Sunday, October 21, 2012

Classics Ancient World Podcasts (Cincinnati)

UC Classics Ancient World Podcasts

Welcome to the home for UC Classics Ancient World Podcasts, produced by the faculty and graduate students of the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Classics. Come along with us as we explore compelling stories about the lives of people living in the ancient Mediterranean.

Episodes already available cover topics related to the ancient city of Pompeii and its destruction, while new series in the coming weeks will feature Cincinnati and its ties to ancient Greek and Roman culture, and Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (to coincide with an exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center: These series bring together experts in ancient history, language, and archaeology from our department, from UC’s Judaic Studies Department, and from Hebrew Union College to share their passion and knowledge about the Classical world.
The UC Classics Ancient World Podcasts are suitable for audiences of all ages with an interest in the past, and make a great supplement on a visit to a museum, or for middle school, high school, and college classes!

These podcasts are just one part of our department’s outreach program, aimed at engaging the wider Cincinnati community and promoting enthusiasm about the ancient world. Learn more about our offerings of public lectures, presentations, and educational content at:

The latest series of podcasts has been made possible due to the generous support of a Society Outreach Grant from the Archaeological Institute of America:

The Dead Sea Scroll Series

An Archaeologist Visits Qumran

It has been over 50 years since approximately 900 Dead Sea scrolls and fragments were discovered in 11 caves in the neighborhood of Qumran, Israel. In spite of decades of scholarly debate, many questions remain about the site. Who lived at Qumran? Was it a fortress, a mansion, an agricultural center, a pottery workshop, or a commune for an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes? Was it where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, or just where they were collected? Journey with UC Classics Professor Barbara Burrell, your archaeological roving reporter, as she describes Qumran’s surroundings, its features, its finds, and its place in history.
Written and performed by Barbara Burrell; produced by Christian Cloke and Sarah Lima; featuring Vivaldi's Gloria; recording and editing by R. Aaron Allen Productions.

Cincinnati and the Classics Series

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Fountain Square: Finding Rome in Cincinnati

Ancient historian Kristina Neumann and philologist Michael Hanel (UC Classics) discuss how the modern city of Cincinnati has much in common with ancient Rome. Learn where the name Cincinnati came from and what it has to do with early Roman history. Through a look at these cities’ water supply, their hilly terrain, and their entertainment venues (from the Roman Coliseum to Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals), a tour of downtown Cincinnati shows that more than just the city’s name harkens back to an important Classical past.
 Written by Kristina Neumann; featuring Michael Hanel and Kristina Neumann; produced by Christian Cloke and Sarah Lima; featuring Vivaldi's Gloria; recording and editing by R. Aaron Allen Productions.

Pompeii Series

The Tombs of Pompeii

UC Classics graduate student Allison Emmerson shares her expertise on Pompeii’s tombs. She explains ways in which monuments commemorating individuals, their families, their slaves, and former slaves can offer insights into how people lived and what they valued. While these tombs are an important part of the site for studying the dead, they also played a prominent role in the living city, serving as places to stop and sit, write graffiti, and even deposit trash.

Roman Medicine

Journey back in time to meet noted Roman medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus and naturalist Pliny the Elder as they debate the merits of Greek and Roman medicine! In this episode, listeners can learn about bone-saws, cataract operations, enemas, strange recipes for poultices, and the merits of a good bleeding, all done without the benefit of anesthesia!

Pliny’s Letters and the Eruption of Vesuvius

While scientists today closely monitor the world’s active volcanoes, in AD 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted, there was little warning and panic took precedence over scientific observation. Fortunately, one famous Roman politician and writer, Pliny the Younger, was on the scene and in a series of famous letters made many important observations about the eruption and its impact on the residents of the Bay of Naples. Join UC Classics graduate student Mitchell Brown for an in-depth glimpse at these fascinating contemporary accounts of the destruction of Pompeii.

Human Remains at Pompeii

No trip to Pompeii is complete without a glimpse of the stunning casts of the site’s ancient residents who were trapped by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Ever since Pompeii’s rediscovery in the 1740s, the bodies of the volcano’s victims have captivated visitors to the site. UC Classics graduate student Sarah Lima delves into the study of human remains at Pompeii, and shares how they have played a prominent role in the development of modern archaeology and shaped the popular imagination of the site’s last days.

Food Part 1 of 2 (Dining at Home)

In this episode of the long-lost Roman cooking show, “The Splendid Triclinium,” join host Flavia Poma as she talks Roman cuisine with UC Classics graduate student Kristina Neumann. In Part 1 they examine the eating habits of the rich and famous, discuss the Roman diet, and take a closer look at Roman pots, pans, flatware, and dishes. They say “you are what you eat,” and from Pompeii we can learn a lot about what ancient Romans ate!

Food Part 2 of 2 (Dining out and Grocery Shopping)

In our second episode of “The Splendid Triclinium,” our host and guest move from the dining room to the fish market and fast-food restaurant! While many of the large houses of Pompeii’s wealthiest citizens had spectacular dining rooms, most of the city’s inhabitants had humble cooking facilities at home and relied on restaurants and carry-out menus. Discover where Romans did their grocery shopping, and learn about recipes for dormice (yes, mice!) and, for the less adventurous, deep-fried honey cakes.


Go live to the arena of Pompeii in early AD 79 to meet burgeoning gladiatorial superstar, Severus, fresh off a major victory! Our intrepid reporter interviews the new champ, learns about his training, his finishing moves, and asks why it’s so tricky to fight against a lefty! Severus talks corruption, riots, the politics of the games, and gives his thoughts on the construction of the new Colosseum in Rome. Learn why the Romans loved gladiatorial combat so much from someone with firsthand experience!

Commerce and Business

Without the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii would not be what it is today, but without a prosperous local economy, there would have been no site at all. UC Classics professor Peter van Minnen looks to archaeology and ancient texts to answer the tough questions about how people in Pompeii made their living. Learn about ancient farming, shipping, and slavery, and discover how the very volcano which destroyed the city also gave rise to a booming local wine industry!

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