#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for June 13, 2022

Hodie est Id. Iun. 2775 AUC ~ 14 Skirophorion in the first year of the 700th Olympia

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Fresh Podcasts

In this podcast episode, our guest Joseph E. Sanzo discusses the intersection between Christian and Jewish magic. Joseph Sanzo is Associate Professor of the History of Religions at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Joseph Sanzo obtained his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012 and his thesis was published in 2014 in a volume called Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt: Text, Typology, and Theory. Since then, he has held various positions; after his PhD, he was a lecturer at UCLA and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Jerusalem, between 2015 and 2018 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Munich and between 2018 and 2020 he was the WIRL Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Warwick. His research focuses on ancient Mediterranean religion, with a particular focus on ritual practices during late antiquity, and he is the author of numerous publications on the topic. His current European Research Council Starting Grant project running from 2020 investigates late-antique Jewish and Christian magical objects, such as amulets and incantation bowls, as sites for thinking about early Jewish-Christian relations. 

As Dave and Jeff plow deeper into Book 2 it is clearly getting worse for the Trojans. They didn’t Sinon for this! Those wily Greeks have set the trap and now it begins to spring. First, coiled, creepy snakes come writhing out of the sea to put Laocoon and his two unlucky sons into a suplex and drag them to watery graves. The Trojans read this omen in exactly the wrong way, and think that this is the perfect time to slap some roller skates on that huge wooden equine  and surf it into the city. And, well, we all know what happens next. Greeks storm the citadel, horrors multiply. Pyrrhus murders old Priam at Minerva’s altar. Aeneas is frozen in indecision—what should he do? Go down swinging? Run for it? Take Dave to task for his irrational opposition to R.E.M. and Michael Stipe?

Alexander the Great’s untimely death at Babylon in 323 BC triggered an unprecedented crisis across his continent-spanning empire. Within a couple of days, the very chamber in which he died witnessed a gore-soaked showdown between his previously united commanders and soldiers. Within a fortnight, Babylon saw the first siege of the post-Alexander age. In this special explainer episode to mark the anniversary of Alexander’s death, Tristan brings to life the imperial implosion that was the immediate aftermath of the Macedonian king’s death – a subject he knows one or two things about, seeing as he’s written a book on it! Tristan’s book The Perdiccas Years, 323-320 BC (Alexander’s Successors at War) is available on Amazon here.

When Valerian became emperor in 253CE Rome was fighting on all fronts. With Shapur and the Syrians taking territory in the east, and Germanic tribes to the west and the north, the empire was going to get messy for Valerian and his newly established dynasty. Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University).

You’ve seen a pike phalanx in action in films, but what are they doing, and why? Christopher Matthew joins us for a masterclass on ancient warfare.

Host of Comcompod, acclaimed stand up, and all round excellent person Stuart Goldsmith joins Jasmine today to find out whether what makes us laugh today is the same as that which tickled audiences in the Greco Roman period. Are we in a new age of comedy censorship, or have there always been limits to what we could joke about?

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends the downfall of a ruler.

… 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)