Writing Revelation: Game of Thrones, Greco-Roman Oracles, and the Epigraphy of Divination

Who doesn’t want to know the future? This question has been on my mind since finishing some solid binge-watching of Season 5 of Game of Thrones in order to catch up before the season premiere on Sunday. Over the course of the season, I became rather fascinated with the priestess of the Lord of Light, Melisandre, who served … More Writing Revelation: Game of Thrones, Greco-Roman Oracles, and the Epigraphy of Divination

‘Can I Get Your Autograph?’: A Short History of Signature Collecting

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with collecting the signatures of the Atlanta Braves baseball players. It was a point of pride to show my friends the signatures of John Smoltz or Greg Maddux, and they provided me with a little residual cachet. Turns out that Romans had much the same reaction. The natural … More ‘Can I Get Your Autograph?’: A Short History of Signature Collecting

Sacrificial Lambs: Livestock, Book Costs, and the Premodern Parchment Trade

Pliny the Elder remarks on a conflict that arose between King Eumenes of Pergamum and Ptolemy V, the Egyptian pharaoh, around 191 BCE. The naturalist notes the regal rivalry in his section on writing materials from the ancient world (NH 13.21). During an epic battle to build each other’s libraries bigger and faster (would that this … More Sacrificial Lambs: Livestock, Book Costs, and the Premodern Parchment Trade