Tales

of the Night Sky

Greek and Roman Myths about the stars and constellations

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Late Night Classics with Bibi Jacob.

Original Audio Drama...

with spectacular soundscapes, based on the Greco-Roman myths behind the constellations. Written and directed by Bibi Jacob, these moving and sometimes humorous tales, brim with tragedy, injustice, and violence.

Look up and listen...

Each episode tells you the stories behind the stars and constellations, based on Greek & Roman mythology.

Season 2 is here!

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S2, E1
Ganymede: The Constellation of Aquarius

Ganymede, Prince of Troy, shuns the company of men and only finds pleasure in nature. But when his exceptional beauty comes to the attention of men and gods, his life will never be the same.

This episode was written and performed by Mitchell Moreno 
Direction by Bibi Jacob
Sound and production by Geoff Chong

Recorded in the studio of the National Theatre, London with Richard Coleby as sound engineer.
Thanks to Suzanne Diakun.

And thanks to Michel – for his help – and Jean René at Studio Scopitone, Paris. 

S2, E2
Thetis & Amphitrite: The Constellation of Delphinus

It’s party time in the sea realm – the Nereid Amphitrite is about to wed Poseidon – but she’s having second thoughts. Can her sister Thetis pursuade her to tie the knot in time? And what’s really behind the ominous rumours the party guests are spreading?

This episode was written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Production and sound design by Geoff Chong

It stars:
Sharon Mann as Thetis
Elizabeth Wautlet as Amphitrite
Sandy Bernard as Doto
Nigel Pilkington and Morag Cross as the Gossips, Lalli and Kat
Doug Rand as Peleus
Dharni Mistry as the child
Bibi Jacob and Doug Rand as party guests

The actors recorded in studios in both Paris and London
A huge thank you to Marie Prevost at Voice Addict Studio, Paris, for her support
And thank you to Nigel Pilkington for the London recording

And an enormous thank you to the wonderful Underscore Orkestra – https://www.theunderscoreorkestra.com – for permission to use their music. These tracks feature at the party:
Swing Gitane
It Ain’t Right
Blue Drag
I’se a Muggin

S2
Bonus Episode: Delphinus, Dionysus & Arion

The party in the sea realm is fizzling out and the gossip Kat* finds herself left behind by her friend Lalli.* While looking for him, she stumbles upon a terrible truth.

*KATALALIA meaning gossip or defamation in Ancient Greek.

Written by Morag Cross
Starring Morag Cross as Kat
Featuring Nigel Pilkington and Doug Rand
Directed by Bibi Jacob
Production and sound by Geoff Chong
All ‘Kithara’ strumming by Morag Cross
The sea shanty is an original violin and vocal composition written and performed by Chloe Dunn and remixed by Geoff Chong
The track, ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business,’ is by the Underscore Orkestra

S2, E3
Eos: The Dawn

Can Eos, goddess of the dawn, really love the Trojan prince Tithonus for all eternity?

Written and narrated by Bibi Jacob
Sound and production by Geoff Chong

S2 E4
Themis & Astraea: The Constellation of Virgo

Where is Justice? Who is she? And what does she have to do with the Trojan war?

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Starring Sandy Bernard and Bibi Jacob
Sound and production by Geoff Chong  

S2 E5
Helen: The Constellation of Cygnus

She was known as Helen of Sparta until her face launched a thousand ships and started the Trojan War. Now Helen of Troy examines the multiple versions of her life – sifting through the beauty and sorrow – as the battle rages on outside.

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Starring Hester Wilcox as Helen
Original violin, vocal and bodhrán compositions written and performed by Chloe Dunn
Sound and production by Geoff Chong

If you want to listen to more of Chloe Dunn’s beautiful music, click on the links:

becaflor.com / Bècaflor Teaser

Special series: The Trojans

In this special series, Tales of the NIght Sky takes you into the heart of a large group of asteroids that orbit with Jupiter around the sun. These two camps of heavenly bodies – the Greeks leading and the Trojans trailing Jupiter  – are known as the Trojan asteroids. Each identified asteroid is named after a protagonist in Homer’s Iliad. And these characters find themselves locked in orbit, endlessly reliving the trauma of war.

