Edutainment – an ancient concept

Dear Reader,

In a recent comment, our beloved commentator Casper


made a wonderful compliment. Diablog inspired her to read, about Sisyphus in this case. What more could we ask for, than inspiring people? Casper, you made my Sunday. Thanks!

Quick question for our young readers: Aren’t the ancient myths part of the curriculum anymore?

Being a lucky guy, the books of ancient Greek mythology were part of my upbringing. Reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. Zeus and the Olympians, Pan and the nymphs, Apollo and Dionysus, plus the heroic sagas about Heracles, Achilles, Odysseus, Jason, Oedipus, Orpheus, etc. Thanks to the internet, now you can get most of it free here. I love it.

Equally, the Roman mythology was available to me. I have to say – sorry Glynsky – it was more or less a copy of the Greek work. There is even a term for this, Interpretatio Romana. But then, the Greek probably took a lot from the Egyptians.

Anyway, as Wikipedia puts it, Roman stories:

are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual’s personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community …

Thus, they make for entertaining and educational reading. The modern word would be Edutainment, I guess.

Both collections of sagas, add the Nordic saga Edda if you like, will tell you more about human nature, than anything else.

By the way, the English might want to compare those with the work of their beloved Shakespeare. Surprise, he copied tons from the ancient dramas. Julius Caesar anyone?

All the ancient literature shows, we have not changed as much as we would like over the last few thousand years. And if you compare current prime ministers and presidents with ancient tyrants, you might find too many similarities.

A big difference, thanks to democracy, we don’t kill our rulers (modern: leaders) as often as in the past. Yes, I think that is a plus. Not charging Bush and Blair for their crimes on the other hand was a return to parts of dictatorship. Roman dictators were not legally liable for their official actions. Similar to Nixon, Bush should have been impeached.

And so should Obama. Since he likes making examples of the little guy like Manning, we should make an example of him too. An example of responsibility and accountability.

Keep reading,

Engine Room

4 thoughts on “Edutainment – an ancient concept

  1. ER,

    No need to thank me, it’s you I should be thanking. I read everything and when I get time I do the research.
    I saw all the possible lessons to learn from Sisyphus, and chose the best one, which is not to do the something over and over again as it is punishment enough…
    Like my favourite saying ….
    Insanity is doing the something over and over again, or sompfin… Lol



  2. ER, perfect.

    I had a chance to look through the site, and I have printed out a few pages from a book I wanted.
    Btw, no ancient history is not covered in curriculums which is sad.

    Thanks again! X
    I cannot wait to see what the other books have to offer.



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