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It is widely recognised that the epics of Homer are closely related to the earlier mythology and literature of the Ancient Near East, above all the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. But how should this influence our response to the meaning and message of either poem? This book responds to this question through an experiment in intertextual reading. It begins by exploring Gilgamesh as a work of literature in its own right, and uses this interpretation as the springboard for a new reading of the Homeric epic, emphasising the movement within the poem - beginning from a world of heroic action and external violence, but shifting inwards to the thoughts and feelings of Achilles as he responds to the certainty that his own death will follow that of his best friend. The book will be of interest both to specialists and to those coming to ancient literature for the first time.
Studies of citizens’ satisfaction with democracy have established a connection between satisfaction and how well those citizens’ preferred parties perform in elections. Yet, the question remains whether ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ respond to the same system- and party-level factors when evaluating their political satisfaction. We build on extant literature to consider citizen satisfaction with democracy from the perspective of character valence. Using the Mannheim Eurobarometer trend file and content analysis-based data on parties’ character valence, we find that both winners’ and losers’ satisfaction with the political system is affected by parties’ character valence, but in differing (and somewhat surprising) ways. We find that winners respond to improvements in the character valence of opposition parties, whereas losers demonstrate greater concern with the valence of governing parties.
The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.