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Sunday, February 17, 2019

088 - Thucydides and Periclean Politics



In this episode, we discuss the life, influences, drawbacks, and positives of the “Father of Scientific History”, Thucydides; and the domestic political scene in Athens in the late 440s and early 430s BC, including the ostracism of Thucydides (not the historian) and the series of personal and judicial attacks on Pericles and his three closest associates (Phidias, Aspasia, and Anaxagoras)


Sunday, February 3, 2019

087 - Rhetoric and the Sophists



In this episode, we describe the development of rhetoric in the ancient Greek world as an art that could be studied and employed in the law courts and for political purposes, and its importance especially in Classical Athens; the roles and various opinions of the Sophists, who were lecturers that traveled from city to city, teaching not only rhetoric but also all of the other important subjects that were not being covered by an Athenians’ traditional education; and the lives, influences, writings, and various theories put forth by the earliest Rhetoricians and Sophists, including synopses on several of Plato's dialogues (Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias Major and Hippias Minor)


Rhetoricians and Sophists Discussed:
Korax and Tisias of Syracuse (fl. mid-5th century BC)

Protagoras of Abdera (ca. 490-420 BC)
Gorgias of Leontini (ca. 485-375 BC)
Antiphon of Rhamnous (ca. 480-411 BC)
Hippias of Elis (ca. 460-400 BC)
Prodicus of Keos (ca. 465-390 BC)
Thrasymachus of Chalcedon (ca. 459-400 BC)


Primary Sources Discussed:

Greek words: rhetorike (rhetoric), rhetor (orator), logon techne (skill with arguments), sophia (wisdom), Sophistes (experts, literally “those who have become wise”), physiologoi (natural philosophers), physis (nature), nomos (law or custom), techne (art or skill), arete (excellence or virtue), macrologia (many words), paradoxologia (the idea of paradoxical thought and expression), schemata (figures of speech), isokolon (balanced clauses), antithesis (the joining of contrasting ideas), parison (the structure of successive clauses), homoeoteleuton (the repetition of word endings), epitaphios (funeral oration), topos (plausible argument), logos (logical), ethos (ethical), pathos (emotional), deiknunai (to show), epideiktikos ("showoff" speech), enkomion (praise), dunamis (power), logographoi (speech writers), poly (many or much), mathes (having learned), polymathes (polymath, literally "someone who has learned a lot"), kalon (beauty or noble)


Sunday, January 20, 2019

**Special Guest Episode on Drinking and 'Sportsing' w/Amy Pistone**

This is the third episode in a series where I converse with Classicists about either books or articles that they have published, their current research interests, or just unique classes and topics that they are teaching and exploring further. 

In today's special guest episode, I am joined by Dr. Amy Pistone, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Notre Dame University in South Bend, INHer dissertation, titled "When the Gods Speak: Oracular Communication and Concepts of Language in Sophocles", explores the misunderstanding of oracular or prophetic speech in Sophoclean tragedy and situates his plays within the intellectual context of late-5th century BC AthensHer primary research areas include Greek tragedy in general, Greek and Roman drinking culture, early Greek philosophy and scientific thought, women in the ancient world and feminist theory, reception and re-performance of ancient theater, and pedagogy. 

In particular, Dr. Pistone is interested in the role that drinking (both proper and improper) plays in the ancient Greek world and uses this to reflect on the modern world. She has presented several papers (including "The DYskoleteron Δυσκολώτερον Σκόλιον: A New Model of the Skolion Game in Antiquity" and “Take a Joke, Take a Drink: Ancient Greek Drinking Culture”) and has taught several classes to that effect (including "Drinking (and) Culture in the Ancient World" and "Intoxicating Poetry")She also has an interest in ancient athletics, and when she is not molding the minds of future classicists, she referees collegiate football and basketball games. So due to the unique confluence of these two interests, I invited Dr. Pistone on to talk about ancient Greek drinking culture with a side of sports, aka how college students can relate to the ancient Greeks.



