Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for January 26, 2023

Hodie est a.d. VII Kal. Feb. 2776 AUC ~ 5 Gamelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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One of the most famous cities in history – Babylon is shrouded in mystery and myth. Located in ancient Mesopotamia, now modern Iraq, it was one of the epicentres of ancient culture, architecture, and the home of famous figures such as Hammurabi. But what do we actually know about Babylon – and what can we learn from ancient sources and modern archaeology? In this episode, Tristan is joined by Oxford scholar Stephanie Dalley who helps us separate fact from fiction. Looking at famous sites such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Ziggurat of Ur – what can we learn about Babylon, and what legacy has it left behind?

This episode originally appeared on our Patreon! We’re releasing it on our main feed because we also include Atargatis in Women of Myth. We hope you enjoy! The Spartacus of the First Servile War–a man named Eunus–was a worshipper of Atargatis, an ancient goddess of the sea often depicted as a mermaid. Atargatis was one of the most important goddesses of ancient Syria–with roots that went all the way back to the Bronze Age. Her temple in Hierapolis had a lake hundreds of fathoms deep, filled with fantastical fishes, and a bejewelled statue of the goddess whose eyes followed your every movement. But in Rome, Atargatis’ religion was one of underdogs, foreigners, and the marginalized–much like the religion of Dionysus. And, like the cult of Dionysus, it threatened the Roman status quo. Find out what made this Syrian mermaid goddess so phenomenal, powerful, and dangerous to the Roman aristocracy.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends many being killed by a man in power, but in the end he will get his come uppance.

… 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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