ED: Palaeography Summer School

Seen on the Classicists list:

Third International Summer School in Greek Palaeography, August 16-22, Oxford

The Third Lincoln College International Summer School in Greek Palaeography will take place in August 2010. Further information can be found on www-gpss.linc.ox.ac.uk.

The programme consists of more than 25 hours of teaching in the form of lectures, seminars, reading classes, special subject classes and tutorials. Participants will have the opportunity to see original manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and have a tutorial on manuscripts relevant to their research.

The Summer School addresses advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as early post-docs working in subject areas such as classics (Greek language and literature), medieval and early modern Greek philolFroogy, patristics, theology, art history and archaeology, and late antique, medieval, and Byzantine literary and cultural history. Application deadline is the 23rd December 2009.

For queries contact Maria Konstantinidou (maria.konstantinidou AT classics.ox.ac.uk).

Fetchez la vache ….

Yet another misuse of vomitorium:

Rome was a custom-borrowing society, and elite Romans happily scooped up Greek food culture. But what we remember most about Rome, food-wise, is the period of its decadence, symbolized by disgustingly overwrought banquets and the vomitorium. We haven’t gone so far as to install vomitoria in the bathrooms of fast food restaurants (perhaps an idea whose time has come back?), but in many respects our society’s enslavement to the hyperpalatibility of junk food recalls the excesses of Rome in its self-destructive decline.

Once again we are forced to mercilessly deride journalists for not even bothering to check Wikipedia on the meaning … Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries and all that …

Happy Cyrus the Great Day!

Tip o’ the pileus to Eleanor Jefferson for passing along that today is apparently “Cyrus the Great Day” according to the International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad. According to the website:

Twenty five centuries ago, when savagery was the dominant factor in human societies, a civilized and compassionate declaration was written on clay and issued to the “four corners of the world” that dealt with important issues relevant to the rights of humans, the same issues that not only in those days but even today can inspire those who believe in human dignity and rights.

This document, known as “The Declaration of Cyrus the Great,” emphasized on the removal of all racial, national discrimination and slavery, bestowing to the people, freedom to choose their places of residence, faith and religion and giving prominence to the perpetual peace amongst the nations. This Declaration could actually be considered as a present from the Iranian people, expressed through the words of Cyrus, their political leader and the founder of the first empire in the world, to the whole humanity. In 1971, the general assembly of the United Nations recognized it as the first Declaration of Human Rights, thus, registering such an honor to the name of Iran as the cradle of this first historical attempt to establish the recognition of human rights.

Followers of Explorator will know that Iran and the British Museum are currently in the midst of a brouhaha/potential saga over a loan of the Cyrus Cylinder, which is what is being referred to above. Here’s the most recent coverage from the BBC on same to bring you up to speed:

The Cyrus Cylinder is being held by the museum because of Iran’s “post-election situation”, an Iranian official told the country’s Fars news agency.

Hamid Baqaie said the museum’s pledge to send the Babylonian artefact at another date was “just an excuse”.

The British Museum said its trustees “reaffirmed their intention to lend the Cylinder to Iran”.

Their statement added: “There are a number of issues and practicalities to be resolved, but the intention is to send it as agreed.”

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper recently, the British Museum’s head of press Hannah Boulton said: “When lending any material you have to check that it is an appropriate moment.

“We hope to be able to honour that commitment, we can’t say when that will be. At the moment we are monitoring the situation in Iran,” she added.

Mr Baqaie said Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organisation would consider severing ties with the British Museum if the piece was not loaned to them within two months.

He added that it was due to have been lent last month.

The object, which is around 2,500 years old, was ordered to be made by Persian king Cyrus following the conquest of Babylon.

It is said to represent the first bill of rights and encapsulate religious toleration.

While I won’t comment on that dispute directly, I do find it odd (perhaps) that there is such emphasis on getting the Cyrus Cylinder back in Iran but for the past couple of years, the threat to/ongoing destruction of one of Cyrus’ early palaces on the Borazjan Plain seems to not even make the news outside of the Iranian Press … most recently:

Some sections of Cyrus the Greats’ palace known as Charkhab (čarxāb) located in the Borazjan Plain, in the Persian Gulf’s Bushehr Province has been completely destroyed and the remaining of the edifice is on the verge of total destruction if no action is taken soon, reported the Persian service of CHN.

