Why Study Classics? Why not?

This one’s been lurking in my email box for a while … tip o’ the pileus to Dr Stephen Glass (emeritus, Pitzer College) who sent this along fom The Princeton Review: Guide to College Majors: 2004

“A classics major offers the opportunity to explore the beliefs and achievements of antiquity, and to learn just how profoundly they still affect contemporary civilization.

If you major in classics, you’ll learn Greek or Latin (or both). You’ll also read the great literary and philosophical works composed in these languages. Be forewarned, though: reading The Odyssey in the original Greek is a little on the demanding side. You’ll study ancient art, architecture, and technology too, and you’ll learn about Greek and Roman legal systems, social institutions, religious practices, and class distinctions.

We can’t overstate the value of a classics major. Check this out: According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, students who have a major or a double major in classics have a better success rate getting into medical school than do students who concentrate solely in biology, microbiology, and other branches of science. Crazy huh? Furthermore, according to Harvard Magazine, classics majors (and math majors) have the highest success rates of any majors in law school. Believe it or not, political science, economics and pre-law majors lag fairly far behind. Furthermore, classics majors consistently have some of the highest scores on the GRE of all undergraduates.

Shocked? Don’t be. One reason classics majors are so successful is that they completely master grammar. Medical terminology, legal terminology, and all those ridiculously worthless vocabulary words on the GRE (and the SAT) have their roots in Greek and Latin. Ultimately, though, classics majors get on well in life because they develop intellectual rigor, communications skills, analytical skills, the ability to handle complex information, and above all, a breadth of view which few other disciplines can provide.

… I think this (or something similar) is what was causing a kerfuffle back in December: Why Study Classics? Does It Get You Into Med School?. Whatever the case, I tend to think that last sentence is probably the best summing up of the benefits of Classics for the so-called ‘real world’ that I’ve read in a long time.

April CSA Newsletter

“The CSA Newsletter provides up-to-date information on the use of computers and digital technologies in the practice of archaeology and architectural history.”

Here’s the TOC:

Changing Web Standards and Long-Term Web Access
Can we really use the web for important text?
— Harrison Eiteljorg, II

Website Review: Glassway, Glass from the antiquities to the contemporary age
An older website that can serve as an exemplar.
— Andrea Vianello

Website Review: The Acropolis Virtual Tour
Spectacular imagery in search of a rationale.
— Harrison Eiteljorg, II

Project Publication on the Web — Addendum II
The importance of multiple languages for websites.
— Andrea Vianello

Digital Data in Archaeology
Where do digital data fit?
— Harrison Eiteljorg, II

Them Crucifyin’ Romans

I’m sure plenty of readers of rogueclassicism saw/heard the comments of a US EPA official in the past week or so … if not, here’s the incipit of some typical coverage:

A top EPA official has apologized for comparing his agency’s enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion — as Republican Sen. James Inhofe launched an investigation and told Fox News the comments are part of a campaign of “threats” and “intimidation.”

Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a “crude” analogy he once told his staff about his “philosophy of enforcement.”

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them.

“And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” he said. [...]

Last week our old Classics list friend Jan Gabbert asked if I could recall any such incident, and after much poking around, I’ve come up empty. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say this wasn’t ‘standard practice’, but can anyone think of an example where it may have happened once? Or maybe this happened in some movie or novel?  This seems to me to be Historia Augusta type material, if it is genuine at all …

CONF: Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter Poetry

Seen on the Classicists list:

Durham University Department of Classics and Ancient History is pleased to

announce the international conference

2nd to 4th July 2012

This conference aims to examine Conflict and Consensus in Early Hexameter
Poetry from two main perspectives: as thematic concerns in the poems
themselves and as aspects of their early reception. Conflict is a key theme
in the Iliad (which famously starts with a quarrel between Achilles and
Agamemnon), the Odyssey (the civil war in Ithaca), the Theogony (among
generations of gods) and the Works and Days (Hesiod and his brother). All
these key conflicts happen between parties who should actually get along,
and they are explored within poems that aimed to meet with consensus among
Panhellenic audiences. The Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi dramatises the
reception of early epic, and suggests that war – as a poetic theme – can
actually be less divisive than peace. The conference brings together
advanced graduate students, early-career researchers and more experienced
scholars in order to make an original and significant contribution to
Homeric studies.

Key-note speaker: David Elmer (Harvard)

Speakers: Paola Bassino (Durham), Alexander Beecroft (South Carolina),
Andrea Ercolani (CNR Italy), Lilah Grace Fraser (Durham), Barbara Graziosi
(Durham), Johannes Haubold (Durham), Jon Hesk (St. Andrews), Adrian Kelly
(Oxford), Don Lavigne (Durham), Jim Marks (Florida), Ivana Petrovic
(Durham), Oliver Thomas (Cambridge).

Respondent: Douglas Cairns (Edinburgh)

For a provisional schedule, paper abstracts, registration forms and more,
please go to the conference website at

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Lilah
Grace Fraser (l.g.fraser AT dur.ac.uk) or Paola Bassino
(paola.bassino AT durham.ac.uk).

