Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Rival Norwegian Bishop Sigurds At The Turn Of The 11th Century

During the last decade of the 10th century and the first decades of the 11th century, Norwegians must have been familiar with the name,...

The Rebellion Of Ansfrit Of Ragogna

Ansfrit of Ragogna was a curious figure from 7th-century Italy who was known to have possessed a fortress and a loyal army in northern...

The Legend Of Thórir The Hound’s Magical Hide Cloaks

In early 11th-century Norway, a chieftain named Thórir the Hound reigned supreme in the northernmost stretches, known as Halogaland, of the Norwegian countryside. On...

The Tale Of The Frankish Heist For Saint Benedict’s Remains

In the middle of the 7th century, a plot was hatched by Frankish religious figures that would ignite a rivalry lasting well over a...

The Great Pestilence Of Ticinum In The 7th Century

During the relatively quiet reign of King Perctarit of the Lombards (r. 671-688), the Lombard capital of Ticinum (later Pavia) and several other cities...

Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio (c. 1313-1375) "The poets have always found more to sustain them in their songs, than many a rich man has found in his...

Columbus Before Isabella, by Jean-Paul Laurens (c. 1838–1921)

This painting, by the French artist Jean-Paul Laurens (c. 1838–1921), depicts the explorer, Christopher Columbus, in an audience with his patron, Queen Isabella (r....

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The Calydonian Boar Hunt, by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1577 – 1640)

This painting, by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1577-1640), was inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Meleager, Atalanta (or Atalante), and...

Perseus Confronting Phineus With The Head Of Medusa, By Sebastiano Ricci (c. 1659 – 1734)

This painting by the Italian artist, Sebastiano Ricci (c. 1659 - 1734), re-creates a deadly incident from the mythical saga of the Greek hero,...

The Legend Of Thórir The Hound’s Magical Hide Cloaks

In early 11th-century Norway, a chieftain named Thórir the Hound reigned supreme in the northernmost stretches, known as Halogaland, of the Norwegian countryside. On...

In The Late 19th Century, China Was Divided Like A Pie Between Imperialist Powers

(French Political Cartoon "China -- the cake of kings and... of emperors," c. 1898, via Creative Commons)   The diplomatic relationship between China and the...

The Death Of Caesar, Painted By Jean-Léon Gérôme (c. 1824-1904)

This painting, by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme (c. 1824-1904), depicts the assassination of the Roman dictator, Julius Caesar, on the Ides of March...

Procopius

  Procopius (c. 490-565) "While cleverness is appropriate to rhetoric, and inventiveness to poetry, truth alone is appropriate to history." From The History of the Wars (Book I, section...

The Legend Of Queen Zarinaia Of The Sacae

Ctesias of Cnidus was a Greek physician and historian who found work in the Achaemenid Empire of Persia during the late 5th century BCE....

Tacitus

  Tacitus (c. 56-117+) "Important events are obscure. Some believe all manner of hearsay evidence; others twist truth into fiction; and both sorts of error are...
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Euripides

Euripides (c. 485-406 BCE) "Men do not judge justly with their eyes when, before they know for sure the true nature of a person's heart,...

Ulysses At The Palace Of Circe, Painted By Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg (c. 1630-1676) and Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart (c. 1630-1703)

This painting, by the artists Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg (c. 1630-1676) and Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart (c. 1630-1703), re-creates an episode from Homer’s ancient...

The Unflattering Aging Of The Graiai Over Centuries

As told in the tales of ancient Greek mythology, there was a unique group of divine sisters known as the Graiai who were included...

The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (c. 1696-1770)

This painting, by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (c. 1696-1770), was inspired by an uncomfortable legend from the history of ancient Rome. The...

The Continence Of Scipio, By Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (c. 1675-1741)

This painting, by the Italian artist Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (c. 1675-1741), was inspired by a legend that was said to have occurred in Spain...

Tacitus

Tacitus (c. 56/57-117+) "Modern times are indeed happy as few others have been, for we can think as we please, and speak as we think" ...

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (c. 1667-1745) "His Majesty's present severities acquitted me of all past obligations." Gulliver’s Travels (Voyage to Laputa, chapter 7) by Jonathan Swift. New...

The Cross-Sea Journeys And Ill-Fated Wedding Of Jarl Hákon Eiriksson

Hákon Eiriksson was a Norwegian nobleman with ties to the Danish royal family. His father, Jarl Eirik Hakonarson, had aligned himself with King Sweyn...

The Tale Of Thórarin Loftunga And His Poetic “Head Ransom”

A man called Thórarin, nicknamed Loftunga (or Praise-Tongue), was an 11th-century Icelandic skald who offered his poetic services to the prominent Scandinavian kings of...
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Latest Posts

The Strung-Out Death Of King Grimoald

In 671, King Grimoald of the Lombards would have been just over 60 years of age, but despite his advancing years, the king was...

Danaë and Perseus on Seriphos, by Henry Fuseli (c. 1741–1825)

This painting, by the Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (c. 1741–1825), has been tentatively labeled by the Yale University Gallery of Art as Danaë and...

The Complicated Life Of Uni The Dane

According to folklore and oral history preserved in the Icelandic Book of Settlements (Landnámabók), an enigmatic figure named Uni lived a troubled life in...

The Poisoning Of Glauce And Creon, Painted By Jean-François de Troy (c. 1679 -1752)

This painting, by the French artist Jean-François de Troy (c. 1679 -1752), re-creates one of the murderous scenes from the catastrophic end of the...

Sophocles

Sophocles (c. 496-406/405 BCE) "Second thoughts make liars of us all." Sophocles, Antigone, approximately line 390, translated by Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics, 1982, 1984, 2018).

The Legend Of Enigmatic King Arkamani / Ergamenes

Interesting occurrences were happening in the Meroitic Kushite Kingdom (approximately modern Sudan) in the 3rd century BCE that caught the attention of ancient Greek...

The Oracle, painted by Camillo Miola (c. 1840 – 1919)

This painting, entitled The Oracle, was created by the Italian artist Camillo Miola (c. 1840-1919), who is also known by the name, Biacca. His...

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (c. 1667-1745) "His Majesty's present severities acquitted me of all past obligations." Gulliver’s Travels (Voyage to Laputa, chapter 7) by Jonathan Swift. New...

The Legend Of Wooden Doves In Early Lombard Burial Grounds

As told by the Lombard historian, Paul the Deacon (c. 720-799), his Lombard ancestors had a funerary custom in which they set up post...

The Farewell Of Telemachus And Eucharis, Painted by Jacques-Louis David (c. 1748 – 1825)

This painting, by the French artist Jacques-Louis David (c. 1748 – 1825), was inspired by stories about the ancient Greek mythological figure, Telemachus—the son...

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