According to the report, two years ago archaeologists left the site for no apparent reason and the unique early Achaemenid edifice has been left to be destroyed. The director of the team has continuously requested the recommence of some archaeological research but this has been rejected and permit denied.

“This site is important evidence for the Iranian nation and their rule over the waters of the Persian Gulf. I have asked number of times from the Bushehr Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation [BCHTO] to restart the [archaeological] excavations, but it seems the organisation tries to repel me from this task,” said Aliakbar Sarfaraz, the former director of archaeological team at Charkhab Palace.

Archaeological excavations conducted in past have shown it was built by the order of Cyrus the Great the founder of second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenids (550-330 BCE) and left incomplete.

While regretting the lack of protection for this unique ancient edifice, Sarafraz said Charkhab Palace is as important as Persepolis and Pasargadae palaces in terms of its compliance with architectural regulations.

Borazjan Plain, due to its closeness to the Persian Gulf, was considered an important area during the Achaemenid dynasty, especially as one of the imperial naval forces was stationed there. The naval base served as the base for transferring the imperial troops to the satrapies in North Africa in case of emergency, as well as controlling the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Beyond that, we’ve had reports in the past of threats to Cyrus’ Tomb as well … FWIW …

Say What?

Headline and first paragraph of an item in the Appeal Democrat:

Ancient Greeks considered chocolate the ‘food of the gods’

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical cacao tree. In the Mayan language, it is pronounced “kakaw,” and in Greek, it is called “Theobroma,” which means “food of the gods.”

The lack of a sense of anachronism is mind boggling …

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vi kalendas novembres

ante diem vi kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 2) — games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla’s defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 43 B.C. — Marcus Junius Brutus commits suicide in the wake of the defeat at Philippi (by one reckoning)
  • 113 A.D. — the emperor Trajan departs from Rome for his war against the Parthians
  • 251 A.D. — the future emperor Valerian is elected by the senate to the recently-revived office of censor
  • 1469 — birth of Erasmus

Difficile est bloggam non scribere!

One of the things which continues to bother me about blogs and the like is that they really haven’t been embraced by a significant number of academics actually working in the field (there are exceptions, of course) and as a result, the press is ‘getting away with murder’ in regards to claims it is making about things within our purview.  This past week or so has just been brutal for this sort of thing, as the following little survey will show. We begin with the supposed news that there was a settlement at Alexandria prior to Alexander’s founding of the city. Here’s Livescience via MSNBC:

Alexander the Great has long been credited with being the first to settle the area along Egypt’s coast that became the great port city of Alexandria. But in recent years, evidence has been mounting that other groups of people were there first.

Well if nothing else, we have a fine example of petitio principis … I’d love to know the source of the claim that Alexander was the “first”. Whatever the case, it continues with some useful information:

The latest clues that settlements existed in the area for several hundred years before Alexander the Great come from microscopic bits of pollen and charcoal in ancient sediment layers.

Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. The city sits on the Mediterranean coast at the western edge of the Nile delta. Its location made it a major port city in ancient times; it was also famous for its lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and its library, the largest in the ancient world.

But in the past few years, scientists have found fragments of ceramics and traces of lead in sediments in the area that predate Alexander’s arrival by several hundred years, suggesting there was already a settlement in the area (though one far smaller than what Alexandria became).

Christopher Bernhardt of the U.S. Geological Survey and his colleagues took sediment cores (long cylindrical pieces of sediment drilled from the ground) that featured layers going as far back as nearly 8,000 years ago as part of a larger climate study of the area.

In these sediment layers, Bernhardt and his colleagues took samples of embedded ancient pollen grains to look for shifts from primarily native plants to those associated with agriculture. They also analyzed levels of microscopic charcoal, whose presence can indicate human fires.

At a mark of 3,000 years ago, Bernhardt’s team detected a shift in pollen grains from native grasses and other plants to those from cereal grains, grapes and weeds associated with agriculture. They also found a marked increase in charcoal particles, all of which suggests that a settlement pre-dated the great city of Alexandria. [etc.]

