CFP: Digital Resources for Palaeography

Seen on the Digital Classicist list:

Call for Papers:

‘Digital Resources for Palaeography’ One-Day Symposium
5th September 2011, King’s College London

The ‘Digital Resource and Database of Palaeography, Manuscripts and Diplomatic’ (DigiPal) at the Centre for Computing in Humanities at King’s College London is pleased to announce a one-day symposium on digital resources for palaeography.

In recent years, scholars have begun to develop and employ new technologies and computer-based methods for palaeographic research. The aim of the symposium is to present developments in the field, explore the limits of digital and computational-based approaches, and share methodologies across projects which overlap or complement each other.

Papers of 20 minutes in length are invited on any relevant aspect of digital methods and resources for palaeography and manuscript studies. Possible topics could include:

• Project reports and/or demonstrations
• Palaeographical method; ‘Digital’ and ‘Analogue’ palaeography
• Quantitative and qualitative approaches
• ‘Scientific’ methods, ‘objectivity’ and the role of evidence in manuscript studies
• Visualisation of manuscript evidence and data
• Interface design and querying of palaeographical material

To propose a paper, please send a brief abstract (250 words max) to digipal AT The deadline for receipt of submissions is 8th May 2011. Notice of acceptance will be sent by 20th May 2011.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem viii kalendas apriles

Portrait of Maximinus Thrax. Marble, Roman art...

Image via Wikipedia

ante diem viii kalendas apriles


CONF: Ancient Philosophy Conference

Seen on the Classicists list:

Myth and Literature in Ancient Philosophy
Faculty of Classics,
University of Cambridge
15-16 April 2011

For more details or to register please visit the conference website.


Friday, 15 April

1330-1500 Keynote: Prof Catherine Osborne (University of East Anglia), ‘Literary Genres and Judgements of Taste: Aristotle on Empedocles and Plato on Science and Mythology’

1500-1515 BREAK

1515-1630 Laetitia Monteils-Laeng (University of Caen), ‘Destiny and Responsibility: What is Left for Human Freedom in the Myth of Er?’
with comments by Carol Atack (Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge)

1630-1745 Claire Kirwin (Magdalen College, Oxford), ‘Plato’s Cave and Nietzsche’s Workshop’
with comments by Matthew Duncombe (Peterhouse, Cambridge)

1745-1800 BREAK

1800-1915 Chiara Ferella (University of Pisa), ‘The Proem of Empedocles’ Physika: Towards a New Reconstruction’
with comments by Ben Harriman (Magdalene College, Cambridge)

1930 DINNER (informal)

Saturday, 16 April

0930-1000 COFFEE

1000-1115 Eliska Luhanova (Charles University, Prague and Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne), ‘Blessed Life without Philosophy: Plato and Hesiod on the Prehistory of Man and World’
with comments by Christina Hoenig (Clare Hall, Cambridge)

1115-1230 Emma Park (University College, Oxford), ‘Between Epicurus and Plato: Lucretius’ Soul-Vessel Image and its Philosophical Consequences’
with comments by Dhananjay Jagannathan (St. John’s College, Cambridge)

1230-1400 LUNCH for registered participants

1400-1515 Vanessa de Harven (University of California, Berkeley), ‘Everything is Something: How the Stoics Countenance Creatures of Mythology’
with comments by Tamer Nawar (Queens’ College, Cambridge)

1515-1545 BREAK

1545-1715 Keynote: Dr Kurt Lampe (Bristol University), ‘Stoic Theology, Mythology, and Masochism in Cornutus and Musonius Rufus’

CONF: New Discoveries in Greek Epigraphy

Seen on the Classicists list:

