The legacy of the Roman Empire can be found in far more places than you might imagine. Many of the most interesting ancient sites, however, are located in countries and regions that are difficult or dangerous to visit. Fear not.
It is tragic that a geo-political argument prevents Thessaloniki from being fully integrated with its traditional hinterland. The problem is the rancorous, silly dispute between the Macedonian region of former Yugoslavia and Greece that has dragged on, impeding regional progress for two decades.
We tend to think of the emergence of social news platforms, such as Reddit or the Huffington Post, as historically unprecedented. But in many ways they represent the revival of a long traditional that dates back to the Roman era.
This sort of religious segregation from common expressions of Greco-Roman piety -- from swearing allegiance to the Roman Gods and to the Emperor to participation in activities associated with pagan temples -- effectively marginalized those adherents to "Christ as a god" from the rest of society.
Seth MacFarlane's Oscars performance failed less because of racism, sexism, and homophobia than because he forgot what satire is and how it works. The satiric genius of late-night icons like Johnny Carson and beloved fictional curmudgeons like Archie Bunker has been lost in a sea of mindless snark.
While I always thought it was preposterous to ask what would Jesus drive, it does seem reasonable to ask what would Jesus listen to -- which is what Hillel Tigay asked when he started on a journey to create a modern album of ancient music
Any intellectual seeking to build a balanced larder of knowledge would do well to embrace their inner Roman emperor, and familiarize themselves with food and the art of cooking -- even if their own culinary attempts go up in smoke a disconcerting amount of the time.
When I was a junior in college I fell in love with Shakespeare. I was determined to become the next Kenneth Branagh--in large part because I wanted to bed his then wife, Emma Thompson. Love of literature can be based on worse things.