Historical Impressions II

History as Religion In a secular age that is bereft of the overwhelming, sweeping influence of religion, a gap is left behind that needs filling. Whilst the overthrow of religion is a necessary evil for the sake of a liberal, scientific, democratic society, it nonetheless deprives us of a many numinous needs. And I’m not…

You Want a Role Model, Here’s Mary Beard

I am the least woke person you’re ever likely to meet. I find the era of ‘rights’ we live in tiring, jaded and leaning towards the dictatorial. And it’s such a shame because rights are, of course, the fundamentals of 21st century Western civilisation. They are ideas we inherited, in very raw form, from our…

The Fallen Warriors of Aphaia

There is no greater holy grail for a natural scientist than capturing evidence of evolution happening before his very eyes, a moment that freezes the metamorphosis between one species into another, or merely a new mutation.             Art historians are also sometimes let in on such a rare, wondrous moment. I can think of no…

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,…