History for the Rest of Us

Ampyx – Greek Hair Band

Ampyx – Greek Hair Band

Nov 1, 2012

The ampyx was a frontlet, or band, worn by Greek ladies to confine the hair, passing around the front of the head and fastening behind. It was generally a plate of gold or silver, richly worked, and adorned with precious stones. The ampyx appears in festive scenes depicted on Etruscan tombs worn by females. SOURCE: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,...

Amulet – Charm for Securing Good Luck

Amulet – Charm for Securing Good Luck

Nov 1, 2012

An amulet was a charm attached to the body of a human being or animal to avert calamities or secure good fortune. The shapes of ancient jewelery and ornaments were in great measure decided by a belief in their magical powers. Directions for the choice and application of amulets form no small part of many ancient documents on medicine, and it is often difficult...

Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Oct 11, 2012

Pericles’s Funeral Oration is a famous speech from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. Pericles, an eminent Athenian politician, delivered the speech after the first year of the Peloponnesian War as a part of an annual public funeral held for those killed during the war. For three days offerings could be made for the dead, whose remains of...

Fall of Troy

Fall of Troy

Jun 11, 2012

According to Eratosthenes, Troy was sacked and burned on June 11, 1184 BC. Trojan Horse Odysseus devised a plan to create a hollow wooden horse, a sacred animal to the Trojans, in which soldiers would be stationed. The horse was left with the following inscription: The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home. Thinking the Greeks had...