Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for December 8, 2022

Hodie est a.d. VI Id. Dec 2775 AUC ~ 15 Poseideion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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This week the guys move (nearer) to the end of Book VII and examine the role of that frightful, hair raising, blood-curdilng sister of Tisiphone and Megaera known as Allecto. Juno — who knows she’s lost but doesn’t like being a one-trick villainess — unleashes hell’s wrath on Aeneas’ nascent nuptial notions. Allecto’s conjured up and down she goes into Amata to spread havoc across the Italian landscape. Along the way we investigate such questions as: is Ascanius’ aristeia just riding his pony in the Trojan Games? Can such an innocuous, apparently inconsequential accident like killing a pet albino stag really lead, Gavrilo Princip style, to world war? Where exactly is Ampsanctus? And why doesn’t Jeff know who Glenn Hughes is? So pull on your deep purple jumper, your sweats by Vanquished or Loser, and digress for success!

Zeus, the chief deity in Greek mythology, is the Olympian god of sky and thunder and is king of all other gods and men. His tale is one of overthrowing fathers, eating babies and seducing women, both mortal and divine, by changing his own form. He’s one of the most complex figures in history, and his story is one that’s been retold throughout millennia. To try and make sense of it all, we’re going back to the very beginning, to the origins of Zeus, starting with his grandfather and grandmother, Uranus and Gaia. We learn about the prophecy that ultimately overthrows Uranus, the same one that is also fated for Zeus’s father, Cronus, and start to understand the family tree that becomes the Olympians – from Athena to Dionysus. For this episode of The Ancients, Tristan Hughes is joined by academic, author, broadcaster and Professor in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, Michael Scott. If you enjoyed this episode, you might also enjoy The Symposium: How To Party Like An Ancient Greek, also with Michael Scott.

With ancient Rome often being viewed as a mighty, impenetrable empire – it seems unlikely that one man, let alone a pirate, could ever bring this empire to it’s knees. Yet that’s exactly what Carausius, posthumously dubbed the ‘Pirate King’, did. Striking when Rome was already weak and without it’s Naval Fleet, Carausius took advantage of Britain’s vulnerability and declared himself Emperor of Britain – but how long did this daring new venture last? In this episode, Simon Elliot returns to the podcast to delve into this fantastical history of the Pirate King. Looking at backstabbing best friends (quite literally), family dynasties, and fog covered frontiers – can we really call Carausius the Pirate King?

The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest, largest, most sophisticated Bronze Age civilizations we know about today. Roughly 80 cities and towns have been unearthed that were part of it. The biggest—perhaps the most important—was a city called Mohenjo Daro. There were no kings at Mohenjo Daro, no priests and few signs of organized religion. There are few if any signs of war, slavery, wealth inequality or violence. There was a very high standard of living for its time, including indoor flushing toilets in every home. But they don’t call it “Mound of the Dead Men” for nothing. It turns out this peaceful, utopian ancient city has a gruesome secret…

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends the outbreak of  a spreading disease, out of which, however, will come an abundance of crops but a plague on the flocks.

… 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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