#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for June 9, 2021

Hodie est a.d V Id. Jun. 2774 AUC ~ 29 Thargelion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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Join us for a lively discussion with Dr. Michael Fontaine (Classics, Cornell University) as we talk about his new book—How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor—a translation and analysis of ancient Roman treatises on humor from both Cicero and Quintilian. Along the way we tackle such questions as “How can a politician or a lawyer use humor to win a room?”, “Is one born funny or can it be taught?” and “Did Cicero seal his own fate by telling jokes that went too far?” Tune in for the laughs, guffaws, and occasional snickers, and be sure to share your own opinion on this all important query: “Is it possible for really attractive people to be funny?”

In this episode, Dr. Liana Brent joins Chelsea and Melissa to talk about the archaeological remains of burials in Roman Italy at the ancient cemetery of Vagnari. Find out how archaeologists and anthropologists discover information about the real lives of ancient people through their commemorative practices, funerary rituals, and graves.

Everyone knows the saying about what the world’s “oldest profession” is, but you will find a very close runner up in the kitchen. The history of those who cook professionally to make their living goes way, way back to the origins of civilization itself. It’s another epic journey across the ages, this time with a … 

Flax, wool, dyes, and more were used in the Bronze Age to produce textiles in the Mediterranean Basin. Dr Serena Sabatini, University of Gothenburg, joins the show to discuss textile production in northern Italy in the Late Bronze Age.

Sophus explains the most famous piece of literature from ancient Iraq: the Epic of Gilgamesh. He guides us through the many meanings that have been found in it, from antiquity to the present day. Why does it fascinate us, and what can it offer us?

It’s time for another episode of The Ozymandias Project with Lexie Henning! Tuck in your togas and hop aboard Trireme Transit for an exciting odyssey as we nerd out about the eternal attractiveness of Egyptology, ponder how to convince parents to let their kids study archaeology, and think about ways to incorporate the ancient world into our everyday lives without being in academia.

At the heart of the ancient Middle East, a sophisticated, urbanized, and long-lived world, was a writing system: cuneiform, used for everything from heroic epic to receipts and medical texts, and first developed in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid of Oxford joins me to talk about cuneiform literature, medicine, and mental health in this fascinating and little-known ancient world.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends the loss of flocks due to wolves.

… 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)