CONF: London Ancient History/Roman Art Seminars

Seen on various lists:

In autumn of 2009 the London Roman Art and Ancient History Seminars are
joining forces to host the following seminars (there will be no Roman art
seminars in the spring). If you have any queries, please feel free to get
in touch with Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe or myself. I can provide illustrated
notices as an attachment for anyone who wishes. PS

London Ancient History/
Roman Art Seminar
Autumn 2009

All seminars on Thursdays at 4.30pm,
in the Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art,
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN.

1 October Blair Fowlkes Childs (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU)
The Dolichenum on the Aventine: Archaeological
Evidence, Cult Rituals, and Topographical Considerations

8 October Dr Elizabeth Macaulay Lewis (University of Oxford)
Architecture and Garden: A study in Roman space

15 October Prof Marc Waelkens (Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven)
Sagalassos and Rome

29 October Dr Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham)
The Colour Purple in Ancient Rome

5 November Dr Jane Fejfer (Copenhagen)
Marble Mania: Sculptural Materiality and Roman Cyprus

19 November Dr Jon Coulston (University of St Andrews)
Still Life in Stone? Roman Triumph and Barbarian Defeat
on the Pedestal Reliefs of Trajan’s Column

26 November Prof Paul Zanker (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)
Living with Myths in Pompeii and Beyond

All are welcome!
Enquiries: contact sophie.lunn-rockliffe AT or
peter.stewart AT

Edinburgh Classics Research Seminars 2009-2010

Seen on the Classicists list:

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 or Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (l.llewellyn-jones At

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

Seen on the Classicists list:

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

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

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

Seen on the Classicists list:



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



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.

CONF:Legitimating Violence – In honor of Larissa Bonfante

seen on various lists:

The NYU Center for Ancient Studies presents the annual Ranieri
Colloquium on Ancient Studies,
Thursday, September 24th and Friday, September 25th.

A colloquium in honor of Larissa Bonfante.

The conference will take place in Hemmerdinger Hall, Room 102, Silver
Center for Arts and Science, 32
Waverly Place or 31 Washington Place (wheelchair accessible), New
York, NY. The event is free of charge
and open to the public, and seating is by general admission. There
will be a wine reception after
Thursday’s evening session.

For more information about the event, please see details below, visit, or contact the College

Dean’s Office at 212.998.8100;
kenkidd AT

Thursday, September 24, 2009
5:00 P.M. Welcome
MATTHEW S. SANTIROCCO, Seryl Kushner Dean, College of Arts and
Science, and Angelo J. Ranieri
Director of Ancient Studies, New York University

Larissa Bonfante and NYU
DAVID LEVENE, New York University

Legitimating Violence and Caesar’s Toga
MICHELE LOWRIE, University of Chicago

5:45 P.M. Violence and Cruelty in Ritual
HENK VERSNEL, University of Leiden

7:00 P.M. Reception

Friday, September 25, 2009
9:00 A.M. Cicero’s ‘Gentleman’s Guide to Lynching’
ANDREW RIGGSBY, University of Texas at Austin

10:00 A.M. How Republican was the Roman Republic?
CLIFFORD ANDO, University of Chicago

11:30 A.M. “These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished”: Combat
Trauma and the Tragic
PETER MEINECK, New York University

12:30 P.M. Lunch Break

1:30 P.M. Vows and Violence: The Dilemma of Judge Jephthah of Israel
JACK SASSON, Vanderbilt University

2:30 P.M. Blood is Seed: Martyrdom and the Fracture of Ancient
Political Theology
ADAM BECKER, New York University

This colloquium is co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the
Ancient World, the Institute of
Fine Arts, and the Departments of Classics, Anthropology, and Hebrew
and Judaic Studies, NYU.

JOB: Greek Language and Lit @ Penn State

Seen on various lists:

The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at The
Pennsylvania State University seeks applicants for a tenure-track
appointment in Greek language and literature at the assistant
professor level, beginning August 2010. Applications are welcome from
candidates with active research interests in any area or period of
ancient Greek poetry or prose. Primary teaching responsibilities
include Greek language and literature at the undergraduate and
graduate levels and large lecture courses on Greek mythology and
civilization. The successful candidate has the opportunity to take a
leadership role in developing the strengths of Penn State’s Greek
program. The department embraces the entire Mediterranean world in
antiquity within its purview and therefore welcomes candidates who can
contribute to dialogue across the fields of Classics and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies.

