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Episodes

Episode 70: Rome's Forgotten Epic (Statius' Thebaid)

9/8/2019
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Statius’ Thebaid, Books 1-6. This epic is hardly ever read or taught these days, but in 100 CE, it was as famous as anything in the Roman world.

Duration:01:55:04

Episode 69: Rome's Comic Novel (Petronius' Satyricon)

8/25/2019
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Petronius’ Satyricon is a contender for history’s first novel, a picaresque filled with sex, misadventures, and details about daily life.

Duration:02:00:08

Episode 68: Love Means Sin (Seneca's Phaedra)

8/4/2019
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Seneca’s Phaedra (c. 50s CE) is the story of an illicit passion, a stoic cautionary tale and simultaneously vivid character study.

Duration:01:34:30

Episode 67: Jaws Dripping Blood (Seneca's Thyestes)

7/17/2019
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Seneca’s Thyestes, probably written around the 50s CE, is one of the most horrifying and influential plays ever written.

Duration:01:12:48

Episode 66: Stoicism, Seneca, St. Paul

6/26/2019
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Stoicism, starting with Zeno in 300 BCE, was a popular philosophy by the lifetime of Seneca, perhaps even making its way into the New Testament.

Duration:01:34:18

Episode 65: Seneca and the Julio-Claudians (The Life of Seneca)

3/30/2019
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Seneca the Younger (c 1 BCE-65 CE) practiced the philosophy of stoicism over the course of several volatile, and very different imperial reigns.

Duration:02:06:34

Episode 64: Ovid's Exile (The Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto)

2/22/2019
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For mysterious reasons, in 8 CE, Ovid was exiled from Rome. Ovid’s last works were composed an ocean away from Italy, on the western shore of the Black Sea.

Duration:01:39:27

Episode 63: All Is in Flux (Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 11-15)

2/7/2019
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Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Books 11-15. The vast Metamorphoses draws to a resonant conclusion as Ovid brings his great poem to Rome itself.

Duration:02:11:18

Episode 62: A Curious Passion (Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 6-10)

1/27/2019
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Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Books 6-10. In the middle portion of Ovid’s great poem, psychological transformations become as gripping as physical ones.

Duration:02:06:40

Episode 61: Changes of Shape (Ovid's Metamorphoses, Books 1-5)

1/13/2019
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Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Books 1-5. This book influenced thousands of years of later literature, and remains one of our best source texts on classical mythology.

Duration:02:14:32

Episode 60: How to Make Love to a Roman (Ovid's Art of Love and Cure for Love)

12/10/2018
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Ovid’s Art of Love is ancient Rome’s manual of seduction – a record of the steamier side of the Augustan Age.

Duration:01:49:29

Episode 59: Early Ovid (Amores, Heroides)

11/13/2018
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The love poetry of Ovid (43 BCE-17 CE) was standard Latin curriculum for hundreds of years, but it was also the product of a very specific historical moment.

Duration:01:30:09

Episode 58: She Caught Me with Her Eyes (Propertius' Poetry)

10/10/2018
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Propertius (c. 50-1 BCE) took the Latin elegiac form to new heights of complexity and passion, even weaving subtle satire throughout his work.

Duration:01:43:41

Episode 57: The World Grows Dim and Black (Virgil's Aeneid, Books 10-12)

8/31/2018
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Virgil’s Aeneid, Books 10-12. The end of Rome’s great epic is about something Romans of Virgil’s generation knew very well indeed. War.

Duration:01:58:24

Episode 56: I Shall Release Hell (Virgil's Aeneid, Books 7-9)

8/13/2018
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Virgil’s Aeneid, Books 7-9. Aeneas’ arrival in Italy begins auspiciously enough, but soon things take a turn for the worse.

Duration:01:58:22

Episode 55: Among the Shades (Virgil's Aeneid, Books 4-6)

7/6/2018
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Virgil’s Aeneid, Books 4-6. The story of Dido and Aeneas, and his subsequent journey to the underworld, is the heart of Rome’s most famous poem.

Duration:02:23:08

Episode 54: Out of Troy (Virgil's Aeneid, Books 1-3)

5/31/2018
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Virgil’s Aeneid, Books 1-3. The Aeneid is Rome’s great epic. Learn the story of its first three books, and when and why Virgil began writing it.

Duration:02:12:32

Episode 53: Then Came Hard Iron (Virgil's Georgics)

5/4/2018
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Virgil’s Georgics (c. 29 BCE), or agriculture poems, show the poet reaching his full strength as a writer, and using an old form to analyze the history around him.

Duration:01:52:53

Episode 52: White Flowers Die (Virgil's Eclogues)

4/11/2018
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Virgil’s Eclogues (c. 38 BCE) are poems about country life. Far from being innocent celebrations, though they are often cryptic filled with a haunting darkness.

Duration:01:49:39

Episode 51: Horace and Augustan Age Poetry

3/19/2018
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Horace (65-8 BCE) was a central figure in shaping Augustan Age tastes in satire and literary criticism. His bumbling, self conscious persona has been charming readers for millennia.

Duration:01:42:48