This original series was co-created with Chris Mack and KJ Dwyer.
And the original concept was sparked off in our writers’ group, run by Chris Mack.

Member of 

S2 E6
The Trojans: 17314 AISAKOS

In the first of the Trojans, the seer Aisakos interprets Queen Hecuba’s dream

Starring Ciaran Cresswell
Written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Introduction written by KJ Dywer and Bibi Jacob
Sound and production by Geoff Chong

Useful sources for this episode: theoi.com , spannycattroy.livejournal.com

 

S2 E7
The Trojans: 884 PRIAMUS

In this second Trojan episode, King Priam remembers all that was lost in the first terrible siege of Troy.

Starring Les Clack
Written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Original violin compositions and playing by Chloe Dunn
Sound and production by Geoff Chong
Recorded at the SACD Podcast Studio, Paris

If you want to listen to more of Chloe Dunn’s beautiful music, click on the links:

becaflor.com / Bècaflor Teaser

S2 E8
The Trojans: 112 IPHIGENIA

There’s an eerie stillness in the port town of Aulis when Iphigenia arrives there for her wedding. What exactly will it take to bring back the winds and allow the Greek ships to sail to Troy?

Written and performed by Julie Kayla

Directed by Bibi Jacob
Sound and production by Geoff Chong
Outro by Bibi Jacob

 

S2 E9
The Trojans: 588 ACHILLES

Achilles, ‘the best of the Greeks’ slaughters Trojans mercilessly as he battles with his own grief and regrets.

Starring Tom Morton
Written and directed by Bibi Jacob
Production and sound by Geoff Chong

S2 E10
The Trojans: 617 PATROCLUS

Strange things happen one night, in a university observatory as Éloi struggles to stay awake and observe the 617 Patroclus asteroid.

Written and directed by KJ Dwyer
With KJ Dwyer as Elio
Mitchell Moreno as Patroclus
Ken Starcevic as  Menoetius
Bibi Jacob as the radio announcer

Sound and production by Geoff Chong

The actors recorded at the SACD Podcast Studio, Paris. And in London – with huge thanks to Nigel Pilkington.

S2 E11
The Trojans: 175 ANDROMACHE

Andromache appears in the university observatory to recount her tragic tale.

175 Andromache is a main-belt asteroid – not a Trojan in the L4 or L5 Lagrange points in Jupiter’s orbit. But since her character is central to the Trojan war, we’ve included her in this special series. 

Written and directed by KJ Dwyer.
Edited by Bibi Jacob.
With Mia Leahy as Dardana
and Kate Colebrook as Petra.
Original violin and vocal compositions written and performed by Chloe Dunn.
Sound and production by Geoff Chong.

Recorded at the SACD studios, Paris.

You can listen to more of Chloe Dunn’s beautiful music, on becaflor.com / Bècaflor Teaser

S2 E12
The Trojans: 1869 PHILOCTETES

In this final Trojan episode, the ghosts of the war rise up and tell tales of loss and consolation.

Sensitive listeners be aware  – some of the stories are disturbing.

Written and narrated by Bibi Jacob.
Sound and production by Geoff Chong.
Extracts from 17314 Aisakos and  884 Priamus feature Ciaran Cresswell and Les Clack.

A thank you to Chloe Dunn.

 

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S2, E13
Castor and Polydeuces: The Constellation of Gemini

You may know them as the Dioscuri – sons of Zeus – or as the Gemini Twins. In this episode discover the very unusal afterlife of the inimitable Castor and Polydeuces.

