Manet’s style with Dead Christ

The Dead Christ with Angels, 1864 by Edouard Manet

While researching for the museum paper at the MET, I was trying to find a good example of non-academic art. In the 19th and early 20th century European paintings exhibits, I found a few examples of modernist art that reminded me of what we learned in Unit 5. While I used the Rocks in the Forest by Paul Cézanne, I was close to using another painting that was shunned by the Academy: The Dead Christ with Angels by Édouard Manet. In the painting, Christ’s body is depicted through realism and shows the body as “dirty” by casting dark shadows like dirt, in addition to the angels having more emphasis and lighting than Christ. The painting reminded me of Manet’s own Olympia painting; both paintings use draw the subject as “flat” and “dirty”. According to the text label, critics took aim at Manet’s form of artistic expression with his flatness and making Christ’s body look “cadaverous” and “mortally” deceased through realism instead of making him look heavenly and spiritually alive. In terms of differences, Olympia focuses about the prostitute’s realism with her tense expression more than the background with the maid in darker shading (not the skin color, the shading around her), while the Dead Christ with Angels focuses more on the background with the angels, bringing out the colors of the wings and their emotions, than Christ’s cadaverous body. While both paintings by Manet focus on different subject matters (Olympia on the nature of the prostitute and Dead Christ with Angels on the death of Christ), they both contain similar and distinctive features that Manet focused on in subtle and vivid ways with realism, the shading and lighting to make the subject appear dirty, and the flatness of the subject.

-A.C. Bowman (Team Saturn)

Juvenal and Aurelius on the homeless

Dear Kwame,
I believe that based on your prior experience with the homeless man, I believe that he should not have looked at your offering for help as “a contract”. Based on the works of Juvenal and Marcus Aurelius, these men have shown the likes of inhabiting traits of wisdom for the populace to possess; in this dilemma, you were correct in not giving the man currency. In the likes of what you claimed, the man demanded you escort him to the nearby convenience outlet to procure cigarettes because of the previous passerby’s gift of a half-used cigarette pack. When you offered the man sandwiches instead of the escort, the man denied and claimed that you were “dishonoring” your agreement, to which you profess there was none. In the words of Aurelius, “From Maximus: self-control, not to be easily influenced; to be of good cheer in illness and in all other misfortunes: a well-balanced disposition, sweet temper, dignified bearing; to perform one’s appointed task without resentment; the fact that all men trusted him to mean what he said and to do whatever he did without malice (Aurelius 15).” Based on the mind of Aurelius, I believe that he would not have offered to accompany the man, as he would have given him advice on self-control and the likes of his situation, most likely scolding him for not taking the offer of a sandwich. From the words of Juvenal, he once says “Yet, to actually give you something to ask for and some reason to offer the guts and little sacred sausages of a shining white piglet at the little shrines, you should pray for a sound mind in a sound body. (Juvenal 355-58)”. To delve into his mind, I believe that Juvenal would have accompanied the man to the store. Through this quote, Juvenal demonstrates that the man should pray for a “sound mind in a sound body”; he would have given the man the additional cigarettes but would have also given him advice on how to control himself and his situation. Both wise men would have given them advice on self-control and how to better their lives, but they would have gone through these trials in different manners. I sincerely hope that my message comes as clear as they come.
-Regards, Aidanous Carter (A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn)


Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Is It O.K. to Give Cigarettes to a Homeless Person?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Oct. 2017,®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection.


Vaccaro’s Depiction of Christ


After looking for some examples of baroque paintings, I found an interested painting from Italian artist Andrea Vaccaro titled La Pietà. The painting displays an interesting piece of the chiaroscuro in the background and foreground. The way the lighting is situated on the body of Christ and the figure presumably to be the Virgin Mary is shown more prominently than the other figures presented in shadow. The painting reminds me of two similar works of art: Pietà by Michelangelo and The Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio; Pietà is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus, which is represented in paint form, hence the title in Vaccaro’s. The Entombment of Christ is a painting by Caravaggio that depicts Christ’s followers placing him in the tomb, which also shows the followers of Christ handling his deceased flesh. In Caravaggio’s work, the chiaroscuro is also presented with light primarily on Christ with shadow slightly more present in the background and the followers’ faces. This also reminds me of classics because of the connections between depictions of Christ and Caesar. In classics, we learned about the Ides of March and Caesar’s influence in art and writings after his assassination. In the time of Vaccaro’s painting, depictions of Christ are at the center of the Protestant/Counter-Protestant Reformation. In addition, Caesar’s influence in the Roman Empire relates to Christ’s influence in Europe in this exact distinction.

