#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for the Weekend of August 8-9, 2020

Hodie est a.d. V Id. Sext. 2772 AUC ~ 21 Hekatombaion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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The Roman Empire was unprepared for the rule of the Emperor Maximinus. Regarded by many as a savage barbarian, he came to the purple by blood, would rule by blood, and would leave it the same way. Guest: Dr Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)

In this story, a young man falls hard for the daughter of his host, but she is not what she seems… Tragic and romantic, this story comes from Phlegon of Tralles’ collection of folklore (On Marvels, 1) and is followed by a discussion of women’s lives in the Greek and Roman worlds, and the surprising similarities between this story and the urban legend of the Vanishing Hitchhiker. Content warning: suicide

The Persian Empire continues to expand under the successive kings.

When Caligula was assassinated in 41, Claudius hid in a room of the palace called the Hermaeum, and then behind a curtain on a balcony. According to Suetonius, he was discovered by a soldier named Gratus – Gratitude – who said to his colleagues: “This is a Germanicus; come on, let us choose him for our emperor.” But many in the Senate wanted to see him dead and a return to the republic.

In our last episode, Spartacus and his compatriots broke out of the ludus and began their rebellion. Spurred on by the Dionysian prophecies of his lover, the Thracian Lady, Spartacus’ legend grew.  But the Roman Senate was not going to let his army rampage unchecked—and soon Spartacus would face troubles without and tribal conflicts within. It all came to a head on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius.

From the 2000 historical blockbuster ‘Gladiator’ to the Total War series, brutal hand to hand warfare is something we commonly associate with antiquity. But do we have any ancient cases of psychological injury as a direct result of military service? Joining me to discuss this topic, focusing on cases from the Classical Greek Period (c.500 – 323 BC), is Dr Owen Rees. Owen is a historian of ancient warfare and society. He has also written papers about the possibility of an equivalent phenomenon to PTSD in ancient Greek warfare and how that trauma manifested itself differently in ancient Greek culture. In this podcast, we focus on the cases of two specific individuals from the Classical Period: Epizelus the Athenian and Clearchus the Spartan.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends good health for humans this year.

… 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)