The British Epigraphy Society Spring Colloquium: ‘New Discoveries in Greek Epigraphy’
Saturday 7 May 2011, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester
10.30 -11 am: Coffee and Registration
11 am-12 noon: P. Thonemann (Wadham, Oxford), ‘Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua XI: New Monuments from Roman Asia Minor?’
12 noon -1 p.m.: C. Mueller (Reims), ‘Clarian epiphanies: a new decree of the Ionian koinon’
1 p.m. -2.30: Lunch
2.30-3 p.m.: Short reports
3 p.m. -4 p.m.: N. Papazarkadas (Berkeley), ‘A New Decree from Hellenistic Athens’
4 p.m. -5 p.m.: A. Matthaiou (Athens), ‘Three new Attic inscriptions’
5 p.m: Drinks
The meeting will take place in the south wing of Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester (number 67 on the Campus Map; access is via the South Entrance on Spa St). Coffee and registration will take place in room S.2.1 (Second Floor, South Wing); the meeting itself will be held in room S.2.9.
For maps and directions to the University, see Further information about the city (including advice on accommodation) can be found at
Colloquium fees
Registration (including tea, coffee, and the sandwich lunch): £10.00 (BES, AIEGL members and student non-members), £5.00 (BES student members), £20.00 (non-members).
Registration without lunch: £7.50 (BES, AIEGL members and student non-members), £2.50 (student members), £17.50 (non-members).
To reserve a place at the colloquium and a sandwich lunch, please contact Polly Low by email (polly.low AT by Friday 15th April at the latest, including details of any dietary requirements. Please note that you will be signed in for the lunch unless you say that you do not want this. Please pay all fees due on the day (in cash, or cheque payable to ‘British Epigraphy Society’).
For more information about the British Epigraphy Society (including details of how to join the Society), see

What James Pfundstein is Up To

I’ve known James Pfundstein for years on the Classics list and didn’t know he did this sort of thing … from the BG News:

Professor James Pfundstein not only lectures on the classics to University students, but he also finds time to be a writer.

“Well, let’s say I have to [write], so I sneak it in somehow,” Pfundstein said. “Frequently at the end of the day, I should be going to bed but I stay up a few minutes longer and then it’s like three hours after midnight.”

Pfundstein said that writing and lecturing can even overlap in some aspects.

“I thought they were completely separate, because I would write about classics during the day, and talk about classics and myths and stuff like that, and then I’d go home and write these Morlock stories,” Pfundstein said. “The thing is though, that fantasy is really a type of mythology, or mythology is a type of fantasy. So I constantly find myself using mythological elements in my novels, and I also find myself using stories in my teaching.”

Pfundstein has written three books and multiple short stories, most under the pseudonym James Enge.

“What Enge means is narrow, that is, not wide,” Pfundstein said. “The reason I picked it is because some people who write fantasy complain about how confining the genre is, and how they don’t want to be typed as a genre author, but I write the genre because I like the genre. That’s why I picked Enge, but mostly it’s just because it’s short and people can spell it.”

Pfundstein has been writing since he was eight years old, he said. He started writing when he discovered that books were written by people.

“Tolkien has this introduction where he talks about how he wrote the book and why he wrote the book, and at that point I realized, ‘oh people write books,’ and after I got done with “Lord of the Rings” I thought I would do my own fantasy epic, five volumes, of which I got like 10 pages written,” Pfundstein said. “But at that point, my course was set, and I was always writing something on the side.”

Pfundstein tried several times to get his work published, but it seemed there wasn’t a market for the genre he was writing. Pfundstein writes sword and sorcery books. Sword and sorcery is a sub-genre of fantasy some may call the “dark side.”

There wasn’t a market for sword and sorcery until 2005, when a new adventure fantasy magazine came out, and his first short story was published.

In 2008, Pfundstein got an agent, and within two weeks had a contract to write two books for Pyr, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy.

“I actually sat on it for several months without reading it,” Lou Anders, Editorial Director for Pyr, said. “I started reading it, and it was fantastic. I couldn’t put it down from the first page, so I read it over the weekend and I made an offer the next week.”

Pfundstein has written three books with Pyr, all within the fantasy genre, that follow the story of a character named Morlock Ambrosius, a 400-year-old who lives in an imaginary world, Pfundstein said.

“[Morlock] is really beaten up. He’s a magical maker of great skill, he’s a warrior who’s extremely dangerous, but he’s been disappointed by life,” Pfundstein said.