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

The not-so-secret connection between Brutus and John Wilkes Booth

After searching for a thought-provoking read on the Ides of March in the topic of political science, I found an interesting book titled Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism by James Piereson. The book delves into topics such as tyranny, assassination mindsets, and martyrs; one such topic in the book is titled “Martyr: Lincoln” that delves into John Wilkes Booth’s mindset behind the assassination of Lincoln. Piereson says “Booth thought that after assassinating Lincoln he would be welcomed as a hero in the dying Confederacy. As Michael W. Kaufmann writes in his fine study of Lincoln’s assassin, “Booth had hoped to kill Lincoln on the Ides and highlight his resemblance to Caesar; but instead he shot him on Good Friday, and the world compared him to Christ.”” (Piereson 73). The quote that Piereson references, in addition to his own words, gives the viewer the point of view of Booth’s assassination attempt. Booth attempted to assassinate Lincoln on the “Ides of March” to portray himself as the Brutus of the Confederacy, but when he made his attempt on Good Friday, he got the opposite of what he hoped for; he became the villain of his own “heroic” story he hoped to create when he attempted to the end the life of the “Jesus-like” figure that people admired instead the “Caesar-like” figure that the Confederacy loathed. Piereson refers to the Ides of March because of it’s importance to Booth’s mindset in the assassination attempt. In the previous and following pargaraphs, Piereson delves into how he worked alongside Lewis Powell and how Powell’s attack on the Secretary of State represents a vital relationship to the Ides of March; he explains how Booth saw William Seward, the secretary of state, “as Lincoln’s great ally, akin to Caesar’s Marc Antony” (Piereson 72). He further exaplains how some viewed Booth as a Brutus wannabe, wanting to secure a place in history as he aims to assainate the person he believes to be the nation’s traitor. Piereson’s usage of the quote expects the reader to comprehend how Booth views his conspiracy; the reader should know the background behind the figures and dates presented and the outline the quote drafts tells the audience that Booth’s plan ultimately made himself become the villain of his own making of history he didn’t expect. After re-reading the account of the Ides of March in Cassisus Dio, I found an quote that stuck out in retrospect to Booth’s planning, which said: “For, though they had planned to kill both him and Lepidus, they feared they might be maligned as a result of the number they destroyed, on the ground that they had slain Caesar to gain supreme power and not to set free the city, as they pretended; and therefore they did not wish Antony even to be present at the slaying.” (Cassius Dio, 19-2). While Brutus and Trebonius were discussing their plan and arising problems, they had a much more strategized and carefully thought-out plan in comparison to Booth’s plan. In preparation for Caesar’s assassination, the attempt was thought-out with several co-conspirators and when a new problem arises, they figure out a solution. In Lincoln’s assassination, Booth has few co-conspirators (namely Lewis Powell) and did not have a carefully thought-out executed plan. Though John Wilkes Booth made it his mission to make it into history for assassinating the “traitorous” Lincoln by taking inspiration from Brutus’s assassination of Julius Caesar, he didn’t fully take notes from Brutus; in the end, though Booth fulfilled his mission to assassinate the “modern Caesar”, he ultimately killed the “modern Jesus”, the opposite of what Booth sought to achieve.


