The work of Sappho, Pindar, and other remarkable Greek lyric poets makes us question everything we think we know about poetry, what it is, and what it does.
The Old Testament, Part 10 of 10. The seventeen Prophetic Books, produced during war and diaspora, are both despairingly bleak and searingly hopeful.
The Old Testament, Part 9 of 10. What’s the Song of Songs doing in the Bible? Is it a pious hymn to God, or just a couple of horny lovers talking to each other?
The Old Testament, Part 8 of 10. If there is one Biblical book that explains all of life, thick and thin, love and anguish, that book is probably Ecclesiastes.
The Old Testament, Part 7 of 10. In the Book of Psalms, a single, fascinating, familiar linguistic device propels the world’s most famous poems.
The Old Testament, Part 6 of 10. If God is so good, then why do the good and innocent suffer? The Book of Job’s aim is to answer this question.
The Old Testament, Part 5 of 10. The Historical Books tell of Israel’s conflicts with Syria, Assyria, Egypt, and finally, exile to the corridors of Babylon.
The Old Testament, Part 4 of 10. Eden, the Flood, the Commandments– all fine. But what’s with all the stuff about tents, sacrifices, and – uh – testicles?
The Old Testament, Part 3 of 10. Hear the Biblical story of creation and the first founders of Israel, and the texts that may have influenced this story.
The Old Testament, Part 2 of 10. There are tons of books, thousands of proper nouns, and many versions of the Old Testament. But all of it fits into four main parts.
The Old Testament, Part 1 of 10. 1207 BCE. Two world empires. And between them, an unassuming strip of seacoast land that has been at the center of history, ever since.
The Odyssey, Part 3 of 3. As we reach the violent climax of Odysseus’ great adventures, it’s time to spend some time considering Homer’s worldview.
The Odyssey, Part 2 of 3. We know Odysseus and Achilles well. But what motivates, and distinguishes these two great Ancient Greek heroes?
The Odyssey, Part 1 of 3. Adventure, monsters, temptresses, and a whole lot of wine-dark Aegean. Learn all about the world of Homer’s Odyssey.
The Iliad, part 3 of 3. As the Iliad reaches its spectacular climax, it’s time to ask a big question. Who wrote it?
The Iliad, part 2 of 3. They’re violent, unreliable, horny, and sometimes just plain weird. They’re the Homeric pantheon.
The Iliad, part 1 of 3. Homer’s Iliad is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of ancient epics. And at the core of its 24 books is one shiny metal.
Elementals, giants, titans and gods! Hesiod's Theogony chronicles a great war - one which would leave one entity sovereign over the cosmos.
Before Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, there was a grouchy farmer poet whose Works and Days continues to fascinate us.
Ancient Egypt produced a great deal of proverbs and wisdom literature. Some of it even slipped into the Bible. But how wise is wisdom literature?
We know about Ancient Egypt's pyramids, temples, and sarcophagi. What about its folktales and stories?
In the 3,500 year old Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, we can find the roots of the world's religions.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, composed 3,000-5,000 years ago, and translated in the 1860s and 70s, was one of the greatest literary discoveries of all time.
The Enuma Elish and the Atrahasis, in circulation 3,800 years ago, were Mesopotamia's creation and flood epics, making them 1,000 years older than Genesis.