Registration will be open until 2nd June 2012.
Graduate bursaries are available, with applications accepted until 2nd June

CONF: ] Poetic Language and Religion in Greece and Rome

Seen on the Classics list:

Conference: Poetic Language and Religion in Greece and Rome

Sponsored by Research Group Classical Philology – USC
Organizers: José Virgilio García Trabazo / Ángel Ruiz Pérez
Thursday, May 31st / Friday, June 1st 2012
Facultad de Filología. Universidad de Santiago. Santiago de Compostela

Thursday 05.31. 2012
PLENARY SESSION 9:30-10:20 José Luis García Ramón (Köln): Onomástica
religiosa en Grecia e Italia y lengua poética indoeuropea.

PANEL IA. Greek and Indoeuropean Religious Language
10:30-10:55 Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui (UCM): Deixis temporal en la poesía y
el ritual de la antigua Grecia
11:00-11:25 Joshua T. Katz (Princeton): Gods and Vowels
12:00-12:25 Jordi Redondo (Valencia): Algunos recursos lingüísticos en la
poesía indoeuropea y griega
12:30-12:55 Timothy Barnes (Harvard): Poetic syntax and the appellative
function of language in early Greek and Indo-Iranian: three examples
13:00-13:25 Henar Velasco López (Salamanca): Voces y lenguas de Allende

PANEL IB. Sacred Language / Divine Names
10:30-10:55 Francesco Paolo Bianchi (La Sapienza, Roma / Freiburg):
Linguaggio sacrale e commedia antica: l’esempio di Cratino
11:00-11:25 Maria Jennifer Falcone (Padova / Freiburg): Il linguaggio
sacrale nei frammenti tragici latini relativi a Medea
12:00-12:25 Francis M. Lazarus (Assumption College): Fortuna: Religious
Allusion and Poetic Expression in Roman Comedy
12:30-12:55 Colin Shelton (Newfoundland): Poetic Syncretism and Religious
13:00-13:25 Jaime Siles (Valencia): Designaciones de Diana en Horacio, Carm.

PLENARY SESSION 16:00-16:50 Manuel García Teijeiro (Valladolid): La lengua
de los dioses y de los fantasmas

PANEL IIA. Greek Poetry
17:00-17:25 Jenny Strauss Clay (Virginia): Iliad 23 as Blueprint for Hero
17:30-17:55 Manuel Pérez López (Alcalá): El juramento de Aquiles en Il. 1,
236-244. Intertextualidad y pervivencia
18:30-18:55 Laura Swift (UC London): Parody of religious song in Greek
invective poetry
19:00-19:25 Chris Faraone (Chicago): Spoken and Written Boasts in the Getty
Hexameters: From Oral Composition to Inscribed Amulet
19:30-19:55 Agis Marinis (Patras): Pure worship in classical Greek poetry
(with emphasis on Pindar)
20:00-20:25 Elena Iaffe (Tel Aviv): Addressing the Gods in Chorus

PANEL IIB. Latin Poetry
17:00-17:25 Mathieu Minet (Louvain) Magical dimension of Poetry, poetical
dimension of Magics (Vergil, Eighth Eclogue)
17:30-17:55 Charles Bartlett (Harvard): Venus, Ceres, and Ovid. Divinity,
Knowledge, and the Generation of Poetry in Book IV of Ovid’s Fasti
18:30-18:55 Nathalie Sado Nisinson (New York University): Thesea devovi:
Magic, Ritual, and Heroes in Ovid’s Heroides
19:00-19:25 Fabio Guidetti (SNS Pisa): Manilius and imperial theology: an
interpretation of Astronomica 1,798-804
19:30-19:55 Carlos de Miguel Mora (Aveiro): Tiempo mítico y espacio real en
la poesía ovidiana del destierro
20:00-20:25 Arbia Hilali (Sfax, Tunisie): Langage poétique ou langage
religieux dans la légion, la IIIa Augusta en Afrique romaine

Friday 06.01. 2012
PLENARY SESSION 9:30-10:20 Alex Hardie (Edinburgh): The Roman Cult of the

PANEL IIIA. Greek Religious Terminology
10:30-10:55 Ana Vegas Sansalvador (Köln): Dos epítetos de Zeus en Laconia a
la luz de la fraseología poética
11:00-11:25 Giulia Biffis (UC London): The cultic dimension in Lycophron’s
rewriting of myth: the case of Iphigeneia
12:00-12:25 Yolanda García López (Santiago): La lengua afilada de Calímaco y
los ascetas de Dodona
12:30-12:55 Esteban Calderón Dorda (Murcia): El concepto de religión en
Esquilo: reflexión terminológica
13:00-13:25 Josep Antoni Clúa Serena (Lleida): En torno al vocabulario
religioso helenístico (I): Thémis y Diké en Euforión y su hipotexto