Piereson, James. Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, Encounter Books, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Cassius Dio, Book 44. 19,

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn



Rodin’s Adam


While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Rodin exhibit. Throughout the exhibit, I studied various works by Rodin, such as a bronze cast of the Thinker, the marble sculpture of the Eternal Spring, and a bronze bust of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In the Rodin exhibit, I studied the Adam sculpture because of its remarkable sculpting and pose. The Adam sculpture reminded me of Unit 3 because of it’s All ‘Antica style and resemblance of the Renaissance era sculptures and paintings. The Adam sculpture was heavily influenced by Michelangelo, specifically Michelangelo’s David Sculpture and the Creation of Adam portion of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings; I’ve studied Rodin before this class and knew that Michelangelo heavily influenced his work in the nineteenth century through his artworks of the Adam and Eve sculptures, The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, and others. The Adam sculpture reminds me of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel painting s because of several reasons; in the Adam sculpture, his right hand is pointing in a weird gesture, which is supposed to represent the pose of Adam in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting of Adam reaching his finger to God, and his overall stance is like the David statue because of David and Adam’s immobilized-like pose. As for why the Adam resemblances All ‘Antica is because the sculpture, like Michelangelo’s David, incorporates a scene of a powerful figure of biblical importance and portrays them as an ideal form of male body, but Rodin takes Michelangelo’s work as a template and creates his own work in Adam, with a different unique material of bronze to distinguish it from the Renaissance era of Michelangelo to the Romanticism era of Rodin.

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

The connection between the Santa Sabina and Bryant Park’s Memorial


While visiting Bryant Park’s Winter Village this past weekend, I found a monument dedicated to William Cullen Bryant behind the New York Public Library. The monument automatically reminded me of a mix of various architectural forms, including the triumphal arch, the dome that resembles a basilica (the apse), and the array of columns. It reminds me of the Santa Sabina in an odd way; though the Santa Sabina and Bryant Monument differ in purpose, the way the monument is set up is shown to resemble the architecture of the interior of the Santa Sabina because of the arches and the apse. It differs from the style of the Santa Sabina in the ways of purpose and design in several ways. While the Santa Sabina’s purpose was to be used as an Early Christian church in Rome and displays several early Christian mosaics, the Bryant monument’s purpose was to simply commemorate the life of William Cullen Bryant, someone who was a strong political force in the 19th century and a dedicated supporter of the Central Park project, through a similar byzantine-like design. Regarding the medium used to build both architectures, the Santa Sabina looks as if it was built with a cement-like material, and the Bryant Memorial looks as if it was built using marble (with the statue being built out of bronze). Even though both architectures are for distinct purposes and styles, both have their similarities and are more alike than they seem.

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

Polybius’s Take on Rome’s Imperial History and the Modern Incarnations


After searching for a good article to blog about, I stumbled upon the article, History of the Hyperpower by Eliot Cohen. The article is intended to inform the audience of the comparisons between the United States “empire” and the major imperial powers of the times of Alexander. The article also explains how the ancient world used the ideals of imperialism and its tactics and explores how imperial history contrasts with modern United States policies. The primary intended audience include historians who wish to know more about the topic of imperial history and people who intend to learn more about this line of foreign policies, along with people who may be studying political science and foreign affairs. The author does not directly connect the search terms of “Polybius” and “’United States’ Constitution”, but rather uses Polybius as an example to further delve into his paragraph about “The Art of Understatement”, which the author goes into how imperial problems lead to people questioning imperial policy. Cohen goes into how the ancient world “considered Rome’s success both a marvel and a puzzle” because although they conquered a large part of territory across Europe and the Middle East, they lacked a rich culture and political scene. For example, Cohen says, “Polybius and many who followed him sought an explanation in the role of the Senate, a body that, although internally divided, provided a degree of steadiness to otherwise turbulent policy. Underlying the turmoil of Roman politics, these authors claimed, was a consistent imperial style that persisted despite the rise and fall of consuls and dictators.” These quotes more in-depth into how historians like Polybius questioned the ideals of imperialism and its tactics. To further explain this, I looked back into the Readings on the Roman Republic and re-read the fragments from book 6 by Polybius. When reading the paragraph “Conclusion of the Treatise on the Roman Republic”, Polybius says, “But the Romans, though they had met with severe reverses in the war, and had now, roughly speaking, lost all their allies and were in momentary expectation of Rome itself being placed in peril, 8 after listening to this plea, neither disregarded their dignity under the pressure of calamity, nor neglected to take into consideration every proper step (Polybius Book 6, 58 7-8). In the quote by Polybius, it helps provide more clarity for the article as he further explains the causes of Rome’s imperial problems through their aggressive foreign policies and as a result, hinders Rome in the process.
MLA Citation:
Cohen, Eliot A. “History and the Hyperpower;” Foreign Affairs, vol. 83, no. 4, 2004, pp. 49-63, Social Science Premium Collection,
-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

