Without the scientific knowledge we have today, ancient cultures turned to myths and legends to understand celestial objects.
Graham Bartholomew/BBC/Wild Mercury Productions
A new BBC series has put Troy back on the map. But how much do we know about this city of legend?
A central convention of Greek mythological narratives called katabasis, the hero’s journey to the underworld or land of the dead.
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Journeys to the Underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety.
The Conversation 36.9 MB (download)
Our new podcast, Essays On Air, features the most beautiful writing from Australian researchers. Today, classics expert Paul Salmond explores how modern cinema directors borrow from Greek legends.
Our first episode is from Paul Salmond, an expert on the Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University, reading his essay ‘Journeys to the underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety’.
Wes Mountain CC-BY-ND
Essays On Air 01: Introducing Essays On Air.
The Conversation is launching a new podcast, Essays On Air. It's the audio version of our Friday essays, where we bring you the best and most beautiful writing from Australian researchers.
The ancient Greeks knew what made a good leader. Why does it seem we have forgotten their lessons?
Gil Birmingham (Cory) and Jeremy Renner (Martin) in Wind River: grieving fathers who come together in the realm of the dead.
Production Co: Acacia Filmed Entertainment, Film 44, Ingenious Media
American cinema mines Greek myth most strongly at times of profound social anxiety. In the age of Trump, we are already seeing key political battlegrounds framed as underworld quests in film.
Odysseus and his crew escape the cyclops, as painted by Arnold Böcklin in 1896.
The story of the Odyssey is a quintessential quest that relates to the passage through life and the importance of love, family and home. Odysseus's adventures have influenced everyone from Batman to Bob Dylan.
The modern marathon distance comes from the 1908 London Olympics.
The story behind the marathon is more complicated than it seems.
Protesters outside Kensington town hall in west London demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images
Calls for accountability at a time of tragedy or crisis are understandable - but scapegoats can distract attention away from the true lessons that need to be learned.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Clay Enos/TM & © DC Comics
Wonder Woman comes from a long line of strong mythical feminists.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman: a true Amazonian, she is trained in a range of skills in both combat and hunting.
Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment
Since the epics of the Homeric poets, there have been tales of the mysterious, war-like Amazon women. The myth is likely based on the 'strong, free' women of the nomadic Scythian tribe.
Jesus wasn't the only son of a god in ancient times. And, as you'd expect, divine offspring tended to be high achievers.
A mosaic of a gorgon’s head from the floor of a Roman bathroom
Ad Meskens/Wikimedia Commons
Australian writers are embracing monsters from classical mythology, which provide profound connections to issues of identity and coming of age. Which mythical beast are you? Try our author's quiz and find out.
© Warner Brothers
The Amazons of Greek mythology usually were seduced or subdued by male heroes. Wonder Woman finally overcomes this legacy.
The summit of Mt Zagaras north of Athens.
In ancient times, they were the shrines and ritual sites to the Greek gods. These days, they're astonishingly unloved and neglected.
Like the myths that confounded the Greeks, the latest twist in Game of Thrones has challenged its audience.
HBO. Game of Thrones airs on Foxtel's showcase channel
In recreating a perennial mythic tale in the latest episode, the creative taskforce behind Game of Thrones has cast us, the audience, as modern ancients. Warning: spoilers!
The Muse allows us to avoid one of the great anxieties about the creative process.
Olivia Newton-John has a lot to answer for. Even now, after 35 years has passed, it is hard to forgive her for her role in Xanadu, a film consistently voted as the worst film of 1980. This is quite an…