Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for March 21, 2023

Hodie est a.d. XII Kal. Apr. 2776 AUC ~ 29 Anthesterion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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This week’s guest is James Romm, author of Demetrius: Sacker of Cities. James is an Ancient Historian and an expert in the period after the death of Alexander, when 5 families fought for control of his empire. Demetrius was one of them, and was a hugely attractive figure. Oliver and James chat about whether Alexander was murdered, Pyrrhus of Epirus and what would the ancient world would have looked like had Alexander had survived. We’d all be speaking Greek, no doubt.

Remember way back when the Trojans were “eating their tables”? Well, in Book 11 their tables seem to be turning. Seems like just yesterday Aeneas was raging as Rambo and Turnus was carrying himself with Hector-like respectability. Sed ecce!—Aeneas is handing out truces like sticks of Big Red and actually validating hurt Latin feelings, while Turnus’ allies are turning against him and blaming him for the whole mess. Even old Diomedes is once bitten, twice shy, telling the Latins there is no way he’s tangling with Venus or her son ever again. So that’s it? It’s over? Not quite—Turnus has a couple of aces up his sleeve, including a spear-swift, water-walking, grain-skipping warrior maiden who is juuuuuust over the horizon.

In today’s episode, Dr. Anna Bonnell Freidin joins Melissa and Chelsea to talk about risk, pregnancy, and childbirth in the ancient Roman empire. Listen in as we discuss the definitions of risk in various contexts, how women’s lives were affected by risks associated with pregnancy, childbearing, and delivery, and how the concept of communities of care might link us to people who lived long ago. This episode discusses infant and maternal death, so might not be appropriate for our youngest listeners.

She may have been mother to one of the most famous heroes, but Thetis did and meant so much more.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends prosperity after wars and destructive hot weather.

… 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)