All posts filed under: Interviews

Virtual Rome

Virtual Rome: Interview with Dr. Matthew Nicholls

Dr. Matthew Nicholls, University of Reading, sat down with James Lloyd, AHE’s Video Editor, to discuss his Virtual Rome project. I first met Dr. Nicholls attending one of his ‘Digital Silchester’ classes. This module teaches students how to understand the history and archaeology of the Roman town of Silchester through digital reconstruction. Matthew’s digital reconstructions have been featured on BBC and Discovery documentaries and he has co-taught the British School at Rome’s undergraduate summer school.

Frustration of the The Tale of Genji, ch.20 – "Asagao," traditionally credited to Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691 CE), part of the Burke Albums, property of Mary Griggs Burke. (Public Domain.)

Women Writers in Ancient Japan

The immense cultural achievements of women writers in ancient Japan — Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 or 978-c. 1014 or 1031 CE), Sei Shonagon (c. 966-c. 1017 or 1025 CE), and Izumi Shikibu (c. 976-c. 1040 CE) — facilitated the first flowering of classical Japanese literature. Women wrote Japan’s and perhaps Asia’s first autobiographical narratives in diaries and memoirs, as well as miscellaneous writings composed of poems, lists, observations, and personal essays during the Heian era (794-1185 CE). For this reason, the Japanese can uniquely claim to have a literary golden age dominated by women. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Professor Lynne K. Miyake of Pomona College about the importance of these women writers and what enabled their literary brilliance.

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Luthieros Music Instruments: Creators of the Lyre 2.0 Project

For the ancient Greeks, music was viewed, quite literally, as a gift from the gods. It was an integral part of life weaving its way into education, athletic and military activities, and events such as weddings and funerals. The term music in ancient Greece also covers dance, lyrics, and the performance of poetry. The ancient Greeks used many instruments to create their music like the panpipes and aulos (flute). However, the most well known would be the lyre a stringed musical instrument. Luthieros Music Instruments is a Greek company and family run business that creates playable lyres based on the structure of those played by the ancient Greeks. In this interview, Jade Koekoe of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks with Mr. Theodore Koumartzis, global communication supervisor and team member of Luthieros Music Instruments.

BoarStewphoto_Hampus_Samuelsson

Viking Age Food and Cuisine

An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook & Culinary Odyssey by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg introduces readers to Viking Age food and cuisine from early medieval Scandinavia. Thoroughly based on archaeological finds, historical cooking methods, and current research, the book is a must-read for those interested in Old Norse culture and food history. Within its pages, the authors dispel many of the prevalent myths that persist about Viking Age food and cookery, share reconstructed recipes, and impart new information drawn from years of experimental research in the field. In this exclusive 2015 holiday season interview, Daniel Serra discusses Viking Age food and Old Norse culture with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE).

​Head of a Man, mid-5th century BCE. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cesnola Collection
Purchased by subscription, 1874–76 (74.51.2826). Gods and goddesses in art wear leafy wreaths as hair accessories, as do mortals engaged in sacred rituals or events. Wreaths were worn at festivals, initiations, weddings, and funerals. They were awarded to winners of athletic competitions, which took place in religious sanctuaries. For important occasions or for royalty, they were crafted in gold and silver. Later, in the Roman Empire, military victors wore them and wreaths became symbols of government authority.

Ancient Hairstyles of the Greco-Roman World

From the dawn of civilization to the present day, human hair has seldom been worn in its natural state. Whether cut, shorn, curled, straightened, braided, beaded, worn in an upsweep or down to the knees, adorned with pins, combs, bows, garlands, extensions, and other accoutrements, hairstyles had the power to reflect societal norms. In antiquity, ancient hairstyles and their depictions did not only delineate wealth and social status, or divine and mythological iconography; they were also tied to rites of passage and religious rituals. Hair in the Classical World, now on view at the Bellarmine Museum of Art (BMA) in Fairfield CT, is the first exhibition of its kind in the United States to present some 33 objects pertaining to hair from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity (1500 BCE-600 CE). The exhibition takes the visitor on a rich cultural journey through ancient Greece, Cyprus, and Rome, in an examination of ancient hairstyles through three thematic lenses: “Arrangement and Adornment”; “Rituals and Rites of Passage”; and “Divine and Royal Iconography.” In this exclusive 2015 holiday season …

Detail of a neck ornament. Ayala Museum, 81.5171. Photography by Neal Oshima; Image courtesy of Ayala Museum.

Gold Artifacts from the Ancient Philippines

The kingdoms of the ancient Philippines were populated by advanced societies with superior metallurgical technology long before the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan and Spanish explorers in 1521 CE. This fall, New York City’s Asia Society Museum presents an exhibition of spectacular works of gold — including exquisite regalia, jewelry, functional and ritualistic objects, ceremonial weapons, and funerary masks — from collections in the Philippines and United States: Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Adriana Proser, Senior Curator at Asian Society Museum, about the ways in which this exhibition underscores the place and importance of ancient Philippine craftsmanship and metallurgy.