Archive for September, 2016

What was on the menu for Ancient Egyptians? Bread, beer, and all good things…


In celebration of our most recent post on the Ancient stories that are being published in English for the first time, here’s a wonderful little piece all about what our beloved Ancient Egyptians were eating and drinking while they came up with all those glorious stories…





Bread, Beer, and All Good Things


The staple food was bread and beer, supplemented by onions or other vegetables and dried fish.

They eat loaves of bread of coarse grain which they call cyllestis. They make their beverage from barley, for they have no vines in their country.They eat fish raw, sun-dried or preserved in salt brine. —Herodotus, Histories 2,77


Meat was not eaten often by the fellahin [4]. Even the workers at Deir el Medina, certainly better off than the ordinary peasant, received meat supplies mostly on special festive occsaions only.[10] Growing domesticated animals for the sole purpose of meat production was (and still is) expensive. People sometimes supplemented their diet by hunting and fowling and by gathering wild fruit and roots. In the Tale of Sinuhe the protagonist, who had become a tribal chief, recounts:

Loaves were made for me daily, and wine as daily fare, cooked meat, roast fowl, as well as desert game. For they snared for me and laid it before me, in addition to the catch of my hounds. Many sweets were made for me, and milk dishes of all kinds.


Read (and see) the rest here.



Ancient Egyptian Stories Will Be Published in English for the First Time

Pretty much the best news ever…






Ancient Egyptian Stories Will Be Published in English for the First Time


Translated from hieroglyphics on monuments, tombs and papyri, the book will present tales few outside of academia have read


By Jason Daley


“While people may view inscriptions in Greek or Latin as pretty, they still recognize their merit as text. Indeed, writings from ancient Greece and Rome are revered and considered classics of Western literature. Egyptian hieroglyphics, however, are often seen as mere decoration. Sometimes, the characters are literally used as wallpaper.


One reason is that schoolchildren and classicists alike have read Greek and Latin widely for centuries. But hieroglyphics and the stories they tell have remained accessible only to a handful of trained scholars. That’s one reason Penguin Classics has published Writings from Ancient Egypt in Great Britain (it will be available in the US in January), the first literary English translation of some of the texts that cover thousands of square feet of monuments and tomb walls.


Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson, a fellow of Clare College at Cambridge University, tells Dalya Alberge at The Guardian that the ancient Egyptian writing is just as compelling and layered as those written by the Romans. “What will surprise people are the insights behind the well-known facade of ancient Egypt, behind the image that everyone has of the pharaohs, Tutankhamun’s mask and the pyramids,” Wilkinson says…”


Read more here.


The Shakespeare Riots: one of the most bizarre events in New York history

What do Shakespeare, the Bowery gangs, and the train have in common?


From Atlas Obscura





The Forgotten Entrance to Clinton Hall
Hidden in one of New York’s oldest subway stations is the final remnant of the site of the bizarre Shakespeare Riots.


“This blocked up doorway on a subway station holds a secret that is still felt on the streets of New York today.


The Astor Place subway station on the IRT Lexington Avenue line is home to some of the most distinctive tile work on the New York metropolitan subway system. One of the original 28 subway stations, the walls are decorated with plaques depicting beavers, in honour of the pelt trade in which John Jacob Astor made his fortune.


But often overlooked on the south bound entrance is a bricked up doorway which recalls the tale of one of the most unusual events in New York history. Above the blocked off door is a lintel inscribed “Clinton Hall.” At one point this led directly into the old New York Mercantile Library in the former Astor Place Opera House. The library, known as Clinton Hall, at 21 Astor Place, was created for the growing number of clerks in the city. With a membership of 12,000, the library held over 120,000 volumes, one of the largest periodical subscriptions in the city, cabinets of curiosities, and held lectures by such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain.


But the address, named after America’s once-richest man, was the site of one of the most bizarre events in New York history…”


For the rest, click here.



Next Page »