Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for February 2, 2023

Hodie est a.d. IV Non. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 12 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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We’re joined today by Sara Richard—our Eisner and Ringo Award–nominated illustrator for the Women of Myth series. Sara worked with us to create the amazing illustrations for Women of Myth. Join us as we take you behind the scenes to discuss what it was like illustrating these incredible characters; which women of myth Sara felt the strongest connection to; Sara and Jenny’s shared love of SKULLS and historic graveyards; and what’s in Sara’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

The Iron Age Mediterranean’s new density of connections between people and places was about more than the economy and trade; it also remade the culture of the whole region, bringing new ideas and practices – such as wine-drinking and the alphabet – across its entire expanse. Professor Tamar Hodos is one of the world’s leading experts on the Iron Age Mediterranean, and she joins me to talk about archaeology, globalization, and the tools we can use to understand the past.

After nearly four centuries of Roman rule, the Roman Empire decides to abandon Britain in circa 410AD, initiating the near century long chaos of “Sub-Roman Britain.” Sub-Roman Britain is known best for the vacuum of power it created, as well as the rise of the Anglo-Saxsons in Britain. We also meet a most singular figure, the notoriously charismatic Alaric I: The Scourge of Rome, that would go on to sacking the city of Rome itself!

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a decline in wheat, an increase in barley, and an increase in livestock, but humans will be hungry.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for February 1, 2023

Hodie est Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 11 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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The Iron Age Mediterranean’s new density of connections between people and places was about more than the economy and trade; it also remade the culture of the whole region, bringing new ideas and practices – such as wine-drinking and the alphabet – across its entire expanse. Professor Tamar Hodos is one of the world’s leading experts on the Iron Age Mediterranean, and she joins me to talk about archaeology, globalization, and the tools we can use to understand the past.

“The Nineveh Wall has been restored and all the commercial developments surrounding it have been stopped.”

This is the city, Uruk. I was working the day shift out of the Eanna Temple when the call came in about a missing sheep and tunic. We picked up the perp pretty quickly and he started to sing, so we rolled up 39 of his pals. But word came down that the great and the good were putting up bail. That’s when the king got involved and things got interesting.

This week, Anna has some big questions about the Pleiades, a group of bright, beautiful stars also known as the Seven Sisters. The myth of seven sisters that were turned into stars is remarkably consistent across multiple cultures. Also, it’s always seven sisters, even though you can really only make out six with the naked eye. So what’s going on? IS IT ALIENS?? No, of course not. It’s much more interesting than that. Tune in to learn just how long humans have been telling each other stories under the stars.

In this episode we talk to the authors of two new books on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Latin epic poem he wrote in 8 CE. Stephanie McCarter has published a new translation of the poem, and Gareth Williams has written a short interpretive introductory work on the epic to go with the Columbia Core Curriculum. We talked with both of them about the way Ovid fits into contemporary society, what considerations there are when teaching this epic, and the joys and difficulties of engaging with Ovid’s poetic brilliance.

How does the presence of a cultural heritage site on the battlefield change wartime decision making? In 1944, as Allied generals postponed an attack on an Axis stronghold—located at the culturally important Catholic abbey Monte Cassino—they had to consider the potential for loss of life, the cultural significance of the abbey, the negative propaganda they would face for attacking a religious site, and the possible strategic alternatives to an all-out attack. Political scientists Ron E. Hassner and Scott D. Sagan make the case that the presence of cultural heritage sites is always an important consideration for troops in both offensive and defensive positions—even in cases where those sites are ultimately destroyed. In this episode, hosted by former Getty President Jim Cuno, Hassner and Sagan discuss battles from WWII through the current war in Ukraine to explore how politicians and military officials think about cultural heritage sites during times of war.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends war and the downfall of wealthy men.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 31, 2023

Hodie est pr. Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 10 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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We’re talking more of Sparta’s history and culture including a (very brief!!) overview of the Persian and Peloponnesian wars and just a taste of Sparta during the Roman period, Lacedaimonia Land.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

[no entry for today]

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 30, 2023

Hodie est a.d. III Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 9 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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“Who drives us to outrageous action? Is it some god, or does each man make of his own desire a god, which then drives him furiously to a violent end”? This is the question we consider this week as we turn to the final quarter of the epic (books 9-12). And we are treated to two surprising events: first, how the ships of the Trojans are transformed into mermaids, shocking Turnus and his gathered Rutulians. Juno is up to her old tricks, and sends along Iris the messenger to tell him not to worry, the Trojans will be trapped in Italy where they can be easy prey for the indigenous hero and his assorted forces. Aeneas is off-scene, still wandering through the regions of Arcadia, securing alliances with Evander and company. The second episode is the midnight raid of Nisus and Euryalus. In a nod to – or perhaps improvement upon – Homer’s Iliad 10 and the gruesome death of Dolon at the hands of Odysseus and Diomedes, Vergil here tells his own tragic story of two friends overtaken by greed and a desire for bloodlust. It’s not all grim, however. Along the way you can spot silos of Pringles™, the grit of Fig Newtons™, a brief excursion to the admittedly grim Battle of the Little Big Horn, and some Uncrustables™. One might say that mixing the serious with the silly has become Jeff and Dave’s ™. So tune in!

In the third installment of my Greco-Persian war series we take a look at the Interbellum. The years between Marathon and Thermopylae.  A pivotal decade for both Greek and Persian alike. Alliances were an incredibly shaky proposition in ancient Greece but they would need something rock solid if they were to resist the coming enemy. We look at the Athenian naval build up during the period, the result of the visionary called Themistocles. Fortunately for the allies, Sparta had at her command the Peloponnesian League but the city of Lycurgus had two very new kings, with unstable thrones, in power at the time. They missed Marathon, Greece could not afford for them to miss what came next. Lastly, we’ll head east and go into the detail around the build up of Xerxes’ forces in Persia. He assembled a mighty army and navy, and the steps he took to get them to Greece were nothing short of astounding.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends an abundance of deaths.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)

Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 28, 2023

Hodie est a.d. V Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 7 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Brendon asks why the Macedonian phalanx at the Battles of Issues and Gaugamela suffered such a low casualty rate from arrows fired by archers? Murray gives us his opinion.

The various dynasties that rose from the ashes of Alexander’s empire proved to be a lucrative source of income for aspiring poets. Ptolemaic Alexandria hosted some of the influential artists of the day, such as Callimachus of Cyrene and Theocritus of Syracuse. Euphorion of Chalcis would move to Seleucid Antioch, and Aratus of Soli would compose his famous Phaenomena under the auspices of Antigonus II Gonatas. These figures would re-define the art of poetry for the next several centuries, and set the standards for literary culture for the entire Hellenistic period.

Liv speaks with Owen Rees, a professor and founder of Bad Ancient, about ancient Sparta, that Mirage, and how Sparta is viewed today by some of the most dangerous groups around. Follow Owen and Bad Ancient on Twitter and find some fascinating Bad Ancient articles on Sparta here.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

[Saturday] If it thunders today, it portends and abundance of fish from the sea, but ruinous death for the flocks

[Sunday] If it thunders today it portends an oppressive atmosphere and a pandemic.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)