#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for August 12, 2021

Hodie est pr. id. Sext. 2774 AUC ~ 4 Metageitnion in the first year of the 700th Olympiad

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Among Pompeii’s great wealth of surviving artefacts is one with a rich globe trotting history that only goes to emphasise the interconnected nature of the ancient world: the Pompeii Lakshmi, a small statuette originally crafted in India. But what do we know about this object? Does it really depict Lakshmi? How might it have reached Pompeii? Where in India do we think it was crafted? Laura Weinstein came on the podcast to answer all these questions and talk through what we know about this iconic object.

It’s only four little letters, well maybe five, but another tiny Iron Age inscription has raised more than a few eyebrows. What’s the significance of this latest scribble? Is it the name of a biblical character, or the name of a guy who didn’t want his lunch stolen? And why are our panelists talking about being stuck in a suburban cul-de-sac?

This week the throw-down continues as Dave, Jeff, and Dr. Patrick M. Owens dig into a pile of Latin textbooks and see which ones are worthy of a podium finish. Need to brush up on your ecclesiastical Latin? You’d better know your Collins from your Henle. Do the names “Cambridge” and “Oxford” conjure images of Britishy erudition? Maybe not so fast. Dashed off caricatures of oddly proportioned “melon heads” not your thing? Learn which books NOT to open. So, tune in ( if you can take a break from gilding your cute little Duolingo owl and trying to advance to the Amethyst League). Also, Rosetta Stone, Ossa Latinitatis, and Hans Ørberg.

From the second she rolled out of the carpet in Caesar’s chambers (or climbed out of a sac) the chemistry between Cleopatra and Caesar is what legends are made of. However, their romance took place against a backdrop of civil war and siege. Who gains control of Egypt and where is Cleopatra’s brother/husband? Find out by tuning into this weeks episode!

To understand the Italian Community, Samnites, in the Iron Age (9th to 6th centuries), scholars predominantly rely on funerary evidence. Dr. Rafael Scopacasa returns to the show to share what’s known about the community in this period of time.

The Second Secession is a contested moment in Roman’s early republican history. The fallout from two key events lead us to this point according to our later written sources: one is the murder of Lucius Siccus Dentatus “the Roman Achilles” and the other is the murder of the young plebeian Verginia (also known as Virginia). We’ll be exploring what the sources can tell us and what we might make of this challenging moment in Rome’s history.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Catullus (c84-c54 BC) who wrote some of the most sublime poetry in the late Roman Republic, and some of the most obscene. He found a new way to write about love, in poems to the mysterious Lesbia, married and elusive, and he influenced Virgil and Ovid and others, yet his explicit poems were to blight his reputation for a thousand years. Once the one surviving manuscript was discovered in the Middle Ages, though, anecdotally as a plug in a wine butt, he inspired Petrarch and the Elizabethan poets, as he continues to inspire many today.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

It it thunders today, it portends an abundance of cattle feed and acorns, but at the first season’s ripening, things will change for the worse.

… 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)

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