CFP: Cultural Memory and Religion in the Ancient City

Seen on various lists:

The University of Birmingham would like to invite papers from postgraduate
students and early career researchers for Day One of a colloquium, taking
place from the 5th to the 6th of July 2010 on:

‘Cultural Memory and Religion in the Ancient City’

The possibilities offered by Cultural Memory as a methodological tool
for reading and understanding modes of behaviour in antiquity have
been steadily gaining currency in recent years. The aim of this

interdisciplinary colloquium is to bring together scholars and research
students working on the texts and material culture of the ancient world
in order to exchange ideas and approaches relating to using Cultural

Memory to analyse religion in various ancient urban contexts.

The colloquium will be arranged over two days; papers given on the
first day will explore new research by postgraduates and early
careerists currently working on Cultural Memory in ancient societies.

On the second day we will turn our gaze on Rome as a case study
for lieux de mémoire with papers given by invited scholars.

Please see the Call for Papers on

This Day in Ancient History: idus octobres

idus octobres

  • festival of Jupiter — all ides were sacred to Jupiter
  • Rite of the ‘October Horse’ — one of the many rituals which makes the study of Roman religion so fascinating. On this day a race between two-horse chariots would be held in the Campus Martius, and the right hand horse of the victorious pair would be sacrificed by the flamen of Mars on an altar (in the Campus Martius, of course). After the sacrifice, people who lived in the Via Sacra neighbourhood would fight the people who lived in the Suburra for the right to the head. If the ‘via sacranites’ won, they’d display it on the Regia; if the Suburranites won, it would be displayed at the Turris Mamilia. Meanwhile, the cauda (tail – genitals) would be rushed to the Regia so the blood would drip on the sacred hearth; the Vestal Virgins also probably kept some of the blood for use at the Parilia on April 21.
  • ludi Capitolini — a somewhat obscure day of games which was unique in its not being ‘public’ (in the sense of being put on by a magistrate) but rather the ballywick of a collegium of ‘Capitolini’. Not much is known about what went on at these games save that an old man wearing the bulla of of a young boy was paraded about and mocked; there were possibly competitions in boxing and running as well.
  • 55 B.C. — death of Lucretius
  • 70 B.C. — birth of Publius Vergilius Maro, a.k.a. Vergil, a.k.a Virgil
  • 1999 — death of Don Fowler, fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and frequent contributor to the Classics list almost from its inception, among other things, of course