Ancient History Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancient-history" (showing 1-15 of 15)
Edward Gibbon
“After a war of about 40 years, undertaken by the most stupid [Claudius], maintained by the most dissolute [Nero], and terminated by the most timid [Domitian] of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island [of Britain] submitted to the Roman yoke.”
Gibbon, Edward

Kenneth W. Harl
“He who writes well runs the civilization. Everyone else does the grunt work.”
Prof. Kenneth W. Harl

Roberta Pearce
“They were ancient history. They were so ancient they made ancient history look modern.
Well, okay . . . maybe medieval.”
Roberta Pearce, For Those Who Wait

Guglielmo Ferrero
“He who wishes to preserve, often destroys, so that virtue seems vice, and vice seems virtue.”
Guglielmo Ferrero, The Women of the Caesars

Guglielmo Ferrero
“Hate often separates those who ought to aid one another, since they are tending toward the same goal, and sympathy binds men together who are forced to do battle with one another.”
Guglielmo Ferrero, The Women of the Caesars

“Desde la niñez, nos han hecho considerar este lugar como la cuna de la raza humana.”
William Loftus

“One early terracotta statuette from Catal Huyuk in Anatolia depicts an enthroned female in the act of giving birth, supported by two cat-like animals that form her seat (Plate 1). This figure has been identified as a 'birth goddess' and it is this type of early image that has led a number of feminist scholars to posit a 'reign of the goddess' in ancient Near Eastern prehistory. Maria Gimbutas, for whom such images are proof of a perfect matriarchal society in 'Old Europe' , presents an ideal vision in which a socially egalitarian matriarchal culture was overthrown by a destructive patriarchy (Gimbutas 1991). Gerda Lerner has argued for a similar situation in the ancient Near East; however, she does not discuss nude figurines at any length (Lerner 1986a: 147). More recently, critiques of the matriarchal model of prehistory have pointed out the flaws in this methodology (e.g. Conkey and Tringham 1995; Meskell 1995; Goodison and Morris 1998). In all these critiques the identification of such figures as goddesses is rejected as a modern myth. There is no archaeological evidence that these ancient communities were in fact matriarchal, nor is there any evidence that female deities were worshipped exclusively. Male gods may have worshipped simultaneously with the 'mother goddesses' if such images are indeed representations of deities. Nor do such female figures glorify or show admiration for the female body; rather they essentialise it, reducing it to nothing more nor less than a reproductive vessel. The reduction of the head and the diminution of the extremities seem to stress the female form as potentially reproductive, but to what extent this condition was seen as sexual, erotic or matriarchal is unclear.
....Despite the correct rejection of the 'Mother Goddess' and utopian matriarchy myths by recent scholarship, we should not loose track of the overwhelming evidence that the image of female nudity was indeed one of power in ancient Mesopotamia. The goddess Ishtar/Inanna was but one of several goddesses whose erotic allure was represented as a powerful attribute in the literature of the ancient Near East. In contact to the naked male body which was the focus of a variety of meanings in the visual arts, female nudity was always associated with sexuality, and in particular with powerful sexual attraction, Akkadian *kuzbu*. This sexuality was not limited to Ishtar and her cult. As a literary topos, sensuousness is a defining quality for both mortal women and goddesses. In representational art, the nude woman is portrayed in a provocative pose, as the essence of the feminine. For femininity, sexual allure, *kuzbu*, the ideal of the feminine, was thus expressed as nudity in both visual and verbal imagery. While several iconographic types of unclothed females appear in Mesopotamian representations of the historical period - nursing mothers, women in acts of sexual intercourse, entertainers such as dancers and musicians, and isolated frontally represented nudes with or without other attributes - and while these nude female images may have different iconographic functions, the ideal of femininity and female sexuality portrayed in them is similar.

