Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for May 24th, 2023

Hodie est a.d. IX Kal. Iun. 2776 AUC ~ 5 Thargelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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A new report on Iron Age temples in Jordan has us puzzled. How different are the cults to national gods and their shrines on both sides of the Jordan River, you know, really? And if a Moabite walked into a Judean bar, would you know? Watch us go from a very small building to huge questions about world religions!

This week Jeff and Dave take a look at the 5 canons of classical rhetoric, and how it is that great orators like Aeschines, Demosthenes, and Cicero gave their speeches to such successful effect. Was it nature? Were these men endowed with towering genius and preternatural giftedness? Yes, of course. Or was it nurture? Did they write speeches according to a fixed and carefully honed set of formulae? Yes, of course. This wide-ranging discussion has plenty of the nitty-gritty of the exordium, collocatio, etc., but we also look at some of the broader issues of what makes human communication effective – or not. You won’t want to miss this one, especially if you are a teacher or practitioner of rhetoric. And as Aristotle explains, that’s all of us.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends evils of such greatness that people will die when they hear about them.

… 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)