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How To Create A Golden Age: Instructions for Use January 27, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
How To Create A Golden Age: Instructions for Use

There are grey moments in history and there are black moments and, then, every so often there are wonderful conflagarations as the very paper that the past is written upon catches fire. Think the sheer brilliant evenescence of Athens in the fifth-century B.C.; Baghdad in the ninth century; or, indeed, Florence in the fourteenth and […]

The Last European Lion June 29, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
The Last European Lion

The ancient Greeks were lion mad. Lions frequently appear in the lively similes of ‘Homer’. They appear in Greek art and in legends: at a guess Pausanias probably has a score of lion legends from around Greece. But can any of this be taken to prove that lions actually lived in ancient Greece or, indeed, […]

A Rhinoceros in Eighteenth-Century London November 5, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
A Rhinoceros in Eighteenth-Century London

   Beach has a longstanding thing about elephants (see many previous posts and many posts to come) and has been wondering recently about opening up a second front on the rhinoceros: a distant reading of a text about Romans importing this beast for their games has been jumping up and down in his head. He […]

Aristotle and the Flatulent Earth October 27, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Aristotle and the Flatulent Earth

Beachcombing is always loath to give any publicity to the appalling Aristotle – and recently had a piece on Aristotle’s lost work on comedy wrung out of him against all his better judgement. However, after Beachcombing’s first experience of an earthquake last year he found himself grazing in Aristotle’s Metereology where the non-Platonic one gives […]

In Search of Aristotle’s ‘On Comedy’ August 29, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
In Search of Aristotle's 'On Comedy'

            In 1928 that old grumpystiltskins K.K. Smith wrote that ‘Like many another Lost Atlantis the chapter on comedy which Aristotle may have written to conclude his analysis of Poetics has lured many a searcher into waters beyond his depths.’ And, mindful of the warning, Beachcombing straps on his Little […]