Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for March 4, 2023

Hodie est a.d. IV Non. Mart. 2776 AUC ~ 12 Anthesterion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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This week Jeff and Dave are back at the Aeneid, wading into some deep waters murky and redolent with the unfulfilled wishes of Jupiter. As full-scale war erupts on the Latian plain, Venus and Juno bring their high-pitched quarrel to the king of Olympus, whose own hands, it turns out, are tied by the Parcae. As the Fates roll around in their El Camino, cutting short the threads of numerous heroes Sarpedon-like, men are dying on the field of battle like a scene straight out of the Iliad. But it’s not just questions of fate, of popsicle sticks, glue, and Fort Ticonderoga that occupy our sally into divine destiny. Along the way there is also room for Vergil’s frowzy digression on Ascanius’ lustral locks. What is he, a trichologist? Perhaps our poet was himself glabrous, and that explains his odd obsession with the young Iulus’ quiffs and frisettes? We comb through the evidence, attempting to answer this, and more.

The “Argonautica”, written by the third century poet Apollonius of Rhodes, is the only surviving epic poem from the Hellenistic period. Recounting the travels of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts as they searched for the Golden Fleece, Apollonius managed to pay homage to the works of Homer while also reinventing the genre to better reflect the scholarship coming out of Alexandria.

Augustine’s seminal book was written in the context of the Roman Empire, but it remains ever-relevant. Read by Leighton Pugh.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

[Saturday] If it thunders today, it portends great prosperity.

[Sunday] If it thunders today, it portends a sunny spring and fruitful summer.

… 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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