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73 minutes | Jan 12, 2022
They’ve Lost their Marbles!: Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Sculptures (Ad Navseam, Episode 70)
The fact that many of the marbles from the Parthenon reside in the British Museum (London) has been controversial since they first landed there in the early 19th century. In this complex tale Lord Elgin has often played the villain—he being the one who greedily had the sculptures removed from Athens to decorate his drafty Scottish mansion. But is the story that simple? In this episode Dave and Jeff tell the whole story front to back with an eye to several questions: does Elgin perhaps deserve a bit more sympathy than he usually gets? What are the arguments for keeping the artifacts in London, and for repatriation? Why should Lord Byron—noted defacer of Greek monuments—get a pass? My goodness, what on earth happened to Lord Elgin’s nose? And, will the guys ever stop attempting Scottish accents?
71 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
Licensed to Ille: Children’s Books in Latin (Ad Navseam, Episode 69)
Ever since the 1960 publication of Winnie Ille Pu (Winnie the Pooh...or is that Winnie that Well-Known Pooh Over There?) there has been a steady stream over the years of popular, contemporary texts translated into Latin. But why? Are these just gimmicky forays on shelves, unread and unthumbed heores, or can they be effective tools in actually learning Latin? Jeff and Dave tackle this question and many more as they walk the listener through Latinized versions of Seuss, Carroll, Sendak and Rowling. Highlights: Does Hobbitus, Ille really deserve the scorn sent its way? For all the skill of the Harry Potter translator did he really identify the titular character as "The Boy Who Died"? Don't miss the post-Christmas blues, and some bees.
70 minutes | Dec 29, 2021
Married with Classicists (Ad Navseam, Episode 68)
By now listeners have gotten used to (and maybe even enjoyed?) the loose, devil-may-care, locker room atmosphere that tends to dominate in the Vomitorium. But what about a ladies' perspective on all this folderol? And not just any old feminine perspective, but that of the extraordinary women who made the decision to marry these chuckleheads? That’s right—this week the guys are joined by Tara and Bec (married, respectively, to Dave and Jeff) where they get a chance to unload on what it’s like to live with the antiquity-obsesssed. Is there more to traveling than “climbing tall things and seeing dead guys”? Can one offer fashion advice without irreparrably bruising egos? And will the hosts need serious therapy after this one? Tune in!
75 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
Rock Those Socks!: Stocking Stuffers for the Classically Oriented (Ad Navseam, Episode 67)
Desperate to find the perfect gift to slip into your favorite scholar’s (budding and otherwise) stocking this year? Of course you are, because if he or she finds another bath bomb or scented whazzit in there someone’s going to get hurt. Fear not! Dave and Jeff are here to help with their curated best-of lists. And the gamut is run—yes, there are plenty of heady tomes to set your beloveds on the proper path, but also many surprises along the way, including shred metal guitar, stunningly bad movies, and shocking sources of dietary fiber! Who knows, if you do it right maybe you'll end up like Sting and celebrate Yuletide by finding many words to rhyme with “Charybdis”.
67 minutes | Dec 11, 2021
Growing Up Classical: A Conversation with Jillian Noe (Ad Navseam, Episode 66)
It’s “Bring Your Daughter to Work Week” in the vomitorium and today Dave’s daughter Jillian stops by to talk about what it was like being homeschooled, speaking Latin and Ancient Greek from a young age, and what has kept her interest in the Classics to the present day. Jillian weaves and dodges her way through a barrage of dad jokes as she takes us through Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and reasons why it sparked her interest in mythology. Before she bolts for her 2nd semester of Classical studies, the guys try to offer some advice on how to deal with the question every humanities major loathes, “So whatcha gonna do with that?”
68 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
I Want My Mummy!: the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great (Ad Navseam, Episode 65)
This week the guys hopscotch from Babylon, to Memphis (not TN), to Alexandria (not VA), and even to Venice (not FL) in search of an answer to one of the most captivating and lingering archaeological questions of all time—what happened to the tomb and body of Alexander Ille Magnus? How could this centuries-long tourist attraction (visited by some of the greatest Caesars who ever caesared) and massive, Wal-Mart sized complex simply vanish? As they say, it’s complicated. We’ve got cross-desert catafalquing, followed by temporary tomb subletting, and toxic mosque-ulinity, capped off by some embarrassing nose-mangling, and maybe even a mummy heading for its final stop in a gondola. Paging Heinrich Schliemann!
84 minutes | Nov 23, 2021
How to be a Latin Guru, Part II (Ad Navseam, Episode 64)
Transliminate your favorite room, grab a cronut and get ready for some top-shelf edutainment! Dave and Jeff set the table, tackling terms and probing provenances with deep dives into etymologies, derivatives, cognates, and malapropism (be careful not to die in the barn!) After some stretching, the guys even break a sweat with high-intensity calquing. Next up, some favorite mondegreens as Dave flakes on Phil Collins and Jeff trips over Toto, followed by some of Dave’s best practical principles on how to incorporate active, idiomatic Latin into your study and make it stick. Get ready to sign up for the 20-yr. plan. And if you ever feel guilty for how much time you spend listening to Ad Navseam, just remember the act itself, in this hobunk spot of the internet, is persebonate.
