#Thelxinoe ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 21, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XII Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  21 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

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Sermo centesimus: tria affero carmina, nec non librum recitatum “Ad Alpes” commendo.

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Professional Matters

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it portends both prosperity and discord among the common people.

… 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 ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 20, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XIII Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  20 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

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Drusus dies in 9 BCE and now it is up to his brother Tiberius to finish the job and pacify Germany.  However the mission is by no means easy as we discuss the 3 years that Tiberius spent to bring the region to heel.  Now that peace has been established we have the arrival of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who for the next 6 years will rule Germania.  The question is how will this man with a wealth of experience, but a personality rivaling the world’s worst tyrants, handles the newest addition to the Roman empire and what does this mean for Germany as we reach the end of 1 BCE…

The Journal of Modern Greek Studies has a new editorial team. Johanna Hanink from Brown University is the Arts & Humanities Editor while Antonis Ellinas from the University of Cyprus is the Social Sciences Editor. They joined us to talk about their path to the masthead and future plans for the journal.

Book Reviews

Dramatic Receptions

Professional Matters

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it portends a plague on the cattle and disorder in government.

… 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 ~ Your Morning Salutatio for August 19, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XIV Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  19 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

… a very slow morning!

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In this episode, we discuss the years 426 and 425 BC of the Peloponnesian War, including the current nature of Athenian politics as dominated by Kleon the anti-aristocratic demagogue, his feud with Aristophanes as seen in the comedic plays “The Acharnians” and “The Knights”, the Battles of Pylos and Sphacteria that turned the Greek world upside down, and the brutal conclusion to the Corcyraean civil war.

Book Reviews

Professional Matters

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it portends murders by women and the servile classes.

… 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 ~ Weekend Edition for August 18, 2019

Hodie est a.d. XV Kal. Septembres 2772 AUC ~  18 Metageitnion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad.

In the News

In Case You Missed It ~ Long Reads

Greek/Latin News

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Bingeworthy Past Podcastery

Another podcast that is still being produced and approaching the 100 episode mark that you really should catch up with:

Landscape Modery

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

Alia

‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it should thunder today, it threatens civil war.

… 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)

Barry Baldwin ~ Some Bookcases

Reprinted with permission of the author himself, who years ago had to deal with yours truly as a student. Errors in transcription accrue to the latter.

(Companionette to Harry Bruce’s Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers, McLelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2009.)

“To keep on sending little frogs… is like keeping on teaching Latin and Greek. What’s that for? Most of the somewhat good writers know little of either” – Fort, Books, p668.

Homer was said to be blind. His name means ‘hostage’. Three links with the sightless, once gaoled epicist John Milton.

The anonymous Contest between Homer and Hesiod (paras315–26) has the latter win a poetic cutting contest. But Hesiod was soon murdered by the brothers of a girl he allegedly seduced. Homer, having composed his own epitaph, fell fatally into a clay pit.

Archilochus (seventh century) was a mercenary soldier, Forsythian “Dog of War”. His name means “Leader of the Pack” (thus, patron saint of the girl group Shangri-Las). His fragmented poems run from nonchalant confession of cowardice (“Threw my shield away, can always buy another”) to squaddie consolation (“Ares is a democrat”), to (fr103) the still-puzzling “The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing,” which always fascinated that old windbag Isaiah Berlin (cf. his published letters & Michael Ignatieff’s biography).

Classical writers were rarely Men of Letters’, insulated from reality. Aeschylus fought at Marathon and Salamis, only to perish when an eagle dropped a tortoise onto his bald head. Sophocles was elected to both military and civilian offices, possibly commanding a fleet against the Samian one led by the philosopher Melissus (Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve can’t compete there). When accused by his son of senility, he won the case by reciting lines from his new Oedipus at Colonus – son was adjudged the real lunatic. Three competing versions of his death: 1) asphyxiated from reciting a long passage from his Antigone without drawing breath; 2) choked on grapes at a wine festival; 3) died of joy over his last drama competition.

Euripides is said to have lived in a cave, in a ménage à trois with wife and amanuensis Cephisophon, possibly an unacknowledged co-author (shades of Dorothy Wordsworth). Self-exiled to Macedon, he was eaten alive by wild dogs.

Plato was sold into slavery in Sicily – a pity he was ransomed. Aristotle landed a plum job: tutor to Alexander the Great, at whose poisoning some suspected he connived. Many and various were the foibles and fates of Greek eggheads (no wonder they intrigued Bertrand Russell, no stranger to anecdote and scandal), best read in their Lives by Diogenes Laertius.

Poet-librarian Callimachus was the Greek Philip Larkin. Which hat was he wearing when proclaiming “A big book is a big evil”?- I never met a student who disagreed.

“Water-drinkers can’t write good poetry” (Horace, Epistles, bk 1 no19 vv1-11, instancing Homer and Ennius). Not all agreed: “Water is Best” ran one Greek proverb. Horace was thinking of Athenian comedian Cratinus, said (Aristophanes, Peace, V7700-3) to have died of grief at seeing a wine-jar smashed. He would have agreed with Brendan Behan’s “I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” Not so Julius Cæsar, an energetic author (he dictated his book on grammar while galloping on horseback in Gaul – one both pities and admires his secretary), so temperate as to be dubbed (Suetonius, Caesar, ch53) “the only sober man to ruin Rome”.

Comic playwright Terence (so Suetonius’s biography) was an ex-slave who slept his way into literary eminence (no shortage of modern parallels there), earned unparalleled monetary success with six plays, then simply vanished – a superior ancient Simon Dee.

The ultimate literary workaholic was Pliny the Elder. According to his nephew’s account (Epistles, bk3 no5), he read and wrote through the night, was read to during meals, litter-rides, and bathing, though didn’t prefigure Voltaire in using a mistress’s naked back as book-rest. (Bruce, pp165–71, adducing, e.g., Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Orson Welles for these and similar habits.)

How to choose between Virgil’s two rival maxims, Omnia vincit amor or Labor omnia vincit?

“Perhaps if Existence should stop sending little frogs, and stop teaching Latin and Greek, a whole would be in a state of amnesia” – Fort, p669.

Classical Corner 137: Fortean Times 273 (May, 2011), p. 19.