Now I strongly suspect it was the journalist, and not the geologist in this situation who has embellished the tale somewhat. But even my mind boggles that the journalist doesn’t appear to have even checked the Wikipedia article on Alexandria to read about the fishing/maritime settlement of Rhakotis which was on the site prior to Alexander’s foundation. Heck, one would think this settlement would be well known since it is usually brought up as “evidence” that there was a library at Alexandria prior to Alexander (and in case you’re wondering; it isn’t … there’s no evidence of the library prior to Alexandria). And it boggles the mind somewhat — but maybe not — that an editor would allow such a false claim to form the hook for a story which is important in its own right.

Our next foray is against some book hype masquerading as a news article. Paul Cartledge is working on/about to publish a book on the wide influence of the Greeks in the Mediterranean world and the hype this week focussed on the ‘discovery’ (it seems) that the Greeks introduced viticulture to France. Here’s some representative (excerpted) coverage from PhysOrg:

Rewind 2,500 years, however, and the original makers of Côtes-du-Rhône are more likely to have prided themselves on rather different qualities, such as Athenian sophistication, and perhaps just a soupçon of Spartan grit.

Writing in a new study, Cambridge University Professor Paul Cartledge suggests that the French, not to mention the rest of the West, might never have become the passionate wine lovers we are without the assistance of a band of pioneering Greek explorers who settled in southern France around 600 BC.

Finding a sheltered port at the mouth of a major river system with natural hilly defences, the Greeks founded the city of Massalia, or modern-day Marseilles, and soon began to mingle and trade with friendly local tribes of Ligurian Celts, turning the settlement into a bustling entrepôt.

Within a matter of generations, Professor Cartledge says, the nearby Rhône became a major thoroughfare for vessels loaded with terracotta amphorae containing a new, exotic Greek drink made from fermented grape juice that would soon be taking the uncivilised tribes of western Europe by storm. Travelling up the river might even have constituted the original booze cruise.

The portrait of Marseilles’ origins, which appears in a new book, Ancient Greece: A History In Eleven Cities, will, Professor Cartledge hopes, lay to rest an enduring debate about the historic origins of supermarket plonk.

Although some academics agree that the Greeks were central to the foundation of Europe’s wine trade, others argue that the Etruscans (of modern Tuscany), or even the later Romans, were the ones responsible for bringing viticulture to France.

As Professor Cartledge points out, however, two points swing the argument firmly in the Greeks’ favour. First, the Greeks had to marry and mix with the local Ligurians to ensure that Massalia survived, suggesting that they also swapped goods and ideas. Second, they left behind copious amounts of archaeological evidence of their wine trade (unlike the Etruscans and long before the Romans), much of which has been found on Celtic sites.

Again, I’m having difficulties putting the blame for the spin on this on Dr. Cartledge. I am fairly positive that he doesn’t believe that he’s the only one privy to the knowledge of the archaeological evidence for Greek viticulture in France. Perhaps there are “some academics” and “others” engaging in some major debate on this (as Dr Cartledge seems to imply in a comment in the Telegraph), but I’m not sure where it might be happening.

Fulfilling the ‘scholastic rule of three’, we have this ‘labyrinth business’. The intro to the Discovery News coverage is pretty typical:

The site that inspired the ancient Greek Labyrinth, a mythical maze that supposedly housed the bull-man Minotaur, may have just been unearthed in Crete by an international team of researchers.

Oxford University geographer Nicholas Howarth and his colleagues believe a cave complex near Gortyn on the Greek island could have led to the myth. The cave system consists of a twisting and turning network of underground tunnels. Howarth describes it as “dark and dangerous.”

The 2.5-mile-long underground system is even called Labyrinthos Caves by locals. Some of its paths lead to large chambers, while others result in dead ends. (etc.)

