Author Archive

Alexander Rosenthal

Dr. Alexander Rosenthal is a lecturer at the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus tells a famous story of the Persian king Darius who one day decided to summon a group of Greeks to his court to ask them a very strange question; for what price would they eat the bodies of their dead parents? The Greeks respond with horror, and say there is no price on earth that would lead them to do such a thing. Darius then summons members of a tribe known as the Callatiae who DID eat the bodies of their kin and asks them for what price they would cremate their dead – the practice of the Greeks.