This is often held up as one of history’s great love stories – Plutarch wrote that Pericles kissed Aspasia every single day. And that’s very sweet and romantic, but their high-profile relationship was central to a key period in Greek history.
While the crucifixion of Jesus is the most most well-known instance of this type of execution, crucifixion was a practice that was both common and taboo all over the Greco-Roman world for almost 1,000 years. Read the show notes here.
Our focus today is on a woman who was actually covered in the podcast several years ago. But she's a figure so mythic and with so many variations to her story that we wanted to give her another look and a little more time.
Hypatia was one of the earliest female mathematicians and astronomers -- though she wasn't the very first, she was among the greatest. At the time of her murder, she was the foremost mathematician and astronomer in the West - possibly in the world.
In 1900, a shipwreck was discovered near the island of Antikythera, including an assortment of luxury goods: statues, silver coins, vases ... and what turned out to be an amazing 2,000-year-old mechanism.
Long before Czech playwright Karel Capek coined the term "robot" in his 1920 play "R.U.R.," mechanized creations -- automata -- were being created without electronics or computers. Many were simple, but they paved the way for the robots of today.
The Phoenicians were great ship-builders, sailors and textile experts. But they're most known for developing the alphabet that many modern alphabets are descended from. What drove a merchant culture to switch from cuneiform to a new writing system?