Sons of God
The ideology of Assyrian kingship By Simo Parpola

The impact of Mesopotamian religious thought on the evolution of other ancient religious and philosophical thought has never been seriously investigated. What follows are my initial forays into this uncharted territory. I suspect the influence has been far greater than anyone has yet suggested. Take, for example, one small datum: There was a […]

A Great Empire’s Beating Heart
The Roman Forum was not just the center of a town, it was the center of a culture By Larry F. Ball

Ovid’s Ars Amatoria is a “how to” manual, in verse, for amorous young men. The poet spends some 200 lines (1.67–262) naming the best places in Rome to contrive supposedly chance encounters with women. Most of the sites are recognizable, and many are in or near the Roman Forum, but Ovid rarely names […]

The Image Destroyers
Only non-sacred images were destroyed in eighth-century Palestine By Robert Schick

A curious episode in the history of iconoclasm—the destruction of sacred images—took place in eighth-century Palestine (present-day Israel and Jordan). The region’s Byzantine churches were often decorated with colorful mosaic pavements, including depictions of plants, animals, ordinary human beings and holy figures such as Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the disciples and saints. Sometime during […]

Littoral Truths
The perils of seafaring in the Bronze Age By Eric H. Cline

Poor Wenamun! Stranded in a foreign city, his money stolen and letters of introduction misplaced, the Egyptian official throws himself upon the mercy of the local administration—an all-too-familiar tale of a traveler in distress. But Wenamun’s story dates to the end of the Late Bronze Age (c. 1075 B.C.), in the days before American […]


Editors’ Page: Let’s Do What We Can!
The impossible will take forever By Hershel Shanks
Past Perfect: Away from the Big Top
Circus strongman Giovanni Belzoni finds fame and fortune in the Valley of the Kings.
Destinations: Sounion, Greece
Even Lord Byron, charmed by Poseidon’s Temple, left his mark. By Julie Skurdenis
Ancient Life: Comic Relief
An ancient Egyptian bestiary
The Forum
Understanding god, translating the name “Akhenaten,” and disposing of Priam’s Treasure.