Ancient Greece
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The importance of the Cyrus cylinder

The importance of the Cyrus cylinder | Ancient Greece |

A baked clay cylinder from two and half millennia ago could very well be one of the most influential objects of the last few millennia. Written in Babylonian cuneiform script, the “Cyrus Cylinder” originally recounts how Cyrus, the king of the Persians, invaded, destroyed, and liberated Babylon. This the region we now call the Middle East with Persia now being what we call Iran, and Babylon being what we call Iraq.

Neil MacGregor in the TED Talk below explains how this Cylinder is so much more than just a document of history. It was the first real press release of humankind! It’s a declaration by Cyrus that he would release the Jews, and all the other oppressed people in Babylon, allowing them to return to their homelands, and allowing them to have their faith and worship their own gods. For 200 years, Cyrus led a stable empire that was the first multi-racial, multi-faith, and multi-cultural society to have ever existed. The Near East (what we now call the Middle East) became a thriving international hub, a melting pot of cultures: it was the first spark of globalism.

Via Rob J Hyndman
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Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece | Ancient Greece |

"Indroduction to the Ancient Greek Culture." Lots of topics here, but annoying pop-up ads.

Via ChrisGibson
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Geneticists Try to Figure Out When the Illiad Was Published

Geneticists Try to Figure Out When the Illiad Was Published | Ancient Greece |
When was The Iliad actually written? To answer that question, you might turn to a historian or a literary scholar. But geneticists wanted a crack at it, too

Via GoogleLitTrips Reading List, Tom Randall
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's curator insight, March 1, 2013 12:58 PM

I hesitate to begin with a question that may reveal more about my own ignorance than anything else.


Having for so long been a story passed down through generations strictly in an oral tradition, I can't imagine that there weren't many, versions of the story being told, all more or less similar at the core, but ranging in specific vocabulary used; sort of like what used to happen when we played the game called telephone. One listener, might remember the story fairly well, but memory might cause a blip or two when that listener retold the story. When the second listener retold the story more blips... and so on. And two listeners in that "first audience" might tell two slightly different blipped versions to four listeners each of whom might have told four different audiences four different blipped versions.


Recognizing that the original storytellers were far more attentive than 8 year old boys nervous about whispering into the ears of 8 year old girls, I'll assume that the source materials used in this intriguing story are "relatively" stable versions of the words that found their way into the earliest published versions of the story.


I'm actually more interested in the fact that those with non-literary educational backgrounds are bringing their talents to the study of literature. In previous scoops I've appreciated the work being done in neuroscience related to tracking brain functions when reading literature.


The vocabulary lesson described in this article as it was used by geneticists attempting to determine a possible date of the publication of the Illiad might be more interesting to a significant percentage of our students than merely looking at vocabulary as a study of prefixes, roots, and suffixes.


Anyone who has tried to maintain an interest in older literature in spite of its antiquated vocabulary knows that constant interruptions of the engaging momentum of the suspension of disbelief is not always as successful as it is annoying to many students. 


Great literature does not stand alone in the real world. It is influenced and reflects history, psychology, culture, cartography, philosophy, sociology, politics, marketing, intellectual perception,... all sorts of elements beyond the siloed English Department. 


As those of us who focus upon the value of literature in the 21st century valiantly come to its defense, it is essential that we not fight that good fight alone. It is too easy to dismiss literature educators as being biased in times when "practical" is a trump card in budget discussions among colleagues whose understanding of the practical impacts of the difficult to measure outcomes of literary reading is less well informed. 


To be able to reference more informed views of allies coming to the defense of literary reading from beyond the English department; from the sciences and the business departments ((see: This is Your Brain on Jane Austin, The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction, and "If You Want to Lead, Read") is an invaluable asset to offset assumptions of bias when we tilt at the budgetary windmills alone.


And, in gratitude, we ought to also be careful in our own contributions to the conversations when they turn to the value of supporting other curricular areas that we may find ourselves less well informed about. 



 ~ ~




Aaronee's curator insight, February 18, 2014 6:57 PM

They traced the words on the lliad like you would do genes. They used a database of concepts and words. the word database is named Swadesh word list, and its has about 200 words that exist in everyone language and culture, like water and dog.


Gabriel Rodriguez's curator insight, February 21, 2014 11:09 PM

Very different approach on trying to date something back to it's original creation.  Can genetics be used to date back other historical treasure's also?

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National Geographic - Alexander the Great: The Man Behind the Legend 1/5

More than 2,000 years after he conquered the known world, Alexander the Great continues to fascinate. But what personal demons fueled Alexander's unquenchabl...

Via John Hopper
John Hopper's curator insight, April 29, 2013 12:05 AM

To save you reading thousands and thousands of pages, this short ten minute video will give you a brief introduction to Alexander the Great and Macedonia's rise to power. We will go more into his legacy as we approach closer to the exam! :)

joseph mora's curator insight, October 29, 2013 1:12 PM

tells about alexander the great and his life.

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Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, 4th Century BC

Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, 4th Century BC | Ancient Greece |
Eye witness account of Ancient Greece...

Via ChrisGibson
Karina Moreno's curator insight, April 11, 2014 8:22 PM

Another reason, why I have always found ancient Greece history fascinating is because they were such well develops cities in their ancient times.  While other cities around them barely had a stable system to run their cities, most of Greece by then has a well establish economy, military, and government.  Investigating artifacts and scrolls has given a small glimpse of their everyday life.  In cities, such as Athens, men were the only citizens while women were not; women were to be at home and bear chidrens.  About a quarter of the population were slaves that were prisoners of war from the battles the city won, and these slaves were the ones that sustain the economy by doing the labor work.  Most of the Greek life were enjoyed by art, philosophy, food, and other entertainment.

Jessica Bowman-Shorter's curator insight, May 2, 2014 5:00 PM

talks about ancient Greek life

Michael Goodson's curator insight, May 16, 2014 5:19 PM

account of what it was like to live in ancient greece during the 4th century

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Paphos excavation reveals Bronze Age malting kiln – Archaeology...

Paphos excavation reveals Bronze Age malting kiln – Archaeology... | Ancient Greece |
Archaeologists working in Western Cyprus are raising a glass to the discovery of a Bronze Age ‘micro-brewery’, one of the earliest ever found
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