Gallery: Three Ancient Greek Monsters

There are many references to monsters in ancient Greek texts, some with detailed descriptions. This Gallery illustrates how just three of them were depicted in the visual arts: Scylla, the Hydra, and the Chimera. Scylla When Circe warns Odysseus that his journey must take him past the dangers posed by Scylla, who lives up in a sheer cliff face, she provides a vivid description of what he will face: …… Read more

Gallery | Alexander the Great

To accompany our July–August Book Club readings about Alexander the Great, here is a gallery of just a few of the many images, ancient and more modern, depicting Alexander. Plutarch, in his ‘Life of Alexander,’ says: The outward appearance of Alexander is best represented by the statues of him which Lysippus made, and it was by this artist alone that Alexander himself thought it fit that he should be modelled.… Read more

Exhibition | Labyrinth: Knossos, Myth and Reality

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is running an exhibition called Labyrinth: Knossos, Myth & Reality until July 30, 2023. I couldn’t resist a visit! The story of Theseus and the Minotaur in the labyrinth at Knossos was well known, and there had been various conjectures about whether the site really existed. The original discovery of buildings and items at Knossos was by a Cretan, Minos Kalokairinos, in 1878. However, although… Read more

Gallery | Amazons

The Iliad starts with the anger of Achilles, but the last words belong to Hector’s funeral. Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector, tamer of horses. Sourcebook Iliad 24.802-803[1] However, Casey Dué in Achilles Unbound: Multiformity and Tradition in the Homeric Epics[2] shows that an alternative ending line existed. The medieval manuscripts and all modern editions, such as that of Munro and Allen’s 1920 Oxford Classical Text, end… Read more