PANEL IIIB Indoeuropean Tradition and Greece
10:30-10:55 Edwin D. Floyd (Pittsburgh): Ancient Linguistic and Religious
Elements in Kallimachos and Chrysorrhoe
11:00-11:25 Shane Hawkins (Carleton University Ottawa): Two Indo-European
Survivals in Hesiod
12:00-12:25 Óscar Manuel Bernao Fariñas (Valladolid): Rumpelstilzchen:
nombres tabuados y el lenguaje de los dioses
12:30-12:55 Daniel Kölligan (Köln): Tartaros in Greek mythology: etymology
and poetic language
13:00-13:25 Mary R. Bachvarova (Willamette): Whether you are in India,
Greece, Hattusa, Ugarit, or Nineveh…: The Supralocal Origins of Sapphic

PLENARY SESSION 16:00-16:50 Emilio Suárez de la Torre (Pompeu Fabra,
Barcelona): ¿Lengua poética o lengua religiosa? Sobre la interrelación de
poesía y ritual en la Grecia Antigua

PANEL IIIIA. Oracles, riddles, signs, curses
17:00-17:25 Jonathan L. Ready (Indiana): Messages from Zeus: A
Reconsideration of Analogical Omens in the Homeric Epics
17:25-17:55 Lucia Maddalena Tissi (Firenze): The late antique oracles:
samples of ἀσάφεια or σαφήνεια?
18:30-18:55 Kyriaki Konstantinidou (Istanbul): Oaths in Greek Drama: The
Case of Conversational Self-Curses
19:00-19:25 Claudia Zatta (Northwestern): Consulting the Gods in the Odyssey
19:30-19:55 Margaret Foster (Indiana): Talismanic Authority on the
Battlefield: Greek Seers and the Concept of Kûdos
20:00-20:25 Simone Beta (Siena): Oracles and riddles ambo fratres. Cultural
(and family) relations between oracula and aenigmata

PANEL IIIIB. Religious Hymns
17:00-17:25 Amedeo Alessandro Raschieri (Torino): Tradizionalismo poetico e
religioso in Avieno
17:30-17:55 Ichiro Taida (I-Shou, Taiwan): A Traditional Phrase about
Sunlight in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite
18:30-18:55 José B. Torres Guerra (Navarra): Plegaria e himno literario. Los
Dioscuros en las inscripciones de Prote, Alceo y dos Himnos Homéricos
19:00-19:25 Mark Alonge (Boston University): The Literary Character of Greek
Liturgical Hymns
19:30-19:55 José Manuel Vélez Latorre (Ourense): El himno de Adrasto a
Apolo, en la Tebaida de Estacio
20:00-20:20 Miriam Blanco (Valladolid): Los magos que cantaban a los dioses.
Religiosidad y poesía en los Himnos Mágicos griegos

CONF: Iambus and Elegy

Seen on the Classicists list:

Iambus and Elegy Conference, 11th-13th July 2012

Full conference programme and registration information

The study of Greek elegy and iambus has been transformed in recent years by new papyrological finds, most notably the new Simonides elegy in 1992 and the new Archilochus elegy in 2005, while scholarship on early Greek poetry has made significant methodological advances over recent decades. Yet iambus and elegy have historically been sidelined as the lesser cousins of Greek lyric, while the impact of papyrological discoveries has not always been made apparent to those without the technical expertise to work directly on the texts. This international conference will be the first meeting to focus exclusively on iambus and elegy. Our aim is to foreground these metres as poetic forms in their own right, to explore what is distinctive about them, and to showcase recent research in this area.

Information about how to register for the conference can be found on our website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/classics/news-and-events/iambus-and-elegy. The full programme is listed below. For more information, please contact l.swift AT ucl.ac.uk, or iambusandelegy AT gmail.com.

The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of the Hellenic Society, the Leverhulme Trust, UCL FIGS, and UCL Greek and Latin Alumni.

Wednesday 11th July

5-6pm Opening keynote paper: ‘Iambos in the ancient historiography of literature’, Andrea Rotstein, Tel Aviv University

Thursday 12th July

Session 1: Elegiac performance

9.30-10.10 ‘Possible ritual contexts for the performance of early narrative elegy’, Ewen Bowie, University of Oxford

10.10-10.50 ‘Choral Elegy’, Cecilia Nobili, University of Milan

10.50-11.20 Coffee

11.20-12.00 ‘Anacreon and the elegiac symposium’, Elizabeth Jones, Stanford University

12.00-12.40 ‘Simonides and the elegy’, David Sider, New York University

Session 2: Voice and author in iambos

12.40-1.20 ‘Archilochean performance and the iambic poet-persona’, Don Lavigne, Texas Tech University

1.20-2.20 Lunch

2.20-3.00 ‘Archilochean imagery and poetic topoi’, Laura Swift, UCL/Open University

3.00-3.40 ‘Mythic narratives in Hipponax: the case of Heracles’, Margarita Alexandrou, UCL

3.40-4.20 ‘Overheard Iambics: Listening to Hipponax’, Deborah Boedeker, Brown University

4.20-4.50 Coffee

Session 3: Text and transmission

4.50-5.30 ‘Archilochus’ elegiac fragments: textual and exegetical notes’, Anika Nicolosi, University of Parma

