120 episodes

Aven & Mark discuss etymology, history, literature, language, and cocktails, and the sometimes surprising connections between them all.

The Endless Knot Mark Sundaram & Aven McMaster

    • History
    • 4.7 • 45 Ratings

Aven & Mark discuss etymology, history, literature, language, and cocktails, and the sometimes surprising connections between them all.

    Ovid's Metamorphoses in the 21st Century

    Ovid's Metamorphoses in the 21st Century

    In this episode we talk to the authors of two new books on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Latin epic poem he wrote in 8 CE. Stephanie McCarter has published a new translation of the poem, and Gareth Williams has written a short interpretive introductory work on the epic to go with the Columbia Core Curriculum. We talked with both of them about the way Ovid fits into contemporary society, what considerations there are when teaching this epic, and the joys and difficulties of engaging with Ovid’s poetic brilliance.
    Content note for sexual violence and brief description of trauma.
    LingComm23
    LingFest
    @AllEndlessKnot@toot.community
    Stephanie McCarter’s website
    Ovid’s Metamorphoses
    Gareth Williams faculty page
    On Ovid’s Metamorphoses
    “Landscape Near Rome during Storm” by Simon Denis
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    The Bellini, Art, and Patronage

    The Bellini, Art, and Patronage

    As we get ready to mark the new year, it seems a good time to talk about a classic cocktail made with sparkling wine: the Bellini. Our conversation takes us to Italy, in the 20th century, the 15th century, and the 1st century BCE, to Renaissance art and the Roman practice of patronage, and more. Happy New Year!
    “Rewriting the history of art patronage”, by Jaynie Anderson. Renaissance Studies. Vol. 10, No. 2, Women Patrons of Renaissance Art, 1300–1600 (JUNE 1996), pp. 129-138.
    “Isabella d'Este and Giovanni Bellini's 'Presepio'“, by J. M. Fletcher. The Burlington Magazine. Vol. 113, No. 825, Venetian Painting (Dec., 1971), pp. 703-713.
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    • 1 hr 26 min
    Haggard Hawks, back again!

    Haggard Hawks, back again!

    We welcome back Paul Anthony Jones, of Haggard Hawks fame, to ell us about his new book “Why Is This a Question?”. We talk about how his experience of social media has changed since we last interviewed him in 2016, what it was like researching a book covering such wide-ranging topics, the state of the publishing industry, and more.
    Haggard Hawks
    Our previous interview with Paul (episode 21)
    Citogenesis (the Wikipedia citation problem) coined in xkcd comic
    Ridley, R. T. “To Be Taken with a Pinch of Salt: The Destruction of Carthage.” Classical Philology, vol. 81, no. 2, 1986, pp. 140–46.
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Music and Language

    Music and Language

    We talk about the origins of music, its connection (both etymological and scientific) with the mind, how language is used to describe and teach music, the Muses, and the Museum of Alexandria. Also featuring brief cameos from music YouTuber 12Tone.
    Monk’s Muse Cocktail
    12Tone’s video “Why Do Notes Have Names?”
    Ghost Notes Podcast
    “Future” video
    Murdoch Mysteries episode “The Dominion of New South Mimico”
    Language: The Cultural Tool by Daniel Everett
    Erskine, Andrew. “Culture and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Museum and Library of Alexandria.” Greece & Rome, vol. 42, no. 1, 1995, pp. 38–48. JSTOR.
    Hardie, Alex. “Etymologising the Muse.” Materiali e Discussioni per l’analisi Dei Testi Classici, no. 62, 2009, pp. 9–57. JSTOR.
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Endangered Alphabets, with Tim Brookes

    Endangered Alphabets, with Tim Brookes

    We spoke with Tim Brooks of the Endangered Alphabets project about the cultural importance of scripts, the pressures on marginalized and isolated scripts, his beautiful wood carvings, and the various initiatives he and his group have been working on to support script revitalization and creation around the world.
    Website: Endangered Alphabets
    Inhabit Media
    Twitter: @endangeredalpha
    Instagram: @endangeredalphas
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Widows, Indian Independence, and Partition

    Widows, Indian Independence, and Partition

    Commemorating the 6th anniversary of the death of Mark’s father, and the 75th anniversary of Indian independence, this episode connects widows and partition, and while also touching on the legacy of Alexander the Great, the origins of badminton and tennis, and obscure typesetting vocabulary.
    Merry Widow Cocktail
    Black Widow Cocktail
    Olson, Kelly. “Fringed Clothing in Roman Iconography and Written Sources.” Textiles in Ancient Mediterranean Iconography, edited by SUSANNA HARRIS et al., Oxbow Books, 2022, pp. 149–60.
    Olson, Kelly. "Insignia Lugentium: Female Mourning Garments in Roman Antiquity". American Journal of Ancient History (New Series 3-4, 2004-2005 [2007]): 3-4, 2004, pp. 89-130.
    Hagerman, Christopher A. “In the Footsteps of the 'Macedonian Conqueror": Alexander the Great and British India.” International Journal of the Classical Tradition, vol. 16, no. 3/4, 2009, pp. 344–92.
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    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Mona Beydoun ,

HelloOkay

So fun! I love this podcast. A great accompaniment to chores and working out - keeps my mind active and engaged.

sooty chat ,

Project & enunciate …

Love the content and the format. But Aven has to keep voice level evenly up, and articulate end of sentences clearly. Mark can slow down his monologue sections. Other than that, great job.😊

MoxieMuffins ,

Mixed Feelings

I only just discovered this podcast. I’m listening to the back catalogue, working my way forward. I’ve only made it to episode 3: Pluto. I’m torn because I’m really intrigued by the content and want to tune in, BUT I stopped halfway through because I could not stand to listen to Aven ramble on and on any longer. She totally steamrolls over Mark the entire time. Talking over him, finishing his sentences, jumping in and taking over a story he’s telling. It’s so distracting, I can barely even get the point he’s trying to make. I realize this is early on when they were just starting, I’m hoping to gets better. Does it get get better???

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