Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for October 5, 2022

Hodie est a.d. III Non. Oct. 2775 AUC ~ 10 Pyanepsion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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A recent article on a button-like toy has us wondering, what are toys anyway and what are they for? Were there actually children in the past? And what is playing, really? No, really, what is playing? And that’s where things started getting sticky for us.

There’s no going back now—in this episode we follow along as Aeneas enters the Underworld proper. And if you were expecting a DMV-esque experience like Odysseus had in his jaunt, you’d be sadly mistaken. Turns out the Roman afterlife is more like the 7-story Macy’s on West 34th Street. Oh, you’re looking for the place where the souls of deceased children reside? Up the escalator past housewares and knick-knacks. The shades of warriors who were just “ok”? Hang a left at kitchen accessories and general appliances. Do we also see an Underworld that is literally becoming more “demonized” in Vergil’s hands? Why is the Roman Charon all skeletal and glowing-eyed, while his Greek counterpart is more like Joe Six-Pack? Well, whatever questions you have, get in that leaky boat, drop your obol in the bucket, and hang on for the ride (and don’t forget a Milkbone or two for Cerberus).

Truly we are talking ancient history, since “Cladh Hallan: A Story in Several Parts” was episode 18, way back in 2018 when we still had no idea what we were doing and long before the content that was migrated to the APN feed. This may be the first time some longtime listeners (including you?) have heard this story, and we’ll round it out with some additional context for the subject matter. Find out what we sounded like before Anna really got the hang of sound editing!

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a surplus of all necessities except for grain.

… 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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