#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for July 19, 2021

Hodie est a.d. XIV Kal. Aug. 2774 AUC ~ 10 Hekatombaion in the first year of the 700th Olympiad

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A bunch of 80 million year old shark teeth in Iron Age Jerusalem have set the archaeological world ablaze. What are they doing there along with 10,000 fish bones and six and a half tons of pottery? It’s gotta be a joke, right? Do our panelists speculate wildly or do they jump the shark?

It was one of the most powerful empires in history, leaving marks and remnants across the globe, but in this episode we are looking specifically at the impact of the Romans on Brittany. Tristan was joined once again by Sir Barry Cunliffe, who takes us through the Roman occupation of Brittany, the response of the residents, and the impact on both cultures. From slaves and wine, to fish sauce and rebellion, this is an intriguing look into the character of Brittany and the realities of a Roman occupation. Emeritus Professor at the University of Oxford, Sir Barry Cunliffe is the author of Bretons and Britons: The Fight for Identity.

The Bay of Naples featured a mosaic of luxury estates by the first century. Classical archaeologist, Dr. Mantha Zarmakoupi, University of Pennsylvania, joins the show to share what villa-style living was like for Romans in this part of the Italian peninsula.

A codified law, nascent territorial expansion, and the creation of offices such as Quaestor and Tribune of the Plebs, all occurred in Rome during the 5th century BCE. Dr. Gary Forsythe, Texas Tech University, returns to the show to discuss what occurred with the Roman Republic during the century.

200 – 600 – The Sasanians were firmly in control of their Silk Road branch while Rome and China languished.  This period saw the rise of the Gupta, Maya and Aksumites but was also the age of the mysterious Hunnic tribes of the Eurasian Steppe.

The Seleucid Empire’s vast geographic spread made it the heir to a wide variety of cavalry traditions, with the fighting style of each region being incorporated into an army of Macedonian origin: units like armored cataphracts and horse archers from the steppes, scythed chariots from the Near East, and even war elephants acquired from distant India. Scholars have long viewed the cavalry of the Seleucids (and by extension other Hellenistic powers) as being ineffectual, with the use of such “exotic” troop types limited to being a passing fad. Dr. Silvannen Gerrard joins our show to argue that the Seleucid military was in fact quite capable and adaptive, and that the often-downplayed role of unorthodox troops like elephants betrays a powerful and effective tool for warfare.

This week Patrick and an esteemed panel of historians, archeologists and classicists discuss the life and legacy of Roman emperor Hadrian. Joining Patrick on the panel are: Dr Andrew Fear, Department of Classics, University of Manchester, Frances McIntosh, Curator of Roman Collections, Hadrian’s Wall, English Heritage, Professor Richard Hingley, Professor of Archaeology, Durham University, Dr Alexander Thien, School of Classics, University College Dublin, Professor David Breeze, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, The University of Edinburgh and Professor Mary T Boatwright, Department of Classics, Duke University.

For our July podcast, we were joined by Professors Asa Eger (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), Andrea De Giorgi (Florida State University), and Reyhan Durmaz (University of Pennsylvania) for a discussion of a new volume just published by Routledge, entitled Antioch: A History, coauthored by Asa Eger and Andrea De Giorgi, covering the history of the city from the 4th century BCE to the present.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends war and the destruction of powerful people. At the same time, there will be an abundance of grain 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)