Ancient World Now:Theories of Mycenaean Collapse

Click here for direct link to audio podcast Episode #38.

Click here for previous episodes.

Migration and movements of peoples has been a constant ever since Australopithecus set up camp in a more advantageous spot one day four million years ago. This photo by Christian Sinibaldi, posted on the Guardian U.K. website, shows the boat graveyard on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where North African migrants abandon their vessels on their flight to more advantageous spots in Europe. In my constant quest to see the ancient world in our everyday modern lives, I encourage you to consider the current explosive uprisings throughout North Africa & the Middle East as an overlay onto your understanding of the events that precipitated the Greek Dark Ages.

Award ceremony and podcast and taxes, oh my! An overwhelming number of factors contributed to my missing our last podcast. Hope you can forgive me! To make up for it, in today’s podcast I am trotting out a new theory on the destruction of Mycenaean civilization. Michael Shanks and Gary Devore, archaeology professors at Stanford University, discussed their own theory in last week’s Archaeology of Greece class.

For many years now I have been on the children’s book committee for the Northern California Book Awards. Each year for the past 30 years, committees have gathered together from October to April to review the year’s published books from Northern California’s authors. There are dozens and dozens of books to read for each category: fiction, general non-fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, and translation for poetry & fiction. In the spring I do NCBA work and in the fall I do work for Litquake, the annual literary festival in San Francisco. I am honored to be a part of these organizations and my volunteer work is one of the many ways I contribute my creative energy to the Bay Area writer’s community. As I was writing this, we had a little earthquake! Felt like a truck hit the building. It disturbed the cats (including Achilles, my tuxedo warrior) and we all fled to different parts of the house! And today is the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake! Yet another ancient world connection: ancient earthquakes. Think Crete, Delphi, Sicily, and Alexandria, to name a few.

Ancient World Now:The Aeneid

Click here for direct link to audio Episode #10.

Click here for previous episodes.

Queen Dido of Carthage. Dead. Built her own funeral pyre and as the flames whipped around her, plunged a dagger into her heart. So thoroughly had she humiliated herself for love of Aeneas, that she could no longer bear to go on. She cursed Aeneas and all of his descendants as she lay dying. Legend has it that her curse was the seed of hatred between Rome and Carthage that lead to the Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.E). Children in Rome were taught from an early age to hate the powerful north African state and all Roman children knew the Latin phrase “Carthago delenda est” or “Carthage must be destroyed”. When Rome finally did destroy Carthage, Roman soldiers were instructed to sow the land with salt so that nothing could grow there. Carthage was abandoned. Later, however, she was rebuilt and became a glorious and influential Roman colony. Some of the best preserved Roman mosaics and ruins are found in Carthage. And to think it all began with a mighty and righteous queen who had her heart broken by a no-good two-timing transient!

Another amazing story of Carthage might is that of Hannibal (no, not the psychopath) and his war elephants, but you have to listen to the podcast to find out! Enjoy!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner