Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for March 17, 2023

Hodie est a.d. XVI Kal. Apr. 2776 AUC ~ 25 Anthesterion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Perhaps best known from the Biblical tale of David and Goliath, the Philistines were an ancient civilisation who lived on the south coast of Canaan. Despite living over a millennia ago, their name has been rebranded as a description of someone who disregards intellectual pursuits – but how, and why, was this connection made? Just who were the philistines, and what do we know about them? In today’s episode, Tristan is joined by archaeologist, and leading Philistine expert, Dr Aren Maeir, leader of excavations for several years at Gath, the ancient Philistine city. Looking at the archaeology, Aren is able to build a picture of how Philistine civilisation functioned, and what they were really like. So is it fair to use their culture as an insult, or have we been wrong this entire time?

During the Illyrian Wars of 229-228 and 219, the Roman Republic would intervene in the affairs of Greece for the first time. Their swift defeats of Queen Teuta and Demetrius of Pharos impressed the Greek communities, but would draw the attention of King Philip V of Macedonia.

When the Emperor Valerian was captured by the enemy what the empire needed was a trusted, capable, firm set of hands to take on the imperial mantle. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t his son Gallienus. For the next eight years Gallienus would rule as sole emperor and proceed to lose two thirds of the empire, leaving Rome at its weakest position in centuries. Part I of ‘Gallienus’ Guest: Associate Professor Caillan Davenport (Head of the Centre for Classical Studies at the Australian National University).

Liv is joined by associate professor George Kovacs to give us all a much needed appreciation of Aristophanes and the Thesmophoriazusae.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends something unexpected affecting the people with disaster after disaster for men and beasts.

… 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)