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Ancient History Fangirl

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Ancient History Fangirl

Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy

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An ancient history podcast run by two Millennial women. Misbehaving emperors, poison assassins, mythological mayhem; it’s like if Hardcore History met up with My Favorite Murder in the ancient world, with a heavy helping of booze and laughter. New episodes weekly. Currently covering ancient mysteries.
 
The History of Ancient Greece Podcast is a deep-dive into one of the most influential and fundamental civilization in world history. Hosted by philhellene Ryan Stitt, THOAG spans over two millennia. From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Period, from Classical Greece to the Hellenistic kingdoms, and finally to the Roman conquest, this podcast will tell the history of a fundamental civilization by bringing to life the fascinating stories of all the ancient sources and scholarly interpretations of ...
 
The Near East - the region known politically as the Middle East - is the home of both a long and eventful history as well as a much longer and fascinating prehistory. Here on Pre History I will cover the story of the Near East as we know it from the archaeological study of what people left behind as hunter-gatherers turned into farmers, as villages turned into cities, and as empires rose and fell.
 
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In the second of two episodes on Roman Scotland the chat turns to the three main campaigns which Rome undertook there. What was Rome trying to achieve? What do we really know about them? How did they differ and what can they tell us in a wider context? We discuss this and much more (including answering some questions sent in). Episode notes on www.…
 
We’re joined today by Sara Richard—our Eisner and Ringo Award–nominated illustrator for the Women of Myth series. Sara worked with us to create the amazing illustrations for Women of Myth. Join us as we take you behind the scenes to discuss what it was like illustrating these incredible characters; which women of myth Sara felt the strongest connec…
 
Throughout much of history, the Jewish way of life has been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions legislated by the Torah: dietary laws, ritual purity, circumcision, Sabbath regulations, holidays, and more. But precisely when did this unique way of life first emerge, and why specifically at that time? In The Origins of…
 
In this episode, we discuss the life, influences, drawbacks, and positives of the Athenian military leader, philosopher, and historian--Xenophon (ca. 430-354 BC)--who was one of Sokrates' more famous pupils; and the post-Peloponnesian war Panhellenic campaign into the heart of the Persian Empire that he made famous through his writings (the Anabasi…
 
Archaeologist Ilka Knüppel discusses her master's thesis—The Search for Jesus's Final Steps: How Archaeological and Literary Evidence Reroutes the Via Dolorosa—and how she came to write it. To use both ‘archaeological and literary evidence’ requires digging in both the earth and in books, and to ‘reroute’ the Via Dolorosa reveals that many of the t…
 
Is the search for meaning a luxury of the modern world or have human beings always struggled to find meaning in the human condition – in the face of suffering, injustice and the finality of life? In Ecclesiastes and the Meaning of Life in the Ancient World (Cambridge UP, 2022), Arthur Keefer offers a timely assessment of Ecclesiastes and what it ha…
 
Professor Cathleen Chopra-McGowan examines some the incongruities of our Bible in the context of the Ancient Near East, showing how the stories and traditions of Israel resembled and borrowed from those of Babylon and Assyria. She compares the Genesis narrative to two others, the epics of Gilgamesh and Atra-Hasis, especially discussing the universa…
 
In Opening Kailasanatha: The Temple in Kanchipuram Revealed in Time and Space (U Washington Press, 2020), Padma Kaimal deciphers the intentions of the monument’s makers, reaching back across centuries to illuminate worldviews of the ancient Indic south. By focusing on the material form of the complex—the architecture, inscriptions, and sculptures, …
 
This episode originally appeared on our Patreon! We're releasing it on our main feed because we also include Atargatis in Women of Myth. We hope you enjoy! The Spartacus of the First Servile War--a man named Eunus--was a worshipper of Atargatis, an ancient goddess of the sea often depicted as a mermaid. Atargatis was one of the most important godde…
 
