#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for September 28, 2020

Hodie est a.d. IV Kal. Oct, 2772 AUC ~ 11 Boedromion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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Following the disaster at Lake Trasimene, the Roman Senate took the drastic step of appointing a dictator – a single man with full military powers – to meet the crisis. The man chosen – Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus – differed greatly from the typical Roman aristocrat of his day. Cool-headed and steady handed, Fabius implemented a strategy of delay and harassment against Hannibal, hoping to whittle down the Carthaginian forces without risking another devastating defeat in open battle. Although effective at stabilizing Roman morale, the dictator’s strategy proved extremely unpopular among soldiers in his own camp. His second-in-command, Marcus Minucius Rufus, soon became the ringleader of a growing band of dissidents, and the tension between the dictator and his lieutenant would lead to an open breach which Hannibal would be quick to exploit.

44 BCE – 14 CE – Rome recovers after the death of Julius Caesar, and the constitution of Rome would change for good.  One man emerges from all others to become the most trusted leader of the entire Roman Republic.

Though they viewed themselves as the civilized center of the world, the Greeks had always expressed a curiosity for what lay on the periphery. The conquests of Alexander the Great had thrown open the doors of Asia and Africa, lands that were only the stuff of legend and hearsay, to hordes of Greek explorers, scientists, and diplomats. Many would be bankrolled by the Hellenistic rulers, who looked to seize potential trading opportunities or to redefine the civilized world in order to fit their imperial vision. Those like Megasthenes would venture into the humid subtropics of eastern India, while others like Pytheas of Massalia would sail the frigid North Sea around the mysterious island of Thule. In this episode, we will discuss the developments that occurred within the Greek’s conception of the “inhabited world”, and learn more about the explorers who helped redraw the map during the Hellenistic period.

In the penultimate episode on the story of Greek Theatre a look at the final years of Greek tragedy and comedy and the Athenian festivals. Then some thoughts on the development of Mime as a dramatic form and notes on our sources.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends signs revealing great things.

… 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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