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A unique view of mythology ... Imagine: Ancient Greek gods in the modern world ... Were the Greek gods no more than myths? Modern scholars say so. What if they're wrong? ... Join best selling author and mythologist Patrick Garner as he explores each of the major Greek gods--Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena, Poseidon, Ares and many others--and offers rare insights into who these divine beings were--and what became of them ... LIKE TO LISTEN? COMPELLING NEW STORIES ABOUT THE GODS ARE A ...
 
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Welcome to Episode 31. In this episode we drill down into the world of ancient Greek healing. Was Hippocrates the father of medicine? Hardly. He was preceded by a demi-god, a son of Apollo named Asklepios. Asklepios, who flourished 800 years before Hippocrates, specialized in cures that reset a patient’s age. They were akin to today’s breakthroughs…
 
Hidden from view, complex to understand and often controversial, algorithms are at the heart of computer coding that underpins modern society. Every time we search the internet, every time we pay by credit card, even the romantic partners suggested to us by online dating sites – they’re all powered by algorithms. And their reach is growing all the …
 
Whether it be a kerrang, a chop, a blistering solo, some finger picking or a subtle flange, the electric guitar is one of the defining sounds of the 20th century. Without it – and its constant companion, the amplifier - popular culture would be unrecognisable today: no big gigs, no stadium concerts. And almost certainly no rock music. But why was i…
 
Welcome to Episode 30 where we survey ancient war and how it formed the Greek notion of the ideal hero. Thousands of years ago heroes were, without exception, brave young men. They expected to die young, valiantly and with the bodies of those they’d slain lying at their feet. In this episode we contrast ancient war involving the gods to modern, sec…
 
It’s a hundred years since the infamous premiere of Luigi Pirandello’s experimental play Six Characters in Search of an Author, when an enraged Rome theatre audience yelled abuse at the Italian playwright and chased him out of the theatre. Since then, the play has gained iconic status as a piece of theatre which helped move Western culture into mod…
 
With three separate missions exploring the Red Planet in 2021, Mars is once again under the spotlight. But to tell the truth, it’s never been away. Mars has fascinated people for centuries with its seemingly curious motion in the night sky, its red colour and the eternal question as to whether it may or may not harbour life, past or present.Since t…
 
The writer Amir Hamza is a national hero in Indonesia celebrated for both his poetry and his role in the development of the country’s national language. Hamza was an emotional man who struggled with thwarted love and inner conflict and created a beguilingly intense body of work. His poetry paid homage to Malay literary tradition infused with Islami…
 
Welcome to Episode 29 … Listen as we learn about the real Heracles, Greece’s indisputable superhero. A semi-divine being and the son of Zeus, Heracles experienced tragedies and triumphs. He never refused a challenge. In this episode we look at his 12 labors, his loves and his transformation from mortal to immortal god … Narrated by mythologist and …
 
David Lewis was of one of the most remarkable nautical explorers of modern times. In the mid-1960s, he took his wife and two small daughters - who were less than five years old - on a sailing trip around the world in a small catamaran. What is more, for one part of the journey, he rejected standard 20th-Century navigational equipment and relied on …
 
Patricia Highsmith was one of the most successful suspense writers of the 20th century. Known especially for her novels The Talented Mr. Ripley, Carol and Strangers on a Train, she created complex and alluring characters, capable of terrible things and at the same time deeply human. Yet for much of her life, Highsmith herself remained an enigmatic …
 
Over a thousand years ago in the city of Bukhara in modern-day Uzbekistan, a young man was gaining a reputation for his great medical knowledge. His name was Ibn Sina and he was to go on to become one of the most influential physicians and philosophers not just in the Islamic world, but also in the West, where his writings were translated into Lati…
 
Welcome to EPISODE 28 -- The Proud, Audacious Amazons The Amazons were sired by the war god, Ares. They reflected their parentage well. As fighting machines they were almost unstoppable. That is, until they confronted Greece's greatest heroes. In this episode we look at their life style -- and their grandest conflicts. Over the course of almost a t…
 
Completed in 1914, the Panama Canal has long been regarded as a triumph of American ingenuity, a conquest over nature that helped secure the United States’ position as a world power. Taking ten years to build, it opened up new trading routes between East and West by providing a vital waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But what was th…
 
Ida Pfeiffer's desire to see the world was like many childhood fantasies - destined to remain just that. And yet at the age of 44 once her sons had reached adulthood, she set off from her home in Vienna on a series of journeys that no woman of her time or background had contemplated. Beginning with a trip to the Middle East, Pfeiffer travelled most…
 
Welcome to EPISODE 27 -- The Dishonored Sky Gods Zeus did not have the sky to himself, and shared it with the sun god Helios, the moon goddess Selene, and others. This arrangement worked well until an even greater force than Zeus came on the scene. This episode tells the story of the sky gods who were bested by science. That was a new way to explai…
 
How did we get from not having any reliable way of predicting the weather just 150 years ago, to today's accurate, tailor-made forecasts for places as small as a village? Bridget Kendall and guests trace the history of meteorology, from its first steps as an aid to quicker trans-Atlantic shipping to the latest methods which can help anticipate weat…
 
