Potens Risus: Creation, Destruction and The Ancient Power of Women’s Laughter

It is a great power to be able to light up our surroundings by a smile.  It is also one of the most mysterious features we have as human beings. The great men of the past tried to explain it and failed miserably. So what is laughter? And why are women more powerful when they laugh?

The Feminine Journey of the Woman in a White Dress

In Quezon City, Philippines, there is a well-known ghost of a long-haired woman in a white dress. This woman is said to have died in a car accident while driving along Balete Drive. There are many variations to her story, but they usually involve a taxi driver who was driving late at night and a beautiful woman who asked him for a ride. This long-haired woman in a white dress also exists on the other side of the world, making her way throughout history.

The Passion of Independent Women in Early Christianity

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. —  Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970 Passionate women … Continue reading The Passion of Independent Women in Early Christianity

“The Oldest Profession in the World”: Prostitution or Gardening?

Former president of the United States Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) allegedly once said, “Someone once said that politics is the second-oldest profession. I’m beginning to think it bears resemblance to the first”, unfavorably comparing politicians to prostitutes. But despite the old adage, prostitution is not “the oldest profession in the world”. It’s gardening.

Very Short Story about Voting in Ancient Greek and Rome

Sortition by lot was a form of selecting public officials in some ancient Greek city-states. It has been used particularly in the democracy of ancient Athens from which most information … Continue reading Very Short Story about Voting in Ancient Greek and Rome

Scar Removals and Breast Reductions: Graeco-Roman Practices of Plastic Surgery

In the 6th Century BCE, an Indian physician named Sushruta, who was widely regarded in India as the “father of surgery”, wrote one of the world’s earliest works on medicine … Continue reading Scar Removals and Breast Reductions: Graeco-Roman Practices of Plastic Surgery

8 Ancient Roman Love Hacks

At first glance, the three books of Ars Amatoria are a collection of short poems playing with the common tropes of love stories – the locked-out lover, the slave go-between, the symptoms of love-sickness, the rich rival, the poor poet, infidelity and occasionally successful erotic encounter. But, they also include advice to the reader on how to be a good lover.