All posts tagged: Books

Seja Majeed – The Forgotten Tale of Larsa

Born in Algeria to Iraqi refugees, Ms. Seja Majeed grew up in the United Kingdom, where her family claimed asylum. Impassioned by history, archaeology, and especially Iraqi culture, Seja yearned to be a writer. In her début novel for young adults, The Forgotten Tale of Larsa, Seja explores the themes of love, loss, change, and exile in an ancient Near Eastern setting. In this conversation with James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia, Seja relates the joys and struggles one faces in writing the “young adult novel,” in addition to her thoughts on the current perils facing Iraqi cultural patrimony.

Fascinating Lebanon (Book Review)

Fascinating Lebanon: Sixty Centuries of Religious History, Art, and Archaeology (French: Fascination du Liban: Soixante siècles d’historie de religions, d’art et d’archéologie) is the exhibition catalogue of the eponymous show at the Musée Rath (associated with the Musées d’Art et d’Histoire de Genève) in Geneva, Switzerland. This publication is edited by a talented and international group of researchers from Europe and the Middle East: Claude Doumet-Serhal (British Museum, London); Helga Seeden and Hermann Genz (American University of Beirut); Jean-Paul Thalmann (Université de Paris I Sorbonne); Henri-Charles Loffet (Docteur en égyptologie-École Pratique des Hautes Études-Paris); Maria-Eugenia Aubet (University of Barcelona); Julien Aliquot (CNRS-Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée); Jean-Baptiste Yon (Université de Lyon); Tomas Walizewski (University of Warsaw); Grace Homsy (Université Saint Esprit de Kaslik); and Hala Boustany (Université de Paris IV Sorbonne). Highlighting the religious and cultural diversity of Lebanon, this catalogue succeeds in delineating Lebanon’s importance at the nexus of trade, religion, and cross-cultural exchange for thousands of years. From Paleolithic artifacts to Ottoman textiles, Phoenician sarcophagi to rare Melkite icons, this lavishly …

Princesses of the Mediterranean in the Dawn of History (Book Review)

Princesses of the Mediterannean in the Dawn of History is the companion exhibition catalogue of a major retrospective on show at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Greece. Edited by Drs. Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis and Mimika Giannopoulou, and translated by Ms. Maria Xanthopoulou, the catalogue presents the personal belongings 24 “princesses” or elite women, who lived in Greece, Cyprus, and Italy from c. 1000-500 BCE. Whether royal princesses or members of the merchant elite, doctors or priestesses, intriguing, personal artifacts reveal the extent to which these women shaped ancient Mediterranean cultures, contributing to artistic, economic, and religious development. With over 500 artifacts presented in just 447 pages, the reader is dazzled by the splendor and rarity of items showcased within the exhibition: large bronze vases; intact glass and faience objects, terracotta items; in addition to bronze and ivory figurines. Art historians interested in jewelry and craftsmanship during the Greek Dark Ages (c. 1200-750 BCE) will be particularly delighted with this catalogue as some of the finest archaeological items ever discovered are also highlighted: beautiful …

INTERVIEW: Children, Archaeology, and Novels

Caroline Ludovici has had a passion for history, archaeology, and adventure from an early age. Originally from London, Caroline has traveled extensively throughout the world, soaking in different cultures wherever she has ventured. Her experiences and her keen interest in history and archeology gave her the agency to become a novelist. As an author, she is committed to making her books interesting, exciting, true to life, and refreshingly different. In this interview with James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia, Caroline discusses the art of crafting the “young adult novel” in addition to her desire to engender a love of history among children.

An Old Song with a New Melody: An Interview with Madeline Miller

As a young girl growing up in New York City, Madeline Miller felt a strong attachment to the literature and culture of Greco-Roman civilization. Mesmerized by the heroic exploits of Hercules, Achilles, and Aeneas, Miller pursued her passion at Brown University, where she received a BA and MA in Latin and Ancient Greek. Miller also studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale University’s School of Drama, where she learned the art of adapting classical texts to modern tastes. In Miller’s debut novel, The Song of Achilles, the timeless tale of Homer’s Iliad is given new form and direction via the perspective of Achilles’ beloved companion, Patroclus. The heart of the novel is tale of friendship and love between two men, with interlocking fates. Seamlessly blending Homeric convention with modern diction, Miller’s novel is an absorbing and enchanting read. In this interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia took the time to speak with Miller about her new novel and what inspired her to write about the ancient world.