Philip Peek, a professor of classics at the University, is reading Pfundstein’s book, “The Blood of Ambrose,” with his son.

“I think it’s terrific. I’m reading it to my middle son who’s eleven years old. We like to read at bedtime with our kids, and he is a huge reader of fantasy,” Peek said. “He loves the whole fantasy genre, and so I get the added pleasure of enjoying the book myself and reading it to him, and he’s thoroughly enjoying it.”

Pfundstein is working on a historical novel and another Morlock story as well. His books can be purchased on or at Barnes and Noble stores.


This Day in Ancient History: ante diem ix kalendas apriles

ante diem ix kalendas apriles

  • Festival of Mars (day 24)
  • Quando Rex Comitavit Fas — a somewhat obscure entry in the Roman calendar which seems to hearken back to the days of the monarchy. A plausible explanation connects this with the fact that this was one of the days when the ancient Comitia Calata would ‘witness’ wills, and so other legal matters could not take place until the king had dismissed the comitia.
  • Happy blogday to Jim Davila’s Paleojudaica

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem x kalendas apriles

Justus Lipsius Justus Lipsius

Image via Wikipedia

ante diem x kalendas apriles

  • Festival of Mars continues (day 23)
  • Tubilustrum — as part of the general military preparations which are associated with the festival of Mars, the ‘war horns’ (tubae) were ritually cleaned
  • Quinquatrus (day 5) — final day of the gladiator fest
  • 1606 — Death of Justus Lipsius

Illicit Trade of Egyptian Antiquities Petition

Eric Cline writes in:

To all –

You may have already received this yesterday, sent from GW Media Relations (since I put you on the list), but the George Washington University Capitol Archaeological Institute announced yesterday that it has launched an initiative to protect Egyptian antiquities from illicit trade around the world. The institute identified specific actions that the U.S. government and international law enforcement authorities should take to help prevent the illegal trade of Egyptian antiquities. In addition, many of the most respected Egyptologists in the United States and the world and other respected scholarly organizations have joined the GW institute in calling for action by government and law enforcement authorities.

Press Release announcement:

Text of Call for Action with Signatories:

Online Petition (which can be signed):

Aqua Traiana Followup:

A while back we had a few posts about the discovery of — and peril to — the remains of the Aqua Traiana by the O’Neills … today they write to tell me they have set up a website on this and some related items: has eight pages of information on the Santa Fiora discovery and the Aqua Traiana, twenty three image pages, four brand-spanking new plans and projections of the Fiora Nymphaeum site, is a great resource for Emperors, Enthusiasts and the Erudati alike.

It’s a very attractive site and could be useful in a classroom situation, among others …




This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xii kalendas apriles

ante diem xii kalendas apriles

  • Festival of Mars continues (day 21)
  • Quinquatrus continues (day 3) — originally a one-day festival with rites in honour of Minerva, by Ovid’s day it had been increased to five days, with the last four involving gladiatorial bouts
  • 1766 — death of Richard Dawes (Classical scholar)

CONF: The Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from Ancient Rome to Salvador Dalí (Mellon Lectures)

Richard Campbell sent this one along; really a series of lectures rather than a conference per se … from a page at the National Gallery of Art:


The Sixtieth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established by the National Gallery of Art’s Board of Trustees in 1949 “to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the Fine Arts.”

The Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from Ancient Rome to Salvador Dalí
Mary Beard, professor and chair of the faculty board of classics, University of Cambridge

Julius Caesar: Inventing an Image
March 27 at 2:00PM

Heroes and Villains: In Miniatures, Marble, and Movies
April 3 at 2:00PM

Warts and All? Emperors Come Down to Earth
April 10 at 2:00PM

Caesar’s Wife: Above Suspicion?

April 17 at 2:00PM

Dynasty: Collecting, Classifying, and Connoisseurship
May 1 at 2:00PM

Rough Work? Emperors Defaced and Destroyed
May 8 at 2:00PM

CFP: Burial and social change in ancient Italy

Seen on the Classicists list:

We invite offers of papers for the forthcoming workshop: “Burial and social

change in ancient Italy, 9th-5th century BC: approaching social agents”. The
workshop will be held at the British School at Rome on June 7th 2011.

