Category Archives: Inventing the Past

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

London 2012 and the Pastoral Idyll

(Do shepherds dream of idyllic sheep?) Danny Boyle’s set for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony A few weeks ago, when the design for at least part of the Olympic opening ceremony was revealed, I was nothing short of appalled. … Continue reading

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Greek Treasures: ancient and modern

I just came across this opinion piece in the LA times of 26th February by James Romm, a scholar I admire greatly. But here he offers an example of  highly emotional rhetoric which is historically unjustified. At the same time, his article … Continue reading

Posted in Exploring the Past, History, Inventing the Past, Remembering the Past | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

In the Poet’s Own Hand?

Some time ago, I came across this photograph: It’s such an intriguing image – you wonder: was it just a mistake by some sales assistant, or was somebody in that bookshop making a very thoughtful comment on an age-old mystery? … Continue reading

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Coalition Counterfactual

Two days ago, the New Stateman’s Staggers blog published a little sample of ‘what if?’ politics by David Mills, a little glimpse of a world where Nick Clegg refused David Cameron’s offer of May 2010, the Conservatives and LibDems embarked on … Continue reading

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Tyrant Slayers

Thoughts on the day Muammar Gaddafi was killed This will be a crucial day in Libya’s history – so much is certain. The day a tyrant dies cannot be anything else. But what will we, what will the Libyans remember? … Continue reading

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Building the Parthenon

It’s time to talk about the photograph at the top of my blog. It’s part of a picture I took on the Acropolis of Athens in summer 2007: let’s call it The Parthenon Under Construction (Again). Of course, ancient buildings … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Inventing the Past, Remembering the Past, Restoration | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Working Memories

One of those magnificent German words which can’t quite be translated into English is Erinnerungsarbeit. It describes the effort that goes into remembering, into giving the past its due and making sure that important lessons are not forgotten. As you might … Continue reading

Posted in History, Inventing the Past, Memory, Remembering the Past | Tagged , | 1 Comment