FWIW, I had never heard of these caves before, so the claim that they had “just” been discovered, was a bit exciting. But as the week or so of coverage played out, and as discussion on the Classics list and (especially) AegeaNet ensued, it became clear that these caves had, in fact, been known for quite a while. Indeed, Dudley Moore includes a chapter on the caves in his to-be-published thesis The Early British Travellers to Crete and their contribution to the island’s Bronze Age archaeological heritage, and he kindly sent the relevant chapter along to me to peruse. To make an interesting story less so (by me, of course), Dr. Moore documents possible visits to this cave system beginning in the sixteenth century and stretching down to the nineteenth, and the long accompanying debate whether it was the ‘labyrinth’ or just a quarry (as an aside, I found the numerous attempts by travellers to ‘prove’ the existence of the labyrinth very interesting … in all our first year Classics courses, we are told that Heinrich Schliemann was alone in having this sort of ‘prove the myths true’ attitude, but it seems to have a longer history … I’ll have to look further into this). The upshot: this was nothing new.

Now to be fair, the Telegraph did explain this one a bit more clearly:

An Anglo-Greek team believes that the site, near the town of Gortyn, has just as much claim to be the place of the Labyrinth as the Minoan palace at Knossos 20 miles away, which has been synonymous with the Minotaur myth since its excavation a century ago.

The 600,000 people a year who visit the ruins at Knossos are told the site was almost certainly the home of the legendary King Minos, who was supposed to have constructed the Labyrinth to house the Minotaur, a fearsome creature born out of a union between the king’s wife and a bull, the Independent reports.

Nicholas Howarth, an Oxford University geographer who led the expedition to the site, said there was a danger of Gortyn being lost from the story of the Labyrinth because of the overpowering position that Knossos had taken in the legend “People come not just to see the controversial ruins excavated and reconstructed by Evans, but also to seek a connection to the mythical past of the Age of Heroes. It is a shame that almost all visitors to Knossos have never heard of these other possible ‘sites’ for the mythical Labyrinth,” Mr Howarth said. [etc.]

Taken together, what probably bothered me most about all of these cases was that there clearly was some discussion about the claim going on amongst people who did know the facts, but that the ‘public’ wasn’t privy to that discussion. The public was only privy to the misinformation and/or sensationalized claims being put forth by the media. We need to be doing a better job of what the media is doing with ‘our stuff’.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas novembres

ante diem vii kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 1) — games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla’s defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 1656 B.C. — Noah enters the ark (this must be Bishop Ussher again)
  • 31 A.D. — suicide of Apicata, wife of the disgraced Praetorian Praefect Sejanus
  • ca 250 A.D. — martyrdom of Lucian and Marcian
  • 1852 — during a “violent storm” at Athens, one of the columns of the “Temple of Jupiter Olympus” was toppled (perhaps portrayed here?)

iPod App rcReview: Bolchazy-Carducci’s Latin Proverbs

There is an increasing number of Classics-related apps hitting the App Store over at Apple and with any amount of luck, I’ll find time to review most of them here. We’ll start with one which just hit the store: the Latin Proverbs app from the fine folks at Bolchazy-Carducci. This interesting little app, which costs $1.99 boasts to having some 1200 Latin proverbs contained within. When you start the app, you tap the screen and are presented with a new proverb everyday. Right now, e.g., I’m met with Bernard of Clairvaux’s dictum Necessitas non habet legem.

If you’re not satisfied with the random startup proverb, you can always swipe the screen and get another (n.b. for seasoned iPod users, shaking your iPod does nothing). If you’re looking for something on a specific topic, there is a search function with topics ranging from abstinence to year; you can also search by authors (ancient and less so) and work.

The proverbs themselves can be presented to you as Latin only, Latin with English translation, English only, or English with a Latin translation. All the Latin versions include, interestingly enough, macrons over the long vowels, suggesting Latin teachers might be a major target market for this one.

Outside of that, I’ve been playing with it for a few days and it functions exactly as advertised … an interesting way to start your day, whether a Latin teacher or not.

Well That’s Just Ducky

more about “BBC NEWS | UK | England | Cornwall | …“, posted with vodpod

Tip’ o the pileus to Tim Parkin for passing this one along … very little ClassCon actually, but the accompanying text notes, inter alia:

Roger Olver, from the Cornish Duck Company in St Austell, said it was very rare for two ducks born from the same egg to thrive.

