CONF: Bones, Behaviour and Belief

Seen on Aegeanet quite a while ago:

The Swedish Institute at Athens is organizing a conference entitled
“Bones, behaviour and belief. The osteological evidence as a source for
Greek ritual practice”. The event will take place in Athens, on the
10th-12th of September 2009.

The purpose of the conference is to highlight the role and contribution of
the osteological evidence for our understanding of Greek sacrificial
ritual, especially from a methodological perspective. It also aims at a
discussion of the relation of the bone material to other source categories
– texts, inscriptions, images and archaeological remains other than bones.
Of central interest are issues approachable from osteological evidence
only and instances where the bone material presents a picture different
from that derived from the written or pictorial sources. A group of
prominent osteologists working on evidence from sanctuaries and cult
places will present papers addressing questions of ritual practices. To
stimulate an increased integration of osteology in the study of Greek cult
in the future and to highlight the relation of various categories of
sources to each other, a panel of leading scholars working on Greek
religion mainly thought the use of non-osteological material will
participate in the discussions as well as in the concluding table ronde.

Confirmed speakers include Gerhard Forstenpointner (Wien), Gunnel Ekroth
(Stockholm), Valasia Isaakidou (Sheffield), Paul Halstead (Sheffield),
Maria Vretemark (Museum of Västergötland), Armelle Gardeisen (Latte),
Michel MacKinnon (Winnipeg), Dimitra Mylona (Rethymnon), François Poplin
(Paris), Ola Magnell (Lund), Martine Leguilloux (Var), Hélène Siard
(Paris), Sabine Sten (Gotland), Emmanulle Vila (Lyon).

Invited discussants: Robin Hägg (Göteborg), Stella Georgoudi (Paris),
Scott Scullion (Oxford), Francis Prost (Paris), Véronique Mehl (Rennes).

The conference will be held at the Italian School, Athens and all
interested listeners are welcome to attend.

For further information, please contact gunnel.ekroth AT or
jenny.wallensten AT

d.m. Douglas Little

From the Otago Daily Times:

Dr Douglas Little, an influential classics teacher who retired from the University of Otago classics department as an associate professor in 1987, has died in Dunedin after a long illness.

He was in his mid-70s.

Dr Little, who at one stage was the department’s only New Zealand-born staff member, had earlier graduated from Otago University with an MA(Hons) in Latin and German and an honours degree in Greek, before gaining a PhD in classics at the University of Texas, in Austin.

Having earlier served as an assistant lecturer, he returned to the Otago classics staff as a senior lecturer in 1975, after completing his doctorate.

[n.b. the ODT promised a proper obituary ‘to follow’, but it doesn’t seem to have made it to the web ~ dm]

CFP: Cross-cultural Influence in the Roman World

Seen in the Canadian Classical Bulletin:

Call for Papers
Cross-cultural Influence in the Roman World, McMaster University
3 October 2009
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Emma Dench, Harvard University
Abstracts for papers on cross-cultural influence in the Roman world are sought for the Classics Graduate Conference at McMaster University on Saturday, 3 October 2009. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, to be submitted to the address provided below. We encourage papers exploring both the acclimatization of foreign peoples to Roman culture and the impact of those indigenous cultures on the Romans themselves. A wide range of subjects are acceptable, including, but not limited to, material culture, religion, linguistics, dress, warfare, and political practices.
Papers delivered at the conference should be 15-20 minutes in length.
Submit abstracts electronically to Patricia White at whitepl At

Deadline for abstracts: 15 July 2009

Announcement of acceptances of abstracts: 15 August 2009

Siren Song

In case you missed it, Paris Hilton’s latest ‘scent’ has a potentially Classical bent. Here’s a photo (via People):

from People Magazine

from People Magazine

Sez the heiress:

Siren is all about being sexy in a playful way. I feel irresistible as a mermaid,What girl doesn’t want to have fun being a fantasy creature that men can’t resist?

What many folks might not realize is that the Sirens of the area of our purview (i.e. the ones which tried to lure Odysseus et al) were half-bird/half-woman … not the ‘mermaid’ of popular culture (not sure when they ‘mermaid’ portrayal began):

from Wikimedia Commons

from Wikimedia Commons

The Wikipedia article on sirens is useful …

d.m. Richard T. Scanlan

From the News-Gazette:

Friends and colleagues remembered Richard Thomas Scanlan as an enthusiastic and outstanding teacher who brought the world of Latin and classical mythology to life for a generation of University of Illinois students.

Mr. Scanlan, 81, of Champaign, died at 1:14 a.m. Sunday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy.

“He was a legendary teacher,” said David Sansone, head of the Classics Department at the UI. “For years and years, undergraduates at the UI felt they had to take his course.

“The UI experience wasn’t complete without taking Scanlan’s course. There were students who enjoyed the class so much that they convinced their sons, daughters and even grandchildren to take his course.”

According to Sansone, Mr. Scanlan had to teach his class at Foellinger because it was the only venue large enough to handle 1,200 students at a time.

“Even at 1,200 students, each year we would get requests from students wanting to get in his class even though the class was closed,” Sansone said.

As a professor of the classics, Mr. Scanlan was known for disappearing from the lecture platform in the middle of class, only to return a few minutes later dressed as a toga-clad priest of Apollo, the Greek god of prophecy.

