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Joel Christensen

Features

From the Temple of Poseidon to the stadiums of Doha: The Humanities and Human Beings

Cape Sounio Back in the days before the COVID-19 Pandemic, I made my first pilgrimage to Athens to mark my 40th birthday. It used to be something of a regular …

Dialogue

Iliad – lessons for modern society

When I teach the Iliad in a myth or literature class, one of the things I emphasise is how its narrative frame joins other coalition tales from ancient Greece like …

Dialogue

A Burden on The Earth: Greek Myth and climate change

I grew up in Southern Maine in the United States, spending most of my childhood outside in the pine forests during the 1980s and 1990s. As an adult, I now …

Dialogue

The terrible logic of imperialism: Might makes right

In the first few days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Mayor of Knox County Tennessee and former professional wrestler, Glenn Jacobs, tweeted in response to public concern, “Historically, …

Dialogue

Ancient Greeks also suffered poor leadership during plagues

In the United States February’s final week saw nearly 2000 deaths a day from COVID and yet local governments and the CDC have moved to aggressively roll back mitigating measures. …

At the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ancient Greece and Rome can tell us a lot about the links between collective trauma and going to war

On the outskirts of Grapevine, Texas, a town about 5 miles northwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, there’s a memorial dedicated to the 33 airline flight crew members who …

Life

What Greek epics taught me about the special relationship between fathers and sons

As a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, I find myself reflecting on two of the most powerful paternal moments in Greek literature. At the end of Homer’s classic poem, “The …

What Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ can teach us about reentering the world after a year of isolation

In the ancient Greek epic “The Odyssey,” Homer’s hero, Odysseus, describes the wild land of the Cyclops as a place where people don’t gather together in public, where each person …

Dialogue

What the Greek classics tell us about grief and the importance of mourning the dead

Months since the start of the coronavirus crisis, our ability to mourn and process death remains disrupted due to the ever-present fear of the threat of the coronavirus and the …

Life

Plagues follow bad leadership in ancient Greek tales

In the fifth century BC, the playwright Sophocles begins Oedipus Tyrannos with the title character struggling to identify the cause of a plague striking his city, Thebes. (Spoiler alert: It’s his …

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