He said the ducks, dubbed Romulus and Remus, will be spared the table and become pets.

CONF: Leeds Seminars (revised)

seen on the Classicists list:

Classics Department Research Seminar

Wednesdays at 3pm
Room 101, Parkinson Building
University of Leeds

Semester 1

October 21st
Andreas Willi Worcester College, Oxford
The Rise of "Classical" Attic

October 28th
Bruce Gibson University of Liverpool
History Written in Water: Frontinus on Aqueducts

November 11th
P.J. Cherian Director of the Kerala Council for Historical Research
Muziris and the Trade between India and Rome:
Archaeological Evidence from Pattanam, Kerala, India

November 18th
Peter Kruschwitz University of Reading
Just Look at this Mess!?
Linguistic Aspects of Latin Stone Inscriptions from Roman Britain

November 25th (note changed date!)
Roger Brock University of Leeds
Greek Political Imagery in the Fourth Century BC

For more information, please contact Drs. Emma Stafford (e.j.stafford AT leeds.ac.uk) or Regine May (r.may AT leeds.ac.uk). Everybody welcome!

CONF: What’s in a Variant?

seen on the Classicists list:

‘What’s in a Variant?’
Half-day conference on Greek and Roman myths
University of Bristol Jan 27, 2.00-7.00

The aim will be to discuss the practice and utility of investigating myths by comparing their ‘variants’. What are variants? What do we do with them? Each speaker will have 35 minutes, consisting of 20 for the paper and 15 for questions, with a plenary discussion session after all four papers. The plenary session will be followed by a reading/performance of a modern ‘variant’ of an ancient myth – a translation of Mercedes Aguirre’s short story Cosas de hermanos, taken from her collection of tales entitled Nuestros Mitos de Cada Día (Madrid, 2007). This is a striking modern reworking of one of the more grim and unsettling Greek myths. The performer/reader will be Sam Callis (aka ‘Sgt Callum Stone’ from ITV’s The Bill).

.
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Arts Faculty, 3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol

2.00 Introduction (Prof. Richard Buxton, Bristol)
2.10-2.45 ‘Laocoon’ (Prof. Daniel Ogden, Exeter)
2.45-3.20 ‘Thetis and the immortalisation of Achilles’ (Dr Emma Aston, Reading)
3.20-3.40 Tea
3.40-4.15 ‘Dionysus and the daughters of Minyas’ (Prof. Alberto Bernabé, Madrid)
4.15-4.50 ‘The Proetids: location, location, location’ (Prof. Ken Dowden, Birmingham)
4.50-5.25 Plenary discussion
5.30 The Two Brothers. Reader/performer: Sam Callis.
6.15 Refreshments

Admission will be by ticket. If you’d like to attend, please email the conference organiser Richard.G.A.Buxton AT bris.ac.uk, giving the address to which you would like the ticket(s) posting.

d.m. Roger Hornsby

From the Press-Citizen:

Roger Allen Hornsby, emeritus professor of Classics at the University of Iowa, died Tuesday morning at his home in Iowa City. He was 83. Cremation has taken place. The remains will be interred in Toronto with those of his wife Jessie. A memorial service will take place in Iowa City, with time and location to be announced.

Professor Hornsby was born at Nye, Wisconsin on August 8, 1926. He received his B.A. at Adelbert College of Western Reserve University in 1949. He attended Princeton University to receive his A.M. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1952. Between 1952 and 1954 he served in the U.S. Army. He taught at the University of Iowa from 1954 until his retirement in 1991. On June 8, 1960 he married Jessie Lynn Gillespie, professor of French at the University of Iowa.

He served as chairman of the department of Classics from 1966 to 1981. During his career he was also active in numerous regional and national professional organizations. He was president of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South in 1968-69, and on the board of directors of the American Philological Association from 1974-1977. He was a trustee of the American Academy in Rome, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a trustee of the Virgilian Society, and served on the council of the American Numismatic Society. After his retirement he was the Whichard Distinguished Professor at East Carolina University in 1997-98.

