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The Common Cause

Silphium and Common Ancient Medical Procedures

'In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (lines 208-210), for example, Demeter orders Meta- neira to mix barley and water with pennyroyal. Metaneira makes the potion (kykeon) and offers it to...

Floralia, the Festival of Blooms

"use life's beauty as it blooms" Ovid, Fasti, V.353 Floralia was an ancient Roman festival, a celebration for Flora, a goddess who had no Greek counterpart. As they did with...

Amare: So Much To Love

“I will show you a love potion without drugs, without herbs, without the spell of any witch: if you want to be loved, love.” (Epistle IX) Hecato of Rhodes I...

Daydream of Spring

I am so overjoyed to be met with our first semi-normal spring in two years. I am blissfully dreaming of human connection in the sunshine. Patio cocktails, shared meals, live...

Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons

The race of female warriors known as the Amazons are largely agreed to have dwelt in the Black Sea region, in what is present-day Ukraine. One of the most famous...

Peirene's Fountain

"I have heard people say that this spring and Peirene are the same, the water in the city flowing hence underground.” Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.5.1 The nymph Peirene was...

The Necklace of Harmonia

Get in ladies. We’re doing cursed objects this week. Peruse a creepy little antiques shop, wander through a pop up that seems, perhaps, a little too out of the way,...

Napoléon e Joséphine

“Sweet, incomparable Joséphine, what a strange effect you have on my heart. Are you angry? Do I see you sad? Are you worried? My soul breaks with grief, and there...

Women and Water: John William Waterhouse

Born in Rome to English parents, John William Waterhouse grew up surrounded by ancient history. His early work was classical in nature, exhibited at the summer exhibitions at  the Royal...

Historical Jewelry: Legacy & Love

Mourning Rings Memento Mori rings, and other sorts of macabre jewelry, have been popular in Europe particularly for many generations. An offshoot of this trend in the 17th century was...

Nostos, or My Homecoming

Hello, again, my friends. The year is closing and I’m having a lot of feelings. In my personal life, I have had a tumultuous year, choosing to take on several...

On Philia and Friendship Bracelets

The bonds that tie us are not the same. And thank goodness. The Greeks defined philia as the sort of love between good friends. It’s platonic — not the romantic...

Euripides, Philosophos

A poet of classical Athens, Euripides stands in our historical memory alongside Sophocles and Aeschylus. We have much of Euripides’ works, more than any other playwright, and in these plays...

Queen Victoria, Still an Icon

During the grand opening of the Grand Exhibition, Queen Victoria wore a cream dress with a wide neckline, front tiers and ruffles reminiscent of floral bouquets. In the coming months,...

Hidden Meanings

We at Common Era do nothing without intention. Every curved line, each carefully placed stone, the carefully wrought edges, the lyrical prose. Every last detail has been turned over and...

Ancient Gemstone Lore

Amethyst The Romans believed amethyst to carry within it temperance and grace, a talisman to ward off drunkenness and the regrets it begets. Prone to rage, fits of lust and...

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