Dead Ideas: The History of Extinct Thoughts and Practices

We explore ideas and practices once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity. For example, discover miasma, the theory that plague comes from stinky air; or the medical diagnosis of hysteria, which holds that women's wombs wander around their bodies causing trouble. Join us on a fun romp through the history of ideas that didn’t quite stand the test of time.


The All-Gay Army: Ancient Greece’s Sacred Band of Thebes: An Interview with James Romm

The Sacred Band of Thebes, comprised entirely of gay male lovers, was Ancient Greece’s original response to the gays in the military question. What was that like? How did it function? And what was its lasting legacy? That’s what we’re going to find out today, just in time for Pride Month. Here to help us do it is classicist James Romm, author of The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom. By the way, the New Yorker article referenced in the episode is "Ancient Greece's Army of Lovers" by Daniel Mendelsohn. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Support the show on Patreon at and get a hand-drawn portrait. Research, writing, editing, and production by B. T. Newberg. Music and Logo Design by Rachel Westhoff. Additional credits, references, and more at


 2021-06-07  n/a