A young immigrant to the USA who started out working in a draper's shop, Emile Berliner ended up paving the way for the world of recordings and home entertainment that we delight in today. But even before he got to work on his recording machine - which he would later call the gramophone - Berliner made a major contribution to another piece of techn…
 
Welcome to Episode 26, THE THREE HELENS This episode features the story of Helen of Troy, also known as the woman whose "face launched a thousand ships.” She was beautiful, but ended up being a pawn of the gods in the Trojan War. The effort to rescue her actually changed Greek history by being the impetus to unite the Greek city-states. As often ha…
 
Have you ever sat against the trunk of a large old tree, looked up into its canopy and wondered what it’s seen in its lifetime? There are many species of tree that survive well beyond a human lifespan, for hundreds of years, and some that can live far longer than that, spanning millennia. What can we learn from large old trees around the world? How…
 
EP 25: You Tell Apollo He’s A Myth … Welcome to Episode 25. This episode explores whether the gods are real or -- as scholars state -- myths. In this unique podcast we take a different approach, daring to examine whether we’ve all been misled. What if the Greek gods simply walked? What if they tired of the affairs and the squabbling that was a cons…
 
The Wizard of Oz is best known as one of the most watched films of all time, or as one of its many re-incarnations, such as the hugely successful Broadway musical Wicked or the Soviet, The Wizard of the Emerald City. But fewer people nowadays may be aware of the original book by the American writer L. Frank Baum that inspired these stories about a …
 
… Welcome to Podcast 24. This episode excavates the story of Medusa. I say ‘excavate’ because today we think of Medusa as a monster whose glance could turn men to stone. But there’s much more to her story. It’s been buried. So first we shovel aside the stones and debris. What do we find? Before she was a monster, she was a beautiful girl. While a t…
 
The practice of hunting with birds of prey is thought to stretch back thousands of years. In early nomadic societies, falconry was used to hunt animals to provide food and clothing in places such as the steppes of Central Asia. As the practice spread, falconry evolved into a pastime that attracted the elite of European society, reflected in the ext…
 
Aramaic is a language that for some three thousand years facilitated the exchange of ideas across large tracts of the Middle East and Asia. In its heyday it was the main official and written language across the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid empires. It was the language in which several sections of the Old Testament Bible were written. A Galilean dial…
 
The discovery of X-rays by the German scientist Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895 was nothing short of ground-breaking, opening up a new era in medicine. For the first time, doctors could see inside the human body without the need for surgery, and diagnose many more living patients. X-rays had major implications for physics as well, allowing scientists to s…
 
... Welcome to Episode 23, DEMETER - BEST GIFT EVER The Greek gods do everything humans can do, but on a grander scale. When Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, gives bountiful harvests, all rejoice. How do you top that? When her kidnapped daughter is returned, the grateful goddess gives Greeks the promise of a happy afterlife. Talk about the BEST…
 
Over five hundred years ago, dismissed diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli produced his most famous work, The Prince. Written on the fringes of the Italian city of Florence, the book has long been read as a priceless guide to power and what holding it truly involves. But who was the man behind the work? Why did he claim that a leader must be prepared to a…
 
... Welcome to Episode 22, SATYRS & A CYCLOPES You’ve probably heard of satyrs, but not thought beyond their strange appearance. They are the combination of 4 or 5 animals, including humans. The big difference between satyrs and humans, though, is in their approach toward life. In this episode, satyrs collide with a one-eyed giant called a cyclopes…
 
The motor car is a feature of contemporary life the world over but when and where did motor vehicles begin? How did we get from the slow, noisy, dangerous, early vehicles of the 19th century to the swish, sleek, practical cars of today? Why did the early electric vehicle – so popular early on and the first car to go faster than a hundred kilometres…
 
Throughout its 130-year-old history, the ukulele has often been underrated – for many, this tiny four stringed instrument is a musical joke, a plastic toy or a cheap airport souvenir, but in fact, some of the world’s greatest musicians have played and admired it, and it has enduring associations with the struggle for Hawaiian independence since its…
 
The American president Thomas Jefferson called Tadeusz Kosciuszko "as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known". Kosciuszko was born in what is today Belarus, trained as an engineer in Poland and France and went on to become one of the important military players in the American War of Independence. This was when he wasn’t pursuing his dream of a …
 
... Welcome to Episode 21, Oedipus & the Sphinx.. This episode features the story of Oedipus, an extraordinarily tragic figure in Greek mythology who tries to do his best, but is bested by the Fates. He meets the Sphinx—not the Egyptian version but the divine sphinx that terrified the Greeks in the city of Thebes. She killed man after man by posing…
 
Anyone who has ever researched their family tree will have most likely come across the census, the process by which every citizen or subject of a country is counted and classified. Data collected by the census, often carried out every ten years, has been invaluable to genealogists, both amateur and professional. And the census has also developed in…
 