With its great regional diversity and variety of community forms and
networks, Italy offers a unique context for exploring how and why
communities developed towards socio-political complexity from the Iron Age
(9th century BC) to the Archaic period (6th-5th century BC). By analysing
the rich funerary evidence from this period, the aim of this workshop is to
investigate the role people had in promoting and directing social change as
well as the impact that major historical phenomena (e.g. ‘urbanisation’) had
on individuals or specific groups of individuals. We are especially
interested in how the social role of women, children, the elderly and
non-elite individuals can be reconstructed from the way in which these roles
are expressed/negotiated through mortuary ritual. We wish to maintain a
broad geographical scope, and are especially keen to have contributions on
less ‘mainstream’ regions (such as the Veneto and Samnium), preferably
addressing the following questions:
– Does the presence of women, sub-adults, elderly and non-elite people vary
through time and/or in different regions of Italy? Can these fluctuations
indicate changing definitions of community based on access to formal burial?
– What is the relationship between social status and gender/age identities?
When does gender/age become more/less important in ritual expressions of
status and social structure?
– How do we interpret the involvement of women and sub-adults in empowering
activities such as ritual drinking? How does the ritual use of alcohol/food
in the funerary sphere function as a means to negotiate the role and status
of the dead and the mourners?
– Is the placement of the dead in the landscape indicative of issues of
territoriality, and when is the use of cemeteries suggestive of communal
commitment to specific places?
The deadline for abstracts is April 15th. Later submissions may be
considered but we advise potential speakers to contact us by the deadline
above. There will be flexibility regarding the length of papers (20-45 min).
Titles and abstracts (around 200 words) should be sent to the workshop
convenors: Elisa Perego (elisaperego78 AT and Rafael Scopacasa
(rs236 AT The deadline for registration is April 30th, but we
strongly advise those interested in accommodation at the BSR to contact
Rafael Scopacasa before that date.

Sunday Funnies

Over the past while I’ve accumulated a few doorworthy comics … some will embed and some won’t, so I’ll just provide links … enjoy:

Via Elizabeth H on Twitter and Dan Diffendale … SMBC on the ‘Paradox of the Court':

Via Liz Gloyn on Twitter … Plato gets a rejection letter (blogpost, not a comic):

Posted to the Classics list … note the name of the prof:

xkcd reinterprets Archimedes Reinterpreted (thanks again to DD):

Dinosaur Comics does Greek mythology (ditto):

Pearls Before Swine considers the chorus (this was on the Classics list at some point):

CFP: Tattoos and Body Modification in Antiquity II

Seen on the Classicists list:

Deadline approaches: March 25

European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting
Oslo, Norway — September 14-18, 2011 —

Tattoos and Body Modification in Antiquity – Part II
Philippe Della Casa & Constanze Witt
Session Abstract:

From Oetzi the Iceman to today’s full-sleeved and pierced urbanite, it seems
that body modification has always formed an integral part of the human
animal’s relationship to its body. Some adornments are temporary or purely
situational, such as particular body paints, jewelry or hair treatments,
while others are quite permanent and, when we are very lucky, preserved in
the archaeological record.

The archaeologist’s arsenal in studying preserved tattoos and other body
modifications has expanded in recent years. At the same time,
anthropological interest in "the body" and embodiment has greatly increased
theoretical interest in practices that "inscribe" upon the body. Few still
see tattooing simply as a display of art; they look instead for distinctions
of status, rank, age or gender, for medicinal uses, for punitive or
laudatory uses, for manifestos or other propagandistic uses, as marks of
belonging or exclusion, as marks of transition or transformation… As the
body arts of, e.g., Oceania Asia, are better understood, the ideas have
cross-pollenated with European archaeology. In fact, the serious and
scientific attention accorded to body modification today contrasts starkly
with earlier dismissal by Europeans of tattooed "barbarians." We feel that,
in the current atmosphere of acceptance, it is time for a multidisciplinary
session on the archaeology
of body modification.