These are troubling days for the humanities. In response, a recent proliferation of works defending the humanities has emerged. But, taken together, what are these works really saying, and how persuasive do they prove? The Battle of the Classics: How a Nineteenth-Century Debate Can Save the Humanities Today (Oxford UP, 2020) demonstrates the crucia…
 
In his new book, theologian Matthew Thomas takes on the big question of what the Apostle Paul means when he talks about "Works of the Law" -- as opposed to Grace -- in terms of Justification, addressing a long-standing debate between biblical scholars and using second-century sources to adjudicate the question. The stakes of the faithful, and what …
 
For many centuries, Hindu temples and shrines have been of great importance to South Indian religious, social and political life. Aside from being places of worship, they are also pilgrimage destinations, centres of learning, political hotspots, and foci of economic activities. In these temples, not only the human and the divine interact, but they …
 
This week, we explore monster mythology from countries all over southeast Asia—and we invited Nikki and Kalai from the Creepy Conversations podcast to come on our show and creep us out. Hailing from the Philippines and Singapore, they cover all things creepy from southeast Asian mythology, including monsters, urban legends, ghost stories, true crim…
 
In the first of two episodes on Roman Scotland Dr Andrew Tibbs unwraps the different types of fortifications the Romans built. From the large forts through to the small watchtowers we can learn a lot about how the Roman army functioned in Scotland and in general. We also get to answer some questions you sent in which range from logistics to somethi…
 
Divine Descent and the Four World-Ages in the Mahābhārata reflects on the theology of time in this early Hindu text and poses the key question: why does the Krishna avatāra inaugurate the worst yuga? The Sanskrit Mahābhārata describes a massive war facilitated by God and the gods. That war took place between the third and the last ages of a 12,000-…
 
We are SO excited that we have a book coming out in February 2023! Our book, Women of Myth, will be available worldwide from Simon and Schuster. Listen in as we talk about our favorite Women of Myth from around the world with Liv Albert from Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! Our book is about epic women in mythology from around the world. We cover a di…
 
"The close attention required for editing and translating gives Olivelle an unparalleled understanding of the texts and inspires numerous articles and essays contained in this volume that draw out key ideas and insights from those same sources. Only careful philological editing and the hard, interpretive choices of translation enable progress in ou…
 
Hung-Yok Ip's Grassroots Activism of Ancient China: Mohism and Nonviolence ( Lexington Books, 2022) examines Mohism as a movement in early China, focusing on the Mohists’ pursuit of power. Fashioning themselves as grassroots activists, the Mohists hoped to impact the elite by gaining entry in its community and influencing it from within. To create …
 
In Reconstructing the Talmud: An Introduction to the Academic Study of Rabbinic Literature (Hadar Press, 2014), Joshua Kulp and Jason Rogoff introduce the modern Talmud student to the techniques developed over the last century for uncovering how this literature developed. This work introduces the reader to the world of academic Talmudic research an…
 
It's the end of Season 8! It's been a wild, weird and wonderful season of ancient mysteries and we are so glad we got to tell you these tales! We'll be plunging right into our next season the week after this drops--no break this time. Listen in to hear our thoughts about the previous season and our plans for the future. Thank you so much for coming…
 
The "Black Desert" in the northern Arabian Peninsula is home to thousands of pieces of rock art - both written inscriptions and figural images - left there by the region's nomadic inhabitants during the Hellenistic and Roman periods ca. 2,000 years ago. Dr. Nathalie Brusgaard received her PhD (Leiden University, 2019) for her research into this roc…
 
Eight women appear in Neo-Assyrian sources from the 7th and 8th centuries BCE with the ambiguous but intriguing title 'queen of the Arabs.' Despite providing a rare glimpse of power wielded by women in this period, these rulers remain under-studied and often misunderstood in Assyriology. Aiming to correct these misconceptions, 'the queens of the Ar…
 
