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Classical Gas
Hints, hunches, and guesswork regarding ancient Greek and Roman art and history.

By Jasper Burns

Drawing by Jasper Burns copyright 1994

That's "Classical Gas" as in "hot air." This is where I indulge myself in speculating about ancient art and history. I am always struck when I look at an ancient work of art or read a modern account of ancient history by how little is actually known or understood. Interpretations of works of art are incredibly inconsistent from expert to expert, and there always seems to be something enigmatic or mysterious about each piece.

I believe that it is important for us to rediscover the wisdom and folly of the ancients, to understand their culture as fully as possible, because I believe we have a great deal to learn from them. Though modern technology prompts us to be arrogant, more has been lost than we can dream of. The art alone tells us that.

New speculations will be posted here from time to time, plus revisions of old ones, and I invite any comments you may wish to make.

A Gallery of Ancient Art - Colorized! (NEW!)

Vipsania on the Ara Pacis?

Vipsania on Roman Coins?

Did Faustina the Younger sleep around?

Was Nero the natural son of Claudius?

Was Caracalla guilty of human sacrifice?

The Brescia Medallion: Who, When, and Where?

A few words about Roman art...

A portrait of Antony and Cleopatra as Heracles and Omphale?

Vespasian's sense of humor

The Mysteries - snakebite and spirituality?

More to come!

Contact Jasper Burns at (Email Address)
Return to Home Page
Return to Empress Page