Classics in Communities conference: Access to Classics in schools and communities – Sat 19th Sept 2015

Seen on the Classicists list:

Dear Classicists,

This is reminder that we are exactly a month away from the second Classics in Communities conference to be held at the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge.

Spaces are still available for this conference.

Title: Access to Classics in schools and communities – two years on
Date: Saturday 19th September 2015
Venue: Faculty of Classics, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge
Cost: £20 (to include registration, lunch and wine reception)

This conference aims to bring together all those interested in the teaching and learning of Latin and Greek in schools, colleges, universities and communities in the UK and around the world. Building on the success of the first ‘Classics in Communities’ conference in Oxford in November 2013, the themes of this year’s conference will include: widening access to Classical languages; emerging practices in Classics pedagogies; improving community cohesion through Classics; the cross-curricular value of Classical languages and the appeal/merits of non-linguistic Classics.

Keynote speakers will be Tim Whitmarsh, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge and Tom Holland, celebrated British novelist and Ancient historian.

In addition to those teaching Classical subjects at all levels, the audience for this conference might also include senior leadership, educationalists and policy makers.

Thanks to generous funding from the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, a limited number of bursaries are available for PGCE students, postgraduate students and school teachers to attend free of charge.

Further information on booking and programme details is available on our website In the meantime if you have any queries about the conference or the project then please do not hesitate to contact the conference organisers.

Mai Musié, University of Oxford mai.musie​ AT ​
Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, University of Oxford
Dr Lorna Robinson, The Iris Project
Steven Hunt, University of Cambridge

THE SHADOW OF CREUSA: Negotiating Fictionality in Late Antique Latin Literature

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By Anders Cullhed (tr. by Michael Knight)

De Gruyter (2015) h/b 703pp £97.99 (ISBN 9783110310863)

Imagine that you are a writer and your aim is to set up a school to promote the teaching of Christian religion; that you live in the Roman Empire at some point between the second and the fifth century AD, that you are a newly converted Christian who has been educated by pagan teachers and, therefore, your education has been essentially formed on the works of Homer, Cicero, Horace, Ovid and Vergil. How would you now confront the classics? Would you be a ‘traditionalist’ who repudiates the value of pagan literature, or an ‘innovator’ who finds a compromise and negotiates ideas and themes of pagan culture by means of allegorical interpretations? These are the problems of ‘fictionality’ in late antique Latin literature at the heart of Cullhed’s investigation.

C. covers about three centuries of late…

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Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By Richard Sorabji

OUP (2014) h/b 265pp £22.50 (ISBN 9780199685547)

S. provides a wide-ranging survey of moral conscience throughout the whole Western tradition right up to the present day, beginning with the Greeks. He explains that the word conscience itself comes from a Latin translation of the Greek term suneidenai, which was used originally to mean sharing knowledge with oneself. To understand this metaphor you need to imagine that you are two people, the one with a secret and the one who shares that secret. This first gets a foothold in classical Athenian drama with the case of Orestes, and was developed by the Romans who placed more emphasis on knowing one’s merits rather than one’s defects. Thus the focus on split personality associated with modern Freudianism is there at the very birth of the concept.

S. goes on to describe in learned detail the process whereby this originally…

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Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By Catherine Keane

OUP (2015) h/b 251pp £47.99 (ISBN 9780199981892)

In the very first sentence of the first satire (semper ego auditor tantum?), Juvenal uses a rhetorical question with exaggeration and ellipse to establish the immediate impression of an angry author. This well-known and much discussed angry persona is just the beginning of the story. Satire is not always in the heroic mode attributed to Lucilius driving his chariot across the plain (1.19-20). There is a quieter Juvenal: in Book 3 an ironist, Book 4 an unruffled and amused onlooker, and finally a merciless cynic in Book 5.

K.  pays due attention to ancient discussions of emotion such as Seneca’s de ira and de tranquillitate while noting Juvenal’s eclectic and creative use of other literature. K. takes the reader systematically through the 16 satires but her analysis of what Juvenal is doing is always more subtle and nuanced…

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THE ANIMAL PART: Human & other Animals in the Poetic Imagination

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By M. Payne

Chicago (2015) p/b 164pp £17.50 (ISBN 9780226272320)

 The Animal Part, first published in 2010, is part of classicists’ growing commitment to ‘post-humanism’, a body of theory that critiques understandings of culture and the world which place human beings at their centre without giving due consideration to animals and the environment.

