A Case Study in How the Plague Plagues Cities

A Case Study in How the Plague Plagues Cities:
Sickness in Oedipus Rex and The Gods Are Not To Blame
By Lily Nesvold

Many are familiar with Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex; however, fewer know its modern adaptation, Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame. Published in 1971, the novel is set in the Yoruba kingdom and tells the story of Odewale, king of Kutuje, in three acts, much like the original Sophoclean play. Oedipus Rex and The Gods Are Not To Blame portray how illness plagues the respective cities of Thebes and Kutuje. Additionally, the action in these stories…

Aristotle and the Argument for American Slavery

Aristotle and the Argument for American Slavery
By Olivia Haynie

Throughout history, philosophers and authors from ancient Greece and Rome have inspired later civilizations and generations. Their ideas on governance, morality, and democracy have launched countless movements for political liberty and justice. However, they have also inspired proponents of bigotry: The Involuntary Celibate (Incel) Movement drew inspiration from Ovid and the Stoics, the Third Reich was influenced by Tacitus, and in antebellum America, proponents of slavery found an advocate in Aristotle.

Book Review: Harper’s The Wolf Den

Book Review: Harper’s The Wolf Den
By Maggie Yuan

From 2018’s Circe to the Illiad retelling The Silence of the Girls, the women of antiquity have taken the literary world by storm in a recent wave of feminist mythological retellings. Though the subjects differ, the common thread is the authors’ complex reimagining of the often one-dimensional women. Surprisingly, the lives of Rome’s most mysterious, enigmatic, and real women were…

An Analysis of Fifty Days at Iliam

An Analysis of Fifty Days at Iliam
By Lily Nesvold

Fusing ancient storytelling and modern art, Fifty Days at Iliam is a ten-part canvas painting that uses a mixture of oil, crayon, and graphite. Based on Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad, it is permanently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This unique installation recalls a story that everyone knows, classicists and non-classicists alike, and its expression packs so much meaning into so few brushstrokes.

Seeing Bearden’s “Circe”

Seeing Bearden’s “Circe”
By Margaret Dunn

This visual essay was created for Race & Ethnicity in the Ancient World, a course taught by Professor Kate Meng Brassel. The class sought to uncover how ancient peoples perceived both themselves and others in regard to ethnic identity, and how those perceptions were used or appropriated in the modern era. This piece studies the work of Romare Bearden, the esteemed collagist known for…