Episode 70 – The Volscians, The Aequians, and The Hernicans

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The Doctors are back! And celebrating reaching our seventh episode no less! We dive right back into the narrative of Rome’s history from the founding of the City with an examination of the years just following the death of Coriolanus.

Rome, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn’t really know how to get along with her neighbours…

The Volscians, The Aequians, and The Hernicans

A celebratory montage of Drs R and G 🙂

Some Light Reading

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In the spirit of openness and from a desire to share what I have produced in terms of research, my (Dr Greenfield’s) dissertation is attached below.

Handy to have if you want to know more about the Vestal Virgins!

Super handy if your looking for more scholarly work on the late Republic and early principate (c. 150 BCE – 14 CE)!

Greenfield, P. N. 2011. Virgin Territory – The Vestals and the Transition from Republic to Principate

ABSTRACT:

The cult of Vesta was vital to the city of Rome. The goddess was associated with the City’s very foundation, and Romans believed that the continuity of the state depended on the sexual and moral purity of her priestesses. In this dissertation, Virgin Territory: The Vestals and the Transition from Republic to Principate, I examine the Vestal cult between c. 150 BCE and 14 CE, that is, from the beginning of Roman domination in the Mediterranean to the establishment of authoritarian rule at Rome.

Six aspects of the cult are discussed: the Vestals’ relationship with water in ritual and literature; a re-evaluation of Vestal incestum (unchastity) which seeks a nuanced approach to the evidence and examines the record of incestum cases; the Vestals’ extra-ritual activities; the Vestals’ role as custodians of politically sensitive documents; the Vestals’ legal standing relative to other Roman women, especially in the context of Augustus’ moral reform legislation; and the cult’s changing relationship with the topography of Rome in light of the construction of a new shrine to Vesta on the Palatine after Augustus became pontifex maximus in 12 BCE.

It will be shown that the cult of Vesta did not survive the turmoil of the Late Republic unchanged, nor did it maintain its ancient prerogative in the face of Augustus’ ascendancy. The thesis therefore sheds new light on our understanding of the nature, role and significance of the Vestal cult during the Roman revolution.

 

 

Episode 69 – The Reception of Coriolanus

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It’s time for a special episode!

After such a tumultuous life, it comes as no surprise that Coriolanus goes on to have a legacy that spreads after his literal death. So Coriolanus dies, but he lives!

In this episode, the Doctors turn their roving eye on how the story of Coriolanus has been transformed by his reappearance into the cultural mind of the West through Shakespeare’s play and the centuries that follow.

Find out all the details below:

The Reception of Coriolanus

Act V Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus by Gavin Hamilton 1803.
Attribution is also given to Adam Cuerden as per wikimedia commons

Episode 68 – Coriolanus, the Final Chapter

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After much ado, many conflicts, we’re finally here! It is the end of Coriolanus. How does his grisly end unfold? Who will be pivotal to the end of his career? In this episode, Drs R and G push through all the barriers to make sure this part of Roman history comes to a close! Check out the link below to tune in:

Coriolanus the Final Chapter

Franz Anton Maulpertsch, c. 1795. Coriolanus at the gates of Rome

Franz Anton Maulpertsch, c. 1795. Coriolanus at the gates of Rome

 

 

Episode 67 – Coriolanus – Exiled!

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It’s a new year and a new breath of fresh on the Partial Historian breeze! Oh wait, what’s that? Could it be … Coriolanus? Indeed it is! The complexities of Coriolanus’ narrative continue to build and things are about to get a little bit hairy for our man of the moment. Join Drs R and G for the ride ahead:

Coriolanus – Exiled!

Wilhelm Wandschneider's 1903 sculpture of Coriolanus in Plau am See (Germany). Photograph courtesy of Ruchhöft-Plau from wikimedia commons

Wilhelm Wandschneider’s 1903 sculpture of Coriolanus in Plau am See (Germany). According to some, Coriolanus was clearly quite a man! Photograph courtesy of Ruchhöft-Plau from wikimedia commons. 

Episode 66 – Dr G does Italy

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The holiday season is nearly upon us, dear Listeners, and what better way to celebrate than to take a little trip. In this short and sweet episode, Dr Radness asks Dr G the big question of the year – how was *that* trip to Italy? Part tavelogue, part history, all Partial Historian 🙂

Dr G does Italy

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Dr G (left) and Dr R (right) getting into the spirit of the season!

Episode 65 – Coriolanus: Trial Imminent!

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Doctors G and R return with a brand new episode from the realms of the ancient past! As the suspense develops in Coriolanus’ career, how are the relationships between the patricians and plebeians working out? With the new force of the tribune of the plebs to reckon with, Coriolanus is not a happy patrician.

Let’s take a look at the different narrative on offer from the primary sources – Livy, Plutarch, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus:

Coriolanus, Trial Imminent

In an attempt to save depictions of Coriolanus and his relations for where they fit in the historical narrative, we offer a snippet from the First Folio of Shakespeare here.

In an attempt to save depictions of Coriolanus and his relations for where they fit in the historical narrative, we offer a snippet from the First Folio of Shakespeare here.

Episode 64 – Coriolanus, Ultimate Patrician

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Dr G has returned from Italy and to Dr R and that means, dear Listeners, that the history of Rome from the founding of the city is back on! When we last conversed, Coriolanus loomed large on the agenda, and here he takes centre stage again (as he very well may for a few more episodes!). Ever wondered what a real patrician’s patrician looked like? Wait no more! Listen below to catch all the scintillating details:

Coriolanus, Ultimate Patrician

A little of Coriolanus as imagined by Shakespeare. Here Coriolanus questions his mother's motives. Image Source: http://quotesgram.com/coriolanus-shakespeare-quotes/

A little of Coriolanus as imagined by Shakespeare. Here Coriolanus questions his mother’s motives.
Image Source: http://quotesgram.com/coriolanus-shakespeare-quotes/

Dr Greenfield is in Roma!

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Dear Listeners,

For the last few weeks, I’ve been traipsing around Italy and getting re-acquainted with all the haunts that are pertinent to my fields of research. So far, the highlights have been:

Seeing the frieze of the Vestal Virgins in Palermo. I was very fortunate to have an Italian guide who was able to liaise with the staff at the Museo Archeologico Antonio Salinas. I was granted special access to the frieze as the museum is currently under renovation and the level where they keep the frieze is not currently open to the public. This frieze depicts the Vestals approaching a sacrifice, the seating figure is thought to be the chief Vestal Virgin.

The Vestal Virgin frieze, Palermo

The Vestal Virgin frieze, Palermo

Revisiting the Ara Pacis in Rome. This structure is a pivotal symbol of Augustus’ political career, the reconstruction of this altar and the work to preserve the structure make this one of my favourite museums. The Ara Pacis contains a small frieze of the Vestals in procession and the museum also houses a fragment depicting the Vestals attending a banquet, which was found near the Via del Corso. Turns out the major shopping district has even more to offer the historian      😉

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Vestal Virgins at banquet, found near the Via del Corso