Articles sur Classical literature

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Li Kui (李逵), one of the characters in The Water Margin, battles tigers after they killed his mother. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, between between 1845 and 1850. Wikimedia

Guide to the classics: The Water Margin, China’s outlaw novel

In The Water Margin, first put to paper in the 14th century, local injustice is the rule, and defence against cruel local authority is a matter of vengeance, stratagem, and violence
In Ancient Greek texts, the king Lycaon is punished for misdeeds by being turned into a wolf. Wikimedia

The ancient origins of werewolves

The earliest surviving example of man-to-wolf transformation is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh, from around 2,100 BC. But the werewolf as we now know it first appeared in ancient Greece and Rome.
Giotto’s Last Judgment in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s vision of heaven and hell. Wikimedia

Guide to the Classics: Dante’s Divine Comedy

The gates to hell in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy tell us to "abandon all hope, yet who enter here". Despite its unfunny premise, 'La Commedia' ends well, with its protagonist Dante reaching heaven.
Ishtar (on right) comes to Sargon, who would later become one of the great kings of Mesopotamia. Edwin J. Prittie, The story of the greatest nations, 1913

Friday essay: the legend of Ishtar, first goddess of love and war

Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.
William Faulkner’s typewriter in Mississippi. The writing life may sound idyllic, but it was often a furious battle to make ends meet. Visit Mississippi/Flickr

Scrounging for money: how the world’s great writers made a living

Writers have tried pretty much anything to make ends meet: advertising, journalism, butterfly collecting, working as a janitor or a postal clerk.
Gilgamesh explores what it means to be human, and questions the meaning of life and love. Wikimedia Commons

Guide to the classics: the Epic of Gilgamesh

From environmentalism to the meaning of life, the themes of the world's most ancient epic are still remarkably relevant to modern readers.

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