Thought for the month

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.” Bernard Williams, British philosopher (1929 – 2003).

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Ancient classic text analysis

Following the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games we are now enjoying the final few days of the Paralympics. The original Olympic Games date back to 776 BC around the time that the epic poem the Iliad was written. Set in the period of the Trojan wars, the poem includes references to athletic contests associated within funereal games. A recent text analysis of the Iliad and two other ancient classics found that the interactions between the characters in all three myths were consistent with those seen in real-life social networks. The work does not prove that the events described took place, however it does indicate that the overall societies and interactions between characters contained within the stories seem realistic. Interestingly the same could not always be said for the works of more recent fiction that where also analysed in the study.

What would the analysts make of many of the stories contained within today's newspapers?

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