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Greece, Heroes

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Xena

Fun fact: in Greek “Xena” really means “stranger” or “foreigner”. I’ve certainly had the honor of filling that role many times in my life, and recently.

I am Xena!  

I am not ashamed to admit that I own all 6 Seasons of the CLASSIC TV show, “Xena: Warrior Princess” starring Lucy Lawless. The show is full of absurd fight scenes and corny jokes, and also lessons of love and friendship. The episodes are filled with quips on Classics, history, love, friendship, and kicking ass.

When I become a teacher, I’m going to include clips from this show. I kid you not. In fact, I think a great quiz would be to have the students watch an episode of Xena from Seasons 1-3 and then write down the following: 1) inspiration for all names of people and places; and 2) everything that was WRONG with the episode. I can’t blame writers for taking serious liberties with history or mythology. They keep us on our toes!

Greek history: Solon, Callisto, the Trojan War, Greek geography (apparently it takes no time at all to travel around Greece by foot), music, ancient currency, ancient dress (okay not really), centaurs and Chiron, Elysian Fields/Hades, Amazons (who live in “Amazonland” according to John Boardman hehe),

Hercules (sadly not called Herakles), shamans, Greek temple architecture (…no), the gods and their interactions with humans (this actually happens quite a lot in Homer), and so on. Ares especially 

Roman history: crucifixion, Caesar (who is also Cupid who is also the guy who kills Jason Bourne’s wife AND the son of Theodin in LOTR – busy guy!), 

Cleopatra, Christianity, Livia, Vestal Virgins, medicine (Galen), the brutality of the amphitheater

Other cultures!!!: Indian (Krishna), Chinese (where Xena travels to repay a debt to Lao Ma), Japanese (Samurais). During the later seasons of the show Xena travels East (just like Alexander and later Romans!). She learns secret arts of fighting and power and of gods while in India, and later Gabrielle discovers her own power and how strong she really is while in the Orient.

Do you believe in rebirth or past lives? The writers of Xena sure do. It all comes with the idea of “soul mates”, I suppose. Xena and Gabrielle (…and Joxer) are always meant to find each other, no matter what the year.

Real life lessons learned from Xena?

1)      Don’t believe everything you see on TV

2)      Friends are the most precious commodity

3)      You can walk ANYWHERE

4)      Gods exist, but they don’t rule you. You control your own life.

5)      When in doubt: wear leather, carry a big sword, and kick ass.

6)      Good ALWAYS conquers evil.

Lucy Lawless loves to sing. Therefore, Xena loves to sing. There are many musical episodes in this show, some reference “Bye Bye, Birdie”, some “Footloose”, some are anti-war messages… and some, like this favorite of mine, are all about girl-power (kind of a major theme of the show). Enjoy 😀

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About Elizabeth

PhD student in Classical Art & Archaeology at UVA with a focus on Greek heroes and iconography (yet forever awed by Roman 2nd and 4th style painting). Salsa and Argentine tango dancer extraordinaire. Weightlifter and Crossfitter the world over.

Discussion

One thought on “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Xena

  1. Hello Mrs. Connery! I am also a Xenite and would like to share my interpretations of Gabrielle’s Scrolls with you. Please visit brandyseymour.wordpress.com to view them at your pleasure.

    Posted by brandyseymour | May 8, 2012, 11:06 PM

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