#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for May 6, 2021

Hodie est pr. Non. Mai. 2774 AUC ~ 24 Mounichion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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One of the funniest pieces of theatre set in Ancient Rome has to be A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). Now there is a book about murder in Ancient Rome that matches the title inspiration for comedy as well. We sat down to talk to historian and author Dr Emma Southon about her new book A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Dr Southon is also one of the hosts of the podcast History is Sexy and author of Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore. We were excited to discover that not only does Emma share our affection for Julio-Claudian women, but she is a fellow murderino and lover of Drag Race at heart.

When the dust settled on a six month civil war in 238CE, only the 13 year old Gordian III is left standing to take the purple. Once again Rome is left with a teenage emperor. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Senior Lecturer, Roman History, Macquarie University/Humboldt Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt)

It’s Niche. Very Niche… But how exactly did ancient Athens bury their soldiers? How did this change over time? And what huge implications could this difference mean both then… and now? This week’s Classical Wisdom Speaks is with Cezary Kucewicz, a National Science Centre Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of History, University of Gdansk, Poland, and Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK. He is also the author of The Treatment of the War Dead in Archaic Athens. We discuss what exactly are the ancient war dead, how the custom changed dramatically between the archaic and classical periods of ancient Greece and what that change signifies…

A recent study proposes that the Biblical King Solomon orchestrated maritime trade across the Iron Age Mediterranean. Is there really evidence for this? And why didn’t the kingdoms of Israel and Judah create monumental art and architecture like their neighbors? Or, for that matter, write much stuff down? Our panelists are intrigued but not confident.

What happened to Episode 35 and Dr. Michael Fontaine? Well, our hosts had some tech diffs. That planned episode didn’t drop. It shattered. So instead Jeff and Dave go far off script and offer up a hastily-prepared, poorly-seasoned, half-baked, slightly rewarmed, partially-marinated impromptu side dish (or podcast upside down cake) that answers this burning question: why should I study Greek and Latin? Along the way, you learn about Cliff Clavin, Count Dooku, Eric Blair, J.K. Rowling, Dumbo’s Stables, and the secret life of appendectomists. There is also the rare serious moment where we compare ἔρις and ἐριθεία from Philippians 1 with Jerome’s translation contentio.

Occupied since around 3000 BC, the Ancient city of Corinth is not unique in its transition from a Pagan, Greco-Roman state to a Christian one. What makes it stand out, however, is the incredible evidence that allows us to track this city’s journey throughout this time period, in literature, architecture and art. In this episode, Dr. Amelia Brown outlines Corinth’s administration and its move towards Christianity. She also highlights the incredible evidence of Pausanias, a Greek travel writer and geographer of the second century AD who lived in the time of the Roman emperors. Amelia is a Senior Lecturer in Greek History & Language at the University of Queensland, Australia.

We know all about the battles of the Roman Empire: the opposing sides, their weapons and incentives. But if history is written by the winners, what happened if you lost? In this episode, Dr Jo Ball, battlefield archaeologist at the University of Liverpool, helps to fill in this gap. Jo takes us through the options of the victorious army; to release, kill or capture; and then discusses the treatment of those who fell into this last category. Listen as in this episode from our sibling podcast The Ancients Tristan and Jo explore the experiences of prisoners of war in Ancient Rome, how this might differ if those taken were also Roman, and how we know anything about them at all.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends that the crops will ripen too quickly and be ruined.

… 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)