Mountaineering history and environmental thinking in the early Christian saints’ lives

Jason discusses some examples of early Christian representations of mountain peoples, and their relationship with their ancient and modern equivalents. I have spent quite a lot of time recently looking at the early Christian saints’ lives of the fourth century CE and after, and thinking about how they fit in with the history of mountains … Read more

‘Pagan’ classics, Christians, and a Late Antique world-mountain

In our first guest post, Douglas Whalin explores the sixth-century Christian author Kosmas Indicopleustes and his cosmological model of the world as, literally, a mountain. Douglas is a social historian of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (approx. 4th to 9th centuries CE). He has a chapter forthcoming in our Mountain Dialogues volume on … Read more

William Golding at Thermopylae

Jason explores the long history of representing the mountains around Thermopylae in both ancient and modern texts. I have just been reading William’s Golding’s essay ‘The Hot Gates’, published in 1965 (that title translates the Greek name Thermopylae). It has made me want to go back and look a lot more closely at some of … Read more

Approaching Landscape: Panel Report

As mentioned in a recent blog post, one of the big events of the summer for our mountains project was the ‘Celtic Conference in Classics’, taking place at St Andrews in July, and for which we hosted a panel on ‘approaching landscape in the classical tradition’. As anticipated, the three-day panel proved to be an … Read more

Approaching Landscapes: 11th-14th July 2018

At the time of writing, it is now less than a week until the 11th Celtic Conference in Classics opens in St Andrews. The ‘CCC’ – which has been running at a different institution each year since 1998 – will feature fourteen distinct panels on different topics within classical scholarship. We are extremely excited to … Read more

Mountain Conquest

Jason highlights the connection between ancient traditions of military mountain activity and twentieth-century mountaineering.  Greek and Roman history writing is packed with descriptions of military activity in the mountains: it’s probably the category of mountain description that survives in the biggest volume from the ancient Mediterranean world, especially from the Roman empire. In classical Greece … Read more

Mental Landscapes, Classical Mountains

Dawn reveals that physical height was not the only thing that gave a peak prominence in the early modern cultural landscape. It is more or less taken as a given in most scholarly work on landscape that, insofar as human engagements with it are concerned, there is a distinction to be made between the ‘physical’ … Read more

Ecotourism and Environment

Jason explores the nature of environmental attitudes in antiquity. How do ancient Greek and Roman attitudes to the environment relate to our own? There has been a tendency to answer that question in very sweeping terms. In some cases, Greek and Roman culture are viewed as the starting-points for modern willingness to exploit the environment … Read more