Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 14, 2023

Hodie est a.d. XIX Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 23 Poseideion II in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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This week the guys wrap up Book VIII of Vergil’s epic by discussing Aeneas’ amazing shield. Wrought by the ignipotens fire-forger Vulcan at the lascivious behest of his sometime bride Venus, the shield is an ekphrasis of Roman history. But how does it compare to its predecessor, that of Achilles from Iliad XVIII? Is it, in Jeff’s words, “too on the nose”? Or are there deeper meanings beneath the oxhide? And how does Aeneas compare to Odysseus in terms of plausible humanity? Should he tell some lies or bump some fists to seem more real? Come along for these questions and more — complete with tedious detours through Dante, supines, album covers, early Christian apologists, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast™! Did they leave out anything from this one?

“Trēs Amīcī” Mexicopolī congressī…

In the penultimate episode of season 1, “In Her Own Words: Ancient Women Authors,” we talk with historian and classicist Dr. Kate Cooper about gatekeeping, the privilege of individualism, and those rare surviving moments when women wrote for themselves. The famous Greek poet Sappho, who wrote of love and loss. Faltonia Betitia Proba, the elite Roman woman who adapted Virgil to tell Christian history. The pilgrim Egeria who described her tour of the Holy Lands to her circle of female friends back home. And of course we revisit Perpetua, the martyr from Carthage we first met in Episode 0.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

[Saturday] If it thunders today, it portends the outbreak of mice and the  deaths of many four-footed animals

[Sunday] If it thunders today , it portends a slave revolt, punishment for them, and an abundance of crops.

… 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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