#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for the Weekend of November 7-8, 2020

Hodie est a.d. VI Id Nov. 2772 AUC ~ 22 Pyanepsion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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Gem seal with face of Apollo on it found near Jerusalem’s Western Wall

Rare Gem Discovery in Jerusalem Has Two Mysteries

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It’s 48 CE. Messalina is dead. So now Claudius needs a new wife. There are several candidates, including Julia Agrippina, the daughter of Germanicus, making her Claudius’ niece. Conveniently, her rich husband had recently died. She is also the mother of a young boy called Domitius Ahenobarbus – but who will soon change his name to Nero.

We go back around 2,500 years to the time of the Ancient Greek Empire. But as we’re not experts on Ancient Greece – in fact, Dad’s poor knowledge of Ancient Greece has always been his Achilles’ elbow – we are joined by an expert guest. We discover why kids were taught to steal, and we explain why people run a marathon today. And the episode comes to a climax with the Spartans last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae – as depicted in the movie 300., and (kinda) Star Wars: Rogue One.

Alexander, an Ancient Greek king and a victorious conqueror. No, not that one, not Alexander the Great. This time, we’re talking about his uncle, Alexander I of Molossia. In 334BC, when Alexander the Great advanced east to conquer the Persian Empire, Alexander of Molossia was travelling west across the Ionian sea to the south of Italy. In addition to their matching names and simultaneous expansionist expeditions, both Alexanders were brought up in the court of Philip II of Macedon. But whilst one remains a household name, the other has sunk into obscurity. To explore the life of this lesser known Alexander, Tristan was joined by Dr. Ben Raynor. Ben is a former Moses and Mary Finley Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge. He talks us through Alexander I of Molossia’s formative years in Philip’s court, his relationship with the Macedonian king and his own successes as a leader. Ben and Tristan also delve into the legends about Alexander’s death, and his omission from popular history.

79 – The Romans could not have ever known the catastrophe that suddenly destroyed all civilisation around the Gulf of Naples in less than 24 hours.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends gluttony brought on by serious diseases.

… 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)