Author Archives: Maria Pretzler

Sing me, Lord Chilcot, of the wrath…

During this Edinburgh Festival, non-stop from 8th to 20th August, hundreds of volunteers read the whole Chilcot Report on the decision to go to war in Iraq. The event’s producer said: “[The report] wasn’t expected to be read. The establishment … Continue reading

Posted in and collective memory, and history, Current events, Greece, Myth, Protest, Remembering the Past, War | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caster Semenya and women at the Olympics

I just came across this excellent article about gender and Olympic disciplines or competitive sport more generally, starting with the case of gold-medal winning runner Caster Semenya who has faced so much controversy over whether she should be allowed to … Continue reading

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Olympic Superstars – ancient and modern

Some of yesterday’s papers (for example the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph) have a report that Michael Phelps has just beaten a 2167* year-old record which had been held, for all that time, by Leonidas of Rhodes, who … Continue reading

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On the Freedom to Travel and Unified Continents

I admit it. When it comes to politics I will always remain a dreamer. I put it down to the fact that I grew up so close to the Iron Curtain, and that 1989 was the most formative year of … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Europe, Roman Empire | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s a person’s REAL name?

As Iceland is playing another game in the European championship we shall yet again see the international media struggle with Icelandic names. The typical newspaper article talks of say, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Sigþórsson) or Aron Gunnarsson, and then just call them Sigthorsson and … Continue reading

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Why Boris should have remembered the Ostracism of Hyperbolus

UK Politics is just too distracting these days. Today we arrived at a point where both main parties are in the middle of differently shambolic leadership contests. These last few crazy days have brought to mind quite a few ancient parallels … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Democracy, Greece, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to make history historical…

Yesterday, an entirely farcical event took place on the Thames in London, as a stunt by the Brexit campaign, designed to highlight the concerns of fishermen, turned into a scuffle carried out with water hoses, sound systems and rude gestures. … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Current events, Exploring the Past, History, Inventing the Past, Remembering the Past | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why we should all get our roofs from Sparta*

Work on my Peloponnesian League book is finally starting to happen, so it’s time to dust off the blog again. I hope odd little things like today’s discovery will go here. At the moment I am working on what might … Continue reading

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On Pledges Carved in Stone

Yesterday, just four days before the election, the Leader of the UK Labour Party, Ed Miliband, unveiled an eight-foot limestone slab, carved with his six main election promises.  Reviews were mixed, but it was a delight to all  who regularly get … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Current events, Political Parties, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Call the Royal Baby Mohammed – here is why:

As everybody is still speculating about the names for the royal baby, there are two distinct approaches: one is to find the name that would seem silliest with the royal number I behind it, and the other is to speculate, … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Exploring the Past, Inventing the Past, Life in the UK, Memory, Remembering the Past | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments