Ancient World Now: The Pantheon of Gods & Goddesses

Click here for direct link to audio Episode #13.

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It is important to note that the Roman Empire could not have existed without the free labor of those forced into slavery. The island of Delos was the hotspot for slave auctions. There, you could buy slaves from all over the empire to: keep your books on your farm in the country, take dictation in your consul meetings, tutor your first-born son, protect your house, fix your hair and make-up in the morning, manage your villa in Gaul, raise your children, cook the day’s meal, beat & torture your other slaves when they got out of line, and remain so faithful that he kills himself when you die! Imagine—most of the people in Rome were slaves! The worship of Isis by the Egyptian slaves of Rome became a bone of contention with the imperial government and their most important temple was destroyed a number of times over the centuries. Does slave-labor exist today? Something for our young people to think about. And can low-wages be considered a form of slavery? Aaahhh, the quest for the truth leads you down all kinds of roads! Back to the ancient world!

Today’s podcast is the first in a five-part series on the pre-Christian religions of the ancient world. The Pantheon of Greek & Roman gods and goddesses lead the series with a look at the important devotional practices of the everyday citizen of Athens & Rome. Second in the series addresses the Eleusian mysteries concentrated around the worship of Demeter and Kore (her daughter, Persephone). The third in the series explores the military aspects of Mithraism and its early importance to the ordinary Roman soldier and its later importance to the political elite of Rome. Our fourth episode follows the establishment of Isis worship outside of Egypt, and in Rome and her provinces, in particular. The final episode in the series will feature the Cult of Dionysus and all the wild goings-on of the bacchanalia.

Here is the FTD florist logo discussed in today’s podcast, which features Hermes/Mercury, the messenger god.

And a sad image of the revolting practice of animal slaughter for the pleasure of the Roman masses. “Bread & circuses” sums up how the Roman government provided food and entertainment to keep the Roman people off the streets and pacified. Why revolt when your stomach is full and you’ve had some fun down at the Coliseum?

Ancient World Now….two days…..

Podcast launch date: Monday, June 14, 2010.

First episode: The Iliad 20-30 minute podcast.

David’s dear friend Seek died today. We had been taking care of him since Monday, making him comfortable and surrounding him with the things he loved. We watched his body shut down slowly. David gave him a thorough brushing yesterday, and again today after he passed. These are photos of him from healthier times.

Seek loved to drink from faucets. We thought taping a cutout of a raccoon on the wall above the bathroom sink would keep him from doing it. One night we came home and Seek was curled up underneath the photo. We nearly died laughing! Priceless…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
And how can I justify bringing our pet into the Iliad mix? Easily. Homer’s stories touch us because they are real and true and honest. He told stories of love and friendship and betrayal and loss. Countless generations have been moved by this, one of the most famous scenes in The Odyssey. When Odysseus finally arrives back on the island of Ithaka, after 20 years, Athena disguises him an old pauper. Odysseus encounters his old shepherd, Eumaeus….

As they were talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:
“Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?”
“This hound,” answered Eumaeus, “belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master’s hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.”
So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had seen his master once more after twenty years.
HomerOdyssey, Book 17
Animals are our friends. People can be mean and hurtful, but an animal friend will never turn on you or cause you pain or betray you. Animals are real and true and honest….Rest in peace, Seek, we love you…………………