5.30-6.10 ‘Writing Solon’, Antonio Aloni, University of Torino, and Alessandro Iannucci, University of Bologna

Friday 13th July

Session 4: Iambic interactions

9.00-9.40 ‘Toward a philosophy of parody: iambos and visual art’ Tom Hawkins, Ohio State University

9.40-10.20 ‘Iambos iatrikos: therapy and the ego in Archilochus’ elegies and iamboi’, Julia Nelson Hawkins, Ohio State University

Session 5: Elegy and epic

10.20-11.00 ‘Elegy and epic: a complex relationship’, Laura Lulli, University of L’Aquila

11.00-11.30 Coffee

11.30-12.10 ‘Hesiod and elegy’, Richard Hunter, Cambridge University

Session 6: Classical intertexts

12.10-12.50 ‘Warding off a hailstorm of blood: Pindar on martial elegy’, Christopher Brown, University of Western Ontario

12.50-1.30 ‘Euenus’ “ship of fools” (8b, Theog. 667-82)’, Paula Correa, University of Sao Paolo

1.30-2.30 Lunch

Session 7: Hellenistic echoes

2.30-3.10 ‘Callimachus between elegy and iambus’, Giambattista D’Alessio, KCL

3.10-3.50 ‘What is iambic about Hellenistic literary epigrams?’, Maria Kanellou, UCL

3.50-4.20 Coffee

Session 8: Beyond the canon

4.20-5.00 ‘Tetrameters from Teos: Scythinus on Heraclitus and Apollo’, Tim Power, Rutgers

5.00-5.40 ‘Mapping iambos: mining the minor talents’, Chris Carey, UCL

JOB: Ancient History @ Cardiff

Seen on the Classicists list

Lecturer in Ancient History (Teaching and Scholarship)

School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University

The Cardiff School of History, Archaeology & Religion wishes to appoint a Fixed Term Lecturer in Ancient History for the period of 12 months to cover maternity leave. The successful applicant will be required to perform duties which will include teaching, lecturing, work associated with examinations (setting and marking papers and moderation), administration, participation in committee work, and the pastoral care of students of Cardiff University.

Interests in Greek history, particularly of the Hellenistic period and in gender history are desirable. You will be required to undertake teaching at undergraduate and masters levels, which may include contributing to first year modules (including Introduction to Ancient Greek History ), second and final year modules (especially Kingdoms, Cities and Hellenization , Gender & Sexuality in Greece and Rome and Literary Evidence for Ancient Historians), supervision of undergraduate projects and dissertations and to core taught masters modules.

Salary: £38,140 – £44,166 per annum (Grade 7).

This post is fixed-term for a period of 12 months.

Closing date: Friday 18 May 2012.

Informal enquiries to Head of School, Professor Terry Threadgold (ThreadgoldT2 AT cf.ac.uk, tel. +44 (0)29 20874509) or to Head of the Ancient History Department, Dr Louis Rawlings (Rawlings AT cf.ac.uk, tel. +44 (0)29 20874821).

For further particulars see: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jobs/

WEBCONF: Ancient Civilization: Political Institutions and Legal Regulation

Seen on the Classicists list:

The Centre for Classical Studies at Yaroslavl State University (Russia) is currently conducting a web-conference «Ancient Civilization: Political Institutions and Legal Regulation» .

Everyone is welcome to read and comment (after easy registration) the following 15 papers:


  1. Giarelli L.Res publica Camunnorum”: a small Roman Republic in the Alps.
  2. Varga R. Constitutio Antoniniana. Law and Individual in a Time of Change.
  3. Filonik J. Athenian Laws on Impiety – Some Notes on the Procedures.
  4. Zacharski M. The Normative Aspect of the Concept of φύσις and the Origin of the Naturalistic Fallacy.

SUMMARIES OF THE PAPERS (full text is available in Russian):

  1. Voloshin D. Gladiatorial Combats as Political Mass Spectacle and Instrument of “Social Training”.
  2. Gouschin V. Ephialtes versus Areopagus.
  3. Danilov E. Tranquility of the Soul in Interpretation of the Roman Citizens.
  4. Dementyeva V. Die Legaten-Proquästoren in der Römischen Republik am Ende 3. Jh. -1 Jh. V. Chr.
  5. Malyugin O. Administrative Division of Late Roman Britain and the Problem of the Province of Valentia in Anglo-American Historiography.
  6. Nefedkin A. Recruitment and Organization of Cavalry in Aetolian League.
  7. Nikolayev N. On Reconstruction of the Dedication Formula of the Olbian Molpoi
  8. Surikov I. What was the Name of the Supreme Government Body in the Democratic Athenian Polis?
  9. Frolov R. The Designations of the Roman Non-Voting Public Meetings in Livy’s Work: the contio and Its Derivatives
  10. Tsimbal O. The Theoric Board in the System of Athenian Financial Offices in the 4th Century B.C.
  11. Shmeleva L. The Formation of the ius fetiale in the Ancient Rome (8th-6th Centuries B.C.).

Approximately at the end of May it is planned to start preparation of the conference proceedings, where some of the comments may be included (by agreement with their authors) in order to present discussion of the papers in print form. However after the end of May the opportunity to submit new comments will be preserved.

All authors are informed of new comments to their papers. All messages are premoderated.

If you have any questions, please, contact us via this email address:

yar.antik.center AT gmail.com.

CONF: Causing Health and Disease: Medical Powers in Classical and Late Antiquity

Seen on the Classicists list:

Causing Health and Disease:
Medical Powers in Classical and Late Antiquity

International conference organized by the

Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologiesproject

21– 22 September 2012

Corpus Christi College

Rainolds room


Invited Speakers

Roger Batty (Keio University, Tokyo)

Philip van der Eijk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Jim Hankinson (University of Texas at Austin)

Brooke Holmes (Princeton University)

Geoffrey Lloyd (University of Cambridge)

Roberto Lo Presti (Università degli Studi di Palermo)

Popa Tiberiu (Butler University)

Barbara Zipser (Royal Holloway University of London)

Registration, accommodation and opening dinner

Registration is £10, but free for students.

Rooms in Corpus Christi College are available to those attending the conference. The cost is £49.50 per night (single occupation, with shared toilet facilities). Registration for rooms and shared meals will be available shortly via the online registration system, which will be accessible here.

Please also note that the conference will open with a dinner and program (details tbc) on the evening of 20th September. Participation

is open to all (the cost is £35, with space for 15 participants), and registration will also be available through the online system.

Graduate students seeking assistance with the costs of attending this conference may wish to apply to the The Thomas Wiedemann Memorial Fund. Its trustees are ‘particularly keen to support attendance by individuals or groups at seminars or conferences.’

Thanks are due to:

The Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity
The European Research Council

If you have a query about the conference, please email Anna Marmodoro at:
powers AT philosophy.ox.ac.uk

CONF: Two events on Ancient Myth, British Academy

Seen on the Classicists list

Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Conflict in World Fiction since 1989

Thursday & Friday, 5 & 6 July 2012
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

This unprecedented conference will bring together a global team of
practising novelists and scholars to discuss the importance of ancient Greek
myths in the recent fictional narration of war. Novels from every continent
will be discussed, including works by Maori, Chinese, African, Brazilian and
Japanese authors. The conference will ask whether it is the very
difficulties involved in addressing
large-scale trauma that have elicited this new ‘mythical turn’ in the
medium; it will also explore the tensions involved in the use of canonical
ancient Greek texts central to the western ‘colonial’ curriculum in
selfconsciously anticolonial and postcolonial writing.

Professor Edith Hall, King’s College London, Classics

9.30am-4.30pm, Thursday, 5 July 2012
9.30am-6.00pm, Friday, 6 July 2012

Please note that there is a fee for this event:
£50 Standard fee
£25 Discounted rate for students, unemployed and retired delegates.

Places are limited and registration is essential. Please click here for a
copy of the programme and to register or visit our website:

Performance Event: Ancient Myth and the Modern Novel

5.00pm-7.30pm, followed by a reception
Thursday, 5 July 2012
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

This public event features talks by Tom Holland, a prominent author of both
history and fiction, including Persian Fire, Rubicon and Sleeper in the
Sand. He is also the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Making History. The other
speakers who will discuss the uses of Greek myth in fictional evocations of
modern conflict will include the Serbian Aleksandar Gatalica, whose Death of
Euripides addresses the tragic 20th-century history of eastern Europe.

The professional performance ensemble Live Canon and Friends will then
deliver selected highlights from novels by writers from all over the
worldwho have used ancient Greek myths in witnessing modern history,
including Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Littell, and Elizabeth Cook.

Attendance to the performance event only is free but places are limited and
regisration is essential. Please click here to register or visit our
website: www.britac.ac.uk/events. Please note that attendees for the
conference must register separately for the evening event.

CONF: Masks, Echoes, Shadows

Seen on the Classicists list:

Masks, Echoes, Shadows: Locating Classical Receptions in the Cinema
29 May 2012
Institute of Classical Studies, London

Cinema’s fascination with the classical past can take many forms. In recent
years, scholarly and popular attention has mostly been directed at films
that recreate and reconstruct the narratives of ancient history and
mythology, such as Gladiator and Clash of the Titans. Alongside these
high-profile titles, though, are a wide range of other films whose
relationship to antiquity may be much more intangible and ephemeral. Whether
identifying Homeric references in O Brother, Where art Thou? or Mike Leigh’s
Naked, assessing Star Wars’ debt to Roman history, or examining the
recurrence of the Oedipus story in the cinema, there are a multitude of ways
in which shadows of the past can be detected, classical motifs can be masked
and unmasked, and echoes of ancient texts or events can reverberate. Recent
publications by scholars such as Martin Winkler and Simon Goldhill have
advanced this area of classical reception studies, but the underlying
theoretical issues require further attention. This one-day colloquium will
bring together scholars and students of classics and film in order to
discuss new research in this area.


