#Thelxinoe ~ Weekend Edition for February 2, 2020

Hodie est a.d. IV Non. Feb. 2772 AUC ~ 9 Gamelion in the third year of the 699th Olympiad

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Continuing my examination of the Roman kings I talk about Tullus Hostilius, the third Roman king. Tulls was primarily associated with Rome’s military exploits and had a hand in a famous myth. He also had more than a hand in a death which shocked even Livy. From war to religious problems and a bizarre death. It’s all here.

Penelope is one of the most compelling characters from ancient Greek mythology. And yet her intelligence and agency in Homer’s Odyssey is seldom appreciated. Towards the end of the epic, Penelope comes face-to-face with Odysseus, who has finally returned home disguised as a beggar. After they exchange a few stories (with Odysseus still maintaining his disguise), Penelope sets in motion a chain of events that seals the fate of all the major characters in the story. Since antiquity people have debated whether Penelope realizes who this beggar is or not. Obviously, how you come down on that question is going to profoundly affect how you see her as a character. Is she naive and passive or is she discerning and cunning? …

In our last two episodes I talked about the high politics of Gallia and the Roman Empire. Today, we’re going to look at daily life for the people living in Gallia. The Gauls had been through a lot over the past two centuries. They were arguably the worst hit during the Crisis of the Third Century as constant invasions led to near-total societal collapse by the 280s when Diocletian sent Maximian to pacify the region. Then the following fifty-year period spanning the rules of Maximian, Constantius and his son Constantine was incredibly transformative. This half-century brought stability to Gallia, but not prosperity, as the Roman Empire developed into the Late Roman Empire. …

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a shortage of wheat but more barley; also there will be an increase in livestock, but human beings will decrease.

… 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)

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