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About: Ben Potter

Ben Potter is a writer and university lecturer. He has lived and taught in several countries; notably Japan, China, Thailand, the UK, and Italy. He has an MA in Classics from The University of Edinburgh.

Recent Posts by Ben Potter

Rituals, Temples and Worship in the Ancient World

Written by Ben Potter, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom The importance of rituals and temples in the ancient world are hard to clearly differentiate from worship. At first glance this might seen a little odd to the modern reader. These days, it seems perfectly normal for a disinterested secularist to wander around the great cathedrals of the

Book Review: “How to Tell a Joke,” By Michael Fontaine

Written by Ben Potter, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom As Michael Fontaine’s latest book How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor comes hot on the heels of his fascinating How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing, one might reasonably expect the Cornell professor’s next installment to

Greece Versus Rome: Polybius Decides

By Ben Potter, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom It is the eternal question for all classics enthusiasts: brawn versus brains, power versus beauty, empire versus empiricism – Rome versus Greece. Which team do you support? Of course the equation is far, far more complex than that. Indeed, most of the choices listed above are somewhere on

Aristotle: Bad Writer, but Good Philosopher?

Of Aristotle’s writing, some readers were struck by the accuracy, some by the tone, others by the diligence, incision and insight of Aristotle’s words. Marcus Tulius Cicero, the most prominent man of letters of the late Roman Republic, even referred to Aristotle’s literary style as an ‘aureum flumen’, a ‘river of gold’. However, Cicero was

The Bacchae: the Morals of Murderous Women

By Ben Potter If I invited you to a bacchanalia what would you expect? Wine? Dancing? Sex? Of course you would. How about harmonizing with nature? Mass hallucination? Violence? Carpaccio? You’re beginning to think you should call and cancel, aren’t you? Well don’t worry, it might not be as wild as you think. Then again,

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