Adrienne Mayor

Adrienne Mayor, a research scholar in classics and the history of science at Stanford, is the author of The First Fossil Hunters and The Amazons.

Megafauna: Aristotle and Science

Adrienne Mayor, 2 July 2015

Thinkers​ who pondered the mysteries of nature used to be known as ‘natural philosophers’. For centuries there wasn’t a separate term for those few individuals who practised science (scientia, ‘knowledge’) in the sense of devising experiments and testable explanations and predictions in order to understand experienced reality. In 1833 William Whewell, a...

Pacesetter: Carthage

Adrienne Mayor, 24 June 2010

Those who discovered Salammbô at an impressionable age, before reading any conventional histories of the Punic Wars, know how difficult it is to shake off Flaubert’s intoxicating vision of the doomed Carthaginian Empire. Brimming with war and lust, vast riches and bizarre rituals, violence and tragedy verging on melodrama, his novel about the North African power that rivalled Rome...

Hot Flanks and Her Sisters: Amazons

James Romm, 22 October 2015

‘We wield​ bows and arrows, throw javelins and ride horses; we know nothing of woman-ly tasks,’ the Amazons said of themselves, according to Herodotus. He had learned the legends of...

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Butcher Boy: Mithridates

Michael Kulikowski, 22 April 2010

To cheat one’s enemy of victory can be a victory in itself, at least when any hope of actually winning a war has disappeared. So it was with one of Rome’s most flamboyant enemies,...

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In 1586, William Camden reported in Britannia, his travel guide to British curiosities, that the bones of giants had been discovered in Essex. The evidence took the form of limb bones the size of...

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