All  
Japanese erotic art. Credit: fotoember / Adobe Stock

Sex, Scandal, and Allure: The Erotic Art of Shun-ga from Edo to Early Modern Japan

In the year 1770, within a large village house by the bustling city of Edo, Japan (modern day Tokyo City), a large collective of apprentices studied under their teacher, Utagawa Toyoharu, in...
Sumerian tablets, Sumerian script is known as cuneiform. Source: Pixabay/ CC0

Sumerian Tablets: A Deeper Understanding of the Oldest Known Written Language

The Sumerian language was developed in ancient Mesopotamia and is the oldest known written language. This language was written in a script known as cuneiform, which was later adapted by other...
Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal has sometimes been described as the ‘first library’ in the world, or the ‘oldest surviving royal library in the world’. The library was discovered by archaeologists...
Beowulf fighting Grendel’s Mother beside Grendel’s body.

Of Monsters and Men: What Is the Grim Being Known as Grendel from the Epic Beowulf?

Nowadays, monsters hide under your bed. They come out of the closet or dangle from your ceiling. Children usually picture such monsters with fangs or scales, glowing eyes, and claws. With the right...
Manannán mac Lir sculpture by John Sutton at Gortmore, Magilligan, County Londonderry (2014).

Manannan Mac Lir: God of the Sea and Guardian of the Afterlife

Manannan mac Lir is likely the most prominent sea deity of Irish mythology and literature. With his sea-borne chariot, affiliation with horses and cloak of invisibility, he guards the otherworld and...
Detail from one of the fragments showing the name Merlin.

Fragments of Ancient Manuscript About Merlin Have Been Discovered and Could Change Arthurian Legend

A lucky discovery in a rare book has the potential to transform our knowledge of perhaps the most famous story from the entire Middle Ages. Some damaged manuscript pages found inside the volume are...
‘The Unicorn is Found’ in one of the Unicorn Tapestries in Stirling Castle. Medieval science fiction had a convergence of science, technology and the imagination

Medieval Science Fiction Existed – Here’s What it Looked Like

Carl Kears & James Paz / The Conversation Science fiction may seem resolutely modern, but the genre could actually be considered hundreds of years old. There are the alien green “ children of...
Agastyar, Father and Chairman of first Tamil Sangams, Madurai, Pandiya Kingdom. (CC BY SA 2.5) Detail of ancient Tamil script found on the temple walls of the Tanjore Bragadeeshwara temple.

Sangam Literature: These Tantalizing Tales Offer a Window into Ancient Tamil Life

“In their antiquity and in their contemporaneity, there is not much else in any Indian literature equal to these quiet and dramatic Tamil poems. In their values and stances, they represent a mature...
Mahabharata War.

The Mahabharata: Unforgettable Lessons in An Indian Epic of Family Fighting

Poets have told it before, poets are telling it now, other poets shall tell this history on earth in the future. - (The Book of the Beginning), Mahabharata The Mahabharata (which may be translated...
"Three visits to the thatched cottage" (三顧茅廬), the second visit is depicted here. Portrait at the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace, Beijing. This is a scene from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms - A Well-Loved Chinese Classic

When saying the names Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, although the surnames are different, yet we have come together as brothers. From this day forward, we shall join forces for a common purpose: to...
The Banquet (after Plato). second version (1874) by Anselm Feuerbach.

Plato’s Symposium: Is it Just a Joke?

When talking about love in the classical age, we would be utterly remiss to not include Plato’s Symposium in our conversation. Symposium is Plato’s recounting of a, supposedly true, ancient cocktail...
A modern representation of Humbaba

Humbaba: A Monstrous Foe for Gilgamesh or a Misunderstood Guardian?

Humbaba (Huwawa) is a guardian creature found in the Epic of Gilgamesh , which is generally considered to be the earliest surviving great work of literature. Although Humbaba is traditionally...
Avalon finalised

Magic into Myth: Avalon, Mystical Isle of Medieval Arthurian Literature

The Isle of Apples, Isle of the Blessed, and the Otherworld. These titles have long been associated with the magical resting place of the early medieval king, Arthur Pendragon. A realm imbued with...
Julius Caesar by Peter Paul Rubens.

“Veni, Vidi, Scripsi”: The Literary Conquests of Gaius Julius Caesar

A man who needs no introduction, Gaius Julius Caesar is more than well known for the stories he spearheads—namely, his numerous military victories. (Although, even his defeats somehow sound rather...
“Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf in the forest” (1881) by Carl Larsson.

Humans Traveled Far and Wide Before Little Red Riding Hood Ever Made It Through the Woods

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairytale most children have heard. But if you’re not familiar, it tells the story of a young girl who wears a red velvet hood and cape and travels alone through a...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...

Pages