Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan

This is Part IIIa of our four-part series (I, II) looking at what I've termed the 'Fremen Mirage.' We defined the core tenets of this pop-historical notion in more detail in the first post, that hard times and hard lands lead to moral purity and combat effectiveness, while good times, wealth and luxury lead to … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan

Collections: A Trip Through Cicero (Natural Law)

This week, we're taking another trip through an ancient author, in this case looking at a passage from Cicero's De legibus ("On the Laws") and discussing Cicero's vision of the origin of laws and how those ideas have found their way into current thinking. Cicero was a remarkably prolific author, and a tremendous amount of … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Cicero (Natural Law)

Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part III: Polling the Gods

Last week, we looked at some of the basic functions of polytheistic practice, centered on the concept of do ut des, striking a bargain with the god. This week, we're going to turn to another key set of rituals: divination. We're mostly going to look into indirect forms of divining the will of the gods, … Continue reading Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part III: Polling the Gods

Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part I: Knowledge

Today we're going to start looking at one facet of how polytheistic religions function, their practicality. This is going to be a series (I'm currently planning at least four parts) looking at some of the general facets of how ancient polytheistic religions work. And work is the operative word, more so than many religions and … Continue reading Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part I: Knowledge

Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part I: Spartan School

This is Part I of a seven part series (II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) comparing the popular legacy of Sparta (embodied in films like 300) with the historical ancient state. Today, we're going to start by looking at the sources of our information on Sparta, and then begin at the beginning: the Spartan rearing … Continue reading Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part I: Spartan School