Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for December 15, 2022

Hodie est a.d. XVIII Ian. 2775 AUC ~ 22 Poseideion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Fresh Podcasts

Even though the legendary poet Homer wrote the Iliad and Odyssey thousands of years ago, my guest would say that these epic poems are just as relevant and significant today, and even represent a kind of scripture. His name is Adam Nicolson, and he’s the author of Why Homer Matters. Today on the show, Adam makes the case that the Iliad is really the story of a collision between a more rooted, civilized way of life, represented by the character of Hector, and a nomadic, honor-bound gang ethos, represented by Achilles. We talk about how this collision birthed the character of Odysseus — who was both great warrior and subtle diplomat — and the whole Greek consciousness. And we discuss how that consciousness is also our consciousness, as we’re still wrestling with the warring impulses, dramas and dilemmas, and big questions of human experience Homer gave life.

2000 BC saw the famed city of Babylon begin to flourish under the rule of a King called Hammurabi. Renowned for his famous law code, the stele of which still survives today, is there anything else to be learnt about this mysterious figure? In this episode Tristan is joined by Professor, and author, Amanda Podany from California State Polytechnic University. Together they discuss the life of this famed Babylonian King, from his origins as a ruthless warlord, to his contributions in helping Babylon ascend to the momentous civilisation we know it as today.

We leave behind the outraged censors of 434 BCE and move forward into some troubled domestic times for Rome. The solution? Fashion, darling. White togas are out, so we suggest you find something appropriate to wear for this one…

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the speeches that became a byword for fierce attacks on political opponents. It was in the 4th century BC, in Athens, that Demosthenes delivered these speeches against the tyrant Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, when Philip appeared a growing threat to Athens and its allies and Demosthenes feared his fellow citizens were set on appeasement. In what became known as The Philippics, Demosthenes tried to persuade Athenians to act against Macedon before it was too late; eventually he succeeded in stirring them, even if the Macedonians later prevailed. For these speeches prompting resistance, Demosthenes became famous as one of the Athenian democracy’s greatest freedom fighters. Later, in Rome, Cicero’s attacks on Mark Antony were styled on Demosthenes and these too became known as Philippics.

In this episode, we look back to Honor Frost’s first dive in a well in Wimbledon 70 years ago this week, a pivotal moment for the field of maritime archaeology. We also speak with Claire Calcagno about her discovery of an unknown and unfinished book in Honor’s archive, the Second Life of a Phoenix, all about her work on the 3rd Century BC Punic Shipwreck off Sicily.

Jeremy Swist, specialist on Late Platonism, late antiquity, and the great Julian the Faithful, lays out the political background and political project of The Emperor. Part I of a two-part discussion of late antiquity’s greatest statesman. No bias here.

Our discussion with Jeremy Swist on The Emperor turns metaphysical, theurgic, and religious, as we discuss Julian’s incredible synthesis of Iamblichean theology and metaphysics, traditional religions, and politics. Come for the pagan counter-church, stay for the transcendent solar metaphysics.

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Alia

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends many setting out for war, but few returning.

… 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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