#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for April 12, 2021

Hodie est pr. Id. Apr. 2774 AUC ~ 30 Elaphebolion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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A plague which affects people from across society, mass exodus from city centres and numerous opinions on how best to stay well … all familiar to people today, but also to the people of the 2nd century AD. In this fascinating chat with Dr Nick Summerton, we explore the causes and effects of the Antonine Plague, the guides to healthy living from Galen, Marcus Aurelius and Aristides, and whether there are overlaps with the current situation. Nick is a practicing doctor and is the author of ‘Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today’, published by Pen & Sword.

23rd official episode of Spartan History Podcast.

Yes, there’s more. Here’s Part 2 of our ranting about Odysseus. Enjoy. O Times, O mores! Yes, we did just use an obnoxious Cicero joke to signal the end of times. Or, more accurately, the end of times you’ll get an episode this season. But don’t worry, we’ve saved the best ‘til last for our season finale. You didn’t think we’d go out like a lead balloon, did you? Sarah and Abi are excited this week to bring you a double helping of raging about Odysseus. In this episode, we take one of Greek myth’s best-loved heroes and … well … rip him a new one. Sarah tries to play devil’s advocate – she makes some good points about his sexual entrapment with Calypso. But all-in-all the positivity doesn’t last long, and this is mostly a tirade about his terrible choices and insufferably vanity. Remember – the tales of Odysseus’ travels home in Homer’s Odyssey are mostly reported speech from the master-wordsmith himself. Big shock, he comes across well.

Classicist Armand D’Angour discusses Aspasia, Pienza and Catullus

Herodotus described Egypt as the gift of the Nile River, and without a doubt the Ptolemaic rulers took full advantage of the land’s agricultural prosperity. In addition to their exploitation of the Nile’s annual inundation, the Ptolemies would introduce the most rigorously developed (or exploitative) taxation system ever seen in Egypt, and would enable them to become the wealthiest people in the world of the 3rd century BC. We will take a look at the administrative layout of Hellenistic Egypt in order to see how the Ptolemaic dynasty oversaw such a financial juggernaut, ranging from the day-to-day operations of their many officials to grand imperial projects such as the reclamation of the Fayyum Oasis.

To conclude the season on the theatre of Rome this episode imagines a resident of the city in 54BCE, recounting in a letter to a sick friend, a day spent travelling to the theatre of Pompey and the time spent there.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends rain and prosperity, but the ruin of fish stocks.

… 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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