Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for March 9, 2023

Hodie est a.d. VII Id. Mart. 2776 AUC ~ 17 Anthesterion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Given his incredible career, you’d perhaps expect the name of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus to be better known. Born in North Africa in 145AD, he rose to power after distinguishing himself as a military commander at a time of great instability in the Roman Empire. Finally bringing the Year of the Five Emperors to an end, Severus was in power for nearly two decades – so how did he end up perishing in York? In this episode, Tristan welcomes back author (and Severus’ unofficial 21st Century biographer) Dr Simon Elliot. Together, they explore the life and legacy of Septimius Severus – looking at his impact on the history of Ancient Rome, as well as the bloody events surrounding his campaign in Scotland, and asking how one of the most powerful men in the world was eventually bought down.

We recap the confusing details of the 430s BCE. Be careful – there’s a lot of dictators about! …

Achilles has anger issues. The great Greek warrior sits out most of the Trojan War because he’s angrily sulking. When he finally enters battle, he does so in a fit of rage that causes him to commit atrocities and bring dishonor on himself. So what can we learn from this angry character in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad? With the help of Harvard classics expert Greg Nagy and anger counsellor Dr Faith Harper, we look at how anger can creep up on us and what we can do to defuse this sometimes explosive emotion.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends the downfall of humans and the proliferation of wild beast.

… 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)