguerite Johnson / The Conversation In this sexual histories series, authors explore changing sexual mores from antiquity to today. When the Athenian politician Pericles delivered his famous...
Ancient Greek theater (Segesta).

Ancient Greek Theater and the Monumental Amphitheaters in Honor of Dionysus

To the Ancient Greeks, theater was a form of entertainment taken very seriously. People would come from all across the Greek world to attend the popular theaters held in open air amphitheaters. In...
Detail of a Fresco from the North wall of the Tomb of the Diver in Paestum, Italy depicting Pederastic couples at a symposium.

Assassins in Ancient Athens: The Tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogeiton

Harmodius and Aristogeiton: the citizens of Athens knew the names of these lovers all too well in the 6th century BC. But it isn’t their love story that captured attention. These two men are...
Mosaic, shown Gargoyles in form of Theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. Roman artwork, 2nd century AD.

Masks, Sex, Laughter, and Tears: The Exciting Evolution of Ancient Greek Theater

The city of theater was Athens. Athens birthed drama, bred drama, and ultimately was responsible for cultivating it into the premiere art of the Classical world—at least according to Greek...
‘Die Amazonenschlacht’ by Anselm Feuerbach, 1873.

Who was the Powerful Amazon Queen Orithyia and What Drove Her to Launch a Fated Attack on Athens?

Orithyia was one of those dangerous women whose beauty was so often described by terrified and excited men that it became legendary. For centuries, the Amazons were believed to be nothing more than a...
Astrology Tile Mosaic, Ringling's Mansion (Courtyard)

The 4,000 Year History of Horoscopes: How Astrology Has Been Shaped Throughout the the Millennia

Every time ancient Greece is mentioned, most people automatically think of democracy, the Olympic Games, mythology, philosophy, technology and various sciences such as mathematics and astronomy. It...
Photo by Leo Von Klenze. A romantic idealized reconstruction of the Acropolis of Athens.

Cleisthenes, Father of Democracy, Invented a Form of Government that Has Endured for Over 2,500 Years

Ancient Athens is best remembered for giving birth to the first democracy in history, a course of action that took many years and several leaders to develop. One of the most prominent figures of that...
How Was This 7,000-Year-Old Mysterious Artifact Carved from Granite Without Metal Tools?

How Was This 7,000-Year-Old Mysterious Artifact Carved from Granite Without Metal Tools?

A strange bird-like statuette from around 5,000 BC has puzzled Greek archaeologists, who can’t explain what it depicts or what its origin is. The "7,000-year-old enigma," as they have labeled it, is...
Socrates: The Father of Western Philosophy

Socrates: The Father of Western Philosophy

Socrates, the most famous philosopher of all time, had one of the most subtle and complicated minds we have on record. His death was a dark moment in Athenian and human history, but his thinking and...
What Went Wrong? The Real Story of the Battle of Thermopylae

What Went Wrong? The Real Story of the Battle of Thermopylae

In 480 BC, an enormous Persian army under the chief command of Emperor Xerxes (son of Darius the Great) campaigned against Thessaly in central Greece. Mainly they fought against the southern mostly...
The Eleusinian Mysteries: An Unresolved Ancient Greek Puzzle

The Eleusinian Mysteries: An Unresolved Ancient Greek Puzzle

To this day the Eleusinian mysteries remains a subject enveloped by broken pieces of information, creating great controversy among historians who work under heavy assumptions while trying to puzzle...
A section of the Parthenon marbles

Controversy Reignites as British MPs Propose Finally Returning Ancient Parthenon Marbles to Greece

When the British Empire ruled much of the world, many artifacts and artworks, including reliefs and statues from the Parthenon in Athens known as the Elgin Marbles, were taken to Britain. For years...
First Ancient Oracle Well to Apollo unearthed in Athens

First Ancient Oracle Well to Apollo unearthed in Athens

Archeologists discovered an oracle well, which is at least 1,800-years-old and may be the first ancient oracle to Apollo found in Athens. Moreover, the prophecy at the sanctuary seems to be much...
Hermas as Guidance and Protection for Travelers in Ancient Greece.

Hermas as Guidance and Protection for Travelers in Ancient Greece

The herma (more commonly written in English as herm; plural as hermae or hermai) was a form of statuary that originated in ancient Greece. In general, these statues were stone columns that...
Solon, the wise lawgiver of Athens.

Solon: The Father of Western Law

Solon the Athenian was a great philosopher and one of the seven sages of ancient Greece. However, he’s mainly remembered for being the legislator who laid the foundation for Athenian democracy with...

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