Author: felicehowden

Xty and Europe

As the first decade of the third Christian millennium draws to an increasingly troubled close, the verdict of historians on its significance can already be anticipated. Two themes will surely predominate. The first, exemplified by the on-going carnage in the financial markets, will be the quickening of the momentum of the West’s decline relative to […]

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Iliad

Although the Greeks never doubted that Homer had existed, the precise details of his life were a puzzle to them. His dates, his place of birth, even the number of poems that he might have written – all were endlessly debated. Like the heroes born of gods, and like the very gods themselves, he defied […]

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Xerxes and Darius III

In 1891, George Nathaniel Curzon, ‘the very superior person’ of the mocking Balliol rhyme, and future viceroy of India, arrived at Persepolis. Torched in 330 BC by Alexander the Great, it had once been the nerve-centre of an empire that stretched from the Aegean to the Hindu Kush. For Curzon, whose tour of Iran had […]

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Alexander The Great

‘All those who write about Alexander,” grumbled the Roman geographer Strabo, “prefer the marvelous to the true.” Such a criticism was not entirely accurate even when he made it 2,000 years ago, and it is certainly not fair now. We live in an age of groundbreaking classical scholar ship, when historians of the ancient world […]

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Rediscovering the Achaemenid Empire

Because of the internet, Locke argues, everyone is free to communicate, and information is ubiquitous, fast-moving and dangerous. Corporations of the future have to understand the value of this gossip, and profit from their workers trading it. The secretive, pyramid-structured businesses of old will come to look more like a “utopia” of intermingling communities abiding […]

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Review: The Mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: An Elusive World Traced

In the early, heroic days of archaeology, it was invariably the ambition of those who headed out to the Levant, armed with pick and shovel, to track down wonders that they had read about in classical literature or the Bible. We tend to remember the successes. To this day the paradigm remains Heinrich Schliemann, whose […]

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