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Episode 23: In which Roma gets some statues back, Mars learns what Sirens are, and Minerva learns her hero Ulysses might just be an idiot.

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

ROMA, GODDESS OF ROME: Behold, I bring glad tidings! The Getty Museum has agreed to hand over many artworks to my new museum of stolen artifacts!

MARS, ROMAN GOD OF WAR: What’s the Getty Museum?

MINERVA, ROMAN GODDESS OF STRATEGY: That’s the museum in California you wanted to invade.

ROMA: They heard of my rage and in terror they brought gifts to mollify my spirit.

MINERVA: I believe they heard of the rage of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit and agreed to repatriate the artifacts to avoid further legal action.

ROMA: That’s what I said.

MARS: Hey, did we get back that sexy youth statue?

MINERVA: Your obsession with repatriating statues of foxy young men is getting weird. Can’t you and Venus just do a date night like normal people?

MARS: You know we can’t.

ROMA: Admittedly, we didn’t get that statue back. But we did get a much more precious statue group, life-size terracotta figures of Orpheus and the Sirens. Here’s a picture.

Ancient Sesame Street would need some serious adjustments for PBS.

MARS: Good lord, those are terrifying. Do those women have bird bodies?

MINERVA: They’re Sirens, idiot. Their magic song lures whoever hears it to a watery grave. My favorite hero, Ulysses, is the only one to ever sail past the Sirens safely. His Greek name is pronounced “Odysseus,” by the way, not “Orpheus.”

ROMA: Just because you’re the goddess of strategy don’t mean you’re the only one who can read. It says “Orpheus” right here, and that he played his lyre to allow Jason and the Argonauts to sail past the Sirens without hearing them and jumping into the sea.

MARS: Guess your Ulysses isn’t the only one then.

MINERVA: That story doesn’t even make any sense. The lyre is a type of harp. No way someone could play that loud enough to drown out the Sirens’ song. Ulysses solved the problem by putting wax in all his men’s ears and having himself strapped to a mast so that only he could hear the song. He told his men not to release him no matter how much he begged. That’s a clever plan.

How you doin’?

MARS: I’m not in charge of strategy, and even I can tell that’s a terrible idea. What if the beeswax didn’t work or fall out? Wouldn’t the sailors just jump to their death? And what sort of leader has his men tie him up and orders them not to listen to him? He sounds like the stupidest pirate captain ever.

ROMA: I just had my hero Aeneas sail far enough away from the Sirens so he couldn’t hear them.

MARS: Now that sounds like a clever plan.

MINERVA (putting on helmet, reaching for her spear): If your hero is a total coward. Let’s settle this like gods. Winner takes the statues.

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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, enroll in CLAS-A 301 Classical Archaeology, coming in Fall 2024, no pre-reqs or previous experience required. Or for more exploits of the Roman gods, and how their myths shaped ancient and modern societies, enroll in CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, coming up in Summer I and II 2023 and Fall 2023, 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!