#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for June 30, 2022

Hodie est pr. Kal. Jul. 2775 AUC ~ 2 Hekatombion in the first year of the 700th Olympia

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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!

Ancient Sparta was co-opted by the Nazis as a supposed model civilisation for the Third Reich’s twisted racial and martial ideologies. German children were taught that the Spartans had originally been an ‘Aryan’ tribe, and that they should aspire to Laconian ideals such as endurance, discipline and military self-sacrifice. Yet modern evidence suggests the Ancient Greek city-state may not have been so militaristic after all. In this episode, Tristan is joined by Dr Helen Roche from Durham University to find out more about this ‘Spartan paradigm’ and how it was exploited by the Nazi regime.

We sat down recently with Associate Professor Rebecca Futo Kennedy to talk all about Ancient Greek women, specifically in relation to Athens.

Most myths say that Athena sprung from Zeus’ head fully formed, totally brilliant, and just a badass war goddess. We don’t get a lot of stories about her youth, the way we have about Dionysus, or Artemis, or Heracles. Right from the start, Athena is just a fully formed adult who does adult things. Right? Well, not exactly. There’s this one story that tells of how, when Athena was young, she had a very intense relationship with another girl named Pallas—perhaps the only person Athena ever truly loved. This is their story.

In the fourth episode of our podcast series on the end of Roman Britain, David Musgrove considers the role of religion in late Roman Britain with Dr David Petts. They look at how far Christianity was embedded in Britain by the fourth century, what other religious practices existed alongside it and, crucially, how far adherence to the Christian faith in the declining years of the empire helped to keep the Roman way of life going in Britain.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends many deaths in a short period of time.

… 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)