#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for August 16, 2021

Hodie est a.d. XVI Kal. Sept. 2774 AUC ~ 9 Metageitnion in the first year of the 700th Olympiad

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He was one of the greatest rebels of Rome from the 1st century AD, but his name is not one you might initially think of. Derided by Roman historians as being little more than a bandit, the truth is very much the opposite. For several years, between 17 and 24 AD, Tacfarinas led a revolt against the Romans in North Africa, sending the province into turmoil and becoming the bane of all troops stationed there to fight him. Several times the Romans believed they defeated Tacfarinas and his Berber followers. Several times they were proved wrong as time after time Tacfarinas emerged from the desert with a new force to wreak havoc on wealthy North Africa. For too long, Tacfarinas’ name has been side-lined in favour of more famous 1st century AD Roman rebels such as Boudica, Arminius and Caratacus. Now we’re going to right that wrong. Joining Tristan on today’s podcast is Dr Jo Ball, an Ancients veteran having been on the show twice before. Together Tristan and Jo talk through the incredible story of Tacfarinas and why he really was ‘the Desert Hydra.’

By many standards, Ptolemy’s reign in Egypt was successful, including an heir, Ptolemy II, who succeeded him without turbulence. Professor Ian Worthington, Macquarie University, returns to the show to analyze Ptolemy’s pharaohship in Egypt.

It’s all about Mary this week on the podcast! We are joined by archaeologist and PtP webmaster Dr. Sabrina Higgins, who takes us through catacombs, churches, and monasteries in Egypt, Syria, and Rome to trace the emergence of the cult of the Virgin Mary in the Mediterranean. Dr. Higgins discusses how Mariologists uncover signs of early worship of the mother of Jesus Christ, and emphasizes the role of artistic depictions of the saint and other material culture in tracing the diffusion of Marian veneration.

It’s time for a reckoning! Or, to be more accurate, a number of reckonings. We talk to Dr. Stephen Chrisomalis, a linguistic anthropologist who specializes in the anthropology of mathematics and the interaction of language, cognition, and culture, about his new book Reckonings. It’s a fascinating discussion of how we write and represent numbers, and how that’s changed over the years. Why don’t we use Roman numerals any more? It’s more complicated than you might think…

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends sadness for the lower classes.

… 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)