Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires (3)

The third and last day of Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires in Freiburg came to an end today. Fortunately, it looks like the comparison will be continued in the form of quite an important book, for which the organisers and speakers appear to have quite ambitious plans. This is entirely in keeping with the…

Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires in Freiburg (2)

The second day of Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires in Freiburg continued the standards of the first day. First up were Gilles Gorre and Philippe Clancier delivering a joint paper. Their question: if there were temple elites with significant local political power in both Egypt and Babylonia at the start of the Hellenistic period,…

Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires in Freiburg

Currently, I am in Freiburg for a conference entitled Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires, because I’m keen on comparative history and keen to see the latest in Hellenistic research. For each topic there are two speakers; one Ptolemaicist and one Seleucidologist. It’s only day one (of three), but the standard has already been very high…

Statistical Stories

On Wednesday OUHS hosted a talk on Telling Stories in History by Robert Tombs from the Other Place. He gave a very engaging presentation, which I assume to have been a distilled version of his book The English and their History, which I haven’t read and might well crack the wind-eggs I’m about to lay. His framing device was…

Seeing Ourselves in the Past

In a piece for the Guardian this week decrying the decline of Latin and Greek in schools, Jo Quinn wrote: “the true value of studying the classical Mediterranean lies not in its connections with our own culture and experiences, but in how very strange and foreign it can be.” The idea that she’s rightly pillorying…

Presentation Review: Gemma Newlands “Sibling Rivalry: Roma and Constantinopolis in the 4th Century AD”

In Sibling Rivalry: Roma and Constantinopolis in the 4th Century AD, delivered on 16 January as part of the Oxford-Princeton seminar series, Gemma Newlands investigated in detail the way Rome’s relationship with the new city of Constantinople was represented in literature and art through the two cities’ respective personifications: Roma and Constantinopolis. The range of…

Punting through the English Summer

Growing up I learnt about the far-off land of Britain from me Mum, who grew up here. When she was in kindergarten, she drew a picture of a sunny green landscape with a bright blue sky. Furious, the teacher dragged mum outside, pointed at the sky and declared: “That’s not what the sky looks like. It is not…