10.30-10.45 Introduction

Anastasia Bakogianni, ‘ Masked celluloid classics: ancient shadows in Theo
Angelopoulos’ The Weeping Meadow (2004)’

Kristen Gunderson, ‘ A Lacanian reading of the Theseus myth in Inception ‘s
mental labyrinth’

11.45-12.00 Refreshments


Ricardo Apostol, ‘ From Album Alitem to Black Swan : Horace and Aronofsky on
Poetic Perfection and Death’

David Scourfield, ‘A Classical Lens for Eyes Wide Shut’

13.00-13.45 Lunch


Trevor Fear, ‘ Cleopatra in the 26th century: the long reach of a historical

Tom Garvey, ‘Reaping the benefits of Serenity’

14:45-15.15 Refreshments


C. W. Marshall, ‘The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker’

Amanda Potter ‘Who’s Monsters? The Sirens and the Minotaur rewritten
in Doctor Who episodes ‘The Curse of the Black Spot’ and ‘The God Complex’’.

16.15-16.30 Final thoughts

Registration fee: £10 which includes a sandwich lunch and refreshments

To book a place or for more information please contact Joanna Paul, Open
University Joanna.Paul AT open.ac.uk

CFP: Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space: The Fantastika and the Classical World

Seen on the Classicists list:

Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space: The Fantastika and the Classical World. A Science Fiction Foundation Conference

29 June – 1 July 2013

At The Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool

Guests of Honour/Plenary Speakers: Edith Hall, Nick Lowe, and Catherynne M. Valente

Call for papers

The culture of the Classical world continues to shape that of the modern West. Those studying the Fan­tastika (science fiction, fantasy and horror) know that the genres have some of their strongest roots in the literature of the Graeco-Roman world (Homer’s Odyssey, Lucian’s True History). At the same time, scholars of Classical Reception are increasingly investigating all aspects of popular culture, and have be­gun looking at science fiction. However, scholars of the one are not often enough in contact with scholars of the other. This conference aims to bridge the divide, and provide a forum in which sf and Classical Reception scholars can meet and exchange ideas.

We invite proposals for papers (20 minutes plus discussion) or themed panels of three or four papers from a wide range of disciplines (including Science Fiction, Classical Reception and Literature), from aca­demics, students, fans, and anyone else interested, on any aspect of the interaction between the Classi­cal world of Greece and Rome (including post-Roman Britain and the Byzantine empire) and science fiction, fantasy and horror. We are looking for papers on Classical elements in modern (post-1800) examples of the Fantastika, and on science fictional or fantas­tic elements in Classical literature. We are particularly interested in papers addressing literary science fiction or fantasy, where we feel investigations of the interaction with the ancient world are relatively rare. But we also welcome papers on film, television, radio, comics, games, or fan culture.

Please send proposals to conferences AT sf-foundation.org, to arrive by 30 September 2012. Paper pro­posals should be no more than 300 words. Themed panels should also include an introduction to the panel, of no more than 300 words. Please include the name of the author/panel convener, and contact details.

Any enquires should be sent to the e-mail address above.

Swords, Sorcery, Sandals and Space is organised by the Science Fiction Foundation, with the co-operation of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.

Tony Keen
Chair, 2013 Science Fiction Foundation Conference

Conference Website: http://www.sf-foundation.org/conference

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Coolest Latin Exam Evah!

From My SA:

While most local students are taking final exams in classrooms this week, one Latin teacher arranged for the San Antonio Museum of Art as a testing site.

The museum has an extensive collection of Greek and Roman art, classical pieces from between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., so Saint Mary’s Hall teacher Ned Tuck figured he’d have students interpret and translate Latin inscriptions right off the exhibits.

Most of the museum’s student visitors — some 10,000 of them a year in grades K-12 — simply spectate. But Tuck’s idea is exactly what civic leaders envisioned when they set a goal in the SA2020 plan to improve local education by using “the city as a classroom.”

In this case, the lesson was that Latin isn’t a dead language.

“I get so frustrated when people say that,” said Sydney Kranzmann, a junior, 16, who took the exam Tuesday evening. “All the romance languages come from Latin, I tell my classmates taking Spanish and French. And it helps on the SAT exam with better understanding English vocabulary.”

Latin, spread by the Romans to become the language of literate medieval Europe, was still used in Catholic liturgy and taught in schools up until the 1960s. It declined as a school subject but has had resurgences of popularity, most recently among students looking to improve SAT scores, distinguish themselves among peers studying mainstream languages or, as some of Tuck’s students said, to satisfy curiosity over words used in Harry Potter’s spells.

In San Antonio, the learning of Latin is alive and well. For example, in Northside Independent School District, 1,175 students are taking it at four levels, starting in ninth grade, said Rosanna Perez, the NISD instructional specialist for international languages.

“Students taking Latin tend to do better in other subjects and it’s great for those who are hoping to study medicine or law,” Perez said.

Museum officials said Tuck is the only teacher they’re aware of whose final exam was conducted there, but any teacher could replicate the approach, as the museum is free on Tuesday evenings.

