Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 2, 2023

Hodie est a.d. IV Non.Ian. 2776 AUC ~ 11 Poseideion II in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Today’s counter-culture and alternative movements question mainstream norms, such as putting too much value on material possessions. The Cynics, practical philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, also rejected conventional desires to seek wealth, power and fame. They were not your usual kind of philosophers: rather than lecturing or writing about their ideas, they acted out their beliefs by denying themselves worldly possessions and tried to live as simply as possible. Their leader, Diogenes of Sinope, allegedly slept in a ceramic jar on the streets of Athens and ate raw meat like a dog, flouting convention to draw attention to his ideas. So who were the Cynics? How influential was their movement? What made it last some 900 years? And why does the term ‘cynicism’ have a different meaning today? Bridget Kendall is joined by three eminent scholars of Greek philosophy: Dr. William Desmond, Senior Lecturer in Ancient Classics at Maynooth University in Ireland and author of several books on the Cynics; Dr. Elena Cagnoli Fiecconi, Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at University College London; and Mark Usher, Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Vermont and author of new Cynic translations into English.

In April 1900, a crew of Greek sponge divers found a 2,000 year old shipwreck at the bottom of the sea of the small island of Antikythera. A century of underwater expeditions has revealed many works of art such as rare life-sized bronze statues and glassware that provides a snapshot of the Late Hellenistic economy, along with the famous Antikythera Mechanism, the world’s oldest surviving analog computer.

In the final episode of our series on history’s most well-known conspiracy theories, we investigate the idea that a highly advanced civilisation existed many thousands of years ago, before being wiped out by a calamitous event. Rob Attar speaks to archaeologist Flint Dibble about the ancient Greek origins of the Atlantis legend and how it has been reimagined in more recent times, including in the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends an unexpected war.

… 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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