#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for July 15, 2021

Hodie est Id. Jul. 2774 AUC ~ 5 Hekatombaion in the first year of the 700th Olympiad

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Boaty Week continues with Owen Rees. What was life like at sea in Ancient Greece? How were battles fought? And how were sailors regarded?

The seventh province of Rome was called Asia. Dr. Julietta Steinhauer, University College London, joins the show to discuss it.

What could be more terrifying than an army racing towards you? An army on chariots? What if those chariots had blades mounted on either side? In this episode, Tristan speaks to Dr Silvannen Gerrard about the use of this unconventional mode of transport during the Hellenistic period, particularly by the Seleucid Empire. They discuss the benefits and difficulties of using these chariots, and how they fit in with other unusual modes of troop transportation, from war-elephants to camel-archers. Silvannen is an Ancient Historian at the University of Manchester.

CW: The accounts of Virginia include paedophilic desire and violence against women. Virginia has been murdered by her own father in the Forum in an attempt to protect her from the decemvir Appius Claudius. As far as Virginius and most other Roman dads are concerned, death is better than dishonour. What will this act mean for Virginius and his family? How will it impact Appius Claudius? Tune in to find out as we venture once more into the rule of the Second Decemvirate and deal with the aftermath of one of the crises of the Conflict of the Orders.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of real and imagined machines that appear to be living, and the questions they raise about life and creation. Even in myth they are made by humans, not born. The classical Greeks built some and designed others, but the knowledge of how to make automata and the principles behind them was lost in the Latin Christian West, remaining in the Greek-speaking and Arabic-speaking world. Western travellers to those regions struggled to explain what they saw, attributing magical powers. The advance of clockwork raised further questions about what was distinctly human, prompting Hobbes to argue that humans were sophisticated machines, an argument explored in the Enlightenment and beyond.

Caesar pursues Pompey to Egypt only to find Alexandria embroiled in a dynastic dispute between the boy prince Ptolemy and his sister Cleopatra. He installs Cleopatra on the throne, resulting in a prolonged siege.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends conflict among the common people and a shortage of grain.

… 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)