Bull-Leaping Minoans

What was the first European civilisation? How do we know they were truly European? And ought we be proud of the legacy these forefathers unwittingly initiated?             These are the kinds of questions that sail round one’s mind when reading about the Minoan civilisation.             Despite the beauty of the ruins found in Crete, the…

The Fayum Portraits

The Fayum Portraits How do civilisations die out? Are they wiped out by conquerors, decimated by natural disasters, emaciated by ongoing famine? Is it really that straightforward a question to answer?             Art has always been a marker for civilisations, a culture’s own self-made DNA. Archeologists and historians can date artifacts by their artistic styles,…

Poems From the Precipice

    Victims of Success   Nothing as precious in the star-spangled universe Is to be found, than the multitudes That can crystallise speech from air With such guile that it leaves them unaware.   The trees and waves know no gods But the snow bears the footprints Of us that so consciously tread Our…

Why Attenborough’s Planet Earth II Matters

Ps put this on while reading: “Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” Charles Darwin The seemingly irreverent, joking quote of Darwin rang incessantly through my mind as I watched the whole of BBC’s Planet Earth II series from beginning until last Sunday’s Desert episode. It’s a phrase…

What We Should Be Teaching Our Children

    Growing up, the most important things I remember learning in school (most important from the educator’s point of view, rather than my own) was religion and history. In a country that is like an epileptic, every now and then having a fit of zealous religious movement or historical import, it could hardly have…

The Sack of Paris

In the year 1651, near the end of the English Civil War which saw the establishment of parliament’s authority and the English Commonwealth, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes published his great work the Leviathan. In this seminal work, comparable in statesmanship to Machiavelli’s The Prince, Hobbes introduced the concept of a safeguarding state that enables its…