-Zainab Bahrani, Women of Babylon: Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia”
Zainab Bahrani

“She did not approach Caesar wrapped in a carpet, she was not a seductress, she did not use her charm to persuade the men in her life to lose their judgement, and she did not die by the bite of an asp…Yet other important elements of her career have been bypassed in the post-antique recension: she was a Skilled naval commander, a published medical authority, and an expert royal administrator who was met with adulation throughout the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps seen by some as a messianic figure, the hope for a future Eastern Mediterranean free of Roman domination.”
Duane W. Roller, Cleopatra: A Biography

Carlos Castaneda
“We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so... I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! "This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them." "No, no, no, no," [Carlos replies] "This is absurd don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone." "Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not? Because it infuriates you? ... You haven't heard all the claims yet. I want to appeal to your analytical mind. Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal." "'But how can they do this, don Juan? [Carlos] asked, somehow angered further by what [don Juan] was saying. "'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?" "'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!" don Juan said, smiling. "They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now." "I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its manoeuvre is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear." "The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when [the predator] made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then, everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man. What I'm saying is that what we have against us is not a simple predator. It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He's an average piece of meat." "There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.”
Carlos Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity

“The fact that Ishtar's sexual encounters usually mingle eroticism with violence was pointed out by Harris (1990: 264). However, it is not because Ishtar shatters the boundaries of her sex by proposing marriage (a masculine act) that Gilgamesh is frightened.
-Women of Babylon: Gender and representation in Mesopotamia”
Zainab Bahrani

“Now let us analyze the other two occupants of the inner Sanctuary or Oracle. They are the two cherubim who guard the Ark ... [and] "The Molten Sea" ...There are also two other elements of the Temple of which they are the image, and these other two units are the Great Pyramid and the Inner Court (The Molten Sea = 137 = MG = Two Cherubim = Great Pyramid = Inner Court. All four of these elements are reflections of each other, and they constitute the real key to understanding the mystery of the Temple of Solomon. ..."The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord" [is] a mirror image of "The Great Pyramid of the Emperor" ....”
William Eisen, The English Cabalah

“I'm working on this book on the trial of Socrates. It started out with the idea of the problem of freedom of thought...and expression...I started by spending a year on the English Seventeenth Century Revolutions, and I had a fascinating time. And then I felt I couldn't understand the English Seventeenth Century Revolutions without understanding the Reformation. When I got to the Reformation, I felt that I had to understand the premonitory movements that began in the Middle Ages. When I got there, I felt I had to understand the classical period." (quoted in Andrew Patner, I. F. Stone: A Portrait, p. 21)”
I. F. Stone

“The story of women in antiquity should be told now, not only because it is a legitimate aspect of social history, but because the past illuminates contemporary problems in relationships between men and women. ... It is most significant to note the consistency with which some attitudes toward women and the roles women play in Western society have endured through the centuries.”
Sarah B. Pomeroy, Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity

“...men are capable of perceiving the Pyramid in an astonishing number of ways. Some have thought the Pyramid was an astronomic and astrological observatory. Some have thought it functioned as the equivalent of a theodolite for surveyors in ancient times... Some think it performed as a giant sundial... Some think it records the mathematics and science of a civilization which vanished... Some think it is a huge water pump. Others have thought it was filled with fabulous treasures... One early investigator came away convinced it was the remains of a huge volcano. Another thought the pyramids were Joseph's granaries. Some thought they were heathen idols which should be destroyed. Some believe the Pyramid captures powerful cosmic energies... Some think it is a tomb. Some think it is a Bible in stone with prophecies built into the scheme of its internal passages... Some think it was a mammoth public works project which consolidated the position of the pharaoh and the unity of the nation. Some think it was built by beings from outer space. Some say it was a temple of initiation. Some hold that it was an instrument of science. Some believe it is an altar of Guild built through direct Divine Revelation. And today, judging by the uses to which it has been put, some apparently think it is an outhouse.”
William Fix, Pyramid Odyssey

Christopher de Hamel
“Newcomers to manuscripts sometimes ask what such books tell us about the societies that created them. At one level, these Gospel Books describe nothing, for they are not local chronicles but standard Latin translations of religious texts from far away. At the same time, this is itself extraordinarily revealing about Ireland. No one knows how literacy and Christianity had first reached the islands of Ireland, possibly through North Africa. This was clearly no primitive backwater but a civilization which could now read Latin, although never occupied by the Romans, and which was somehow familiar with the texts and artistic designs which have unambiguous parallels in the Coptic and Greek churches, such as carpet pages and Canon tables. Although the Book of Kells itself is as uniquely Irish as anything imaginable, it is a Mediterranean text and the pigments used in making it include orpiment, a yellow made from arsenic sulphide, exported from Italy, where it is found in volcanoes. There are clearly lines of trade and communication unknown to us.”
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts