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