#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for the Weekend of March 14/15, 2020

Hodie est  Id. Mart. 2772 AUC ~ 21 Anthesterion in the third year of the 699th Olympia

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Synopsis: While the Ptolemies intrigue in Coele Syria, Antiochus VIII Grypus and his half-brother Antiochus IX Cyzicenus struggle for seventeen years to win control of the north.  After the rivals die in quick succession, the kingdom comes under control of Seleucus VI and Demetrius III, the allied sons of Grypus.

Sometime around the year 40, Caligula executed Ptolemy, the king of Africa Proconsularis and Roman ally. It’s usually portrayed as evidence of his insanity and greed – but perhaps there is an alternative explanation.

This week we cover one of the most legendary last stands in all history, Thermopylae.  Xerxes and his colossal horde march on Greece to conquer and enslave.  Leonidas and his 300 Spartans lead a Greek force in the defense of the narrow pass of Thermopylae or the “Hot Gates”.  Join us as we discuss the history, tactics, and “man love” that played a role in this bloody battle.

Hasdrubal’s sudden assassination catapulted Hamilcar’s eldest son, the twenty-five-year-old Hannibal Barca, to power as Carthage’s supreme general in Spain. Raised to be a soldier by his father and trained in both the theoretical and practical arts of warfare, Hannibal quickly subdued most Spanish tribes southeast of the Ebro…

Polybius of Megalopolis (~200 – 118 B.C.) was a Greek nobleman and high ranking member of the Achaean League, whose political career was prematurely ended when he was taken as a political hostage to Rome. Rather than disappearing into obscurity, Polybius took it upon himself to compose a “universal” history, so as to explain to his fellow Greeks how the Romans managed to conquer the inhabited world in only 50 years. In this episode, we are going to spend time discussing the life and works of Polybius, who provides us with not only the best written account from the Hellenistic period, but is also one of the finest historians the Greco-Roman world has ever produced.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends heat waves and drought and a throng of mice and fish.

… 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)