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob.
Starring David Stanley as Polydeuces, Kester Lovelace as Castor and Chris Mack as Hermes.
Sound and production by Geoff Chong.

Recorded at the SACD studios in Paris.

The quote from the Homeric Hymn to the Dioscuri comes from the Evelyn-White translation.

S2, E14
Hermes & Aphrodite: The Constellation of Aquila

How do a slipper and an eagle lead to love? Hermes explains all.

Written by Chris Mack with Bibi Jacob.
Featuring Chris Mack and Bibi Jacob.
Sound and production by Geoff Chong.

Click the button to listen to our 1st season

Check out our 1st season!

Greek Mythology Podcast
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Episode 1 Callisto: The Constellation of Ursa Major

Discover the story behind one of the best known constellations: Ursa Major, the Great Bear. This is the tale of Callisto, an Arcadian princess, who follows her dreams only to find herself confronting tragedy after tragedy. Listen to Callisto recount her devastating story, her painful metamorphosis and her astonishing, final transformation.

With: Emily Ingham, Elizabeth Ingham, Shelly De Vito. A huge thank you to Shelly, Jean-Paul and Mitchell

Episode 2
Arcas: The Constellation of Boötes

As if Callisto’s own life wasn’t tragic enough, in this episode we discover the horror that her baby son, Arcas, suffered. A tale of infanticide and cannibalism originating from the sins of the fathers.

Episode 3
Cynosura: The Constellation of Ursa Minor

Who on earth was Ursa Minor before she became a constellation?  Find out in this light-hearted interview.
With Shelly De Vito as the talk show host and Bibi Jacob as the Little Bear.
Song written and performed by Bibi Jacob

Special thanks to Jean-Paul (for being a star). The interview was recorded at Quali’Sons Studio, Paris

Episode 4
Andromeda Part 1: Constellations of the Perseus Family

Sit with Andromeda in the face of her oncoming death and witness her final moments. Her parents – King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopea – are organising their daughter’s demise. Will Vanity triumph over Love?

An electrifying retelling of one of the most famous Greek myths. 

Episode 5
Medusa: The Constellation of Perseus

At the heart of the Perseus-Andromeda myth lies the strange story of Medusa. In this in-between episode, enter Medusa’s cave, at the ends of the earth, to find out if she really was a monster. 

With thanks to Yoav.

Episode 6
Andromeda Part 2: Constellations of the Perseus Family

How does the celebrated Ancient Greek hero, Perseus, change the course of Andromeda’s destiny and seal Medusa’s fate? And what does it really mean to be a hero?

With Sharon Mann as Athena, Chris Mack as Hermes, Hester Wilcox as Danaë, Dario Costa as King Polydectes

Bonus Episode
The Complaint of Perseus

Perseus is not happy and he’s about to tell you why.

Starring Doug Rand as Perseus

Episode 7
Erichthonius: The Constellation of Auriga

A gold-tipped arrow, a gilded casket, a snake-tailed child and two drops of the gorgon’s blood. The goddess Athena narrates her tale of love and power.
Starring Sharon Mann as Athena. With Dario Costa as Hephaestus and Homer, Morag Cross as Daughter 2 and Bibi Jacob as Erichthonius and Daughter 1

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob

Special thanks to Christine Hooper and to Jean-Paul Palmyre
Recorded at Studio Quali’sons, Paris (Morag Cross recorded in London)
Quote from Martin Hammond’s translation of Homer’s Iliad (4.17)

Bonus Episode
Creusa's Diary

What happened to the two drops of blood Erichthonius received from Athena? This intimate and moving diary reveals all.

Starring Morag Cross as Creusa
Oboe playing by Morag Cross

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob

Episode 8
Coronis: The Constellation of Corvus

Corvus, the crow, is set to watch Apollo’s lover, the Princess Coronis. But when boundaries are transgressed, the consequences are gruesome in this tale of jealousy, rage and regret.

