#Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for July 6, 2022

Hodie est pr. Non. Jul. 2775 AUC ~ 8 Hekatombion in the second year of the 700th Olympia

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“The Sea Peoples” is a term that refers to a seafaring culture of unclear origin that bopped around the eastern Mediterranean and adjoining areas around 1200-900 BCE. There are ancient Egyptian murals and reliefs that depict battles against these unnamed adversaries, but no definitive labels or helpful texts. So who were the Sea Peoples? We’ll discuss some theories, and probably not reach any conclusions apart from “wow people really care a lot about this, huh?”

Homer’s Odyssey depicts an afterlife that is relatively dull, with heroic actions and glory reserved for the living. Nonetheless, people in Southern Italy in the fourth century BCE were captivated by the underworld and decorated large funerary vases with scenes of the afterlife—the domain of Hades and Persephone, where sinners like Sisyphus are tortured for eternity and heroes like Herakles and Orpheus performed daring feats. Little is known about precisely how these vases were used and seen in death rituals. A new book by Getty Publications, Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife in Ancient South Italian Vase Painting, brings together 40 such vases and explores new research on them. In this episode, Getty Museum curator of antiquities David Saunders discusses these enormous and often elaborate vases, explaining the myths they depict and what is known about the ways in which they were used. Saunders is editor of Underworld.

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Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends fatal diseases for enslaved persons.

… 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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