In the book’s introduction, P. includes two examples of personal experiences that have influenced his commitment to this movement: first, he describes a sighting of a beaver during a camping trip to Michigan in July 2006, before recalling a childhood memory of being unable to kill a fox during a shooting trip on his grandfather’s farm after he had locked eyes with the animal and perceived a form of understanding between himself and the creature. With detours through Jacques Derrida and David Foster Wallace, what follows is a powerful and very individual exploration of how…

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THE ROMAN HANNIBAL: Remembering the Enemy in Silius Italicus’ Punica

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By Claire Stocks

Liverpool University Press (2014) h/b 276pp £71.87 (ISBN 9781781380284)

Much has been done in the past half-century, says S., to rehabilitate Silius, and indeed a hero called Spaltenstein has published a Commentary (in three volumes) on the entire opus—17 Books, 12,000 lines, the longest poem in Latin: even the Dindorfs must have raised a ghostly cheer. As the title implies, S.’s work, which started as a PhD thesis at Cambridge, is ‘about Hannibal as he exists in Rome’s literature, the foreign foe in recognisable form: this is the Hannibal that Rome built’. The eleven chapters include ‘Before Silius: the Creation of the Roman Hannibal’ (including Polybius, Cicero, and Cornelius Nepos); ‘Silius’ Influences’ (Livy comes into his own); ‘Epic Models’ (Ennius, dealt with necessarily in cursory fashion, Homer, and—obviously—Virgil), ‘Hannibal’s decline after Cannae’, including ‘Succumbing to luxury’, ‘The “Lightning Bolts” of War’ (enter Scipio), and ‘The Man…

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Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

Edited by P.J. Finglass and Adrian Kelly

CUP (2015) h/b 211pp £69.99 (ISBN 9781107645660)

It has been a good half century or so for Stesichorus: Helen, famously so infuriated by his badmouthing that she blinded him until he retracted everything in his Palinode, has evidently been in a good mood. The 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s saw a number of important papyrus finds, in most cases in time for Denys Page to give them a healthy going-over for inclusion in Poetae Melici Graeci. That allowed us to see, for instance, the sensitivity with which Stesichorus told of Geryon confronted by Heracles, humanising the monster and evoking genuine sympathy. The 2010s are now proving a good decade as well, with a new edition in 2014 by Finglass and Davies (intr. and text by Finglass, contributions by Davies to the comm.) and now this fine collection, springing from an Oxford…

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THE FRONTIERS OF ANCIENT SCIENCE: Essays in honour of Heinrich von Staden

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

Edited by Brook Holmes and Klaus-Dietrich Fischer

De Gruyter (2015) h/b 754pp £97.99 (ISBN 9783110333923)

This is a big heavy book (1.4 Kg) containing essays written in honour of a fine scholar of Ancient Medicine and Science. The nature of the enterprise means that there is no overall theme—the topics are picked by the authors, and the essays listed in alphabetical order of the authors. There are 29 of them, on average 20 pages long, 22 in English, and the remainder with an abstract in English.

Clearly even a brief review of each contribution is not practical. To assist the possible buyer, here follows a list of the authors, with the topic of their essay (not usually the title) and occasional brief comments.
Andorlini: the medicinal use of papyrus (ref. esp. Soranus.)
Asper: Early Greek texts and Near Eastern Influence. Unusually he considers Greek, Egyptian and Mesopotamian simultaneously. Most writers…

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Dutch Tourist Steals Pompeii Roof Tile …

… but it gets better: he intended to sell it on eBay to cover the cost of an iPhone.

According to the various reports, a sixteen-year-old Dutch tourist took a roof tile from a domus on the Via dell’Abbondanza but was spotted and turned in to authorities by another tourist. He was later arrested, charged with attempted theft,  and handed over to his angry mother. All reports also include variations on a ‘dealer’ quote:

“A simple terracotta tile actually has a very low value, we don’t even trade them,” Carole Elena, a dealer in Roman artefacts, told The Local.

“Being a tile from Pompeii, its provenance might have given it some extra value, but I’d say it’s worth a maximum of €400… but obviously items like this are priceless in terms of their historical value.”

For the record, as of today there seem to be two examples available on eBay … one is a fragment of a Roman Roof Tile, which is less than a Euro; there is another OLD ARAB OR ROMAN SPANISH TILE ROOF which doesn’t look Roman at all and which is priced over 1000 Euros (or best offer). In either case, it seems unlikely he would raise enough to pay for an iPhone.

As for the purloined tile, it was returned, but no one knows which domus the little idiot took it from…


AFTER THE NEW TESTAMENT: A Reader in Early Christianity 100-300 CE

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:

By Bart D. Ehrman

OUP (2nd edn. 2015) p/b £35.09 572pp (ISBN 9780195398922)

This book provides an excellent introduction to the general reader wishing to understand the development of early Christianity between the years AD 100—300, the years in which it was working out doctrines, liturgical practices and the boundaries of its canon of sacred texts in a pagan world, before the accession of Constantine and the subsequent Christianisation of the whole Roman empire in the fourth century. Written in a lucid style, uncluttered by footnotes (other than acknowledgements of translations/biblical references) and with clear explanation of all technical terms, the book’s strength is undoubtedly its focus on a) the diversity and variety within early Christianity (or should we speak of Christianities?), b) changes and developments over time within this period, and c) the doctrinal debates which raged within the first few centuries of Christian history, none of which…

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