Ancient Geek

Welcome to Ancient Geek, a mini podcast in which Classical Civilisation teacher and author of Greek Myth Comix, Jenks, rants on ancient topics and tries to be brief about it it in ten minutes or less.

Listen below or at these links:


Ancient Geek 7: we *need* to talk about Homeric heroism and Achilles’ heel Ancient Geek

In this episode I ramble on a bit, filling in the gaps of general knowledge about Achilles' heel, why he got 'dipped' in the first place, and how it ties in with what it means to be a Homeric hero anyway.
  1. Ancient Geek 7: we *need* to talk about Homeric heroism and Achilles’ heel
  2. Ancient Geek 6 (there is no 5) – yes, we *do* need to talk more about ancient slavery
  3. Ancient Geek 4b – no, there was *no lava* (part 2)
  4. Ancient Geek 4a – no, there was *no lava* (Part 1)
  5. Ancient Geek 3 – why yes, I *do* love a good simile…

Intro/Outtro music: Komiku, ‘Mushrooms’


References and Further Reading:


Episode 1 – how annoying *is* Paris?

In this first episode, I ease myself in gently with a topic I’ve practised ranting about before: an explanation of why Paris is so annoying. Listen here.

References and further reading:

  • Why Paris is such an utter plonker? Comic and Video
  • De Jong, I. J. F. “Paris/Alexandros in the ‘Iliad.’” Mnemosyne, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 1987, pp. 124–128. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4431600.

Episode 2 – it’s just not a medical symbol, *ok*?

The second episode explains, at some length (and with several klaxons) exactly why the caduceus of Hermes is not correctly used as a medical symbol, and why. And I talk about Hermes a lot.

References and further reading:


Episode 3 – why yes, I *do* love a good simile…

In the third episode, I explain in as much detail as possible why similes are important in Homeric epic and how exactly to enjoy them.

References and further reading:

  • Eliza G. Williams, A Classification of the Similes of Homer, The Classical Weekly, Vol. 13, No. 19 (March 15, 1920), pp. 147-150 (The Johns Hopkins University Press). Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org.uk/stable/437966

Episodes 4a and 4b – no, there was *no lava* (Parts 1 and 2)

Inspired by the work I’m doing with CSCP on Pompeii, this is a rant so epic I had to cut it in half to fit each part into ten minutes! Here is my list of the four most annoying things people get wrong about Pompeii. (And thanks to Dr Sophie Hay who helped with Point 1/4!)

References and further reading:


Episode 6 (there is no 5) – yes, we *do* need to talk more about ancient slavery

This rant was inspired by an unfortunately and timely experience in my own teaching. Have a listen, and a think. I only hope I’ve done this topic justice.

The frescoes mentioned: all images either my own or from Wiki commons. I’m not going to give you context because that’s how I gave them to my students:

Hagia Triada Sarcophagus images: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Triada_sarcophagus

References and further reading:

If you’re not sure where to start with teaching ancient slavery yourself, even the Wikipedia page on Slavery in Antiquity has a decent set of points to be getting on with: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_antiquity Reading the articles above would also be a great start.


Episode 7: we *need* to talk about Homeric heroism and Achilles’ heel

In this episode I ramble on a bit, filling in the gaps of general knowledge about Achilles’ heel, why he got ‘dipped’ in the first place, and how it ties in with what it means to be a Homeric hero anyway.

References and further reading:

Aristotle, ‘Poetics’, The definition of Tragedy: https://community.dur.ac.uk/m.p.thompson/poetics.htm#VI (accessed 22nd February 2021)

Comic: Hamartia https://greekmythcomix.com/comic/hamartia/

Cambridge Faculty of Education’s ‘War With Troy’ retelling https://classictales.educ.cam.ac.uk/stories/warwithtroy/

Comic: what makes a Homeric hero? https://greekmythcomix.com/comic/what-makes-a-homeric-hero/

Comic: Achilles, myth vs reality https://greekmythcomix.com/comic/achilles-myth-vs-reality/

Have an idea or request for an episode?

You can message me, by email or by leaving me a voice message, which could be included on a future episode!