“I think teachers are challenged nowadays with trying to find ways to keep students engaged, so this is one way I thought I could do this,” Tuck said. “We’re lucky here to have an art collection like this that other Texas teachers don’t have access to.”

Seven of his 55 Latin students wandered the museum Tuesday, filling in answers as they debated the art, translated the words on Roman coins and tried to interpret what the artist meant to say when creating a statue of Cupid and his wife, Psyche. The marble statue, from around 117 A.D., originally adorned a villa of the emperor Hadrian.

Tuck allowed the students to collaborate on the exam’s answers, making the museum’s halls a forum, fitting for Latin students.

“It’s a fun experience because what we’re learning does come to life when we see the exhibits, even though that’s in the past,” said Katie Kneuper, 17, a junior. “And as exams normally are done individually, this allows us the real-world experience of how it is to work with others, as that is something you do when you get a job.”

Nuntii Latini Graecique 05-13-12

I’m thinking of making all the Latin and Greek news a sort of ‘Sunday Papers’ thing:
From  YLE:

Hollande praesidens electus
Nuntii Latini. Photo: Yle

JULKAISTU 11.05.2012 KLO 10.38

Praesidens Francogalliae in quinquennium proxime futurum electus est Francois Hollande, socialista quinquaginta septem annos natus. Altero enim suffragio populi pridie Nonas Maias (6.5.) facto sententiarum paene quinquaginta duas centesimas (51,7%) sibi conciliavit.

Praesidens hodiernus Nicolas Sarkozy, adversarius eius, ubi primum de eventu comitiorum audivit, se cladem accepisse confessus victori publice gratulatus est.

(Reijo Pitkäranta)

… more stories and audio versions at:

From Radio Bremen:

Factiones magnae punctis panae pares

Electionibus in Slesvica-Holsatia habitis coalitio Democratarum Christianorum et Liberalium a gubernaculis civitatis depulsa est. Democratae et Christiani et Sociales punctis paene pares sunt. Non modo Liberalibus, sed etiam Piratis in parlamentum inire contigit. Quas res qui observant, timent, ne ministrorum consilium constituere difficile sit.

… more at:

From Ephemeris:

Reclamatur in Ucraina
MM hominum in foro Kioviae, capitis rei publicae Ucrainae, die Saturni convenerunt libertatem oppositorum in vinculis detentorum poscentes et vehementer contra praesidentem Victorem Janukovic reclamentes: nam Julia Timosenko, olim rei publicae praesidens, in carcere manet de repetundis accusata; ipsa ante paucos dies cicatrices apparatu photographico impressas per interrete demonstraverat, quibus ictus custodum in bracchiis et alvo comprobari videantur. Recenter Juliae factio Patria et Foedus Commutativum constituerunt coniunctim se comitia proxima adituras esse, quo facilius praevalere possint.

Post paucas septimanas certamina pedifollica Europaea in Ucraina et in Polonia habebuntur, quam ob rem sperant rectores tranquillitatem in urbibus saltem mox restitutum iri.

… much, much more at:

From Akropolis World News in Classical Greek:

Chinese blind dissident can leave China / Widows demonstrate in Bolognia / 11/9 mastermind to be judged (05/05/12. j. coderch)

Why Classics?

Tip o’ the pileus to Rose Williams for alerting us to this piece in USA Today:

When college-targeted publications feature articles on topics like the highest-paying college majors or the college majors that are most likely to land you a job, things do not always look too good for people studying the humanities.

Humanities departments face budget cuts now more than ever, and for small subdivisions of humanities, like classics, the future is even grimmer. Even at top departments like the one at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, budget decreases affect the number of courses that can be offered each semester and the number of faculty the department hires.

Sometimes, when I tell someone I’m a classics major, they don’t even understand what the department is. Classics as in classical music? Classics as in 18th century British literature? (No and no.) Classics as in Greek and Roman history? “Oh, so you want to be a teacher.”

People who hear someone is a classics major usually assume that person wants to be a high school Latin teacher or a college professor. While many classics majors choose to earn graduate degrees in classics and become teachers and professors, there are many other fields that undergraduates can enter with a classics degree. But more importantly, there’s a lot to be learned from classics, regardless of your profession.

Classics is a popular undergraduate major for law school students, because it teaches you to think critically and formulate arguments. There’s nothing like the speeches of the fifth century logographer Lysias to get the legal mindset started! Many students who major in classics also choose to work in libraries or museums.

Even if you’re not planning to enter one of these fields, classics is still a great field to study. Yes, Latin is a dead language, and ancient Greek is tremendously different from modern Greek. Yes, these societies ultimately collapsed. No, people don’t have dinner parties and discuss the meaning of love, Symposium-style. But the influence of classics on modern culture is still prevalent today.

Take the Percy Jackson young adult book series, for example. The novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 200 weeks, not to mention being made into a blockbuster movie franchise. The novels are based on Greek mythology, and their author, Rick Riordan, completed a Roman-inspired series following Percy Jackson’s success and an Egyptian-inspired series after that.