After the great success of the “tattoos and body modification” session at
last year’s EAA meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, the session organizers
have decided to enlarge and deepen the argument in Oslo, with a particular –
but not exclusive – focus on northern Europe.

We invite papers from all relevant disciplines, but particularly welcome
bioarchaeologists who work with the detection and analysis of ancient
archaeologists who work with preserved tattoos and/or modifications; and all
whose reconsiderations of ancient tattooing practices promise to expand our
field and contribute to richer understanding of the ancient body and mind.

Please contact:
Philippe Della Casa UZH – phildc AT

CONF: Conventiculum Buffaloniense

Seen on the LatinTeach list:

Summer is in sight, and summer means conversational Latin conventicula! On
June 27-29, Neil Coffee and I will be hosting the Conventiculum
Buffaloniense at the University of Buffalo, SUNY campus. More information
about the conventiculum is available at On this website, you will
find a description<>of
this year’s Underworld-themed conventiculum as well as the
program <> that we have
planned. Please submit registration
forms<>by May 20.

The mission of this conventiculum is to further the awareness and
appreciation of spoken Latin both as a teaching tool and as a source of
personal enjoyment. The program is appropriate both for beginning and
experienced Latin speakers. Please feel free to e mail me on list or off
list as you deem fit with questions!

Anna Andresian
anna1978 AT


ClassiCarnival 03-20-11

I’ve been delinquent in posting this, I think … here’s a huge list of items from my blogroll which caught my eye over the past month or so (in no particular order); as can be seen, it’s been a very busy month in the Classical Blogosphere:

From Roger Pearse:

From Rufus @ The League of Ordinary Gentlemen:

From Mary Beard:

From Juliette Harrison @ Pop Classics:

From Dr Beachcombing:

From Mike Anderson:


CFP: Menander in Contexts

Seen on the Classicists list:


July 23-25, 2012

University of Nottingham, UK

It is now over a century since Menander made his first great step back from the shades with the publication of the Cairo codex, and over half a century since we were first able to read one of his plays virtually complete; since that time our knowledge of his work has been continually enhanced by further papyrus discoveries. This international conference is designed to examine and explore the Menander we know today in the light of the various literary, intellectual and social contexts in which they can be viewed – for example (this is not an exhaustive listing) in relation to

• the society, culture and politics of the post-Alexander decades

• the intellectual currents of the period

• literary precursors and intertexts, dramatic and other

• the reception of Menander, from his own time to ours

Papers (of no more than 30 minutes) are invited on any aspect of this theme.

The conference will be held at Derby Hall, on the University’s parkland campus just outside the historic city of Nottingham, a few days before the Olympic Games open in London.

Enquiries or abstracts (300-400 words; please state your institutional affiliation) should be sent, preferably by email, not later than 30 June 2011, to:

Prof. Alan H. Sommerstein

Department of Classics

University of Nottingham

University Park

Nottingham, UK


alan.sommerstein AT

Please feel free to pass this message on to other mailing lists.

CFP: The Reception of Rome and the Construction of Western Homosexual Identities

Seen on the Classicists list:

The Reception of Rome and the Construction of Western Homosexual
Call for Papers

An international conference to be held at Durham University, 17th-18th
April 2012, under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of the
Classical Tradition.

Confirmed speakers include: David Halperin (U Michigan), Ralph J. Hexter
(University of California), Caroline Vout (Cambridge), Craig Williams
(Brooklyn, CUNY).