New stories about the gods! Homo Divinitas, by podcaster Patrick Garner, is now available on Amazon as an audible book! ... Welcome to Episode 20. We’re taking a short break from our usual episodes to hear Chapter 1 of the audible book, Homo Divinitas. It has the same Greek gods you love, but they show up in the modern world where they meddle and m…
 
Like many traditional domestic crafts, knitting has experienced a huge surge in popularity in the 21st century, making it fashionable and even radical. But the history of hand knitting is still relatively obscure. The oldest knitted artefacts are Coptic socks found in Egypt dating from the fourth century AD, but although they look like modern-day k…
 
Considered to be one of literature’s supreme achievements, One Hundred Years of Solitude by the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez is reported to be the most popular work of Spanish-language fiction since Don Quixote in the 17th century. Written in 1967, it tells the story of seven generations of the Buendía family, whose patriarch is the fo…
 
... Welcome to Episode 19. This episode focuses on a woman who was, perhaps, the most powerful in all of Greece. The daughter of the sun god, Helios, Medea was a sorceress and the infamous wife of Jason, the hero and leader of the Argonauts … Medea was really the mastermind of all of Jason’s heroic acts. Without her he would have been nothing. With…
 
So prodigious was the polymath Rabindranath Tagore, there’s a saying in Bengal that one lifetime is not enough to consume all of his work. Poet, playwright, thinker, activist, educator, social reformer, composer, artist… the list of his talents is long. Today his name is known all over India and Bangladesh; children recite his poetry at school and …
 
... Welcome to Episode 18. Here we open Pandora’s Box, and inside, to our horror, we find ... the Fates and the Furies. All divine, the Three Fates and the Three Furies were daughters of the ancient being Nyx, who was herself the daughter of Chaos … The Fates presided at every birth, determining a mortal’s lifespan and occupation. The Furies were e…
 
While the name of Pauline Viardot may be unfamiliar to many, in her lifetime she was one of the most celebrated performers in Europe. Her interpretation of Orpheus in a revival of Gluck’s opera made the writer Charles Dickens weep, and the novelist George Sand said that whenever she heard Pauline Viardot sing, nothing else mattered. In addition to …
 
The One Thousand and One Nights are a collection of fantastical stories of flying carpets, magic and genies whose ancient origins go back to the 7th century or earlier. The tales are told by Scheherazade who uses the power of storytelling night after night to stop her Sultan husband from beheading her. These highly influential stories were brought …
 
... Welcome to Episode 17. In this podcast we enter the extraordinary world of nymphs. These semi-divine beings were young girls who populated and protected every waterway, spring and sacred grove. They were not deathless, but could live for centuries, and were found throughout Greece, Sicily, Crete and on all the Cycladic islands of the Aegean sea…
 
Until the eighteenth century there were no professional dentists. The only way to deal with a serious case of toothache was to call on the services of blacksmiths, travelling showmen or so-called barber-surgeons, all of whom had a sideline in tooth extraction. But in 1728, French physician Pierre Fauchard published the first complete scientific des…
 
Educate, Agitate, Organise. This was the motto of the Indian scholar BR Ambedkar who led an extraordinary life of activism and achievement. It put him in conflict with many other political forces in his native country, such as the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi. In India itself, Ambedkar's legacy is widely respected but in other countr…
 
... Welcome to Episode 16, where we linger on the mysterious island of Aeaea with the goddess Circe. She trafficked in herbs and magical spells, and became infamous for turning sailors who stumbled onto her beaches into wolves, and wolves into swine, and swine into snakes … Circe’s lasting fame arose during the year the wily Odysseus spent in her c…
 
Common to many cultures across the world, swimming appears on the surface to be a benign leisure activity. But in fact it has much to tell us about such things as the development of societies, our bodies and minds, and our relationship to our ancestors and the natural world.For the Ancient Greeks and Romans, swimming was essential for instilling di…
 
Many students of psychology, business, nursing and other disciplines are taught about "Maslow's pyramid of human needs", a diagram that shows a progression from our basic needs, such as food and shelter, to higher, social needs and, eventually, to striving for often intangible life goals and fulfilment. The pyramid is an iconic image, yet Abraham M…
 
... Welcome to Episode 15, where we travel back to Athens in our mythology time machine for one grand purpose: We seek to experience the famous Eleusinian Mysteries. The Mysteries were a must-attend, life-or-death ritual. Those who successfully participated were assured a pleasant afterlife. And those who did not attend were herded by Hades into a …
 
When the Kalevala was published in 1835, Finland had a distinct cultural and linguistic identity but it had always been part of either the Swedish or the Russian empire. Neither did Finland have much of a literary tradition, but as the 19th-century progressed the Kalevala took on a symbolic role as the representation of a Finnish identity that fed …
 
... Welcome to Episode 14 where we look at the adventures — and the strangely modern travails — of the wine-god, Dionysos, whom the Romans called Bacchus. An ancient being, he was the exotic god of ecstasy and dance. The inventor of theater and wine, he was alternately celebrated and feared. Whereas many of the Olympic gods exploited women, he was …
 
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