Egyptian influence in New York architecture

135 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023

As much as New York City is a place of diversity and wonder, it is difficult to find any Egyptian-style buildings or art besides in museums. I looked up pieces of architecture to look for in Art History and stumbled upon a beautiful looking building near Central Park. I went to visit Central Park today and I decided to venture around the upper west side near Central Park to find the building. The building is called the Pythian Temple. The building has many distinguishable features of Egyptian art, such as columns with palm-like designs, lotuses on the bottom of the columns, the creatures on the top of the entrance, and several other designs. The architecture could also go back to architecture represented in Unit 1 of Art History. The larger columns remind me of the Corinthian Greek columns; even though the architecture is more based off an Egyptian design, the building does remind viewers of a Greek or Roman influence. The motto on the entrance says, “If fraternal love held all men bound how beautiful this world would be.”; the motto represents how a peaceful and tranquil world could be achieved through fraternity. On the plaque by the entrance, it says that it used to be a part of a fraternity called the Knights of Pythias. The architect most likely added the Egyptian qualities to give a more flamboyant and otherworldly design to the building since it was to be used as a headquarters for a fraternal organization aimed to benefit the world. The motive behind adding Egyptian architecture and motifs instead of a different culture could have been because of the ancient Egyptian’s passion for life and tranquility, themes the old fraternity felt was an occurrence of their life and their goal to thrive from it. The reason it shows off an Egyptian-like design to me and other viewers is because of its use of well-known Egyptian symbols, such as lotuses, palm-like designs, the larger columns that remind the viewer of a pharaoh, and other symbols on the mosaic above the entrance that looks like hieroglyphics. Greek ideas about Egypt tended to be viewed as inferior to Greece. For example, in Theocritus Idylls 15, Praxinoa states to Gorgo, “You’ve done plenty of good things since your father became a god, Ptolemy. Nowadays no criminal sneaks up to you Egyptian style as you’re walking along and does you a mischief like the tricks those deceitful scoundrels used to play, [50] nasty rascals all as bad as each other, curse the lot of them.” Greeks looked down on Egypt as barbarians with an inferior culture to them. However, this piece of architecture is different from Greek ideas of Egypt because it represents a more tranquil and beautiful view of Egyptian style that the fraternity that created the building wanted to thrive off of and present to the world to present their benevolent deeds.


A Beautiful Figure at a Beautiful Location

20170903_161112.jpg      Image result for statues in fountain at grand army plaza brooklyn women

This is an Aphrodite-like figure that can be found at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. She is not Aphrodite herself but she is a pretty women whom reminded me of Aphrodite. In these pictures we can see the figures back to back and one can tell they a very influenced by the classical period design. Both the figures are in contropasto meaning that their weight is on one leg both figures have their hips tilted slightly. This is very similar to the classical Greek statues in the style and the fact that these statues are made out of bronze too. One can very clearly see that this sculpture was looking to the Geeks for inspiration. However there are some slight differences that statues are not as ideal as the Greeks had. The women’s face in particular seems to be a little small for her body making her per-potion off; the Greeks did love their per-potions. Also they’re emotions don’t seem as expressive they have a very clam expression unlike one figure, The Dying Gaul, in ancient Greece, which has a lot of expression in his face. Other then that they are very similar to ancient Greece.  The photo to the left is the one I took I just added the one to the right for a different point of view. In the photos we can assume that the women has Aphrodite-like tendencies because she is very beautiful and naked; she also has a look in her eye like she is the goddess of love and fertility. A quote from Gregory Nagy’s translation of Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite that goes well with these photos is,” a chance to gloat at all the other gods, with her sweet laughter, Aphrodite, lover of smiles, boasting that she can make the gods sleep with mortal women,” (Nagy 47-50). This is depicting Aphrodite as a goddess who loves to seduce men and she will get her way. She is a beautiful powerful women who is proud when she can get a powerful god to sleep with a mere mortal women. The picture and text both depict that she is proud and a powerful lover. In the picture in her eyes one can see the pure power as she glances at the man next to her perhaps thinking of ways to seduce him. This figure in the fountain is finding her inner Aphrodite to conquer and gloat to this man. One the other hand they differ because in the text it is actually Aphrodite and she has already conquered Zeus while the figure in an Aphrodite like figure and she seems to be on her way to conquering the man. Also we don’t know if she has that thought for sure because she isn’t specified as Aphrodite in this fountain she just has some similar traits.  This art work relates back to the classical ideas because Aphrodite was the goddess of love she was often portrayed naked and seeing as the figure above is naked and many statues are naked it is easy to draw the connection from the culture to the art work. –Emma

