#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for February 8, 2021

Hodie est a.d. VI Id. Feb. 2774 AUC ~ 26 Gamelion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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Michael Symmons Roberts begins a bold new three-part series examining the fascination poets have forever held with notions around metamorphosis and the body. From Homer’s account of Circe’s transformation of men into swine and Ovid’s great classic Metamorphosis, the conceit has been picked up through the centuries by many of our greatest writers including Shakespeare, Kafka and Stevenson. Over the course of the series, Michael examines how poets today are engaging with the theme of transformation, whether that is through re-imagining classical works from a feminist perspective or using it as a means to explore identity in the 21st Century. Some of the biggest and most interesting names in contemporary poetry shaer their thoughts – Jorie Graham, Michael Longley, Alice Oswald, Patience Agbabi, Fiona Benson, Will Harris, Andrew McMillan and more. In this first episode, Michael talks with Professor Edith Hall about the reasons metamorphosis was such source of fascination for writers in Ancient Greece and Rome. He also speaks with writers including Cheri Magid and Fiona Benson who are re-writing Ovid’s tales with renewed emphasis upon the sexual assaults that so often feature in these foundational stories and which have frequently been air-brushed out of historical translations.

A look at ‘The Self Tormenter’ by Terrence. Written in 162 or 163 BCE this is the story of disagreements between fathers and sons over the choice of women and how a clever slave almost wins the day. A synopsis of the pay with some comments about the Prologue, the action of the play and the general style. The way Terence changes the standard stock characters and makes them more rounded characters than anything we have seen before, including how the portrayal of the clever slave and the courtesan are more subtle than in previous plays.

Tres sodales plurimas epistulas ab audientibus missas recitant et eisdem satis iocose respondent.

The vivid stories of Delilah and Goliath have made the Philistines the most famous villains of the Hebrew Bible. But, for the last two hundred years, explorers, historians, archaeologists, and, now, even geneticists have been working to understand the ancient people behind these famous biblical tales. Join us for an exploration of Philistine origins.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends the outbreak of a major scandal for the state; there will be an abundance of fish but dangerous beasts will die.

… 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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