Edinburgh Classics Research Seminars 2009-2010

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University of Edinburgh Classics Research Seminar Series 2009/2010

All meetings in Faculty Room North, David Hume Tower (ground floor), unless otherwise stated. For further information please contact Ursula Rothe (ursula.rothe AT ed.ac.uk) or Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (l.llewellyn-jones At ed.ac.uk).

Semester 1

23 Sep 09
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Faculty Room South:
‘Homecomings and departures’

30 Sep 09
‘The ghosts of Pompeii’

7 Oct 09
PROF. JOHN MARINCOLA (Florida State/Edinburgh)
‘Contextualising Hellenistic historiography’

14 Oct 09
‘Ethnicity in Roman portraiture’

21 Oct 09
DR. SCOTT SCULLION (Oxford) ‘Maenads and Men’

28 Oct 09
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Faculty Room South:
PROF. JOHN MARINCOLA (Florida State/Edinburgh)
‘Plutarch and the Persian wars: myth, history and identity in Roman Greece’

4 Nov 09
‘Credible triumph? Presenting barbarian defeat on the pedestal reliefs of Trajan’s Column’

11 Nov 09
DR. ST JOHN SIMPSON (British Museum)
‘Ancient Iran in the British Museum: collections, displays and research’

18 Nov 09
PROF. YAN SHAOXIANG (Capital Normal University Beijing)
‘Greek and Roman History in China’

25 Nov 09

2 Dec 09
‘Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage: an Ovidian play?‘

9 Dec 09
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Conference Room:
‘Hannibal, Heracles and the Second Punic War’

Semester 2:

13 Jan 10
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Faculty Room South:
‘Ariadne in Ovid and Catullus’

20 Jan 10
‘Murranus the Pannonian: civilizing the provincial barbarian’

27 Jan 10

3 Feb 10
PROF. IAN HAYNES (Newcastle)
‘Recent excavations at Birdoswald on Hadrian’s Wall’

10 Feb 10
‘The Pindaric first person in flux’

17 Feb 10
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Faculty Room South:
PROF. LAWRENCE KEPPIE (Hunterian Museum, Glasgow)
‘Searching for Trimontium on the map of Roman Scotland’

24 Feb 10
‘Some Problems in Ovid’s Poetic Career’

3 Mar 10
‘Landscape and the representation of reality in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses’

10 Mar 10
‘Architectural sculpture in Athens in the time of the Peloponnesian

17 Mar 10
‘Ibycus and epic’

24 Mar 10
‘Sophocles’ Antigone and Electra and civic identity’

21 Apr 10
7pm: CAS Meeting – DHT Conference Room:
PROF. C.J. TUPLIN (Liverpool)
‘Marsyas meets the Great King: the mythic landscape of classical Celaenae’

5 May 10
DHT Conference Room:
‘Jerome and Palestine’

CONF: Dublin Classics Seminars 2009-2010

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All seminars are held in K217, Newman Building, Belfield, UCD, Dublin, on Tuesdays at 5.30pm.

29 September 2009
Dr Kathryn Welch, University of Sydney
Dealing with Caesar: Augustus and the Republicans

6 October 2009
Dr. Anthony Harvey, Royal Irish Academy
Frankenstein in the scriptorium: bringing Latin to life in early medieval Ireland

20 October 2009
Professor Monica Gale, Trinity College Dublin
Piety, Justice and Labour in Lucretius and Hesiod

3 November 2009
Professor Michael Lloyd, University College Dublin
Sophocles the Ironist

17 November 2009
Dr Aude Doody, University College Dublin
Rambles and Studies in Greece: Oscar Wilde and John
Pentland Mahaffy

Second semester

2 Feb 2010
Dr David Woods, University College Cork
Some Notes on the Iconography of
Late Republican Coinage

16 Feb 2010
William Desmond, NUI, Maynooth
Herodotus, Happiness and World-History

2 March 2010
Professor Wilfried Nippel, Humboldt University Berlin
From Niebuhr to Mommsen. Roman History and 19th century German

30 March 2010
Professor Timothy Barnes
History and Fiction in Sulpicius Severus’ Life of Martin of Tours.
6 April 2010
Professor Michael Clarke, NUI, Galway
The sons of Noah and the men of Troy: ancient Greek and medieval
Irish perspectives

For further information please contact Theresa Urbainczyk, urbain AT ucd.ie

I, Claudius Remake

From the incipit of a movie column in the Times:

William Graves, son of the writer and poet Robert Graves, has sold the rights of his father’s I, Claudius for a big-screen feature, to be directed by Jim Sheridan. Leonardo DiCaprio, whose production company is appropriately called Appian Way, has expressed interest in the project in the past. William, a retired geologist, got $500,000 for the rights and hopes it will be a little bit “raunchy”.

Meanwhile, bids are brewing in Los Angeles for the Oxford poet’s other most famous book, the mordant first-world-war memoir Good-bye to All That, and HBO scouts are scanning the letters Graves exchanged with Spike Milligan in the 1960s — which embarrasses William. He says his Edwardian father was going a little “celebrity” by then.

The BBC’s serialisation of I, Claudius in the 1970s turned Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed into household names; the more recent series Rome did the same in America for Polly Walker, James Purefoy, Ray Stevenson and Kevin McKidd. It’s even persuading Hollywood that old books may be the next big thing. What is that old saw? Latin is a language, as dead as dead can be… Not quite.

CONF: Apuleius and Africa

From the Ancient Narrative folks:


An International Classics Conference

April 29-May 2, 2010

Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A.

