#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for June 18, 2021

Hodie est ad. XV Kal. Jul. 2774 AUC ~ 7 Skirophorion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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In this week’s episode, curators Melissa and Poppy chat with the incomparable Liv Albert, host of the ‘Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!’ Greek Mythology podcast. Join us for a whole bunch of ca-razy tales from Greek mythology, an impassioned defence of Medusa, and a bespoke Mini Myth with an appropriate jars theme!

Dr. Rhiannon Graybill is Associate Professor of religious studies at Rhodes College and a scholar of the Hebrew Bible whose work brings together biblical texts and contemporary critical and cultural theory.  Her latest book,  Text After Terror: Rape, Sexual Violence, and the Hebrew Bible, is a study of sexual violence and rape in the Hebrew Bible and is out now from Oxford University Press.

This week we’re looking at the seductive Sirens from Greek mythology! What links these creatures of the shoreline to the abduction of the Spring goddess Persephone? How did they change from half-birds, half women to half-fish, half women? Find out on today’s episode!

Patron of the podcast Louis asks, what were the impacts of the introduction and subsequent spread of Christianity on the Roman military’s practices and that of its opponents? Were there any improvements in the treatment of the defeated, taking into account that most barbarians were also christians although of a different denomination? Or maybe changes in the way discipline was handled could be attributed to the new religious practices. Murray mulls this one over.

The Persian Empire had launched its first invasion against Greece in 492 BC after their involvement in the Ionian revolt. The campaign that came across the Aegean Sea would fall short of capturing Athens in 490 BC at the Bay of Marathon, seeing the invaders withdraw back into the empire. Though, Greece was not forgotten, Xerxes the new king launching the second invasion in 480 BC. The second invasion would see one of the largest forces ever assembled to march west, heading through northern lands into Greece. This invasion would see a number of land and naval battles fought over the next two years. Defeats at Salamis, Plataea and Mycale would see the second invasion stopped with the Persians failing in subjugating all of Hellas. How did the Persian army being the size it was fail to capture Greece? Had their equipment and training been up to the same standard as the Greeks? Had they underestimated the way the Greeks fought, with their lands and armies quite different to what they encountered in the east. Or had their sheer size and reliance on various nations for their numbers brought them undone? Although the Greeks had won a major victory with it defining a generation, how did this affect the Persian Empire? Victory verses defeat is not often a zero-sum game. The Greek theatre was on the extreme western fringe of the Empire and the integrity of the Persian Empire remained intact. But the defeat and the ongoing operations would have consequences as the decade’s past.

Was Alexander the Great really that *great* on his own? Or did he owe much of his success to the work of his father Philip II of Macedonia? Joining us to discuss the matter is Adrian Goldsworthy, military historian and author of the new book Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends destruction for the crops.

… 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)