Requirements include Ph.D. completed by December 2009, teaching
experience, and evidence of scholarly publication. Please submit a
letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a sample of scholarly
writing (no more than thirty pages), and three letters of
recommendation. Electronic submission of applications is preferred and
may be sent to Sandi Moyer at sjm1 AT If you cannot submit your
application electronically, please send materials to: Chair, Hellenist
Search Committee, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean
Studies, Penn State, Box A, 108 Weaver Bldg., University Park, PA
16802-5500, USA. Applications received by November 16, 2009 are
assured of consideration, but dossiers will be accepted until the
position is filled. Preliminary interviews of selected candidates
will be conducted at the Annual APA/AIA Meeting in Orange County, CA,
January 6-9, 2010. Penn State is committed to affirmative action,
equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.

CFP: From Ancient to Modern

Seen on AegeaNet:


History: From Ancient to Modern
28-31 December 2009

The History Research Unit of the Athens Institute for Education and
Research (ATINER) will organize its 7th International Conference on History
in Athens, Greece on 28-31 of December 2009. The conference will be held in
downtown Athens, within walking distance of the Acropolis (Parthenon) and
other historical sites of Athens.

Papers (in English) from all areas of history are welcome. Special sessions
will be organized in the following areas: Ancient Greek and Roman History,
Cultural History, History of Religion, Arts History, Economic History,
Political and Social History, Sports History (History of Olympic Games),
History of Sciences, History of Philosophy, Intellectual History, Modern
American History, Latin American History, African History, Asian History,
European History, Personalities in Philosophy and History, Interactions of
Civilizations (East-West & North-South), Historiography, Historic
Preservation and the Future of Historical Studies. Selected papers will be
published in a Special Volume of the Conference Proceedings. You may
participate as panel organizer, presenter of one paper, chair a session or
observer. The conference website is
The first 6 conferences produced a number of books. Visit our site for titles, table of

contents and order form.

The registration fee is 250 euro, covering access to all sessions,
conference material and 2 lunches. Special arrangements will be made with
local hotels for a limited number of rooms at a special conference rate. In
addition, planned tours to historical sites and nearby islands will be
organized. A special evening is organized on Monday December 28th with live
Greek music and dinner. Wednesday 30th, 2009 a one-day cruise is organized
to the islands of Aigina, Hydra and Spetses. On Thursday the 31st, 2009 a
half day tour around Attica will be organized and a gala dinner will be held
under the Acropolis to celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE. During the tour we will
visit among other sites: Hadrian’s Arch, Temple of Olympian Zeus,
Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were
held in 1896 and on Acropolis: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the
Erectheion and finally "the harmony between material and spirit", the
monument that "puts order in the mind", the Parthenon.

Please submit a 300-word abstract via email only by September 18th, 2009 to
the following address: Dr. Nicholas Pappas, Professor of History, Sam
Houston University, USA and Vice-President of ATINER. 8 Valaoritou Street,
Kolonaki, 10671 Athens, Greece. Tel.: + 30 210 363-4210 Fax: + 30 210
363-4209 Email: atiner AT Abstracts should include: Title of Paper,
Full Name (s), Affiliation, Current Position, an email address and at least
3 keywords that best describe the subject of your submission. We also invite
people to chair sessions, act as reviewers and editors of the book(s) that
will be published after the conference. If you want to participate without
presenting a paper, i.e. chair a session, evaluate papers to be included in
the conference proceedings or books, contribute to the editing, or any other
offer to help please send an email to Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos,
gtp AT, Director, ATINER.

Women’s Rights in Italy

Commenting on the ‘glass ceiling’ and other matters in regards to modern women’s rights in Italy, here’s the conclusion to a letter to the editor in the New York Times:

Ironically, in “The Emancipation of Women in Ancient Rome,” Roger Vigneron and Jean-François Gerkens explain how the Italians of antiquity forged a polity where “the rule of juridical equality was the duty to be pursued.” According to the authors, the Romans believed men and women to be inherently equal.

