Reblogged: “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Ancient World in Color”

Too often today, we fail to acknowledge and confront the incredible amount of racism that has shaped the ideas of scholars we cite in the field of ancient history.

How can we address the problem of the lily white antiquity that persists in the public imagination? What can classicists learn from the debate over whiteness and ancient sculpture?

Do we make it easy for people of color who want to study the ancient world? Do they see themselves in the ancient landscape that we present to them? The dearth of people of color in modern media depicting the ancient world is a pivotal issue here. Movies and video games, in particular, perpetuate the notion that the classical world was white.

I’m not suggesting that we go, with a bucket in hand, and attempt to repaint every white marble statue across the country. However, I believe that tactics such as better museum signage, the presentation of 3D reconstructions alongside originals, and the use of computerized light projections can help produce a contextual framework for understanding classical sculpture as it truly was. It may have taken just one classical statue to influence the false construction of race, but it will take many of us to tear it down. We have the power to return color to the ancient world, but it has to start with us.

Sarah E. Bond “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color” Hyperallergic. June 6, 2017.


mythtake episode 12 mythological tour of the solar system 9: pluto/hades


Welcome to episode 12! Our apologies for being more than a little late getting the blog post up, but here it is at last.

This episode, we delve into the mysterious world of Hades. This Greek god of the underworld is also associated with wealth and the Roman god Pluto. There aren’t a lot of myths about Hades but we can learn a lot from his appearance in Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

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Source Passages

Homeric Hymn to Demeter 1-23; 334-385.

Translation Sources

Homeric Hymns. Trans. Susan Shelmerdine. Newburyport MA: Focus Publishing, 1995. Print.

Selected Sources

NASA. “Pluto: King of the Kuiper Belt”

Shout Outs & Notes

We highly recommend listening to The Endless Knot episode on Pluto. Sarah and Mark provide a great discussion of the origin of the god Pluto. You can subscribe to their podcast through iTunes.

Join us on Twitter @InnesAlison and @darrinsunstrum

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.