66 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
How to be a Latin Guru, Part I (Ad Navseam, Episode 63)
What’s the best way to learn, retain, and teach Latin? The old school, passive “grammar and rote memorization” route or the hip, (relatively) new active, “spoken and living language” approach? You don’t need to be versed in COBOL or FORTRAN or know your way around those punch-cards that used to operate refrigerator-sized computers back in the ‘70s to answer that question (though it might help). Dave and Jeff are here to share the stories of their own journeys through various Latin curricula on both sides of the desk. Hear what led Dave to embrace the “active spoken” method—the highs and lows, the practicalities and the hilarities. And if it gets too heavy, fear not — Arugula Man is waiting in the wings.
67 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
There’s No Place Like Dome: Neoclassicism and the Architecture of Washington D.C. (Ad Navseam, Episode 62)
Ever wonder why the American capitol is chock full of columns, pediments, and triglyphs, or why the Washington Monument appears supremely suited for roasting large quantities of meat? Then this is the episode for you. The guys begin their journey way back in the 18th century when Europe was undergoing a wave of “Greek Fever” and “Egyptomania”. They had it all: romantic poems, shady trinket collections, and enlightened revolutions which eventually spilled over into neo-classical architecture. And this still 'colors' the way we recall and interpret the ancient world. Thus the obelisk of WaMo and the Pantheon-y JeMe flexing its dome-court advantage. All very nice, but can it go too far? Did anybody really need a ripped, shirtless statue of George Washington throneing it up in the Capitol rotunda? Tune in to find out.
69 minutes | Nov 2, 2021
Sedimental Journeys: Two More Ovidian Vignettes (Ad Navseam, Episode 61)
It's tufa one in the Vomitorium today! Two petrifying tales from the Metamorphoses, that is. First, Perseus gets hopelessly lost and takes it for granite that big-boned Atlas will offer him directions and a snack. But a dread prophecy leads Atlas to slam the door instead and Perseus to say "No More Mr. Gneiss Guy". He whips out his secret weapon from his Gorgon's head-sized holster with predictable results. Next it's on to Niobe whose Latona-directed trash talk knows no bounds. Even when Apollo and Diana begin to take bloody revenge, Niobe's hubris gets bigger and boulder. Her own transformation is sure with all that evidence mountain against her. Starting to get the schist of it? Shale we go on? Ore maybe not? Either way, you'll lava it!
67 minutes | Oct 26, 2021
“Just Ghosts To Show Ya” - Halloween Special (Ad Navseam, Episode 60)
Do you encourage your children to stay in their beds at night by telling them that, if they get up, a vampiric meany will sneak in through a window and slurp their haematids? No? Well, the ancient Greeks would like to have a talk with you about your parenting skills. Keep your favorite apotropaic talisman handy as we mull the blood-thirsty Mormo, disengawk the seductive Lamia, and evade the, um, dung-footed Empousa (!) in this spooky season special. If you make it through that gory gauntlet, then wander along with the guys into Athens' most-haunted house while keeping an eye out for spectral arrivals of dead relatives. Also, home-buying pro-tip: always have the inspector check for basement mold and shackled skeletons beneath the lawn before dropping your deposit.
72 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
“That’s the Power of Love: Two Ovidian Vignettes” (Ad Navseam, Episode 59)
Jeff and Dave wade into the Olympic-sized pool that is Ovid’s masterpiece, the Metamorphoses. After untangling etymological tendrils of the word “vignette”, the guys dive right in. First up, “Apollo and Daphne”. Not happy with Apollo’s arch trash-talk, Cupid shows him who’s really the boss—his arrows unleash unstoppable passion and malodorous disdain between the titular two. This is not the chubby bowman on your Valentine’s card. Then it’s on to “Diana and Actaeon”. What’s the message here? Another defense of chastity? Haunting comment on the goddess' sacredness? Is Ovid alluding to his own error or the recent Roman past? Maybe he's whelping on the very conventions of epic? Come on in, the water's fine, but be careful where you dogpaddle.
70 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
The Jung and the Restless: Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey (Ad Navseam, Episode 58)
Today the guys tackle the life and work of public intellectual Joseph Campbell, best known for his theory of the monomyth which proposes that all hero narratives are, at root, simply variations on the same story. Once they get past the irritating, almost Forrest Gumpian nature of Campbell’s self-mythologizing biography, Dave and Jeff get down to the stages of the “journey” itself. Behold calls to adventure, tests, mentors, katabaseis, resurrections; and a Frodo, Harry, Katniss, and Skywalker hiding behind every veil. Questions beget questions: is the Christian narrative just another “hero’s journey”? Can we blame Campbell for Jar-Jar Binks? And perhaps most importantly—where’s the best place in the hero cycle to stop off for some soup?