“He had Apollo predicting UI football or basketball games, depending upon the season,” recalled Professor Emeritus James Dengate.

After the students enthusiastically chanted the “I-L-L, I-N-I” cheer, Mr. Scanlan would appear deep in thought and then turn to the class.

“Now I can see it clearly,” he said. “Minnesota 14 … Illinois 31.”

At other times, Mr. Scanlan would emerge as Jason of the Golden Fleece, the shrewd Odysseus or even the mighty Hercules. His character would then be interviewed for the students by a teaching assistant.

In 1979, he convinced 12 female UI students to come to his Roman civilization class dressed in white to perform the dance of the vestal virgins.

Mr. Scanlan’s enthusiasm for the Illini was rewarded in 1981 when he was crowned as “King Dad” during the UI’s Dads Day celebration.

News-Gazette staff writer Paul Wood, who took several of Mr. Scanlan’s classes, described him as “a great guy.”

“He was very entertaining, and I learned a lot, too,” Wood said. “He taught a civilization class that was the most popular course on campus at the time. More people know more about the classics from him than from anybody else.”

University of Illinois spokeswoman Robin Kaler recalled sneaking in on Mr. Scanlan’s classes from time to time.

“I was registered for a different class, but sometimes I would skip my class to go to his class instead,” Kaler said. “He truly was that good.”

For many years, Mr. Scanlan was in charge of the Illinois State Latin Contest.

“He wrote a comic strip featuring a superhero called Superlegatus who acted and thought in Latin,” Wood said. “He was widely known for making learning fun.”

When Superlegatus wasn’t leaping over mountains in a single bound, the Latin-speaking hero kept himself busy saving his girlfriend from monsters.

Wood said Mr. Scanlan also pioneered the use of computers as a tool for teaching the Latin language.

Mr. Scanlan was also dedicated to his church, serving as a permanent deacon at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Champaign.

“He was very well-beloved by the people of the parish,” said St. Matthew pastor Monsignor Mark J. Merdian. “He applied the same demeanor and attitude in his preaching that was so popular as a teacher. Most of all, he was very kind and caring to everybody.”

Merdian described Mr. Scanlan as a great listener.

“When he preached, he had a way of telling great historical stories from the Bible and helping people to connect those lessons to their everyday life. Nobody was better than him in bringing the letters of St. Paul to life.”

In 2005, he received the Pere Marquette Award for outstanding service to his parish.

At St. Matthew, he taught adult education classes on the Old and New Testaments, the Passion narratives, the life and work of St. Paul and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He was involved in Cursillo for more than 20 years, frequently visited hospitals and served as a former president of the parish council.

JOB: Classical Reception at Oxford

Seen on the Classicists list:

Director Of The Archive Of Performances Of Greek And Roman Drama And University Lecturer

Reception of Greek and Latin Literature

Faculty Of Classics In Association With St Hilda’s College

(Non-Tutorial Fellow)

Grade 10a: Salary £42,351 – £56,917 p.a.

Applications are invited for the above permanent post, tenable from 1 January 2010.

The person appointed, as well as being responsible for organising and managing the activities and staff of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, will also organise and undertake teaching and research in the field of the Reception of Greek and/or Latin Literature.

The further particulars are located on the faculty website under:

Applicants are asked to send eight copies of their application, including a covering letter, a curriculum vitae, a personal details form (available from the website), a statement of research interests and publications, as well as teaching and administrative experience, to Mrs Anne Smith, Classics Faculty Administrator, Ioannou School for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU, for receipt no later than 12.00 noon on 3 July 2009.

Applications should not be by email. Applicants should ask referees to write directly to Mrs Smith without further prompting.

Candidates are also asked to identify in their covering letter two pieces of research, each of maximum 8000 words, which they would provide in support of their application if shortlisted. These two pieces of research should be ready for despatch, ideally in electronic form, on or soon after 7 July 2009.

Interviews are scheduled for 20 July 2009.

JOB: Assistant Director: Oxford Roman Economy Project

Seen on the Classicists list:

Faculty of Classics and Wolfson College, University of Oxford

The Oxford Roman Economy Project

Assistant Director

ACADEMIC-RELATED RESEARCH STAFF GRADE 07S 1-4: Salary £28,839.00 – £31,513.00

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates of postdoctoral status for a fixed-term post in Roman Economic History or Archaeology for three years with effect from 1 October 2009. This is separately funded from, but complementary to, the AHRC-funded project (The Economy of the Roman Empire: Integration, Growth and Decline c100 BC to AD 350, Principal Investigators Professor Alan Bowman and Professor Andrew Wilson, should have completed a doctorate in a relevant area of Roman Economic History or Archaeology by 1 October 2009 (‘relevant areas’ to be understood as including Italy and the provinces and any or all categories of literary, documentary and archaeological evidence). The salary will be in the range £28,839 – £31,513 per annum, according to experience. The successful candidate will be appointed to a Supernumerary Fellowship at Wolfson College.

Applications should be sent to Erica Clarke, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU (recruitment AT to reach her no later than 12 noon on Friday 3 July 2009. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a covering letter explaining the applicant’s suitability for the post, the personal details form, and the names of three referees who must be asked to send their references directly to Erica Clarke by the closing date. The personal details form and the further particulars are available for download from It is expected that interviews will be held on 13 July.

The University is an Equal Opportunities Employer.