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Sunday, March 10, 2019

089 - The Breakdown of Peace

In this episode, we discuss the mid-5th century BC history of two areas that were important economically and politically to Athens--the west (the Sicel Revolt, Syracuse's defeat of Akragas, the establishment of Thurii, and new Athenian alliances with Segesta, Leontini, and Rhegium) and the northeast (the founding of Brea and Amphipolis on the Strymon River and rise of the Odrysrian kingdom of Thrace and the Spartokid dynasty of the Bosporan Kingdom); Athens' growing hostilities with Macedon; and the breakdown of the Thirty Years' Peace treaty (its inadequacies, the Samian Revolt, and Corcyraean/Corinthian hostilities with the battles of Leukimme and Sybota)

458/454 BC - Diplomatic alliance possibly established between Segesta and Athens
453 BC - Dulcetius organized a federation of the Sicel towns of central Sicily, aiming to bring the Greek cities under native Sicel rule of the island once again
452/1 BC - Sybaris was re-founded
451 BC - Ducetius defeated Akragas and Syracuse in battle 
450 BC - Syracuse avenged prior defeat by routing Ducetius' Sicel army at Nomae; Ducetius fled to Syracuse as a supplicant and was spared and exiled to Corinth
448 BC - Perdiccas II ascended to the Macedonian throne
446 BC - Ducetius returned from exile to Sicily to found Kale Akte on the northern coast
446/5 BC - Sybaris was destroyed by Croton once again; the growing power of the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace forced the Athenians to founded the colony of Brea somewhere on the lower reaches of the Strymon River 
445 BC - Akragas was defeated in battle by the Syracusans; the Athenians and Spartans agreed to the Thirty Year’s Peace treaty; the Sybarites approached Sparta and Athens for help; Leontini and Rhegium concluded diplomatic alliances with Athens
444 BC - The Athenians consolidated and reorganized their empire into five tribute paying areas (including Thrace, the Hellespont, Ionia, Caria, and the Aegean Islands)
444/3 BC - Panhellenic colony of Thurii was founded
442/1 BC - Thurii was defeated in battle by Taras
441/0 BC - Samos quarreled with Miletus
440 BC - Ducetius died from natural causes, the remnants of the Sicel federation were destroyed by Syracusans; the Samians defeated the Milesians, who then appealed to Athens for help; Samos refusal to meet Athens' demands caused them to revolt from the empire and seek aid from the new Persian satrap of Ionia and Caria, Pissuthnes
440/439 BC - Pericles led a nine month siege of Samos, bringing the rebellion to an end
439 BC - The Athenians reorganized their empire once again into four tribute paying areas (Thrace, the Hellespont, Ionia/Caria, and the Aegean Islands)
438 BC - the Archaianaktidai of the Bosporan Kingdom overthrown by Spartokos
438/7 BC - Series of legal and judicial attacks were made on Pericles and his friends
437/6 BC - The Athenians founded the colony of Amphipolis on the upper Strymon River; Pericles led a peaceful expedition into the Black Sea, most likely to secure the continued grain trade with the new Spartokidai dynasty of the Cimmerian Bosporus 
436/5 BC - Civil war broke out in Epidamnus (in northwest Greece) between the oligarchs and democrats, who turned to Corcyra and Corinth for aid
435 BC - Corcyra and Corinth went to war over the fate of Epidamnus; the Corcyraean navy defeated the Corinthian navy at the Battle of Cape Leukimme
434 BC - Athens backed Philip I in his quest to rid Perdiccas II from the Macedonian throne
434/3 BC - the Delphic oracle claimed Thurii for Apollo
433 BC - Athens concluded a defensive alliance with Corcyra; the naval battle of Sybota took place which ended in a stalemate but saw Athens and Corinth fight one another (straining the peace); the naval leaders were Lacadaemonius (Athens) and Aristeas (Corinth)
431 BC - Spartokos died and his son Satyros succeeded him as the Bosporan king

Greek words: aitiai (grievances), diaphorai (disputes), prophasis (truest explanation), apoikia (colony), oikistes (colony founder), proxenos (a kind of honorary consul who looked after the interests of another state's citizens in their own city-state), stasis (civil war), symmachia (an offensive and defensive alliance), epimachia (a defensive alliance only)

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:Hyades 40°N.png
File:Orion IAU.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:First six triangular numbers.svg
File:Square root of 2 triangle.svg
File:Hipocrat arcs.svg
File:Cube and doubled cube.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)

Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion.