Why Classics?

“Why Classics?”
By Olivia Wells

When people ask me what I’m studying, I often find that they don’t understand what I mean by “classics,” and in the rare case that they do, they sometimes can’t wrap their head around why I’d want to major in it.

Sadly, it’s not hard to see why I, as well as other classics majors, often find ourselves defending our discipline. Once regarded as a foundational precept of humanities, classical studies has since seen a decline in popularity over the past century…

Everything Old Is New Again

Everything Old Is New Again
Returning Translations to Their Original Meanings
By Olivia Wells

Have you ever wondered what’s lost in translation? Now, I could mean this literally or figuratively—here, I ask it literally, in a Classical sense. Is there a straight path from Ancient Greek or Latin to English? Does the context or background of a translator matter? How much faith should we put into a particular translator’s work…

Circe: A Human Witch? Reviewing Madeline Miller’s “Epic”

Circe: A Human Witch? Reviewing Madeline Miller’s “Epic”
By Olivia Wells

If you’ve read the Odyssey, you remember the enchantress Circe. While the legendary epic doesn’t tell us much about her background, we know she’s wily like Odysseus; she has magical powers and turns men to pigs, seemingly for fun. In a new retelling of this familiar story from antiquity, Madeline Miller expands the witch’s short role in the Odyssey into a full novel, Circe, which illuminates her story in a feminist light while harkening back to Homer’s epic…

Barbarians: Ancient History, Reimagined

Barbarians: Ancient History, Reimagined
A Review of the New Netflix Series
By Sara Chopra, Margaret Dunn, and Olivia Wells

As the three Articles Editors of Discentes, each of whom happens to focus on a different aspect of the ancient world—Sara reads classical languages and literature, Margaret studies classical civilizations, and Olivia dedicates her work to Mediterranean archaeology—we decided to watch Barbarians ourselves and share some of our own thoughts on the popular series. Should Barbarians be the next show on your winter break Netflix binge list? Our answer—yes. Read our full review of its first season below to learn why…