LATE NIGHT

with Bibi Jacob

Classics

A podcast of ancient classics to accompany you into the night

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c. 630 – c. 570 BCE

Sappho

An archaic poet from the island of Lesbos, Sappho was both a composer and singer. She was known as the ‘tenth Muse’ and ‘the female Homer.’
Her poems were organised into eight or nine books by Alexandrian scholars. Tragically, most of her work was lost and destroyed over the centuries. Only beautiful fragments remain.

The moon has set, and the Pleiades;
it is midnight, time slips by and I lie alone.

Late Night Classics Podcast with Bibi Jacob

Young woman with wax tablets and stylus (so-called "Sappho"), fresco on gesso, Pompei, Naples National Archaeological Museum

 8th century BCE

Greek Classics
Head of Homer, Glyptothek Museum, Munich
Greek Mythology
Homer - Naples National Archaeological Museum's collection

Homer

Ὅμηρος

Considered to be one of the most influential authors in the world, little is actually known about Homer. He is credited with the creation of the great epics: The Odyssey and The Iliad. These poems were orally transmitted and put into written form some time between the eighth and sixth centuries BCE.

These nights are wondrous long. There is time for sleep and there is time to take joy in hearing tales; thou needest not lay thee down till it be time; there is weariness even in too much sleep. 

The Odyssey

c. 484 – c. 406 BCE

Euripides

One of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, Euripides wrote about ninety plays of which about nineteen survive. Many of his plays were stylistically innovative. He explores the darker side of human nature, and gives voices to powerful female protagonists and the dispossessed.

Let me go, let me go now. Lay me back, I have no strength in my legs. Hades is near and night creeps darkly over my eyes. Children, children, your mother is no more, no more! Farewell, my children, joy be yours as you look on the light of the sun!

Alcestis

Late Night Classics Podcast with Bibi Jacob

Euripides sitting, Misthos collection, Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Marble bas-relief, 1st AD. Woman handing a theatre mask to Euripides.

Ancient Greek classical texts
Illustration from a 1647 Dutch edition of Lucian's True History Copyright British Library Board
Roman Classics
The Latin manuscript of Dialogues of the Gods translated by Livio Guidolotto, 1518

c. 125 – after c.180 CE

Lucian

A satirist, philosopher and rhetorician, Lucian of Samosata was best known for his malicious wit and tongue-in-cheek style. He excelled in satirising every aspect of human behaviour and was very popular in his day. About seventy works are attributed to him. His fantastical True History is considered by some to be the first work of science fiction.

These dreams are not all alike either in nature or shape, for some of them are long, beautiful, and pleasing: others again are as short and deformed. Some make show to be of gold, and others to be as base and beggarly. Some of them had wings, and were of monstrous forms: others set out in pomp, as it were in a triumph, representing the appearances of kings, gods, and other persons.

True History

70 – 19 BCE

Virgil

Born Publius Vergilius Maro, the poet Virgil is best known for his epic, The Aeneid. It was written during the reign of Augustus and tells the story of Rome’s legendary Trojan founder, Aeneas.  The Romans regarded Virgil as their greatest poet.

Easy is the way down to the Underworld: by night and by day dark Hades’ door stands open; but to retrace one’s steps and to make a way out to the upper air, that’s the task, that is the labour.

The Aeneid

Late Night Classics Podcast with Bibi Jacob

Virgil Writing His Epitaph at Brundisi by Angelica Kauffman 1785, Carnegie Museum of Art.

Fresco of Ovid in the Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto
George Sandys edition of Ovid's ''Metamorphosis'' (1632)

43 BCE - 17 CE

Ovid

Much of Ovid’s innovative poetry deals with erotic themes. His most brilliant and ambitious work is the Metamorphoses, an epic collection of mythological stories and legends. Just before publication of the Metamorphoses, the Emperor Augustus banished the poet to Tomis, on the Black Sea.

‘Twas the time when the earth is first besprinkled with crystal rime, and songsters hid in the branch begin their plaint.

Heroides (Ariadne to Theseus)

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A selection of ancient classics read by Bibi Jacob with immersive soundscapes by Geoff Chong

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The Travis fountain, Rome

Late Night Classics Podcast with Bibi Jacob

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