Professor Hornsby had wide interests in the study of the ancient world and the teaching of the languages it spoke. His publications focused on Latin poetry and included Reading Latin Poetry (1967), Patterns of Action in the Aeneid (1970) and numerous articles and reviews in professional journals.

Roger’s friends and students–two groups that frequently overlapped–will remember fondly his passionate devotion to the life of the mind, his power as a teacher, and his mordant judgements that were aimed at holding us all to high intellectual and social standards. Roger was a generous host and we will always remember the Hornsby parties, given in the grand style, that enlivened the Iowa academic scene and produced so many new and lasting friendships. In perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

Roger Hornsby, 83

This Day in Ancient History:ante diem xiii kalendas novembres

ante diem xiii kalendas novembres

  • 480 B.C. — Battle of Salamis (one reckoning; seems a bit late)
  • 127 A.D. — ludi votivi decennales pro salute Augusti
  • c. 250 A.D. — martyrdom of Maximus of Aquila
  • 1524 — death of Thomas Linacre … “the best Greek and Latin scholar of his age”
  • 1952 — death of Michael Rostovtzeff (author of The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire and the Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World among other things)

JOB: Roman History @ USC

seen on the Classicists list:

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – ROMAN HISTORY

The Departments of Classics and History at the University of Southern California are conducting a multi-department search for a Roman historian at the rank of assistant or early-career associate professor.

If junior in rank, the successful candidate will be expected to hold appointment in only one of the two participating departments. At the associate level, a joint appointment is a possibility. Candidates must have Ph.D. in hand by July 1, 2010, and a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching and research. Ability to participate in interdisciplinary endeavors linking the study of the ancient world to other areas of intellectual inquiry desirable.

Send application materials, including cv, description of research interests, at least three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample (ca. 20-30 pages) to Roman History Search Committee, Department of Classics, THH 256, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0352, or electronically to Christine Shaw
(shawc AT usc.edu).

USC strongly values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment. Women and men, and members of all racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. For full consideration materials must arrive no later than November 15, 2009.

CFP: Integration and identity in the Roman Republic

Seen on the Classicists list:

Call for papers: Integration and identity in the Roman Republic
Manchester, 1-3 July 2010

The project ‘Integration and identity in the Roman Republic’ is currently carried out by Saskia Roselaar at the University of Manchester. It aims to clarify the processes of integration between Italians and Romans in the period 340-91 BC. The issue of integration has been studied mainly in the context of the Romanization of Italy and the formation of identities in Italy, which are considered the result of increased contact between Romans and Italians. However, it still remains unclear in what contexts Romans and Italians came into contact with each other. The project’s aim therefore is to study the points of contact between these groups: before we can say anything about the cultural and linguistic consequences of integration, we must know where and why exactly Romans and Italians met.
The project studies these contacts in three broadly defined spheres:
-Geographical: To establish which were the points of contact between Romans and Italians, we must first find out where these groups lived. The project will focus specifically on the landscape of the colonies founded by the Romans throughout Italy, which are usually assumed to have played a large role in the Romanization of Italy. Although it is sometimes assumed that Italians were expelled from their lands, recent research has suggested that Italians often lived in the colonies or their territories. A more detailed reconstruction of the colonial landscape is therefore in order.
-Political and administrative: Italians sometimes received full or partial Roman citizenship, which would have brought them into contact with Romans on a regular basis. Other Italians were governed directly by Roman state officials. Regular contact with Roman government may have been an important factor in the integration of Italians; the project seeks to explore the relations between political and administrative contacts and the economic and cultural developments in various Italian areas.
-Economic: Contacts between Romans and Italians could occur for various economic reasons. It appears that trade occurred in a variety of contexts, which must be studied in more detail. Furthermore, it is well known that Italians conducted trade outside Italy, with the assistance of the Roman state. Thus, increased contacts with Rome may have been beneficial for the Italian economy.
The study of these possibilities for contact between Rome and the Italians will shed light on the process of Romanization as it occurred in Republican Italy: it will be possible to establish in more detail exactly how much contact existed between Rome and the various Italian peoples, and what modes of contact existed. Research into political integration will also shed light on the concept of Roman identity in the Republic: the study of political rights shows which rights the Romans were willing to share with the Italians, and thereby their level of inclusion into Roman society.