77 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
The Abiding Value of the Liberal Arts - A Conversation with Heather Mac Donald (Ad Navseam, Episode 57)
This week Dave and Jeff sit down with intellectual powerhouse and controversialist Heather Mac Donald. Known primarily for her incisive social commentary on policing, Heather is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She writes on a wide variety of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. The guys enjoy a wide-ranging and an in-depth discussion with Heather about the different intellectual currents of the humanities that have shaped her as a thinker, and why the arts need no instrumental justification.
68 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Pay no Attention to the Girl behind the Curtain - The Delphic Oracle (Ad Navseam, Episode 56)
This week join Jeff, Dave, and Toto on a climb up the fragrant slopes of Mount Parnassus to consult what was the premier divination site in the ancient Mediterranean—the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. But you don’t just barge on in and start a-consulting left and right; there are purifications to be made, various deities to appease, hearts and brains to find, and sacrifices to offer. Only then you may ask your question of Delph the Great and Powerful. So come along, take in the view, and hope our answers to long-standing questions are more straight-forward than what poor old Croesus got. Also, ask yourself how far would you travel and how long would you stand in line to find out "who stole the sheet"?
79 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
Whatsa Motto with You?! - Latin Mottoes of the US States (Ad Navseam, Episode 55)
Ever run into the phrase Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur (“Whatever is said in Latin seems profound”)? Well, most of the states in the American union took that sentiment to heart when they came up with their personal mottoes (institutions and tattoo-getters too). After a brief detour through the pitfalls of collegiate apophthegms and bare midriff-commenting, Dave and Jeff rip and riff through all the mottos of the lower 48 (and those other two). Little mercy is shown as they decide who’s on point, who just phoned it in, and why Michigan’s is (proh dolor) the worst one of all. Even so, si quaeritis amoenas nugas, audite!
65 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
“Up and Atoms!”: Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, Part IV (Ad Navseam, Episode 54)
This week Jeff and Dave wrap their look at Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, doing their best to break down the essentials all the while dodging those clinamen-controlled atoms. Because according to Luc these little cueballs explain everything. Earthquakes? Swerving atoms. Human speech? Swerving atoms. That dream you had about being late for your myth final while inexplicably juggling fuchsia avocados? Swerving atoms. Tune in to discover how the world blows its nose, and how to answer your kids' awkward questions, e.g., “Mom, where do centaurs come from?” And if you get nabbed for drinking the detritus-laced milk straight from the breakfast bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Just tell ‘em the atoms made you do it.
66 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Shebang, the Whole: Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, Part III (Ad Navseam, Episode 53)
This week Dave and Jeff make their way through the heart of the matter with a close look at Books 2-4 of Lucretius' Epicurean masterpiece. The guys serve up dreams, gossamer atoms, Stonecutters, Steve Gutenberg, and a whole lot of Dave's irascibility. Along the way, you'll learn not only how E. got his physics from the pre-Socratic atomists Leucippus and Democritus, but also how the late Kurt Cobain may just rip apart this long-term, literary friendship. Jeff reprises his brief but brilliant John Lennon impression for all you Beatleites, and by the end, philosophy has helped restore a little of our host's equanimity. Finally, can the Epicurean view of death and the afterlife bring comfort? Tune in to find out.
61 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
The Heart of Hidden Things: Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, Part II (Ad Navseam, Episode 52)
Our dive into Lucretius continues this week and after a quick review of Epicureanism we get to the particulars. First up, Memmius, Lucretius’ patron to whom he dedicated his work. Why him? From the few shenanigans we know about Memmy he seems like a very un-Epicurean sort. Was Lucretius trying convert him? Then the thesis of the work—freeing oneself from superstition and the fear of death. If religion forces you to sacrifice you own daughter, what good is it? Can Venus and Mars stay in détente long enough to chill things out? Maybe as likely as Dave and Jeff agreeing on Roy Orbison’s catalogue and who actually gets to be a Travelling Wilbury. You don't want to miss this one!
63 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
The Whole Enchilada: Epicureanism and Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (Ad Navseam, Episode 51)
This week Jeff and Dave may have bitten off more than they can chew as the subject of the day is, well, everything. In the 1st century BC Lucretius sat down and attempted to, in dactylic hexameter mind you, explain the origin of all things without resorting to divine explanations. How would this have played amongst the smart set of his day? And why should we listen to someone who may have bought the farm by overdosing on Love Potion #9? We might better understand all of it with a better grasp of the philosophy Lucretius adhered to—Epicureanism. Hold the chariot, aren’t those the guys who just swan around at cocktail parties and sample overly fancy hors d’oeuvres? We’ll untangle it. Promise. Kinda.
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