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In high school Victorious Youth was voted "Most Likely to be Rescued from the Seafloor," "Most Likely to do a Horror Movie," and "Most Likely to be the Subject of a Decades Long International Legal Dispute."

Episode 75: In which Roma and Mars revisit a terrible plan to invade California and rescue a statue, and Minerva discusses maritime law.

This episode of Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus brought to you by the latest archaeological news on – and by CLAS-A 301 Classical Archaeology.

MARS, ROMAN GOD OF WAR: Minerva! Remember when I told you I wanted to invade California?

MINERVA, ROMAN GODDESS OF STRATEGY: I vaguely remember you having that stupid idea, yes. But you have so many stupid ideas, it’s hard to keep track.

MARS: You told me we had to wait for “legal wrangling” to get our statue back. Well, the legals have been wrangled, and they said the statue is ours. Get packing, and make sure to bring your trebuchets.

MINERVA: Wait, what? None of that made sense, including that French word.

MARS: A trebuchet is a giant wooden arm you use to sling rocks at things. I finally watched that epic poem Gladiator that you keep talking about, and I saw them for the first time there. They’re amazing! If we had actually had them back in Ancient Rome, I’d have hit so many things with burning rocks!

If you’re dangling off a cliff from your siege mechanism while horses stampede inside your castle, you’re trebuchet-ing wrong.

MINERVA: What does that have to do with legal wrangling?

ROMA, GODDESS OF ROME: Mars is referring to a statue now known as the “Victorious Youth,” which the Americans looted from Italia to place in their Temple of the the Muses they call The Jetty.

MINERVA: Are you trying to say the “Getty?” As in, the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu?

ROMA: I’m pretty sure it is The Jetty, since the statue was recovered from the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. Regardless, the European Court has done this legal argument you are so fond of, and they have declared the statue to be the property of Italia. So now we must get it back, because this Jetty is refusing to return it.

MINERVA: Well, I’m not surprised about that. The Getty Museum is in California, so it’s not like the European Court has any jurisdiction there. Why was the Court even involved?

ROMA: According to the mortal news, the Jetty asked the European Court to intervene after a court in Italia demanded that the Jetty return the statue.

MARS: Man, that plan seems to have backfired. This is why you should never ask anyone to do anything. Order and attack, those are the only two interactions you should ever have with people. And slaughter. But that kinda follows from attack.

MINERVA: Also, didn’t you say the statue was found in the Adriatic Sea? That would put the discovery in international waters, so no court would have jurisdiction there.

ROMA: International waters are a myth. Rome owns all waters. That’s why we called the Mediterranean Sea mare nostrum, “our sea.”

MINERVA: Yeah, that’s not how that works anymore. In fact, the Italian navy is pretty keen on the idea of international waters when it comes to refugees. Maybe the Getty should say the statue is seeking asylum in Italy, and then the Italian government would insist it stays in California.

MARS: Have you seen the statue? Dude works out. No way he’s a refugee from anything, except maybe his clothes. You can’t maintain that sort of physique on the road.


MINERVA: Beyond the question of jurisdiction, what associates this statue with Italy, anyway? Greece is the culture that’s famous for its statues of naked athletes. It could have been made in Greece and been on its way anywhere when the ship sank.

ROMA: If it was a Greek statue on a ship, it was probably being looted and taken to Rome anyway. This is a stupid argument. All roads lead to Rome and all waterways are my ways. As Queen Ariana the Great recently said, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.”

MINERVA: (putting on helmet, reaching for her spear) These modern queens and goddesses are aggressive! Well, I’m not going to be shown up by these mortal upstarts. Let’s go show them how the OG “Angry Women” take care of business.

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Be sure to check in on the continued repatriation adventures of Minerva, Mars, and Roma. To explore the politics of returning artifacts across international borders, look for CLAS-A 301 Classical Archaeology, coming up Fall 2024, no pre-reqs or previous experience required. Or for more exploits of the Roman gods, and how their myths shaped Ancient Greek and modern societies, enroll in CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, coming up Summer II 2024 and Fall 2024, and earn GEC credits while you’re at it! Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!