Month: November 2015

The Thrust of an Argument

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Impression of a seal on clay: a warrior in a Median hood and a cuirass with a tall projection behind the neck with a piercing axe thrust into it pulls an enemy’s shield down and stabs overhand into his chest as the enemy brandishes a club. From Erich F. Schmidt with contributions by Sydney P. Noe et al., Frederick R. Matson, Lawrence J. Howell, and Louisa Bellinger, Persepolis II: Contents of the Treasury and Other Discoveries. Oriental Institute Publications 69. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957 plate 9 seal 30.

Sometime in the sixteenth year of Xerxes great king (circa 468/7 BCE in our calendar), someone at Persepolis turned a tablet with Elamite writing on end and rolled his seal along it. A conversation with Josho Brouwers of Karwansaray BV recalled it to memory. Because this seems to show the style of body armour with a tall neck-guard and flaps over the shoulders which is often understood as distinctively Greek and said to have been invented about a hundred years before Xerxes based on its appearance in Greek vase paintings. But there is no hint of the Aegean in this scene, and this armour is missing the skirt of pteryges around the waist which usually appear in depictions of armour with this cut from the Aegean.

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Cross-Post: Conference on Experiencing Warfare in the Ancient World, Brock University, February 2016

CFP: EXPERIENCING WARFARE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD STUDENT CONFERENCE CLASSICS GRADUUATE PROGRAM ─ BROCK UNIVERSITY FEBRUARY 6, 2016 From Stephanie Culp The Classics Graduate Program at Brock University is pleased to announce an interdisciplinary conference exploring the experience of warfare in the ancient world. How were the ancients affected by warfare? What can the literature... Continue reading: Cross-Post: Conference on Experiencing Warfare in the Ancient World, Brock University, February 2016


A tomb relief depicting a man in a toga with six writing boards, Archaeologisches Museum, Schloss Eggenburg, Graz. Photo by Sean Manning, September 2015. A good long time ago, Julius Caesar faced the problem of how to boast about military achievements so great and so numerous that one war threatened to... Continue reading: VENI VIDI VICI

Keeping Just One Cloak

In 1837, the remaining Protestants living in the Zillerthal in eastern Tyrol were ordered to convert to Catholicism or leave. Mathias Schmid (d. 1923), “Vertreibung der Zillerthaler Protestanten im Jahr 1837/Letzer Blick in die Heimat,” 1877. In Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck; catalogue number Gem 3718. Photo by author, October 2015. Xenophon,... Continue reading: Keeping Just One Cloak