American Utopia

In Joe Biden’s words, “American democracy is rooted in the belief that every man, woman and child has equal rights to freedom and dignity.” This is what has created his, our, version of the American Utopia.This is the aspect of our country that inspires all others to observe us and follow in our footsteps. Until recently. Biden claims that America has become unbalanced with Donald Trump in power. Biden quotes Trump’s comment on the other countries and how “they” want to be like “us”. Biden says this is the way his thinking is flawed. That we are not one being in the world but are multiple separate beings. That we need to be considered one to reach our Utopia. “While the United States is far from perfect, we have never given up the struggle to grow closer to the ideals in our founding documents. “The result, then, is that more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, does it at the right time, and is released from having to do any of the right time, and is released from having to do any of the others.” In this quote Plato states that a perfect society would be complete if every person did their best at one skill. This way they would all be part of a whole. Such as America and other countries. We must work as one being to accomplish the goal of becoming a Utopia.


Biden, Joe. “Reclaiming America’s Values.” New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017, p. A25(L). New York State Newspapers

The Amazon meets the Barbarian

I came across a comic news article which talks about how two fictional characters from two completely different universe face off against each other. Wonder woman and Conan the Barbarian each with their unique sword wielding techniques are both in an arena fighting to avoid being thrown into slavery. Andrew McMahon stated that “The story will start with Conan washes up on the shore of an unknown land. Soon after, the Barbarian meets the worlds most notorious arena fighter, Wonder Woman.” the word “Barbarian” is used to describe Conan’s image. The way the story starts off portrays Conan being an outsider, hence why the term barbarian was used. Also he is called a barbarian because of his aggressive behavior and appearance as a fictional character in the comics.

The social value that is being affirmed is that is easy to label characters or people in general based on their appearance. The target audience are comic book fans that keep up with all these alternate universes. Since comics generally tell the backgrounds of different characters, the way they are drawn in comics makes the readers label how they are perceived. The way barbarian was used in the article is similar to Herodutus’ text; “ For Asia, with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and separate.”(Herodotus, 1.4) In both cases the word barbarian is used to describe outsiders or people who weren’t originated in that location.      


McMahon, Posted By: Andrew. “A First Look at the Wonder Woman and Conan The Barbarian Comics.” The Nerd Stash, 3 Sept. 2017, Accessed 11 Sept. 2017

Are you War Hungry?

Barbarian’s are considered to have a negative meaning. They are someone who doesn’t have manners, someone who is unrefined. They are the odd ball. In Greek society a barbarian was anyone who didn’t speak their language. They were called this because all the Greeks could here was “bar bar bar”.

Today people are still being regarded as barbarians, but with a slight more negative connotation. In a news article from the New York Post,  the Antifa an anti- fascist movement that are known by their militant protest attacks. They were recently called barbarians when a “peaceful” protest got out of hand. “The barbarian Antifa are genuinely contemptible, and unfortunate innocents, like the martyred Heather Heyer, sometimes find themselves on the same side of the barricades as these thugs.” This is comparable to the way  they were regarded in Herodotus. “Such was the number of the barbarians, that when they shot forth their arrows the sun would be darkened by their multitude.”They were regarded as savages that were out for blood. Something that is  comparable to another article I read. “Bannon Is Ready For #War” is about Stephen K. Bannon and his statement as he left the white house. He catogorized himself as a barbarian. Someone who was ready for “#War”.

These two articles are the same in that they both seem to put barbarians in a negative light, they both speak of barbarians as if they were a war minded people. This is also seen in Herodotus. They are in the midst of a battle and there are so many barbarians lust ing at the chance of war that they completely block out the sunlight as they rain death down upon the Greeks.