The Vigneron-Gerkens piece is available online (Revue Internationale des droits de l’Antiquité, 3ème série, XLVII (2000)) … I don’t really think one can make the leap from juridical equality to “inherently equal” and I’m pretty sure the women of Italy would not want to go back to the social situation of a couple of millennia ago (not that they necessarily need to be satisfied with their current lot either) …

Ad Myths (and vice versa)

Excerpts from a Wide-Format Imaging press release (?):

A pantheon of mythological gods is leading the Alcan Composites USA campaign to inspire legendary creations on an epic scale from graphic designers, who’ve long relied upon the proven performance of the company’s Fome-Cor, Sintra, Gator, and Dibond graphic display boards. Alcan Composites’ Legends of Mythology marketing communications campaign has been designed to visually inspire designers by powerfully representing each product line’s attributes through a mythological figure.

“Alcan Composites has earned a long-standing reputation in the graphic display industry for producing legendarily reliable substrates and has challenged designers to create their own legendary graphic displays in its previous ‘Legends’ marketing communications campaign,” said Joseph N. Masters, marketing manager, graphic display, Alcan Composites USA. “The Legends of Mythology campaign extension is designed to remind graphic designers and fabricators of the powerful role these products can play in creating legendary displays. Bold images of mythological gods—including Neptune, Ra, Medusa and Thor—represent the unique attributes of each of our lines of Fome-Cor, Sintra, Gatorfoam, and Dibond graphic display boards.”

Those mythological images include:

Fome-Cor and Neptune. Illustrations of the Roman god of the sea often depict Neptune rising out of the depths of the ocean. This concept of “depth” is exemplified by Fome-Cor board because it is uniquely embossable; varying surface levels can be die-cut into the board to produce 3-D effects as well as closed edges that will stay closed permanently. Fome-Cor board consists of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between various high-quality papers that feature a smooth surface for direct digital- and screen-printing applications or mounting.


Gatorfoam and Medusa. In Greek mythology, Medusa possessed the power to turn into stone anyone that she gazed upon. Similarly, that kind of rigidity is possessed by Gatorfoam, the original heavy-duty graphic display board that consists of polystyrene foam bonded between two layers of wood-fiber veneer laminate. This unique construction makes Gatorfoam rigid yet lightweight and warp-resistant; its surface also is exceptionally smooth and strong.


More Instrument Re-Creations

This one seems to be filling my box … from Phys.Org:

Salpinx, barbiton, aulos, syrinx. Never heard them? Never heard of them? Neither had anyone else, for centuries. Until now.

These were all musical instruments, familiar to ancient civilizations but long since forgotten.

Ancient instruments can be lost because they are too difficult to build, or too difficult to play, but they can be heard again thanks to the ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) team. These researchers accomplish this feat using computer modeling and grid technology – the shared resources of a distributed network of hundreds of computers.

Having successfully reconstructed the sound of an earlier instrument called the “epigonion,” ASTRA is working on a whole host of other lost instruments including the salpinx (a kind of ancient trumpet), the barbiton (an ancient base guitar), the aulos (an ancient oboe) and the syrinx (a pan flute).

More ancient instruments are to be heard soon, after the organization’s official Lost Sounds Orchestra finishes its preparations for a unique performance towards the end of summer.

In many respects, ASTRA’s Lost Sounds Orchestra is like any other orchestra — with real musicians, rehearsals and performances — except its goal is to offer its audience a completely new world of music. The sounds of the barbiton and the salpinx are currently being finalized, while a guitar player is familiarizing himself with both the epigonion and the barbiton using his specially adapted electric MIDI guitar, which has been programmed with the lost sounds. The sounds of even more instruments, such as an ancient lower Mediterranean frame drum, should also be completed by the end of summer.

The original article includes some video and sound files of the instruments being played (although it’s kind of odd to hear ‘classical’ music in this instrumental context, no?). More info on the Astra Project can be found here … also worth checking out is the Lost Sounds Orchestra

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem kalendas septembres

ante diem kalendas septembres

rites in honour of Jupiter Liber

392 B.C. — dedication of the Temple of Juno Regina on the Aventine (and associated rites thereafter)

22 B.C. — dedication of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans (and associated rites thereafter)

69 A.D. — traditional date for the sacking of Jerusalem

118 A.D. — martyrdom of Terentian in Umbria

1987 — death of Arnaldo Momigliano