Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for May 25th, 2023

Hodie est a.d. VIII Kal. Iun. 2776 AUC ~ 6 Thargelion in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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An ancient clay artefact that dates back to the 6th century BCE, the Cyrus Cylinder is often considered one of the most important documents in history. Covered in Akkadian inscriptions that provide invaluable insight into the reign of Cyrus the Great – it focuses on Cyrus’s conquering of Babylon and attempts of religious restoration. So where was this irreplaceable object found, and what else does it tell us about Cyrus the Great? In this bonus episode of our Babylon mini-series, Tristan welcomes Dr Irving Finkel from the British Museum, to help decode this incredible object. Looking at the religious messages, the description of Cyrus himself, and what it tells us about Babylon – what can we learn about the Achaemenid Empire and its political legacy?

This episode we return to the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ with a classic sword and sandal epic, Quo Vadis (1951). This film is available through many streaming platforms and we highly recommend revisiting it. In Part One of two episodes on Quo Vadis, we examine the context for the film and the plot…

When Diane Rayor was in college, a professor recommended a work by a 2600-year-old poet that changed her life. Now, after years of studying and translating the works of Sappho, the greatest woman poet in Ancient Greece, she joins Jacke for a conversation about her book Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works.

When Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, he walked into a civil war between the country’s new co-rulers: Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra. The romance between Caesar and Cleopatra is one of the most epic of ancient times. But we can’t tell you that story until you understand who Cleopatra was. And to understand Cleopatra, you have to understand the political element in which she swam. In this episode, we take you from the cutthroat intrigue of the Ptolemaic court to the volatile streets of Alexandria—and from Cleopatra’s early life to the events that led her to take an extreme gamble and team up with the man who’d just conquered Rome.

Iberia is the hinge between worlds: Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. That was never more true than at the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, when a new civilization – the Tartessians – arose in southern Iberia at the meeting point of these different worlds.

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a long-awaited rest and slackening of evils.

… 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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