Welcome, Stranger passing by…


…to Exploring the Ruins, a blog dedicated to Classical Antiquity and its impact on human culture from then to now.

Each Blog post will choose a theme, an event, a social construct, a piece of art, technology or philosophy, and spin you a tale about it. Some posts will be long, others not. Some will be interlinked, some will stand independent. All will be underpinned by historiographical methodology.

I do not assume every reader has an academic background so have tried to keep the jargon to a minimum. If you get lost or want a more detailed understanding of the ideas underpinning certain arguments you can find a Lexicon of Terms in the menu. Dip in or explore as you like, or not. You should still be able to follow the narratives without having to swot up, but a little background reading might make it more interesting for you.

A lot of the posts here will be inspired-by or refer-to ancient sources, articles or books. These will be listed on the Bibliography and Sources page, with links if they’re readable online or a proper listing if you want to look up the paper or publication. Translations of ancient sources will be listed and if possible made available to you via a link so that you can read the sections in context.

All that said, Exploring the Ruins is a popular history site which means that the language used is vernacular, the brush often broad, and sometimes assertions will be made that look like facts. While I have done my best to underpin the posts with solid research there are times when I will swagger about the story like a cocky drunk. If I do then I will tell you, and you can choose to either go with it or hit the references and create your own conclusions. I can guarantee the methodology will be as sound as I can make it, bolstered by archaeology, the accessible bits of anthropology, useful modern analogy, some reception theory, maybe some animatronic skeletons, and references to 1980’s cartoon shows.

There is also a page entirely dedicated to the work being done on an island in the Cyclades called Despotiko, where a Sanctuary of Apollo is slowly being unearthed. Much of my own journey is tied up with that dig, and the Despotiko Journal (along with relevant asides) is now available to read in its unbroken entirety.

On that note, if you want to know more about the incredibly talented author of this site and his academic background then visit the Biography page where you will be dazzled by his dash, élan, luxurious beard, and intellectual rigour. Or something.

If after all that you can no longer contain yourself and just have to talk to me, head for the Contact page.

So welcome, hoi philoi, and I hope Exploring the Ruins sparks ideas!