Calling Out Leftist Violence: Antifa’s Unchecked Attacks.” New York Post [New York, NY], 4 Sept. 2017, p. 018. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-

Rutenberg, Jim. “Bannon Is Ready For #War.” New York Times, 21 Aug. 2017, p. B1(L). New York State Newspapers

The dramatic change of the usage of “barbarian” and “barbaric” over the centuries

The term “Barbarian” has evolved in the past thousand years; the word was first used as someone not associated with the Greek’s language, such as the Gauls, European tribes, and civilizations outside of Greece in the Middle East, such as Egyptians and Persians, since the Greek’s could not understand their language and thought they were speaking oddly (“bar, bar, bar”). The word was changed by the Roman’s when it became used a term to describe people who were not cultured of Roman and Greek traditions such as the many tribes that threatened Rome’s borders. In today’s culture, the term “barbarian” now refers to those who are uncivilized and commit horrific or cruel atrocities. The term “barbarian” has radically changed from once referring to those who did not speak of the Greek language to those to commit horrifying and inhumane acts.
In today’s media, a “barbarian” could be used as someone who has either committed heinous or inhumane acts or someone who metaphorically commits “barbaric” ideas. For example, an article written by The New York Times delves into the different moral views on statues in today’s society. In the article, one of the opinions talked about were the “barbaric examples of the Taliban and ISIS, whose practice it has been to destroy relics of the past”. The word “barbaric” is used in the context of an act deemed cruel and sadist, defining that these groups are deemed “barbarians” in this contextualization. The “other” in this article are shown as the terrorist groups ISIS and the Taliban, showing that the target audience is the populations outside of the countries and areas the terrorist groups occupy in. The social value that is being demonstrated as a shared value to the target audience is that acts like these (which are far more horrific) hinder icons of the past and that culture should be preserved (a topic that is hard to tackle and is a complicated topic for me to handle on this post alone). Another example is seen once more in an article written by The New York Times that tackles the views on solitary measures for juveniles in modern society. In the article, the writer goes into depth on how the conditions given to juveniles only worsen their psyche and that “the barbaric conditions of solitary may cause or worsen depression, paranoia and outbursts of anger that often result in even more time in isolation”. The writer also adds that “more than half of suicides in juvenile justice facilities take place when the young person is alone.” The word “barbaric” in the article is used in the context as a horrific and inhumane way of life for juveniles in solitary; the “barbaric” conditions are used as a psychological act instead of a physical act. The “other” in this article are the prisons that implemented these conditions, whereas the target audiences are those studying law and psychology, but in addition, advocates for mental health. The social value that is being shown as a shared value to the target audience is the fact that juveniles should not (or should not have been not since federal prisons no longer use solitary confinement for juveniles but still applies to others) been subjected to such “barbaric” treatments and conditions that led many to depression and even suicide. The articles’ use of the term “barbaric” are used differently from each; in the “Moral Debate Over Statues” article, “barbaric” is used to characterize the actions of ISIS and the Taliban when they destroy artifacts that meant something culturally to other people (in addition to their other horrific actions) while the term “barbaric” in the article “Evolving Attitudes on Solitary for Juveniles” is used to describe the conditions in the federal prisons that cruelly and inhumanely affected juveniles psychologically. The articles used as examples of the modern use of the words “barbaric” and “barbarian” are portrayed differently since Greek and Roman times, as previously explained in the beginning of the post, as the words “barbaric” and “barbarian” are used to demonstrate someone or something committing cruel or horrific actions. In Herodotus’s Histories, the term “barbarian” is used a word to describe civilizations outside from one’s culture. For example, Book 1, Chapter 4 reads, “For Asia, with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and separate” (1.4). The terms “barbarian” and “barbaric have changed dramatically since their creation, going from people who didn’t speak the language and learn the same culture, to people who commit cruelsome and horrific atrocities.
“The Moral Debate Over Statues.” New York Times, 3 Sept. 2017, p. 8(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 11 Sept. 2017.
“Evolving Attitudes on Solitary for Juveniles.” New York Times, 6 Aug. 2017, p. 8(L). New York State Newspapers, Accessed 11 Sept. 2017.

#NewBarbarians, #CLAS3, #Herodotus, #Bonus

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

A New Facebook Trend… Supporting the Barbaric Terrorist.

