Wednesday, March 13, 2019

History N' Games Podcast!

Wow. It has been a spell.

Believe it or not Gentle Reader, I am still around and I still have this blog! I've missed this blog, but there's not been a whole lot to report on. For a long time I was pretty focused on my career in the video games industry and taking voice acting lessons. But never once have I given up on my boy, Themistocles.

Yes, The Owl and the Eagle is still in existence, and I'm determined to finish my novel by my 40th birthday (this August). Here's to hoping!

But the big, shiny news is that I have started a podcast that combines both my love of history AND video games! It's called....wait for it....HISTORY N' GAMES! Here's an official description:

A history podcast where host Meghan Sullivan plays video games and talks about the REAL history behind the game.

My first episode is all about Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which takes place at the outbreak of the 2nd Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE. In this podcast I discuss how the protagonists of the game really COULD have been related to the legendary Spartan King Leonidas, and show all the different ways that was possible. I backup my claim by citing sources such as Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon.

What do you think? Does that sound interesting? If so, give the podcast a listen here: History N' Games Pilot Episode

Let me know what you think! ^_____^

Monday, May 05, 2014

Apotheon Coming to PS4!


My favorite kind of news (Ancient Greece + video games): Alien Trap's Apotheon is coming to PS4! I'm super excited for this game, and am happy that it's coming to a new platform.

Also, God of War Collection is out on Vita this week, so if you're a GoW fan and own a Vita, this might be a good deal!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Choices in Writing.

"Nobody did it half-assed. They did it brilliant."

These inspirational words are from Bob Bergen, an extremely talented voice actor. He was explaining to a room full of people how important it is to commit to something. And I think that's fantastic advice: commit.

I've struggled a very long time with my writing because I can't seem to buckle down and really COMMIT to what I'm writing. I keep changing the voice. I keep changing the time period.  I keep changing the circumstances. Which means I keep not finishing my novel.

From now on, I need to make choices. Choices that I really BELIEVE, and then commit to these choices. Once I do that,  I'll be able to finish my novel.

Of course, choosing WHICH novel to focus on has become confusing. I have three possible novels in mind: one on Themistocles, one on Cleomenes I, and one on Artemisia. I've been waffling back and forth between the three, but now realize I should just buckle down and do one.

Part of my commitment to my novel is keeping up this blog more often. I'm pretty shy (and weary) about sharing my work online, but I can at least do more blogs about Ancient Greek history, movies, games and novels. It's already been three months since my last blog entry, so I definitely need to do these more regularly!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: The Year of Ancient Greece!

Happy New Year, Loyal, Loyal (Loyal) Readers!

2014 is shaping up to be a GREAT year for Ancient Greek enthusiasts! There are several projects that are coming out this year that have to do with our favorite time in history, and all of them cover different mediums. Let's look at three of them:

First, 300: Rise of an Empire is shaping up to look crazy cool!

Next, indie developer Alien Trap is creating a 2D side-scrolling game based on Ancient Greek stories and art, called Apotheon.

And finally, author Gary Corby is coming out with his latest book, The Marathon Conspiracy.

All-in-all, it's looking like 2014 will be a great year for fans of Ancient Greek history. I hope to cover all of it in the coming months, so keep it locked to this blog for more information (and hopefully more information on my Themistocles novel)!

Edit: I have some exciting news! It turns out that W. Ruth Kozak's debut historical novel about Alexander the Great, SHADOW OF THE LION, is due out this summer! I've followed her blog for quite some time, and am so happy that Shadow if finally being published. I highly encourage you to check out her blog, then support this talented writer but buying a copy of the book!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Ancient Greek Football.

Today is the first day of the American football season, and while couch potatoes everywhere are settling in to watch their favorite teams, I thought it would be fun to blog about the world's first "American" football team: the Spartans!

Molon Labe?

No, I'm not talking about the Michigan Spartans, sports fans. I'm talking about the actual Spartans, the military men of Southern Greece with their long hair and menacing scowls. As it turns out, they may have had their own version of football--or at the very least--rugby!

According to ancient authors, the Spartans (both men and women) played a game called EpiskyrosJulius Pollux explains the game as thus:

"This is played by teams of equal numbers standing opposite of one another.They mark out a line between them with stone chips; this is the skuros on which the ball is placed. They then mark out two other lines, one behind each team.The team which secures possession of the ball throws it over their opponents who then try to get hold of the ball and throw it back, until one side pushes the other over the line between them. The game might be called a Ball Battle."

In Sparta, the game was played during an annual festival and involved five teams made up of fourteen players. Being Spartans, there's no doubt this game probably got violent. In fact, according to later accounts of these ancient ball games, players would often end up on the ground while attempting to get control of the ball , and even spectators weren't safe; one poor fan ended up with a broken leg when he got caught in the middle of a play!

Ancient football.

Not much else is known about Episkyrossave that the balls may have been made from inflated pig bladders and you were not allowed to cross the middle line, the skuros. It should also be noted Episkyros (or versions of it) were played in other city-states as well. In fact, there was also another ball game known as Harpaston or Phaininda. Harpaston is the Greek word for handball, coming from the verb harpazo, meaning "to seize" or "to snatch." Eventually these games would be combined by the Romans to create the game Harpastum, which may be the origins of both our European and American football games today. 

At any rate, now you know that even the Ancient Greeks enjoyed a good ball game...although I wonder if their fans were nearly as rowdy??

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 19, 2013

300: Rise of an Empire IGN Cast Interview!

I'm excited to share that today my co-workers got to interview the cast of 300: Rise of an Empire, which comes out next year. The interview features Sullivan Stapleton (Themistocles), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes) and Eva Green (Artemisia).

To learn what they had to say about the film, go here!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July, Readers!

Today is a good day to reflect on how important our freedom is, and why we should never take it for granted. Today is ALSO a good day to celebrate democracy in general, which thanks to Themistocles and the Ancient Greeks, was saved in its infancy during the 2nd Persian War.

The specific incident I'm talking about is of course the battle that took place in the strait between the small island of Salamis and the Attic peninsula in September 480 BCE. It is in this narrow, windy straight that a small Greek fleet managed to defeat the much larger Persian navy. Herodotus credits the Athenian general Themistocles with cleverly orchestrating this showdown, first by tricking the Persian king Xerxes into battle, then luring the Persian fleet into the strait, where forceful winds would cause the enemy triremes to collide and thus allow the Greek ships to ram them as they floundered helplessly in the water. The plan was a success, and after the battle the devastated Persian fleet retreated from Greece. This marked a major turning point in the war, and the next year the Persians would be defeated for good at the battles of Plataea and Mycale. Athens' fragile democracy (which had been founded less than twenty years before) was saved.

So let's drink a toast to our Republic (for that is what America actually is), and to Democracy (which is the foundation of all our freedoms)!

*For more information on the Battle of Salamis, check out Barry Strauss' amazing book The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece--ande Western Civilization