Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for August 22, 2022

Hodie est a.d. XI Kal. Sept. 2775 AUC ~ 25 Metageitnion in the second year of the 700th Olympia

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This week we at last reach the grim, tragic climax of Book IV of the Aeneid, where the height of Dido’s madness is matched only by the depth of Aeneas’ strange indifference. When Jeff innocently pauses to comment on the “cinematic” nature of Vergil’s language and pacing, Dave pushes back, and the guys tussle over whether literary narratives are always superior to visual ones. Would Vergil be a Scorsese today? Or would that make him a lesser artist by default, if he set down his pen? Are there genres that are better served on he screen? At any rate, things are getting bleak in Carthage—Dido’s flirting with black magic, raving about the citadel, preparing for a grisly end – and what does Aeneas decide to do? Catch a nap on the poop deck. What is going on with this guy?

Halfway through Season 1! DOTRR’s review of HBO’s Rome’s sixth episode, “Egeria.”  Friends and I summarize the episode, speculate about the show, and talk about our favorite characters!

The Greco-Persian wars were a series of truly tectonic engagements fought during the first half of the 5th century BCE. On one side was a lose coalition of free Greek cities versus the autocratic behemoth that was the Persian empire. A real David and Goliath style conflict, with this episode I’ll be kicking off a series on the conflicts to describe the period in as much detail as possible. First up I take a look at the genesis behind the wars themselves, that is the Ionian revolt. Aristagoras of Miletus is often credited with stirring up a sense of nationalism amongst the cities of the Ionian coast, in western Turkey. From there his actions set the Greek world down a path to the serious engagements that would follow, Marathon, Thermopylae, Plataea and Salamis. However, Aristagoras’ position as tyrant was underpinned by his father-in-law, Histiaeus, the real tyrant of Miletus. The  story of the Ionian revolt is just as much about the former man as it is about the latter. We’ll look deeper into both these tyrants stories and drill into the events surrounding the Ionian revolt.

5330000 BCE – today – We condense the history of the Mediterranean island of Crete into one episode, plotting the ages of the Minoans, Mycenaeans, Etocretans, Romans, Aghlabids, Venetians, Ottomans and Nazi Germans, as well as the ultimate mother culture of Greece itself.

The Commedia Dell’arte tropes that operated in Italy and France were like many actors before them – travelling players operating if not exactly outside of society, then in their own niche within it. The framework that Commedia Dell’arte troupes operated in and how little had changed for the travelling player since Roman and Medieval times….

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends things going well for a year.

… 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)