The cheer was used later by Jules Verne, for the discovery of an underground ocean; by Iris Murdoch and James Joyce. In Ulysses, Buck Mulligan calls the sea ‘snot-green’ in a parody of Homer’s ‘wine-dark’’, which referred to the silkily impenetrable depth of colour it shared with the rough wines of the period.
These rather athletic lovelies have tied their clothes to a bar and are paddling in a pool while showering under water jetting from boars' mouths. It's a sophisticated bathing experience which wouldn't be out of place in a Spitalfields Rough Luxe interior. These showers are on a fourth century BCE Italian pot. It's my guess … Continue reading Liquid Assets
By Simone Witney On the west coast of Turkey, near the town of Balat, lie the ruins of Miletus, which in the 6th century BCE, was the most important city in the Greek world. Here Anaximander was brought up, in a city teeming with traders from Ethiopia, the Ukraine, Italy, France, Asia Minor and the … Continue reading No WIMPS* in this Dark Matter
Homer’s Iliad, translated by Stephen Mitchell, audiobook, read by Alfred Molina,. Review by Simone Witney. ‘Rage’ is the first word of the Iliad and its theme. ‘ Anger’, says Achilles ‘far sweeter than trickling honey, expands in the breast like smoke’. Mitchell prioritises contemporary idiom (for which he has a gift) and smoothness of delivery … Continue reading We Can Be Heroes.
Simone Witney and Stephen Cullis. Greek Mythology is full of bizarre tales of humans becoming animals, plants and even stones. They gave the poet Ovid, born in Italy in 43BCE, a rich resource for a beautiful poem which links the disparate stories by the theme of transformation: a hunter is changed into a stag and … Continue reading A Hundred and One Uses For a Dead Poet.
A Classical Ghost Story Stephen Cullis and Simone Witney It's that time of year when the old skeleton onesies and skull balaclavas are prised out of the cupboard, while the more creative among us sharpen knives for pumpkin carving. For some it’s an excuse for a party, for others ghosts are serious phenomena. Though experience … Continue reading Chain Reaction
Simone Witney ‘Mmmm, a refreshing, ovine little vintage; I’m getting barley, olives, lard….’ Ancient Greek wines were often stored in sacks of sheep or goat skin, with more than a touch of the mammarian about them. The variety in taste must have been huge given the various honies, spices, such as myrrh, and herbs which … Continue reading ‘New Bottle, Old Wine’.*