Starring Nigel Pilkington as Corvus

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob

Episode 9
Asclepius: The Constellations of Ophiuchus and Serpens

Enter the realm of dreams with Asclepius as he has to make the most difficult decision of his life. A decision that may lead to his death.

Starring David Stanley as Asclepius, Sharon Mann as Athena, Bibi Jacob as Hygeia, Morag Cross as the Attendant, Chris Mack as Theseus, Gordon Peaston as Chiron, Christina Batman as Panacea. Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob.

This podcast was made possible with the support of Studio Quali’sons, Paris. A huge thank you, as ever, to Jean-Paul Palmyre. A big thanks to Morag Cross.

Episode 10
Apollo’s Arrow : The Constellations of Sagitta and Ara

An eclectic episode about plagues, magical arrows, cyclops and writer’s block.

Written and presented by Bibi Jacob

Much of the information about Abaris comes from kiwihellenist.blogspot.com

Thanks to Pål Martin Tvete for recommending Tim Harford’s ‘Cautionary Tales’.

Episode 11
The Constellations of Pegasus

Fly with me into this tapestry of tales, to mountains full of mythical beings. The winged horse Pegasus, the Muses, some gods, a centaur, the Chimaera, an anti-hero and a gadfly await you.

This episode was written by Morag Cross. Directed and narrated by Bibi Jacob.

Starring Morag Cross as Hippe and the Gadfly. Gordon Peaston as Chiron. Dario Costa as Poseidon. And Sharon Mann as Athena. The Ukelele was played by Morag Cross.

Episode 12
The Constellation of Equuleus

**SPOILER ALERT** This is an unofficial constellation myth!
A strange phone call in the middle of the night leads to a conversation with a constellation. 

Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob.
A big thank you to Mateo Oxley for his collaboration on the story.
Starring Mateo Oxley as Equuleus. And featuring Geoff Chong. 
Ian Ridpath’s Star Myths was a very helpful source.

Episode 13
Via Lactea: The Milky Way

Hera, the Queen of the Gods, is having trouble with her afternoon nap. One by one the memories of her husband’s betrayals return, building a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional marriage. (This story – like so many Greek myths – contains references to assault and violence.)

Starring Natasha Cashman as Hera. Featuring Dario Costa as Zeus. Written, directed and presented by Bibi Jacob. Enormous thanks to Jean-Paul Palmyre at Studio Quali’sons, Paris.
The Ovid quote comes from Vol. 1 of Frank Justus Miller’s translation of ‘The Metamorphoses’ published by the Loeb Classical Library.

Episode 14
Deltoton: The Constellation of Triangulum

Hermes tries to make some order in the night sky in spite of Zeus’ meddling. Centuries later the Starlink mega-constellations disrupt everything….

Starring Chris Mack as Hermes and Dario Costa as Zeus. Written and directed by Bibi Jacob. A big thank you to Jean-Paul Palmyre at Studio Quali’sons, Paris.

Episode 15
Hermes: The Constellation of Lyra, Part 1

No sooner is he born than Baby Hermes leaps out of his cradle and embarks on a slapstick adventure to charm his way into the Olympian pantheon.

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob.
Starring: Chris mack as Hermes; Margeaux Lampley as Maia; Kester Lovelace as Apollo; Joseph Marshall as the farmer and Dario Costa as Zeus.

Thanks, as ever, to Jean-Paul Palmyre for his support.

Episode 16
Orpheus & Persephone: The Constellation of Lyra, Part 2

Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, recounts Orpheus’ extraordinary descent into her kingdom and her own shocking abduction.

Written and directed by Bibi Jacob.
Sound and production by Geoff Chong.
Starring Chloe Dunn as Persephone and Chris Mack as Hermes.
Original violin, viola and vocal compositions written and performed by Chloe Dunn.

‘Lore Olympus’, mentioned in the episode outro, is available on Webtoon.

