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Thanos Matanis

Fact is stranger than fiction. Historiography has its origins in entertainment. While we should not fabricate the past, we need to remember how historiography began and re-engage with its narrative qualities. Like Herodotus, my passion as a writer is to distill history in a relevant and digestible way to audiences.

Thanos Matanis is a writer and archaeologist who is possessed by a penchant for the past. When he isn’t digging up artifacts, he contributes to online publications, like Ancient-Origins and Neos Kosmos.




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A Kushan empire (30–375 AD) frieze showing the Buddha flanked on the left by a Greek-inspired Vajrapani that clearly highlights the aesthetic nuances of Greek Buddhism.		Source: Goldsmelter / CC BY-SA 4.0

Greek Buddhism, The Forgotten Chapter In A Philosophy That Began in India

A bygone era forgotten in Western circles but preserved in the histories of Buddhist traditions tells the story of the Greek contribution to Buddhism. Enshrined in the daily prayers of the Theravāda...
Mythology was put to the service of ancient Greek diplomacy. Image of the mighty god Zeus. Source: zwiebackesser / Adobe Stock

Of Kin and Kind: The Role of Myths in Ancient Greek Diplomacy

Myths in the ancient world were not confined to the world of movies and children’s books like they are today. They played a vital part in political life and ancient Greek diplomacy. For example,...
In this painting by Maarten van Heemskerck Helen, queen of the Greek city-state Sparta, is abducted by Paris, a prince of the Trojans. 		Source: Walters Art Museum / Public domain

The Friend in the Foe: Trojans in Greek Media

Trojans are typically thought of as the archrivals of the Greeks. Their abduction of the beautiful Helen launched a thousand ships on Trojan shores, igniting a war that spanned ten years...
Mithridates expertly used symbology to appeal to the multiple factions of his coalition. Source: Fernando Cortés / Adobe Stock.

A Master of Symbology: How Mithridates Eupator United the Foes of Rome

Pop culture usually depicts the relationship between Greeks and the East as tumultuous. This is due mainly to the three wars Greece fought against Persia, featured in films like 300 by Zack Snyder...
The legendary Silver Shields of Alexander the Great went on to serve Eumenes as the house of Argead battled the Macedonian forces of Antigonus but in the end family trumped loyalty.		Source: Honga

Silver Shields: Alexander's Crack Troops Who Betrayed Their New Master

Could a ragtag team of elite troops in their later years, and a bureaucrat-turn-general take on the military powerhouse of the day? Eumenes, the Greek general, was tasked by Olympias (Alexander’s...

The Influence of Mythology on the Mind of Alexander the Great

History regularly describes Alexander the Great as a general who either imitated or communed with mythical gods and heroes throughout his campaigns and conquests. In fact, the mythological was often...