#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for February 23, 2022

Hodie est a.d. VII Kal. Mart. 2775 AUC ~ 22 Anthesterion in the first year of the 700th Olympiad

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We’re talking about bread again! This time, about ancient Greek bread — its vocabulary, the many types of bread and how they were made, and the economic aspects of bread production. Josh shares his practical experiences of baking along with his research into the classical Greek world.

It’s the summer of 415 BC and the Athenians (in the middle of a devastating war with Sparta) are debating whether to launch a naval expedition against colonies in Sicily. General Nicias says “no”, but here comes wonder boy Alcibiades who makes the assembly swoon, what with his silver tongue, chariot laurels, wavy hair, and chiseled abs, and it’s off to Sicily we go. But wait! On the night before departure somebody mutilates a bunch of herms in the city and maybe even performs a drunken satire of sacred mysteries! Questions invite questions: was it Alcibiades? If so, does he deserve the death penalty? Why would you want one of those scurrilous statues on your street corner? And don’t miss the following defections, deflections, and rejections.  Pull up a chair, check your emergency umlaut supply, and crack open a case of Löwenbräu. You can’t make this stuff up.

A troubled soul in life, Emperor Gaius Caligula’s spirit remains restless in death… This story is adapted from Suetonius, Life of Caligula, 59 and is followed by a discussion about Caligula, King Herod Agrippa, and Roman funerary rites.

London is today one of the greatest cities in the world, and the story of its origins is fittingly spectacular. Founded by the Romans as Londinium in around 47-50 AD, the metropolis served as a major commercial hub and indeed military target until its abandonment in the 5th century. It wouldn’t be until the turn of the following millennium that London regained its eminence under the Anglo-Saxons. Thanks to centuries of astonishing discoveries and decades of key archaeological research, we actually know quite a lot about Londinium; perhaps even why the Romans chose to found it there in what was previously a rural and peripheral landscape under the Celtic Britons. In this episode, Tristan chats to ‘Mr Roman London’ himself Dr Dominic Perring, Professor of Archaeology at UCL, who shares incredible insights into the origins of London and what its artefacts tell us about the very first Londoners.

Edmonia Lewis broke barriers as the first African-American and Native American sculptor to achieve worldwide renown for her neoclassical works in marble and bronze. After her death, her most famous masterpiece lived on, incognito until its relatively recent rediscovery.

Heracles reign of terror continues as he finds yet another woman to marry. This time, he must fight a river and defeat a centaur but not before inadvertently providing the cause of his own mortal demise…

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends deformities for humans and destruction for birds.

… 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)