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Interviews

Reconstructing Angkor Wat through Fiction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShrouded in mystery and lure, the Khmer city of Angkor is one of the most mesmerizing places in the world. Founded around the year 800 CE by Jayavarman II (c. 770-850 CE), Angkor was the center of the powerful Khmer kingdom, which dominated much of what is present-day Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam until the 15th century CE. At its height, Angkor was one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated cities in the world, crowned by a stunning architectural achievement: the temple complex of Angkor Wat.

In this feature interview, James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Mr. John Burgess — the author of A Woman of Angkor and former Washington Post foreign correspondent — about his new novel, the intricacies of ancient Khmer court culture, and why he has spent his life exploring the ruins of Khmer civilization.

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Behind the Scenes

Tsohost is sponsoring us!

Tsohost.Logo.PrimaryToday we are happy to announce that we are being sponsored by Tsohost, the company that has been hosting Ancient History Encyclopedia for several years now. This is great news as it not only saves us money, but above all it means that we can improve our service to you, with faster and better hosting.

We initially chose Tsohost because they had been recommended to us, and we were not disappointed! Of course there are cheaper hosting providers around, but Tsohost really convinced us with their service. They have advised us on what hosting solution is right for us, helped us move our site (which was not that easy because it is a custom-built content management system), and they have actively supported us ever since. Every problem was resolved in a few hours, and even the founder himself sometimes answers our support tickets.

We are extremely happy to have arrived at this cooperation. There are many free hosting solutions around… but instead of being anonymous and without any support, we much prefer being with our friendly, local hosting provider (they are only 70 km away from us). One of our strong beliefs is that trust can only be built when a company has a face, and Tsohost shares this philosophy.

Mr. Seb de Lemos, Director at Tsohost, told us: “At Tsohost we are delighted to sponsor ancient.eu.com with out hosting technology and services. We a
re strong supporters of non-for-profit organisations and appreciate the efforts these organisations go through to get information online for the benefit of us all. As a historian myself, I believe Ancient History Encyclopedia’s aim to provide ‘the best ancient history information on the internet for free is a great vision and we look forward to continuing supporting their cause.”

Thank you, dear Tsohost, for sponsoring us!

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Interviews

Sublime Sicily: A Hellenic Gem in Antiquity

gm_330941EX1Sicily evokes the fiery majesty Mt. Etna, the wine-dark hues of the surrounding sea, and the delicious flavors of arancini and limoncello. Situated at a pivotal intersection between Greece, Italy, and North Africa, Sicily is not only the largest island in the Mediterranean, but the site of over 5,000 years of human history. Few are aware, however, that Sicily experienced a spectacular golden age from the fifth century to the third century BCE, while under the rule of ancient Greek émigrés. Enriched by its immense agricultural bounty, the sociocultural milieu of Hellenic and Hellenistic Sicily was diverse and innovative, rivaling the sophistication and refinement of the “mother country” during its classical apex.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome — an exhibition at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, California — presents the grandeur and glory of ancient Sicily or “Sikelia” in all its complexity, beauty, and ingenuity. In this exclusive interview with the Ancient History Encyclopedia, James Blake Wiener speaks to Dr. Alexandra Sofroniew, co-curator of the exhibition, about Sicily’s special role in Mediterranean antiquity.