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Ancient Greece Declassified

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to ancient Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.
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Now displaying: 2020
Mar 17, 2020
Rome conquered the Mediterranean world without a professional army, relying instead on its citizens to take up arms when necessary. How did these part-time soldiers defeat all the great powers of the ancient Mediterranean?

Our guest Steele Brand offers an original answer to this question in his new book Killing for the Republic: Citizen Soldiers and the Roman Way of War. Brand is professor of history at The King's College in New York City. His understanding of military matters is informed by his service in the US army as a tactical intelligence officer including a combat tour in Afghanistan.

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Support Ancient Greece Declassified on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast

Or make a one-time donation: paypal.me/greecepodcast

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Scholarly works mentioned during the conversation:

Arthur Eckstein, Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome, University of California Press, 2007. (discussed at the 33:55 mark)

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The intro to this episode was provided by Genn McMenemy and Jenny Williamson of the Ancient History Fangirl podcast, a show that offers wildly entertaining and well-researched journeys through the ancient world. Check it out at ancienthistoryfangirl.com

Feb 1, 2020

Penelope is one of the most compelling characters from ancient Greek mythology. And yet her intelligence and agency in Homer's Odyssey is seldom appreciated. Towards the end of the epic, Penelope comes face-to-face with Odysseus, who has finally returned home disguised as a beggar. After they exchange a few stories (with Odysseus still maintaining his disguise), Penelope sets in motion a chain of events that seals the fate of all the major characters in the story.

Since antiquity people have debated whether Penelope realizes who this beggar is or not. Obviously, how you come down on that question is going to profoundly affect how you see her as a character. Is she naive and passive or is she discerning and cunning?

Homeric scholar Olga Levaniouk has a unique take on this question and other aspects of Penelope's role. She joins us to illuminate the complexities of Penelope's character and mythological background. Levaniouk is Professor of Classics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and author of the book Eve of the Festival: Making Myth in Odyssey 19.

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Support Ancient Greece Declassified on Patreon:
patreon.com/greecepodcast

Or make a one-time donation:
paypal.me/greecepodcast

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Scholarly works mentioned during the conversation:

Elizabeth Barber, Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean, Princeton University Press, 1991. (discusses the shroud/tapestry Penelope weaves on pp. 258-9)

Louise Pratt, “Odyssey 19.535-50: On the Interpretation of Dreams and Signs in Homer,” Classical Philology 89 (1994): 150-52. (argues that the 20 geese in Penelope's dream symbolize the twenty years she has waited for Odysseus)

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