In the article, “PC Madness: Student Investigated for Mocking ‘Barbarian’ Terrorists” a Scottish college student praises the successful U.S. airstrike on ISIS targets. He states, “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins,”(Kozak par. 3). In this quotes he claims that the ISIS targets are the barbarians and he is glad that they were destroyed. Unfortunately being in Europe so close to ISIS bases this comment caused lots of panic on campus. Several students filed complaints against this student saying that he was “putting minority students at risk”(Kozak par 4). The student is currently under investigation. The targeted audience seems to be younger people, it seems to want inform the audience and it is probably for the local area. This article is also on a political website so it is targeted towards an audience who understand world politics and find it interesting. This is similar to Herodotus’s way of using the term “barbarian” in the fact that is used to distinguish a lesser person. In Herodotus’s opening statement he calls the Persians the barbarians and throughout the rest of his story one can sense the discrimination. One example is, “according to the Persian story, which differs widely from the Phoenician…”(1.1). The tone of this is very condescending; it is the kind of tone like “well if you ask them it will be very different and not correct” kind. Both uses of barbarians is used to describe some one else who is less than the person using it. The student has called out ISIS and threatened several students though, whereas Herodotus just uses it as a description. –Emma



Kozak, Edmund. “PC Madness: Student Investigated for Mocking ‘Barbarian’ Terrorists.” LifeZette, LifeZette, 5 Sept. 2017

Who Am I?

In Mulan, Mulan sings the song Reflections which is all about who she is as a person. During this song she contemplates who she is and what other people think she should be. When I was watching this I realized this searching for your true self is very prevalent in contemporary society. We are constantly looking for ourselves, the transgender movement is an example of this. Transgender people are looking for who they are. They are discovering who they are meant to be regardless of what other people say or do, to look inside themselves and recognize that they aren’t necessarily supposed to be what they were told they were.

Similarly, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus is so focused on what the oracle and the prophecy says he ends up fulfilling the prophecy by accident. Oedipus was so focused on other people’s predictions and views that he was steered into making decisions he wouldn’t necessarily make for himself, like Mulan, when she is steered into marrying for the honor of her family. While Mulan pushes against the constraints on her and follows her heart by saving her father, Oedipus tries to defy the fates as well but ends up in their clutches at the end. Both of these stories, while very similar have different endings they both reflect on how outside influence can affect a person to a very deep level. Making someone who thought they knew themselves turn out to be something entirely different. This is reflected in today’s contemporary society with the transgender movement, people finding who they are regardless of society’s opinion of them.



Frank Underwood: Modern Day Creon


House of Cards is a well written and critically acclaimed Netflix series created by Beau Willimon that delves into the darker themes of politics that nonetheless still accurately portrays Washington in some ways better than others that goes into societal issues on power and control. House of Cards follows Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) as a South Carolina congressman who ruthlessly rises through Washington to become President of the United States to gain more power as the man in the highest office in the world. As a character, Frank Underwood had always been a ruthless, egotistical sadist since the beginning, but as the series continues, he becomes more involved with his pride and his yearning for more power. The show demonstrates how people yearn for power and control over others and how Frank Underwood exemplifies this character trait. Even though many of Frank Underwood’s actions, such as murder, are exaggerated from real life politicians, his ruthless tendency for power and control over the course of the last five seasons reflects on present day politicians with their own paths to control others through fear and power. Many politicians aim for the highest offices in their country to impose their own self-rule through various tactics, such as gerrymandering, to round up their own supporters and silence opponents, and political corruption to abuse the power of the government to increase his or her control over others. Underwood has shown the issue of ruthlessness and hunger for power. For example; at the end of the first episode of the second season, Underwood monologues to the audience about why he murdered a certain character. Underwood, even though he had a strong sexual and secret relationship with this character, murdered her with no remorse because she had become a problem in his path to gaining power; she had transitioned from a “kitten” to a “cat”. The metaphor that Underwood is expressing is to show that the character who started out as innocent and obedient, become independent and rebellious, something would potentially become a problem for Underwood. The character may have meant something to him initially, but to him, she was simply another problem needing to be fixed. In the scene, he says, “For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted.” His speech about the murder of the character demonstrates his extent to gain power and shows off his ruthless nature. Even though he cared for her, Underwood murdered her in cold blood simply because she became a threat in his conquest for political ambition.

The scene further demonstrates and comments on how Underwood would do anything to further his political venture to control more power; much to the similarities today, Underwood displays an exaggerating action to tone down the actions of modern day politicians. Where Underwood directly caused the death of this character, politicians today indirectly cause physical harm through inhumane policies and rhetoric that Underwood would support in his Washington. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon, the King of Thebes is blinded by power and is shown as arrogant, ignorant, and cruel. King Creon used his the role as king to rule by his own will, not for the people’s will at heart; Creon rules as if it his unquestionable right to rule as king, ruling as a leader who displays himself as the sole power and authority of the state. In his role as king, Creon had not only acted as the power hungry leader: he acted displayed a sort of cruel ruling that came with his leadership, such as how he treats his watchman with such disrespect (lines 315-326), his ignorance by not listening to his son, Haemon (lines 726-765), and the cruelty in his arrogance when speaking to Antigone shows him as a cold person (lines 497-525). Throughout the society that is shown in Sophocles’ plays, leadership is shown as an egotistical array of arrogance, ignorance, and cruelty, particularly demonstrated through Creon. Creon’s hubris (or his excessive pride) was his tragic flaw, causing his downfall. In a similar fashion, Frank Underwood’s hubris is what led to his inevitable downfall; his pride got the better of him and his grasp on power gradually fell out; his power as President was swept from beneath him because of his ignorance, arrogance, and hubris, similar to Creon’s downfall as king. Sophocles wanted to show the reader how power leads to ignorance, arrogance, and cruelty, and that a person’s tragic flaw, such as a person’s hubris, will to their demise. In today’s society, the same view applies; as politicians gain power, their become more arrogant, more ignorant and increasingly cruel. As a result, present day media displays the same view of power that Sophocles had; in a way, Sophocles writings have become full circle in our society.

#OldisNew, #CLAS2, #Sophocles, #Antigone, #TeamSaturn, #HouseofCards, #IgnoranceArroganceCruelty, #Power

A 100 Years Later and Still No Advancement

In today’s world there are several social issues one being rigid divided lines between certain countries. Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and several more countries are some examples of the divided groups. People today in some areas have a very hard time accepting other crews and nationalities because they don’t learn and understand from the past. While there have been improvement from 100 years ago it still is not enough. What about another hundred years from now?

In this scene from the show the 100, one can see the clans fighting each other to the death to decide who get to survive the next round of world radiation. In the show a constant issue is the division of the clans; the setting for this show is in the future after a nuclear war and in North America a several clans have survived. There are over twelve different groups and only rarely do they get along.. The people from the sky come down and with their technology are viewed as the new enemy. With this setting it is back to times with no electricity, plumbing, and basically everyone is a barbarian. This is a contemporary issue in the fact that today there are several groups, from the more underdeveloped areas, who don’t get along and are alway at eachother’s throats. At the end of the episode the winner announces that there will not be just her clan in the bunker but all the clans. The issue remains that there isn’t enough to hold everyone, so each group must select 200 from their crew; those who are selected will become part of a the one new clan. In the play Medea, Medea is able to get away with her actions because Athens will accept her and she is protected. The setting helps her survive she is able to avoid consequences because she can get to a new place. Greece is a united country but the towns are in a way their own clans. Her original “crew” Corinth can not punish her so long she stays in her new “crew” Athens. In the play Aegeus, King of Athens, tells Medea,” if on your own you come to my home, you will remain there under protection and I will not deliver you up to anyone,” (Euripides, line 728). In the show it is different though because if one is banned from a clan or dishonors them no clan will accept them. Both of these settings are very similar because in the background of the 100 one can see massive pillars which look a lot like Greek architect; this also relates to the contemporary issue when groups fight or don’t get along that things get destroyed. Also in both the play and the show the killing is very gruesome and there isn’t technology like today. So the 100 has drawn from Greek culture and done a spin off of it which is very interesting. In the end both the play and the show have the contemporary issue of group divisions and the effect it can have on the world; in Medea a murder can live free and in the 100 it can be the downfall of mankind.- Emma