Daisy Dunn

sleeping satyr

On the dangers of sleep

Today, it’s seen as the ultimate pillar of health – but many ancient lives were shaped by the suspicion that excessive sleep was undesirable for the mind – if not categorically treacherous.

father Christmas beard roman

On beards

Santa Claus is famous for his; today’s hipsters accessorise them – but the fashion for facial hair can be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome.

A Roman fresco from the Osteria della Via di Mercurio in Pompeii depicting a group of men having fun playing dice.

What the Romans did for fun

Blame the pandemic; blame social media, but as winter rolls around again it can feel as if we’ve forgotten how truly to celebrate. But antiquity offers us the key to re-learning how to have fun, as opposed to merely pretending we are.

Albrecht Durer's The Feast of the Rosary, 1506. National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.

Dürer in Venice

Albrecht Dürer felt that he had to prove his ability as a painter to Italian audiences. His time in Venice left an indelible imprint on Italy’s culture and on the great artist’s legacy.

Statue of Pittacus

Pittacus — the good tyrant

After unpromising beginnings and innumerable controversies, Pittacus, seventh-century ruler of Mytilene on Lesbos, should be remembered as one of the great leaders of his age.

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