In cult classics that aren’t based in classical themes, the classical influence is still apparent. Harry Potter’s spells are a sort of Latin mash-up, and the names of many Pokémon derive from Latin roots.

Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins has stated in multiple interviews that the games in the series were based on the idea of the Roman gladiatorial games, and more than a few Hunger Games characters have classically inspired names. For example, the emperor Nero forced Seneca the younger to commit suicide for alleged participation in a conspiracy; President Snow forced the Hunger Games’ Seneca to commit suicide when he allowed tributes from a district other than the Capitol’s to win the games.

Even if classics departments are shrinking and students are moving toward more economically favorable fields of study, series like these show that people today are still very much interested in the classical world. And who wouldn’t be? The cultures are fascinating, from Roman feasts to Greek vase painting.

People say they study history because history repeats itself, but studying classics is so much more than that. The classical world heavily shaped the western one, and much of America’s founding was based in how the Roman Republic was run. Classical influences are everywhere, from Greek columns on government buildings to Philadelphia’s city layout, which was loosely inspired by the Roman road system.

The argument that classical studies are no longer relevant really couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sure, we don’t deal with the issues that characters in Greek tragedy faced. (Has anyone you know murdered his father and married his mother lately?) But the works of great tragedians reach something deeper, issues that afflict humanity as a whole. In Euripides’ Hecuba, the titular character suffers because of her willingness to trust people, eventually becoming extremely cynical. If you read the tragedy, her character transformation is remarkably similar to Taylor Momsen’s Gossip Girl character Jenny Humphrey’s change from innocent and trusting to high school queen in the show’s first two seasons.

The times and settings change, but human issues don’t. And classics, more than any other field (aside from philosophy), deals with these issues in a way that’s still relevant today, and will still be relevant in the future.

The bottom line is, you should choose a major you love, even if you’re not sure how it will help you in your career search. If you can defend what you’re passionate about (and still have the skills to do they jobs you’re applying for), your employer will see that passion. I’m not a journalism major, but my studies in classics have given me a different perspective in my editorial experiences and have never hindered my job search. So do what you love — and take a course in your school’s classics department if you’ve got some extra room in your schedule.

Kermit as Caligula?

Strange one from the Independent:

It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights – Kermit the Frog is in appearing in a tale of dictatorship, violence and sexual depravity.

Audiences will see the children’s character, along with hero He-Man and clown Ronald McDonald, in a much darker way later this month when new versions take to the stage for English National Opera’s UK premiere of the German composer Detlev Glanert’s opera Caligula. Members of the chorus will wear costumes reminiscent of the famous figures of fun to represent a society living in terror. Other costumes will include those inspired by Miss World-style beauty-pageant contestants, show girls, a doughnut and a turkey. Costume designer Alice Babidge said that while people might associate the characters with “colour and movement and fun, light fluffy things”, there were things that were “sad and different and frightening” about her surreal interpretations.

Based on Albert Camus’ play of the same name, which he wrote as a response to Hitler and Stalin, Glanert’s 2006 opera examines the rise of the modern dictator. Both versions chart the rule of the tyrannical and decadent Roman emperor Caligula, whose life, following the death of his sister and lover, Drusilla, loses meaning. He pursues a destructive path of cruelty, murder and depravity.

The ENO’s production is the latest from the imaginative and acclaimed Australian director Benedict Andrews, who last month directed Hollywood star Cate Blanchett in Sydney Theatre Company’s staging of Big and Small (Gross und Klein) at the Barbican.

The opera’s 40-strong chorus represents Caligula’s people. Andrews said their unusual costumes – which provide a contrast in Act II to the fine suits, fur and diamonds that characterise a wealthy society in the first act – are used “to portray the abused citizens of a totalitarian state”. “They are examples of a populace living in terror, perhaps forced to dress up by Caligula. A senator says, ‘It is all a dream. He will change all of his nightmares into corpses.’ These unusual costumes help form a portrait of this nightmare society… a society whose ruler Caligula has gone insane.”

Andrews, who last year directed the ENO’s powerful production of The Return of Ulysses at the Young Vic, has set Caligula in a football stadium in a nameless, fictional state run by a military dictatorship. “The staging concept comes from studying images of ancient Roman stadiums, and of contemporary sports fields,” he said. “I was struck how these places have been co-opted by the forces of state terror, ie the National Stadium in Chile under Pinochet… The stadium becomes filled with people, sometimes they seem to be real, at other times creatures from Caligula’s imagination.”

Artistic director John Berry said that Andrews, “one of the hottest directors” in theatre, not only had an “amazing visual sense” but was also a wonderful director of performers. He added that Caligula’s score did not put any barriers in front of an audience new to contemporary opera. “It feels very modern but it also has a romantic air to it,” he said. “It’s emotional, it’s atmospheric. It varies from absolutely explosive music that is highly technical to music that is incredibly simple.”

via: Kermit the Frog joins the chorus – in ‘Caligula’ (Independent)

Classical Words of the Day

… and the Latin Word of the Day:

  • signum (Transparent Language)

… and dead guys tweeting: