Ancient Egyptian school tells of drug use

It seems like a lot is happening in the world of Egyptian archaeology lately. Pretty much everyday there’s something new, and today hasn’t disappointed. A 1,700 year old Roman school has been found in Egypt, with texts written on the walls in Greek.

Greek was commonly spoken in Roman controlled Egypt. The school found in Trimithis only lasted less than 20 years before it became a grand house, but archaeologists have discovered texts on the walls of ancient lessons.

One of particular coolness is the text referring to Homer’s Odyssey, where a passage tells of Helen of Troy giving her guests a drug to ease their pain, possibly opium. The text reads: “Whoever should drink this down when it is mixed in the bowl would not let fall a tear down his cheek in the course of that day at least. Imitate” The ‘imitate’ probably means for the learners to copy it down.

Another text found on these ancient walls dealt with developing rhetorical skills, a common asset to have in ancient Greek philosophy.

Inside the school, chairs and desks were found by the walls, most likely to allow students to write on the walls.

It wasn’t long until the school fazed out and a large house was created where paintings of Olympian gods were discovered on the walls.


One thought on “Ancient Egyptian school tells of drug use

  1. Pingback: The weekly archaeology roundup 14/2/2014 |

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