Tracing practical reason from its origins to its modern and contemporary permutations, the Greek discovery of practical reason, as the skilled performance of strategic thinking in public and private affairs, was an intellectual breakthrough that remains both a feature of and a bug in our modern world. Countering arguments that rational choice-makin…
 
Professor Matthew Thomas returns to explain how we can place the Gospels in time and context using both internal clues (literary evidence) and the external ones (anthropological evidence). These are the first steps on a path of the many centuries of transmission toward the Bible we have today; Matthew Thomas tells why they are so important and wher…
 
What does the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible have to say about nomads and nomadism in the ancient Near East? This episode explores nomadism in the Judaic religious tradition through the eyes of the authors of the Old Testament. Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices…
 
The essential handbook for doing historical research in the twenty-first century The Princeton Guide to Historical Research (Princeton UP, 2021) provides students, scholars, and professionals with the skills they need to practice the historian's craft in the digital age, while never losing sight of the fundamental values and techniques that have de…
 
A bonus episode in honor of Womens History Month! Learn all about Samsi, one of the queens of the ancient Arabs, and what her story can tell us about gender and the status of women among nomadic peoples and empires in the ancient Near East. Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License. Wretched Destroyer by Kevin MacLeod. License. C…
 
This episode discusses the nomadic Arab tribes between about 850 and 450 BCE. What do we know about their lifestyles, cultures, and relationships with the empires around them? Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License. All other sounds courtesy of the BBC Sound Archive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoic…
 
Imagine a desert stretching over 1,500 miles along the Peruvian coastline, between the high Andes to the east and the vast Pacific coastline to the west. A place of brilliant colors and contradictions. This is the driest desert in the world. Astronauts use it to simulate conditions on Mars. This is the home of the Nazca Lines: huge, beautifully mad…
 
Matthew Thomas, theologian and biblical scholar, explains how the Bible got to be the Bible, how confident we can be in its historicity, and on what authority we can trust such judgments. We talk about the languages of the Scripture and their transmission over time, and how we see the emergence of the documents that would later become the Bible alr…
 
If you know anything about Mithras, you might have the impression that he was kind of a proto-Jesus. Turns out that’s wrong. Think of this as less of a seasonal episode, and more of a seasonal myth-busting episode. Get ready for the epic story of a bull-slaughtering, mushroom-tripping, light-bringing, Emperor-pee-drinking, hierarchy-maintaining, Sm…
 
This is a bonus episode from our Patreon-exclusive catalog! This episode is usually only available to subscribers at the $10 level and up, but we decided to release it on our main feed as a Saturnalia gift to our listeners. We have a lot of episodes in our Patreon back catalog where Liv Albert of Let's Talk About Myths, Baby joins in with Genn to e…
 
In Writing With Scripture: Scripturalized Narrative in the Gospel of Mark (T&T Clark, 2022), Nathanael Vette proposes that the Gospel of Mark, like other narrative works in the Second Temple period, uses the Jewish scriptures as a model to compose episodes and tell a new story. Vette compares Mark's use of scripture with roughly contemporary works …
 
This year, we’ve found one of the most metal and wild Yuletide goddesses yet – Frau Holle. Human sacrifices, spindles in yer vag, plague, starvation, caves of offerings and bones, the Grimms brothers, golden showers, child cannibalism, ZOMBIES – are any of these putting you in the Yuletide spirit? They should. Because we’re about to share with you …
 
In the depths of winter a festival took place which celebrated the goddess Demeter, the Haloa. It was an all woman affair with drinking, fire and an all night feast. Oh, and rude language was a must. Episode notes on ancientblogger.com with images, a transcipt, sources and further reading. Music by Brakhage (Le Vrai Instrumental).…
 
Teotihuacan is an ancient pre-Colombian city in central America, founded two thousand years ago. It’s the home of some of the most iconic Mesoamerican monuments in existence, including the Pyramids of the Moon and Sun. The city was abandoned after about 750 years of habitation. When the Aztecs first encountered it, it had stood empty for 600 years.…
 
