Author: patrick


The Role of Silenus and Isabella d’Este

By Patrick Hunt   Silenus is one of the most enigmatic characters in Greek Mythology. He can be recognized in art by his visual iconography as old, fat and balding, slumped over while usually riding a donkey, often almost sliding off if not held up by someone – often another […]


Goethe in the Roman Campagna and Its Antecedents

By Patrick Hunt Along with his many other sometimes astonishing accomplishments ranging through history and archaeology to science and literature, polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was crucial to the reception of Europe, especially Germany, for its reappraisal of classical antiquity. His 1786-87 itinerary as distilled from correspondence in Italian […]

Short Takes

Asteria Early Music : Living a Dream in Burgundy

By Sylvia Rhyne and Eric Redlinger Editor’s Note: Sylvia Rhyne, Soprano, and Eric Redlinger, Tenor and Lutenist, are the musical group Asteria (Late Medieval Vocal and Instrumentalists) who share a Courtly Love story in following their passion and dream in Burgundy. Learn more about them and their music on their […]


Plato’s Circle in the Mosaic of Pompeii

By Katherine Joplin   Although the literary foundation of Western philosophy, Plato today is almost a legendary figure, his very name sparking the image of higher learning, truth, and perspicuity. How ironic then that in a mosaic of Plato’s Academy, the biggest quandary might be which figure is Plato. The […]


Schall’s Historic Photos of Paris and Remembering Paris

By Staff Rebecca Schall has published several fascinating photographic histories of Paris with stunning black and white photos that once again prove the important role  of photodocumentation in our understanding of the past several centuries. While art may render history on its own terms, photojournalism has its special place in preserving […]


Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Text and Music

By Patrick Hunt  After more than three centuries, Henry Purcell’s (1659-95) sole opera Dido and Aeneas remains a treasure.  Considered the greatest operatic achievement of 17th century England [1] and the first great English opera, [2] even though a performance only takes little more than an hour, it is often justified as […]


Turing’s Cathedral

  By Staff George Dyson is a rare bird, descended from a long line of creative genius, rendering him more than merely sympathetic to genius as an historian of science. His new book almost out, Turing’s Cathedral: Origins of the Digital Universe (Pantheon 2012) is an insightful paean to a […]