From April 29 to May 2, 2010, Oberlin College will host a major international Classics symposium entitled “Apuleius and Africa.” The conference is being organized by Ellen Finkelpearl (Scripps College), Luca Graverini (Università di Siena, Arezzo), Benjamin Lee (Oberlin College), and Sonia Sabnis (Reed College), and has been made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon 23 consortium, the Oberlin Classics Department, and several anonymous private donors.

Apuleius (120-180 A.D.), author of the ancient novel The Golden Ass, was born and lived in Madauros (currently in Algeria) in the Roman province of Africa. He repeatedly discusses his identification with his native region rather than with Rome and Athens, where he was student. And yet, despite new work in Classics on provincial cultures that are distinct from the center of metropolitan Rome, surprisingly little scholarship has grappled with the implications of Apuleius’ origins. The conference will draw together leading historians of Roman North Africa, literary scholars of Apuleius’ novel and his other works, and critical theorists of Latin culture, in order to open the Apuleian corpus (especially The Golden Ass) to new theoretical and cultural lines of inquiry.

Multiculturalism, ethnicity, and post-colonialism are discourses particularly germane to our teaching because the classical canon is undergoing a process of reformation, especially as we choose texts to teach that are relevant to contemporary culture. A thorough vetting of these issues will aid our teaching as we devise courses that revive the Classics curriculum by integrating contemporary interest in identity formation and imperialism, and further, it will help Classics remain relevant to its increasingly diverse constituency of both teachers and students. As part of the conference, we have organized a special workshop session entitled “Pedagogical approaches to Apuleius,” chaired by Sonia Sabnis, which will address new approaches to teaching this important literary figure.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ben Lee via email: ben.lee AT oberlin.edu.

We Are Sparta! And Athens!

A piece in Metro Santa Cruz begins with this interesting quote:

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta.”

–Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

I guess you can take the man out of the sword-and-sandal, but you can’t take the sword-and-sandal out of the man …

CONF: Institute of Classical Studies Greek Literature Seminar– Autumn 2009

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Mondays throughout the autumn term at 5 pm
Senate House South Block Room ground floor room G37
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Organizer: Giambattista D’Alessio
Contact: giambattista.d’alessio AT kcl.ac.uk



5 October
M. Fantuzzi (Columbia University)
“The Epithalamium of Achilles and Deidameia”

12 October
G. Hutchinson (Oxford)
“Apollonius, space, and text world theory”

19 October
R. Hunter (Cambridge)
“Callimachus’ Gods”

26 October
B. Acosta-Hughes (Ohio State University)
“Songs for a queen: on celebrating women of power”

2 November
A. Chaniotis (Oxford)
“Theatricality and Illusion: What is Hellenistic in Hellenistic historiography?”

9 November: Reading Week

16 November
G. Massimilla (Naples)
“Practical skills, work, and money in the epigrams ascribed to Theocritus”

23 November
P.J. Parsons (Oxford)
“Callimachus and his koinai”

30 November
S. Hornblower (UCL)
“Lykophron’s Alexandra and another hellenistic Kassandra-poem (Coll. Alex. pp. 188ff.)”

7 December
S. Stephens (Stanford)
“Writing the (Common)place: Callimachus’ ideologically charged geographies”

New Issue of Iris

A note from Lorna Robinson is making the round:

Dear Classicists,

The Autumn 09 issue of Iris magazine looks at the influences and interpretations of epic, and includes:

  • Iris chat: Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy
  • Home Thoughts from Abroad: Virgil’s Aeneid
  • 1000 Years Before Homer: The epic of Gilgamesh
  • Masters of War: Epic battles on film
  • A Marriage of True Minds: Arabic and Classical epic
  • News feature: A Mosaic for the London Olympics
  • Travelogue: Ephesus

It also includes articles and features on outreach projects, news and reviews, quizzes and puzzles, a what’s on section, translations and fiction, advice and more…

Iris magazine is part of The Iris Project, an educational charity promoting Classics in state schools and inner cities, and half of all copies printed are sent free to state schools which do not offer any Classical subjects.This is funded by subscriptions and advertising.

That Translation …

Interesting intro to a religion column in the Marion Star:

In 1979, I sat in Dr. Richard Cutter’s early morning Greek class at Baylor University praying my professor would call on someone else to translate the homework passage from Plato.

My prayers were answered when he called on John.

John was more clueless than I was in this second-year Greek class, but he took a gallant stab at translating the passage.

After five agonizing minutes, Dr. Cutter thanked John and interrupted our naps with seemingly the most random of questions.

“How many of you think crap is a bad word?” he asked the class comprised of mostly Baptist ministerial students.

A few brave souls from the conservative South raised their hands, while the rest of us stared forward with wide-eyed incredulity.

“A freshman girl came to me after class last week,” he said, introducing his reason behind the question. “She told me that she was offended by my occasional use of the word crap because her East Texas upbringing taught her that it was an expletive.”

Cutter told us he’d apologized to the girl, but explained to her that his upbringing on a Kansas farm taught him to understand crap as a common word.

For him, the word was a homonym, a word having the same spelling and pronunciation, but with different meanings. Offering an example, he explained that a Baptist deacon in Kansas might use crap to describe the proposed church budget as well as the piles scattered in the pasture next door.

Hoping his heartfelt explanation had convinced us, he repeated his polling question. “How many of you still think that crap is a bad word?”

We cowered in silence. It was our second year with Dr. Cutter, and most of us recognized the sound of him loading both barrels.

“Good,” he said, taking our silence as approval.

“John,” he exclaimed pointing to the unfortunate translator, “that translation was a bunch of crap.”

I’m sure we’ve all been in John’s shoes at some point … some of us have also been in the (late) Dr Cutter’s.