Author Archives: 100swallows

How Xenophon Saved His Army

“So—is this the end?” Xenophon asked himself. “You asked for it and now you got it.” He was lying in a tent in the middle of the Persian Empire. He was with a batallion of Greek mercenaries, though he was … Continue reading

Posted in books, history, literature, The Greeks, war, warfare | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Hércules en Cádiz

El santuario más famoso de todo el Mediterráneo occidental estuvo en Cádiz, en el actual islote de Sancti Petri. Mapa de Cádiz ( DP imagen de HansenBCN)   Estaba consagrado al Hércules Gaditano, y el mismísimo dios, decían algunos, yacía … Continue reading

Posted in Hercules, history, oracle, Romans, sanctuary, Spain, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caesar’s Greatest Battle

The most exciting thing in Caesar’s Commentaries? Commentarii de Bello Gallico, an account written by Julius Caesar about his nine years of war in Gaul (public domain photo) The battle of Alesia. What is so exciting about it? Caesar was … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, Caesar, history, Romans, war, warfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Don Quijote’s Evil Giants

When you first see the windmills on the great hill of Consuegra you will remember Don Quijote. He thought they weren’t windmills but evil giants standing haughtily in front of him; and he bravely tilted his lance and charged. They … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, Cervantes, engineering, great writers, Spain, travel, windmill | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Giddy-up, Aristotle

This looks like a medieval version of Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly singing “True Love.” But it isn’t anything like that. Those aren’t earphones or the man’s microphone but a…bridle. The woman is riding him. She is Phyllis the Courtesan … Continue reading

Posted in 1, Alexander the Great, Aristotle, art, Basel, France, history, Humanism, Lai d' Aristot, middle ages, philosophy, Phyllis, Renaissance, Toledo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Roman Engineering

One of the most impressive Roman constructions you will ever see is the aqueduct of Segovia, Spain. Aqueduct of Segovia (file photo) It still brings good water down from the mountains fifteen kilometers away. For most of that distance the … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, engineering, history, Romans, Spain | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Cómo pintó Miguel Ángel la Capilla Sixtina

Las manos de Dios y Adán (foto Wikipedia archivo) El Papa ordena un milagro El Papa Julio II creía que Miguel Ángel era capaz de hacer cualquier trabajo y le ordenó pintar el techo de la capilla. “Pero yo no … Continue reading

Posted in Adán, art, arte, Capilla Sixtina, epopeya del hombre, michelangelo, Miguel Ángel, Papa Julio II, pintura al fresco, Pope Julius II, Renaissance, sistine chapel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments