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Kuru: The Cannibal’s Disease

Kuru is an incurable degenerative neurological disorder endemic to tribal regions of Papua New Guinea. It is a type of transmissible “spongiform encephalopathy”, caused by the consumption of a prion found in humans. Kuru causes brain and nervous system changes similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Similar diseases appear in cows as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or […]

Arachne: The Woman Who Spoke the Truth

In Greco-Roman mythology Arachne was a mortal woman, who was challenged by Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to determine which of them was the better weaver. There are three versions of the story. **Spiders are called arachnids after Arachne. Ovid’s Version In this version, Arachne was a shepherd’s daughter who began weaving at an […]

Syncretism

Syncretism is the combining of different, often contradictory beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome V

Perverted Justice When we talk today about a ‘perversion of justice’, we mean it metaphorically. It’s a way of describing how outraged we are, how unfair the trial was. In Roman times, the phrase would have been scarily literal. According to historian Vicki Leon, both the Romans and Greeks were fans of ‘unusual’ punishment. Not […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome III

X-Rating Literature If you thought 50 Shades was dirty, wait till you hear about Roman literature. As with everything else in their lives, it revolved strictly round sex – and not just regular sex: weird, kinky, messy fetish sex. Take Sa tyricon, one of only two surviving Roman novels. The plot focuses on the adventures of […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome II

Lewd Graffiti Next time you get bored and scrawl a massive dong on the wall of a public toilet, you should know that you’re simply carrying on an ancient tradition that stretches back to Roman times. That’s right: the Romans were no more high-minded about this sort of thing than you or me. When they […]

Perv Paradise: Ancient Rome

Sex Slavery It’s no secret that Roman society ran on slavery. Men and women captured during military conquests were shipped all over the Empire and auctioned off to the highest bidder – at which point they became the property of some aristocrat or other. And those aristocrats usually had one thing on their minds when […]