In this latest publication in the TII Heritage series, the long prehistory of Kells and its hinterland is shown to be written on the landscape in foundation trenches and boundary ditches, pits, post-holes, hearths, and myriad other marks of human life, which were discovered along the route of the M3 Clonee to Kells motorway project and recorded by …
 
Identities and Ideologies in the Medieval East Roman World (Edinburgh UP, 2022) examines ideas, beliefs and practices of identification in the medieval East Roman world Approaches ideology and identity in the Byzantine world from different perspectives, top-down, bottom-up, and outside-in, and from various disciplinary perspectives including histor…
 
Words for the Heart: A Treasury of Emotions from Classical India (Princeton UP, 2022) is a captivating treasury of emotion terms drawn from some of India’s earliest classical languages. Inspired by the traditional Indian genre of a “treasury”—a wordbook or anthology of short texts or poems—this collection features 177 jewel-like entries evoking the…
 
The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest, largest, most sophisticated Bronze Age civilizations we know about today. Roughly 80 cities and towns have been unearthed that were part of it. The biggest—perhaps the most important—was a city called Mohenjo Daro. There were no kings at Mohenjo Daro, no priests and few signs of organized religion…
 
In a podcast about books that have changed the world, I bring you the book that I think changed the world the most: The Hebrew Bible. Specifically, the first book of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis. The Book of Genesis is an account of the origins of the world, human beings, and the Jewish people. It is a foundational text for three world religions: Juda…
 
How did gladiators take hold in Rome? Where did they come from and how was their use moulded by the big political events of the 1st century BC? In this episode I get into this and other aspects such as a few myths and their fighting stats. Thanks to Gladiator Doodles for the fab artwork! Full episode notes including a transcript, sources and images…
 
As we finish off the Neolithic we must first go backwards to one of the less well known but vastly important cultures of the Neolithic Near East - the Samarra. As the first known Neolithic culture of Southern Mesopotamia the Samarra gave rise to many developments which underpinned the later civilisations of this part of the ancient Near East. It is…
 
In Human Being, Bodily Being: Phenomenology from Classical India (Oxford UP, 2021), Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad offers illuminating new perspectives on contemporary phenomenological theories of body and subjectivity, based on studies of diverse classical Indian texts. He argues for a 'phenomenological ecology' of bodily subjectivity in health, gender, …
 
For over a thousand years, the ancient Egyptians sent their ships out to trade with a fabulous kingdom. They dragged their ships from the Nile to the coast of the Red Sea, and those ships returned groaning with luxuries beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings. The place they got it all from was the Land of Punt—known to the Egyptians as the Land of the …
 
A gulf of centuries separates the Byzantine Empire from the academic field of Byzantine studies. The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe offers a new approach to the history of Byzantine scholarship, focusing on the attraction that Byzantium held for Early Modern Europeans and challenging the stereotype that they dismissed the Byzantine E…
 
Perched on a cliff at the edge of the world in the remote Orkney Islands, the ancient village of Skara Brae is a picturesque and dramatic sight. Carved into an ancient midden, it’s a warren of interconnected dwellings with built-in furniture, secret compartments, and more than a few mysteries. What did the people of Skara Brae get up to when the li…
 
When it comes to epic poetry, there’s a strong case to be made that the Ancient Indian story the Mahābhārata is the most epic. Clocking in at around 100,000 verses, the Mahābhārata is roughly seven times The Iliad and The Odyssey combined. This foundational Hindu text tells the story of a war between two sets of cousins who are fighting over who ge…
 
George Tyrrell insisted that the quest for the historical Jesus was no more than scholars staring into a well to see their own reflections staring back. Jesus is the mirror image of those who study him. A similar phenomenon accompanies the quest for the historical Magi, those mysterious travelers who came from the East, following a star to Bethlehe…
 
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