Here are some of the images mentioned in the episode:

An image of “kottabos with a pole” getting set up



A sassy kottabos player


What might be a specialized kottabos cup


And some great vases with women having parties!



One of Dr. Pistone's favorite silly vases!




Recommended Bibliography

Goldman, Max L."Associating the Aulêtris: Flute Girls and Prostitutes in the Classical Greek Symposium." Helios, vol. 42 no. 1, 2015, pp. 29-60.

Slater, W.J. "Symposium at Sea". Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 80 (1976), pp. 161-170.

Topper, Kathryn. "The Imagery of the Athenian Symposium". Cambridge University Press (2012).

  • Vickers, Michael. "A Kottabos cup in Oxford". American Journal of Archaeology 78 (1974).

Sunday, December 23, 2018

086 - Early Astronomy

In this episode, part four of four on a series on Greek philosophy, mathematics, and science in the 5th century BC, we describe the earliest astronomical observations and calculations in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and their influence on ancient Greek astronomy; the various planets and star constellations found in Greek literature, as well as the origins of the Zodiac; the earliest Greek astronomical speculations of the universe found in Greek mythology (Homer and Hesiod) and in Pre-Socratic philosophy; the Pythagorean model of the universe put forward by Philolaus; and the astronomical calculations made by Oenopides and Meton


File:Boötes IAU.svg
File:Big dipper from the kalalau lookout at the kokee state park in hawaii.jpg
File:Ursa Major IAU.svg
File:UrsaMajorCC.jpg
File:Hyades 40°N.png
File:Hyades.jpg
File:Orion IAU.svg
File:Antichthon.svg


Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

085 - Mathematics and Early Pythagoreans

In this episode, part three of four on a series on Greek philosophy, mathematics, and science in the 5th century BC, we describe the lives, influences, and various theories and discoveries made by Greece's earliest mathematicians, including Thales, Pythagoras, Hippasus and the early Pythagoreans, Oenopides, Hippocrates, Antiphon, Bryson, Democritus, and Theodoros


File:Thales Theorem 6.svg
File:Pythagorean.svg
File:Monad.svg
File:First six triangular numbers.svg
File:Tetractys.svg
File:Square root of 2 triangle.svg
File:Hipocrat arcs.svg
File:Lune.svg
File:Cube and doubled cube.svg
File:Neusis-trisection.svg
File:Escargot pythagore.png


Monday, November 26, 2018

084 - Pluralists and Other Physiologoi

In this episode, part two of four on a series on Greek philosophy, mathematics, and science in the 5th century BC, we describe the lives, influences, and various theories put forth by the Pluralist School (Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and Archelaus), as well as by various other Pre-Socratic physiologoi (aka natural philosophers) not associated with a particular school, such as Hippon and Diogenes of Apollonia, and the philosopher/medical theorist Alcmeon


File:Empedocles cosmic cycle concept map.svg

Sunday, October 28, 2018

082 - The Leader of the Muses

In this episode, we discuss the myths, iconography, and cultic worship of Apollo, the god of music, poetry, prophecy, truth, healing, medicine, plague, light, and knowledge, who served as a kind of symbol for young Greek boys to emulate
  
File:Muse reading Louvre CA2220.jpg
File:Muses sarcophagus Louvre MR880.jpg
File:Erato monte calvo.jpg
File:Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek - Melpomene.jpg
File:Polyhymnia monte calvo.jpg
File:Terpsichore from Villa Adriana (Prado E-41) 01.jpg
File:Thalia from Villa Adriana (Prado E-38) 01.jpg
File:Urania Pio-Clementino Inv293.jpg


Recommended Sources for Further Reading:

Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:
Myths and Legends Episode 91 Greek Myths: Fatherhood
Mythology Translated Ep 25 Equal Opportunity Offending
Mythology Translated Ep 74 Musing On Muses
MythTake Episode 04 Helios
MythTake Episode 20 Homeric Hymn to Apollo (Part 1)
MythTake Episode 22 Homeric Hymn to Apollo (Part 2)
MythTake Episode 23 Homeric Hymn to Apollo (Part 3)

Bibliography:
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion.