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It’s Halloween, and the monsters are out! In this episode we tackle Monster Theory (as formulated by J.J. Cohen) , examine the linguistic and cultural origins of a range of Classical and classic movie monsters, look at how they connect to the history of currency and money, and explore the intersections of monsters and the New Woman. We also sample …
 
We speak to Bet Hucks about Roman importation and love of Egyptian art and other cultural material, the importance of thinking about material remains in assemblages and considering the contexts in which they were displayed, and some innovative ways of bringing the physical experiences of the past to modern audiences. Oh, and also, crocodiles! Bet’s…
 
What do you think the earliest English word was? How could we possibly look for such a thing, and what do the possible options tell us about early English history and the movement of peoples in the early medieval period? We tackle these questions, in an episode about Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Celts, Tacitus, Bede, and more. Reminder: Mark wi…
 
It’s time for a reckoning! Or, to be more accurate, a number of reckonings. We talk to Dr. Stephen Chrisomalis, a linguistic anthropologist who specializes in the anthropology of mathematics and the interaction of language, cognition, and culture, about his new book Reckonings. It’s a fascinating discussion of how we write and represent numbers, an…
 
We talked to Isobel Williams about her fascinating and illuminating new translation of selected poems of Catullus, illustrated with her drawings of the Japanese art of rope binding, shibari. Our discussion ranges over the connections between the world of shibari and the emotional struggles depicted in Catullus’s poetry, the way translation and lear…
 
A day after Independence Day in the US, we investigate the history of the name “America” and two related cocktails, with some side trips into the sack of Rome in 410 CE and the use of the Fall of Rome as a historical parallel for the United States. This episode completes our mini series on country names, in the season of national holidays in north …
 
This episode is being released for Canada Day, but it’s not a celebration. This year, even more than most, we feel that this day needs to be one of reckoning with our past and trying to make a better present and future. So we talk about the history of the word Canuck and the various stories that Canadians tell themselves about their county, and we …
 
We talk to Dr. Victoria Austen about Roman gardens. What defines a garden? Where were the gardens at Rome, and what were they for? How did Romans think about gardens and gardening, and what roles did they play in literature, philosophy, and the public relations efforts of emperors? @Vicky_Austen Transcript of this episode This episode on YouTube Ou…
 
We talk about the history of the book, the reading habits of the ancient Romans, the pliability of sheep skins, and the mechanisms of semantic change that cause words to evolve over time. Oh, and we discuss Charles Darwin’s own language for his new theory. "Codex Cocktail" was created for us by Ed Bedford — recipe here Liber Adest newsletter McCutc…
 
This year for April Fool's Day we're taking part in a podcast switcheroo where podcasters are trading episodes to introduce their audiences to other podcasts they think you might enjoy. So we're having the great folks from Bunny Trails, Shauna and Dan, showcase one of their episodes, about the phrase “Queen Bee”. Bunny Trails Podcast Shownotes for …
 
We speak to Dr. Carolyn Willekes about horses in antiquity: their development and domestication, their use in warfare, their training and breeding, and her many adventures riding horses across Greece, Turkey, Mongolia, and Canada. The Horse in the Ancient World: From Bucephalus to the Hippodrome Greek Warriors: Hoplites and Heroes Transcript of thi…
 
Aven: Hi everyone. This isn't a regular episode of the Endless Knot podcast. Just a quick announcement. Mark: I wanted to let you all know about something new that I'm doing: an online seminar series. It's basically a short course open to anyone, on the Speakeasy platform. The title is: "The origins of English: learning to think like an etymologist…
 
We talk about the etymology of “Etymology” itself, and then discuss the basics of historical linguistics, including Grimm’s Law, Verner’s Law, and more. We also talk about Isidore of Seville, the etymological puns of Latin poets, and the way Mark does his research for his videos. The Simple Truth cocktail Our “Etymology” video Isidore of Seville’s …
 
This episode is all about Alexander the Great, and especially about his reception by later Greeks & Romans, the middle ages, and modern popular culture. We had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Finlayson who studies Alexander and his reception and shared her knowledge, enthusiasm, and dreams of a new Alexander movie with Colin Farrell playing Philip…
 
Happy holidays! In this seasonal episode we discuss the origins of the modern Western calendar, the names of the months and days of the week, and the sources we have for Roman calendars and Germanic gods. Happy new year, and may it be better than the last! Our poster store Crosscut Distillery Sabbath Millennial Ovid's Fasti Herbert-Brown, Geraldine…
 
It’s election night 2020 in the US, and our video from 4 years ago about the language of politics is relevant once again. We discuss the changing vocabulary of democracy and what it can tell us about shifting attitudes towards popular rule and politicians. It may not be a complete break from political coverage, but at least it’s mostly about the di…
 
n this episode we go from the origin of the world to the many uses of olive oil, with discussions of Roman mosaics, and trademark law along the way. This is the third of our episodes on Intellectual Property, following Episode 42: Bugging Out! on patents and Episode 57: Freebooting, Piracy, & Copyright on copyright. Also, it’s the start of Season 6…
 
Back in June we had the pleasure of being part of the Intelligent Speech Conference 2020 — this year, held entirely online. It was a day filled with amazing podcasters and great conversations, and in this short episode we’re sharing the talk that we gave at the event. It’s about the word Recipe and early cookbooks, medicine, and women’s magazines. …
 
It’s time for us to talk about plagues — ancient, medieval, literary, etymological, and psychological! We’re joined by Moxie from Your Brain on Facts for a very fun — if slightly disturbing — discussion of many aspects of historical plagues. Transcript of this episode Your Brain on Facts Gardner, H.H. Pestilence and the Body Politic in Latin Litera…
 
In an episode that was recorded in late May before the protests started, we took a break from COVID talk to give our thoughts on the final movie in the Star Wars saga. We discussed how it was similar to or different from ancient epic, medieval romance, and Icelandic sagas, but mostly we talked about the ways it failed to bring together the many thr…
 
We take a look at the history of runes and their connection to early alphabets and Germanic culture. Then we take a trip back to the Phoenician and Egyptian origins of the modern English alphabet, and talk about some of the earliest examples of Greek writing, in inscriptions, epic poetry, and myth. Also, introducing Lyceum, a new platform for educa…
 
We trace the etymologies and development of the words “sex” and “gender”, as well as words for women and men in Greek, Latin, and English, touching on Roman, Greek, and medieval English ideas about gender. Then we discuss the grammatical term “gender” and how it differs across languages around the world. Transcript of this episode The History of Se…
 
This year’s holiday episode is all about festivals and feasts — and in particular, midwinter celebrations, the solstice, and the seasons. And we read a couple of Latin poems about drinking — and explore the odd connection between them and a tire company! The Christmas Cake cocktail Hesiod’s Works and Days in English Horace’s Odes in Latin Horace Od…
 
This bonus episode contains two talks we gave at our university in November. Mark spoke about “The ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Problem: Language and Racism in Medieval Studies” and Aven spoke about “Defining ‘Race’ in the Ancient Mediterranean and Today”. Google ngrams for collocations of “Anglo-Saxon”: All English Texts American English British English Our Patr…
 
Crossover time! We’re joined by Scott Lepisto, of the Itinera Podcast, in a conversation at the SoundEducation podcasting conference in Boston. We talked about the conference itself, the use of podcasting in classrooms, and the importance of public-facing scholarship in Classics and Medieval Studies. And please check out Scott’s podcast, in which h…
 
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