Cooking with Galen

Galen was a Greek physician, writer and philosopher who lived during the Roman Period, between 129-216 CE. Born in Pergamon (modern-day Turkey) he believed that dissection was the key to truly understanding the workings of the human body and his methods in experimental medical investigation changed the face of the profession. However, his ambitions regarding human dissection were generally thwarted by the social mores of his time and so much of his understanding about anatomy came from the dissection of animals. This, as you can imagine, led to some mixed conclusions about the workings of the human body, however, it must be said that Galen was a consummate observer and much of what he wrote

Well Behaved Women

Tondo from an Attic red figure kylix of a man and a sex worker reclining on a bench at a banquet, c. 490 BCE. The women of ancient Greece are a largely silent group in the face of historical inquiry, and what we know of them from the Archaic to the end of the Classical period is limited. A major part of the reason for this is that women in ancient Greece didn’t have a recognised public voice. Those who did speak were derided as androgynes (‘men-women’); ‘proper’ women in ancient Greece were neither seen nor heard. As a result, it is the male voice that we read in the literary and cultural outpourings of ancient Greece. In Archaic and Classical Athens women’s and men’s domains within society

Artist Marco Luccio - The Albatross Project

Biological taxonomy, the system of ranked classification for natural species dates back to Plato and Aristotle. However, it was the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who is regarded as founder of our current system of biological categorisation. It was he who named the Albatross family Diomedeidae, in reference to a story in Homer’s Iliad. Diomedes, along with Odysseus and Palamedes, was a commander in the Greek army that sailed with Agamemnon to lay siege to Troy and recover Helen. According to Greek mythology, sometime after the fall of Troy Diomedes deeply offended the goddess Athena, in her fury she conjured up a ferocious storm at sea to wreck his fleet. In one version of the legend she tu

The Ancient Mycenaeans Live On!

Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey immortalised the achievements of Agamemnon, Odysseus, Achilles and Ajax. The stories of these heroes, and their battles, were considered by the archaic and classical Greeks as records of their cultural origins- with some claiming direct descent from the heroes. While the Mycenaean king Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus may have been myth the connection to modern Greek people and these ancient warriors is closer than ever before. The Mask of Agamemnon from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens; Necklace Bearer, Knossos; Facial reconstruction of the Griffin Warrior © Tobias Houlton & Lynne Schepartz, University of the Witwatersrand. A recent stud

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