Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform

Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform

Cuneiform: n. The oldest known writing system that originated in Mesopotamia circa 3400BC. It was etched onto wet clay tablets using a wedge-shaped stylus. Cuneiform is the original ancient written language that underpins all modern forms of written communication. Many languages throughout a vast geographical span over thousands of years were written in cuneiform, including…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Ancient Word of the Day: Lacuna

Lacuna \ lə-​ˈkü-​nər a little lake. Or a pause, gap or break in a text, painting or musical work. Latin lacūna: “little lake”. Word of the day: “lacuna”- in a manuscript, an inscription, or the text of an author: a hiatus, blank, missing portion (OED n.1) A word borrowed from Latin in the 17th Century…

Book Review: Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Book Review: Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

*No spoilers A book about experimental archaeology and family violence that’s brimming with glorious dread and that closes in around you like a vice. The novel's short 160 pages are absolutely electrifying and seem far bigger. Best enjoyed during the witching hours of 11pm and 3 am. Ghost Wall opens with an ancient hair-raising scene,…

Thule as Tile on the Carta Marina of 1539 by Olaus Magnus, where it is shown located to the northwest of the Orkney islands, with a "monster, seen in 1537", a whale ("balena"), and an orca nearby.

Ancient Word of the Day: Thule

Thule or Tile is a legendary island in the North Europe, which was first written about by Ancient Greek Explorer Pytheas of Massalia during his travels between 330-20 BC. Later, a Roman citizen named Strabo wrote about Thule in his treatise named Geographica c. 30 AD. Thule - is the great unknown. The land of…

Ancient Word of the Day: Anglii

Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle

One of the oldest English words recorded is Anglii used first in the year 98 AD by Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56-120 AD) Anglii i.e "the Angles," literally "people of Angul" (Old Norse Öngull). Tacitus wrote in 98AD in his book 'Germania' about the various Teutonic tribes he came into contact with including…

The mystical beauty of an Ancient Egyptian daughter of Osiris (1913)

10 Interesting things I Found on the Internet This Week #17

A Shelf-Portrait with Alanis Morissette Rock goddess, highly sensitive person and all-round legendary bookworm Alanis Morissette talks about the books that have shaped and improved her life. A lot of great non-fiction here about mindfulness, spirituality and personal growth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwrLSpHz4lk The mystical beauty of an Ancient Egyptian daughter of Osiris (1913) An anonymous autochrome photograph…

Every Picture Tells A Story: The Horoscope of Prince Iskandar (1411)

Ancient Word of the Day: Nadir

Nadir ˈnā-ˌdir (from Arabic) The lowest or worst point. The sunken place of great depression or degradation. Astronomically, it is the point to opposite to the zenith. Merlin by Ralph Waldo Emerson He shall not seek to weave,In weak unhappy times,Efficacious rhymes;Wait his returning strength,Bird, that from the nadir's floor,To the zenith's top could soar,The…

10 Hours of Aliens from a Sea Shanty of the Deep

Here is 10 hours of BBC deep ocean footage in 4K without narration or music. Bliss out and enjoy these wondrous and cute creatures that dance on the ocean floor. No need to watch news just escape to the world of the ocean. No wonder people in ancient times mistook these animals for monsters! https://youtu.be/t_S_cN2re4g

Ancient Word of the Day: Vellichor

Ancient Word of the Day: Vellichor

Noun: Vellichor from the Latin Vell (paper) and ichor (essence). An ethereal perfume that is extruded from the earth and infuses old book stores with mystery, wistfulness and nostalgia. Books are worlds unto themselves that reveal tiny and huge universes all co-existing side-by-side. The aroma of books is the smell of the passage of time.…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

1. Nick Cave performing Stagger Lee in Copenhagen is electrifying I have seen Nick live three times so far and his live performances of this song Stagger Lee are always a big highlight. The song escalates and gets harder, darker and more intense as it goes on. This is definitely my favourite Nick Cave song…

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection | Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Hauntingly relevant ancient Mesoptamian Proverbs about love and friendship

A mere friend will agree with you, but a real friend will argue. ~ Assyrian Proverb "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller with Charlie Chaplin Tell me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books

Here’s a collection of the best and treasured history books that I don’t think I could ever part with. They are quirky and delve into a little known aspect of history making them delightful lazy weekend reading. I hope you can get a hold of them, if you do...please let me know what you think…

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Treat thine ears and eyes to a new genre of music - bardcore! Perhaps you're looking for that tavern banger that you enjoyed back in 1365. Or perhaps you want to reminisce on the summer solstice when you gathered with jolly folk at Stonehenge, got wasted on mead and were visited by a strange celestial…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #9

1. Olan Ventura's surreal splashes of colour in Still Life With Golden Goblet Here is a quirky kaleidoscope of things that inspired me this week, I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if you have any things of your own to share...Much love Olan Ventura, Still Life With Golden Goblet, 2019, acrylic on canvas,…

Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson

Book Review: Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson achieved great fame for her book Life After Life. This is one of her earlier and lesser known collections of short stories. I have to admit I never got into Life After Life, so I was a bit dubious about whether or not I would like this one. However, I was absolutely transfixed…

The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

Detail of ‘Smell’ c1500, from The lady and the unicorn series. wool and silk, 368 x 322 cm. Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado Mark De Vitis, University of Sydney The arrival of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle at the Art Gallery of…

Book Review: Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell

Book Review: Medieval Bodies Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jake Hartnell

Art Historian Jake Hartnell takes us on a macabre and enthralling journey from head to toe in the medieval human body. This is fascinating because, even though we share the same bodies as our medieval ancestors, we had wildly diverging beliefs about the inherent symbolic power of parts of our bodies and what could heal,…

The Book of Symbols: Reflections of Archetypal Images by the Archive for Research into Archetypal Sybolism (Taschen)

Book Review: The Book of Symbols by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)

The Book of Symbols is a masterpiece of art history, philosophy, mysticism, psychology, anthropology, biology and spirituality. It brings together the history of various symbols, concepts and objects from many cultures and civilisations.

Book Review: SPQR by Mary Beard

Book Review: SPQR by Mary Beard

I really wanted to love this book because I am a huge Mary Beard fan and I love her enthusiastic, passionate and fascinating documentaries about the Romans. As a novice to this topic, I was really craving a book that would educate me and also sustain my interest. About a decade ago, I waded through…

Ancient word of the day: Algorithm

Ancient word of the day: Algorithm

The ancient Muslim empire in the city of Baghdad was the birthplace of the word (and the concept of the) algorithm. In the year 820 AD, a Persian genius named Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi created the concept of the algorithm and algebra in an ancient book called Kitab al-Jebr. The book Kitab al-Jebr (later latinised…

Athena Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue 1502 by Andrea Mantegna

Opening Pandora’s Box: Phrases Borrowed from the Classics and the Stories Behind Them by Ferdie Addis

If you are in love with language, storytelling, folklore or classical history then you will love this book. It’s short at only 162 pages. However Opening Pandora’s Box punches well above its weight in terms of quality with many amusing and shocking stories from classical history to enjoy.