#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 21. 2021

Hodie est a.d. XII Kal. Feb. 2774 AUC ~ 8 Gamelion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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17. Strahil Panayotov: Assyrian eye medicineStrahil explains how Assyrian medicine worked. Who were the doctors and what did they do? Would their treatments have been effective? He discusses the problems caused by taxonomy. Different ideas about the…

For centuries, arguably the greatest external threat the Roman Empire faced came from the East. From the Sasanian Persian Empire. With its nucleus situated in Iran, at its height the Sasanian Empire was one of antiquity’s most formidable kingdoms, controlling lands that stretched from the Hindu Kush to the River Euphrates. Like the Romans, the Sasanians had to deal with various potential threats. From the north, from the lands of the steppe east and west of the Caspian Sea, nomadic peoples such as the Huns would become renowned for descending on Roman and Sasanian territories and wreaking havoc. And so, on the edges of their empire, the Sasanians constructed frontiers of various forms. For military purposes, yes. But also for economic and political purposes as will be explained. In this podcast, we’re going to look at some of these Sasanian frontiers. From a dominating fort a ‘top an alpine gorge in the Caucusus to a barrier that makes Hadrian’s Wall pale in comparison. To talk through this incredible topic, I was delighted to be joined by Dr Eve MacDonald from the University of Cardiff. Alongside her research on the Sasanian Empire and its frontiers, Eve has also done work surrounding the ancient history of Carthage and of North Africa. She is the author of ‘Hannibal: A Hellenistic Life’.

Hadrian’s Wall is a jaw-dropping engineering achievement stretching 73 miles across hundred-foot-high escarpments and rushing rivers, its earthworks dug deep into unforgiving igneous bedrock. It’s the largest Roman artifact in existence, and yet we still have no idea why it was built. It’s barely mentioned in the ancient sources, but in its rise and fall, you can trace the rise and fall of Roman Britain as a whole.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the plague that broke out in Constantinople 541AD, in the reign of Emperor Justinian. According to the historian Procopius, writing in Byzantium at the time, this was a plague by which the whole human race came near to being destroyed, embracing the whole world, and blighting the lives of all mankind. The bacterium behind the Black Death has since been found on human remains from that time, and the symptoms described were the same, and evidence of this plague has since been traced around the Mediterranean and from Syria to Britain and Ireland. The question of how devastating it truly was, though, is yet to be resolved. With John Haldon Professor of Byzantine History and Hellenic Studies Emeritus at Princeton University Rebecca Flemming Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge And Greg Woolf Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends that the king who is hated by many will be the subject of a fatal plot.

… 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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