This conference will analyse the importance of ancient Rome in
constructing Western homosexual identities. Much scholarship exists on
the contribution of ancient Greek culture and literature to discourses
of homosexuality, but the originary contribution of Rome has been
overlooked. It matters, however, not least because of its impact and
presence during the ‘Latin Middle Ages’ and beyond. Latin literature
provides the best known versions of homosexual myths such as Orpheus,
Narcissus, Iphis and Ianthe (collected in that mythological compendium,
Ovid’s Metamorphoses) and explores distinctively Roman homosexual
relationships (for instance, Virgil’s Nisus and Euryalus), to which a
multitude of later artists have responded. Conversely, authors such as
Juvenal and Martia censure homosexual behaviour. There have also been
many influential instances of homosexuality from Roman history, from
allegations that the youthful Julius Caesar was the ‘queen of Bithynia’
to the celebrated relationship between the emperor Hadrian and Antinous.

This one-off international conference aims to bring together scholars
working in a range of fields (Classics, Reception Studies, Queer
Studies, Modern Languages, Comparative Literature, Art History) to
assess the broad impact of Roman culture on the construction of Western
homosexual identities. Exploring this previously neglected area will
afford scholarship a better understanding of the ways in which the
reception of Roman and Greek culture are different and the importance of
Rome as a model for later artists with homosexual leanings and,
conversely, the attempted erasure of Roman homosexuality in societies
where Rome is idealised. It is hoped that a wide variety of media,
approaches, and research interests will be represented, particularly
from those working outside the discipline of Classics, and that
contributions will result in a substantial publication.

Proposals for papers of 30 minutes should include a title and an
abstract of no more than 500 words, and should be received by 20 May
2011; submissions from postgraduate students are particularly welcome.

Proposals for papers and further enquiries should be sent to Dr Jennifer
Ingleheart (jennifer.ingleheart AT, Department of Classics
and Ancient History, 38 North Bailey, Durham University, Durham, UNITED

CONF: Land and natural resources in the Roman World

Seen on the Classicists list:

Land and natural resources in the Roman World
Brussels, 2011, Thu. 26th – Sat. 28th May (The Royal Flemish Academy of
Belgium & Free University of Brussels)

For details on the program, registration, locations and accommodations see
our website: or contact Paul
Erdkamp (perdkamp AT

Koen Verboven (UGent) & Paul Erkamp (VUBrussel)

Speakers include:
* Paul Erdkamp: Agriculture and the various paths to economic growth
* Annalisa Marzano: The varieties of villa exploitation, from agriculture to
* Colin Adams, Moving Natural Resources
* Jordan Pickett, Construction and the Roman Economy: Five Logistical Case
Studies from Roman and Late Antique Cappadocia in Comparison
* Ray Laurence, State and Road Building in the Roman Empire
* Daniel Hoyer, Diverse crop harvesting and the Maghrebi agrarian economy
* Hilali Arbia, Rome et l’agriculture en Afrique. L’aménagement de l’espace
et la gestion des ressources naturelles
* Julia Hoffmann-Salz, The local economy of Palmyra – Organizing agriculture
in an oasis environment
* Tony King: Regional factors in production and consumption of
animal-derived food in the Roman Empire
* Michael McKinnon, Changes in animal husbandry as a consequence of changing
social and economic patterns
* Kyle Harper, Patterns of Landed Wealth in the Long Term
* Elio Lo Cascio, The development of imperial property
* Rens Tacoma, Imperial wealth in Roman Egypt. The Julio-Claudian ousiai
* Christer Bruun, Ownership and legislation concerning water resources
* Adam Rogers, Controlling waterscapes. A study of towns and water in Roman
* Toni Naco del Hoyo & Dario Nappo, When the waters recede. Economic
recovery and public policies after the AD 365 tsunami and some earlier
* Yuri Marano, Management of water resources in Ostrogothic Italy (end of
the 5th – first half of the 6th century A.D.)
* Shawn Graham, Areas of logging and agent-based models of resource
* Isabella Tsigarida, Salz in der Provinz Asia. Eine Untersuchung
staatlicher Interessen an der Ressource
* Alfred Hirt, The Roman Army, Imperial Quarries and the Emperor
* Fernando Lopez Sanchez, The mining, coining and obtaining of gold in the
Roman Empire
* Saskia Roselaar: The role of Italians in local economies of the late Roman
* Sophia Zoumbaki: The exploitation of local resources of Western Greece by
Romans and Italiote Greeks