#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for July 5, 2021

Hodie est a.d. III Non. Jul. 2774 AUC ~ 25 Skirophorion in the fourth year of the 699th Olympiad

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It is one of the most remarkable ancient sites in the World. Situated east of the Zagros Mountains in modern day Iran, Persepolis was an important urban centre of the Achaemenid Persian Empire for almost two centuries. From the stunning, rich variety of imagery depicted on the walls of the Apadana to the complex sewer system, the art and architecture of this site is astonishing, snippets of which can today be seen at the V&A’s newest exhibition, ‘Epic Iran’. In this fascinating podcast, ancient Persia expert Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones from Cardiff University returned to the Ancients to explain all about this awesome ancient site. Stay tuned for a follow up podcast in due course with Lloyd on the other Achaemenid urban centres! Lloyd is the author of ‘Persians: The Age of the Great Kings’, out in 2022.

400 – 100 BCE – Classical cultures flourished very quickly during this period.  Empires grew to significant proportions and this time, not just in one area of the world.

Author, classicist and historian Professor Paul Rahe was kind enough to sit down with your host for this instalment of Spartan History Podcast. Paul has authored several books on the Lacedaemonians and his work, the Spartan Regime, is incredibly poignant to our current narrative. Focusing on the archaic formation of the Spartan institutions and character, it has been a great help to me as I’ve tried to reconstruct the various elements of what would constitute the classical Sparta so heavily romanticised. The Professor takes us back to the bronze age briefly, and we work through the consequent dark age and into the early period of the Dorian migration into Laconia. It is, I hope, a great summarisation of our journey so far and hope you all enjoy the conversation  as much as I did.

In his account of Xerxes’ invasion of Greece, the historian Herodotus goes out of his way to give an account of Artemisia, female tyrant of Halicarnassus, before, during and in the aftermath of the battle Salamis in 480 BC. This account, and Artemisia herself, are remarkable for a variety of reasons but the idea of a woman commander, one as clever as a man, had a great impact on the ancient world.

Drawn by the prospects of providing service to the Ptolemaic government in either the bureaucracy or the army, or perhaps seeking to settle and farm some of the most productive land in the world, tens of thousands of Greeks would immigrate to Egypt in pursuit of a better life. Thanks to the abundant papyrological record, we are able to get an intimate look into the lives and careers of those who now to called Egypt home: those such as the deeply religious devotee of Serapis named Ptolemaeus, or Kleon, the hard-pressed chief engineer of the Fayyum reclamation project of Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

Learn the documentary history behind how the Catholic Church was founded and set up as an organization, together with some of the works of the earliest church fathers.

In Late Antiquity, Ravenna became one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean, including becoming capitals of the Western Roman Empire and Byzantine Italy at different times. Dr Veronica West-Harling, University of Oxford, joins the show and explains.

What are the cultural legacies of visualising war through wargames?  Wargames are not a new phenomenon; in military exercises, as tactical plays tested on maps and as entertainment spectacles, wargames have been with us from ancient times. Studying wargames allows us to better understand the fog of war, as well as giving us nuanced insights into the processes by which military strategy is visualised and drilled into the martial and civilian body. How do we game war? And what does the history of wargaming tell us about its use today?

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends an abundance of grain but the downfall of a virtuous ruler.

… 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)