Myth and Memory

On his blog Genealogy of Religion, Cris Campbell talks about reading Colin Calloway’s book One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark. The crux of the post can be summed up by quoting Campbell: I have no doubt that indigenous oral traditions are remarkable repositories of deep history and ancient knowledge. They are [Read More...]

A Brief Manifesto Against Trains

Hemant Mehta shared the above image, supposedly of a letter to the editor printed in an Indiana newspaper in 1830. I’ve learned to be skeptical of such alleged examples of people complaining about advancing technology and breakneck speeds which, from our perspective, seem slow and simple. Whether it is authentic or not, the fact that [Read More...]

When Assyria Conquered Israel

Not only students, but other sources regularly refer to Assyria conquering Israel in 722 BCE. This reflects a misunderstanding of the Bible and other evidence. Assyria was already the dominant power in the region, and had been for a decade or more. Israel and Judah were vassal states within the territory of the Assyrian Empire. [Read More...]

Invaders from the East

They came from far in the East, thousands of miles away. And they took over a land that did not previously belong to them. Their arrival changed the religious, cultural, and political makeup of the territory dramatically. Is this right? How should we view something like this, when it happened hundreds of years ago – indeed, [Read More...]

History in the Bible

Along with the quote from Daniel Wallace which I shared previously, Yuriy Stasyuk also shared the above quote from William Dever – a graduate of Butler University! It nicely sums up the majority viewpoint on the Bible and history. [Read more...]

How Liberal Scholars are Made

Yuriy Stasyuk shared the image above on Facebook, with a quote from Daniel Wallace. It draws attention to the fact that studying the Bible in a rigorous, academic way, results in people feeling compelled to draw conclusions which conservatives dislike – in many cases, which they themselves dislike, having started out as conservatives. Most liberal Biblical [Read More...]

Identification of Authors in Ancient Literature

A discussion here on this blog brought up the question of whether other ancient works may, like the Gospels, have initially circulated without an author being indicated, with the attribution to the author being added only subsequently to the manuscript tradition. This led to a blog post by Matthew Ferguson, which made comparisons to the works of [Read More...]

Yoda, Buddha, Obi-Wan, and Confucius

AntiquityNow has free materials -ranging from bookmarks to cookbooks to curricula – related to the ancient world. Some of it incorporates science fiction, such as the bookmark below or the curriculum on time travel. Of almost but not entirely unrelated interest, The Toast has a list of courses taken by Lara Croft when working on her Master of Library [Read More...]

Important Online Sources

The Ancient World Online drew attention to recent open access publications from the Center for Hellenic Studies. These include Albert Lord's classic The Singer of Tales and Averil Cameron's Dialoguing in Late Antiquity. I haven't figured out how to actually access them yet, but hopefully will soon. See also Brice Jones' blog post and Paul [Read More...]

Finding and Remembering Ancestors with Help from the Latter-Day Saints

I used to talk disdainfully about the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead. Taking an obscure reference in one of Paul’s letters and developing it into a doctrine seemed to me very dubious. I’m still not persuaded that the LDS church has understood what Paul was referring to correctly. But I have a new-found [Read More...]

Epic of Gilgamesh Sung in Sumerian

The above video, featuring Peter Pringle singing the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh in the original language while playing a replica of an ancient Sumerian instrument is very cool. Below is another video in which he plays a replica of a lyre depicted on a relief in Megiddo in Israel. HT The Cultural Mosaic [Read more...]


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