We would welcome papers on any aspect of integration and the formation of identity in the Roman Republic. We would particularly like to invite archaeologists and linguists, since it is clear that integration and identity cannot be studied by ancient historians alone. Some suggested topics are:

-Colonial landscapes
-Legal barriers for integration
-Ideas about integration among Romans and Italians
-Different modes of integration for various social classes
-Regional variations in the methods and results of integration

Confirmed speakers include:

Guy Bradley (Cardiff)

Tim Cornell (Manchester)

Altay Coskun (Waterloo, Canada)

Elena Isayev (Exeter)

David Langslow (Manchester)

Kathryn Lomas (UCL)

John Patterson (Cambridge)

William Rees (Oxford)

Saskia Roselaar (Manchester)

Nathan Rosenstein (Ohio State)

If you are interested in speaking at or attending the conference, please let me know as soon as possible, so that we will have an idea of numbers participating. The deadline for abstracts is 1 March 2010.

Saskia Roselaar

Newton International research fellow

The University of Manchester

Classics and Ancient History

Oxford Road

Manchester M13 9PL

United Kingdom

+ 44 (0) 161- 2752712

JOB: Open position at Grinnell (tenure track)

Seen on Aegeanet:

*GRINNELL COLLEGE ­ DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS (AREA OF SPECIALIZATION OPEN) *

*TENURE-TRACK POSITION (START FALL 2010)*

GRINNELL COLLEGE. Tenure-track position in the Department of Classics,
starting Fall 2010. Area of scholarly specialization is open, but the
department currently has members focusing on Greek lyric, Roman lyric,
and ancient philosophy. Broad training in classics is highly desirable;
strength in classical mythology or literature-in-translation may be an
asset. Assistant Professor (Ph.D.) preferred; Instructor (ABD) or
Associate Professor possible. Grinnell College is a highly selective
undergraduate liberal arts college. The classics department provides
instruction in Greek and Latin language and literature along with Greek
and Roman history, art, and archaeology. The Collegeąs curriculum is
founded on a strong advising system and close student-faculty
interaction, with few college-wide requirements beyond the completion of
a major. The teaching schedule of five courses over two semesters may
include Greek or Latin courses at any level; every few years one course
will be Tutorial (a writing/critical thinking course for first-year
students, on a special topic chosen by the instructor). In letters of
application, candidates should discuss their interest in developing as a
teacher and scholar in an undergraduate, liberal-arts college that
emphasizes close student-faculty interaction. They also should discuss
what they can contribute to efforts to cultivate a wide diversity of
people and perspectives, a core value of Grinnell College. To be
assured of full consideration, all application materials should be
received by November 15, 2009. Send letter of application, c.v.,
transcripts (copies are acceptable), three letters of recommendation,
and a sample of scholarly writing to Professor Joseph Cummins,
Department of Classics, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112-1690.
[ClassicsSearch AT grinnell.edu], 641-269-3160; fax 641-269-4985

Grinnell College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer
committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals who
collectively reflect the diversity of the nation. No applicant shall be
discriminated against on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin,
age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital
status, religion, creed, or disability. For further information about
Grinnell College, see our website at http://www.grinnell.edu.

JOB: Hellenist @ Brown

The Department of Classics at Brown University has been authorized to
announce a search for a Hellenist (open rank). The area of specialization is
open, as is the rank (Assistant Professor to Full Professor). The successful
candidate will teach Greek language and literature as well as courses in
translation; courses in Greek history are also a possibility, depending on
the candidate’s specialty. Prerequisites for consideration include
distinction in scholarship and teaching in any aspect of Greek language,
literature, or history.
Candidates should submit a letter of application and a curriculum vitae,
including the names and contact information of at least five references for
tenured candidates, and three letters of recommendation for tenure-track
applicants.
Applications should be sent to: Chair of the Hellenist Search Committee,
Department of Classics, Brown University, Box 1856, Providence, RI 02912,
USA. Review of applications will begin on November 1. The department will be
conducting interviews of candidates at the annual meeting of the American
Philological in Anaheim, in early January 2010.
Inquiries may be directed to David_Konstan @brown.edu.
Brown University is committed to diversity in its faculty and encourages
applications from qualified women and under-represented minority candidates

CFP: Death Disasters Downturn. (grad)

Seen on the Classicists list:

Graduate Archaeology at Oxford and the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford invite the submission of proposals for papers and posters to an interdisciplinary conference titled "Death, Disasters, Downturn. The Archaeology of Crises." Oxford, 24-25 April 2010.

