Tiny Epics YouTube channel brings ancient Greece to life

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Did you know Medusa wasn’t always a monster? Or that marble figurines from the early Cyclades were originally painted with tattoo-like markings? Well, fret not, because a shiny new channel on YouTube, filled with fun and informative videos on Greek mythology, archeology and more, has it all covered.

Tniy Epics History, the brainchild of YouTuber Lance Hewison, is the definitive one-stop-shop for videos about Greek myth and the ancient world.

Lance, an artist from San Francisco, California, currently residing in Germany, started the channel in 2020, driven by a need to “stay sane” during successive Covid-19 lockdowns. His lifelong passion for art, history, mythology and archaeology, combined with an interest in creating videos and sharing knowledge with the public, has so far resulted in over 20 videos.

Clearly presented, concise, and featuring eye-catching photography and graphics, most videos are under 10 minutes long and not bogged down in mind-numbing academic jargon. As such, Lance’s videos strike that perfect balance between being both entertaining and educational. All in all, they’re wonderfully accessible, and with 16,700 subscribers to his channel to date, and well over a million views for his 2021 video about the goddess Athena, he’s clearly onto a good thing!

Cycladic civilization

Lance has organized his YouTube channel into six playlists, each featuring a series of videos on a particular theme. The first playlist focuses on the art and archeology of the mysterious Cycladic civilization of the early Bronze Age, renowned for its otherworldly white marble figurines with crossed arms. Among the four videos on this list is a 19-minute interview with legendary British archaeologist, Colin Renfrew, one of the world’s foremost experts on Bronze Age Aegean culture.

Another video features stunning drone footage of the island of Milos, a vital source of obsidian (black volcanic glass) from the end of the last great ice age.

Minoans

Another reading list offers a fascinating insight into various aspects of Minoan Bronze Age life, which flourished on the island of Crete from ca. 3000–1450 BC. Eight videos, including an interview with Greek archaeologist Nanno Marinatos, explore a range of topics from the famous frescoes of Knossos and Akrotiri, and Minoan religion, to the cultural significance of the iconic double ax (also called ” labrys”).

The Greek Gods Explained

The channel’s longest playlist is focused on Greek mythology, offering 10 videos about the Olympian Gods – the main deities of ancient Greek religion. Each of these skillfully produced videos provides fascinating commentary on each god’s origin stories, their character traits, and their portrayal in ancient Greek art and literature. This reading list is an absolute must for anyone who wants to revisit their Greek myths.

A new Odyssey

A newer feature of the channel is a playlist of Lance’s recent spring travels through Greece, providing a series of six travelogue videos called “A New Odyssey”. These include a brief visit to the Hill of the Muses in Athens, participation in the Greek Independence Day celebrations on March 25, and a trip to the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae in Argolis.

Lance has also launched a dedicated website, including a video library of all his YouTube posts to date, and a helpful section on books based on the world of Greek mythology. Purchasing books from the website helps support the Tiny Epics channel. To top it all off, the site also offers a range of Tiny Epics products, where you can buy all kinds of fun Greek history and mythology themed items, from t-shirts and hoodies to mugs, posters and stickers.

The Tiny Epics History YouTube channel and accompanying website are largely a work in progress, and we look forward to seeing this creative project grow and expand in the months and years to come.


This article first appeared in Greece Is (www.greece-is.com), a publishing initiative of Kathimerini.

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