The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody

The Wife of Bath is the most famous albeit the most troubling character in Chaucerian literature. As with other storytellers in The Canterbury Tales, we are given only her title at first: the "Wife of Bath." Later we learn her name is Alysoun, and sometimes she goes by "Aly" (recall that she shares a name … Continue reading The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody

The Peloponnesian War, Book II: Proxy Wars and Pericles’s Funeral Oration

Book II of edition of Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War examines the true origin of the war. The thirty year peace between Athens and Sparta ends when Thebes (allied with the Peloponnesus) attacks Plataea (allied with Athens) and the Thebans surrender. Both cities are located north of Athens in Boetia. Plataea executes its 180 captured … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book II: Proxy Wars and Pericles’s Funeral Oration

Genesis I-III: The Birth of Law

Today, we moderns call Genesis a book. That is, a whole and complete text. However, Biblical scholarship suggests it may, instead, be a collection and compendium of varying and sometimes contradictory mythologies of the known world, rooted in ancient Canaanite, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Akkadian traditions. Ancient writers would have known it as an "account," a retelling … Continue reading Genesis I-III: The Birth of Law