Bonus Episode
Zargreus

In this, the final episode of Season 1, discover the surprising and shocking myth of Zagreus, the horned baby. Sensitive listeners be warned: the story contains violence and allusions to incest and rape.

Adapted, narrated and directed by Bibi Jacob. 
Original music, sound and production by Geoff Chong.
 Extracts of Chloe Dunn’s music from the Persephone and Orpheus episode feature in the outro.

Click the button to close season 1

Catasterism

(plural catasterisms)
  1. (Greek mythology) The transformation of a hero or mythological creature, after death, into a star or constellation
Greek Mythology Podcast

'A large part of Greek myth is politico-religious.'

Robert Graves, The Greek Myths 

‘Greece is the home of the gods; they may have died but their presence still makes itself felt. The gods were of human proportion: they were created out of the human spirit.’ Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi

Then Man was born:… though all other animals are prone, and fix their gaze upon the earth, he gave to Man an uplifted face and bade him stand erect and turn his eyes to heaven.”
Ovid, Metamorphoses

ERATOSTHENES

276 - 194 BC Mathematician, astronomer, geographer... He became the third director of the Great Library of Alexandria. His book on astral mythology, the Catasterisms, compiled in the third century, provided the first full collection of constellation myths. His text has not survived but much of what he wrote is recorded in the astral myths of Hyginus.

of Cyrene

Hipparchus

190 - 120 BC Greek astronomer, mathematician, considered by many to be the greatest astronomer of antiquity. He created the first star catalogue of the ancient world.

of Nicaea

Ptolemy

100 - 170 AD Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek mathematician, astronomer and astrologer wrote many works including The Almagest, a treatise on astronomy. It contained a star catalogue listing 48 constellations. These are known as the 'ancient' constellations and the names are still in use today .

of Alexandria

Reference material

Some of our sources

‘The Greek Myths' The Complete and Definitive Edition. Penguin 28.09.2017

‘The Library of Greek Mythology' Translatedwith introduction and notes by Robin Hard. Oxford World's Classic 01.08.2008

‘Metamorphoses’ Translated by A. D. Melville and With an Introduction and Notes by E. J. Kenney. Oxford World's Classics 15.04.2009

‘The Callisto Myth from Ovid to Atwood. Initiation and Rape in Literature' McGill-Queen's University Press 1988

‘The Mapping of the Heavens' British Library Publishing 2018.03.19

‘Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena' Oxford World's Classic 2015.08.01

‘Celestial Atlas' White Star Publishing 2018.10.09

‘Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion’ Cambridge University Press 1903

‘Ion' (from 'Orestes and Other Plays’). Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford World's Classic 26.03.2009

‘The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony’ Penguin Classics 25.07.2019

‘The Homeric Gods: the spiritual significance of Greek religion' Translated by Moses Hadas. Thames and Hudson 1955

‘Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans : A Sourcebook’ Phanes Press U.S. 01.09.1997

‘Star Tales: Revised and Expanded Edition'. The Lutterworth Press 28.06.2018

‘The Iliad’ Bernard Knox (Introducer) Robert Fagles (Translator) Penguin Classics 27.02.1992

Nicholas Richardson (Introducer) Jules Cashford (Translator) Penguin Classics 24.04.2003

‘Snakes with Wings & Gold-digging Ants.’ Penguin Great Journeys 01.02.2007

The Complete Greek Tragedies. ‘Euripedes III and IV.’ Edited by Grene and Lattimore. The University of Chicago Press
2013

‘Helen, Phoenician Woman, Orestes’. Edited and translated by David Kovacs. Loeb Classical Library.
2002

‘Works and Days.’ Translated by A. E. Stallings. Penguin Classics
01.02.2018

Get in touch

    Credits: timelapse video by TimeLapse in Japan; background images – Haemisphaerium Stellatum Australe Antiquum & Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Antiquum in Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica.

    Production, sound design and visuals by Geoff Chong