It’s Greek to Me: Five Surprising Facts I’ve Learned So Far Researching the Ancient World

Ancient Greek men at a symposium (being entertained by a female musician) (painted mixing bowl, c. 420 BC)

It took me two whole years, which is at least a year and a half too long.

Ever since I decided my next writing project would be my first (incomplete, shelved) novel – a fantasy – rewritten as historical fiction and set in Ancient Greece, I knew I had to seriously beef up my knowledge of that period in history.

In many ways, this would be me starting from ground zero in my research.

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For the (Carnal, Courtly, and Hypocritical) Love of Books

Books I’ve stolen borrowed from others (and haven’t even read yet)

I almost never lend people books.  But I have no problem borrowing those that belong to others.

I fully acknowledge the hypocrisy, and perhaps even level of selfishness, that applies to this policy of mine.

I’m not even a particularly good borrower of other people’s books.  Or rather, good returner of them, I should say.

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Filing the Holes in Black History

african-roots

During my undergraduate degree in environmental studies, a particular course in the history department caught my eye.

This course was called History of Africa South of the Sahara.

I first I discovered this course during my first year while thumbing through the course catalogue planning for my upper years.

Ooh, this would be an interesting elective, I thought upon reading the course description:

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Replaying Xena: Season 6 – A Backslide, Yet Still Ahead of Its Time

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

In time, all good things come to an end.

In a way, I could have said this at the end of the season 5 of Xena Warrior Princess, which itself wasn’t as strong as seasons past, in my opinion.

By season 6, much of what previously made the show great – Xena and Gabrielle wandering Greece and interacting with various gods and mythological figures – fell by the wayside.

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How I’m Spending My Summer, 2016 Edition

Summer3

I take great joy in planning my summers every year.

Even if I’m not expecting to do anything noteworthy or conventionally exciting, the thought of longer, warmer days and a bit of time off to do as I will to fill them is invaluable in helping me make it through the winter.

Admittedly, winter in Vancouver is mildest that Canada has to offer.  I really have nothing to complain about by comparison.

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Replaying Xena: Season 5 – The Prophecy of the Twilight

Xena receives some unexpected news

Xena receives some unexpected news

In the second last season of Xena Warrior Princess, we have come to the climax of the overall arc of the story.

Up to this point, Xena has gone from being a former bloodthirsty warrior, newly repentant and wracked with self-loathing, to a devoted friend and fighter for good and justice, to a self-assured paladin following the righteous spiritual path known as the Way of the Warrior.

Meanwhile, Xena’s best friend and sidekick, Gabrielle, has gone from a plucky, idealistic peasant girl, to an unwitting Amazon princess and novice fighter, to an adherent of the nonviolent spiritual path known as the Way of Love, to an eventual apostate of that path in favour of becoming a warrior – no longer a sidekick – in her own right.

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Replaying Xena: Season 4 – Death in its Many Different Forms

Xena and Gabrielle are following different spiritual paths

Xena and Gabrielle are following opposite spiritual paths

Season 4 of Xena Warrior Princess was one marked by both growth and death.

Part of that growth was external.  By season 4, the show had gained widespread popularity and started tell stories that demonstrated this.  The sets were more complex, the costumes more elaborate.

The Xenaverse itself expanded: moving beyond just Ancient Greece and the gods and heroes of Greek mythology, Xena and Gabrielle travel to an entirely different country and have encounters with the gods of a different culture.

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