#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for August 20, 2020

Hodie est a.d. XIII Kal. Sept. 2772 AUC ~ 2 Metageitnion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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2,499 years ago the Persian ‘Great King’ Xerxes launched history’s largest amphibious invasion of Europe before D-Day. Accompanied by a huge army and navy he crossed the Hellespont (modern day Dardanelles), intent on punishing the city-state of Athens and any other Hellenic powers that dared to resist. It was during this campaign that one of history’s most famous battles was fought, at the Pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. King Leonidas, his 300 (or so) Spartans and their Hellenic allies fought off against King Xerxes’ mighty Persian army for three days. To talk through this fascinating battle I’m chatting with Paul Cartledge, a professor from the University of Cambridge and one of the World’s leading experts on ancient Sparta. In this fascinating chat, Paul sorts the fact from the fiction about the doomed Thermopylae defence. He starts by explaining the conflict’s background, before moving on to the battle itself. We finish off by discussing how this famous battle ultimately created what we now know as ‘the Spartan mirage’.

After defeating Glaber on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, Spartacus and his rebels enjoyed a glorious Italian summer—taming wild ponies for their infantry, attracting new recruits, and raiding in the rich Italian farmlands. But all good summers come to an end. The Roman Senate continued to send more experienced generals against Spartacus–even as he struggled to reign in his followers’ worst instincts toward violence. And meanwhile, Rome’s foreign wars were winding down. The clock was ticking.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a plague among the cattle and disorder in affairs of the state.

… 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)