"From plagues to economic collapses, natural disasters to the deaths of loved ones, crisis, in its social, economic, psychological, biological, and ecological manifestations has indelibly shaped human existence. Since it is often in the breakdown of societies that the structures which composed them become clearest, crises provide an especially good window onto how groups have functioned historically. It can affect entire communities or single individuals; it can be confined to a singular time and space or it can reoccur episodically. As some of the most fascinating moments in human history, isolated cases or forms of crisis have been much-discussed among scholars within single fields. Rarely, however, have such debates crossed the boundaries of specific disciplines to be studied in a wider, over-arching context."

The goal of this conference is to start a discussion about the archaeological study of crises from across disciplines: sciences, archaeology, anthropology, ancient history. The questions we will raise are manifold: what constitutes a crisis? Which groups in the past have been most affected by crises? How can the archaeological record shed light on crises of various magnitudes? Most importantly, how can the archaeology of crisis be used to shed light on societies past and present?

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words in length and should be sent as attachments (in PDF format) to: gao AT arch.ox.ac.uk
Deadline for abstract submission: Sunday, 6 December 2009.
Selected papers will be published in a volume, as part of the GAO monograph series.

For further information visit the GAO website (http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/conferences/articles/gao-annual-conference.html)

Pavlopetri Followup

Back in May we first were deluged with news coverage about plans to poke around the submerged Mycenean remains of Pavlopetri. Now we’re getting coverage of what they actually found this past summer … an excerpt from the Science Daily coverage:

This summer the team carried out a detailed digital underwater survey and study of the structural remains, which until this year were thought to belong to the Mycenaean period — around 1600 to 1000 BC. The survey surpassed all their expectations. Their investigations revealed another 150 square metres of new buildings as well as ceramics that suggest the site was occupied throughout the Bronze Age — from at least 2800 BC to 1100 BC.

The work is being carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Mr Elias Spondylis, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Greece and Dr Jon Henderson, an underwater archaeologist from the Department of Archaeology at The University of Nottingham.

Dr Jon Henderson said: “This site is unique in that we have almost the complete town plan, the main streets and domestic buildings, courtyards, rock-cut tombs and what appear to be religious buildings, clearly visible on the seabed. Equally as a harbour settlement, the study of the archaeological material we have recovered will be extremely important in terms of revealing how maritime trade was conducted and managed in the Bronze Age.”

Possibly one of the most important discoveries has been the identification of what could be a megaron — a large rectangular great hall — from the Early Bronze Age period. They have also found over 150 metres of new buildings including what could be the first example of a pillar crypt ever discovered on the Greek mainland. Two new stone built cist graves were also discovered alongside what appears to be a Middle Bronze Age pithos burial.

Apart from the inevitable links to theories about Atlantis which some of the press seems to be fond of, the coverage is rather good. Noteworthy are  a couple of YouTube videos put out by the University of Nottingham (the second one is better for our purposes):

Matters Propylaean

Interesting bit of synchronicity here (caused more by my backlog, than anything) … first, Harrison Eiteljorg has announced that the CSA’s Propylaea Project has come to a close, which means — if you weren’t already aware of it — that there is a wealth of information (including photos, papers, and the like) at the CSA Propylaea Project webpage … definitely worth a look for the ancient architecture buffs out there …

And as that project winds down, percolating in the back pages of several UK newspapers for the past couple of months is news of plans to rebuild the Euston Arch — which was inspired/partly-modelled-on the Athenian Propylaea — half a century after its destruction. The campaign to rebuild it has a very nice website which is definitely worth a look and Michael Palin is one of the celebrity types behind the effort. Here’s some of the press coverage (much more at the aforementioned website):