30 episodios

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 Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics will include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.

Ancient Greece Declassified Dr. Lantern Jack

    • Historia

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 Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics will include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.

    29 Penelope: Weaver of Fate w/ Olga Levaniouk

    29 Penelope: Weaver of Fate w/ Olga Levaniouk

    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)

    • 1h 2 min
    28 Thucydides: A Historian for Our Time? w/ Emily Greenwood

    28 Thucydides: A Historian for Our Time? w/ Emily Greenwood

    The Athenian historian Thucydides observed and chronicled the greatest military conflict of his day: the epic contest between Athens and Sparta known as the Peloponnesian War (431-404BC). Much more than just a straightforward history, his work is a study of the struggle between democracy and oligarchy, as well as a meditation on the dangers of populism and political polarization. Perhaps for this reason, Thucydides' work has experienced a surge in popularity over recent years as polarization and civil strife have spread throughout the developed world.
    In this episode we are joined by Emily Greenwood, professor of classics at Yale University and author of Thucydides and the Shaping of History. Our conversation covers Thucydides' historical context, his ambition and purpose in writing his history, his insights and blindspots, and his relevance to our world.
    Stick around at the end of the episode for a chance to win an autographed edition of Thucydides and the Shaping of History.
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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:
    The Blinded Eye: Thucydides and the New Written Word, by Greg Crane (particularly Chapter 4: “Thucydidean Exclusions and the Language of Polis II: Oikos, Genos, and Polis”)
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    The intro to this episode was provided by Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Radford of The Partial Historians podcast. Dr. G and Dr. Rad both hold PhD's in Roman history and they offer a unique take on the Roman world that combines humor, storytelling, and scholarly rigor. Check out their pod at partialhistorians.com

    • 58 min
    27 Oligarchy, Part 2: Nemesis w/ Matt Simonton

    27 Oligarchy, Part 2: Nemesis w/ Matt Simonton

    What methods and institutions do oligarchic regimes use to maintain their power? How do they fend off the threat of democratic revolution? What happened to the many oligarchies of the ancient Mediterranean?
    All of these questions and more are explored in this second part of our conversation with historian Matt Simonton, author of Classical Greek Oligarchy.
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    Support us on Patreon:
    patreon.com/greecepodcast
    Or make a one-time donation:
    paypal.me/greecepodcast
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    Scholarly works mentioned during the conversation:
    Democracy: A Life, by Paul Cartledge

    • 40 min
    26 Oligarchy, Part 1: Genesis w/ Matt Simonton

    26 Oligarchy, Part 1: Genesis w/ Matt Simonton

    How do ancient oligarchies compare with modern authoritarian regimes? How did civil war in oligarchies differ from civil war in democracies? What does the age-old ideological struggle between democracy and oligarchy imply about our future? These are just a few of the questions we discuss on this and the next episode. 
    This episode covers: what oligarchy actually is, and how this political form arose in the first place. The next episode – Oligarchy, Part 2: Nemesis – is going to be about the institutions of oligarchic regimes, how they maintained their power, and how they tended to break down in the end.
    Joining us is ancient historian Matt Simonton of Arizona State University, author of the book Classical Greek Oligarchy, which won the Runciman Award in 2018. Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a chance to win an autographed, hard-cover edition of Classical Greek Oligarchy.
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    The intro to this episode was provided by host Kate Armstrong of The Exploress Podcast, which time-travels through women’s history, era by era, to explore their lives and their world. Check it out on your favorite app or at: theexploresspodcast.com 
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    Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast
    Or make a one-time donation: paypal.me/greecepodcast
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    Scholarly works mentioned during the conversation:
    The First Democracies: Early Popular Government Outside Athens, by Eric W. Robinson
    Democracy Beyond Athens: Popular Government in the Greek Classical Age, by Eric W. Robinson

    • 41 min
    25 The Origins of Philosophy w/ André Laks (Presocratics, Parmenides, Heraclitus)

    25 The Origins of Philosophy w/ André Laks (Presocratics, Parmenides, Heraclitus)

    According to the historical evidence, the first stirrings of philosophical inquiry began 2600 years ago in ancient Greece with a group of thinkers known as the Presocratics (or pre-Socratics). In this episode we try to shed light on these early pioneers of philosophy.
    Our guest is André Laks, professor of ancient philosophy at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. Laks is the co-editor of the recent 9-volume Harvard Loeb edition of the early Greek philosophical fragments – the first comprehensive edition to be made in over a hundred years. 
    Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a chance to win an autographed, hard-cover edition of Laks' book The Concept of Presocratic Philosophy. 
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    The intro to this episode was provided by host Drew Vahrencamp of Wonders of the World, a podcast that explores the most amazing historical sites around the world and the stories behind them (plus travel & food tips for visiting them). Check it out on your favorite app or at: wonderspodcast.com
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    Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation: paypal.me/greecepodcast

    • 55 min
    24 A History of Inequality w/ Walter Scheidel

    24 A History of Inequality w/ Walter Scheidel

    We live at a time of increasing economic inequality worldwide. What is driving this trend? And what are the factors that can stabilize or even reduce levels of inequality? Answering this question empirically would require a deep dive into the archives of history. One would have to sift through millennia of economic data across continents and civilizations.
    Our guest today took on this gargantuan task of writing a “global survey that covers the broad sweep of observable history” regarding inequality (as he puts it). Walter Scheidel is professor of Classics and History at Stanford University. He is a prolific author, and one of the most cited historians of Rome alive today. In 2017 he rekindled the debate about the history of inequality with the publication of his book The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century. 
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    ANNOUNCEMENT: Jeff Wright's long-awaited serial reimagining of Homer's Odyssey has finally launched! Check out "Odyssey: The Podcast" on your favorite app or listen at: odysseythepodcast.com
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    A big thank you to listener Hein Roehrig for your generous support through Patreon.
     

    • 52 min

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