When your crime gives new meaning to the phrase “witness line-up.”
Episode 35: In which Zeus calls a council to discuss a wave of terrorist tourists, and Dionysus is the cause and the solution to the problem.
[SETTING: Grand meeting hall of Mt. Olympus]
ZEUS, KING OF GODS AND PERPETUAL HORN-DOG: Ok, everyone, I called this council of all the gods to determine what in the world is going on with the mortals? First some random dude takes out his romantic frustrations by smashing Greek pottery in the Dallas Museum of Art. Then some other random dude rides his moped into the backlot of Pompeii. Now I hear that yet another random dude tried to smash some Roman busts in the Vatican museum. Anyone have an explanation for this sudden wave of assaults on our memory?
HERMES, GOD OF LOWER LEARNING AND GENERAL PAIN IN THE…: Dude, mortals are just crazy. No more explanation needed.
APOLLO, GOD OF HIGHER LEARNING AND MUSIC: There is a lot of angst in the world right now. People channel their feelings in different ways, like song, or poetry…
ARES, GOD OF BATTLE AND SLAUGHTER: Shut up, you whiny, nerdy loser.
ARTEMIS, GODDESS OF THE WILDS AND HUNTING: Leave my twin brother alone or I will send an arrow through your windpipe!
ZEUS: Ok, I’m immediately regretting my decision to go open-floor. Everyone, shut up. Aphrodite, you apparently were involved in the two previous incidents. Any insights?
APHRODITE, GODDESS OF SEXUAL DESIRE AND REALLY RELUCTANT WIFE OF HEPHAESTUS: I wasn’t actually involved in either. I just acted as commentator, because it turns out my husband is so passionless that even when someone invades my favorite city he refuses to take action. So I guess I wouldn’t know anything about someone smashing pottery to get my attention.
ARES: I’d smash a whole museum for you, Babe.
HEPHAESTUS, GOD OF METALWORKING AND HUSBAND OF APHRODITE: I’m right here.
HERA, GODDESS OF MARRIAGE AND ZEUS’ SISTER-WIFE-QUEEN (you read that right): Iris tells me that the Vatican offender was trying to get ahold of someone called the Pope, who is apparently the high priest of Christianity, or something like that. He lives in that Temple of St. Peter in Rome we were just talking about. Maybe they think he is St. Peter? It’s unclear.
ARES: This dude made it so that if mortals want to summon him, they have to ritually smash a Roman head? That’s awesome! I want that to be my summoning ritual from now on.
ATHENA, GODDESS OF WISDOM AND CRAFTSMANSHIP: Like anyone would ever want to summon you, you musclebound psychopath.
ARES: Someone likes to summon me all the time (winks broadly at Aphrodite).
HEPHAESTUS: Still here!
HERA: I don’t think he was supposed to smash the busts. Look at how much effort they put into preserving ancient floors. It would be weird if mortals spend all that time and effort carefully farming artifacts, and then other mortals demand that the artifacts be smashed.
DEMETER, GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE: Once again, not what “farming” means.
ZEUS: This is why I never call these councils. Does anyone have any useful information?
DIONYSUS, GOD OF BREAKING SOCIAL BOUNDARIES: It was me all along. I inspired the mortals to do the pottery smashing and the moped thing, because I was bored. And then I found this hilarious mortal blog series about us, and they had covered both incidents. They also have these themes running through their posts about ancient religion, and the gods’ romantic relationships, and I thought, why not bring it all together? Hence the Vatican moment.
[A beat of confused silence]
HERA: This is what happens when a male god tries to usurp my domain, forgets he doesn’t have an obvious exit point for a baby, and has to give birth out of his thigh. Why is this lunatic here again?
For more exploits of the Greek gods, and how their myths shaped Ancient Greek and modern societies, enroll in CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, coming up Fall 2023, and earn GEC credits while you’re at it! Or to learn more about Pompeii and the struggle to preserve the archaeological record, look for CLAS-C 419 Art and Archaeology of Pompeii, coming in Spring 2025 with no pre-reqs. Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!