The Ancient Origins of Werewolves

Tanika Koosmen, University of Newcastle The werewolf is a staple of supernatural fiction, whether it be film, television, or literature. You might think this snarling creature is a creation of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, a result of the superstitions surrounding magic and witchcraft. In reality, the werewolf is far older than that. The…

Guide to the Classics: Juvenal, the True Satirist of Rome

Robert Cowan, University of Sydney An angry man stands at the crossroads and rails against the moral cesspit around him, teeming with sexual deviants and jumped-up immigrants. This is the image which the Roman poet Juvenal paints of the satirist castigating the vices of contemporary Rome. Juvenal’s Satires provide a fascinating window onto the social…

Mark Zuckerberg’s Admiration For Emperor Augustus is Misplaced. Here’s Why

Frederik Juliaan Vervaet, University of Melbourne On his 2012 honeymoon to Rome, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took so many photos of the Roman Emperor Augustus’s sculptures that his wife joked it was like there were three people on the honeymoon. The couple even named their second daughter August. Explaining his fascination for Rome’s first emperor,…

How Ancient Cultures Explained Comets and Meteors

Comets and meteors have fascinated the human race since they were first spotted in the night sky. But without science and space exploration to aid understanding of what these chunks of rock and ice are, ancient cultures often turned to myth and legend to explain them. The Greeks and Romans believed that the appearance of…