Weekend Reading: Looking Back, and Looking Forward

We live in interesting times. I can never remember whether that’s supposed to be a blessing or a curse – but whatever the case, it’s certainly true at the moment.

Sadly I’m unable to do much about the wider world: but at least I can control my small corner of it, to bring you all the happy classical things that have been going on in October, along with a look ahead at the exciting things to come.

We do, this week, have a significant thing to celebrate. I’m sure you’ve heard the Big News – but in case you haven’t… THE LOEB DIGITAL LIBRARY NOW HAS A SEARCH FUNCTION!!!

(For those lucky enough to be unaware, the Loeb Digital Library has driven multitudes of classicists to distraction over the years by being nightmarish to search – and I mean that literally, because it does pop up in our nightmares!)

I haven’t tried it myself yet – I’m saving it for the weekend. I plan to pour myself a glass of wine, put some background music on, and just search for things until I fall asleep.

I’m also celebrating the fact that I survived #ClassicsTober – it’s amazing how long a month can be! But it was fun. It’s been a pleasure to see the contributions of others, too. Here’s a roundup of some of my favourites, for your enjoyment: but if you search the hashtag #ClassicsTober on Twitter or Instagram you’ll find a whole lot more.

Oh, and you might like to play with the epithet generator, which amused us on Epithet Day…

This week I’m also looking ahead, to the preparation of my annual Christmas Gift Guide – the ultimate catalogue for the discerning classicist. It takes a lot of work, but it’s also a great deal of fun, and I always end up stumbling across things that somehow make their way onto my own Christmas list! If you’d like to get an early start on your shopping, feel free to take a look at last year’s Gift Guide – not all of the shops are still open, since I tend to focus on small businesses and crafters, but you might find some ideas!

One present I might buy myself is enrolment on one of the brand new Ancient Voices online courses being set up by the Classical Association of Scotland. If you’ve been wanting to pick up some Ancient Greek, this is your chance – but I’m very tempted myself by Beginners’ Middle Egyptian!

I’m also looking forward to giving a talk on Saturday at the annual fall conference of the California Classical Association. Do feel free to sign up if you’re free at 5.30pm UK time on Saturday and would like to hear me talking about minotaurs!

This week around the Classical Internet


Underwater ancient Greek mines – Greek Reporter

Record-breaking cardboard Trojan Horse – BBC

Beautiful Evil Things review – The Guardian

British Museum revamp – The Art Newspaper

Greek mosaic in subway station – Reuters

Comment and opinion

Schrödinger’s PhD – Ancient Alexandra

This is not Repatriation – Hyperallergic

The painters of Pompeii – Smithsonian Magazine

Ad Fontes: the Roman font – Antigone Journal

The computer in the Aegean – History Today

Alexander’s empire – History Hit

Tutankhamun and seances – The Conversation

Podcasts, video and other media

Modern writers, ancient stories – The Classics Podcast

Thrillers – Legit Classics

The Ara Pacis and Livia’s Villa – The Partial Historians

The rise and fall of Roman London – The Ancients

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