Category: Weird and Wonderful

  • The five strangest deaths of the philosophers

    The greatest philosophers of the ancient world were celebrated not just for their voluminous writings on arcane topics, but also for their eccentric lives and witty sayings. They were geniuses, and yet were also remembered as charismatic oddballs. Perhaps, then, it’s not surprising that there were so many bizarre tales about the means of their […]

  • Romans paint better perspective than Renaissance artists

    Visitors who see this fresco at the Met museum are often amazed at what seems to be a pre-Renaissance understanding of perspective. One visitor wrote that this “looks like an entire city–perspectivally rendered! The Middle Ages lost those lessons on perspective for sure.” The statement picks up on a very common triumphalist attitude towards perspective. […]

  • Bird feeds chicks her own blood

    So I was flicking over a manuscript in a digital collection, and saw a scene of Adam and Eve in Paradise. I looked up and saw birds in the trees. And I thought, that’s beautiful. I love birds. But then I saw blood…