14. Hallowe’en Special: Necromancy in Greek Mythology

img_6482C’est l’Hallowe’en! We have a special spooky episode for you this week: two episodes of necromancy from Greek mythology! Follow the spell-binding details (haha!) of Odysseus’ encounter with the dead and Jason’s summoning of Hekate in Argonautika.

Have a safe and spooktacular Hallowe’en!


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Source Passages

Odyssey 11.13-50

Arognautika 3.1026-1049, 1194-1224

Translation Sources

Apollonios Rhodios. Argonautika. Trans. Peter Green. University of California, 2007.

Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. Harper Perennial Classics, 1967.

Shout Outs & Notes

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.

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Join us on Twitter: @InnesAlison and @darrinsunstrum

Episode 2 (Odysseus & Circe) is in editing now and coming soon!

launching our myth podcast!

This is a test run of a new podcast!

My colleague @darrinsunstrum and I are starting a myth podcast! We’re both academics with close to 20 years experience teaching myth between the two of us (yikes!). We like to talk, so our podcast is the two of us discussing Greek and Roman myths for 40-45 minutes. Each episode we’ll choose a different literary passage from the ancient sources and discuss its mythological and historical contexts as well as explore some of the key themes. Our first run at this is Euripides’ Medea, lines 476-492 (text provided below so you can follow along).

Episode 1: Medea (Part 1) https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BytS8FtLYgBGbzVDWnVma0RjZjA

(I’m still sorting out the tech side a bit; for now it looks like you’ll have to download the file from GoogleDrive before playing it.)

We’re still working on coming up with a name (suggestions welcome!) and some artwork and even a schedule of sorts. We’ll sort these things out eventually, but for now we hope that you enjoy our ramblings! Leave a comment for us to let us know what you think and to make any special requests!

I rescued you, as the Greeks know who were
your shipmates long ago aboard the Argo,
when you were sent to master the monstrous bulls
with yokes and sow the furrow with seeds of death.
The serpent who never slept, his twisted coils                             480
protecting the golden fleece, I was the one
who killed it and held out to you a beacon of safety.
I betrayed both my father and my house
and went with you to Pelias’ land, Iolkos,
showing in that more eagerness than sense.
I murdered Pelias by the most painful of deaths,                        485
at the hands of his own daughters, and I destroyed
his whole house. And in return for this, you foulest of men,
you betrayed us and took a new wife,
even though you have children. Were you childless,                  490
one might forgive your passion for this marriage bed.
But now the trust of oaths is gone.
(Eur. Med. 476-492)

Euripides. Medea. Trans. A. J. Podlecki. Ed. Stephen Esposito. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing, 2004. Print.

You can also read Euripides’ Medea (Trans. Kovak) online for free at Perseus.tufts.edu.
Music “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Available online at Free Music Archive

Intro/exit music from “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler (1999 version). Go buy it on iTunes**Update (09/04)–Since it’s not 100% clear that using this song in our podcast isn’t in violation of any copyright, we’ll be changing up the theme to a work licensed under Creative Commons and reposting the episode. We want our listeners and supporters to know that we value and support artists’ creative work. As academics, we appreciate the importance of intellectual property rights and recognize that we need to set a good example for the responsible use of others’ works. (***It’s still an awesome song. Go listen to it in full if you haven’t already!)