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Already anticipating her godhood, Divine Taylor waits patiently, once again, for the rest of the world to catch up.

Episode 73In which Livia introduces the Support Group for the Newly Deified to Taylor Swift, and recalls why she doesn’t visit more often.

This episode of Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus brought to you by the latest confusing mythological references on – and by CLAS-B 311 Sex and Gender in the Ancient World.

[SETTING: Support Group for the Newly Deified]

DIVINE ANTONINUS PIUS, FORMER AND REMARKABLY FORGETTABLE ROMAN EMPEROR: Gentlemen, we have a special guest for our meeting today: Divine Livia, wife of one of our founding members, Divine Augustus. She’s here to introduce us to our newest member: the Divine Taylor Swift.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT (sort of), BRIEFLY FORMER GREEK EMPEROR (sort of) AND CONQUEROR OF THE WORLD (sort of): When is this Augustus going to come to a meeting? Everyone’s always talking about him, but he never shows up.

DIVINE LIVIA, FORMER AND FIRST ROMAN EMPRESS AND GIRL BOSS: (coldly) I assure you, if my husband ever needs any of your help with a concept he manipulated with masterful skill, he will grace you with his presence. And bring wine, because he’s cool like that.

”Where my bros at?”

DIVINE JULIUS CAESAR, FORMER ALMOST-ROMAN-EMPEROR AND ANOTHER COMPLETE SOCIOPATH: If I had to choose a daughter-in-law, I absolutely would have chosen Cleopatra. But you are a close second, I suppose.

LIVIA: Thank you, Father Julius. I understand I could not compete with your apparent plan to marry your lover to your adopted son, who was a teenager at the time. Also, ew.

ALEXANDER: Speaking of wine, what’s a woman doing here anyway? I thought this was a symposium. S.B.O.: Strictly Bros Only.

JULIUS CAESAR: Unlike you Greek fraternity freaks, we Romans respected our women. Enough to invite them to dinner and play an active albeit secondary role in our megalomaniac political ambitions, at least.

ROMULUS, FOUNDER OF ROME AND COMPLETE SOCIOPATH: Speak for yourself. When I started my city, it took me quite some time to figure out we needed women to keep going. Then I held a party, invited our neighbors’ women, and stole them.

DIVINE HADRIAN, FORMER ROMAN EMPEROR AND PRETENTIOUS WINDBAG: You are such an idiot. That little stunt of yours could have gotten your pathetic straw huts burnt to the ground. The only reason it didn’t was your new wives decided they’d take their new status quo, rather than watch their fathers slaughter their children’s fathers. It’s really a testimony to the depressing lives of ancient women, rather than to your logical mastery of the concept “we need women to make babies.”

Reddit debates about Swifties watching NFL games, Ancient Roman style.

ROMULUS: Speaking of needing women to make babies, how many kids did you sire with Sabina again, Hadrian? Or were you too busy trying with Antinoos?

ANTONINUS PIUS: Well, Father Hadrian ended up with me, so no loss there, I like to say.

HADRIAN: I adopted you out of desperation, you bland excuse for imperial space.

LIVIA: (in her best mom voice) GENTLEMEN! Thank you. I wanted to let you know that apparently there will be a new goddess joining us soon, and unlike the rest of us, she will be taking up her godhead pre-death. Her name is Taylor Swift.

HERCULES: Why is she joining our club in particular? It seems a little late to be accepting new applicants to be Ancient Greek gods.

LIVIA: The mortals have deemed Taylor Swift “the Trojan Horse of Academia.” That lands her squarely in our pantheon.

HADRIAN: I designed the Pantheon, you know.

LIVIA: Not that pantheon.

HADRIAN: And what in the world does “the Trojan Horse of Academia” even mean?

HERCULES: She’s full of little armed soldiers that are going to jump out and burn academia down as soon as everyone goes to sleep?

Reddit debates about Swifties watching NFL games, Trojan War style.

HADRIAN: Let me explain. This Swift Tailor is a fertility goddess. She is going to birth many, many children, as a good woman should, inside of the Academy, which I assume is now housed in the library that I built in Athens.

LIVIA: Thank you, Hadrian, for your deeply idiotic interpretation. A word to the wise, you should not want women giving birth in a library. Childbirth is a very messy process, if you’ve ever bothered to consider it. And currently Taylor Swift has no children. Instead she is pursuing business interests, much like I did after my dear husband died.

ALEXANDER: Whoa, what? A woman who isn’t having babies? And is making money? Modern mortals are sooooooo weird.

LIVIA: It wasn’t all that unusual for ancient women in the Roman Empire to have their own incomes and business ventures. And many elite women had few or no children. There were various forms of birth control available, and, as it turns out, not many women want to risk being tortured to death by their own bodies, if they can avoid it (glares at 2022 Supreme Court). Father Julius, you were married at least three times, and only had one legitimate child. You had to adopt my husband Augustus just to have a legitimate heir. Hadrian, you were adopted by Trajan and then adopted Antoninus Pius here for the same reason: Trajan’s wife Plotina and your wife Sabina never had any children.

HERCULES: Wait, I want to go back to the Trojan Horse. Did this fast tailor eat all the soldiers? Like Cronus?

LIVIA: No. The Trojan Horse is not the correct metaphor. That would mean that academics were bringing Taylor Swift into universities, and then she would reveal herself to be something else entirely that would destroy universities and civilization as we know it. Wait, why are all of you nodding?

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To learn more about the lives of Roman women, divine or otherwise, enroll in CLAS-B 311 Sex and Gender in the Ancient World, coming up as a late-start class in Spring 2024, with no pre-reqs! Or to make sure you get your mythological metaphors correct, join CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, also coming up as a late-start class in Spring 2024While you’re waiting, make sure to check back for more sessions of the Support Group of the Newly DeifiedCan’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!